If you’ve been considering starting an eCommerce business, now is actually a great time to jump in. Of every single product sold online, over half of them are sold on Amazon. And thanks to their Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program, you can run a physical products business without worrying about fulfillment or customer service.
Like almost every other element of our society, COVID-19 has affected Amazon. However, the eCommerce giant is taking big steps to ensure its third-party sellers (or, people like you) are still able to start and build profitable businesses from the comfort of their homes.
For you, that means there’s a great opportunity to launch products that meet growing demand while still obeying Stay-at-Home orders. Let’s walk through 3 reasons why it makes sense for you to start selling on Amazon during this time, plus what steps you can take to get started.
3 Reasons to Get Started with Amazon FBA
If we know one thing for sure, it’s that people will continue to purchase products online… now more than ever before. Here’s why it makes sense to meet that demand through Amazon FBA.
1. It takes time to learn the process.
The journey of selling on Amazon involves quite a few steps. In order to get real results, it’s important that you’re informed of rookie mistakes and best practices along the way. For many of us, COVID-19 has provided some extra time at home. (If you’re an essential worker, we thank you for your service!).
A great way to spend that free time is to dive into learning what it takes to be successful as an Amazon FBA seller. In fact, we created a Free A-Z Amazon Course with two entrepreneurs who grew 7-figure FBA businesses from scratch in a few short years. They started in your shoes, learned the process, took action, and now provide for their families on their own terms. Check out the free course and see if Amazon FBA is a good fit for you.
2. There is increased demand.
With many states under strict Stay-at-Home orders, Americans (and people all over the world) are turning to Amazon to meet their physical product needs. At first, Amazon struggled to meet this increased demand. However, they have recently added 100,000 workers and plans to add 75,000 more, and now they are once again accepting all products – whether they’re essential or nonessential – into their FBA warehouses across the country.
Essential items are obviously seeing a dramatic increase in sales. But there are other products that are seeing positive movement, too. This includes home workout equipment, homeschooling activities, gardening products, and more. Now is the time to analyze which markets are being positively affected and which are hurting. A research tool like Market Intelligence shows you graphs of sales movement for individual products and across entire markets, so that you can make predictions about the future to determine which markets you may want to enter and which markets you want to steer clear of. Start your free trial to begin researching.
3. The supply chain is stabilizing.
The Coronavirus originated in China, which is where a majority of third-party Amazon sellers source their products. With China on lockdown earlier this year, most warehouses were unable to produce products. However, China has been stabilizing, and many manufacturers are back up and running… Many of them are even working overtime.
Once you decide on which product you want to sell (and remember, it’s crucial to get into a market with high opportunity and low competition), you’ll want to find a reliable manufacturer to produce it. By reaching out to suppliers on Alibaba, you can see which factories are fully operational and begin bringing your product to life.
How to Get Started with Your First Product
There are quite a few steps that go into this process, but we’re going to lay it all out for you. Afterall, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into! At a high level, here’s the what it looks like to successfully launch a product on Amazon:
Research different markets
Pick a product with high opportunity and low competition
Find a few manufacturers who could produce the product
Order inventory from the best manufacturer
Ship your inventory into Amazon warehouses
Create a listing optimized for SEO and conversions
Drive external traffic to the listing to boost your keyword rank
Run Amazon advertisements
Solicit reviews for social proof
Of course, there are steps within these steps. In order to feel confident in how you should move forward as you’re building your business, we highly recommend following a course. The best way to set yourself up for success is to follow in the footsteps of someone who has done what you’re trying to do. Like mentioned earlier, we put together a free Amazon course alongside two veteran sellers, and it will aid you along your entire journey.
You’ll find that your first step is to choose a product with high opportunity (or, one that will make you money) and low competition (or, one that you can become dominant with quickly). There are many methods of finding product ideas. You could browse Amazon to see what’s hot, or you could use software that identifies stand-out markets for you. For example, Product Discovery pinpoints markets that are ripe with opportunity now so that you can make the most out of an otherwise crummy situation.
Join the Amazon Seller Family
COVID-19 has certainly shifted the way we live and work, but it’s also opened opportunities for those that are bold enough to seize them. As someone who has been considering Amazon FBA, now is a great time to take action and get started. More and more Americans are shopping online. Amazon is reducing fees and making sure the infrastructure is strong. And with the internet at your disposal, you can learn what to do at every single step in your journey.
Feel free to join our Facebook community of thousands of Amazon sellers. You’ll find people just like you who are agile, resourceful, and ready to take on a challenge that will ultimately provide for them and their families. Here, you can make friends, keep up to date on the latest news, and be supported in your journey with Amazon FBA.
