Amazon sales are driven by keyword rankings. Amazon sellers need to both understand and maximize rankings and search results to rock the BSR and build a bigger, more profitable business. Amazon SEO plays a MASSIVE role in this. Today we breakdown the Amazon algorithms to uncover how to rank your products more effectively, increase sales, exposure, success and just about EVERYTHING FBA sellers are looking for with simple optimization and SEO tricks.
Amazon SEO and What You NEED Know To Dominate
- What are the big drivers of Amazon organic ranks and search results?
- The big differences between Amazon and Google SEO and how to maximize keyword impact
- What goes into a killer Amazon title for clicks, conversions and traffic
- The ENORMOUS keyword mistake most FBA sellers make and how to avoid it
- The reasons Matt and Rus both spend hard on PPC promotions
- How to use a SuperURL tool (like Amazooka) to boost keywords sales out of the gate
- Why bullet points boost conversion rates and how to write to increase sales
- When to start split testing
- Why reviews play a pivotal role in ranks and how to take advantage of that
Matt: Welcome back to Amazooka, guys! Yeah, we went there. And today, we’re going there as well. It’s time to dominate SEO. Rus, you’re the internet marketing man. Take it away.
Rus: This is one of my most favorite things in the world. SEO strategy is what I’ve been doing for a while. For anyone that doesn’t know what SEO stands for, that’s “Search Engine Optimization.”
In the past few years, everyone’s been trying to game Google. Google was the search engine of choice. How do you optimize your website for Google? We’re not on Google. We’re on Amazon.
Matt: Actually, you will too – because Amazon advertises for you.
Rus: That is true.
Matt: Just a little side note.
Rus: Yeah. And your products will rank in Google as well if they get the search terms right. But we’re not going to talk about how to rank your Amazon sales page on Google today. That’s the podcast in itself.
We’re just going to talk about how to optimize your sales page for ranking in the Amazon search engine. So “Amazon Search Engine Optimization” is the key for today.
And it’s quite basic in my opinion. So hopefully, you’ve done the work on your product. You should know what keywords people are likely to be looking for your products on Amazon.
Amazooka has a keyword suggestion tool. Google Planner is another tool to come up with good keywords. Matt, do you use any other tools?
Matt: Yeah, there’s Keyword Merchant, Simple Keyword Inspector. There’s a lot of great stuff. And with the AdWords Tools, guys – you can whip the keywords right from your competitor’s listings. Enter the URL’s and you can see everything they got. You’re going to throw them to a PPC campaign and crush it.
Matt: But with keywords – Basically, this is how people think about your product.
So we like can openers here because Rus and I like tuna. So let’s say that we want to buy a can opener. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Well, that’s probably a damn can opener.
Matt: That’s probably going to be your top keywords. So you’re going to want to look at that and build off of that.
In Amazon – Unlike Google, they’re pretty much just 100% down with keyword spamming. That’s the only way that the system works in Amazon – is relevancy is based 100% on keywords.
If your keyword is not in a listing, it’s not in the title, it’s not in the backend, it’s not anywhere, then even if you’re selling the world’s greatest can opener and you don’t include can opener in your listing, no one is ever going to find you for a can opener. They might find you for a tuna operating device, but can opener is not going to be there.
Rus: That’s a little bit wrong.
Rus: Yeah. We’ll come to that shortly though. I’ll explain why you don’t necessarily have to have your keyword in your product description in a minute.
Matt: Okay. Well, you learn something new every day. But let’s start with the titles.
Rus: Okay. Well…
Matt: Go ahead, Rus. Go for it.
Rus: There are three main places Amazon looks at when they’re looking at ranking your product for a keyword. Agree with what you’re about to say.
The first place is the product title. So that’s the place Amazon will express the most. That’s the most important area of your product. So it’s the keyword and the product title.
Then after the product title – come the bullet points. So that’s the second area Amazon will check. And then the third area is of course, your product description. So that’s the order of importance.
