Your product rank on Amazon depends largely on its sales velocity. That’s why many sellers resort to spending a big budget on Amazon PPC to kickstart their sales. More savvy sellers don’t rely just on Amazon PPC – they use external traffic right out of the gate to drive sales to their listings.
In this article, you’re going to learn how to use external traffic sources and how to drive external traffic to your Amazon listings.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why External Traffic is Important
- 2 How Google Rankings Impact Amazon Product Rankings
- 3 Ways to Drive External Traffic to your Amazon Listings
- 4 Paid Advertising for Product Ranking
- 5 Conclusion
Why External Traffic is Important
There is one thing that can increase your chances to get the bestselling product on Amazon is directing outside traffic to your Amazon listings.
The core of Amazon’s A9 algorithm is based on sales volume and conversion rates. However, when launching new products, if you don’t have sales, your product will not rank on Amazon, and therefore you can’t get sales. By sending external traffic to your listings, you can get sales right away without a high product rank on Amazon.
Why does external traffic matter? Here are some of the advantages when driving external traffic:
- Helps improve Amazon Product rankings. The higher your product ranks, the more people will buy it and even allow you to put more resources into marketing strategies to drive your sales, creating the effect called the Amazon flywheel.
- Helps you rank on Google better (which helps you rank on Amazon better).
- Diversifies you away from Amazon if and when you need to reliably launch products.
In the following sections, we will show you two different ways on how to drive external traffic to your Amazon listings: how to get free organic traffic from Google and how to utilize paid traffic for your products.
How Google Rankings Impact Amazon Product Rankings
What’s Better than Ranking on Amazon? Ranking on Google of course. Google is still the most popular search engine in the world (despite Amazon taking a greater share of product searches) and processes over 3.5 billion searches per day.
When there is a product-based search that occurs on Google, for example, stainless steel fishing rod holders, one of the first search results goes to an Amazon product detail page.
This means that the listing is ranked above is generating a huge amount of traffic for that listing from Google without a search ever having taken place on Amazon. However, when that person who searched for a stainless-steel fishing rod holder clicks the link on Amazon and goes on to purchase that product on Amazon, that sale is going to help the organic rankings on Amazon (remember, sales are by far the most important ranking factor on Amazon).
But how do you rank a product on Google? There are many aspects that impact Google SEO but the most important fact is backlinks. Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another one. Backlinks are used in SEO to pass authority and trust and connect users from one website to another. They can also be used to tell Google that your Amazon listing is the important listing and not all of the other fishing rod holders on Amazon.
Getting backlinks pointing directly to your listing is going to help it rank on Google. In effect, Google will detect that authority sites are linked to your listing and then will increase your ranking allowing more and more potential customers to find your business.
Ways to Drive External Traffic to your Amazon Listings
There are a few places that can be your primary source of external traffic and is organic marketing (your eCommerce site, authority blogs, and influencers).
You can also opt for the easiest source of external traffic (but also the most expensive) which is paid marketing (Facebook ads, Google ads, and Google shopping).
Let’s dive into the different ways to get traffic to your Amazon listings.
Your Own Ecommerce Website
Using your own eCommerce website like your Shopify store can help your own eCommerce website rank. Getting people to land on your page has a ton of value.
One of the benefits is that you can pixel the people you get on your site and remarket to them or use that pixel to build audiences.
You can also have an opportunity to collect their email address through a pop-up for example and then send them directly to your Amazon listing (we use this Amazon Buy Now integration from the Shopify app store)
Why should you be spending time getting people into your website and then have them go off to Amazon? Because the multiplier effect you get from that sale occurring on Amazon is normally far higher than having them purchase on your website. That sale on Amazon will lead to a higher product rank on Amazon which leads to more sales and gets the Amazon flywheel spinning faster. The sale occurring on your website has no impact on search rankings and if you’ve collected their emails and pixel them before sending them to Amazon, you still get all of the cross-marketing benefits of having that sale occur on your website.
Authority Blogs for Product Ranking
The next thing you could do is build an authority blog. The idea here is to create a content only-website that focuses on your niche.
What are the advantages of creating an authority blog in addition to your eCommerce store? You can build an audience from someone who lands on your site, in the same way, you can pixel them, you can get them on your email list, you can use that email list to leverage launching new products or you can drive all these people off your site and off your Amazon listings.