The team here at Viral Launch is dedicated to supporting you, whether it’s business as usual or not. Let us know how you plan to take advantage of the online revolution that COVID-19 has only accelerated. We’re pumped to equip you with everything you need to succeed!
We’ve all been there. You look around and notice you have somehow collected enough books to open a mini library. There’s old textbooks you’ll never use, books that were given to you as gifts, and the stack of books you keep saying “one day” to. No? Just us? That’s fine. The point is, sometimes you find yourself with a stash of books, and you don’t know what to do with them. You could donate them, but sometimes those books cost a small fortune. And you don’t want to lose out on all that cash you spent on that geology textbook you didn’t even use (Sorry, college professors). So, what do you do with them?
Solution: Sell Used Books on Amazon
If you’re looking to get into the Amazon selling game, selling your new or used books is a great place to start. There’s no risk of spending a small fortune sourcing a product that may or may not sell and no need to worry about manufacturing or importing costs.
And if you’re already in the Amazon selling game, adding books to your inventory is a no-brainer if you’re looking to make a few extra bucks here and there.
How to Sell Used Books on Amazon – Getting Started
First things first, you’ll need a stash of books to sell, and you’ll need an Amazon seller account to access your dashboard, Seller Central. Amazon offers two types for you to choose from: Individual Seller or Professional Seller
Individual Seller: $0.99 per sale closing fee, NO monthly subscription
Professional Seller: $39.99 monthly subscription fee, NO per sale closing fee
If you’re unsure which option is right for you, consider how many books you are wanting to sell per month. Amazon allows a maximum of 40 items per month on an Individual seller account. If you are planning on selling more than 40 books, or you are planning on selling books in addition to other products totaling more than 40, you will want to opt for a Professional seller account.
Listing Information – What You Need to Know
Once your Seller Account is all set up and ready to go, gather the appropriate information about your books. This allows you to have all your information readily available when it comes time to actually list them on Amazon. Whether you just make sure you know where the information is located in each book or you write it down so it’s all in one place, here is the information to gather:
What’s an ISBN and where can I find it?
ISBN is an International Standard Book Number. They always consist of 13 digits and are assigned to each edition and variation of a book. It can be found on the book’s barcode.
How do I know what the book condition is?
When selling pre-owned books on Amazon, you are required to list the book’s condition. This is applicable to hardcover and paperback books. Your books can be one of six types of conditions:
Used – Like New
Used – Very Good
Used – Good
Used – Acceptable
Used – Unacceptable
Books categorized as Unacceptable are not sold on Amazon. This includes books that are sale of advance reading copies, including uncorrected proofs, of in-print or not-yet-published books.
Listing Books to Sell on Amazon
Once you have all the information, you’re ready to list your books for sale. When it comes to actually listing books, Amazon is by far the easiest platform to use. Creating a listing for your book can take as little as one minute.
When starting a listing, there are three different options for you to choose from:
“Sell Your Stuff” and enter the Title or ISBN number
Search for the book as if you were wanting to buy it and click “Start Selling”
List a New Title if no results come up for the ISBN you’re wanting to sell
Sell My Stuff
Go into your Seller Central and find the “Sell Your Stuff” tab. Type in the title or the ISBN number and search. Make sure your category is set to “Books.”
Click “Start Selling” and begin your listing.
Go to the Amazon homepage and use the search bar to find the book you are looking to sell. Once you find it, go to the listing detail page.
Click “Sell on Amazon” on the right side of the screen to begin your listing.
On the rare occasion the above two options don’t work, Amazon will provide you with the option to create a brand new listing.
This will happen when you search for an ISBN and no results come up, meaning there is no existing listing for that book. Amazon will then direct you to begin a new listing.
For a new listing, you will need to provide the following:
Setting the Price – What’s the best price to sell my books for on Amazon?
When listing your book, Amazon shows you how many other offers for the same book are being sold and what price range the books are selling within.
This is super convenient and helpful, as it will allow you to determine your price point. If you’re a new seller listing a single copy of a book, you should list it as the lowest price in the price range. This will boost the chances of a quick sale.
For some books, it might make more sense to list in the higher price range. This could be for current edition textbooks, first edition novels, or special edition books.
Shipping and Costs
Once you input all the required information and click “Save,” your listing will go live on Amazon and will be ready for potential buyers to search for.
You will need to decide on your shipping method: FBM vs FBA.
FBM – Fulfilled by Merchant
If you’re only selling a handful of books, this might be the option for you. Because you already have the books, you just keep them in your house until someone buys them. No additional storage fees! Once a book is sold, you are responsible for boxing it up, labeling, and shipping it out. Shipping costs can be calculated into your initial price point.
FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon If you’re selling more than 40 books, multiple copies of a book, or you don’t want to have to worry about shipping, FBA is a great option. For extra fees, you ship your inventory to an Amazon Fulfillment Center and they take care of the rest when an order is placed.
