On September 27, 2016, we conducted an action-packed seminar with 3 Amazon experts who shared their perspectives on how Amazon sellers can level up their sales by improving every aspect of the Amazon listing.
Attending this seminar was:
- Greg Mercer: Founder of Jungle Scout, Jump Send & Fetcher
- Pat Petriello: Head of Marketplace Strategy @ CPC Strategy
- Yours truly – Andrew Browne: Co-Founder of Splitly
This seminar was moderated by Gen Furukawa: Marketing @ Jungle Scout.
Here’s the video if you’d like to watch or listen to the full thing.
Amazon Listing Optimization By The Experts
In this article, we will distill and discuss the main takeaways from this seminar. Hopefully you will take away some actionable insights. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Use All Characters and Pictures Amazon Allows
In this part of the live seminar, I discuss some of the data that have collected from Splitly. The main takeaway is that sellers who maximize everything Amazon allows them to have a decisive advantage.
By ‘maximize’, we mean using all the characters or pictures Amazon allows.
You should optimize your listing with the following:
- Bullet points
- Title (250 characters, but some catagories are restricted to less.)
Below is Jungle Scout’s collaborative launch product, Jungle Stix. You can see this page has been optimized, and it also has several images.
If you are not using all the character space Amazon allows, or you are not using up your picture allowance, then your listing is not fully optimized.
Here’s some interesting charts from my slides showing the correlation between conversions and optimization of different elements of a product page. These statistics came from analysing Splitly user’s results.
Number of features and title length:
Number of images and description length:
You can see that all of these things really do matter when it comes to making more sales.
Keyword Testing Should Be Done Early and Often
Changes to your main keywords can affect your rankings right away. Therefore, I’d recommend testing your keywords, and then doing a manual search on the keywords you are testing to see your rank. You can then take those keywords out of your listing and search again to see if you notice a difference.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend using a keyword tracking tool as they usually take time to update. The most efficient and effective way to do this is to simply do a manual search.
You should also be testing your keywords early, as keywords seem to become less sensitive to change over time. Also, titles become harder to change over time, so if you are going to change your keywords it is better to do it in the beginning of your launch.
Keyword Best Practices
Keywords are vitally important to your Amazon private label success. If you don’t have good keywords, your product won’t be found by your customers.
So what are some of my best keyword practices?
- You should always be testing your keywords and their positions. Don’t just trust what you read or hear. Always test and verify.
- Feel free to stuff the search term field. This will not dilute any one keyword, and it will help you expand the amount of keywords you are discoverable for.
- Make sure your keywords are relevant to your product. Putting in a keyword just because it is a “hot” search term won’t do you any good if it is not relevant to your product.
- There is no penalty for duplicating some of your keywords, so you can feel free to put in duplicate keywords. However, this simply means you have less room for more keywords.
- Search term fields are as effective as bullet/features, which means you don’t necessarily have to keyword stuff you listings. Rather, you can do it in the search term field.
- Lastly, remember the order of your keywords doesn’t matter.
Most Impactful Splitly AB Tests Are Price and Image Tests
In this section, I explained that the two most impactful type of tests so far done with Splitly are price tests and main image tests.
With price tests, you may lower your price which will cause an increase in sales. However, this will also cause a decrease in profit. Therefore, you will want to test several price points to find an optimal price point that will not only increase sales, but also increase your overall profit as well.
Main image tests are extremely important because product images are usually highly subjective, meaning there is no way of telling which picture is actually better.
Testing your main product image will help you decide which is better by seeing which is driving more traffic and sales.
Three Split Test Steps to Fully Optimize Your Listings
To give you some examples, I then go through three split tests that will help you fully optimize your listings. These are the tests that will bring you some good results!
1. Test your price
When testing your price, use Weber’s law.
Weber’s law states,
“the just noticeable difference between two stimuli is directly proportional to the magnitude of the stimuli.”
Meaning, a small change is not noticed by most people. If you plan on testing your price, you may want to consider starting with around 10%. This difference is typically not noticed by customers and may not lead to a drastic drop in sales.
After your first test, find the winner of this test, then choose another price closer to the winner and then test this price against the previous winner. Continue to do this until you narrow down one price that is optimal.
