Accelerating Your Amazon Rank With External Traffic

Advertising can be utilized to help drive sales and ranking while providing you with incredibly valuable data regarding how your product interacts with the market. By taking the time to test and fully understand the abilities of the Amazon advertising platform, you can begin to build out more complex strategies to truly accelerate growth in a competitive landscape.

That said, while advertising can be an incredibly effective way to drive ranking and increase sales, there are instances where you may need an additional push to truly dominate your market. In these instances, external traffic can be implemented to aggressively drive a product to page one for a high value keyword.

While your product can be relevant for (and drive sales through) dozens of keywords, in most markets, one to five keywords are going to provide the majority of the audience market-share. Therefore, having favorable organic ranking for these terms is crucial for maximizing the sales potential of your product.

There are different methods and strategies when using external traffic and it’s important to know that while incredibly useful, these tactics can be costly and certain applications can be a violation of Amazon’s Terms of Service. Much of the language in their Terms of Service is vague and up for debate but ultimately, anything that improperly accesses or uses data from shoppers, routes traffic away from Amazon, or seeks to artificially inflate reviews will be seen as a violation.

Another thing to note is that Amazon’s SEO tends to work in equilibrium. The products on page one are there because they sell best. While driving ranking through PPC provides your product with opportunities to organically sell better and more naturally progress it to a competitive level within the market, using aggressive external traffic to drive ranking ultimately forces the product to page one through a manufactured demand. While this can be effective in pushing the product to the first page, if the listing is not competitively positioned (with an adequate number of reviews, attractive price, etc.) it is likely that it will not continue to organically sell the same volume of units as the naturally ranking competitors. In this instance, ranking can decline when the manufactured traffic from your external campaign is cut off. Thus, an external campaign can be a bit of a gamble as you’re pushing a product’s ranking to page one and relying on the increased visibility to lead to organic sales growth, which will in turn help the listing to retain ranking.

While there are several different methods for setting up external campaigns, this article will cover the basics of the two most common tactics.

Promotional Launches

Sometimes referred to as a giveaway, a promotional launch involves the use of a service such as Viral Launch’s Launch Platform in order to drive ranking for a high value keyword. Essentially, you select a keyword to target, determine how many sales need to be funneled through that keyword over a period of time, and provide that number of products at a deep discount (typically through one time use promotional discount codes) to an audience of shoppers. It is also crucial that you connect the offer with a URL that is tied to your targeted keyword so that as shoppers navigate to Amazon to purchase your product, the traffic is directed through the proper search term.

By doing this, Amazon sees your product generate a large flow of sales through a specific keyword.  In time (anywhere from 3-14 days), Amazon begins to recognize your product to be more relevant for that keyword than the current page one competition, and your listing’s ranking begins to improve. Ideally, once the promotion ends, your listing has favorable ranking and is able to generate enough organic sales to help the product ‘stick’ on page one. Because you can’t control Amazon or organic market fluctuations, there is no guarantee that a specific ranking will be obtained, however at Viral Launch, we regularly review data to ensure that launches are effective at driving organic ranking.

While there are different ways to execute on this strategy, they will all involve a keyword target, a necessary sales volume to drive ranking, a URL to funnel the traffic to your target keyword, a discounted offering to persuade buyers, and a group of shoppers to market your offer to. Without each of these elements, it will be unlikely that your campaign will succeed.

  • Keyword Target – The search term that you wish to drive ranking for. You can typically target any keyword that your listing is indexed for. That said, considering that this tactic typically involves selling products at a price below break even, it’s advantageous to target keywords that have a high search volume, thus enabling an organic sales potential to make the campaign profitable.
  • Sales Volume – In order to effectively drive ranking for a keyword, you need to use the promotion to outsell the current page one competition for a number of days. It’s important to understand how many sales are being accumulated by your targeted competition and outpace that in order to effectively overtake their ranking.
  • Targeted URL –  While generally selling more units will provide some positive movement for your product, aggressive ranking improvement is largely contingent on sales being driven through a specific keyword. When running an external promotion, it’s important to direct your traffic in a way that drives traction for your targeted keywords. This can be achieved by providing buyers with a targeted URL. There are several variations of targeted URLs but all of them must in some way link to an Amazon page which uses your targeted keyword as a search term.
  • Discounted Offering – Because your campaign’s ability to drive ranking is centered around being able to generate a volume of sales that surpasses your competition, you need to provide an offer to shoppers that will lead them to immediately purchase your product. While you can technically offer any discount (provided that you can still obtain the quantity of sales needed), it’s typical to offer a limited number of products at a discount which hovers around 90% off. While this may seem dramatic, the intent is to provide these units at a steep discount in order to ensure that you can generate the number of sales necessary.
  • Buyer Group – Finally, you need an audience to provide your discounted offer to. You can use social media, email lists, or a service which has cultivated an audience of discount shoppers. It’s important to acknowledge what you’re looking for in this audience. While possible, it’s unlikely that these shoppers will be repeat customers and/or specifically interested in your product or brand. Ultimately, in most cases, these shoppers are using your offer to receive a cheap product (and hopefully have some interest in it), and you’re using them in order to drive keyword ranking for your listing.

