Viral Launch Posts

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of finding and collecting relevant words and phrases that online shoppers use when looking for your product. 

The key to a great listing is great keyword research. There are plenty of tools out there that boast their expertise in finding you all the keywords you need for your product, cutting down the time you need to spend on keyword research and making you money by improving your listing. It sounds too good to be true, right? And that’s because it is. You’re not going to be able to find all the best keywords in the same place.

The best way to find the highest volume of relevant keywords that will help you to index, rank, and increase your product’s visibility is to do good, old-fashioned, multi-source keyword research. Great keyword research is not something you can afford to skimp on if you want your product to be successful and can be the difference between making hundreds of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here are some of the techniques that we use to write incredibly powerful Amazon listings:

 

  1. Start with a Tool

Tools aren’t perfect, but they are a good place to start. The main keywords for your product will be obvious. Just ask yourself, “What is this product?” If it’s a ball pump, that’s likely your main keyword. If it’s a dog treat, that’s probably your main keyword. Start with that basic word or phrase and feed it to one of the many Amazon Seller keyword tools. Then take the list of keywords that your tool spits back at you, and begin to comb through, taking out words that do not apply to your product.

Keyword tools are great at producing volume, which feels impressive, but there is only so much space in a listing with restrictive character limits. And even if you do stuff your listing full of these tool-generated keywords, the question is: are those keywords relevant to your product and are they ultimately helping your listing?

Unfortunately, from my experience testing out different keyword tools, the answer is no.

For example, if you search for keywords related to ball pump with Scientific Seller, some of the keywords that it suggests are “ballet, shoes, women, thrower, and tent.”

Scientific Seller Keyword Research Results

These keywords might be relevant to your product if it comes with women’s ballet shoes or a tent. No judgment. But that’s what you have to determine as you go through the keyword research results that you get from your tool. You’ll probably need to tweak your searches, doing some broad keywords and more specific phrases, but no matter how you do it, you’re going to have to audit your list for quality.

 

You’ll see the same kind of noise with all of these tools: Merchant Words, Magnet, Google Keyword Planner, and the list goes on. Even still, a tool can speed up your keyword research by providing you with a long list of words that appear around your main keyword. That said, there still isn’t anything that compares to the human brain in distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant keywords for your product.

Make sure to search more specific variations of your main keyword. If your product is organic, try “organic dog treat.” If it’s made in the USA, search “dog treat made in USA.” If it comes with a free toy or doubles as a toy, look up “dog treat toy.” Once you’ve explored these variations and have a robust list, start looking at your competition.

 

  1. Poach Your Competitor’s Keywords

With a solid start to your keyword research, it’s time to check out your competition. I’m not talking about reverse ASIN lookups. This is another alluring solution to cutting down on keyword research time. The problem with reverse ASIN lookups is that you get no competitive edge if you only take your competitor’s’ keywords. You have to take that and more to really push your product above the rest.

Looking at competitors is a good way to fill in gaps in your research. For example, let’s say you searched for dog treat, doggy treat, organic dog treat, dog treat made in the USA, and dog chew, using your keyword tool. You probably missed a few keywords that apply to your product.

Just by scanning the titles of “dog treat” search result page 1 competitors, you might see words like “natural, healthy, flavored, grain free, training treats, gourmet, smoked, delicious, and tender” Add the keywords that apply to your product to your list.

Amazon.com Keyword Research

It can be tempting to go for sheer volume when you’re researching, but be intentional about only adding keywords that relate to your product. For example, if your dog treat is a crunchy treat, don’t use words like “jerky” or “soft.” Your listing may index or even rank for those keywords, but you won’t convert well.

If your product isn’t something that shoppers are searching for, try to find contested keywords with a mix of products in the page 1 search results and add them to your keyword research list.

 

  1. Venture Outside of Amazon

Now that you’ve rounded out your keyword research with keywords from your top competitors, it’s time to broaden your research to other e-commerce platforms like Jet.com and Walmart.com. I like to check Google’s Shopping section in my keyword research as well. You’ll find many of the same products on these sites. Sometimes they use slightly different keywords, and sometimes there are completely different products with their own unique keywords.
Walmart.com Keyword Research

Sticking with the dog treat example, I picked up “pet food, chewing, habits, basted, biscuit, vitamins, minerals, freshen breath, real, ingredient, and chewy.”

Depending on the product, I’ve found this step in my keyword research to be either extremely beneficial or very redundant. Either way, it’s always worth checking. Even just finding a few unique keywords to add to your listing can improve sales month over month. Make sure to search multiple variations of your product’s main keyword or keyword phrase to get the best showing of your online competitors.

Once you’ve covered all your bases on the high-level keywords, it’s time to burrow down into the more specific and more technical keyword research.

 

  1. Use What You’ve Got

Make sure to include your product’s ingredients or materials in your keyword research. Look for common abbreviations or nicknames associated with each component, and research the associated benefits to understand the different ways that your product helps your customer and the different features shoppers might be looking for.

Make sure to add any conditions that your product or your ingredients address, but be cautious with including diseases. Keywords like “heart disease” or “cancer” are sometimes flagged as faulty claims.

 

  1. Utilize Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads, or PPC ads, can be another great tool for keyword research. With Automatic ads, Amazon shows your product as a sponsored ad for what it considers to be relevant keywords based on your product’s information. After an Automatic Ad campaign, you can download a keyword report and figure out which keywords your product performed best for.

To start an Amazon Sponsored Products campaign with Automatic Targeting, head to Seller Central > Advertising > Campaign Manager. When creating the campaign, set your daily budget, which is the amount you’re willing to spend in one day, and your bid, which is the maximum amount you are willing to pay when someone clicks your ad.

Run your Automatic campaign for a couple of weeks, and then download the keyword report, which can be accessed in Seller Central under Reports > Advertising Reports > Search Term Report. Once you’ve got the report, you can view the keywords that Amazon ran your ad for, the number of impressions (or views) the ad got, the number of clicks on the ad, and the number of orders made on that ad.

You’ll want to prioritize keywords with high conversion rates in your listing, and you might even want to run through your keyword research routine again with a new focus on these high conversion keywords. High conversion means that for the customer search term entered, your ad got a lot of clicks and orders relative to the number of impressions. For keywords with relatively high clicks but not many orders, you’ll want to consider why shoppers clicked but didn’t buy.

Using Automatic ad campaigns is a quick and fairly simple way to uncover new search terms and determine keyword relevance.

 

  1. Read Related Blog Posts

To round out your collection of technical keywords, look to long-form content like blog posts and product reviews. Especially when researching for backend search terms, related blog posts are a great source of low-volume technical keywords that can help you index for a wider variety of searches, increase your organic sales, and improve your overall rank.

I find buyer guides to be the most keyword-rich, especially for more specific language. In order to appeal to the well-informed and uninformed shopper alike, you’ll want to include simple keywords as well as specific “buzzwords” that shoppers may have encountered in their product research.

I usually find good quality content by searching things like “Which X to Buy” or “Best X for Y,” where X is the main keyword for the product and Y is a condition that the product offers a solution to.

 

Summary

If you follow this tried-and-true keyword research process, you will find a wide variety of relevant keywords that are specific to your product and that can help you to index, rank, and convert. The more honest you are about your product, starting with your keyword research, the more closely your product will match a shopper’s expectations and the more likely you are to convert.

Keyword research is so foundational to a successful listing. It’s worth spending the time to hunt down a diverse collection that will help increase your product’s visibility.

If you’re managing multiple products and don’t have time to go in depth with this kind of keyword research, Viral Launch is always here to lend a hand. Call a coach today to find out how a listing optimization can help your Amazon business.

You’ve heard the crazy success stories, like how one ambitious seller made $40k in his first 30 days selling on Amazon. Perhaps you have a mortgage to pay, a family to feed, or student loans to pay off. Or maybe you’re looking to invest in something that will take your income to the next level. Or you might be trying to build a brand you can eventually sell for 7 or 8 figures. Whatever position you’re in, you are wondering how to sell on Amazon.

You’ll find loads of information out there on different podcasts, blog posts, webinars, and tutorial videos. Yet one of the most common issues that arise with sellers is: I don’t know where to start. It’s easy to get lost in all of the information about how to sell on Amazon.

We’re here to break it down into three easy steps. Whether you’re looking at selling retail arbitrage or private-label, how to sell on Amazon can be simplified into three keys to success: start with a great product, set up your listing to rank and convert, and get your product in front of the client.

