As you probably already know, finding a great product to sell on Amazon FBA is just the start. Once it’s up and live on Amazon seller central, you’re going to have to make sure that people are actually finding it and buying it. That’s why a basic understanding of Amazon sales rank and how it works is so crucial to success with Amazon.
In this guide, I’ll cover the basics of Amazon sales rank. And then I’ll introduce you to five simple steps to ensure that your product conquers the keywords it’s going after, to ensure maximum Amazon SEO and a high spot on the Amazon search engine results. Keep reading!
First, let’s get the basics out of the way so you understand what we’re working with here.
What does Amazon sales rank mean?
If you didn’t already know, every single product on Amazon is given a Best Seller Ranking, otherwise known as BSR. The BSR system takes every single product on Amazon and organizes it from 1 to millions based on the number of recent sales the product has made. It’s calculated based on the number of sales a product has over a given period as compared to other products in the same category or subcategory. So you can think of it as a snapshot of how well a product is currently doing.
A product’s Best Seller Ranking can be found under Product Information in a product’s listing.
Is Best Seller Ranking really important?
If you think about BSR from a customer’s perspective, most are not basing their purchase decision off of your BSR. Best Seller Ranking is more a way for sellers to see where they fall in comparison to their competitors and does not necessarily influence sales.
Although BSR may not directly affect your sales, the opposite is true. The more sales you have, the higher the frequency (or velocity) of those sales, and your product’s sales history will affect your product’s Best Seller Ranking. Things like reviews and your listing conversion rate indirectly influence BSR because they directly influence your sales. We’ll get more into that later.
Here are some other things you should know about the Amazon sales rank:
- Each Amazon department has its own system of Best Seller Ranking. That means a product that ranks high in the Kitchen & Dining department may not rank well in Sports & Outdoors and vice versa.
- In addition to departments, each sub-category has their own sub-BSRs, too. A kitchen knife that ranks 10,000 in the broader Kitchen & Dining category may also rank 3,000 in the kitchen knives sub-category. Or even 250 in the sub-sub-category of chef knives!
- The lower your Best Seller Ranking the more sales your product has made. Remember, lower is better. Think of it like a contest. #1 is winning, while #1,345,698 is way behind.
- Search ranking and Best Seller Ranking are two different things. Just because you have a great BSR ranking from giving away promos or making sales, it may not mean that your product is actually ranking well in Amazon search results. Keep this in mind, especially when you start promoting your product.
If you’re interested in learning more about Best Seller Ranking and how it relates to sales potential, you can test out different product rankings using Jungle Scout’s FREE sales estimator.
For more information on Sales Rank, check out Forecast.ly’s article: Amazon Best Seller Ranking: A Guide for FBA Seller
What is Amazon SEO and search results ranking?
Know this: Amazon is not really a “store”, per se, but more of a search engine for products. Therefore it’s important that your product appears at the top of those search results. Hence the extreme importance of Amazon SEO. SEO, if you’ve never heard the term, stands for search engine optimization.
SEO is a method of intentionally creating or modifying a listing or page in an attempt to rank it for specific keywords. And then focusing on important metrics to ensure that it appears higher up in search results. I cover what some of those metrics are in a moment.
Therefore, the better you are at Amazon SEO, the better your Amazon FBA product can rank. And the higher your ranking in the Amazon search results, the more products you sell. And guess what? The more products you sell, the more money you make! 🙂
What metrics matter for high Amazon SEO?
While it’s impossible to know exactly how Amazon’s algorithm works (they don’t share their secrets!), we do know that there are some important metrics that the algorithm considers when organizing products in the search rankings. They are:
- Click-through-rate (CTR). The click-through-rate is the total number of clicks that your listing gets divided by the number of people who see it (these are also called impressions). In other words, when performing a search on Amazon, are customers more likely to click on your product listing than others?
- Unit/session percentage (CVR). Next, and probably even more important than CTR, is your actual conversion rate. Typically, the conversion rate is the number of orders your product gets (regardless of quantity) divided by the number of people who were on your product listing page, or sessions. However, Amazon goes a step further and takes the total number of units that your product gets and divides it by the number of sessions you had. This is called unit/session percentage.
- Reviews. Finally, while it hasn’t totally been proven, many suspect that Amazon only wants the best products possible offered to their customers. Therefore, the products that have a high quantity of high-quality reviews are more likely to appear at the top than those with zero-to-no reviews or low review scores. Reviews also affect your CTR and CVR so if your product has a good quantity and quality of reviews, customers will be more likely to purchase.
- All of this data helps Amazon determine which products are the most relevant for particular keywords.
An example to illustrate how Amazon search ranking works:
You are selling a garlic press. And for some weird reason, your garlic press shows up in a search for “board games.” When people start searching for board games, they’re going to see your garlic press and think to themselves, “Hey, that’s not a board game.” They’re not going to click on it, right? And if they do click on it–maybe to see what’s up–chances are they aren’t going to buy it. After all, it’s not relevant for their “board game” search. Amazon’s algorithm sees this data and says “okay, this isn’t a board game… so I don’t want to have it show up in ‘board game’ searches anymore.” Over time, the algorithm learns what your product is by what the shoppers tell it.
- Amazon’ search algorithm uses shopper data to determine which products to show in searches.
- Higher clicks and frequent sales means your product is more relevant.
- The more relevant a product is for a search, the better chance it has showing up near the top of the search.
How to get top Amazon sales rank and search results.
Okay, phew! The nitty gritty stuff is out of the way. Now it’s time to talk about the fun part. It’s time to get your product to the top of the search results so you can sell lots of products and get a high Amazon sales rank!
1) Optimize your listing.
