Selling on Amazon is unlike running any other online store.
The beauty is that it’s both marketplace and search engine rolled into one: Buyers search for and purchase what they need without ever having to navigate to another site. This makes for an exciting and dynamic seller experience — but it also means sellers must market correctly in order to see real results.
Because of this layout, you need to treat Amazon as a search engine when advertising your products. If you want to get your products in front of people who are searching for them, you’ll need to know how to optimize the right keywords for your Amazon listings.
Any failure to understand how to optimize your Amazon listings gives your competitors an advantage in your market. Don’t give your rivals the upper hand!
How Do Keywords Work on Amazon?
On any other search engine, such as Google, getting a brand or product to rank high means building up your organic search engine optimization. The same is true on Amazon. The majority of sales happen organically, with products that are highly optimized.
When optimizing your listing, be strategic. Keep SEO in mind to set up your product for the highest potential visibility, and most important, make sure to get things right the first time. Editing a listing that was already written can hurt the listing’s SEO ranking.
For example, make sure to include the most frequently used variations and prioritize the right keywords for the right audience at the right time. You’ll need the help of our Amazon keyword tool, which is designed to help you find and use every relevant keyword.
For one of Viral Launch client, the strategic use of the Amazon keyword tool helped it reach $40,000 in sales within 30 days of its new product launch. By the end of the launch, the product had gone from ranking No. 300 to No. 1 in search results for the targeted keyword.
A Few Amazon Keyword Tips
Our Amazon keyword tooltells you which keywords shoppers use most often when they shop for products like yours. It also helps you include these keywords in your listing without breaking Amazon’s character limits in any of the fields.
When used correctly, the Amazon keyword toolgives you the power to find all the keywords and variations relevant to any product. To use them to your ultimate advantage, keep these three points in mind when choosing which keywords to use:
1. Lean heavily on search volume data.
Our Amazon keyword toolgives you actionable data about the search volume of any keyword. The industry-leading search volume estimates generated are constantly updated, so the data is always fresh and safe to rely upon.
Each time you research a keyword, the tool will also provide exact and broad match data surrounding it. You can see the immediate and far-reaching impact it could potentially have on your SEO ranking, as well as the keyword’s current standing in the market.
2. Dive into the keyword’s history.
Every relevant keyword around your product has a history, especially those that have the highest search volumes. Our keyword tool is the only one that can bring you exhaustive historical data, helping you dive deep into the history across the entire market — including competitor usage.
Accurate historical keyword data is important for several reasons. It includes historically relevant horizontal keywords you can use to boost the product’s listing. Additionally, it gives you full market context so you can strategize around each keyword’s popularity trends.
3. Keep the keyword’s relevancy in mind.
Although search volume is essential to choosing the right keywords, relevancy to your product is just as important. Some terms might have attractive volumes but may not actually fit the customer base for your specific product.
Because the majority of Amazon sales happen organically, our Amazon keyword tool can give you deep insights into which keywords and variations are most relevant to which products with the Viral Launch Priority Score. It allows you to easily compare terms, finding the most appropriate ones for your listing based on relevancy and search volume.
Finding the right keywords for your Amazon listings is vital to successfully selling on Amazon. But you can’t do it manually. Learn more by starting your free trial of Viral Launch to get access to our suite of keyword research tools.
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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.
What is the key to success on Amazon? It’s a pretty simple process when you break it down: source a great product, set up a listing to convert, and get in front of shoppers. Here at Viral Launch, it’s our goal to help you succeed every step of the way. To get your product in front of shoppers, one service we offer is called product launches, which increase your visibility on Amazon and put you in a position to sell.
We run over 200 launches each day, and we’ve seen some awesome successes and some unfortunate failures. To help you learn from past mistakes, we’ll share 9 common launch mistakes to avoid when running a promotion with Viral Launch.
When it comes to achieving rank on Amazon, sales are king. With Viral Launch promotions, we drive sales to your listing through product giveaways. We do this to promote brand awareness, which passively increases keyword ranking. For a launching period of up to 12 days, a seller will give a number of discounted units, typically for 85-95% off, targeting a specific keyword. As these sales are attributed to the keyword, the listing will move up the ranks. The goal is to reach page one, increase the product’s visibility to shoppers, and ultimately increase organic sales!