 

How to Sell on Amazon Key #1: Start with Sourcing a Great Product

What makes a great Amazon product? That’s a loaded question, but thanks for asking. I’m happy to walk you through it.

First, I’ll define a bad Amazon product. Perhaps that’s easier. There are exceptions to these universal truths, but generally speaking…

A bad Amazon product market is one that has:

  • Extremely low sales. You likely don’t want to get into a product market that is averaging monthly sales in the low double digits year-round.
  • A sales/review ratio of 1 or less. You have to have a competitive amount of reviews to sell well among the top sellers because of social proof. Shoppers trust the opinions of other shoppers, and the more (good) opinions you have, the better. With a decent review strategy, a seller could expect to see roughly around 6 reviews for every 100 sales. For a product market seeing 1,000 monthly sales with 1,000 average reviews (a review ratio of 1), it would take over 16,000 sales to reach 1,000 reviews. I’d suggest staying far away from this market. At 1,000 sales/month, that would take around 16 months to achieve. Avoid these types of markets and get into one with an easier barrier to entry. Note: Markets with a ratio of 1 or less may make sense if it is a natural extension of your brand. With that said, generally only the elite sellers with deep pockets are able to make these markets work.
  • No popular search terms on Amazon. In most cases, inventions aren’t great for Amazon. The benefit of selling on Amazon is the ability to jump in front of traffic that is already there. If customers are not already searching for terms most relevant to your product, the likelihood of high volume sales is slim. If no one knows what your brand new product is, or even how to search for it, then Amazon is likely not the platform for you.
  • Extremely low margins. Unless you have the capacity to move an insane amount of inventory, stay away from products where you’ll make less than $1 per sale. This is especially true in markets where there isn’t a ton of demand.

A great product to you may be a not-so-great product for me. It all depends on your goals. For instance, I might think 20 sales/day for a product sounds great, where you might want 40+. I might want to dominate a smaller niche, where you might want to try to compete with big, established sellers in a larger market. To define a good product to sell on Amazon, you must take your expectations and goals into account. However, there are some things that apply to all good Amazon products.

Generally, a good Amazon product market has:

  • Sales that align with your goals. I won’t give hard numbers here, but you’ll just want to ensure that the product you source sees monthly sales that align with your goals. Those numbers will widely vary from seller to seller, and that’s totally ok. To understand what kind of sales you can expect, look at how the market has performed historically, as well as how it’s performing now in context. Does the product sell consistently? Is the market increasing in popularity? Are sales declining? These are all questions to consider when looking to source a product.
  • A high sales/review ratio. This means the product market has more sales than reviews. Reviews are generally the greatest barrier to entry for a market. The lower that barrier compared to sales potential, the better. We generally consider an average market ratio of 3 or more to be desirable. If you can find a ratio of 5-10, then you may have struck a gold mine.
  • Room for improvement. There are many markets on Amazon with subpar listings: novice label and packaging design, amateur photos, sloppy copy, and low review ratings. These are great opportunities to source a high-quality product with an outstanding listing. There’s so much potential to position yourself as the best option on the market.
  • Healthy margins. Of course, you want to make money on each sale. We typically don’t recommend sourcing any product with less than a 30-40% expected profit margin. This leaves room for unexpected costs or price competition in the market.

To determine if a product market is a good fit for you, you’ll want to evaluate the product’s estimated monthly sales, both historical and present, sales/review ratio, average review quantity, average price trend, best selling period, sales pattern, and more. To aid you in your product research, we’ve come out with an extensive tool to show you all the data you need when making sourcing decisions.

Check out Market Intelligence, our Amazon product research tool, to see which product may be a good fit for you.

 

How to Sell on Amazon Key #2: Set Up Your Listing to Rank and Convert

Now you’ve got a great product. You’re off to a good start. But a great product isn’t enough. You could have the best product in the whole world, but if you don’t have an awesome Amazon listing to show it off, you might as well have no product at all. There are two different types of conversion rates: click conversions and on-page conversions. Click conversions refer to how many shoppers click on the listing when they see it in search results. On-page conversions refer to how many people buy your product when they’re on your listing.

In a perfect world, every single time someone saw your listing, they’d purchase the product. In the real world, we want to get as close to that perfect world as possible. There are a couple of key listing elements that you’ll want to master for optimum conversions. Your photos, price, reviews, and copy all play a major role in a shopper’s decision to buy or not buy.

Master your photos.

Product photos are perhaps the most important element of a listing when it comes to both click and on-page conversions. The key to great Amazon photos is having professional photos that tell a story, build an emotional connection with the shopper, and accentuate all the product features. If your photos look unprofessional, rushed, and non-representational of the product, a shopper is not likely to click or purchase. A buyer doesn’t want to feel like they’re getting the product from some amateur in their garage. However, with the same product and aesthetically-pleasing, descriptive photos, a shopper is much more inclined to buy. Good photos communicate high quality. Take a look at the photos below. If the listings are very similar (price, information, reviews, etc.) and photos are the only varying aspect, which product would you choose?

How to Sell on Amazon - Tea1How to sell on Amazon - tea2

OR

How to sell on Amazon - tea3   How to sell on Amazon - tea4   How to sell on Amazon - tea5   How to sell on Amazon - tea6

Compete with your price.

Price is a very important factor for click through rate. Shoppers are unlikely to click on your listing from the search results page if your price is too high, which will be detrimental to your click conversions. Again, place yourself in the shopper’s shoes. If most iPhone chargers on page one are around the $7.99 mark, it’s unlikely that you’ll click on one that is $15.99. It’s important to make sure that your price is comparable to surrounding listings to achieve the most clicks possible.

Rack up your reviews.

Ever since Amazon’s policy update regarding giving products in exchange for reviews, reviews are harder to come by. But, reviews still remain the #1 factor on Amazon for social proof. Think about it: when you’re shopping on Amazon, and there are two similar products, one with around 10 reviews and one with over 2,000 reviews, which one are you more likely to consider buying?

How to sell on Amazon - reviews1How to sell on Amazon - reviews2

While the number of reviews isn’t actually an indication of sales or even quality, it helps shoppers to understand that other people have bought the product. They can then be more confident in their decision to buy the product, since many others have bought it and given it a good rating. For this reason, you’ll want to work hard to gather as many reviews as possible right from the start. Here are some tips to getting initial reviews:

  • Implement a killer email follow-up sequence. To make sure that you are capitalizing on every sale and gathering as many reviews as possible, you’ll want to send out follow-up emails asking for reviews and feedback. Keep in mind that tons of Amazon sellers are doing this exact same thing, so keep the copy short and to-the point, making it easy for the reader to find the call-to-action. Typically, we recommend sending an email seeking a review 5 days after delivery, and then another email seeking seller feedback 6 days after delivery. The industry average for reviews is about 1%, which seems a bit low, doesn’t it? Viral Launch’s Review Booster sees about a 5% review return on the email copy, and if you’re interested in receiving further guidance or getting copy for your sequence, check out our Review Booster service.
  • Run sponsored ads. Conversions likely won’t be great with a low quantity of reviews, but sponsored ads are a great way to drive some initial sales. New products typically get more sessions, but few sales may also mean fewer impressions. Basically, sponsored ads can be hit or miss. But, it’s generally worth losing a bit of money up front to drive initial sales.
  • Start with a low price. We suggest listing your product at about break even, or as low as you feel comfortable, to help get initial sales. But, just be careful here to not become an add-on item or start a price war with competitors.
  • Drive external traffic. This can be a more expensive option, but external traffic has the potential to help with gathering initial reviews. Having a customer list can be leveraged for initial sales to drive reviews. Driving external traffic is also a great way to increase keyword ranking, as Amazon rewards those who bring in new customers from outside markets.

Optimize your copy.

Copy is INCREDIBLY important for indexing and keyword ranking, but it also serves to describe your product to a shopper. What exactly is the shopper getting? What makes your product unique? What are its special features? How do you use it, and what can you use it for? These questions all need to be answered through your title, bullet points, and description. If the listing doesn’t fully explain the product, you risk losing out on buyers who want to know exactly what they’re buying. While photos should accurately portray your product, the copy should back it up by explaining what a photo cannot.

With great photos, a good price, a competitive number of reviews, and sales-inducing copy, your listing will be set up to convince a shopper to buy your product. Now, it’s time to get in front of those shoppers!

 

How to Sell on Amazon Key #3: Get Your Product in Front of the Shopper

So you have a great product. You have an awesome listing that’s going to convince a shopper to buy it. Now, you need to become visible. The cool part about Amazon is that you don’t have to find the buyers. They’re already shopping on the site for your product (assuming you followed Key #1!). But now, the buyers have to find you.