First thing’s first, building a great listing on Amazon isn’t just about throwing up a pic, putting in some details and crossing your fingers that you make some sales. You’ve actually got to spend a little time on it so it looks good, encourages clicks, and converts well. Here are some things to consider:
- The title. Is your title relevant to your product search? Does it have all the keywords that you want to rank for in it? And does it make customers want to click on it while they’re doing a search?
- Description and features. Does your listing do a good job of describing how your product can benefit the shopper?
- Images. Pictures sell! Does your product have plenty of professional, clean looking photographs that clearly identify what your product is and how it works?
- Enhanced Brand Content (optional). Once you’re able to get your brand trademarked, are you using the full extent of Amazon’s enhanced brand content and creating graphics that further sell your product?
Additional tips for optimizing your listing for Amazon SEO can be found here.
One great way to optimize your product listing is to use an A/B split testing tool like Splitly. Splitly lets you A/B test your product’s price, photos, and title, to know exactly which factors help your product rank higher so you don’t missing out on any sales.
2) Launch with Keyword Targeted URLs.
Promotions are a huge way to demonstrate to Amazon that people out there want your product. And when you use Jump Send’s Keyword Targeted URLs to get your product out into the world, your product will quickly start ranking for your most valuable keywords. Higher search ranking equals higher sales!
How to launch your product with Keyword Targeted URLs.
1. Create a promotion on Amazon. We recommend that you discount your product by at least 49%, but many sellers go as deep as 80-90% off the normal sales price.
2. Figure out what keywords you want to target with Keyword Scout. Keyword Scout, a tool that comes with Jungle Scout’s Web App package, actually helps you figure out what the best keywords for your product are. It’s amazingly simple to use and will save you tons of time.
3. Predict your daily giveaways. In addition to finding your most valuable keywords, Keyword Scout also estimates the daily number of product promotions you’ll want to give away with Jump Send.
4. List your product on Jump Send. After you’ve got your promotion set up on Amazon Seller Central, know the keywords you want to target and how many products you need to give way, build your Jump Send promotion.
5. On your Jump Send listing, click the “I wish to use a keyword targeted URL.” Then enter up to three keywords you want to use.
6. Run your promotion for at least 10-15 days. It takes some time for your product to “warm up” to Amazon. But when it does, you will start to earn a high Amazon sales rank and search rank.
7. Track your target keywords using Splitly. A/B testing isn’t the only thing Splitly rocks at. It also tracks keyword positions on Amazon. Super useful!
3) Become an Amazon PPC master.
Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) is Amazon’s in-house advertising system. All those sponsored ads that you see on the sidebars or at the top of Amazon search results are sellers just like you paying to get their product seen. Therefore, if you’re a master of using Amazon PPC, you can sell more products and profit without ever losing money.
Here’s a few tips to help you master Amazon PPC.
- Go for long tail over short neck keywords. Short neck keywords are those that are single words or short phrases that tend to be a bit broader when referencing your product. Meanwhile, long tail keywords are phrases with details more specific to your product. For example, if you were selling a garlic press, the phrase “garlic press” would be a short neck keyword. Whereas the phrase “blue long handled garlic press” would be long tail. While long tail keywords have less clicks than short neck keywords, they also tend to be less expensive and have greater conversion rates than short neck.
- Do lots of research. This is one I can’t express enough. You’ve got to keep finding new and better keywords for your products. Trends change. Some keywords become competitive. This might sounds like a lot work, but consider this. If you can add and test only 10 new keywords per week, in a year, you could have as many as 520 keywords that are leading people to your product. That might sound overwhelming, but consider this: Jungle Scout’s Keyword Scout tool (which comes FREE as part of the Jungle Scout product research and tracking web app) can generate thousands of keywords with just the push of a button. And it’s all REAL search and PPC cost data straight from Amazon. No guesswork!
- Run regular reports. Once you’ve had a few ads running on Amazon be sure to run regular reports. Then you can see what’s working and what’s not. The last thing you want to do is spend money on ads/keywords that aren’t converting well or costing you too much.
How much do Amazon ads cost?
According to AdBadger.com, the current average cost-per-click for Amazon ads is $0.78 per click and the average Amazon conversion rate is 9.8%. So that means, on average, an Amazon seller will spend $7.64 in ads to make a single sale. Therefore, if your product sells for $25 and Amazon takes 15% for their referral fee and $3.02 for FBA fees and your landed product cost is $4 you will earn $6.59 in profit (25% profit margin). Keep in mind this also doesn’t factor in organic sales, either.
For more about Amazon PPC, check out our article: Amazon PPC Launch Strategies: Create Huge Sales from Day One
4) Follow up with your customers.
Did you know that you can send a follow up email all of your Amazon customers? Plus, you can take that opportunity to ask your customer for a review of the product. Often, this can lead to a positive review. And in some cases, it can even help you step in if there’s a problem and right it. This could save you from a bad review!
Sounds like a lot of work to write an email to each and every Amazon customer, especially when you’re selling hundreds–if not thousands–of products each month. But that’s another thing that Jump Send makes easy for you! Jump Send’s automated email follow up system helps you check in with your customers so you can earn positive reviews and prevent negative reviews to solidify your product’s status in Amazon’s search engine.
5) Try new promotions.
Finally, it never hurts to keep testing out new promotions. We recommend only using so many Keyword Targeted URLs during your promotions (no more than two). So, you may want to start up new promotions for other relevant keywords that you’ve discovered using Jungle Scout’s Keyword Scout. And don’t forget to track your product’s search rank position for those keywords. It won’t be long before you maximize your sales and find your product with a nice, low Amazon sales rank.
Need help with anything mentioned here? Check out the Jungle Market, the only source on the web for high-quality Amazon freelancers.