Make sure you fully research the pros and cons of FBA and FBM before deciding. Deciding on a fulfillment method is important as additional steps and fees may apply.
The Pay Out
Getting paid is arguably the best part about selling on Amazon. If you already set up your seller account and have everything approved, you probably remember Amazon requesting your bank information.
Amazon will directly deposit payments into your account every two weeks. Each deposit can take up to 5 business days and Amazon will send you a notification when the payment is sent.
Other Ways to Sell Books
If you’re looking to sell books that aren’t pre-owned or used, there are definitely options. Amazon offers 5 book selling portals for you to sell from if you wish. These portals are for selling e-books, audio books, and even self-published books. But that’s a blog for another day!
While Amazon is now the second largest ecommerce platform in terms of sales, it actually got its humble beginning as an online bookstore in 1994. It all began inside of Jeff Bezos’ rented garage in Bellevue, Washington!
Jeff Bezos chose books due to the high demand of literature worldwide and their low price point. This still stands true today so selling used books on Amazon is a smart move to make some extra pocket change and relieve your overcrowded bookshelves.
Wondering how to make money selling on Amazon? It’s the the million-dollar question! After all, you’re probably not starting to sell just for the fun of it. You want to see a profit in order to make the venture worth your time, energy, and investment.
The best part about selling on Amazon is that virtually anyone can do it. You don’t have to be an expert in business or branding to get started. By now you’ve heard countless Amazon seller success stories, things like, “I’mmaking upwards of $50,000 a month”, or “I turned a $600 investment into $60,000.”
Many of these successful accounts are coming from people with no previous selling experience. Whether you’re trying to turn your side hustle into a full-time business or just looking to supplement your income, there truly is serious money to be made selling on Amazon.
Despite the growing competition, it’s not too late to start selling! That being said, there is also no guarantee that you’ll make a killing. So what is there? A great opportunity. And it’s one you shouldn’t pass up if you’re prepared to put in the work.
Like any other business venture, there is risk involved. But the rewards can be huge, even life changing. After working with over 8,000 brands to run more than 35,000 launches, Viral Launch knows exactly what it takes to succeed on Amazon.
Based on our data and experience, we’ve put together 5 tips every new seller needs to know and understand in order to cash in on the opportunity at hand. For even more tips, take a look at our video series on How to Sell on Amazon. Get started with the first video below, and follow these 5 tips to get going with your Amazon Journey!
Tip #1: Understand How Amazon Works
We know joining the world’s largest eCommerce storefront can be intimidating, especially for beginners. But if you want to know how to make money selling on Amazon, you have to understand how to sell on Amazon in the first place.
Many third-party sellers list products on the platform and sell them for a profit. Some buy these products directly from a manufacturer, while others buy up products at retail stores for a discount. Every Amazon sellers looks for market demand and then offers a product to compete for shopper purchases.
In order for people to find the products that they list on the platform, sellers use SEO tactics to improve their products’ search ranking. Most sellers use keyword placement, sponsored ads, and targeted sales to boost their search ranking on the site. For shipping, many sellers use Amazon’s FBA program to ship their product. It guarantees 2-day delivery to shoppers, and provides a competitive advantage over other products.
Familiarize yourself with its policies and learn the steps to get started and all fees associated with selling before even making your first move. Did you know there’s also taxes to be dealt with? Do your research, don’t just jump in as it’s very easy to make an expensive mistake.
Learn the ins and outs of the Amazon platform or you’re going to be operating at a disadvantage right from the start. Understand how the process works and the different types of selling and fulfillment options available to you — will you be doing self fulfillment or Fulfillment by Amazon? Use all resources available to you to learn as much as you can.
Tip #2: Find the Right Product
There may be hundreds of millions of products for sale on Amazon, but how many are actually making any money? Choose products that will move, not just sit stagnant and end up costing you money. Consider the following before you choose a product to sell on Amazon:
Knowledge of the Niche: While you may be tempted to pick some new-age electronic device or an Amazon bestseller, stop to take into account your familiarity with the product and its intended buying pool. If you don’t know anything at all about it, do you really want to be tying your potential profit to it?
The Market: It’s simple supply and demand, really. Will there be enough interested buyers to make selling the product worthwhile? Although this can be hard to judge at times, more obscure items usually don’t move enough to result in a healthy profit. For sustained profitability, explore markets that are always strong, like sports & outdoors, baby items, tools, or office supplies. Make sure there’s enough volume to meet your desired income goals.