This can be done through ranking on page one for the important keywords (or customer search terms) associated with your product. Think about it this way… You need a new charging cable for your phone, so you head to Amazon and type “iPhone charger” into the search bar. You head right to Page 14 of the search results and buy the 7th product from the top. Wrong. You’ll probably look through the first – and maybe the second page. But you likely won’t get any further than that because you find what you’re looking for on page one.

As a seller, it’s important to understand this buyer behavior. The products that rank are the products that sell (so long as they’ve got great listings. Don’t forget Key #2). The largest factor for ranking on Amazon is sales. The goal is to get as many eyes on the listing as possible. You need to drive sales in order to rank for high-volume keywords associated with your product.

From the beginning, you may see a couple organic sales each day, simply by indexing (showing up somewhere) across all related keywords. You can increase these daily sales by running Sponsored Ads. Another great way to kick-start your product’s visibility is to run a promotion. With Viral Launch, you can run a discounted giveaway that will target a specific keyword and increase the product’s rank, putting you in a perfect position to be found by shoppers who are searching for your product. The sales from that promotion will also be funneled through the words in your title, giving each of those keywords a ranking boost (which, again, is why Key #2 was so important. Optimize your title!). For more information on how to launch or where to begin, reach out to one of our dedicated seller coaches who will be happy to assist you.

After a strategic Viral Launch promotion, you’ll be ranking on page one for a main keyword and visible for many other related keywords with thousands and thousands of eyes on your listing. And now, you’ve got a great product, you’ve got a listing that converts, and you’re easily found by shoppers. You’ve just mastered how to sell on Amazon.

 

How to Sell on Amazon: Tangible Next Steps

Now that you’ve got an overview of how to sell on Amazon, it’s time to go for it. You can make excuses because it’s easy to do. Not enough time, not enough resources, not enough information. Or, you can start. And you can do it with the help of industry experts.

1. Set your expectations and goals. How much money are you wanting to spend up front? What are your monthly sales goals? Are you in this for the long run, and do you want to possibly expand to more products in the future? How much time do you want to dedicate to this Amazon business? What is your capacity to run day-to-day operations? Knowing your expectations and goals will be important as you move forward with determining your course.

2. Start your product research. Remember, it’s crucial to start out with a product that is going to set you up for success. Research possible product markets that you may be interested in. Look at the current top sellers; how are they performing now, and how have they performed in the past? Know how many sales you could expect if you were selling among the top sellers; is this range within your sales goals? Check out the market as a whole: is it on the rise or declining? Know the product’s best selling period; is it seasonal or year-round? Look into how difficult the barrier to entry will be for the product market; will you have to gather thousands of reviews to be competitive? Understand what your profit margin will be; will it be within your goal range? For answers to all of these questions and more, check out Viral Launch’s Sourcing Tool. You’ll find the real-time and historical data, trends, and information that you need to research potential product markets…all at your fingertips.

3. Reach out to suppliers. Check out different sourcing sites to find one that you like. If you’re a newbie, look into Alibaba, which is easy to navigate and popular among Amazon sellers. Reach out to potential suppliers through the internal messaging platform on the site to get a feel for the total expected cost, including unit and shipping costs. If you are sourcing on Alibaba, we recommend filtering results to Trade Assurance, Gold Supplier, and Assessed Suppliers only. That way, you know you’re dealing with suppliers who are established and reputable. You can filter for these results by checking the Supplier Types on Alibaba search results. Send them a brief message, showing interest in their product and inquiring about pricing and item information.

How to sell on Amazon - Alibaba

4. Connect with a seller coach. Send a message to [email protected] to work with an expert Amazon coach free of charge. They’ll communicate how to sell on Amazon by walking you through the next steps in your individual journey, offering tailored assistance, and helping to validate or invalidate your product idea(s). From conception, our seller coaches will help you to source, launch, and dominate on Amazon.

 

Conclusion

Selling on Amazon seems daunting. It’s a leap. But we believe in you. When wondering how to sell on Amazon, it really comes down to sourcing a great product, having a listing that converts, and being easily found by shoppers.

Viral Launch offers software and services for every step of your Amazon journey. We’ve helped launch hundreds of successful Amazon businesses. Not only do we know what we’re talking about, but we’ve got the data and experience to back it up. Our seller coaches would love to help you get started and can answer any upfront questions that you may have about how to sell on Amazon. No more excuses. It’s time to claim your market share of the largest e-commerce platform in the world!

Did you enjoy our post about how to sell on Amazon? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments below!

How to sell on Amazon: the 3 Keys to Success

 

If you’re involved in any of the online Private Label Amazon Seller communities (i.e. social media groups, podcasts, forums boards, etc.) chances are you’ve heard of or attended an e-commerce or Amazon conference.

An Amazon conference can be a great opportunity to learn from experts in the field, network, and discover what tactics other are utilizing to achieve success. If you have attended such an event, you know that to pull the most valuable information out of the experience, you have to sift through a deep and varied pool of presentations. Much of the information at an Amazon conference can be on topics that you are already well versed in or pertain to sellers in retail arbitrage. While this information can be interesting, it may not relate to you specifically as a private label seller. Additionally, you invest a lot of money on travel, accommodations, and tickets; get flooded with all kinds of information; and are then left to your own devices to apply this new information to your own Amazon business.

The Viral Launch team has attended multiple Amazon conferences. They’re a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the Amazon seller community, network, and learn about industry trends and seller concerns. However, we have noticed a limited emphasis on the unique techniques and problems of the private label seller and have since come to realize that there is a need for a different kind of experience.

While all the major e-commerce conferences are thinking bigger–more attendees, more speakers, more expensive programs–we’ve decided to think smaller. What can we do to benefit the individual private label seller? What can we do to provide information that is 100% relevant to your Amazon business? How can we help sellers dramatically improve their business and walk away with a tailored strategy and deliverables for success?

Out of these questions we developed the Viral Launch Private Label Space Camp.

The New Frontier of Amazon Seller Conferences:

Unlike any other seller experience currently available, our Space Camp is catered to your business specifically. Instead of a large, annual Amazon conference, we will be hosting three sellers per month, inviting them to Viral Launch Mission Control in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Instead of sitting through speeches that may or may not relate to you as a seller, you will sit in with two other sellers in forum discussions and Q&A sessions where you can have your specific questions answered and your specific concerns discussed by Amazon experts responsible for running over 15,000 product launches and building some of the most successful private label brands on Amazon.

You’ll have the opportunity to sit down with our industry recognized CEO to discuss your business and identify the strategy and tactics you need to take your business to a whole new level.  

Instead of sitting in a large group, you will have ample one-on-one time with our team to discuss strategies to grow your Amazon business.

Perhaps most importantly, in addition to leaving with a customized strategy on how to improve your business, you will consult with our expert coaches, photographers, and copywriters who will rework a listing for you free of charge!

What makes our Private Label Space Camp truly unique is that rather than having a few industry experts talk to a large group of Amazon sellers, you will have a whole team of industry experts who will talk to you and work with you and your business specifically.

 

How the camp works:

The day will start with our 3 sellers arriving at Mission Control for a breakfast meet-and-greet, and introductory discussion where you will be able to introduce us to the specific product you’re working with and ask our experts any initial questions you may have.

From there, we will move into one-on-one workshops with our coaches, copywriters, and photographers. You will be able to discuss your product and brand, have your questions answered, and learn about what goes into a quality listing.

Workshops will include:

  • Listing Optimization
  • Photography
  • Review Boosting Email Followup
  • Split-Testing
  • Promotional Launches
  • Product Validation

In addition you will be afforded the opportunity to see how Viral Launch is building new tools to make you a more efficient seller, discuss your individual concerns, and consult with our experts on improving your listing.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included and there will be opportunities throughout the day to further talk with members of our team as well as your fellow sellers.

What you get:

The Viral Launch Space Camp is not just about discussing what goes into creating a quality listing. After consulting with our team, you will receive product photography, a full listing optimization, and review boosting email campaigns with management. You will also receive a free promotional launch, access to our split testing and product validation tools, and long term access to our personal coaches.

This one-of-a-kind seller experience will facilitate your questions, concerns, and needs as an Amazon seller. Return home with tangible benefits, like a professionally produced listing to help you sell your product more effectively.

