5 Tips To Improve Your Amazon Ranking

Whether you’re just starting or a longtime seller, every seller should be taking advantage of these tips on how to improve your Amazon ranking.

On Tuesday, Amazon kicked off their Amazon Accelerate virtual conference for current and prospective sellers looking to boost their Amazon ranking.

After one particular session, guests participated in a live Q&A with Conner Sigman, an Account Representative at Amazon. As they took questions from the digital audience, one question dominated in popularity:

“How do I get on the first page [of search results]?”

It’s a question that’s raged on since 1999 when third-party sellers were allowed to sell on Amazon’s platform. But rarely do we get answers straight from the source on how to maximize rank. Sigman answered with five helpful tips sellers should be doing to increase their opportunity to land on the coveted page one.

At Viral Launch, we strive to provide helpful solutions for Amazon sellers. Since our inception, we’ve studied what steps sellers can take to improve organic rank. 

Below, we’ll share five recommendations on how to rank higher on Amazon and how our software suite of tools can help you accomplish these tasks.

Step 1: Choose Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

“Using FBA immediately will give you the Prime badge and give you options for a couple of different advertising opportunities,” Sigman explained.

FBA comes with not-so-fun fees, but the cost is well worth the benefits of being a part of Amazon’s legendary fulfillment program.

Utilizing FBA guarantees the customer receives the complete Amazon treatment they are accustomed to experiencing. Free two-day shipping, valuable Prime badges, and Amazon-led customer service ensure a sturdy foundation for your product. Customers want to know that they’ll receive items quickly and be taken care of appropriately if any help is necessary.

Amazon takes care of all of that for you, simultaneously making your product more likely to be purchased while also taking cumbersome aspects of e-commerce off your plate. Choosing the FBA route will also help you out with #4 on this list!

Step 2: Optimize your product detail page

Consider your personal buying habits. Customers are drawn to main product images that pop off the page and sales-inducing copy that stands out.

“Product detail page is another really good opportunity to show how important your product is and how it differentiates from the rest,” Sigman said about product listings.

A crucial part of the formula to elevate your rank is increasing sales velocity. Above all, your product detail page must have captivating product images to make a positive first impression and SEO-friendly, sales-inducing copy.

Viral Launch offers a few helpful tools to help your listing stand out for this step.

Listing Analyzer performs a SWOT analysis on key aspects of your listing, including photos and copy, to make sure it’s optimal. Listing Analyzer informs you of what facets of your listing are thriving and what has room for improvement.

Keyword Research and Listing Builder are a powerful duo that provides everything you need for an optimized listing for your listing’s written content. 

Keyword Research provides valuable data in the form of an exhaustive keyword list and search volume estimates to inform you of your most potent traffic drivers.

Listing Builder allows sellers to experiment with their listing’s copy and strategically place keywords in areas with the most indexing weight.

To be eligible to rank for a specific keyword or phrase, it must be included somewhere in your listing. The title and bullet points possess the most indexing weight, so you’ll want to prioritize your more prized keywords accordingly.

Consider #1 and #2 to be the base level foundation for a successful, high-ranking listing. While these two alone do not guarantee a high ranking, it’s nearly impossible for a third-party seller to climb their way to the top without them in place.

Once you master these tips, the rest becomes much easier to execute tactfully.

Step 3: Drive traffic through advertising and promotions

You’ve set your listing to convert, but how will people find your listing?

The two popular avenues to boosting discoverability for your Amazon listing are advertising or running promotions that drive external traffic.

To boost ranking through either of these options, your product listing would need to receive credit for purchase as if it came via a keyword either through advertising or search. When driving external traffic to your product listing to improve rank, make sure you use a two-step URL that includes the targeted keyword to achieve the intended results.

Two-step URLs require the customer to arrive at a search results page where your product is featured exclusively to complete the purchase.

Running a Launch, or a discounted promotional giveaway to a buyer group with substantial size can be an excellent way to drive exposure and sales to your listing without relying on customers to stumble upon your product listing organically.