While it is possible, given the resources, to run an external promotion of this type by yourself, there are several different options for services that can help to simplify this process. For instance, when using Viral Launch for an external campaign, our coaches can assist in keyword selection and necessary sales volume, and the platform will generate an appropriate URL and distribute your offer to a cultivated buyer group.

Though this tactic can obviously be costly, it is a very aggressive method to drive keyword ranking and help take a product to the next level of organic sales.

For reference, here are a few examples of campaigns recently run through Viral Launch:

Category: Baby

Keyword Search Volume: ~9,000 searches/month

Starting Rank: 188

Ending Rank: 13

Category: Beauty & Personal Care

Keyword Search Volume: ~11,000 searches/month

Starting Rank: 159

Ending Rank: 8

Category: Health & Household

Keyword Search Volume: ~66,000 searches/month

Starting Rank: 174

Ending Rank: 15

Facebook Campaigns (Using ManyChat)

If you’re building a brand, running a promotional campaign can be frustrating in that you’re driving the sales traffic, but you’re failing to connect these discount shoppers with your brand. Essentially, your promotional campaign creates a give and take relationship with the buyers. You use the buyers to ranking for your product, and the buyers use you to receive a discount.

Using social media however, you are able to make a closer connection with your audience and by running an external campaign. While a social media based campaign can be more advantageous from a marketing campaign, it can be a little more complicated to set up and it can be a little less reliable in its ability to drive an effective amount of traffic as the campaign is tied to the amount of engagement that your social media posts and advertising are able to generate.

If you are looking to utilize a social media based campaign to drive keyword ranking for your listing on Amazon, ManyChat is typically the best/easiest way execute on this strategy.

ManyChat is a chatbot software that allows for heightened engagement with your social media (Facebook) audience. Basically, to run an external campaign through ManyChat, you would set up ads which offer a discounted product through engagement with your brand’s Facebook Messenger. Once the chat dialog is opened, ManyChat walks the user through the steps of claiming and redeeming a coupon code for the product, driving the traffic through a targeted URL.

Either using posts through your facebook page or advertising, driving external traffic through ManyChat begins by establishing an offer and presenting it via social media. In this offer, you’ll want to lay out the discount being offered and request that the user clicks on ‘Send Message’ button to receive their discount.

When the chat window is opened, ManyChat takes over with a pre-scripted process for providing the discount and funneling the traffic through your targeted keyword. When developing the copy for your ManyChat campaign, it’s important to understand that you do want to have some level of engagement (a step or two) before receiving their coupon to ensure that your buyers are receptive, but you want to avoid being too wordy or complicated in order to hold their attention. Making them click a button or respond with a simple message is a good way to draw in your audience.

Once you have drawn in a buyer with an engagement statement, you’ll need to provide them with a coupon and instructions for claiming the offer. You also want to make sure to provide a link to Amazon through the offer and you’ll want that link to be a targeted URL for the purpose of driving rank.

One thing to note is that you will need to integrate your ManyChat campaign with another service such as Zapier to deliver coupons from a list, thus making the process a bit more technically complicated. You should also factor in cost of advertising on Facebook when comparing and contrasting a launch platform with a social media campaign. If you have a large audience and a good amount of engagement on social media, this method may be cheaper/more effective. Additionally, while you will have more control over price and the ability to target a more beneficial audience, you’ll also have a bit less control over the scheduling and redemption of your campaign than you would with a launch platform.

