Ranking new, or existing products on Amazon in 2022 and beyond is far different than it was in the past. How can we stimulate the A9 algorithm meaningfully, while doing everything 100% by the book? This article aims to break down how.
In this post, you will learn how to rank products higher on Amazon in the new age. This is all based on my own opinion from 7 years of launching and ranking products on Amazon.
- Organic Keyword Ranking Still Rules
- The Power of Organic Traffic For Amazon – Regain Control
- Google SEO For eCommerce
- Google Advertising For Amazon
- Influencer Marketing Done Right
- Summary: Launching and Ranking Products on Amazon In the New Age – Where to Go From Here?
- Ranking Products Ethically on Amazon [Infographic]
Two things can be true at the same time…
The first truth is that Amazon has become a pay-to-play platform more so than ever. Advertising costs have increased tremendously, but brands are also willing to burn money at an alarming rate because they are in it for the long game, and much better understand the back-end payoff of paid efforts than they did 5+ years ago.
Even though Amazon is “pay-to-play,” where you show up organically in search is still the biggest needle-moving factor when it comes down to the most important metric of all…net profit.
The VAST majority of sales occur within the first 5 organic results from a given keyword search.
The only way to truly leverage the incredible volume of traffic on this platform is to show up “for free” in the search results. Otherwise, you’re probably better off focusing more on your D2C (direct-to-consumer) website where the margins are better and you own your customer data.
The million dollar question:
How can we rank higher organically on Amazon in 2022, especially with all of the recent ToS changes that hamper our ability to skip the line?
In my opinion, it starts with a fundamental mindset shift.
STOP obsessing over tricks and hacks. START obsessing over long-term strategies that actually get better with time.
I believe ranking should now be looked at from a much higher view.
Rather than asking “how can I rank top 5 for ‘xyz keyword’ within the next 2 weeks?”
The more appropriate question should be “how can I create a machine that consistently brings in SALES at a profit from external sources?” Thus increasing my ranking and authority over time in comparison to my competition.
The ranking will come if the sales come.
Methods like Search, Find, Buy are no longer relevant unless you want to risk your account getting banned. Myself and clients have far too much to lose to be playing around with this. I suspect you do as well.
Amazon has made it very clear that it will not tolerate rank manipulation on its platform any longer. It’s time to get off the grey/black hat hamster wheel and start operating like a real brand.
You’ll probably sleep better at night too…
Alright, enough background…let’s now get into the weeds and learn some actionable strategies to achieve higher organic search placement and sales for your Amazon products.
I’m only going to be highlighting areas that are working great for myself and clients. There are a bunch of ways to rank higher and drive more Amazon sales. You may be using some advanced tactics right now that are not mentioned. The below is simply a combination of both my opinion, as well as strategies working best right now for me.
This article will not focus on product listing optimization, Amazon advertising, or any other Amazon seller fundamentals. This post is solely focused on external traffic.
I used to live day-by-day obsessing over the latest “hack” – don’t be like me.
For most of my years as an eCommerce entrepreneur, I’ve devoted immense time to master paid traffic. This involved clever funnels, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, Google ads, etc…
All of these external advertising strategies/channels still work to this day, however much like Amazon, the landscapes change so frequently, it can be quite challenging to keep up. You might have an amazing 3.5x ROAS (return on ad spend) month in January, then drop to 1.3x ROAS in February. Of course, there are ways to mitigate this type of roller coaster behavior for your ads, but sometimes there’s downright no great explanation.
You find yourself caught once again in this seemingly never-ending loop of being a “slave” to the algorithms. We thought it was just Amazon A9 we had to deal with, but now it’s all the other ad platforms as well.
I still love and utilize paid traffic to this day for our Amazon brands, but the reality highlighted above led me down another rabbit hole.
How can we get similar sales results from organic traffic, as we do for paid?
Better yet…how can we have content published to the world that actually becomes MORE effective month-over-month, rather than slowly dry up and wither away.