Matt: There is one thing that I need to add to that. So the backend keywords that you have in your products listing where you have those four little keyword sections, every single one of those weighs just as highly as every word in your title, and every single one of those will combine together. We’ll get into that in a sec.
Matt: But basic concept is – Let’s say your title is “can openers” and you have “can opener.” The machine that opens tuna, the greatest. Well, that will get you “opens cans” that will get you “tuna cans.”
All of those things build together based off of those keywords that you have in there. And that’s really critical because exposure is basically 100% based on the keywords that you’re ranking and relevant for.
Rus: Completely true. We like to stuff as many keywords as we can into our title. We’re not going to go too much into what makes the perfect title. But our entire title is totally stuffed.
So going back to the can opener, we’ll have best can opener in Amazon in order to get not just can opener, but also the best can opener keyword as well. We don’t even mind repeating. We’ll stuff that with as many keywords as we can find.
Matt: I see. I avoid the repeats. I try to make sure that I go through every single one and hit all of the variations.
Matt: But at the same time, guys – Think about your title. I’m not 100% stuffed. But you get typically 200 characters depending on your category. Use every single last one of those.
Matt: But you don’t just need keywords in your title. You also need to make sure that it compels people to buy. So those are the two things that are going to pull them in – The keyword and the images that you have. We’ll get into images in a sec.
But you want to have your title stand out. Not only for keywords, but have it be readable to buyers, have it grab their attention. Think internet marketing, think salesmanship on a page, think headlines, all of that good stuff. Because that’s the first thing they’re going to see. Second, they’ll look at the picture. If it’s interesting, they click in. And only then can you actually convert them to a buyer.
Rus: Yup. The next area is the bullet points. So again, the same philosophy – You want to have your keywords in as many… Well, the bullet points should express the benefits of your products first and foremost.
In order to increase conversion rates, you need to directly put the benefits into your bullet point areas. But you also need to sprinkle liberally keywords throughout those benefits in order to help your product rank.
Matt: And remember that you only need to have a keyword once in the bullet points or once in the listing.
Matt: So what I like to do is I’ll create my listing, I’ll do it in a Google Doc sheet and I’ll highlight all of the relevant keywords, and then use that to make sure I’m not repeating myself, and instead, include variations. “Can opener, can openers, steel can openers,” etcetera to make sure that you’re hitting everything that you need to get the most volume.
But at the same time, what you said about conversion rates is really important because we talked about it before. How effective your product is at converting browsers into buyers? Amazon loves that because that’s how they make money. And unless Amazon loves you, you’re not going to win.
Matt: So you need to convert people. I do a lot of copywriting. I’m not sure about you, Rus. But you really want to position it as the benefits (like Rus was talking about) and make them inherently obvious – how people feel about the product.
Why? Hit up the negative reviews that your competition has. See what people don’t like. See what they do like. And make sure you focus on those things in your product as well. I like to bulk capitalize the first couple of words or a statement at the beginning too to grab people’s attention.
Rus: Yup. You can add little stars as well in order to really draw people’s eyes to the bits you want to read. But benefits, not features. That’s a way to help that.
Matt: And I think the length on those can pretty much be as long as you want. But I’ve seen them four or five lines long for a bullet point.
Matt: So people that has these sharp bullet points, that’s just hurting you, unless you have a very good reason to suspect otherwise.
Rus: So you can only do so much with the listing. So if you’ve got your keywords in your title, if you’ve got the keywords in the Amazon backend where you added the product, if you’ve got the keywords in the bullet points of benefits and you’ve got the keywords in the description, then the next way to pump yourself up the rankings is to simply make Amazon more money than your competitors.
Matt: Get more sales.
Rus: Yeah. The more you sell, the higher your conversion rate, the higher you’re going to rank basically. We’ve had products with I think 45%. We might have even hit 50% at one time conversion rates.
Matt: Oh, my God!