One-time-use coupon codes, coupled with a Max Order Qty. of 1 allow buyers to purchase one unit at the discounted price. At a pre-determined launch time, the product goes up on our buyer site, where everyday Amazon shoppers grab their favorite coupon for the day. The shopper is sent to your product on Amazon and purchases with his or her coupon.
The launch results typically take a couple of days to take effect, but you should start to see a change in rank anywhere from day three to day seven of the launch. Once you’re ranking, after the promotion is completed, it’s up to the listing and reviews to convert well to maintain rank. If you’ve got a fully optimized listing with great photos, a great price, and a competitive number of reviews, you’ll be in the perfect position to outsell your competition – woohoo!
We’ve run over 14,000 launches and have seen countless launch mistakes. Big… Small… We’ve seen them all. Here are some common errors to avoid when setting up your launch in the Launchpad.
1: There Was No Consultation with a Seller Coach.
Access to a Seller Coach is a free resource to sellers who want to utilize Viral Launch services, and our Coaches are experts in all-things Amazon. When sellers do not consult with a Seller Coach, the results are typically not as great, simply because Coaches know how to best optimize a launch. Our coaches have experience and data from thousands of launches and have seen plenty of successes and failures. A coach will work with a seller to analyze the product listing and determine an effective launch strategy, specific to that product. A launch will be most successful with the guidance and recommendations from a Viral Launch coach, so we definitely recommend getting in contact with the team! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a coaching consultation.
2: The Launch is Too Short.
We recommend launching for no less than 7 days…we’ve found it’s the sweet spot. A 3 or 4 day launch likely won’t establish the necessary sales history to increase your product’s ranking. On the other hand, a 10 day launch may require that you give away more units than necessary. With a 7-day launch, you’ll build up some credible history without giving excessive amounts of inventory.
3: Not Enough Units are Being Given Away.
To rank on page one for a target keyword, a seller must match or exceed the sales of the top sellers. When the number of promotional units is too small, the listing will not rank on page one for the target keyword. You must match or exceed the number of daily sales that the top sellers are moving, so if you give 10 units/day, and page one sellers are seeing 30 units/day, you will not land among them. In this case, you’d want to give 30-35 units/day so that Amazon would recognize that your listing is competitive with top sellers. Market Intelligence, our Amazon product research tool, can help to determine the number of units necessary to give away during a launch. In the Launchpad, when you enter your targeted keyword, you’ll find our Beta Launch Success Coach to help you to estimate the number of units needed to give per day to rank among the top sellers. For further instructions or to create the most optimized launch strategy possible, contact one of our Seller Coaches who are eager to help!
4: Too Many Keywords are Targeted.
Far too often, sellers target multiple keywords, not understanding how this will affect their rankings. Let’s break it down: Targeting multiple keywords dilutes the giveaway in a sense. For instance, let’s say you’re running a launch and giving away 200 units over a 7-day period. Take a look at the graph below:
With a launch targeting one keyword, all 200 units are attributed to that keyword. In this example, the necessary 200 units for this keyword will boost the product to page one because it’s matching the ~200 weekly sales that the top sellers are seeing. With the same launch targeting two keywords, the units are split in half so that only 100 units are attributed to each keyword. In this example, 100 units towards each keyword would not rank the product on page one for either keyword. Since page one sellers are moving around 200 units/week, a 100 units launch won’t convince Amazon’s algorithm that you’re competitive with those top sellers.
In this scenario, it would be best for the seller to only target one keyword, so that the desired ranking can be achieved. Or, the seller could give more units overall and to have a better opportunity to rank on page one for both keywords. Essentially, the more keywords you target, the more units you should give away.
5: The Coupons are Not Active When Tested.
After submitting a launch, it will show as pending approval from our team. Around 3:00pm EST on the afternoon before the launch goes live, our team will test one coupon. If the coupon is activated and set up correctly, we will approve the launch. If there is an issue with the launch, we will deny it and send you a message with the reason as to why.
When a promotion is created in Seller Central, Amazon requires a 4-hour window before activation. We strongly suggest inputting the launch after this 4 hour time frame so that there is no chance your coupons are inactive by the time we check them. Even if we check your coupons just one hour before they go live, we will have to deny the whole launch. To avoid coupon issues, we only approve launches with live coupons, so be sure that your coupons are live by the time you’ve submitted the launch for approval!
