The Amazon marketplace is becoming more competitive than ever. Over 300,000 new Amazon sellers joined the marketplace last year, and third-party sellers are having to work harder and smarter to ensure their products stand out from the crowd. Gone are the days when you could list your product and it would simply just sell—now, sellers need to engage a variety of marketing tactics to ensure their product stays visible in the marketplace and turn clicks into sales.
There are a few marketing basics every seller should be using that are designed to increase traffic and conversion rates. In this blog post, I’ll cover the top five tactics Amazon sellers can use to bring in more traffic and sales.
1. Keyword research and copy
Before your page can be found by a shopper on Amazon, it needs to be indexed for the keywords that shoppers are using and that are related to your product. Indexing means that Amazon knows your product is related to a specific search term or keyword. For example, if someone searches “blue suede shoes” on Amazon, its search engine then looks up its index of all pages using that keyword in order to decide which pages to show in search results. There are many more factors that go into this search algorithm, including conversion and sales history, but it starts with the keywords on your item’s page.
Before you even create copy for your product page, you need to do research. What search terms do customers use to find products like yours? The best way to start this is to create a short list of phrases you would use to describe your product: “blue suede shoes,” “mens blue shoes”, “men’s suede shoes”, etc. Keep the phrases relevant to the product.
The next step is to brainstorm more variations of the phrases you came up with. You can do that with third-party tools, or even just use Amazon’s search bar: start typing your phrase and Amazon will suggest a list of 5–8 related keywords.
With your list of keywords in hand, you can now write your copy. Do not, however, keyword stuff the title or bullets. This just confuses the customer and can drive down your conversion rate, which won’t help you place in search results. Keep the copy focused on what the product is, what problems it solves, and why it is unique. Use your keywords in a natural way throughout the copy. If you don’t fit them all into your title and bullets, enter them into your backend search term field.
2. Image optimization and EBC
Product pages are more than just copy; customers rely heavily on the product images when making a purchase decision. Good images are the best way to mimic that “in-store” experience. Since a customer can’t pick up and handle your product, you need to provide high-quality images that will give the customer confidence in purchasing your product.
Amazon does require that the first image be of the product only on a white background. Secondary images, however, can go beyond that. You should be showing your product at different angles, closeups of details, and even providing infographics that explain the features and benefits of the product.
Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) is another great way to really showcase your product. It replaces the description on the product page and gives you the chance to tell your brand story and give a more visual explanation of what makes your product unique. We’ve seen conversion rates go up several points when implementing well-designed EBC and product images, so don’t skimp on this.
3. Sponsored product Ads
Sponsored product ads are now a staple of any Amazon marketing strategy. If you are not running ads, you’re losing out on increased visibility and revenue. Almost all search results pages on Amazon now show anywhere from 1–3 advertisements before showing organic search results. Sponsored product ads also show up on product pages in a carousel just below the fold.
We recommend setting up both automatic and manual campaigns for each of your products. The automatic campaign casts a wider net and can help find search terms you may not have thought of, while the manual campaign allows you to target specific keywords with specific bids.
After setting up your campaigns, they will need weekly optimization. Decide what your campaigns goals are (product awareness, product launch, breakeven, profitability, etc), review your ad metrics weekly, and adjust bids based on keyword performance. You can also pull search term reports and find new search terms Amazon has generated and add those back into your manual campaigns.
4. Sponsored brand ads
Formerly known as Headline Search ads, these are only available to sellers and products on Amazon’s Brand Registry. These ads can be quite visible, with placement at the top of search results as well as on the sidebar and bottom of page. They are more customizable than SP ads and can include your brand logo, a short piece of copy, and three products. Ads can be directed to a curated list of products or one of the pages in your Storefront.
When these ads are shown at the top of the search results page, click-through rates can be quite high, so you need to make sure you have a tightly targeted audience. Long lists of only semi-relevant keywords are not going to work well with these ads. You need a specific set of keywords that match your ad copy and are relevant to your product and target market. We highly recommend doing A/B testing to find a strategy that works best for your product.
5. Off-Amazon marketing
Both Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand ads on Amazon are becoming more competitive and expensive, and many Amazon sellers are turning to off-Amazon marketing channels to drive additional traffic. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, YouTube, and more can be great ways to expand your reach and create more brand awareness for your product. And, as an added bonus, you can drive traffic from those ads to landing pages where you can capture customer email addresses and start building your own customer email list for more marketing opportunities.
As you set up outside marketing campaigns, be aware that we are still limited in how we can track the success of those campaigns, specifically what happened after the customer clicked the ad. Amazon is working on tools to help with this, and some are now found in Storefront, allowing you to see what percentage of your traffic came from which sources.
Using the above tactics will help your product become more visible on Amazon and increase your total sales. To stay competitive on Amazon’s crowded marketplace, third-party sellers need to continue to explore every opportunity to gain visibility, increase conversions, and set themselves apart from the crowd. Sellers who do this will continue to come out on top as more and more competition continues to enter the marketplace.