To recap the basic steps for a ManyChat campaign:

  1. Create ads and posts to provide an offer to your audience and direct them to messenger for engagement with ManyChat.
  2. Develop a ManyChat script, first implementing some sort of simple engagement step.
  3. 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 for the link)

While ManyChat gives you a lot of control over the messaging and branding, it’s important to keep in mind that you still need to abide by Amazon’s Terms of Service when driving traffic to their site. It can be tempting to ask for reviews through the ManyChat process and this was initially a very popular way to offer incentives for review generation. That said, Amazon is aware of this tactic and given the recently unveiled information that Facebook has been sharing information with Amazon (and sellers have been suspended in the past for using ManyChat to drive reviews), it is highly recommended that you avoid using ManyChat for any review generation purposes.

Conclusion

While advertising on Amazon is really the best sustainable way to drive growth for a product, it’s common to need an additional push to really maximize your visibility and sales potential. In these instances, using external traffic can provide you with the aggressiveness needed to drive your product to the front of the pack for high value search terms.

When advertising isn’t enough, a launch or social media campaign can give your listing an added boost. Though there is a degree of risk (considering that the effect of the promotion is dependent on Amazon’s SEO algorithms), using a proper strategy and an external campaign is an extremely effective method of generating peak visibility for your product, providing the opportunity to maximize organic sales.
While there are several different structures and services to assist with external promotions, these processes can be a bit complicated and ensuring that you have a proper strategy is the key to being successful. If you’re thinking about exploring this option to help drive your product to the next level, feel free to reach out with questions to service@viral-launch.com to speak with one of our coaches.

5 Ways to Drive More Clicks to Your Amazon Listing

Improve your click through rate (CTR) today.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Amazon? You create a listing, follow all of the rules, work tirelessly to attract buyers, and as a result … you make a few sales each day. Great.

You just cannot figure out how to drive more clicks to your listing, and it kind of makes you feel like Amazon is out to get you. We’ve been there, too.

But here’s the good news: there are steps you can take to increase clicks and sales. With the right strategy, you’ll be selling better than ever before. We’ll go through 5 ways to increase your click through rate, and by the time we’re through, you’ll know exactly what to do to drive more traffic to your listing.

 

  1. Sell FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon)

Although Amazon does not release Prime membership numbers, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC is able to make estimates based upon its regular analyses of Amazon shopper patterns. In June of 2016, the company estimated there are about 63 million Prime members, which is 52% of Amazon’s total customers.

Over half of Amazon shoppers are Prime shoppers. And what do prime shoppers look for? You got it: the Prime logo. They want fast, free shipping. If you’re selling FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) and are not eligible for Amazon Prime, you’re potentially missing out on half of the people shopping on Amazon. Those shoppers don’t want to wait around for 5-7 days on top of the shipping charge they’ll pay.

Additionally, Prime members spend more annually … about twice as much to be precise. If your listing is just as good as your competition, but a Prime member can get your competition’s product in two days with free shipping, it’s an easy decision for that shopper.

Allowing Amazon to fulfill your orders for you will put you in a better position to grab more buyers simply because you’re filling the free two-day shipping criteria for over half of Amazon shoppers.

Shoppers can even filter search results to only show Prime products. Don’t miss out on those buy-ready shoppers looking for your exact product!

Check out this infographic covering FBA vs FBM to determine which fulfillment method is right for you.

 

  1. Find Your Most Profitable Price Point

Price is a major factor for driving clicks to your listing. Changing your price will impact your click through rate, which in turn will increase or decrease overall sales.

If your product is priced at $29.99, while every other product on page one is around the $19.99 mark, it’s likely that you won’t drive tons of clicks relative to competitors. It goes the other way too; a product at $10.99 on the same search result page may come across as too cheap (not to mention you might be an add-on item or start a price war with competitors).

You want to keep a competitive price on your product, but you want a price that is going to make people click and ultimately purchase. Often, click and conversion rates can vary greatly between ending the price in $.95 and $.99, or between $19.99 and $20.99. You want to find that sweet spot – the optimal price that is driving clicks and sales.

As an example, one seller used Viral Launch’s Split Testing tool to analyze the change in sales and conversions at different price points. By changing her price from $34.95 to $33.99, she saw a major increase in click and conversion rate, which would equate to over $6,500 more each month in sales!