6: The Giveaway Price is Too High.
We typically recommend a giveaway price around 90-95% off retail, and our buyers are accustomed to seeing products around $1-$3. We want to be sure that we’ve got the best shot at moving the necessary inventory so that your launch is successful. For a more specific pricing suggestion, simply ask one of our coaches who would be glad to give you a recommendation.
7: The Max Order Quantity Isn’t Set.
This can turn out to be a very costly mistake. Before the fall of 2016, Amazon offered the option to set up $ off coupons. Setting these up, along with one coupon per customer and one-time use options, made it so that one customer could only get one product. It was fairly simple and straightforward.
In November of 2016, Amazon took away the $ off option for promotions, leaving % off as the only way to create coupons. In Seller Central, when you set up % off coupons, there is no way to set up a promotion that will allow you to restrict a customer from being able to grab 999 units with one coupon code. In order to protect your inventory, you need to set the Max Order Quantity to 1 for each SKU that the coupons apply to. If your Max Order Quantity is not set when running a promotion, you are putting your inventory in major jeopardy. This step cannot be overlooked!
We’re able to set your Max Order Quantity programmatically in our system through accessing your MWS account. Check out our video explaining how to protect your inventory in the Launchpad.
8: The Listing is Not Optimized.
Last but certainly not least, your entire listing (and especially your title) should be fully optimized before a launch. This is for two main reasons: ranking and conversions.
Ranking: Your title needs to be strong in order to fully utilize the launch. Although launches target one keyword, each sale is funneled through every keyword in the title. That means every word is fair game for a ranking boost with sales. With a fully optimized title, you’ll see a boost for multiple relevant keywords as sales flow through your title. Check out our blog post on How to Optimize Your Amazon Listing for Maximum Keyword Ranking for more detailed information on that topic.
Conversions: Your entire listing should be optimized with the goal of the highest conversion rate possible. This includes your price, photos, and copy. Once the launch has placed the product on page one, it’s completely up to the listing to convert well organically and maintain rank. Each listing element must be up-to-par to keep up with the top sellers. You don’t want to lose rank after all of the time and effort it took to achieve it!
9: The Listing Doesn’t Convert Post-Launch.
We often get the question, “How long is my ranking going to stick on page one after the launch?” It isn’t about sticking. It’s all about converting. Too often, we see sellers waste money by running a launch to achieve rank, ultimately to fall right back down due to a lack of organic sales. Maintaining rank is all about converting organically post-launch.
If page one sellers are seeing ~25 units/day on your specific keyword, you must continue selling competitively with them to maintain your page one rank. After a launch, if you’re only seeing 5 sales/day, your listing is going to slide down into the abyss of unseen listings. This is why we put so much emphasis on putting the time, money, and effort into having a listing that converts pre-launch. You’ll want to position your listing for success, so that it can sell competitively once it’s reached page one. The goal is to sell the necessary number of units (~25 in this example) each day at full price after the launch to be competitive with the top sellers. Then, you too will be a top seller!
Running a promotion definitely isn’t a small investment; we understand. That’s why we want to be sure that you fully utilize your launch! Learn from others, and avoid these launch mistakes when setting up your promotion in the Viral Launch Launchpad.
And as always, for more specific and tailored suggestions, we strongly recommend contacting one of our Seller Coaches by sending an email to email@example.com. Happy selling!
Amazon is an incredibly vast and complex machine. While intimidating to some who have yet to find their footing, to others the complexity creates an immense frontier waiting to be explored and conquered. It seems that every day some frontiersman discovers a new trick or topic that somehow changes the Amazon private label community’s mindset or selling practices.
The brilliant Viral Launch Team made an interesting discovery over the holiday season. Have you ever been curious how Amazon decides which words to place in a product’s Canonical URL? Do you know how to influence the words that Amazon places in the canonical?
We’ve cracked the code and uncovered some key truths to keep in mind when building your listing’s title. With this understanding, you can dictate to Amazon which keywords should be in your product’s canonical URL.
What Is An Amazon Canonical URL?
A Canonical URL is a direct link to a product’s detail page that contains keywords pulled by Amazon, seemingly arbitrarily, from the product’s title and separated by hyphens. In the SEO world, this is generally referred to as the URL slug.