Rus: It was sick. It was great whilst it lasted. They were straight at the very top due to amazing copy basically. And they converted incredibly well. So we had lots and lots of positive reviews, hundred plus positive reviews, great compelling copy to buy. My business partner is a fantastic copywriter. It’s not my strength.
I think the average E-Commerce store of Amazon has a 1% conversion rate. But because Amazon is full of people looking to buy, you can get obscene conversion rates. And we were absolutely killing it.
So the higher your conversion rate, the more money you make for Amazon, the more they’re going to like you. Because at the end of the day, what they want is – people to buy things.
Matt: And the cheaper that your PPC is going to be – Because if your making money that easily, it doesn’t matter how much you spend. You can outspend everyone and still dominate.
Matt: So we talked about sales a little bit. A couple of ways to hack this – I like Super URL’s personally. That’s basically simulating a keyword search through a buyer. So Amazon – they rank…
Matt: Go ahead, Rus.
Rus: This gets to the little bit where I interrupted you earlier and said there are ways to rank for keywords that don’t actually exist on your sales page.
Matt: Oh, touché my friend.
Rus: As a little lesson – If you type the word “Viagra” into Amazon.com and look at just the very first result, for me it’s “Leyzene the #1 Most Effective Natural Performance Enhancement! Doctor Trusted Certified! Satisfaction Guaranteed…” So if you type in “Viagra,” you’ll come across that in the number one spot. Search the page for the word “Viagra.”
Matt: Oh, I bet you it’s in the backend. I bet you what it is – is Viagra is a trade marketing or competitor so they can’t legally put it. But if they put it in the backend, then Viagra wouldn’t know. So they can’t sue them.
Matt: So that might not apply. But at the same time, the point that you bring up is true.
Rus: Yeah. So that is probably in the backend of that keyword. But also, going back to exactly what Matt was saying. They’re going to have artificially generated a lot of sales for that Viagra keyword as well using one of the super old tools that Matt was about to talk about.
Matt: Yeah, Super URL is pretty important and pretty valuable. So let’s say you want to give away 50, 100, 1,000 products, whatever it is. 1,000 – Wow! That would be incredible!
Matt: And you’re doing a review club, you’re using Amazooka, you’re maybe doing Thomason. There’s lots of great ones out there.
Matt: And you’re giving people a link – even friends and family. You’re giving them a link. You can give them a link just to your product, etcetera, but that doesn’t give you as much of a boost or a benefit because Amazon knows they just came straight in.
And that doesn’t actually happen because Amazon is anal about tracking everything. They’re constantly running split tests. And if you look at the links when you search for anything on Amazon, you’ll notice how it gets longer and crazier and more complicated.
Well, what that is – is Amazon tracking exactly where you’ve been, exactly what you’ve been doing. Yeah, it’s creepy. But it helps them get more information and you can hack it.
A Super URL is essentially showing Amazon that it looks like – “Oh, wow! So Rus just searched for a can opener” even if Rus just clicked through his email which have the link in there. Amazon thinks – “Oh! So this is a can opener search. Oh, and a can opener sale. I like that. Oh! And they left a review.”
It makes every sale more powerful in the eyes of Amazon because you’re getting a sale through a keyword – Emphasis on the “SALE.” That’s what ranks you higher. So you can skyrocket the product keywords you’re targeting and make sure you rank faster. I like them for my launches.
Rus: I use them all the time. By doing 50 of those in one 24 hour period – With just 50, we’ve had phenomenal success. There are several approaches to using a Super URL effectively. So I’ll just go through those.
There’s the lazy approach where you have one URL. So let’s just say in our case, Amazooka.com/surfwax. So that’s the Super URL you’ve picked out for your surf wax.
One school of thought is you can assign multiple keywords to that Super URL and then they will be rotated possibly based on a waiting system. So maybe you want 50% of visitors to the URL. It will turn up on Amazon at your product page using the word “surf wax.”
