As many of you know I'm not part of AMZ Tracker anymore, but Erik (the Bossman
) asked me to writeup a quick post explaining the reasons behind the changes a little more since a lot of you are familiar with me.
In case you're out of the loop, here is a recap of the changes that were made:
- We removed the use of Super URLs from our review club (you can still use them elsewhere if you really want to)
- We removed the "notes" section of the review club
- Now all products will have a "direct link" to your product on Amazon
We made some other changes too that will greatly improve the review percentage and coupon usage, but I'm going to ignore those in this post because the confusion was on the above bullet points.
So Why The Review Club Changes?
Kidding. All jokes aside, the answer is really simple. We're trying to look into the future for your benefit
. We're not just making these changes to big a big grinch (this would hurt our business too!
), we're doing this to look out for everyone involved to help ensure success and longevity.
I want to give you an example analogy from the Google SEO world (where my background is
) that I hope will make some sense. Anytime before early 2012, almost every single SEO blog would always give you the same advice.
If you are trying to rank your website for "Red Apples", then make sure that every backlink you create always says "Red Apples". The more links that you get that say Red Apples the higher you will rank!
Guess what, this advice worked great... Up until Google released their Penguin Algorithm Update. After that almost everyone who had followed this advice lost all of their rankings. What had worked great before became too popular, got abused, and Google decided to stop it to level the playing field.
I was one of the many people who lost all kinds of rankings from this. I learned from my mistake and ever since I've always tried to look into the future the best I can to stay one step ahead. This is the type of thinking that led to the AMZ Tracker team making the new review club changes. If in early 2012 a SEO agency said they were going to stop using all "Red Apple" backlinks, their customers would be furious and call them stupid. "Oh my god, why are you doing this to us? This will hurt our rankings
". Yet I guarantee you that anyone who stuck with that company would be thanking them profusely for making the change after the Penguin Update hit everyone else while they stayed safe.
Now do I think Amazon is going to do the same thing that Google did? No. No I do not. When people rank organically at the top of Google, then they don't buy ads, and Google doesn't make any money. So Google is highly incentivized to stop this type of thing (follow the $$
). Amazon, on the other hand, makes money no matter who is ranking at the top, so there is no need for such a harsh change. But, when something is working really well and being used by the masses things have to change eventually, as I expect they will.
So this is why the AMZ Tracker team made the review club changes. We are trying to stay one step ahead of this for the future, and help keep all of our users in good standing and making money. If we all play-nice with Amazon, we all end up in a better place in the end.
So What Should I Do Now For My Products?
Honestly not all that much has changed. I'll go over a few points for you. First I'll cover the biggest factor and biggest problem that I constantly see, and below that I'll give you the super-simple step-by-step bullet points to making sure that your product ranks great.
First off remember that Amazon has THE # 1 metric to base their ranking algorithm on; sales
. At the end of the day products that don't suck and sell the best will always win out in the rankings. People love to buy awesome products, and so awesome products will always rank the best.
Strangely enough, this is the # 1 problem I'm seeing with many sellers, they are trying to sell crap. No matter how many tricks and tactics someone uses to paint over their crap, it's still crap. Don't try and sell the same old "garlic press" that 100's of others are already selling straight from Alibaba. Do the research, find something that is actually needed, and then make an awesome quality product to fill the need. It's just that easy. Quality products are easy to sell! If you find a great product with a willing audience you can be making tens of thousands within a couple of months (speaking from direct experience here
I'll tell you exactly how I decided to make the products from my first Amazon company (health supplements). I did NOT start by going to Alibaba (or equivalent) and buying a ready-made product to white label like everyone else. I instead went to health forums and read what people were asking for. I went and read negative/neutral reviews of other similar Amazon products to see what they wish was different. I found valuable keywords on Amazon that were being searched for but didn't have ready-made products. I emailed thought-leaders or prominent forum members in each niche and asked them what their "dream product" would be. Then I simply went and made those products.
Guess what? Within 1 year I was selling over $1MM/yr in that company alone. Make something that people will want and the rest will be easy.
Here Is How To Successfully Launch Your Product
- Not to beat a dead horse, but make an awesome product
- Do HUGE amounts of keyword research. You need to know every single keyword that might be relevant to your product.
- Optimize for ALL the keywords you can, in this exact order. I'll use a women's purse and an example here.
- The most specific keywords as possible to the product: "Women's Brown Leather Clutch Purse"
- Then a little more general: "Women's Clutch"
- Finally more generic to the overall niche: "Women's Fashion"
- Optimizing this way gives you the best possible chance of ranking for all relevant keywords. Start by trying to rank for your most specific keywords as possible, and then once those bases are covered start optimizing for a little more general keywords. Use our Listing Optimizer to make sure everything is properly optimized.
- Turn on your Amazon PPC. It's ok to bid a little high and even lose money at first. This is all about getting traffic and sales.
- Use the Review Club to launch your products, get traction, get sales, and get some product reviews for customers to learn more about your product.
- Use an autoresponder to start getting reviews from normal customers who buy your product.
That's it. Really. No black magic here, just finding a great product, optimizing it, and getting some traction. If the product is well received then it should start doing well by itself over time.
There are a few bonus things that I do such as Google SEO (ranking my Amazon listings in Google
), Google or Facebook ads (direct to my Amazon listing
), reaching out to relevant forums and industry leaders to promote the product, and finding affiliates whose audience might like my products. This is not required for most people and is just a bonus. It can however really help at first when launching, since initial traction and sales volume
is so important to the Amazon algorithm.
I always try and do whatever I can to get as many eyeballs as possible on my new Amazon listings, even if that causes me to lose money. I consider the first few weeks of my products life to be crucial to its success. If I have to lose a little bit of money on promotions now, in order to make orders of magnitude back in the future, I'm always happy to do so. Invest in the future.