After experimenting with virtually all platforms and social media channels, I want to share what has worked best for us. I will also share what is working best for other high-level sellers whom I have the privilege of speaking with frequently. I will list them here, then expand upon them in the segments below.
Spoiler alert…95% of the experiments failed miserably.
The areas producing the best quality traffic and sales for Amazon are organic Google traffic, social media posts, Pinterest, Influencers, and Google Ads for paid.
I bet you were expecting to see something totally crazy or unknown.
Again…Stop obsessing over the crazy and unknown. Start executing proven, unsexy methods BETTER.
Build things that improve with age. Stop looking for that next “hit” of ranking dopamine.
Google SEO For eCommerce
Boring, not sexy, often overlooked – Who the “F” cares?
The above screenshot is for a blog post that was written 3 months ago and is now ranking at the very top of Google. Albeit for some low-volume search terms, you’d be surprised just how much leverage a simple blog post that’s ranking at the top of google can do for an Amazon product.
This one single blog post brings in about $2,000 in revenue per month cumulative on Amazon. Normally this number probably wouldn’t get you jumping out of your seat. When you find out that all of these sales are full price, increase over time, zero ad spend, from your exact target buyer, AND can be scaled 10x, it then starts to become quite exciting. Don’t forget the added 10% referral bonus from all those sales too 🙂
This is what it’s all about at the end of the day in my opinion. What actions can I take today that will provide disproportionate returns months/years down the road?
I don’t like to rely 100% on paid ads for my success. It’s not a comforting feeling.
Here is another blog post that was written just a few months ago that is already getting massive Google traction:
As with anything, it’s not that simple. Before I risk sounding like every other cringe marketer out there. Building this SEO system for your eCom business takes a lot of time, planning, and thought. However, the payoff is exponential once it gets rolling. These are the types of systems I like to build and I think you should also consider them. No more cheat codes.
Google Advertising For Amazon
Very effective if done right – simply will not work for some products.
Funny how things always seem to come back full circle. We already covered Google SEO, which is an ancient traffic strategy most folks already left to die years ago. Well…Google ads are one and the same.
Google ads are a very useful and productive paid strategy for some of our products. They are able to provide immediate sales and velocity to a listing, unlike SEO which takes a little time to ramp up. I have also undoubtedly seen a correlation between Google ranking and Amazon ranking. It’s unclear exactly how this relationship works, but there is enough evidence with us, and with other sellers I speak with who all agree.
The exact strategy behind running profitable Google ads can be an entire article by itself. There are tools like Ampd.io that can save Amazon sellers a lot of time but unfortunately fall short of all the functionality we need to run the most successful campaigns. Hopefully, this will change in the future, but as of now, we stick to good old Google Ads Manager because we like to control every single step of the process.
Another positive about Google Ads is that it’s keyword-based just like Amazon sponsored ads. This makes it much easier to pick up right away for most Amazon brands, as compared to social media which takes far more testing and tinkering.
We like to grab demographic, keyword, and search term data from Seller Central. Then apply that to Google as a starting point to get initial traction.
Performance Max (Pmax) campaigns are also showing great results. These campaigns allow us to run multiple different ads across all of Google’s placements, including YouTube.
Of course, we always use Amazon Attribution for the extra 10% referral bonus as well.
We typically get a 2-3.5x ROAS for our clients. Across both the Amazon channel and eCommerce website sales.
I will dive into more advanced step-by-step strategies in future articles if there is enough interest surrounding the topic of Google ads.
Influencer Marketing Done Right
99% of people get this all wrong. Success with influencers requires a machine.
I have failed to REALLY make influencer marketing work for any of my products or brands.
I know why…
My experience: Mass-market influencer platforms are not worthwhile. These solutions are yet another way for us to shortcut the process of actually creating something meaningful.