Then maybe you want 25% of the visitors to turn up using the search term “best surf wax.” And then maybe the remaining 25%, they turn up with “cheapest surf wax” or something. Maybe you split up your keywords like that.
So that’s one way and it’s really good. You can be really lazy. You only have to worry about one Super URL and you can spam that everywhere. So if you’re talking about the surf wax in a four or more something, you can just take that one URL, paste it everywhere and it’s going to cover your keywords.
Matt: I like how you call it “ERL.” Ha-ha!
Rus: Yeah, sorry. English. It is a URL.
Matt: That’s okay. Everyone loves how you speak around the world. So it’s okay.
Matt: You sound like Harry Potter. Magical!
Rus: So that’s one way to use the magical Super URL of doom.
The way I do it is I tend to be really specific. So for me personally, I’ll make one Super URL. In reference, just one keyword. So my “surf wax” example – All it will do is reference the one keyword “surf wax.”
And what I’ve noticed – Again, it depends totally on the keywords, how many people are searching for them, and the products that are coming up in your competition. But what I’ve noticed was by just hammering the word “surf wax” rather than say I don’t know any surf wax names, but “best surf wax” or “hardest surf wax.”
Due to the on-page optimization, (because we’ve got all the keywords in our title in benefits) the fact that we’re getting mad sales just for the keyword “surf wax,” that will boost our rankings anyway for all of the other keywords that we’re trying to rank for – just because the product will be outperforming the other products that are appearing in the rankings.
Matt: And there’s a reason for that.
Rus: Yup. That’s how I do it. But everyone is different.
Matt: That’s how I do it now as well. I initially had a massive list of keywords. But think about it like this.
So the reason that what you’re saying applies, Rus – is the concept of 80/20. 20% of the effort, 80% of the results. So odds are one or two of your keywords are going to have the mass majority of the volume. People search for them. They think about them in the same terminology.
So if you target those one or two – By targeting those and increasing those ranks, those are the most important keywords that you have. Maybe your product gets 1,000 sales a month on most of the keywords. But then there’s two of them, they get 10,000.
If you pump up those two keywords, that’s going to boost your sales, just going to boost your BSR which is going to boost your rankings on all of those lower keywords that aren’t quite which you were targeting. Basically, target the heavy hitters and the heavy hitters will benefit everything else including the bottom line.
Rus: Exactly. Target the big ones, get the sales, and then the smaller long tail keywords that have less searches – you’ll just dominate them easily. So that’s my way of doing it.
Matt: Yeah. Their long tail adamant to your PPC campaign, and that’s enough to generally rank for them.
Rus: Yeah, exactly.
Matt: The next thing with boosting your Amazon (not only SEO, but conversion) would be the images themselves.
So Amazon likes when you have more pictures probably because it boosts conversion rates. That may just be the caveat. But either way, you want to use up all or the majority of the pictures that you can because people want to see what it’s like. They want to touch it, feel it, taste it. They can’t do any of that. But at least, they can see it with pictures.
So show some pictures of the products and some white backgrounds, your typical Amazon pictures, some actual usages of people using them because it makes it real. And make sure that you’ve got some sexy high quality.
At least 1000 by 1000 is what Amazon recommends. I like to go 2000 by 2000 because then, it’s even more HD, it’s even more sexy when people are looking at it and then can zoom in even further.
Rus: Yeah. There is one other place where you can sprinkle keywords. Can you think of where it might be, Matt?
Matt: Sprinkling keywords. I do not know what you’re talking about right now, Rus. But I think I will in a sec.
Rus: So hopefully, you’ve got a really great product that everyone loves and they’re regularly leaving five star reviews.
Matt: Ah, yes.
Rus: So the other place where you can sprinkle keywords is definitely in the reviews section for your product. I don’t know. I need to do a bit more A, B testing.
When we have had people do reviews for us, we’ve definitely seen an increase. When people leave reviews anyway, the reviews count, you get more sales. As you get more sales, you get bumped up in the rankings. But we’ve also seen a spike when people have left keywords in the product reviews.