To find a product’s canonical URL you can either visit the product’s page through a search result or you can inspect the page elements using your browser’s developer tools: search the word “canonical” using Command + F (or Control + F for PC users), and copy the given Canonical URL. Side Note: the only reason I mention inspecting the page elements is because we have seen discrepancies in the canonical URL that shows in the address bar and the canonical that shows in the page’s code. We’ve found the inline canonical to be the “true” canonical.
The Benefit of Keywords In Your Amazon Canonical URL
The canonical URL is the Amazon product URL that Google indexes for search results. Run a search for “iphone scratch resistant case amazon”, and you’ll see the URLs they are indexing.
As you can see from this screenshot, Google is highlighting the keywords from the search that are found within the product’s canonical URL. We have done our fair share of Google SEO, and the Canonical URL is one element of an Amazon product listing that is ripe for leveraging ranking!
Unfortunately we don’t have a definitive answer as to whether or not the keywords in a listing’s canonical URL have impact on keyword ranking within Amazon. There have been rumors without any supporting evidence that it does. However, it is very difficult to discern with much confidence.
The reason it is so hard to properly attribute keyword ranking to the content in the canonical is that the same keywords are also found in the title, which has major influence on keyword ranking. Discerning where the keyword ranking attribution is derived from is next to impossible.
We are working to leverage our keyword data to help find any potential evidence, and we’ll let you know if we make a discovery. If you have more definitive data, we would love to hear it! Please, shoot us an email or leave a comment down below.
Amazon’s market share was a whopping 68% among leading mass merchant e-retailers in the United States during 2015. Walmart took second place, with a mere 10%, according to Statista. To put Amazon’s enormity into perspective, the retail giant’s warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens and could hold more water than 10,000 Olympic Pools!
We all know that Amazon is the online marketplace. Yet, most people ignore a simple yet critical fact: similar to Google, Amazon is a search engine.
Even Google recognizes Amazon as a force to be reckoned with. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman at Google, commented, “Our biggest search competitor is Amazon. People don’t think of Amazon as a search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon…” Amazon gets three times more product searches than Google. Think about it: when you’re searching for a product, whether it be a phone charger or an HDTV, where do you typically end up? Amazon.
Once we interpret Amazon as a massive search engine, we can start to understand the importance of Amazon SEO. Learning how to rank on Amazon can put you in front of the millions of ready-to-buy shoppers on Amazon…far more than you’d ever find on Google!
An Introduction to Amazon’s Search Algorithm
Amazon’s product search algorithm is produced by an Amazon subsidiary known as A9. According to the A9 website, calculating search results starts well before a customer even touches the keyboard. A9 analyzes data, observes past traffic patterns, and indexes the text describing every product before a shopper ever runs a search. “As soon as we see the first keystroke, we’re ready with instant suggestions and a comprehensive set of search results.”
A9’s goal is to make it seem like the search is reading the shopper’s mind. Broken down, the process is quite simple:
Determine relevant search results for a customer’s query.
Score those results to present the most relevant results to the user.
In the past, A9 drove keyword ranking for a product largely through the keyword which that sale was driven through. Back then, there would be little attribution for any other keyword associated with the product. For example, if a customer searched “travel pillow,” clicked, and then bought the product, Amazon would attribute the sale to that keyword and give a boost for “travel pillow,” but not necessarily for “neck pillow” or “u-shaped pillow.”
A9 is continually making changes based upon human judgments, programmatic analysis, key business metrics, and performance metrics. This past spring, Amazon implemented a pretty major update to A9, making it so that EVERY keyword in your product’s title at the time of sale is fair game to receive a boost in keyword ranking! See data proving this hypothesis in our previous blog post on the topic.
If all words in your listing, especially those in your title, are taken into consideration during a sale, it’s more important than ever to have an optimized listing!
Optimizing Your Listing to Rank in Amazon’s Search Engine
When it comes down to it, every aspect of your listing should be impeccable. Over the past two and a half years, we’ve launched over 13,000 products and have crafted hundreds of listings, whose combined sales surpass $100 million in sales annually. With each listing we promote, we track multiple keywords, which provides us with a huge amount of data and insight! So, what makes a listing stand out in the eyes of both shoppers and Amazon’s algorithm? A listing that includes a title, bullet points, and a product description that are all keyword-optimized, informative, and concise.
