Ranking Amazon Products without Sponsored Ads with Dan Little and Danny McMillan – Session 015

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Ranking Amazon products is something Dan knows a lot about. Living in Sweden Dan has been running Amazon Businesses for 4 yrs with 4 brands over that period, one of which he sold. He continues with the 3 brands, ten products and many variations and sizes. So he knows a little about ranking Amazon products.

Product Selection strategy

  • Uses Jungle Scout
  • Sells in sports and outdoors
  • Goes for £20-50 sell price
  • Looks for a BSR between 100 and 2,000
  • Currently looking at oversize
  • No limit on number of reviews

Identifying main Keywords

  • Use google keyword planner
  • Dump competitor listings in there and pull out a big list of keywords
  • Use common sense and think up what I would call it
  • Uses (Amazon Marketing Service) AMS predicted High/Med/Low search volume – you need vendor express to get onto AMS
  • Create a dummy headline search ad, put in 10-15 best selling products you want to promote (i.e. Skipping rope) on your page and
  • When you put in the keywords it will show you the search volume (Lo/Med/Hi) based on Amazon’s data
  • Build a list of all the Med and High keywords for the next stage

How many Keywords to go after

  • I aim for main 5 keywords
  • These will capture 80% of the sales anyway and once Amazon tracking sees you can rank for these you’ll start showing up for smaller keywords too

Keyword Stuffing

  • Only 250 bytes availble now (250 chars)
  • Once you have your main keywords in your title, bullets and description
  • The backend is really only for the ‘variations’ on keywords not the main ones

Copywriting for listings and ads

  • Outsource sales copy to Asteroid Aim
  • Make sure they optimise the listings to the top 5 keywords I’ve selected
  • They write great sales copy to sell to people and not keyword stuffed copy for Amazon algorithms
  • Emotional and take a customer on a journey – sells better

Pricing strategies for ranking Amazon products

  • Take the average market price and price yours 30% less straight away
  • Retail price is £15 and I put on a sales price at 30% off
  • Then promotion on Facebook with a further reduction

Facebook Landing Page

  • Offer on Facebook and send to a landing page – gives a further 49% off on (79% off in total)
  • A big enough discount to attract a lot of buyers
  • At 49% it should allow you to get ‘verified’ reviews
  • Normal prices £15
  • Sales Price is £10
  • You get a further 49% off and you get it for £5.10

Tools that help

  • Started with ZonPages as it was simple to use
  • Follow the  80/20 rule and get it out quickly – it’s just as likely to do well
  • Changed from ZonPages as it was English only and Dan sells in Europe
  • Started using AMZ Coupon Server for WordPress and it works in the same way
  • Put your coupons in and a bit of technical skill needed for this tool
  • Buyers claim the discount code and make the sale

Structuring your URLs

  • Randomisation is good
  • If Amazon see a load of traffic coming in to the same link – it’s less liekly they will give you the rank juice to get up the page quickly
  • I now use GENI.us – it tracks the customer’s IP address and sends them to the relevant Amazon store on his affiliate link
  • You can split the traffic based on OS. Put in 3 different store front URLs with different keywords and split traffic across iOS, Android and Windows
  • Second keyword is Android, 3rd is in as Windows with Most as iOS with your top keyword
  • Now Amazon sees people coming to your page from different URLs and keywords and appears more random and natural to the Amazon algorithm
  • The more random you are the better it works
  • This is an easy way of rotating them – once you get to No1 you can go back to GENI.us and change the keyword – no other changes needed and traffic is going to a different keyword and you continue to rank for more and more keywords

