Ranking high on Amazon search is crucial for a successful e-commerce business.
But how do you rank higher on Amazon in today’s world when the cheating methods that once worked don’t work anymore due to A10 algorithm update? And when the competition is more vivid than ever?
Maybe you can’t directly increase your ranking overnight, but you can improve the factors that determine the ranking position. Factors like the number of sales and overall feedback are in your power to influence.
So let’s see how to generate more sales.
How to rank higher on Amazon search
#1 Perfectly optimized product listings listings
The first and the most important step for having a high ranking for your products on Amazon search is completely optimizing your product listings.
If you didn’t optimize yet, make sure you do this first, and then turn to other additional methods to improve ranking.
High ranking Amazon listings have, as a guideline:
- You have a maximum of 250 characters, so make sure you make the best out of them by including details about your product and by including the main keywords without stuffing
- Suggested structure is : Product Brand + Collection + Material + Color/Size + Quantity
- Minimum 1000 x 500 px so the zoom feature works
- White background
- The product must take at least 85% of the image area
Concise bullet points
- You have up to 5 lines, with up to 100 characters each
- Make sure to include all key product features
- The selling price + shipping fees
- Ideally, you’ll have a lower price than your competitors and still make a profit
- Find the most search queries used by customers searching for your product
- Use the keywords in the title, bullet points, and description
#2 Stimulate customer reviews
Reviews are one of the main factors for higher ranking in search results so it’s crucial to have positive reviews. It makes sense for reviews to have a great importance over ranking giving that users spend lots of time reading through them so they can make their mind about the purchase.
Aren’t you more inclined to buy a product if other customers were satisfied with its functionality? The more real-life information you have about a product, the greater chances for you to buy. That’s also how Amazon thinks.
But how do you get more customers to leave a feedback behind after the purchase was made?
There was a fruitful method Amazon sellers used to turn to and improve their Amazon reviewer ranking. It was way easier to get reviews before Amazon’s update to the A10 algorithm. Merchants would’ve sell products with a discount or even gave users free products in return for customer reviews. These incentivized reviews were perfectly fine as long as they disclosed the fact. Now, Amazon banned this technique, so reviews are not so easy to get anymore without a bit of effort.
One way to convince customers to get back with a review is via emails.
You are allowed to send follow up emails to customers, even though you have to keep in mind that there are some guidelines you need to follow
- You can’t send links to other websites
- You can’t send promotional or marketing emails
- You can’t request positive feedback
Still, you can send emails requesting feedback.
The best way to deal with this is to send an email during the order confirmation and wait for a couple of weeks before following up with another email. Don’t start sending tons of emails and don’t be spammy in the content because it may quickly backfire leaving you with lots of negative reviews instead.
Early review program
Another way for new sellers who didn’t get many reviews yet is to acquire reviews through the early review program. Customers participating in the program who bought a product may be asked to write a review in exchange for a small reward like a $1-$3 Amazon Gift Card. You, as a seller, can select which products to take part of this program, but you don’t have any influence on who are the customers giving reviews. Reviewers are randomly selected by Amazon from the customers who purchased the product.
The reviews you get can be both positive or negative, depending on the customer’s experience. The whole point of the program is to generate authentic reviews for products that have few reviews to help customers make better buying decisions.
#3 Lightning Deal
Lightning Deals are the promotional offers featured on the Amazon Deals page. You can submit a product for the Lightning Deal so you will have it featured for a couple of hours which will increase your sales rate and, automatically, will improve Amazon ranking for your products.
In order for a submission to be approved, it has to follow certain criteria like:
- Product star rating: In order to promote only the best products, Amazon requires a minimum of rating for the products. Low ratings are not usually approved.
- Variation availability: Usually, approved products have at least 80% variations (size, color, style). In the process of submitting you may be informed if more variants are required.
- To be eligible: Products that are not eligible for Lightning Deal are alcohol, e-cigarettes, adult products, medical devices and medicine, and baby formula.
One more thing that’s vital is the discount you offer on the product. The goal of the Deals’ page is to provide customers with great deals. If your price is not compelling enough, it will get your submission rejected.
#4 Amazon Sponsored Products
Running PPC campaigns often boosts organic ranking. Through Amazon Sponsored Products you will generate more sales, gain more reviews and automatically increase Amazon product ranking.
The paid search results are displayed mixed in with the organic ones in the results page, or they can appear in the right column or below the organic results.
Creating campaigns is pretty straightforward on Amazon, being probably the easiest to use paid advertising platform. You can either generate an automatic campaign, or you can do it manually.
I suggest that your first campaign be automatic. This means that Amazon will automatically pull the keywords related to your product which it predicts to have the greatest impact. Run the campaign for a couple of weeks until you have enough data to draw some conclusions. After that, see which keywords generated the best results and use them in a manually set up campaign.
You can also run two campaigns in parallel, one automatic and one manual, if you have some keywords in mind that you think will be a hit.
#5 Winning the Buy Box
Having your products show up in the Buy Box is crucial for successfully selling on Amazon. It increases your earning potential dramatically.