2. Test your click through rate
Test your main product image and your keywords to see which pictures and keywords increase your impressions. This will effectively bring more buyers to your listings.
3. Test for conversions
Now that you have more impressions from step 2, you are ready to increase conversions. In order to increase conversions, test your main image along with your secondary images. Also test your sales copy including your title, features, and description.
Four Awesome Amazon Hacks
In this section, Greg goes through four Amazon hacks every Amazon seller should utilize.
1. Include Your Main Keywords in Your Canonical URL
You can include your main keywords in your canonical URL, which may have an impact in your Amazon and Google rankings.
When creating your listing, only put your main keywords in the backend. Do not put your brand name or non main keywords in the backend yet. Click save and finish, then wait a few days to see if the URL includes your keywords. If it does, you can edit your listings to include brand name and other information.
2. Get the “Best Seller” Badge
The best seller badge will help increase your impressions and conversions.In order to get this, you want to place your item in the least competitive relevant subcategory.
Once it is in the least competitive subcategory, you will be able to get this badge easily.
In order to find the least competitive subcategory, go to several subcategories that relate to your product and find the number one best selling item in those sub-categories.
Look for the BSR of that product in the parent category. Do this for several subcategories and then find the one with the worst BSR in the parent category.
This will be the least competitive subcategory. Once you found the least competitive subcategory, you can request Amazon to move you to this category.
Please note, however, that Amazon no longer allows you to be in multiple subcategories, so please make sure to pick your subcategory wisely.
3. Confirm Keywords Your Product Is Ranking for
It’s sometimes hard to figure out which keywords you are ranking for and which keywords you are not ranking for.
However, Greg notes that if you type your ASIN and your keyword into the Amazon search box, it will tell you if you are ranking for that keyword.
If Amazon shows you a result, that means you are ranking for that keyword. If Amazon shows you “0 results”, that means you are not ranking for that keyword.
If you are not ranking for that keyword check your listing to make sure it contains that keyword. If it does, try switching its position and playing around with the order. You could also try calling seller central to draw attention to this problem.
4. Get Quality Video and Image Reviews (Update!)
Product reviews have always been considered really important especially when you are launching your product. When we held this Webinar, the recent change Amazon made to their Terms of Service regarding incentivized reviews had not been made.
You can no longer ask for reviews or offer incentives in return for reviews.
However, Greg still made some excellent points that are still valid about adding value, building a rapport with the customer and providing a great customer experience. All of these things greatly increase the chances of your customers leaving you organic positive reviews. Additionally, you want to ensure you are avoiding any negative reviews by being communicative with your customers.
For further reading, Greg recently published an insightful post on the Jungle Scout blog about the fallout and silver linings of Amazon killing incentivized reviews, including an insight into his new product launch strategy.
Your Listing Should Be Optimized For Two Audiences – Amazon A9 and Your Buyers
In this section of the seminar Pat explains that in order to increase sales, you need to please two audiences- the Amazon A9 algorithm, which will make sure you are discoverable, and your potential buyers, who will be purchasing your product.
In order to please A9, you have to make sure you are including relevant search terms in your listings. This will help A9 make you more discoverable to potential buyers. The more you are discoverable to potential buyers, the more likely you will make sales.
You then need to work on your sales copy and images to increase conversions. The more you increase conversions, the more A9 will equate your listing successfully with the search term your buyers used to find your product.
The more A9 equates your listing with that keyword, the more discoverable you will become, and the more discoverable you become, again, the more sales you will make. This becomes a positive feedback loop.
Therefore, you should concentrate on optimizing your discoverability and buyability.
All three presenters dropped a ton of knowledge bombs, which can be summarised as follows:
- Maximize all areas in your listings
- Keywords should be tested early and often
- Effects of keywords can be seen right away
- The most effective Split testing is price and main image tests
- Test price, impressions and conversions in that order
- Include your main keywords in your URL by using your main keywords first while setting up the backend of your listing
- Get the best seller badge by putting your product in the least competitive subcategory
- Confirm keywords you are ranking for by searching that keyword and your product ASIN
- Get video and picture reviews in the beginning so they are more visible
- Optimize your listings for both the Amazon algorithm and for your customers
That’s all from this round-up. Don’t forget you can watch the full video.
Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
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