Budgeting for ad campaigns

  • Budget for your velocity
  • Still use 80/20
  • Generally about £100/day on Facebook campaigns
  • If you get too many coupons being taken or too many people going to the page in a day, slow it down by reducing the budget
  • The Facebook element is a small part of your overall promotional budget
  • You can normally get clicks for 25p to the page (promotion at 79% off to a landing page with available through amazon badge on the ad)
  • Of 100 people to the page, you’ll get 10-50% that will sign up for the discount code and 10-50% again will go through and actually buy it
  • Follow up emails might help improve conversions in chasing those who take the coupons
  • Real cost comes from discounting the product and incurring Amazon fees
  • 79% off could be that you’re losing £3 per unit – could be 100-200 discounted units (£600-£1,200 on discounts)
  • Plus £200 in FB ads
  • Could be £1,500 costs
  • At position 1 on page 1 you get 60-70 units sales per day at £3 profit per unit – it won’t take long to cover your £1,500 investment

Audience Targeting

  • Pick an audience in the target location
  • 25 – 54 age range – younger not so good conversions same for older
  • Male and Female unless gender specific product
  • Very generic interest (i.e. Fitness as a range)
  • Then dial in by narrowing the audience by saying ‘also interested in AMAZON.COM’
  • Audience of about 1m when finished – if lower then add in something else as an interest
  • Select the specific operating systems and select ‘only on wi-fi’ – as where the customer looking at your ad is will make a difference in whether they complete the full sales process
  • Someone out and about at a bus-stop is less likely to follow your ad and purchase than a person sat at Home on their sofa in a wi-fi zone

Switch from Promotion to Organics

  • Stopped using PPC in my last 2-3 launches
  • Didn’t see it as effective for ranking amazon products as Facebook ads in terms of speed and much more costly
  • Once you’re at the top and have organic sales coming in because you’re still 30% cheaper than the rest of the market price
  • And you have organic reviews come in to
  • You should be good to continue your sales

When to stop FB promotions

  • Set 100-200 through this discounted route
  • Send more traffic to the landing page but without discount codes for the extra 49% – but they still get the 30% off on your listing
  • Still use GENI.us links and via the relevant keywords – they just don’t use the discount coupon
  • Using ‘storefront URLs’ you can rank in days and not weeks
  • Run the FB promotions for 3-4 days and on day 5 they should be shooting up as long as you are converting when the traffic comes through
  • If your product is NOT GOOD then you’re driving traffic but no conversions so a complete waste
  • Product selection must be quality and pick out the reviews from competitor products and make sure your product supplier manufactures it and improves on all the defects
  • Promote all these defect improvement on your listing to be head and shoulders above the competitor products on quality
  • It is worth it to spend the time and a little extra on manufacture (and it is only a little extra) to get a superior quality and better product – once you’re market leader you will stay there long-term and make more profit

PPC is dead for ranking Amazon Products during launches?

  • The Amazon rank algorithm is based on
    • Sales velocity
    • Conversions
  • Check Sessions by parent product and sales by parent product in terms of units
  • Compare this to your sponsored products sales
  • Take off the sessions from PPC and take off sales from PPC and you’re left with your true organic results
  • Look at your conversion rates – are the ads converting better than your organics?
  • You are looking for your conversion rate on your ads being ‘higher’ than your conversions on your oranics
  • If it’s not higher then your ads are dragging down your average conversion rate – ditch the ads and get higher conversions on your organics

Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

  • How much are you paying in click cost to get one sale?
  • A 25% conversion means you need 4 clicks to get a sale
  • At £1 a click that’s £4 CPA
  • If your margin is less than £4 then you are losing money on every sale
  • Is the sponsored product ad converting less than your organic traffic? Is the margin less than the CPA? – then turn ads off
  • If margin is less than CPA but sponsored ads conversion is higher than organic then consider keeping it on

Tested it with no Amazon Ads

  • No Amazon paid traffic
  • Just 200 units through the 79% off route (which was really 49% only off)
  • And the other 100 giveaways to get feedback to further improve the product (using Google form)
  • Found that within a few days at Page 1 and in a few weeks at Position 1 for the 3-5 keywords I use
  • So why waste money on anything other than Facebook Traffic

Contact Dan