Fads: Keep in touch with trends to see what the latest-and-greatest item is and capitalize on it, just like Brock Johnson did with solar eclipse glasses back in the summer of 2017. Fidget spinners are another great example of a fad that went viral and made some sellers a lot of money. But remember, fads die off just as quickly as they came up, so timing and inventory management are crucial. For those that ordered way too many fidget spinners and engaged in price wars with Chinese competitors, the result wasn’t so lucrative.
Competition: Check out similar products on Amazon and see who your competitors are. Competing against national brands typically isn’t advisable as brand recognition and loyalty still rings true even on Amazon. Chances are you aren’t going to outsell a big, nationally recognized brand. This isn’t always the case, but the risk is very high.
Your initial manual research will eliminate many products, but there’s still going to be a huge product pool to choose from. How do you keep narrowing it down?
Amazon Product Finders
Automated product finders are beneficial to use because not only do they streamline the process, they also give you great product insights. These research tools allow you to see competitor prices, monthly sales and more. Get everything you need to make informed selling decisions and find profitable products much faster.
The Viral Launch Product Discovery tool can help you find a multitude of high-potential products that meet your unique wants and needs. After inputting criteria like your desired monthly sales, selling price, review count, and monthly revenue, it provides you with a comprehensive list of products, keywords, brands and categories that match your search parameters. See your sales potential before you even get started!
For beginners, it’s best to start small with one or two products and maximize your profit potential by adding more as you go and gain steam. Selling on Amazon is a cash game, as money is often tied up in inventory. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
It’s also important to:
Take advantage of the holidays, Cyber Monday and Prime Day specifically
Differentiate your product whenever possible — while keeping a competitive price — in a crowded market
Amazon is an eCommerce giant that continues to grow in size and popularity, as evidenced by the numbers in its 2017 Annual Report. Online shoppers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon — there is a huge marketplace of buyers available, and that means ample opportunities for sales.
Set yourself up to succeed by analyzing the market and determining all barriers to entry. Selecting the right product for you helps minimize risk and eliminate pain points before they end up hurting your bottom line.
Tip #3: Have a Solid Business Plan
As you continue to discover how to make money selling on Amazon, it’s beneficial to establish your own business goals right from the start. Is this a side hustle or a full-time venture into online retail? Your business plan will make your profit margin that much more important.
Similarly, are you going to be a one-hit wonder, or are you in this for the long haul? Since you’re likely going to sell multiple items once you get the selling bug, be sure your business is scalable so you can grow with the market and not be left behind.
Knowing why you’re selling and what you want to accomplish will likely change your approach. Take a good hard look at your plan and be sure all business partners are on the same page right from the start.
Some of the most popular ways to sell on Amazon are:
Retail Arbitrage: Purchase a product for a low price at a discounted rate from a retail store, boutique or wholesaler and resell it for a higher price
Wholesale: Buy items directly from the manufacturer and resell under the manufacturer’s brand
Private Label: Purchase products directly from the manufacturer and sell them under your own brand
Merch By Amazon: Apply for the program to be able to upload a design and sell your product like you would on Etsy
You’ll also want to dig deeper into the pros and cons of FBA vs. FBM. With FBA, you’ll qualify for Amazon Prime shipping, be able to win the Buy Box more often, and not have to worry about fulfilling your own orders.
On the other hand, you’re held responsible for paying FBA fees, and it can be more difficult to track your inventory. With FBM, you’re directly in control over your inventory but held responsible for its delivery. Determine your method to simplify the selling process and focus on developing a successful and scalable business model.
Tip #4: Optimize Your Listing
When new sellers are figuring out how to make money selling on Amazon, many often believe it’s only the product that matters. But in fact, there’s so much more in play here.
Since online shopping takes away the physical experiences, like touch, smell and ability to pull something right up to your face for closer inspection, your listing copy and photos need to display and describe the product in great detail to bridge the gap.
Both are extremely important for selling success and are key ways to hit your desired sales targets. After all, you only get paid when someone buys something! And that makes listing optimization and using the right Amazon keywords crucial.
Professional Listing Optimization
Professional copywriting and photography services help new and experienced sellers alike. Putting your listing copy and photos in the hands of experts like those at Viral Launch not only minimizes the work for you, it ensures your listing will be optimized in a way that maximizes your ranking and purchasing potential.
Viral Launch also offers seller software like Keyword Research, a data driven Amazon keyword tool that determines relevant, high-ranking keywords for your product and category.
See the most relevant high-volume keywords for your product and find the low-hanging fruit with high-opportunity keywords that your competitors aren’t targeting in their listings. The better you position your product with high-ranking keywords, the more you’ll boost your visibility. In the crowded Amazon marketplace, visibility is everything.
Tip #5: Increase Your Product Ranking
Even if you find a great product and optimize your listing, you still aren’t going to get sales unless you can rank. High-ranking products are the ones appearing on Page 1, and that’s what Amazon shoppers are looking at. In fact, this 2017 buyer behavior study indicated that 70% of Amazon customers don’t move past the first page of search results!