If my words don’t convince how important this is, have trust in numbers:
80% of Amazon sales are made through the Buy Box and for mobile purchases the percentage increases.
In order to be eligible to compete for the Buy Box, you need to meet certain criteria:
- Having a professional seller account (Pro-Merchant Account)
- Your status can be checked in Amazon Seller Central
- The items are not used, although, there is the Buy Used Box for used items
- You have items in stock
Even if you don’t win the Buy Box immediately, you should be one of the sellers suggested under the Buy Box in the “Other Sellers on Amazon” section.
What metrics are taken into consideration for the Buy Box?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): With Amazon encouraging every seller to use the FBA program, being an FBA seller has a huge impact on the overall rankings. Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM) will never take over FBA, as it would require every metric at a high score and an extremely low price.
Fast shipping: Shipping time matters a lot for the Buy Box as Amazon likes its customers to be entirely satisfied with their purchases’ journey. The better the shipping system, the higher chances to win the Buy Box. There are two metrics to measure shipping performance:
- ODR (Order Defect Rate) refers to the orders that have been canceled, delayed, not properly shipped.
- POP (Perfect Order Percentage) outlines how many orders were shipped without any trouble.
Seller Rating: Having a rating percentage of at least 90% is fundamental. If your rating is under 90% it’s unlikely for you to win the Buy Box. But if you have at least 90%, you can take over the sellers with 100% rating if your other metrics perform better than your competitors’.
Pricing: Having a lower price than your competitors can (almost) guarantee the Buy Box. If all your metrics score over your competitors’, then you may sell at a slightly higher price. But if your metrics are not that great, then you need to lower the price for a chance to win the Buy Box.
The pricing strategy is greatly used by most Buy Box winners, but it needs to be employed carefully.
First, you need to evaluate the price you pay to your supplier, shipping fees, and Amazon’s fees in order to figure out where you’re standing. Lowering your price will still let you with a profit in hand? If so, you can start competing. But if by lowering your price you start bleeding money, it isn’t such a great deal, is it?
Secondly, don’t rely only on this strategy. Sometimes war prices emerge because everybody is fighting for the spotlight and it leaves all the sellers of a specific product with low profit or with no profit at all.
#6 Vendor Power Coupons
If you go to the Today’s Deals page you can see the link to the coupons page above the deals list.
Following that link will get you to the coupons page where you can find discounts for products from all sorts of categories.
You can make great use of the coupons especially if you are a new seller. Coupons will help you generate more sales and get more feedback.
How can you use coupons to improve product ranking?
- Promote your coupons: If you are a beginner on Amazon and didn’t collect many reviews yet, ranking on the coupons’ page is a way easier technique to generate more sales. Ranking on the coupons’ page is like trying to win the Buy Box, you need a better deal than other sellers.
- Promote VPCs on deals sites: If you conduct a search on Google you will find hundreds of websites promoting product deals to users. You can submit your VPCs there to get outside traffic and boost your sales. For this strategy to work, your deals need to be great, not just a couple of cents cut off. Otherwise, your deal won’t be accepted for promotion on the sites.
- Give VPCs in return for reviews: You can give out coupons to your friends and family and have them buy directly from your Amazon lists, then leave a review and rating. This is a great tactic to win some “Verified Purchase” reviews.
Tip: In the beginning, you can drop your price down to the total costs you pay for the unit. This won’t leave you with any profit, but you won’t have money to lose either. This way you will have an amazing deal people will fight for and you will get lots of reviews and ratings ranking your products higher in Amazon search.
#7 ASIN piggybacking
ASIN piggybacking means finding the best selling products and start selling them for yourself at a lower price.
If you apply this strategy properly and you don’t lie about what you’re selling, you can get yourself into an extremely profitable business with little effort.
What are the steps to piggyback products on Amazon?
- Find a product that is popular and is guaranteed to generate lots of sales. Make sure it’s not a unique product like handmade stuff.
- Get the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) from the Product Details section
- Find the manufacturer and see how much will it cost wholesale and what is the total cost including shipping fees and any other expenses.
- If you sell the product at $0.01 less than the Buy Box winner would you still have a profit? If so, you have a great deal right there.
This strategy can turn out to be really successful as long as you don’t try to sell a remake of a product using the original’s product ASIN.
#8 External traffic
A great way to increase your Amazon product ranking is by generating more sales through external traffic.
One thing though, don’t rush into investing time and money on outside sources until you have developed a strong foundation on Amazon itself.
In the beginning, all your resources should be focused towards getting the best you can from Amazon customers and building a steady income from Amazon. Are your products’ listings perfectly optimized? Do you have a decent amount of reviews? Are your sales consistent? Only after the answer to all these questions is “yes”, you can move forward to drive additional traffic from outside sources.
So where can you bring traffic from?
Post to deal sites
Like I said about coupons, if you have discounts or promotions going on, deal sites are great opportunities to catch prospects’ attention.
Contest and Giveaways
What easiest way to promote your products if not by having other people doing it for you?