When achieving keyword ranking, sales are king. But, you must properly integrate important keywords to achieve sales, especially in your title. Ranking for keywords is largely dependent on a product’s title. It’s crucial to place as many high-volume, relevant keywords in your title as possible. You’ll see far greater ranking attribution with keywords in the title versus anywhere else in the listing, as Amazon’s algorithm allows you to rank much easier for these keywords. Under normal conditions, it is even likely to outrank top sellers for an important keyword if you’ve included that word in your title and they are missing it!
You also must make sure that you’re indexed for as many keywords as possible, even more obscure ones, if you have the room. We’ve seen where a seller will run a launch for a specific target keyword that they are not indexed for, and then they don’t even show up as a search result.
A simple way to check if you’re indexed for a specific keyword is to search “ASIN keyword,” for example, “B006416DVC travel mug.” If the listing shows up, then it’s indexed. If not, then you need to add that keyword somewhere within your listing. You don’t want to miss out on sales simply due to a lack of keyword research! For example, if the word “women” was not present in your listing, your listing may not show as a result when a shopper searches for “sunglasses for women.”
Unlike Google, Amazon does not provide a keyword tool to help sellers determine valuable keywords for a specific product. Amazon also does not share keyword data with its merchants, making optimization difficult. In order to find relevant keywords for your listing, use a combination of keyword research tools and check out similar products on Amazon and Jet.com. Take a look at the top sellers, and use what is working well as a guide. Spend time doing research and take this step seriously! Without a keyword-optimized listing, your product will be buried in the algorithm. And sadly in that case, you might as well kiss your investment goodbye.
Informative and Concise
An informative, concise listing drives conversions. And once your product is ranking, it’s all about conversions. Your content should be written in a way that convinces potential customers that your product is exactly what they are looking for.
Informative copy paints a picture with words, accurately describing the product’s features and uses. You want to use this space to showcase the benefits of your product. What special features does your product have? What are the benefits to owning your product? What sets your product apart from similar ones? You should have a good understanding of your target customer, so use this as an opportunity to address any initial concerns they may have.
Concise copy helps a shopper quickly understand why your product is a perfect fit. Many shoppers don’t want to spend too much time reading, so it’s important that you get right to the point. While you want to make sure to thoroughly explain your product, you want to make the reading of the content as effortless as possible. And, although you want to use as many keywords as possible, you don’t want to come off as incredibly redundant. It can be a turnoff to buyers.
As our CEO, Casey, puts it, “Truly great listings are able to synergistically marry keywords with sales-inducing language.” And that’s the key, folks: an incredible blend that is sure to take your listing to the next level.
“Quality is the best business plan.” John Lasseter
You can read all of the blog posts, listen to all of the podcasts, travel to all of the conferences, and follow all of the gurus, and you might come out with an okay listing. But, you won’t have hundreds and hundreds of listings, backed up by millions and millions of data points under your belt.
After running thousands and thousands of product launches and building listings that drive over a combined $100 million in annual sales, Viral Launch is able to build the best Amazon product listings in the market. Our copywriters craft each aspect of a listing to optimize rankings in organic search, and these listing-experts use beautiful sales-inducing language to showcase your product, help it stand out from the competition, and convert on-page visitors into buyers. Our optimized listings contain the perfect balance: an unbeatable combination of keywords in a concise and compelling way that makes your product shine!
A Viral Launch Listing Optimization includes a brand analysis, thorough keyword research, ~2,000 characters of backend search terms, and a beautiful, fully-optimized title, about the product, and product details.
Take it from a happy customer: “It’s an excellent value. We could spend weeks doing that and not do it as well. It allows us to delegate and narrow our focus. Excellent service, and we look forward to future business.”
It’s finally here! Depending on who you are and the state of your business, mid-November through December 23rd is either the most thrilling and rewarding time of the year or the most dreaded and stressful. We hope the former rather than the latter is true for you! If it’s not, we are here to help you make it a season of prosperity and growth!
Depending on what you sell and where you’re ranked, you are likely already seeing a slight uptick in sales. The holiday season sales are here, meaning now is the time to take advantage and ride the wave of Amazon holiday sales throughout the season!
Riding the wave of holiday sales is just like riding any wave in the ocean: you have to be on top.