We covered how crucial using relevant, high-volume keywords is for your rank ability, but reviews also matter, although their future is a bit murky at the moment. Positive reviews make it more likely people will purchase, and sales have been shown to benefit ranking.
If Lady Luck is on your side, everything might naturally go your way. But chances are you’re going to have to work at improving your ranking, and there are things you can do to gain a competitive edge.
Targeted giveaways – called launches here at Viral Launch – are done to project your listing to Page 1 for a major keyword, with the end goal of increasing your organic sales.
We usually recommend running a giveaway for 7-10 days. This allows Amazon to recognize the sales but still limits the number of items being given away.
Pay Per Click, or PPC, is a type of sponsored ad. Set a daily budget and bid on a click price to have Amazon post your listing as an ad for targeted keywords. You won’t pay anything unless the ad is clicked on by a shopper, but note that someone can click on your ad and still end up not purchasing.
Once your ranking improves, an optimized listing and good reviews can help you maintain it.
Perhaps the main lesson in learning how to make money selling on Amazon is you have to do your research and give this venture your full attention, at least at first.
New Amazon sellers have a lot of decisions to make and work to do. Take the time to consider the following and make the best choice for your business:
Selling Plan: Individual or Professional
Product: Conduct market and keyword research to make the best choice for you
Fulfillment: Determine how in depth you want to be involved in order fulfillment
Price Point: What will optimize your sales velocity
Listing: Make your listing be seen by the most shoppers possible
Don’t expect to be an expert right away. Use the many resources and software available to you to make smart business decisions. Decide before your first launch if selling will be a side hobby or the primary source of your income.
Once you get going, even if your listing is ranking well, there’s no guarantee it’ll stay that way. Continually check up on the competition and research the market to determine what buyers want. Staying profitable may include adjusting your price point or even making changes to your physical product.
Here at Viral Launch, we encourage you to never settle and keep striving for greatness. This can be in your everyday life or your entrepreneurial pursuits. For more on how to sell and make money on Amazon, subscribe to our blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.
Keywords are what set your listing up to rank well and sell well, but there’s a catch. People also need to understand what your product is and what it does from your copy. How can you inform shoppers and do Amazon search optimization at the same time? Join hosts Cameron Yoder and CEO Casey Gauss for this conversation with Viral Launch Lead Copywriter Yale Schalk. And find out how to set up the best possible listing with these 3 Amazon SEO tips.
Contrary to common belief, getting ranking on Amazon is not about lowering your BSR. It’s about getting sales attributed to a keyword. Keywords are what set your listing up to rank well and sell well, but there’s a catch. People also need to understand what your product is and what it does from your copy. How can you inform shoppers and capture all your product’s keywords at the same time?
I’m Cameron Yoder, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 30,000 product launches and our experience working with 6500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, more importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.
In today’s episode I sit down with our Lead Listing Specialist, Yale Schalk, to talk about the best practices for writing an Amazon listing. We’ll talk about the keyword research, writing for Amazon SEO and how to convert shoppers. Let’s jump in.
So okay, we have Yale in with us today. Casey’s also sitting in on this.
What’s up, guys?
So we’re talking to Yale today about listing optimizations. First, Yale, thank you so much for coming in on the show. How are you feeling about being on the podcast?
Awesome. Awesome, Cam. Really, really excited to debut on our expertly-produced podcast, which by the way I just want to say that everyone should be subscribed to, and you know, every morning you wake up just find your nearest rooftop and shout it and tell everyone. But yeah, excited for that and really excited to kind of jump into some key information that I really know is going to help a lot of people out there.
Yale is also already on the ball with recommending the podcast, which is great. I love it. Yale is our Lead Listing Specialist, okay? And he’s been a veteran writer with 10 years of experience writing about retail products. So he’s written for brands like Nike, Adidas and Reebok and is known in the office for his excellent taste in sneakers, okay? So actually Yale, what is your favorite pair of sneakers?
Oh, wow, that’s – it’s literally an impossible thing to answer. You know, obviously, I was raised on Michael Jordan and Air Jordan sneakers, so I can at least narrow it down to that, but from there it’s all bets are off. There’s just too many.
Well, all that being said, Yale is definitely deserving to be on this podcast talking about listing optimization when it comes to Amazon specifically. But before we dive into Amazon-specific SEO and Amazon-specific listing ops, I want Yale – Yale, can you touch on just SEO in general, SEO as a practice?