 

Space Camp: Better than Amazon Conference

How to Enroll:

With a limit of 3 sellers per session, our Private Label Space Camp attendees are selected through an application process. To apply, submit your information and product on our Private Label Space Camp page. If we think you’ve got what it takes and are serious about improving your private label business, we will contact you about next steps.

If approved, admission for the camp is $5,000 and will include a full day of one-on-one access to our team, masterminding sessions with other high level sellers, and a suite of listing services. Travel and lodging not included.

***SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER***

To introduce our brand new Private Label Space Camp, we will be running our first camp at an introductory price of $2,500 instead of the typical $5,000 price. And, one lucky applicant will receive an all-expenses-paid opportunity to attend. For this seller, we will cover airfare, hotel, and attendance to the camp. To sign up for our Space Camp or find out how you could win an all-expenses-paid experience, click here.

Book your ticket to the Viral Launch Private Label Space Camp Today!

 

What is the key to success on Amazon? It’s a pretty simple process when you break it down: source a great product, set up a listing to convert, and get in front of shoppers. Here at Viral Launch, it’s our goal to help you succeed every step of the way. To get your product in front of shoppers, one service we offer is called product launches, which increase your visibility on Amazon and put you in a position to sell.

We run over 200 launches each day, and we’ve seen some awesome successes and some unfortunate failures. To help you learn from past mistakes, we’ll share 9 common launch mistakes to avoid when running a promotion with Viral Launch.

Watch our How to Launch course to set yourself up for success.

 

What is a Product Launch?

When it comes to achieving rank on Amazon, sales are king. With Viral Launch promotions, we drive sales to your listing through product giveaways. We do this to promote brand awareness, which passively increases keyword ranking. For a launching period of up to 12 days, a seller will give a number of discounted units, typically for 85-95% off, targeting a specific keyword. As these sales are attributed to the keyword, the listing will move up the ranks. The goal is to reach page one, increase the product’s visibility to shoppers, and ultimately increase organic sales!

One-time-use coupon codes, coupled with a Max Order Qty. of 1 allow buyers to purchase one unit at the discounted price. At a pre-determined launch time, the product goes up on our buyer site, where everyday Amazon shoppers grab their favorite coupon for the day. The shopper is sent to your product on Amazon and purchases with his or her coupon.

The launch results typically take a couple of days to take effect, but you should start to see a change in rank anywhere from day three to day seven of the launch. Once you’re ranking, after the promotion is completed, it’s up to the listing and reviews to convert well to maintain rank. If you’ve got a fully optimized listing with great photos, a great price, and a competitive number of reviews, you’ll be in the perfect position to outsell your competition – woohoo!

Check out our Amazon How to Launch course, which will walk you through how to set up a launch step-by-step.

 

9 Most Common Launch Mistakes

We’ve run over 14,000 launches and have seen countless launch mistakes. Big… Small… We’ve seen them all. Here are some common errors to avoid when setting up your launch in the Launchpad.

 

1: There Was No Consultation with a Seller Coach.

Access to a Seller Coach is a free resource to sellers who want to utilize Viral Launch services, and our Coaches are experts in all-things Amazon. When sellers do not consult with a Seller Coach, the results are typically not as great, simply because Coaches know how to best optimize a launch. Our coaches have experience and data from thousands of launches and have seen plenty of successes and failures. A coach will work with a seller to analyze the product listing and determine an effective launch strategy, specific to that product. A launch will be most successful with the guidance and recommendations from a Viral Launch coach, so we definitely recommend getting in contact with the team! Email [email protected] for a coaching consultation.

 

2: The Launch is Too Short.

We recommend launching for no less than 7 days…we’ve found it’s the sweet spot. A 3 or 4 day launch likely won’t establish the necessary sales history to increase your product’s ranking. On the other hand, a 10 day launch may require that you give away more units than necessary. With a 7-day launch, you’ll build up some credible history without giving excessive amounts of inventory.

 

3: Not Enough Units are Being Given Away.

To rank on page one for a target keyword, a seller must match or exceed the sales of the top sellers. When the number of promotional units is too small, the listing will not rank on page one for the target keyword. You must match or exceed the number of daily sales that the top sellers are moving, so if you give 10 units/day, and page one sellers are seeing 30 units/day, you will not land among them. In this case, you’d want to give 30-35 units/day so that Amazon would recognize that your listing is competitive with top sellers. Market Intelligence, our Amazon product research tool, can help to determine the number of units necessary to give away during a launch. In the Launchpad, when you enter your targeted keyword, you’ll find our Beta Launch Success Coach to help you to estimate the number of units needed to give per day to rank among the top sellers. For further instructions or to create the most optimized launch strategy possible, contact one of our Seller Coaches who are eager to help!

 

4: Too Many Keywords are Targeted.

Far too often, sellers target multiple keywords, not understanding how this will affect their rankings. Let’s break it down: Targeting multiple keywords dilutes the giveaway in a sense. For instance, let’s say you’re running a launch and giving away 200 units over a 7-day period. Take a look at the graph below:

Viral Launch Giveaway

With a launch targeting one keyword, all 200 units are attributed to that keyword. In this example, the necessary 200 units for this keyword will boost the product to page one because it’s matching the ~200 weekly sales that the top sellers are seeing. With the same launch targeting two keywords, the units are split in half so that only 100 units are attributed to each keyword. In this example, 100 units towards each keyword would not rank the product on page one for either keyword. Since page one sellers are moving around 200 units/week, a 100 units launch won’t convince Amazon’s algorithm that you’re competitive with those top sellers.

In this scenario, it would be best for the seller to only target one keyword, so that the desired ranking can be achieved. Or, the seller could give more units overall and to have a better opportunity to rank on page one for both keywords. Essentially, the more keywords you target, the more units you should give away.

 

5: The Coupons are Not Active When Tested.

After submitting a launch, it will show as pending approval from our team. Around 3:00pm EST on the afternoon before the launch goes live, our team will test one coupon. If the coupon is activated and set up correctly, we will approve the launch. If there is an issue with the launch, we will deny it and send you a message with the reason as to why.

Amazon Coupon Code Invalid

When a promotion is created in Seller Central, Amazon requires a 4-hour window before activation. We strongly suggest inputting the launch after this 4 hour time frame so that there is no chance your coupons are inactive by the time we check them. Even if we check your coupons just one hour before they go live, we will have to deny the whole launch. To avoid coupon issues, we only approve launches with live coupons, so be sure that your coupons are live by the time you’ve submitted the launch for approval!

 

6: The Giveaway Price is Too High.

We typically recommend a giveaway price around 90-95% off retail, and our buyers are accustomed to seeing products around $1-$3. We want to be sure that we’ve got the best shot at moving the necessary inventory so that your launch is successful. For a more specific pricing suggestion, simply ask one of our coaches who would be glad to give you a recommendation.

 

7: The Max Order Quantity Isn’t Set.

This can turn out to be a very costly mistake. Before the fall of 2016, Amazon offered the option to set up $ off coupons. Setting these up, along with one coupon per customer and one-time use options, made it so that one customer could only get one product. It was fairly simple and straightforward.

In November of 2016, Amazon took away the $ off option for promotions, leaving % off as the only way to create coupons. In Seller Central, when you set up % off coupons, there is no way to set up a promotion that will allow you to restrict a customer from being able to grab 999 units with one coupon code. In order to protect your inventory, you need to set the Max Order Quantity to 1 for each SKU that the coupons apply to. If your Max Order Quantity is not set when running a promotion, you are putting your inventory in major jeopardy. This step cannot be overlooked!

Max Order Quantity

We’re able to set your Max Order Quantity programmatically in our system through accessing your MWS account. Check out our video explaining how to protect your inventory in the Launchpad.

 

8: The Listing is Not Optimized.

Last but certainly not least, your entire listing (and especially your title) should be fully optimized before a launch. This is for two main reasons: ranking and conversions.

  • Ranking: Your title needs to be strong in order to fully utilize the launch. Although launches target one keyword, each sale is funneled through every keyword in the title. That means every word is fair game for a ranking boost with sales. With a fully optimized title, you’ll see a boost for multiple relevant keywords as sales flow through your title. Check out our blog post on How to Optimize Your Amazon Listing for Maximum Keyword Ranking for more detailed information on that topic.
  • Conversions: Your entire listing should be optimized with the goal of the highest conversion rate possible. This includes your price, photos, and copy. Once the launch has placed the product on page one, it’s completely up to the listing to convert well organically and maintain rank. Each listing element must be up-to-par to keep up with the top sellers. You don’t want to lose rank after all of the time and effort it took to achieve it!