The ManyChat Approach

Another great option to boost external traffic to climb the Amazon ranks is ManyChat. ManyChat requires a bit of technical skill, but the results make it a no-brainer to learn. As we detailed in a prior post focusing on driving external traffic, we sum up the ManyChat process as such:

“To recap the basic steps for a ManyChat campaign:

Create ads and posts to provide an offer to your audience and direct them to messenger for engagement with ManyChat.

Develop a ManyChat script, first implementing some sort of simple engagement step.

If someone engages with the chat, provide them with the coupon code, steps to claim the code, and a link to purchase using a targeted URL.”

Advertising your product is a great way to get your product in front of potential customers. Amazon offers Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising that allows you to choose exact keywords or opposing product pages to advertise on to capture some sales.

“The first thing I would say is to start a pay-per-click campaign; even if you want to budget $5 a day, it will help a lot.”

Kinetic and Keyword Manager are two tools within the Viral Launch fleet of seller tools that help you run, monitor, and automate your PPC campaigns.

Keyword Manager showcases your high-priority keywords and notifies you of its organic and sponsored rank for each keyword. You can even sign up for rank change notifications to stay up-to-date on how ads or promotions impact your ranking in real-time.

Kinetic is our all-encompassing PPC automation tool that simplifies creating and optimizing your PPC campaigns from start to finish.

Step 4: Earn reviews

You searched for a product. Attractive product images caught your eye. The compelling copy explains why you need this and answers any questions you might have. But before you Add to Cart, you want to see what customers have to say about this product.

Sigman highlighted Amazon’s stance on customer reviews, “The product detail page and customer reviews are also something we really cherish here at Amazon.”

By placing average review rating and review count directly below the product title, customers can quickly see past consumer feedback. Bad reviews or no reviews at all risk losing consumer trust, and that can spell doom for your product.

Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program helps sellers garner their first five reviews to compete with more mature products. We strongly recommend paying the program’s fee to get your listing off the ground, but the program ends after your fifth review.

After the fifth review, there are very few options with Amazon’s terms of service for sellers to generate reviews. You’ll find competitor tools and Facebook groups to help boost reviews. But, Amazon can and will erase those reviews and provide a warning or ban to sellers who utilize black-hat methods.

Enter Viral Launch’s Request Automation tool. 

Within the Market Intelligence Chrome extension, sellers can send review requests in bulk. It’s a time-saving hack that is entirely within Amazon’s Terms of Service!

Step 5: Be Price-Competitive

It’s no secret that Amazon can be a dog-eat-dog marketplace, and that’s a hallmark of its success. A competitive marketplace means sellers have to box out competitors, resulting in a lower price for customers. Sellers need to remain price-competitive to keep a steady flow of sales coming in. 

As previously mentioned, sales velocity is critical towards boosting and maintaining your Amazon ranking. If your product isn’t price-competitive with others in your market, picking up optimal sales velocity is an uphill battle.

With Viral Launch’s Market Intelligence and Listing Analyzer tools, you can quickly inspect and examine your competition. As displayed in the image for #2 on this list, Listing Analyzer will show you the average market price.

Market Intelligence takes a more granular approach to keeping tabs on rival sellers. Search a keyword to find your product, and you’ll see a full list of significant metrics of each top-selling competitor.

Clicking on any of the data points in orange and you’ll also be able to see this data historically. As a result, you catch sight of when your competition raised or lowered their price and how it impacted sales.

One Last Note On Sales Velocity

The importance of sales velocity can’t be understated regarding boosting or maintaining rank. Sales rank is updated hourly on Amazon, so the Amazon ranking algorithm continuously checks for sales trends.

To rank with the top-sellers in your market, you need to sell like them. Market research tools like Market Intelligence provide all you need to know about how competition performs on page one. Depending on the market, it may only take a day or two of high sales velocity to see results.

Utilizing PPC or a Launch are two tried-and-true strategies for boosting visibility.

At Viral Launch, we possess a tool for each step of your Amazon journey to help you achieve out-of-this-world results. Start your free trial today!

Amazon Sales Rank: How Important Is It and How Can You Improve It?

For even the most seasoned sellers, mastering the intricacies of Amazon can be difficult to say the least. Like with any online or internet-based venture, things change on Amazon sometimes seemingly overnight. It can also be difficult to get concrete information about some of their elements – especially Amazon sales rank, also known as Best Sellers Rank (BSR).

[YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: 5 Tips on How To Improve Your Amazon Ranking]

This metric is quite possibly the most disputed and researched element in Amazon’s arsenal. Sellers truly have a love-hate relationship with BSR. Viral Launch’s own CEO Casey Gauss made it his own mission to learn more about the mysterious metric by reverse engineering Amazon’s algorithm. You can learn more about that in his Definitive Guide to Understanding BSR.

But for now, let’s answer a few questions:

What is Amazon Sales Rank?

Essentially, Amazon Sales Rank is used to determine a product’s popularity within a category. It actually exists for all products, even those that aren’t part of a category. Products can have a sales rank of 1 to over a million. The lower your number is, the more sales your product is getting and vice versa. Basically, it’s calculating the period of time since an item last sold, so if you want a low BSR, ideally you want the period of time between sales to be as small as possible. Just think of your BSR like your golf scorecard – the lower the number, the better you’re doing.

You can find the BSR of any product in the Product Information section of a listing. As an example, I searched for a random product – in this case, a phone charger.

As you can see in the image above, you get quite a bit of info at a quick glance.

This particular phone charger’s BSR is 28 in its main category of Cell Phones & Accessories. You also have the option to look at a list of the Top 100 products in that main category. Once you boil it down to subcategories, it ranks 1 and 28.

Why Does Amazon Sales Rank Matter?

From a seller’s standpoint, BSR matters for a few reasons. For starters, it’s an indication of how well your product is selling compared to competitor products, which gives you an idea of where you’re at in the marketplace. So ideally, you want to have as low of a BSR score as possible.

Just remember, when looking at BSR for the products you’re selling it’s an indication of past sales. Think of it this way, does a report card from a previous semester impact your grades in next semester? No. It’s just an indication of your past performance. So like a report card, BSR has no bearing on your future sales and won’t directly help you drive organic sales. This is actually one of the biggest misconceptions about BSR.

For more info about BSR misconceptions, check out this blog about Busting BSR Myths.

How Can I Improve my Amazon Sales Rank?

Now that you know a little background about Amazon sales rank, let’s go over some guidelines of how to improve it. The very best way to improve your Amazon sales rank is to make more sales. I know, that seems pretty obvious, but it’s something newer sellers still struggle with. Here are a few ways to improve your chances at more sales:

  • Optimize your listing: Choosing the right keywords for your product is imperative. It’s also important to make sure you include keywords in your listing, especially in your title and bullets. This will help your listing be seen by more people, increasing the chances of your product being bought. There are a lot of keyword tools out there, including Keyword Research from Viral Launch, that can help you with this.
  • Create great copy: Along with including keywords in your listing copy, you also have to do a great job selling your product to customers. Make sure to highlight all the important aspects of your listing and tell people why they should buy it.
  • Use professional photos: In addition to copy, product photography plays a huge role in increasing conversions. Many people think a few smartphone photos and some Photoshop is all you need and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Professional photography can make a huge difference in selling your product to customers.
  • Run a giveaway: Giveaways, or Launches, as they’re called here at Viral Launch, are a way to increase your listing’s ranking for a major keyword. In short, we target a major keyword associated with your product and do product giveaways – usually around 90% off – for a period of 7-10 days. As your product racks up the sales, it is organically moved up in rankings. While the goal of a launch is to improve keyword ranking (which is more crucial to generating organic sales), an improved BSR is frequently a side effect of a promotional campaign.
  • PPC Campaigns: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns are essentially the “sponsored content” you see when browsing Amazon, Google or other search engines. Basically, you pay a small fee to search engines for a specific keyword. This helps get your product in front of more people who are searching for similar items.

One thing you don’t want to do while chasing a lower BSR is intentionally miscategorizing your product in a less competitive subcategory. Some sellers try this tactic because they think it will be easier to achieve a lower BSR. However, we don’t recommend this because it limits the product’s visibility as many searches filter to a relevant subcategory. This means your product could be filtered out of valuable results.