Absolutely, for sure. So you know, when people think of, you know, the term SEO or, you know, properly search engine optimization, you know they think of Google, right? They think of, you know, their minds go right to Google because Google is this ubiquitous thing that is just out there. So but SEO is not confined to Google. You know, it’s like if you’ve ever seen the movie The Matrix, you know at the end when Neo sees everything in just this digital rain, and it’s just like streaming lines of green code everywhere, you know, I like to think of SEO like that. I think it’s, you know, it’s very much in the fiber of anything that you search on the internet, and it’s necessary, you know, any time that you type something into a search bar.
Yeah, The Matrix.
I love that analogy. If you haven’t seen The Matrix you just missed out on a great analogy.
Watch The Matrix, buy some sneakers, and then you’ll be set. So that’s general SEO, right? So can you move further maybe into like, I don’t know, Amazon or Google specifically?
Absolutely. So the way it works is basically that, you know, the input for a search is almost always language, and then the search algorithm uses that language to return a set of results, and then to get your content in that results list you have to give the algorithm basically what it wants. So then that begs the question, okay, so what does the algorithm want? In terms of Google SEO, that’s about proving credibility with, you know, relevant headings and meta-descriptions and links, and of course language for Amazon. It’s different from the standard SEO set up in that the results exist within Amazon’s platform. You know, for example, you don’t navigate to a different domain when you click on a result. So Google looks for site credibility with links and traffic, while Amazon looks for language, you know, or specifically keywords. So it’s really important for everyone to keep in mind that Amazon is really its own ecosystem when it comes to how searches are conducted and how those searches help determine the results you get when you or, you know, your potential customer, is looking for something.
And I think it’s important to mention that – I think this is a stat from either 2016 or 2017, but over I think it’s like 55% of product searches begin on Amazon. So when it comes to king of search engines, when it comes to product searches, I think Amazon takes the crown.
And that’s something I don’t think a lot of people think of, simply put, Amazon as a search engine. But in fact, like you said, it is, and listings in a sense really are all about SEO when it comes to Amazon specifically. So Yale, would you be able to introduce to us just some tips, maybe three basic tips that you have for everyone when it comes to listing optimization and keyword optimization on Amazon?
Absolutely, for sure. And you know, I think the good set up for this is like, you know, obviously everyone wants the highest visibility for their product. You know, ideally that’s page one. That’s what everyone wants to be on Amazon. So you really cannot afford to overlook the importance of keywords when assembling your product listing. You know you can have, and you know I never tire of saying this, but like you can have breathtaking photos, and you can have the most exquisite product description, but you know, without the proper keywords and the correct placement of those keywords in the listing, you know you’re basically – you know you’ve got a Ferrari with no engine. You know, it’s looking amazing, but it’s not going anywhere. So I just really want to emphasize, you know, first off that, you know, you can’t just throw information together and hope something happens. You know, I can tell you that it won’t. It doesn’t work that way. So it’s vital to get that keyword foundation in place.
So I would say for the first tip is plurals, plurals of words. So Amazon says that they account for plurals of words. So if you search swaddle blanket, you know, you’ll get different results than if you search swaddle blankets. So some listings will have, you know, both the plural and the singular form of the keyword while others won’t. So when someone searches blankets it’s, you know, hard for the algorithm to determine, you know, what exactly that person is expecting. So the algorithm is very smart, but it has its blind spots, and so one of the blind spots is it doesn’t know, you know, for example for this example that, you know, if you’re looking for multi-packs of swaddle blankets or if they’re looking for all the swaddle blankets on Amazon, so having both forms of the word, you know, or multiple forms of those words, those keywords, is really important for you to show up in any search related to your main search terms.
So tip number one, overall is suggesting to use both the singular and plural form of your primary keyword, or how many keywords do you think this would apply to?
I would say as long as you’re starting with your root keyword you want to kind of work in maybe the most common – and this is something that you’ll be able to kind of see in your keyword research, but and you’ll be able to notice patterns of what people are searching for, but usually you’ll just find like those simple little variations, those little, like little degrees of that root word, you know, just plurals and just different tenses of the word that people might throw in there when they’re searching for products.
I think it’s important to mention also, I think one common mistake, and I don’t know if this is one of the tips, but you know, people always want to know am I indexed for this word. So just because you’re indexing for a word does not mean that you’re driving the same amount of keyword power or keyword juice, however you want to refer to it, to those words. So this is an important concept, and you’ll hear more about it.
Let’s go on to tip number two.
