Running an ecommerce business on Amazon can be a great way to make money while working from home on your terms. If you sell products on Amazon, ranking highly for Amazon searches is the most important thing you can do to market your products and drive sales.
Organic rankings on Amazon are critical to bring in visitors to your listings. Without visitors, it is simply impossible to make sales. Applying the correct strategies to improve organic rankings could boost your Amazon product’s sales by 300% and increase overall conversions by over 500%.
In this article we will examine each stage of developing an organic marketing strategy and what you need to do to achieve high rankings on Amazon.
Prepare Your Amazon Product Listing Pre-Launch
#1. Optimise Your Listing
In order to rank your product highly on Amazon, you need to implement the correct strategies before you even think about launching your product. This means knowing what you need to do to optimise your listing for higher rankings as you prepare your product listing.
An optimised product listing:
- Incorporates the appropriate keywords for Amazon’s algorithm.
- Has the best copy and images to maximise visitor conversions to sales.
In other words, an optimised listing lets users find your product and also makes them want to buy it once they’ve found it. In this article we are going to focus on the first stage of that equation.
#2. Understand the Amazon A9 Algorithm
In order to rank your products highly in Amazon searches you first need to understand how Amazon works. Like Google, Amazon’s search results pages are based on an algorithm, known as the “A9 Algorithm”.
However, unlike Google, Amazon’s A9 Algorithm is based on one thing: making money. Amazon is a sales-based business. This means if your listing makes more money for them they will rank it higher. They have an interest in promoting your listing so that you can continue to make money for them.
Of course, this higher ranking will mean that you then make more money, and so this will spiral up in a positive direction.
Amazon’s A9 Algorithm essentially ranks sites based on three factors:
- Conversion rates
- Relevance to search query
- Visibility of the product and organic traffic
Because of this, it can be difficult for new stores and new products to compete on rankings against established competitors. However, this is possible by using the correct keywords, products, and ensuring your listing converts traffic to sales. More on this below.
Other than sales, a major thing you can do to boost your organic rankings on Amazon is use the correct keywords. This all comes down to strong keyword research.
Having the right keywords in place is critical for turning up in the searches of customers who will want to buy your product. By finding the right customers you will in turn increase your sales, which as mentioned is critical for your Amazon ranking.
As part of the preparation stage, conduct extensive keyword research into the keywords customers are searching for on Amazon. There are a few tools available to help with keyword research, one we recommend is MerchantWords.
It is also important to be creative in your keyword research. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: if you were looking for a product what are the exact terms you would use? Because of the way Amazon’s algorithm works, new stores often struggle to rank against established stores and products. However, one way to overcome this is by using relevant keywords which are under-utilised by competitors.
#4. Competitor Analysis
Researching your competitors is important as it gives you a clear picture on what keywords, copy, images and product features are most successful in selling product. Identify your most profitable competitors and their most highly ranked products and then reverse engineer their listings to work out which keywords and features are performing best in the market.
Competitor analysis can not only let you benefit from their experience, but know how to position yourself against them by doing even better. Learn from your top competitors’ listings and prepare your listing making sure every section of the listing is optimised against at least one of the three factors which impact on the A9 algorithm.
#5. Product Development
Taking it a step back, choosing which product to sell can also play a part in how well your product ranks on Amazon. If you decide to sell a product which already has a number of high performing competitors, it will be an uphill battle to rank against them.
In the beginning of the product development stage, examine the product you are planning to sell and assess its ability to rank on Amazon.
In our experience, we find that the most rank-able products for Amazon are:
- The first ranked competitor has less than 500 reviews
- Price bracket over £15 or $20
- Product is not brand-driven
- Product is lightweight
- Encourages repeat customers (i.e. Something people buy more than once)
Another great strategy is to offer a sample of an upcoming product to a test group. Their feedback will give insight into the advantages of the product, letting you tweak and improve it pre-launch. You can then build a landing page for the product and collect email addresses for those interested in knowing when the product is launched. Not only does this create a buzz and start building a customer base for your product, but it also generates organic searches for your listing, which is one of the factors which will increase your ranking on Amazon.
Driving Initial Sales on Amazon
Once your product listing is optimised and you are ready to move to the next stage: launching your product, generating traffic, getting reviews and optimising conversion. Getting the most sales possible in the first 7 days of your listing is crucial for your ranking.
#1. Ask Your Network
In the early stages of your product listing you want to generate as much organic traffic and sales as possible to improve your ranking on Amazon. Your personal network of family, friends and contacts is a great resource for this.
Reach out to your network, tell them why the product is great and ask them to support your business. If you want to find a way to incentivise them, you can even offer them money as a partial or complete discount but have them buy the product at full RRP from Amazon.
#2. Get Reviews
Amazon looks for products with positive reviews, as this is an indication that others are more likely to buy it. Once people start to buy your product, encourage them to leave reviews. This will help increase your organic ranking on Amazon.
You will need to be extremely proactive to make sure your customers leave reviews. Follow them up, and then follow them up again. Be assertive but don’t push too hard, as this may be counter-productive in securing a positive review. We generally recommend sellers send not more than two requests to a customer for a review.
#3. Product Giveaways
Offering free product giveaways is probably the quickest and easiest way to build up reviews. One strategy for this is to find social media users relevant to your industry with a large following and offer them a free sample of your product. This has the added advantage that if they like the product, they will promote it among their extensive network.
#4. Track Performance
Once you have launched your product it is important to check back and see how it is tracking.
Firstly, you will want to track how your keywords are ranking your products. This will allow you to see if your research was accurate and make adjustments as necessary. You will need an Amazon tracker tool to do this – we recommend Keyworx tracker tool.
You also want to track your organic rankings on Amazon. It is essential to have high organic rankings or you will never reach the full selling potential of your product. We recommend sellers track their rankings on a weekly basis to see how they are faring, note any changes, and adapt the listing accordingly.
Other Marketing Techniques To Improve Amazon Rankings
#1. Content Marketing
Beyond the listing and Amazon itself, there are a few marketing techniques you can use to improve your product’s organic ranking. Content marketing is a highly effective tool for promoting many types of businesses, and ecommerce is no exception.
Create quality useful content which contains links to your product listing. This will increase organic searches thus improving your Amazon ranking. Additionally, this generates quality leads and will help to drive sales, therefore also improving your ranking.
You can publish your content on your own site or blog if you have one, or as guest posts on other sites. We particularly recommend the second approach.
#2. PPC Advertising
Pay-per-click advertising is another way to bring your product to the attention of potential customers, thus generating traffic and sales.
There are three types of PPC ads:
- Headline Search Ads
- Sponsored Product Ads
- Product Display Ads
Headline Search Ads tend to generate the most traffic, but are also generally the most expensive. Whatever type of PPC you choose, we recommend you do this during the critical initial 7 days of the listing only. After that, if you have applied all of the above-mentioned techniques correctly, organic search results on Amazon should do the rest!
Ranking highly in Amazon searches is one of the key things you can do to ensure great sales rates, particularly in the early stages of a new product or a new business. This, however, is only part of the picture: once your visitors are there, you need to convert them to sales. This is where listing optimisation, along with other digital marketing techniques come in.
To be truly successful with an ecommerce business you need to think big.
In this article we have briefly touched on some of the strategies you can implement outside of your Amazon ranking and listing to drive sales and boost revenue. There are close to limitless possibilities. To have your business realise its full potential, search for a marketing agency which can help you to optimise your online presence and you will see exponential growth for your company.