Guest post by George from The Listing People
I’m writing this from a cool little coffee shop in Bondi Beach, Sydney. My girlfriend, Jo (who works for Amazon) was re-located out here a couple of years ago to help set up Amazon Australia and it didn’t take long for me to up sticks and follow her out here. I mean, who’d turn down 30-degree sunshine over a wet and cold London?
The idea behind this post is to give you a behind the scenes look at what it takes to build, run and grow a successful Amazon business, whilst unlocking new levels of thinking. So… let’s get straight into the topic of this post: traffic and conversions.
Did you know the American baseball player, Ty Cobb, finished his career with a batting average of .367?
Basically, every time he stepped up to the box he’d hit 4 out of 10 shots.
Which considering the average baseball players batting average is 30%, makes it pretty impressive.
You’re probably wondering why I’m banging on about baseball batting averages?
Stay with me and I’ll explain….
You see if Ty ran a retail store, it would be the equivalent of letting 10 people through the door knowing that he was going to sell something to 4 of them.
But the real reason I’m writing this is because there is a striking similarity between baseball batting averages and generating sales on Amazon…
We’ve observed that there are really only two factors at play when it comes to moving your Amazon business (both forwards & backwards):
These are the two biggest dynamics that move the sales needle (you’ll hear me reference that phrase a lot – big fan of it) and if you can control both of these, then you’ll pretty much write your own monthly pay cheques.
Every week we jump onto strategy calls and get hit by this….
‘’I only got 20 sales last month. Something is wrong. How do I get more?’’
After a bit of digging we establish that they are suffering from one of the following problems:
Their listing is been flooded with traffic, but they simply aren’t converting those visitors into paying customers.
To try and fix this they spend a fortune on paid ads, thinking that if they increase the volume of visitors then they’ll increase sales.
Which is true. Yet, their conversion rates are still so low economically they’ll eventually fall apart.
Their conversion rates are decent, but the volume of traffic landing on their listings is so low it’s hardly worth the effort.
In this scenario, the seller simply doesn’t do anything.
Clutching at the handful of straws they have, hoping that one day the tides will miraculously turn and a tsunami of traffic will come their way.
Spoiler alert… it won’t.
To win, you must control both of these factors.
And when you do succeed at doing this, you’ll not only increase sales but in a lot of instances, you can raise the price of your products. Leaving you more margins to re-invest in this beautiful cycle to continue growing.
Ready to find out how? Let’s break it down and show you….
How to Increase Your Conversion Rate
Firstly we need to concentrate on problem #2 (conversions) before we nail problem #1 (traffic).
Because it’s counterproductive sending high-quality traffic (sometimes paid) to a listing that isn’t ‘retail ready’.
Yet this is one of the biggest mistake sellers are making.
You’ve got 3-seconds to grab a visitor’s attention. If you don’t do that, they’ll bounce off and shop elsewhere.
Ever walked into a bar on a night out, had a quick look around, not liked what you saw, before turning around and walking straight out again? Well, this follows the same principle.
Potential buyers who land on your listing have clicked on it for a reason.
They’ve put their hand up and said ‘I’m in the market for X product’, and have a huge sign on their chest saying:
PLEASE CONVINCE ME TO BUY THIS!
Your role is to engage them, and effectively prove to them that your product is not only better than the competition but more importantly…. will make their lives better.
You see the average conversion rate on Amazon is 9.7%. Which is massive considering the average website converts at a painful rate of 1.7%.
In fact, some of our students have currently got batting averages of 30-40%.
They, therefore, know that for every 10 visitors they can drive to their listing, they will make at least 3-4 sales.
What separates their listings from the competition?
Their listings are FULLY OPTIMISED.
Which is the key to converting high-quality traffic into paying customers.
Want me to breakdown the ingredients that go into a fully optimised listing, so you can go away and work on improving your batting average?
Good. Here goes….
The title needs to be short, sharp and punchy. Make it as clear as possible what the product is and the main benefit it will provide to the customer.
The highest performing keywords must be strategically positioned so Amazon’s A9 algorithm can pick them up. This will increase your sales rank, effectively pushing you up the sales pages.
The first five words should form your canonical URL, which means it gets ranked in Google’s search engine as well.
Another benefit of formatting it in this way is that it breaks the title up nicely, making it easier on the eye.
The title must pass the ‘glance test’.
If the visitor doesn’t immediately know what the product is by glancing at it, then you’re already behind the 8-ball.
In a recent survey, 65% of buyers revealed that they make a buying decision based on images alone.
Your images must be A-League standard. Nothing less will be acceptable.
Get professional high definition photos done. Get lifestyle photos done. Get infographics created.
Take the cheap, easy option here (like most sellers do) and you’re setting yourself up to crash and burn.
3. Bullet Points
Focus on the benefits, not the features.
No one gives a shit about your product features. They just want to know how it is going to improve their lives.
Sprinkle additional high performing keywords within your copy (don’t repeat any as they are only ranked once) and make sure it flows like a greased up slide.