Tip number two. Tip number two is keyword stuff the title. Yeah, you heard that right. Keyword stuff the title. So there’s been – this has always sort of been a philosophical debate on, you know, are you going to be rewarded if you keyword stuff? Are you going to be penalized if you keyword stuff? But I can tell you in the case of Amazon, in the Amazon world you’re going to be rewarded. So the title is definitely the most important, you know, real estate in your listing in terms of SEO. So you should really use as many keywords as you can fit, you know, without compromising quality or under-serving your character limit or overstepping that. I mean when you overstep that’s definitely something you’ll be penalized for, but so you know, what do I mean by compromising quality? So you know you have to make sure that you’re showing shoppers the information they’re looking for, like you know, things like ounces or fluid ounces might be important to consider, you know, if they’re considering price, or you know, certain features like dimensions or certifications like organic are there to include. So you know, this tip is really about just including as many super relevant keywords, you know, while leaving just enough space for those important, you know, product tidbits that people are looking for.
And I always like to say, you know, I would much rather have, you know, a 3% lower click through rate because my title isn’t as beautiful but rank for, you know, twice as many keywords or three times as many keywords simply because I’m putting them in the title versus having that super short, you know, elegant, you know, four-word title that has like my brand name and just a few other words. Let’s say it’s a frying pan, so brand, you know, stainless steel frying pan. There are so many additional words that you need to be including in your title to maximize the position and total volume of keywords that you can rank for; well, rank well for. And so yeah, I would much rather have this longer title, rank for so many more keywords than you have this beautiful title that may drive slightly higher click through rates.
Yale, what’s your opinion on having the brand name in a title?
It’s awesome that you mentioned that because I was just going to follow up on that point. Yeah, a thing that I really want to talk about for a second is not insisting on including brand names in titles. I empathize with, you know, every seller that, you know, wants to do that. I mean, everyone wants to have the competitive advantage and get their brand out there, but I would say that you have to apply a pass/fail in terms of your brand name. So look at it this way. You just have to treat it as another keyword, and if there aren’t a ton of people searching for your brand name, then it’s always a good rule of thumb to substitute in an actual, you know, high-volume search term instead of your brand name. And I know that there might be a conception out there that, you know, people aren’t going to see your brand and you know, that’s something like that’s going to be a disadvantage for you, but you know, don’t worry. It will show up – you know, your brand is going to show up in the subheading. You just want to make sure that you make the most use of the title.
Yeah, to summarize it, people, you know, aren’t searching your brand name. If they are searching your brand name they’re going to see it in the search results. It says, you know, by brand in most categories. And even if not, if they’re searching for your brand name they should know what your packaging looks like because you should have cohesive labels or packaging or whatever in your photos. They will recognize your brand. You should not be concerned about them recognizing or not recognizing your brand. And by including that brand name in your title you’re just wasting super, super valuable character space.
I think the question should be what more valuable words you can put into your title that would take the place of your brand name.
Yale, what is tip number three?
Tip three, prioritize keywords and then write your copy. Yeah, this is another thing that I’ve seen a lot where maybe sellers get focused on, you know, really fleshing out their copy, their listing, and they’re focused on, you know, stuffing as much information and even sort of messaging, you know, that they’ve come up with into the listing. But I would say that, as we’ve said, you know keyword is king, and you really have to sort of like lay that foundation first and then, you know, work in your copy from there. You know, again, it seems to make a lot of sense to look at your listing from your sort of branding ideas and everything like that. But you’ve got to get the keywords right, and then you know, then you can provide the insight and wrap everything around that.
I think this fits well, actually, with your second tip, which was keyword stuffing the title. In a lot of cases I think people have a rough time picturing where – and correct me if I’m wrong, Yale, but people have a tough time picturing where to get started with keywords, and so maybe they’ll write – they’ll try to eloquently put together like a string of words that connect well, maybe have some keywords in, and then they’ll try to like piece together other keywords that they want to put into the sentence that they’ve developed.
When in this case you’re saying like no, start with the foundation, like with your title. Let’s say with your title. Start with the foundation of as many keywords of like a bunch of high-end keywords, keywords that are going to convert or have a lot of traffic leading to them. Start with that foundation of all those keywords, and then maybe piece them together. Is that what you’re saying?
Oh, for sure, for sure. I mean you really do, like we said, with the title you really have to get the right keywords up there upfront and you know obviously try to assemble those in, you know, the most beautiful way that you can and sort of balance, you know, walk that line of getting the keywords and getting the product information up there for people, and then from there it’s really just a matter of prioritizing.
Yeah, and this is what I was kind of alluding to earlier that I didn’t want to go into because I didn’t want to steal Yale’s thunder, but just because you are indexed for a word does not mean you are driving the same amount of ranking power. So what this means is just because you have, you know, keyword XYZ in your description that yes, you – or a bullet point or whatever – yes, you will be indexing for that, but just because you are indexing because the word is in a bullet point doesn’t mean you’re driving the optimal amount of power, and you’ll drive that optimal amount of power by having it in the title, preferably the highest volume keywords at the beginning.
