Rank = The Holy Grail For Us Amazon Sellers. A page 1 ranking can determine whether we hit selling 30+ units a day or a measly 1-5 units a day. If we-can-just-crack-this-code; we'd be rich. Good news for you: We have cracked this code.
Now it's up to you to hustle your butt off and get there. We list 7 rules, and all 7 are important to perfect in order to rank high but there are essentially two rules that are kings; I call them Ultimate Golden Rule #1 and #2. Also keep in mind another important rule not listed, but it's the absolute root reason for all of this; always ask yourself "What does Amazon want and why?".
That's an amazing question with amazing results in mindset. You'll see the best SEO'ers in the world nowadays have finally figured it out with Google. Give Google what it wants. Google wants to show their customers the best content. And now SEO'ers are trying to make the best content and help out what Google's whole and sole purpose is instead of trying to game the system. Amazon is not different. Anyways; with that said, without further a do, How To Rank Amazon Products To Top Of Search Results....
1. Ultimate Golden Rule #1: Don't Sell Crappy Products
Come close and let me tell you a secret about why some of the most successful sellers are the most successful. Come closer... because they don't sell crap quality items and add real value to the world. Make sure what you sell or planning to sell is in the tier of higher quality that is available on the market. Customers are Amazon's greatest assets. Not only that they spend billions to Amazon every year, but because customers are the best algorithm in filtering out the best products for best prices.
Customers control the market which control everything on Amazon. Customers know how to smell poop disguised as products, and Amazon's job is to remove the poop. Don't settle for buying wholesale the $1.40/unit versus the $2.4/unit from suppliers (from China for the most part) just to make a mere $1.00 in profit. You may think "these are the same thing, one is just trying to jack prices up, I'm no dummy" (and that may be the case on Aliexpress full of "retailers") but (on Alibaba and other legitimate suppliers from factories) usually the two items are not the same exact and offer big differences in quality. These is why it's with the upmost importance to always order samples from several different suppliers when sourcing a new item. (more on this in a later blog post).
With a crap product, you're fighting an uphill battle that is all bad. And that extra $1.00 you make per unit selling the cheap stuff is actually going to cost you much more than that at the end of the day; not only financially but also with your time. Where you could be spending it sourcing new products to sell or increasing rank on your others. If you are selling a crappy product, none of these other ranking factors are going to work for you. Why? Because you'll be constantly fighting a battle of bad reviews, refunds, customer complaints to Amazon, suspended listings, etc.
You can paint poop and sell it, but its still poop and it will bite you over and over again until you quit. Don't be lazy, find a good product you can be proud of; preferably something you passionately use yourself.
2. Ultimate Golden Rule #2: More Sales
Yes, More Volume of Sales will mean your product will sit higher than the others. Let's imagine this for a second: you are at a job where you can put either item #1 or item #2 on the front middle shelf and another on the lower shelf. And you get paid by total sales of both items. Item #1 (for some reasons unknown to you) sells way way better than item #2. Which item are you putting on the front middle shelf? Easy answer: Item #1. Because you know you can get yourself the biggest paycheck by maximizing more visibility to item #1 that for some reason sells way more.
Welp... that's exactly how Amazon's product search engine works and in determining what product ranks where. Amazon wants to squeeze out the most bang for their buck and who could blame them. Many obsess over Sales Rank (Amazon's term for volume of sales). I like to only use Sales Rank as a general health indicator (like I did with Google's Page Rank, which is kind of now defunct in the SEO world). I think following Sales Rank too hard is a flawed way of thinking. Sales Rank doesn't always correlate to keywords used in searches, it only keeps sales volume of 'category'.
Many times you will see products ranked #1 but their Sales Rank is no where near those sitting at #4 thru #8. And many times, you'll see products with the orange #1 Best Seller tag sitting in #4 thru #8 spots. Now that I explained why More Sales is so important; I now am going to claim: More Sales Is A Mindset and not just a end goal. The reason I say this is because you have to think long-term here. With long-term thinking, you have to realize that you can't just depend on Amazon customers already browsing to buy your product alone.
If you can get traffic from outside sources to your listing, then your rate of sales will be greater than your top ranking competitors and you'll eventually catch and pass them. Some ideas (and more on this in particular in a later topic):
- A blog on your product with some really good content that drives traffic back to your listing
- Facebook PPC, Amazon PPC, Google PPC
- Hitting forums and communities like Reddit and gaining a following
- Getting features on blogs within your industry
- Getting affiliate marketers who are already on Amazon and your niche to sell your product too
- And much more…
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3. More Product Reviews
This is actually high enough in importance to be an Ultimate Golden Rule, but just shy of it because it's less strategy/mindset and more tactical in my opinion. First things first though, I am talking about product reviews and not seller feedback. These are reviews on your product page listing and not on your seller profile (which is why I made my own Amazon feedback software app public to help people get more positive product reviews). Anyways enough of my own plug; pretty much on Amazon it goes like this:
- More reviews = higher rankings + more clicks from buyers in search results
- Higher rankings + more clicks from buyers in search results = More orders and sales
- More orders and sales = More opportunity to get more reviews
- And repeat.