 

9: The Listing Doesn’t Convert Post-Launch.

We often get the question, “How long is my ranking going to stick on page one after the launch?” It isn’t about sticking. It’s all about converting. Too often, we see sellers waste money by running a launch to achieve rank, ultimately to fall right back down due to a lack of organic sales. Maintaining rank is all about converting organically post-launch.

If page one sellers are seeing ~25 units/day on your specific keyword, you must continue selling competitively with them to maintain your page one rank. After a launch, if you’re only seeing 5 sales/day, your listing is going to slide down into the abyss of unseen listings. This is why we put so much emphasis on putting the time, money, and effort into having a listing that converts pre-launch. You’ll want to position your listing for success, so that it can sell competitively once it’s reached page one. The goal is to sell the necessary number of units (~25 in this example) each day at full price after the launch to be competitive with the top sellers. Then, you too will be a top seller!

 

Conclusion

Running a promotion definitely isn’t a small investment; we understand. That’s why we want to be sure that you fully utilize your launch! Learn from others, and avoid these launch mistakes when setting up your promotion in the Viral Launch Launchpad.

And as always, for more specific and tailored suggestions, we strongly recommend contacting one of our Seller Coaches by sending an email to [email protected]. Happy selling!

Viral Launch Coach

If you had to determine the most important aspect of an Amazon listing, what would you say?

The star rating? The photos? The BSR? The description?

While all of these elements are certainly important at some capacity (and some more important than others), we believe that the most important and underrated aspect of a listing is the product’s title.

The title has tremendous ranking power for a listing. With a keyword-rich title, a product will be indexed for numerous keywords. Add some sales, and that listing can be ranking really well across hundreds, even thousands of keywords!

To illustrate this point, we’ll discuss a product launched through our Flight Crew Program. To protect our Flight Crew partner, we’ll call her Sarah.

 

A Title Success Story

As a part of our Flight Crew program, Sarah teamed up with Viral Launch to set up her listing for maximum exposure, clicks, and conversions. One of our talented copywriters went to work creating a listing for the product.

Knowing the importance of the product’s title, our copywriter Becca dedicated a good amount of time to crafting the title. She extensively researched related keywords and scouted out the competition to develop a strong list of keyword contenders to include in the product’s listing. We cannot stress enough the importance of thorough keyword research. Choosing the most relevant search terms could be a matter of hundreds of sales per month. Then, Becca beautifully crafted a reader-friendly title that included a diverse collection of keywords that would allow the listing to rank for a wide variety of customer searches.

While having a great listing/title is necessary, that is only half the battle. In order to achieve rank for any meaningful keywords, sales must be driven through the listing to show Amazon that your listing is highly relevant for those search terms. With that said, after applying the new content to the listing, we ran a promotional launch, driving plenty of sales, allowing the product to achieve a page 1 ranking for its target keyword. Here’s what we know: every single word in a product’s title is fair game for ranking attribution with each purchase. So, if I searched “Dog Leash” and bought the product pictured below, the listing would receive a boost in ranking for “Retractable Dog Leash” as well, since it also appears within the title.

Amazon Dog Leash Search Result

Because the title was so strong at the time of the sales, our Flight Crew product wasn’t only on page one for the target keyword after the launch, it was ranking on page 1 for almost every single keyword associated with the product. No matter what related search term a shopper typed into Amazon, we were on page one. This provided incredible visibility! We saw a tremendous jump in organic sales after the launch, quickly reaching the 50-75 units/day mark. The remarkable thing is that the product only had a few reviews, but it was selling at the same volume organically as its highest competitors. And now, a month after the launch, the product has maintained rank. We believe these sales are attributed to being ranked so well across almost every single relevant search term. No matter what search phrase customers used to find this type of widget, they would find our flight crew product.

Amazon doesn’t show what keywords your sales came through (that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?). But if they did, I bet we would see a whole slew of different keywords that those sales were driven through. It’s pretty simple: if we didn’t have that visibility, we wouldn’t have had such tremendous sales.

Many times for long-tailed keywords, we rank first while similar products with comparable sales and weaker titles are ranking on page two or below.

 

How Your Amazon Title Can Make or Break You

I wish I could share some screenshots of the Flight Crew product with you just to show how truly remarkable the keyword exposure is. We’ll keep that part a secret in the best interest of our Flight Crew partner. But, let’s take a look at some other examples showing the importance of a well-written title.

Weak Titles

Here are a couple of products with weak titles. They are short and missing many important keywords. Due to the lack of keywords, these products rank on page one for their main keyword, but they cannot be found when searching through relevant lower-volume or longer-tail keywords.

Weak Title #1:

Manicure Set Keywords

These are just the search results that I combed through. This listing is missing out on potentially hundreds of long-tail keywords, simply because the title is lacking optimization! With the keywords from the list above, this product is missing out on almost 150,000 monthly searches! (And that’s just the data according to Merchant Words)

This title needs these simple, descriptive keywords: personal, kit, nail care, clipper, etc. If it had them, the product would receive keyword boosts with each sale. Then, the listing would begin increasing in rank for these relevant keywords. And with better keyword visibility, I’d expect overall sales to increase.

 

Weak Title #2:

Cable Clips Keywords

Again, these are the few keywords that I looked through, but just from this cursory glance we can see this product is missing out on huge sales potential! With those nine keywords I listed, this seller is missing out on over 775,000 monthly searches for relevant keywords! If the title were to include these important search terms, visibility would increase exponentially with sales and so would sales opportunity!

Strong Titles

Now we will look at a couple of products with strong titles. Although we didn’t write them, we think these sellers have done a pretty good job integrating keywords. These listings rank across almost every single relevant keyword, both big and small, similar to our Flight Crew product. For almost every related search term a shopper types into Amazon, these products are visible and are strong competitors for a purchase!

Strong Title #1:

Knee Pillow Keywords

This title isn’t perfect, but it’s a great representation of how integrating many keywords helps a listing to rank across lots of relevant search terms. It’d be nearly impossible to look through every long-tail keyword, but this product is ranking for just about each one. Whether a shopper is typing in Leg Pillow or Knee Pain Management, or even Gentle Surgery Pillow for Pain Relief, this product is likely a search result thanks to its keyword-rich title.

 

Strong Title #2:

Thermometer Keywords

Once again, these are just the keywords I looked through, but I think you’re getting the idea. The more relevant keywords a title has, the more opportunity for snatching up sales.

 

Additional Findings

Now you may be asking: What’s the difference between keywords in your title and keywords in your bullet points/description?

Like we’ve discussed, keywords in the product’s title have a tremendous effect on keyword ranking. Amazon also recognizes keywords in the bullet points and description, but from our findings, they don’t receive as much ranking attribution with sales. Those keywords come into play more when actually indexing a product, and you’ll see the customer search term italicized in a search result as shown in the screenshot below. So, while it’s still extremely important to put additional keywords in your bullet points and description, you’ll want to be sure to fit as many of the most important ones in your title as possible.

Amazon Neck Pillow Search Result

Another question may be: Should I put my brand at the beginning of my title?

If people aren’t directly searching for your brand name, then no. We suggest that sellers do not put their brand name in the title (for most products). In Amazon’s Quick Start Style Guide, the title guidelines state, “Do not include information about yourself or your company. If you own the brand, put your brand information in the brand field.”

Obviously, plenty of sellers are putting their brand names in their titles without consequence. But here at Viral Launch, we would rather use those characters for an additional keyword or two, especially when customers are not searching for that specific brand. Amazon shoppers want a high-quality product at a low price, and brand is usually disregarded. But that’s the beauty of Amazon – anyone can sell, even with an unknown name!

Conclusion

With an unoptimized title, you are missing out on literally thousands of shoppers who are looking for your product. Yes, a shorter title may look cleaner and soothe your OCD, but you cannot afford to miss out on those sales opportunities! Optimizing your title is step one to taking your private label business to the next level. 

Your goal should be to master this aspect of your listing, integrating keywords both big and small. Set yourself up for success from the beginning with a reader-friendly, keyword-rich title that puts you in a position to SELL.

Here at Viral Launch, we’ve run over 13,000 launches. We’ve harnessed the knowledge learned from that data to become experts at building incredible listings. Sure, you could read all the blog posts. You could listen to all the podcasts. You could go to all the conferences and listen to all of the gurus. But you cannot match this kind of experience with these kinds of results. We’d love to help you take your private label business to the next level with a fully-optimized listing and a title that will increase your sales potential.

We offer both Title Curation and Listing Optimization services. You can take advantage of those services here!