Here are some examples of contests and giveaways you can use on social media to trigger users interest:
“Add the link to my Amazon listing on your Instagram bio and tag me in a post using @yourusername for a chance to win a free product.”
“Subscribe to my YouTube Channel where I’ll be giving away free products this week to 5 lucky subscribers.”
Build your email list
Building an email list is one of the main strategies for marketing in general, and it can be a powerful tactic for selling on Amazon, too.
You can use pop-ups on your website to grow your email list.
“Enter your email below and get an instant 50% off any product.” is a great example of a message which will make people subscribe to your email list.
You can also start out by buying a customer list from a platform like SalesForce. This is not ideal, as the people on the purchased list know nothing about you and it’s a great chance they will mark your emails as spam.
You can create connections with affiliate marketers to drive more sales to your products.
An amazing way to do this is to get in touch with vloggers who operate in a niche related to your product. They can instruct their subscribers to click the link in the description which will take users to your Amazon listing. In return, the vloggers will get a percent from each sale generated through the link in their video.
Look out for people who make reviews on products related to your niche. They are continuously looking for products to review.
They can be either bloggers or vloggers. Send them a free product to try it out and have them write or record a review of it. In return, you can give them a discount code their subscribers can use for purchasing your product. Make sure to use an “original” link for the discount so you can track the sales from this source for analyzing how the giveaway went.
Leveraging social media can be a useful asset for increasing Amazon sales and ranking. Depending on the nature of the products you sell, you can turn to different types of content.
Images: For marketing images, the best platforms to do so are Instagram and Pinterest. Pinterest is an amazing platform for selling products through visually pleasant images. You can take nice pictures of your products and pin them on boards along with curated content. For a better reach, join Pinterest group boards and pin in front of a bigger audience. The best thing about Pinterest is that the content is evergreen, unlike other platforms like Twitter or Facebook where the lifespan of posts is between 5 and 80 minutes.
Videos: You can make videos showing people how to use your product, its benefits and such. Reviews are a great way to get people make a decision about purchasing a product. You can market videos on YouTube or Facebook. If the products you sell have teens as the target market, Snapchat is where they can be found.
LinkedIn posts: If your niche revolves around professional industries you can write useful articles on LinkedIn, and even message possible prospects there.
Having an e-commerce business won’t get too far if you’re not using tools to help with automation. This goes to Amazon too.
So what are the best tools to use for Amazon?
In order to rank your products, you have to know what keywords to rank them for. So how can you find the best keywords without the common tools used for Google optimization?
You can always do it manually by typing the root keyword in the search bar on Amazon then start adding all alphabet’s letters one by one. For this, you need patience and time.
Luckily, there are tools online which can do the job for you, like Amazon Keyword Tool. It’s free to use and it gives you long tail keywords based on Amazon suggestions.
A premium tool used by most Amazon sellers is MerchantWords. If you are serious about your business and have some money to invest, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a tool like this. It generates lots of suggestions and also gives you an estimate monthly searches of a certain search query. The data is not directly pulled from Amazon’s database, it is actually pulling data from search engines, identifies the queries on Amazon, and generates data based on an algorithm.
Won the Buy Box? Amazing news. Now how are you making sure it stays that way?
In order to keep your ranking, it’s crucial to keep your prices competitive. If you have more products, imagine continuously checking if your competitors changed their pricing and manually update each of them every time. It’s almost impossible to endlessly keep track of what’s going on.
There’s no way to stay at the top if you don’t invest in an Amazon product ranking tool that does all the hard work for you.
Sellery is one of the best automation tools for repricing. It tracks your competitors in real-time and reprices your products immediately. Furthermore, you can customize your strategies based on your business plan and set up what actions you want the tool to take in certain conditions.
Its pricing is commission based. You pay 1% of your total monthly sales, with a minimum charge of $50/month and a maximum of $2000/month.
Repricer Express is a similar tool, easy to use, having a very intuitive dashboard. The only big difference is in the fixed pricing plan starting at $55/month.
Inventory and product management
Inventory Lab is an all in one tool. You have inventory, shipping management, and listing all in the same place. You can create product listings, track the inventory, keep up with the expenses and income, track the shipping, get comprehensive reports so you can see how your business is evolving over time.
One thing – you can only manage your Amazon account. If you’re selling on more platforms, you need another tool that supports multiple channels.
SellBrite is a multi-channel e-commerce software which automatically keeps all your platforms in sync to prevent duplicate items and overselling. You can create and control listings, manage inventory and fulfill orders from a single, easy to navigate through the interface.
With the changes in Amazon algorithm with the A10 update, ranking high in a fast way is no longer easier. But there are certain techniques you can apply to improve your Amazon product ranking – and now you know them.
What to keep in mind: Don’t try to fool Amazon algorithm and don’t resort to unorthodox approaches as A10 is pretty smart, tracking everything that’s going on over the platform. If you do something that’s banned, be sure that Amazon will know and it will shut down your product listings or, even worst, your account.
How you proceed to rank higher on Amazon? What are your tips? Make sure to leave your suggestions and questions in the comment section.