In terms of Amazon ranking, I don’t mean you have to be first click to be on top, but you do need to be ranking well enough for customers to be able to find and purchase your product. If you’re not on top (driving additional sales), then you will find yourself drowning, making it harder to reach the top and drive meaningful sales. If you are on top of the wave, you’ll be able to sit on the wave of organic sales throughout the holiday season, meaning BIG money with less effort if you’re in the right categories.
Why is it harder to catch a wave mid-way through?
Here are some numbers to help illustrate:
Keep in mind, in order to outrank a listing for a particular keyword, you must drive more sales than they are seeing.
Let’s say Listing A is ranking 10th on page 1 for keyword XYZ, and they are seeing 35 sales per day. Listing B is ranking 10th on page 3 also for keyword XYZ where they are seeing 1-2 sales per day largely thanks to sponsored ads. In order for Listing B to rise to the top and catch the wave, it would only have to overcome a per day deficit of ~33 sales per day.
As holiday sales increase, Listing A will be riding the wave of organic sales increases, so in the heart of holiday shopping, Listing A may increase to 90 sales per day. All the while, Listing B will likely only see a minor increase in sales, taking the product from 1-2 sales per day to 5-7 sales per day. That now means, Listing B would have to overcome a sales deficit of ~85 sales per day to reach the surface! That is a lot of money spent on promotional giveaways.
So with that said, NOW is the time to jump on top of the proverbial wave (as in page ranking), so you can ride the tsunami of Amazon holiday sales that is just starting to hit. We want you to have a successful and profitable holiday season, increased page ranking is one of the keys to achieving just that. Good luck!
P.S. Soon we will be posting some very important blogs that bust some major myths in the space that are misleading a lot of sellers regarding keyword ranking and Amazon’s algorithm. With over 1 billion data points, we have an enormous perspective on the space!
Need help Catching and Riding the Wave?
Use coupon: RideTheWave when signing up for a launch to take $50 off! You don’t want to find yourself drowning! The coupon is only live for the next 7 days. I also highly suggest talking with one of our Amazon coaches (which are completely free), to help ensure your success. In my opinion, our coaches are Viral Launch’s most valuable asset/service. These guys have a ton of experience and access to data that can help you achieve success no matter what that looks like. Feel free to shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them anything, literally. They would love to help!
Please feel free to post any questions or comments in the comment section down below! Did this help? Are you on top of the wave? Are you seeing holiday sales? Let’s talk in the comments!
We Updated Our Seller Launchpad! (Seller Viral Launch Dashboard)
In case you have not checked into the Viral Launchpad this week, we have finally updated our seller dashboard to look better, navigate easier, and provide more data such as tracking your product’s keyword ranking throughout the launch for a variety of keywords all for free! The site is now web app based and navigates beautifully! Many more updates coming to that as well.
Let us know what you think!
Need a Pick-Me-Up? We Have A Free Starbucks Gift Card For You!
Today I posted a $100 Starbucks gift card on our Facebook page as a pick me up as I know how demanding preparing for holiday sales can be! I kind of doubt there is any money left on it, but head to our page and try it out. Also, if you like our page, you’ll get to see other posts like free Starbucks right away, and we have more coming to help you get through a successful season. Enjoy! 🙂
“Information is the oil of the 21st Century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” -Peter Sondergaard
Viral Launch was founded as a promotional Amazon product launching service. We built a massive list of discount hungry reviewers, created some software to automate the promotional process, and have been scaling ever since. The experience has been phenomenal.
Achieving Amazon Keyword Ranking
We’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of brands across every major category on Amazon. This has provided us with a tremendous amount of data and experience. It’s that data and experience that allows us to build better tools and services, stay ahead of algorithm shifts, as well as provide expert recommendations and coaching.
Throughout Launch Week we’ve provided discounts on our services that all play a crucial role in helping you build a successful Amazon business. Today we discuss a couple of aspects of the Viral Launch system that can help you achieve success in increasing your listing’s Amazon keyword ranking!
Our All-Knowing Program
As we’ve mentioned before, we track multiple keywords associated with every product that goes through our ranking platform. This has allowed us to create an incredible program, by which we are able to present it with a keyword a client wants to rank for, and it spits back the results of past launches targeting the same keyword. Essentially, our account executives can ask our all-knowing program, “Hey, what will it take to get a product ranking for this keyword?” in which the program spits back suggestions based on past launches. It’s amazing!