You could be missing out on clicks and conversion because your price is a dollar off. Split test your Amazon product price to increase your clicks and conversions, ultimately driving more traffic to your listing.

 

  1. Use a Stellar Hero Image

Product photography plays a major role in helping a shopper determine pretty quickly whether or not they want to buy your product. Your hero image, or the main image that shows up for your product in search results, is the most important image in your photo set. A buyer will largely determine whether or not he wants to learn more about your product from this image.

As a shopper, you wouldn’t want to buy a product with a hero image that looks like it’s been taken by some schmuck in his basement with an iPhone 4. These types of photos don’t help explain what the product is and does, and they certainly don’t connect with the shopper.

The photo above likely won’t draw clicks as well as if the seller would invest in a solid hero image, like that of a similar product:

If you’re wanting to take your listing to the next level and aren’t sure where to invest, your photos are a great place to start. Your product photography set needs to:

  • Tell a story.
  • Build an emotional connection.
  • Accentuate all the product’s features.

Bettering your photos will increase your product’s perceived value and instill consumer confidence in your brand’s quality. With a professional, descriptive hero image, you’ll entice buyers to click and learn more about your product.

We highly recommend split testing your photos to see how shoppers are responding to different images. Changing your hero image could result in a sizable increase in clicks, and therefore overall sales.

 

  1. Increase Your Reviews

Since Amazon banned incentivized reviews back in late 2016, reviews are difficult to gather. And with the new option for shoppers to opt out of Seller Feedback, the pool of potential reviewers is shrinking. However, reviews are more important than ever for competing with top sellers.

Social proof on Amazon is everything. Shoppers trust other shoppers.

Work hard at gathering as many reviews as you can. You’re going to drive more traffic to your listing with 300 reviews than you will with 3 reviews (everything else the same). Implement a high-conversion email follow-up sequence, run sponsored ads, drive external traffic… Do what you have to do within Amazon’s ToS to increase your reviews. You’ll find that shoppers are more likely to click and purchase when other people have done the same thing and responded positively in the past.

 

  1. Earn a Badge

Having a Best Seller Badge serves as a sort of social proof, similar to reviews. When shopping on Amazon, people are looking for high-quality, low-price items. The best seller badge helps immediately show that this product is trusted by many shoppers, which communicates quality. It also appeals to our “follow the herd” mentality. “This must be good if everyone else is buying it.”

How do you get the best seller badge? Well, be the best seller 🙂 One simple way is to find a relevant niche category within your main category that sees a smaller average number of sales than the large category. Outselling the top seller in a smaller category makes it easier to obtain the badge. But, be careful not to remove your product from its main category when finding a niche subcategory. This will do a lot more harm than good. Learn more about the importance of categories in Amazon’s search results here.

The Amazon’s Choice Badge will also help to drive clicks, since Amazon is confirming the product’s value to shoppers. But unlike the Best Seller Badge, the Amazon’s Choice Badge is awarded by Amazon. Amazon selects products for this badge based on a variety of factors, ranging from rating to shipping speed.

Because of all the variables involved, it’s difficult to determine which badge has the greatest impact on clicks/conversions. But, with either badge, you’ll instill confidence in shoppers and increase your sales.

 

Capitalize on Your High Click Through Rate

Now you’re optimized for clicks. Woohoo! Time to capitalize with a promotion.

Increasing the visibility of an optimized listing will result in even more clicks and more sales.

Many Amazon shoppers don’t search past page one or two because they find what they’re looking for early in the search results, and they think the best products are listed first by default. Because of this shopper behavior, most sales on Amazon come from page one products.

If your product is on page 4, 5, 6, 25 … for your major keywords, you’re not being seen by the very shoppers who are searching for your product!

A product launch drives sales to your listing to increase your visibility for major keywords. When your product is in front of more shoppers, you have more opportunity for increased customer interaction. And with a listing that is optimized for clicks and sales, you’ll be in the best possible position to claim your market share.

 

Questions or comments on our 5 ways to drive more clicks to your Amazon listing? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

 

Related: The Limitation of Conversion Rate on Amazon

6 Amazon Keyword Research Tips from a Listing Specialist

Check out Market Intelligence, the most sophisticated Amazon product research tool

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