We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to comment below!

 

 

What if I told you that after only 30 days, your brand new Amazon product could be grossing over $40k a month?

Amazon sellers often approach us and ask: what is the “silver bullet” to success on Amazon? The truth is, when it comes to being successful on Amazon, there is no bullet. You need an arsenal. If you’re looking for that arsenal, you’re in the right place. The Viral Launch Flight Crew program gives you the resources you need (at $0 up front!) to take your private-label business to the next level.

We’ve had a blast working with our prestigious group of Amazon sellers in our Flight Crew program, helping them achieve new levels of growth and success. We want to give you an inside look at the success we’ve seen with our Flight Crew partners. Specifically, we are going behind the scenes of a brand new Viral Launch Flight Crew product that saw an incredible $40,000 within the first 30 days of selling on Amazon!

Flight Crew Sales

*180 of those were promotional units.

We take our partner’s privacy seriously, so for the sake of this case study, we’ll call our partner Bob, with his Amazon product “Product X”. After negotiating partnership terms, our team went to work!

Starting Off Strong with an Outstanding Listing

We say this a lot here at Viral Launch, but it cannot be stressed enough: selling well on Amazon requires that every single aspect of your listing is top-notch.

Poor keyword integration? Poor organic ranking.

Lousy photos? Lousy conversions.

Subpar title? Subpar sales.

Since Bob is a Flight Crew member, he had complimentary access to Viral Launch’s entire suite of services, including all of our creative services: product photography, listing optimization, and our email follow-up service.

Our creative team went to work on Product X’s listing, and you can bet that by the time they were done, Bob had a stellar listing! The studio photos beautifully present the product to shoppers, and the lifestyle photos depict the use and size of the product in context. The listing is seamless; easy to read and packed-full of keywords. The email follow-up sequence is optimized for feedback and is racking up reviews, helping to drive organic sales and maintain rank after the initial launch.

Bob also had direct access to our expert seller coaches, which was ultimately the key to his success. His assigned coach worked hand-in-hand with him to ensure flawless execution: giving suggestions, recommending specific courses of action, answering questions, closely monitoring success, and always looking for opportunities to improve. Viral Launch coaches are Amazon experts, with knowledge backed by incredible amounts of data from over 13,000+ launches run by Viral Launch. Bob was able to tap into that insight, and together with his coach, he was able to make informed decisions that would lead to some pretty astonishing sales.

Because Flight Crew is a profit sharing model, Bob got all of these incredible services and insight for no cost up-front. With this beautiful listing, Bob and the Flight Crew team were ready to launch.

Launching the Product

On December 9th, 2016, Product X went live on Amazon. During its very first day, 4 units were sold organically, simply from being ranked across many keywords from correctly indexing the listing. Day two, Bob’s coach determined a launch strategy, and we started running a promotional giveaway to increase customer awareness and keyword rankings. We used Market Intelligence, our Amazon product research tool, to determine the number of giveaways necessary for the launch. 

During the launch, we gave away a couple hundred units over the course of a one week period. The first five days of the promotion, we saw less than 10 organic sales each day. On the 6th day, we saw 37 organic sales and obtained a mid-page-one ranking for our target keyword. By the final day of the launch, we were still increasing in rank on page one from both promotional and organic sales. Day 7, we saw 61 organic sales. That’s when the fun really began.

On day 8, Bob’s seller coach suggested changing the product’s category from a highly competitive sub-category to a smaller one. This allowed him to more easily obtain the Best Seller badge for the product’s niche. The Best Seller badge served as a sort of “social proof,” which helped us to overcome the small number of reviews that we started with from launching a brand new product. Our daily sales jumped from 61 units on December 16th to 90 units when we obtained the badge on the 17th! I’d say that’s some pretty great advice from Bob’s seller coach.

Flight Crew Increasing Sales

Our starting rank for our target keyword was around #300 before the launch. Once the launch had ended, Product X was ranking as the #1 search result on page one for that keyword.

Flight Crew Launch Graph

After the initial launch of the product, it wasn’t only ranking on page one for our target keyword. It was ranking on page one for over 50 keywords! And those are just the keywords that we tracked!

Because Product X had a fully-optimized, keyword-rich title during the launch, it ranked extremely well for multiple relevant and important keywords! No Sponsored Ads, no fancy tricks or black hat magic…just an optimized title and promotional sales.

The increased visibility was pretty incredible. This product went from being invisible to being exposed to thousands upon thousands of shoppers within 15 days!

Flight Crew Keywords

Post-Launch Success

After completing the launch, we averaged 120-150 sales each day. On Christmas day, sales slowed, but we had already grossed $24.5k in sales over the 17-day period. For the few days after Christmas, sales remained slow, which was to be expected. Quickly afterwards, sales picked up once again. And now that the holiday season has come and gone, we are still averaging 50-90 sales a day.

Flight Crew Sales Graph

Over the course of one month, we have grossed $40k in sales and are now the top seller in our product market!

How did we do it? Launching this product successfully was achievable by mastering three things:

  1. Knowing the market.
  2. Optimizing our content to adhere to our specific audience.
  3. Having an aggressive launch strategy.

Here at Viral Launch, we are experts in all-things Amazon. With incredible amounts of data from over 13,000 past launches and the combined expertise of our experienced team members, we were able to exceed sales expectations through an awesome partnership with Bob!

We love helping sellers be successful in any capacity that we can. Flight Crew allows us to directly partner up with ambitious sellers who are ready to take their private label businesses to the next level. We love success stories like these, and we look forward to more in the near future!

More Information About Flight Crew

Flight Crew is a prestigious group of Amazon sellers on the fast-track to achieving new levels of growth and success.

Flight Crew members enjoy complimentary access to Viral Launch’s suite of launching services. This includes access to dedicated Amazon Seller Coaches, personalized consultations with our experienced Amazon strategists and access to our entire creative team, all at no upfront cost. We work tirelessly to grow crew members’ business leveraging every tool at our disposal.

Joining the Viral Launch Flight Crew means creating a lasting and profitable partnership between the entire Viral Launch team and your business. Membership is a no-risk partnership, which requires no upfront cost, rather a profit sharing model which guarantees you pay nothing unless your business sees success. The actual percentage is negotiated between the seller and Viral Launch so that it benefits both parties, and the profit-sharing is on a per-product basis calculated on the net Amazon profit.

We consult regularly for businesses achieving 7 to 9 figures on Amazon, and in doing so, we have learned that simply landing on page one with your product is just the beginning.

Apply for Flight Crew

Are you eager to be wildly successful like Bob was? Do you want to streamline your growth? Do you want to be the best in your market while mitigating risk? Do you have questions about the program? Let’s talk about Viral Launch Flight Crew! Applying is quick and easy. Apply here.

Amazon is an incredibly vast and complex machine. While intimidating to some who have yet to find their footing, to others the complexity creates an immense frontier waiting to be explored and conquered. It seems that every day some frontiersman discovers a new trick or topic that somehow changes the Amazon private label community’s mindset or selling practices.

The brilliant Viral Launch Team made an interesting discovery over the holiday season. Have you ever been curious how Amazon decides which words to place in a product’s Canonical URL? Do you know how to influence the words that Amazon places in the canonical?

We’ve cracked the code and uncovered some key truths to keep in mind when building your listing’s title. With this understanding, you can dictate to Amazon which keywords should be in your product’s canonical URL.

What Is An Amazon Canonical URL?

A Canonical URL is a direct link to a product’s detail page that contains keywords pulled by Amazon, seemingly arbitrarily, from the product’s title and separated by hyphens. In the SEO world, this is generally referred to as the URL slug.

           The Canonical URL follows this structure:

https://www.amazon.com/words-from-the-products-title/dp/ASIN

            Here is the Canonical URL for the Amazon Echo:

https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Echo-Bluetooth-Speaker-with-WiFi-Alexa/dp/B00X4WHP5E

            This is not a Canonical URL:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/ASIN

To find a product’s canonical URL you can either visit the product’s page through a search result or you can inspect the page elements using your browser’s developer tools: search the word “canonical” using Command + F (or Control + F for PC users), and copy the given Canonical URL. Side Note: the only reason I mention inspecting the page elements is because we have seen discrepancies in the canonical URL that shows in the address bar and the canonical that shows in the page’s code. We’ve found the inline canonical to be the “true” canonical.