Amazon has gifted you five bullet points. Make sure you use ALL of them.
If your brand isn’t trademarked (it needs to be – more on this in a later issue) then use this section to bang in the boring but important bits. Along with any remaining keywords that you didn’t use in the title or bullets.
Use HTML code to make it more pleasing on the eye.
If you have access to Enhanced Brand Content (trademarked brands only) then you MUST be using it.
It’s insanely powerful and has proven to increase conversion rates. You can drill into the product benefits in more detail and keep the visitor engaged for longer.
Which as we know… the longer someone stays engaged, the higher the chance of them converting.
EBC also allows you to build an emotional connection with your customer, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Now that you’re listings are fully optimised, it’s time to concentrate on driving high-quality traffic to your listings.
How to Increase Your Volume of Traffic
There are two forms of traffic:
We’ll start with organic….
By optimising your listings, you should see a spike in traffic volumes from organic search results.
Amazon’s search engine will now be ranking the high volume keywords you’ve embedded. Which means your products will begin to show up when hot buyers search for them.
Side note: embed more keywords within the backend of the listing as well to get extra ranking juice.
In a nutshell, every time you generate an order, Amazon will rank your product slightly higher in the search engine, which leads to a flywheel effect (I’ll cover this in another issue), which in turn leads to more sales.
It’s a win-win situation. Yet it all begins by optimising your listings. If your listings aren’t optimised, then Amazon’s algorithm won’t rank them highly, which means you won’t generate organic traffic.
The downside to organic traffic is that you are at the mercy of Amazon’s highly sophisticated algorithm.
At any point, they can tweak something, which can throw everything out, and ultimately see your listings drop down the seller rank (which we’ve seen happen).
Which brings me nicely onto… paid traffic.
Unless you’ve got margins thinner than Kate Moss on a juice diet, you’ve got to be leveraging paid advertising to scale up your business.
The simple answer: Scale requires systems.
Systems that YOU can control.
If you can control the volume of traffic landing onto your listings (whilst been confident that you can convert them) then you’re effectively printing your own lottery ticket.
Obviously, you know what ‘’profit’’ is and all that…
But, profit comes from proper advertising.
And as a business owner, you must understand and deploy proper advertising for the purposes of GROWING your business.
Let’s outline the two fundamental paid advertising streams that can drop your listings into a raving river of buyers…
Sales from sponsored ads amounted to 28% in 2018.
A 54% increase from the year before.
The fact is Amazon is fast becoming a pay-to-play platform.
And if you want to drive the right quality of traffic to your listings like clockwork, then you’ve got to be utilising it RIGHT NOW.
I say right now because soon the bigger brands who are currently relying on Google Shopping Ads will wake up and realise all of their customers are on Amazon.
They’ll then jump ship, which will result in keyword bid prices been hiked up no-end and you’ll be in a fight you simply won’t be able to win.
So now is the time to get on-board, soak up the gravy and drive high-quality visitors to your product listings.
But relying solely on Amazon Advertising isn’t going to turn you into a global superstar.
In order to really increase traffic volumes, you’ve also got to be leveraging….
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
Insane platforms where your customers are hanging out.
Customers that you can target with pinpoint precision thanks to the amount of data these marketing platforms have.
Yet hardly anyone (apart from the top sellers) is using 3rd party platforms such as Facebook to drive traffic to their listings.
They rely solely on Amazon to do the legwork for them potentially leaving thousands in revenue on the table month in month out.
Why not use both? The upside been floods of traffic from different streams.
The difference between Facebook and Amazon is that people on Amazon are in buy mode, whereas people on Facebook are in social mode.
You, therefore, need to take a different approach.
Instead of hitting them with sales ads you want to nurture them and build a relationship with them over a period of time, with the end goal seeing them convert into a paying customer.
You can do this in the form of lead magnets, competitions, and quizzes. Whatever the case may be, it’s all about building a relationship and gathering their data so you can continue to speak with them.
If you do want to go straight for the sell then this is possible, yet you’ll need to create an irresistible offer to grab their attention first. Something like a big discount code (60-80% OFF).
From there you can drive them to your listing (via a 2-step URL so you gather ranking juice) and convert them into a customer.
At the end of the day, the opportunities available to you when it comes to using Facebook/Instagram etc to drive traffic are endless.
The difference is, the top sellers are unlocking these opportunities and using them to take their sales to the top floor.
- Conversion rates are the key metric. Stumble at this hurdle and your race is over before it begins.
- Amazon Advertising is growing at a staggering rate. Use the tools to drive high-quality traffic to your listings.
- Don’t be afraid to explore third-party advertising platforms (mainly Facebook). Only the savvy sellers are doing this right now. You one of them?
Let’s wrap this up, shall we? I hope this post has given you some clarity on what’s required to increase your sales. More importantly… I hope it’s unlocked some thinking into how you can direct high volumes of targeted traffic onto your listings. This is where your customers are located. Like a good gold miner, you’ve just got to sieve them out.