Final Thoughts

Here at Viral Launch, part of our mission is making sure sellers have the best possible information about all things Amazon in their arsenal. That’s especially true when it comes to a widely disputed, misunderstood and, frankly, confusing topic like Amazon sales rank. Is it important? Sure. It’s great to know how your product is doing in comparison to others. But you should view BSR as more of a symptom rather than a cure. If your product isn’t performing well compared to its peers, check out competitor listings. Try to see what they’re doing right and you might find ways to improve your listing. Just remember, what your BSR is today has no bearing on what sales you’ll make tomorrow.

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Product Visibility: The Importance of Categories in Amazon’s Search Results

Now more than ever, it is extremely important to have every single aspect of your listing in prime condition: stunning photos, optimized copy, beautiful product labeling, competitive reviews, etc. But there is one simple thing that some sellers are overlooking that has cost some sellers serious amounts of money in lost sales. It’s extremely important and a fairly quick fix: Product Category.

I know, that shiny Best Seller Badge is highly sought after, and it is relatively easy to come by with some obscure, irrelevant sub-categories. If you’re selling Vitamin C Serum and place it into the a smaller unrelated category, you won’t have to sell nearly as many units to get a Best Seller Badge as you would if you categorized it correctly into Skin Care. Loophole right? Unfortunately for sellers, no.

The Importance of Product Category

It’s crucial that you set your category correctly, and I’ll explain why. When searching “vitamin c serum” on Amazon, even when searching under “All Departments”, you’ll notice that just under the search bar, Amazon forces the search into a specific category. In this instance, I’m seeing just over 5300 results for: Beauty & Personal Care : Skin Care : “vitamin c serum”

Amazon positions itself in a way that is going to best benefit a shopper. If I’m a shopper searching for a “vitamin c serum,” Amazon shows me only what is relevant to the product that I’m searching for. Through Amazon’s algorithm, this means that only results categorized down to the subcategory “Skin Care” are going to be shown. And this makes total sense. Why would I be looking for anything outside of a Skin Care with a search for “vitamin c serum?”

As a shopper, I do have the option to choose “Show results instead in ‘All Departments,’” but I cannot imagine that many shoppers are doing so. As an Amazon seller, you know your product, your keywords, your listing, and your competition inside and out. Buyers, on the other hand, are trusting that Amazon is showing the best products for what they’re looking for. Having said that, it’s unlikely that a shopper would click “All Departments,” especially if they’re able to find what they’re looking for on page one. (Note: Mobile Amazon automatically shows results for All Departments)

These forced search results make it extremely important that your product is categorized correctly. Yes, you may have a Best Seller Badge through mis-categorizing your product. But that doesn’t matter if your product isn’t even showing up when a shopper searches for the biggest keyword associated with your product! If you put your product in some obscure category hoping to trick shoppers into thinking that you’re a top seller for your category, Amazon is onto you, and they aren’t having it. Shoppers will be searching for what you’re selling, but your product will be hidden by Amazon’s algorithms.

How Placing Your Product in The Wrong Category Causes A Loss In Sales

Here at Viral Launch, we want to see you be as successful as possible with your Private Label products. Among other things, it is a must to correctly categorize your product. This is even more important while you’re running a promotion because all of those giveaway sales are being attributed to the given search term in the context of the category the product falls under. If your sales are not being attributed to the proper category, you simply won’t show up when the average customer runs a search.  Make sure that your product is in the right category before running a launch. Switching it afterward means it’s already too late as the sales have already attributed keyword ranking power to the given keyword within the wrong category.

When choosing a keyword to target with a Viral Launch promotion, be sure that the keyword’s search results line up with your product category. If not, change your category, or make sure you’ve chosen a keyword that lines up with your product. You can place your item into a more specific category than the forced search result, just make sure that it’s in the most specific category of search results shown for that keyword search.

Big Takeaway: Categorize your product correctly, and your customers will be able to find and buy your product! If you don’t, no matter how hard you push keyword ranking, you’ll find your product ranking in the wrong category and will see very few sales!

Hopefully this tip helps you to understand why product category is so important and how it can have a tremendous effect on your visibility. We love to see you succeed as we navigate the Amazon together. Happy selling!

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