The influencers are way overused. They’re also too expensive in relation to the average ROI they’re able to generate.
Unless you have a truly one-of-a-kind product, this marketing route tends to be a “siren song” in the eCom world from my experience.
I’ve had the privilege to get a look inside some of the most sophisticated influencer marketing systems around. After seeing how they operare, it’s crystal clear as to why 99% are failing.
Most brands tackle influencer marketing as if it’s not a massive endevour to make work at scale. They think they can hand off a few products to influencers within their niche and start seeing sales come in after a post, or video is made.
This can be true, but is short lived the vast majority of the time.
It takes an ARMY of vetted influencers and systems to keep everything organized. These large influencer operations I’m speaking about have a massive unfair advantage over you. They already have the connections made. They have a full staff for one single brand. They are not paying the astronomical prices most people are.
On most occasions, they can hand the influencer a free product in exchange for a post, rather than pay any cash out of pocket.
Sure you can do this yourself, but it takes immense time and headache.
The majority of people will not respond to your DM’s, and gathering up a trusted list of 200-300 influencers the old fashioned way will likely drive you insane.
I will update this post as soon as I have tangible numbers to show you on how “worth it” I think this strategy is.
All I can say is there is potential for influencer marketing to product heavily disproportionate ROI on your money.
Anytime this opportunity exists, I feel it’s worth testing to the max as yet another layer to your marketing stack.
You’re not alone. Even the best media buyers on the planet have felt the effects IOS14 has had on paid ads.
2-3x ROAS nowadays is equivalent to 5-6x ROAS 2 years ago.
There are greener pastures with higher ceilings for return. We are on a mission to find as many of these opportunities as possible, then share them with you!
Summary: Launching and Ranking Products on Amazon In the New Age – Where to Go From Here?
There has undoubtedly been a major shift in how ranking works in 2022 and beyond, compared to years past. As I stated previously…it starts with mindset. Organic systems for long-term sustainability. Paid systems for short-medium term traction and velocity.
I want to mention that I have top-tier resources for any of the strategies mentioned in this article. If you are interested in trying any of these for your eCommerce brand, don’t hesitate to reach out.
If I had to summarize what wins on Amazon today, I can do so in 2 statements:
- Stop trying to find the latest cheat code – Build white-hat traffic systems that work as you sleep
- Stop relying on ad platforms – Focus on building these systems with the mindset of not being reliant on paid ad platforms, which can change on a dime. We will always be a slave to algorithms in some capacity, but we can certainly take action to mitigate our risk.
What new strategies am I currently experimenting with & trying to systematize?
Here are the big ones:
Pinterest Ads – Middle-of-funnel social traffic that’s not as over-saturated as Facebook or Instagram.
Whitelist Advertising – The heck with running all your paid traffic through your own branded social media. What if you could use the profile of an actual influencer to run an advertisement through, for your product? Immediate trust. I know folks who are crushing with this strategy, as it has more leverage (keyword).
Instagram Direct Message Ads – The goal is here to build personal relationships with real people and fans of your brand. Diversification off of being reliant on unpredictable ad platforms and algorithms. We want as much control as possible. Possibilities for this are limitless and most can be automated. I’m hoping we will be able to see some tangible improvements in customer AoV and LTV using this strategy. Perhaps giving more leverage to generate a higher ROAS compared to standard ads.
Have something cool you’d like to share, or that you want me to test myself? I’d love to hear about it! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For a full list of the best, most advanced Amazon seller services, including how to rank higher on Amazon, please check out this article.
Pete is an eCommerce expert and one of the foremost authorities on Amazon ranking optimization. Pete has coached in one of the highest-level Amazon seller masterminds and is partnered with multiple successful brands. Working closely with many 7, 8, and even 9-figure companies over the past 6 years has given Pete a unique approach and outlook as to what it truly takes to be successful in this hyper-competitive space. Pete’s not a guru. He’s in the trenches everyday actually selling product.