The Benefit of Keywords In Your Amazon Canonical URL

Google SEO

The canonical URL is the Amazon product URL that Google indexes for search results. Run a search for “iphone scratch resistant case amazon”, and you’ll see the URLs they are indexing.

amazon canonical url

As you can see from this screenshot, Google is highlighting the keywords from the search that are found within the product’s canonical URL. We have done our fair share of Google SEO, and the Canonical URL is one element of an Amazon product listing that is ripe for leveraging ranking!

Amazon SEO

Unfortunately we don’t have a definitive answer as to whether or not the keywords in a listing’s canonical URL have impact on keyword ranking within Amazon. There have been rumors without any supporting evidence that it does. However, it is very difficult to discern with much confidence.

The reason it is so hard to properly attribute keyword ranking to the content in the canonical is that the same keywords are also found in the title, which has major influence on keyword ranking. Discerning where the keyword ranking attribution is derived from is next to impossible.

We are working to leverage our keyword data to help find any potential evidence, and we’ll let you know if we make a discovery. If you have more definitive data, we would love to hear it! Please, shoot us an email or leave a comment down below. 

Get the power of an optimized canonical URL and expert Amazon SEO when you use our Amazon product listing optimization service.

Amazon’s market share was a whopping 68% among leading mass merchant e-retailers in the United States during 2015. Walmart took second place, with a mere 10%, according to Statista. To put Amazon’s enormity into perspective, the retail giant’s warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens and could hold more water than 10,000 Olympic Pools!

Amazon e-retailers statistic

We all know that Amazon is the online marketplace. Yet, most people ignore a simple yet critical fact: similar to Google, Amazon is a search engine.

Even Google recognizes Amazon as a force to be reckoned with. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman at Google, commented, “Our biggest search competitor is Amazon. People don’t think of Amazon as a search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon…” Amazon gets three times more product searches than Google. Think about it: when you’re searching for a product, whether it be a phone charger or an HDTV, where do you typically end up? Amazon.

Once we interpret Amazon as a massive search engine, we can start to understand the importance of Amazon SEO. Learning how to rank on Amazon can put you in front of the millions of ready-to-buy shoppers on Amazon…far more than you’d ever find on Google!

An Introduction to Amazon’s Search Algorithm

Amazon’s product search algorithm is produced by an Amazon subsidiary known as A9. According to the A9 website, calculating search results starts well before a customer even touches the keyboard. A9 analyzes data, observes past traffic patterns, and indexes the text describing every product before a shopper ever runs a search. “As soon as we see the first keystroke, we’re ready with instant suggestions and a comprehensive set of search results.”

A9’s goal is to make it seem like the search is reading the shopper’s mind. Broken down, the process is quite simple:

  1. Determine relevant search results for a customer’s query.
  2. Score those results to present the most relevant results to the user.

In the past, A9 drove keyword ranking for a product largely through the keyword which that sale was driven through. Back then, there would be little attribution for any other keyword associated with the product. For example, if a customer searched “travel pillow,” clicked, and then bought the product, Amazon would attribute the sale to that keyword and give a boost for “travel pillow,” but not necessarily for “neck pillow” or “u-shaped pillow.”

A9 is continually making changes based upon human judgments, programmatic analysis, key business metrics, and performance metrics. This past spring, Amazon implemented a pretty major update to A9, making it so that EVERY keyword in your product’s title at the time of sale is fair game to receive a boost in keyword ranking! See data proving this hypothesis in our previous blog post on the topic.

If all words in your listing, especially those in your title, are taken into consideration during a sale, it’s more important than ever to have an optimized listing!

Optimizing Your Listing to Rank in Amazon’s Search Engine

When it comes down to it, every aspect of your listing should be impeccable. Over the past two and a half years, we’ve launched over 13,000 products and have crafted hundreds of listings, whose combined sales surpass $100 million in sales annually. With each listing we promote, we track multiple keywords, which provides us with a huge amount of data and insight! So, what makes a listing stand out in the eyes of both shoppers and Amazon’s algorithm? A listing that includes a title, bullet points, and a product description that are all keyword-optimized, informative, and concise.

Keyword Optimized

When achieving keyword ranking, sales are king. But, you must properly integrate important keywords to achieve sales, especially in your title. Ranking for keywords is largely dependent on a product’s title. It’s crucial to place as many high-volume, relevant keywords in your title as possible. You’ll see far greater ranking attribution with keywords in the title versus anywhere else in the listing, as Amazon’s algorithm allows you to rank much easier for these keywords. Under normal conditions, it is even likely to outrank top sellers for an important keyword if you’ve included that word in your title and they are missing it!

You also must make sure that you’re indexed for as many keywords as possible, even more obscure ones, if you have the room. We’ve seen where a seller will run a launch for a specific target keyword that they are not indexed for, and then they don’t even show up as a search result.

A simple way to check if you’re indexed for a specific keyword is to search “ASIN keyword,” for example, “B006416DVC travel mug.” If the listing shows up, then it’s indexed. If not, then you need to add that keyword somewhere within your listing. You don’t want to miss out on sales simply due to a lack of keyword research! For example, if the word “women” was not present in your listing, your listing may not show as a result when a shopper searches for “sunglasses for women.”

Unlike Google, Amazon does not provide a keyword tool to help sellers determine valuable keywords for a specific product. Amazon also does not share keyword data with its merchants, making optimization difficult. In order to find relevant keywords for your listing, use a combination of keyword research tools and check out similar products on Amazon and Jet.com. Take a look at the top sellers, and use what is working well as a guide. Spend time doing research and take this step seriously! Without a keyword-optimized listing, your product will be buried in the algorithm. And sadly in that case, you might as well kiss your investment goodbye.

Informative and Concise

An informative, concise listing drives conversions. And once your product is ranking, it’s all about conversions. Your content should be written in a way that convinces potential customers that your product is exactly what they are looking for.

Informative copy paints a picture with words, accurately describing the product’s features and uses. You want to use this space to showcase the benefits of your product. What special features does your product have? What are the benefits to owning your product? What sets your product apart from similar ones? You should have a good understanding of your target customer, so use this as an opportunity to address any initial concerns they may have.

Concise copy helps a shopper quickly understand why your product is a perfect fit. Many shoppers don’t want to spend too much time reading, so it’s important that you get right to the point. While you want to make sure to thoroughly explain your product, you want to make the reading of the content as effortless as possible. And, although you want to use as many keywords as possible, you don’t want to come off as incredibly redundant. It can be a turnoff to buyers.

As our CEO, Casey, puts it, “Truly great listings are able to synergistically marry keywords with sales-inducing language.” And that’s the key, folks: an incredible blend that is sure to take your listing to the next level.

Leave it to the Experts.

“Quality is the best business plan.” John Lasseter

You can read all of the blog posts, listen to all of the podcasts, travel to all of the conferences, and follow all of the gurus, and you might come out with an okay listing. But, you won’t have hundreds and hundreds of listings, backed up by millions and millions of data points under your belt.

After running thousands and thousands of product launches and building listings that drive over a combined $100 million in annual sales, Viral Launch is able to build the best Amazon product listings in the market. Our copywriters craft each aspect of a listing to optimize rankings in organic search, and these listing-experts use beautiful sales-inducing language to showcase your product, help it stand out from the competition, and convert on-page visitors into buyers. Our optimized listings contain the perfect balance: an unbeatable combination of keywords in a concise and compelling way that makes your product shine!

A Viral Launch Listing Optimization includes a brand analysis, thorough keyword research, ~2,000 characters of backend search terms, and a beautiful, fully-optimized title, about the product, and product details.

Take it from a happy customer: “It’s an excellent value. We could spend weeks doing that and not do it as well. It allows us to delegate and narrow our focus. Excellent service, and we look forward to future business.”

Let our experts optimize your listing, helping you skyrocket your sales to unseen levels! Get started with our Amazon Product Listing Optimization Service.

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Your Amazon Best Seller Rank does not help you drive future organic sales, in the same way that a report card from a previous semester does not impact your grades in a new semester. It is only an indication of the past.”

In an effort to continue expanding our capacity for helping Amazon private label sellers solve their problems, achieve success, and increase profitability, we spend a good amount of time engrossed in a plethora of conversations across the various FBA/Private Label centered Facebook groups. As we’ve mentioned before, this is the true breeding ground for rumors, misinformation and miscommunication. It can get ugly. For young, novice sellers still trying to understand how to navigate the space, listening to rumors can lead to costly mistakes and sometimes even financial ruin (literally). We’ve seen it plenty of times. It’s terrible, unfortunately, and becoming more and more common!