The program removes a lot of the guesswork (although our guesswork is generally spot-on), which has led to a lot of successful and satisfied customers! As we continue to build out this program, it will only become better equipped to provide more insights and make your launches even more effective!
Right now, one of the largest benefits to take advantage of is the FREE (for now) access to our account executives. The team has managed seller accounts, they’ve coached sellers, and observed thousands of products and launches. They have effectively, “seen it all” when it comes to the Amazon marketplace and are an immense help to the sellers they work with. They also have access to all the data we’ve generated from our over 9,000 product launches. That is insight only a very small amount of, if any, people in the world have access to.
Account Executives will help you:
Craft launch strategies
Analyze your products and market and provide suggestions accordingly.
Navigate both the Viral Launch & Amazon platforms
Be more successful!
Why do we offer our account executives for free? Because we want you to be successful. We want you to reach new heights whether it’s by using our platform or not. Our team increases your chances of success by offering their expertise when it comes to building a business on Amazon.
If you are interested in learning more specifically about how effective our launching service is and/or how it works. You can checkout a blog post of ours from May where we go a bit more in depth!
Today we have a one-time $50 off coupon for our industry-admired launching service as well as FREE access to our account executives.
To get setup with one of our team members, you can send an email with a brief note to email@example.com!
“I still work hard to know my business. I’m continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I’m always selling. Always.” – Mark Cuban
Over the last two years we’ve launched over 9,500 products and created hundreds of listings. We track multiple keywords for each listing we promote, which provides us with an incredible amount of data and insight! Here are the major keys to understanding how to optimize your listing for optimal success.
Drive Sales By Ranking For Everything
As we mentioned on a blog post (Product Launches More Effective Than Ever),Amazon’s A9 algorithm is highly (and usually exclusively) favoring the keywords contained in your listing. Sales are still king to achieving keyword ranking, but you must have the relevant keywords within your listing in order to achieve ranking for them.
There have been a number of instances in which a seller launching a product through our system, comes to us because they are not seeing their targeted keyword increasing in the search rankings. When we investigate, we discover they didn’t have one of the targeted keywords anywhere in their listing.
That sounds like a no brainer, but when you consider the fact that there are many possible search terms possibly related to your product, hitting each one can be a daunting task. Amazon is cracking down on listings not adhering to character limit specifications, making it even more difficult to hit all those possible search terms.
For example, if you don’t have the keyword “best” in your listing (preferably your title), then your listing may not show up when potential customers search “best grill gloves”, or “best gloves for grilling”, etc..
Word forms, tense, and pluralization all play a factor in how your product performs in search.
Placement also plays a factor. With that said, it is worth mentioning that our data, has shown a decrease in the degree to which Amazon weights the keyword placement.
The upside to the complexities of building an Amazon listing is that if your listing is well optimized, promotions and/or organic sales can help you rank for an insane number of keywords.
Here is an example of a launch we ran for a customer in the mid-high competition supplement market targeting just one keyword. Because his listing was well optimized, you can see he was able to achieve keyword ranking for 10 competitive keywords!
If your listing is not well optimized, you’re missing out on the opportunity of ranking for many more keywords! That means you are also missing out on sales!
Optimize Content For Conversions
Once your product is ranking in search and customers are clicking on it, you have to be able to convince them to buy! What is the point in ranking if you are not able to drive sales?
Truly great listings are able to synergistically marry keywords with sales inducing language.
Your content has to be well poised to convince the potential customer that your product is exactly what they are wanting to buy.
After writing hundreds of listings, we’ve developed a series of best practices that help us create the best listings on Amazon. In our listing optimizations, not only do we provide the keyword driven and sales inducing content, but our branding expert also conducts a product presentation analysis that offers tremendous insight into how customers perceive your product and brand from an outsider’s perspective.
As Amazon becomes more and more competitive, you HAVE to do everything extremely well in order to compete let alone survive. We want you to prosper! So we’ve put together an extremely talented team that can help you go above and beyond your competitors and take your sales to a new level!
We would love to help improve your sales by increasing your listing’s potential keyword exposure and sellability, so we have a 50% off discount, but only for the next 24 hours!