How can your authority blog help your product rank on Amazon? When writing content for your site it’s easier to rank at the top of funnel searches (i.e., how to salmon fish) because when you start to commercialize your site with products people are less likely to link to it. It’s also easier to rank for comparison searches (i.e., best salmon fishes’ rods), where you can do product reviews and then rank your product number one.
Having an authority blog is also a great way to get valuable product and customer data before you even start selling your own products. For example, imagine you have the anticipation of eventually selling a salmon fishing rod where you can buy all your competitor fishing rods and list them on your site and do a video or write a piece of content and make a product comparison, this will be great product research.
Authority blogs will also allow you to diversify your revenue and boost your rank on Amazon. This external source will drive free traffic and get organic visitors. Also, it will not only help you to promote your product brand but also helps to generate diversified affiliate income.
Influencers for Product Ranking
Another thing you can do to drive traffic to your Amazon listings is to work with influencers. Working with influencers is an important part of brand marketing and traffic generation. This option is the most expensive one among organic marketing options since most of the influencers are discovering where and what they’re worth.
Influencers are huge drivers of traffic and revenue. Most people utilize influencers to get them talking about their products, some others use influencers primarily to get them to share pictures and videos of them using their products.
Using influencer marketing will have some incredible contributions which are fantastic for social proof and at the same time will boost your conversion rates.
Influencers are sending external traffic to Amazon for you and of course, Amazon will see it as a vote of confidence and improve your product rank on Amazon.
Regarding the aspect of working with them, one of the key points of this is being able to understand from their point of view what motivates them and what they want. How can you incentivize them? You might want to follow these three tiers:
- <5000 subscribers – Free products
- 5,000-10,000 subscribers: Free product + giveaway for the audience
- 10,000-100,000: Free products + larger giveaway for the audience (1 product for every 5000 subscribers)
Paid Advertising for Product Ranking
Now let’s look at paid advertising. Paid advertising yields the potential of turning your nickels into dimes with near-unlimited scaling possibilities. Unfortunately, often, if done incorrectly, it turns dimes into nickels! There are some higher probability ways to use paid advertising successfully. Paid ads are a monster topic far too broad for this article, but this will give you a good overview. We’ll look specifically at the big two: Facebook and Google.
For our paid advertising, we send people directly to our own website and then send them to Amazon. Again, this gives us all the advantages of pixeling people and (potentially) collecting their email, while also getting the Amazon flywheel spinning. We’ve experimented with sending people directly to our Amazon listings, but once again, sending them to our own website first has consistently performed better.
Facebook Ads for Product Ranking
Remember that audience we built from pixeling people when they came to our website, only to be redirected to Amazon? This is where you can utilize that audience.
The real power of Facebook advertising is the ability to remarket to a warm audience of people who have already had a touchpoint with your brand. Marketing to a cold list of look-a-like audiences can be extremely powerful but it’s also easier to get wrong and lose a lot of money.
The absolute easiest way to get started with Facebook advertising is to use a Facebook catalog ad advertised to your audience. A catalog ad is just a collection of your products generated through a product feed on your Shopify store (there are a ton of free plugins for getting your product feeds directly onto Facebook). Doing this requires no creative design on your end and these ads can work very effectively for warm audiences.
After you’ve exhausted your catalog ads, then you can start turning to video and image ads and start branching out to look-a-like audiences. If you can’t get your catalog ads performing profitably that are remarketed to your existing list though, making Facebook video ads work to a cold audience is going to be an uphill battle.
Google Ads for Product Ranking
There was a time anyone could turn on Google Ads for their eCommerce store and see positive ROI. Unfortunately, Google Ads has gotten significantly more expensive and it’s harder to see positive returns on your ads. However, there is one silver bullet when it comes to Google Ads: Google Shopping.
We’ve all seen Google Shopping ads when searching for a product on Google. They’re the ads that show a preview of a product with a price.
These ads work very well because they generally only show up when Google determines there is strong buying intent behind the search. For example, your shopping ads may appear when someone searches for “Buy yoga balls” but not when they search for “how to do hot yoga”.
Like your Facebook catalog ads, these ads are very easy to set up and simply rely on you setting up your Google Shopping. Google wants to make it as easy as possible for you to set up your Google Shopping feed and Shopify has an excellent article on setting up your feed.
But wait – there’s more! Google also will now display results from your shopping feed for free in some instances so even if you don’t use paid Google Shopping Ads you should set up your feed regardless.
To really succeed on Amazon, especially in competitive categories, you need to be sending external traffic to your listings. What is your method of choice when sending external traffic to your listings on Amazon?
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