As a company that cares deeply for people and enjoys watching/helping people succeed, rumors/misinformation are extremely frustrating. This is especially true when we see “gurus” or service providers profiting off the misinformation. So, in our effort to help sellers succeed, we’re doing our best to clear up miscommunications and rumors so you have all the information necessary to make informed intelligent businesses decisions to help you prosper!

Now to the subject matter.

The Amazon private labelling world has an obsession with the Amazon Best Seller Rank (BSR). Everyday we have sellers emailing in, wanting us to help them improve their BSR or help them to reach a specific BSR threshold. We see the same in the Facebook groups. It is completely unnecessary and is founded on misunderstanding. We explain how..

Myths Around Best Seller Ranking / BSR:

  • Best Seller Ranking (BSR) helps keyword ranking.
  • Best Seller Rank impacts sales.
  • “I need to improve my BSR”
  • Reviews are taken into account when calculating BSR
  • Keyword ranking impacts BSR
  • Listing price at the time of sale impacts BSR

What We See/Hear Sellers Saying About BSR in Facebook groups:

  • “My BSR increased, but why haven’t my organic sales?”
  • “How can I improve my BSR?”
  • “My BSR is better than my competitors, but they are outranking me. Why?”

How Is Your Listing’s BSR Calculated?

An ASIN’s Best Seller Ranking is calculated solely based on the number of units sold over a given period of time. That is it.

Your BSR is not directly related to your listing’s keyword ranking, price, quantity of reviews, or any other metric.

Sales estimation tools like Jungle Scout operate on this same premise. By looking solely at a product’s BSR in specific categories, they are able to estimate that product’s monthly sales volume with a decent degree of accuracy.

For example, if listing A sells more than listing B, listing A will have a lower/better BSR. It’s as simple and rudimentary as that.

When describing Best Seller Ranking, I often use an analogy of a report card. BSR is like a report card showing how many units you sold compared to others in the same category. Just like a report card, your BSR is a representation of past activity. Your BSR does not help you drive future organic sales, in the same way that a report card from a previous semester does not impact your grades in a new semester. It is only an indication of the past.

Debunking the Myths of Amazon Best Seller Rank

Myth: Best Seller Ranking (BSR) helps keyword ranking.

Our Amazon product launches have uncovered the most contradictory evidence to the BSR assumptions. When running a promotion with a poorly optimized listing, we see a great spike in BSR (ex. #28,400 to #1,600), but see little to no movement in keyword ranking.

Example:

Amazon Best Seller Rank 1

This is the Jungle Scout data from the search “dog toys”.

As you can see, the two listings in the red box have higher Best Seller Ranks than the listings in the blue box. If BSR had a direct effect on rankings, we would expect to see a more uniform increase in BSR scrolling down the search results. Many searches will show similar results.

There are many factors being taken into account when it comes to keyword ranking and sales. It is especially difficult to properly attribute the cause of keyword ranking between increases and BSR and sales simply because BSR increases from sales.

Myth: Best Seller Rank impacts future sales.

Referring back to data we’ve obtained from our product launches, we’ve observed plenty of instances in which promotion increases a listing’s Best Seller Ranking significantly but does not lead to an increase in organic sales for a variety of reasons. This particular listing was not optimized for rankings (targeted keyword(s) were not in their title), which is why we suggest working with one of our Amazon seller coaches. There is a lot that goes into improving a product’s sales on Amazon, which is why we continually preach the importance of doing everything extremely well. Cutting corners leads to lost money!

Myth: Reviews are taken into account when calculating BSR

This is definitely false. The cause of this misconception again falls to misattribution. Reviews generally have a significant impact on sales (click conversion). Typically, listings on page 1 with more reviews drive more sales, which means their Best Seller Rank will improve.

Amazon Best Seller Rank 2

This is the Jungle Scout data from the search “iphone 7 plus case”. (Update: we have since released Market Intelligence, the best Amazon product research tool in the galaxy, with sales trends, the most accurate sales estimates, and a star-rating validation).

As you can see, the listings within the red boxes have far fewer reviews than the listing in the blue box, however, their BSR is significantly better/lower.

Amazon Best Seller Rank Myth

Here is an example of a listing with over 1,000 reviews at a star rating of ~4.5 with a Best Seller Ranking of over 10,000.

If BSR was impacted directly by a listing’s review rating and/or quantity, we would expect different figures.  

Myth: Best Seller Rank is affected by a product’s price at the time of sale.

There are a few key indicators to this myth being false.  We can’t rely solely on Jungle Scout data for reference as we don’t know if their sales estimation algorithm is taking price into account or not. Simply looking through the search results at varying BSRs and comparing the current selling price is not sufficient as we don’t know how many units are actually being sold. The question is, “Does the price at the time of sale have weight on calculating the BSR,” not “Does your current price have impact on your current BSR?” If that were the case, raising your price would result in an instant improvement in Best Seller Ranking, which we obviously know is not the case.

Route 1: Looking at the BSR of similar ranking products with varying price points.

Amazon Best Seller Rank Myth 2

These are the search results for the keyword “coasters”. As you can see, the second listing is 25% more expensive, yet has a higher BSR. The listing priced at $12.95 has a lower Best Seller Ranking than the $18.99, $15.99, and $14.99 options. Again this is not concrete proof but one example.

Route 2: Looking at actual sales data.

We mange a good number of listings by now. Going through a number of those product’s sales and BSR history within the same category, we are able to see that regardless of price, the products fell within the same BSR range when sales were similar. If you have just a couple of products in the same category that sell fairly similar volumes, it is pretty easy to see for yourself.

How Can You Use BSR To Improve Your Sales?

Should you try to increase your BSR?

When we see this question, it is generally in reference to using promotional services to increase BSR, in which case the answer is no. Increasing your Best Seller Rank through promotional sales serves no direct purpose apart from pushing to obtain a best seller badge, which happens to be against Amazon’s TOS.

Since Viral Launch has been in business, we’ve seen plenty of sellers get excited about an improvement in BSR driven by giveaways. From our perspective it’s a no brainer. Of course the BSR improves. If sales are the sole factor in calculating your Best Seller Ranking, and you drove additional sales, whether at full price or at a discount, then of course the BSR is going to improve. And like we mentioned, that improvement in Best Seller Ranking will have no direct impact on future sales.

For example, (keyword ranking aside) if you gave a massive volume of units to help you reach a BSR of #2 in all of Health & Beauty, you would see no improvement in organic sales as a direct result. Customers do not find products to purchase by sifting through the browse trees, they purchase products after running a search, selecting an item, and then making a purchase.

Essentially, if you give units away at a loss with the intention of improving your Best Seller Ranking, you are wasting money. That is not a strategic move.

How BSR Can Help You Make Smart Business Decisions.

Using the Best Seller Rank metric is fantastic for estimating product’s monthly sales. Even though current tools are not incredibly accurate, they are far better than pure guesses and can be extremely helpful when putting together launch strategies, optimizing your listing, and validating sourcing ideas. From our perspective, this is the only real use for this over-hyped vanity metric.

Should You Be Paying Attention to Your Product’s BSR

Largely, no. If you are using BSR as a sales estimator for your own products, then you should look at your actual sales volume as shown in your Seller Central dashboard as those figures will be more accurate. Generally, the only benefit of watching your BSR is in comparing yourself to your competitors. Is your BSR increasing, but competitors’ BSRs are not? Then you you need to make some adjustments to your offering/listing so you can continue selling at the same volume as your competitors are. Is your BSR increasing at the same rate as competitors? If so, this is typical of seasonal items. As sales slow for a sub-market, all competitors will see an increase in BSR.

Your listing’s Best Seller Rank can fluctuate quite a bit over the course of a day, week, or month. The focus should really be on maintaining/improving search rankings, optimizing your listing, and improving your review funnel as these are the activities that will have an impact on your organic sales and ultimately your business’s bottom line. Continually watching your BSR is like watching the grass in your yard grow, it’s going to grow and at varying rates depending on external factors, but you watching your yard grow does not affect the process. It is only a waste of time. Being aware of your actual sales and responding to changes in the market or your listing are activities that will lead to better bottom line.

Conclusion

More often than not, rumors and misinformation are spread simply due to wrongful attribution. It’s so easy to wrongfully attribute the cause of sales improvements, ranking changes, BSR changes, etc. simply because there are so many moving parts. Amazon is a complex animal. It is wrongful attribution that I hold as the culprit for a lot of the myths around Best Seller Rank.

Know any other rumors? Have any questions? Am I wrong? I’d love to know what you think in the comments!