You see how that went? It's a loop where the big fish get bigger and smaller fish stay small. Want to absolutely dominate, rank top 3, and kill it in sales? Have 50-100 more reviews than your leading competitor. So if I am selling selfie sticks and the leading product has 250 product reviews.. I must have at least 300 product reviews to stake my claim in that niche. Not saying you wouldn't sell with a lot less, but the ultimately goal would be to get to 300+. But selfie sticks is a hyper competitive market on Amazon, so let's say body pillows.
So if the leading body pillow has like 115 product reviews.. getting to 150+ reviews, you could easily dominate that market. However, it's very hard to catch up quickly in reviews because at the same time you are building, they are building too. And most likely at a faster pace than you because they got a head start and their ability to run only gets faster as they get bigger.
With that said; that's why I launched Feedbackz.
4. Sell Your Inventory With 'Fulfilled By Amazon'
This is a no-brainer but make sure whatever you sell is using Amazon's Fulfillment method and not merchant fulfilled. Time and time again; Prime products will always, always outrank any merchant fulfilled product. The only times I've seen merchant fulfilled products outrank Prime ones are:
- They are extremely low priced like $1-2 that no one can compete with them. (more on some secret tactics you can do with this in later post).
- And/or they have 500+ product reviews and tons of social proof in the way of questions/answers
But if you want to get an automatic leg up, make sure you go via FBA. And in some niches, doing FBA is the standard to even get to page 3.
5. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
One of the easiest ways to rank at least page 3 (in most niches) is to get your keywords into the title and 'search terms'. Why is this so easy? Because (up until now) a lot of sellers didn't know or still don't know they should be doing this and have their listings unoptimized for it. With the new rush of more tech savvy sellers (especially those from the internet marketing world); they know how to research which keywords to target and include inside the product listing.
Pretty much, you can one up most products to a page 3 listing merely by that factor. Although things will definitely get harder in the next year for this tactic. I compare it an early Google, when you could get a boost by keyword stuffing your content and meta tags. Soon, however, Amazon's search functionality and algorithm will become smarter and smarter just as Google has. Also; keep in mind:
- Make your title natural, merge your keywords nicely into something that would want to make buyers click on your product from the search results
- No need for commas when putting in keywords into your 5 'Search Terms' boxes.
- Use tools like: MerchantWords, Google keyword planner, and Amazon's own instant fill-in search drop down to get a good general direction on keywords.
- Use those tools for the time being, run an Amazon PPC campaign, then find out where the real high volume keywords are at. (more on this and awesome tactics in a later post)
I could go on quite a bit on this topic about how to go about finding the highest volume keywords, comparing competition, where to place them in your title, platinum keywords, etc. etc. but I will leave that for it's own blog post coming later.
6. High Conversions Product Listings
In order to win long-term sales, you need to have a high converting product listing. I could (and am in yet another later blog post) go on for days and days on optimizing your product listing for conversions but in general conversion is a total of a combination of killing it in:
- Awesome and trustable brand name/seller name
- Product title
- Product pictures
- Product description (describing benefits in combination with features)
- Product above fold bullet points
- Reassurance of product specifications
- Addressing concerns
- And just overall, making your product listing ooz'ing with value proposition a buyer will clearly choose to order yours.
That's a lot right there.. I'm actually excited about writing more in-depth on these things. For example: Making An Awesome Brand/Seller Name; how many times have you personally choose one product over another because it sounded more legit or just better?
7. Lower Prices
I actually hate to list this apart of the 7 factors but it's reality. It's not always a price race war to the bottom (often is) but your product must fall within a reasonable range. This range is determined by Amazon's customers on what they feel like the value is and what they are willing to spend on it. Generally speaking; I normally price my products anywhere from $5-10 higher than my competitors or $1-5 lower/higher than a clear leader in that niche. But that leading product must also present really high value in quality. For instance; if I was selling men's coats and I saw other private labels trying to sell theirs cheap at $20 (that in my mind would bring up quality issues with the jacket cause it's so cheap).. I would price mine at $35. But then let's say a well known brand known for it's quality like Northface is selling theirs at $45.. I'd sell mine for around $40. By the way, let me know if you do see a Northface jacket going for $45 lol. If it's not fake; that's a crazy good deal.
As always; I hope this gave you some AH HA moments and you can take some of this and turn it into actionable steps that make a huge impact on your Amazon business. If you think my post was valuable, imagine how valuable my apps like Feedbackz would be? Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments, I'll chat back with every single one.