So if you’re giving out products to friends and family or you’re doing some blasts or you’re using Thomason or something in order to get more positive reviews or you’re part of some other review network. It’s quite likely that people are going to put “Yeah. This is the best surf wax I’ve ever used. My surfboard is now nice and shiny” in their review and that’s going to really help.
So going back to reviews – You can’t have too many five star reviews. So crank out the auto-responders and get reviews coming in.
Matt: Yes, crank them out. One other place that I found – I don’t know if it’s keyword sensitive or conversion rates or whatever it is. Questions.
So I like to get people to leave questions especially ones that make my company look great or address a typical customer concern.
Matt: Can I use this can opener with my left hand? Hell yes, you can. This is (whatever it’s called) when you can use either hands.
Matt: Just those kinds of questions and then leaving real cool responses, things where you show that your company actually is a person. People are going to really like that.
Matt: So get your friends and family to leave questions that make you look awesome.
Rus: If all you’re doing is private labeling existing products – So maybe someone else has got exactly the same can opener as you on their listing but you’ve just stamped your label on it, a good way to differentiate is of course, with just phenomenal customer service.
So the more questions you can answer, the more you can engage with your customer base, the more likely you’re going to draw customers away from the competition and increase conversions to your own page.
I recently bought a Fitbit watch from Amazon.com which is phenomenal. I definitely recommend one of those. And I keep getting emails (maybe one or two a week) from someone asking a question about the watch, and then asking if I (as a buyer) can answer it.
So the last one was – “Can you replace this strap?” The one before that was – “Is the face of the watch glass or is it plastic?” So those questions are going to be sent out to buyers, as well as yourself as the seller of the product.
So you got to keep an eye on that and getting quick and be as responsible as you can – because some of the questions I’ve seen answered… I’ve seen a buyer answer with “I don’t know” as their answer which isn’t helpful at all. But if you can keep that covered, it’s going to help. It’s going to help your CRO.
Matt: Absolutely. And I think to wrap this up, there is one last thing that boost conversions and likely SEO (if related or not) and that is “Bestseller” badges.
So every category and every sub-category is going to have a bestseller. The number one in kitchen home appliances that you use with your left hand. Amazon loves to break it down so that buyers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
Well, if you’re selling in the kitchen category and you’re maybe the 10th, the 100th, whatever rank in there, that’s because there’s tons of products. But if you were to search down and find maybe the can opener section of kitchen products or maybe the device jar opening section, whatever – there’s tons of different ones, they all have weird names.
Find a one that you would be the top seller in. You can switch into that or even be listed in two sub-categories if you ask really nicely to Amazon. And that will get you a badge at the top of your listing. You’ve seen them around and they say – “Number one in kitchen. Number one in sports.” Well, that looks really cool. It also grabs people’s attention and differentiates you from others and it bets you instantly as the number one guy.
So if you can do that, that’s a nice little hack to help grow your business.
Rus: Yup, definitely. If you can dominate one of the smaller bestseller sections in order to boost your product into a larger one, then perfect!
Matt: Absolutely. And let’s wrap up SEO and Conversions. I think we’ve pretty much covered as much as I can cover. I don’t know if you’ve got anything else to add, Rus. Do you?
Rus: No. That’s basically it. Ranking organically in Google is another matter, but that’s not for today.
Matt: And that is absolutely not for today. That is way more complicated and it involves some pandas and all sorts of stuff.
Matt: So let’s get out of here and let’s go build some Amazon business.
Matt: Or better yet, automate them and have a little bit of fun. Sound good?
Rus: Yup, definitely. Sounds great!
Rus: Its clear blue skies here. So look outside.
Matt: Oh! Clear blue skies. It’s getting dark here.
Matt: Guys, go make something happen.
Rus: Cool! Good luck! Take action. Speak to you guys soon. Thanks for listening.