Yale, can you touch on just a little bit about how much energy people should be putting into their bullets, into their descriptions or their backend keywords? I think a lot of people tend to freak out about the bullets as much as they do the title. And you already mentioned that the title is going to be your primary keyword ranking driver, but where are the other aspects of a listing when coming into this?
Oh wow, yeah, so you the – yeah, of course, like we said, the title is obviously the most important part, and you know, where the keywords are really prioritized there. But from there I think the most important point for crafting your listing is to keep in mind that buyers by and large are on Amazon to basically scan information. They’re not there to, you know, read novel length listings, and a lot of the times yes, you know, obviously your product information is obviously helpful when they’re, you know, comparing products and trying to make a decision. But a lot of the time they’re just scanning that information, and they need it very succinctly. They need it very concisely, and that’s really going to a lot of times be the difference between, you know, someone adding your product to cart and checking out and, you know, maybe passing over and going with someone else. So yeah, definitely keep that in mind. You know, think of it in terms of a priority list. So the title is the number one priority, then the bullets number two, product description three, and so on. So yeah, definitely assemble your information accordingly.
Yale, is there anything else that you’d want people listening to know, even if it’s just in general, about listing ops or if you’d want to summarize in any way? What more, what else do people need to know?
I would say, you know, I think the thing that comes to mind most for me is that each segment of the Amazon selling process is so important. And you know, that’s really why Viral Launch exists. You know, we exist to help you get that right. You know, so I would say use our software. Get in touch with us to do your product photography. Get in touch with us to do your listings. You know, we really have – we’ve really refined and really perfected the entire process. So you know, we really are here to help you be successful.
That’s great. Casey, do you have anything to add?
No, Yale’s just been killing it. You know I think that too many people – you know, I’ve definitely seen plenty of people say, you know, I don’t have time for keyword research. I don’t have time to put into my listing so I just threw something up, and I’m moving on. Essentially people just look at it as just another box to check, and the thing is like Yale mentioned at the very beginning of the listing, or sorry, the podcast, the listing is absolutely critical to achieving success on Amazon, especially as you continue to enter more and more competitive markets. The greater the level of competition, the greater your listing needs to be from a, you know, keyword structure standpoint. So if this is not on point it’s going to be so much more difficult for you to drive rankings, to sustain rankings and to drive sales. And so if you aren’t willing to take the time to invest in this listing, you know, I think your Amazon FBA journey is going to be pretty difficult.
This is one of those – it’s another one of those no-brainers. It goes with photos. Like why would you not have the best photos possible? Why would you not have the best listing optimization possible? If you don’t optimize this, if you don’t put energy or effort into it, then you’re not going to get the results that you could if you would have put that time or those resources into it.
Yeah, it’s just another corner that people like to cut that really ends up biting them, you know, later.
Don’t cut corners. In this case one of those corners is listing optimization. So do not cut listing optimization.
Yeah, I got good feedback from somebody at a conference that I spoke at this weekend, and they loved the – you know, everybody’s looking for that silver bullet. And we say you don’t need a silver bullet. You need an arsenal. And one of those weapons in your armory needs to be an amazing listing.
Well thank you so much, Yale, for joining us and for providing so much valuable information on listing ops.
Well, that is all for this week. Thank you so much for listening to Follow the Data. For more insights and reliable information about how to succeed on Amazon, subscribe to the podcast and check us out on YouTube. For those of you who are looking for your next great product I have a series of product discovery walk-throughs videos on our YouTube channel that show you really how to leverage the tool. Just search Viral Launch on YouTube, go to our page and look for my face in one of the videos. Don’t forget to leave us a review and let us know what you think of the show. And if you really like the show and you like what we’re doing here at Viral Launch, tell your fellow Amazon sellers about us. We want to be a resource for sellers and the information source in this space. So please tell your friends, spread the word and share the show with other Amazon sellers.
Thank you, again, so much for listening. Feel absolutely free to hit us up on Facebook or tweet at us if you have any questions or feedback. And if you want to be featured on the show or have an Amazon related question or an idea for an episode, feel free to leave us a voicemail. Our number is 317-721-6590. Also feel free to just hit us up on Facebook or tweet at us if you want to be featured on the show, too. We can always take those questions and feature them on the show if you don’t want to call in. Until next time, remember, the data is out there.
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.
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?
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?
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.
4. Connect with a seller coach. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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Follow this guide and learn how to how to maximize keyword rank and drive traffic to your listing!
If you had to determine the most important aspect of an Amazon listing, what would you say?
The star rating? The photos? 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.
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.
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:
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:
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!
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:
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:
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.
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.
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!
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. While anyone can use these tools to cover the basics of Amazon listing optimization, you can always use a recommended Amazon product listing service to optimize your listing!
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!
*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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
Knowing the market.
Optimizing our content to adhere to our specific audience.
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.