Once you have an optimized listing to help with organic search and conversion and your product is available and winning the Buy Box, it is time to give your products an extra boost in traffic.
This traffic can be internally paid traffic via Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), from cross site merchandising or through external traffic. Whilst you may have a perfectly optimized product listing, that doesn’t automatically guarantee a place on the first page of the search results.
To appear on the first page of the search results, an item needs to be ranking high for a specific keyword. Optimizing your product listings will help ensure the right keywords apply as long as Amazon deem these as relevant. For the item to rank high, the product needs to have a high sales velocity, be selling more than its competitors and be available. Some other indirect factors that can influence the ranking are; conversion, price, customer reviews, review ratings and the delivery message e.g. Prime eligible.
Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)
It takes time for items to climb up the sales rank and can be a challenge with new products that have little brand awareness external to Amazon. This is when Amazon PPC campaigns come into play, to help products become more discoverable by appearing on the first few pages of the search results.
AMS offers targeted cost-per-click advertising in the form of Sponsored Product ads and Sponsored Brands (formerly known as Headline Search ads). These ads get ‘prime real estate’ placement on Amazon search results page, they are the first thing customers see when searching for an item and will get the most clicks on the search results page.
Vendors need to create a marketing budget specific for AMS advertising.
The landscape on Amazon is too competitive these days to rely on organic search and if a vendor doesn’t invest in paid marketing, their competitors will. Plus their competitors will most probably be bidding on their brand as a keyword. Vendors can also create product display ads and drive traffic to their items from other product listings, which could be competitors or related products.
AMS does require specific expertise and regular attention. It is not a one off project and requires ongoing management; monitoring and continual optimization to ensure vendors get the best possible ROI on their ads. Vendors can either learn how to manage these ads internally and recruit a specialist in this field or outsource the task to an agency or consultant.
Sellics offer a tool that helps vendors run their AMS campaigns, where vendors can analyze and optimize their ads, perform keyword research, and monitor their campaign performance.
Another way vendors can drive traffic to their listing is by participating in cross site activity. Whilst the majority of Amazon’s customers find products via search, there are also customers that are on the hunt for deals and are regular visitors of certain pages on Amazon. These pages include Today’s Deals and Coupons. Vendors can create Lightning Deals and Best Deals, which can then appear on the Amazon’s deal page. They can also create coupons.
The great add on about these promotions, is that not only do they appear on the these pages, the offering is also highlighted on the listing in search results and on the product page, which also helps with conversion for customers that did not find the offer via the Deals or Coupons page.
Vendors may also have a strong following outside of Amazon on social media, have a large customer database or a number of influencers in their industry that they could target to drive external traffic to Amazon. There are few ways vendors can manage traffic to Amazon; via Promo Codes, Amazon Brand Store or direct to specific product listings.
Promo Codes are a relatively new promotion and they offer customers a saving in the form of a discount code, which is automatically added to checkout. On creating a Promo Code, Amazon creates a separate marketing page displaying the offer, a unique url that vendors can then share with their social media audience, influencers and to their current customer base. Amazon can also share this code with its Amazon Associates and Influencers.
With Amazon Brand Stores, vendors are given a specific branded url that can also be shared on social media or with influencers. This is a way vendors can share a wider product range to their followers. Although the conversion may be a lot lower than the Promo code given that there is no incentive in the form of a discount and does not focus on a specific product, requiring more clicks for the customer.
Vendors can also drive external traffic directly to their product listings. When doing this, vendors do need to be careful of conversion. Whilst it is great to drive lots of traffic to a listing, if the traffic doesn’t convert into a sale, it will impact the conversion rate, which could do more harm than good. If vendors do take this route, they need to offer some kind of discount incentive or perhaps the item has a coupon or Lightning Deal running, that way there is a better chance the click will convert to a sale.
Whilst there are a few ways to boost traffic, AMS ads seems to be the most effective with the greatest ROI.
The search results page generates the most traffic and it is on these pages, above the fold where you want your products to be appearing for maximum visibility and sales opportunity. Although AMS ads can take time to properly perform and just because a vendor bids high on a certain keyword does not guarantee placement, it is all about relevancy.