How do I rank on the first page of Amazon?

Updated 8th January 2019 (to include Rebate Key – see below)

Last year 18,708 new items were uploaded every hour of every day to Amazon, and considering how research shows only 30% of buyers look beyond page one, it’s a fair question.  A damn necessary one.

The truth is there is a way to do this and it is in your power to make it happen.  And better still, you may not need to have deep pockets to get your wish within as little as 7-10 days.  

Here’s how.

Grab This Chrome Extension

I recommend you get a free Chrome extension like the one below by Helium10. (You can also try AMZ Tracker’s Unicorn Smasher, and I know Jungle Scout offers a similar one – not sure if it’s free though). In our experience, they are reasonably accurate; if a seller is shown to make around 100 sales per month, it’s probably closer to 85-90.

Here’s the link to Helium10’s:

Click Here to Helium10

What this does is to give you an overview of the revenues of the top selling products of a given category.  More importantly, it will give you the number of units they are selling each month.

Here’s an example for Speed Ropes: 

Monthly Sales Figures for Top Amazon Sellers

In the above example, you can see how many sales the first 12 products (actually 11 as a sponsored item appears twice) are achieving per month.  To be safe at the top you need to be selling around 1,000 to 1,500 units a month.

So, there are a lot of people buying speed ropes.  If you simply want to get on the first page then you need to include sellers lower down the ranking, and that can mean as many as 38 per page – subject to the category.  For speed ropes, it’s 24.

In this example, around 600 sales per month will grab you some prized real estate space on the first page.  

Park that in your brain for a moment.

Rank on the First Page of Amazon – Fight the Right Fight

Now check out some other keywords.  Whether you have access to keyword tool software or not, you need to do two things:

1. Begin a search for your product as though you were a buyer, and stop before you’ve completed the whole search term.  You will see in the image below that I was typing “speed ropes” and before I completed it Amazon delivered a bunch of what it considers to be the most popular search terms for what I was looking for. 

2. Click on one of the results and read through the titles of those on the first page and see which search terms get repeated.  You can try searching again for the keywords that you shortlist from the titles you see.  In this example, jumping ropes, gym ropes, training ropes, boxing ropes, MMA ropes and crossfit ropes would each bring additional results. You could probably think of other ones not present here such as skipping ropes.

Now at the moment, this article is not including PPC Ad campaigns, that’s a whole different post again.  So, we are writing about the keywords you will enter into the backed, and the front end product description. 

If your listing is new, or isn’t ranking highly, you are going to struggle to make an impact on the best sellers because although you will rank for the same keywords, you may be competing against 10,000 others also trying to rank for the same.  

So, What is the Best Strategy to Rank High Without Paying for PPC or Ads?

The strategy is the same whether you are using keyword software or building your list manually; only the former is more accurate.

Using the above example, speed ropes will be one of the highest volume searches for this kind of product, however, every competitor is going to compete for a piece of this keyword real estate.  Data from states that speed ropes are searched or 5,307 times per month, with approximately 3,000 competitors fighting for a place on the first page.  Believe me, those are good figures.  In comparison, Jump Rope has 74,267 searches per month, with around 4,000 competitors.  

Cast your eyes back to the image showing the Amazon search bar and suggested results and you will see the third one is speed rope jump rope.  Only 312 people search for this every month, and there are under 1,000 competitors targeting this keyword.  You may be fighting for a smaller slice of the pie, but in one decision you have cut out 75% of the competition.

Better still, if you target Speed Rope Jump Rope you will also index for Speed Rope and Jump Rope and although you may not rank highly for either of them, you will begin to build ranking history with Amazon’s algorithm.

Go with the lowest volume, most relevant search phrase for your product that has fewest competitors, but includes the main targeted keywords.  If you are unsure, ping us a message and we will run a quick keyword test for you, we can identify keywords with the greatest ranking opportunity, to fight the smaller fights first.

Whenever you change key areas of your listing or search terms you may experience a 2-3 week dip in sales until the algorithm establishes the changes you have made to your indexing history.  Then you will begin to build up again.  It makes sense to get things right early on.  The category you are ranked in can also play a big role but that is for another day. 

Back to Giveaways, Oh Yes – Remember 600?

Back to the top 24 sellers of speed ropes and the fact you need to sell 600 products a month to rank on the first page… for best results, you will need to do a sale for around 7 days.  Divide 600 per month, into one day = 20 sales per day.  Times by 7 = 140 sales for a week.

Now, the Viral Launch people and Last Launch (of Seller Tools) may tell you differently, but in our experience selling at around 30-50% off is enough to secure sales.  You can sell at 90%+ discount but you really need to cover your costs. 

A Facebook Ad for example with a “limited availability” “sale for today only” will get you sales.  Your discount needs to be enough to match the sales of those selling on Amazon’s page one – there is a BUT depending on where you currently rank, see “Important Notes” below. 

Short sale periods seem to fair better than long ones.  Make each ad campaign no longer than 7 to 8 days.  For Jump Ropes you would need to “giveaway” 98 products a day to guarantee top positions, yet with speed rope jump rope you would only need to sell 1 a day at a discounted price.  

Rebate Key – Another Method to Consider

One of the problems associated with giveaways is that Amazon regards them as a slightly unethical practice; meaning, that if you receive reviews for heavily discounted products the rating will be biased by the cheaper price.  Therefore, shoppers who pay at the full price might be doing so based on the reviews they read from people who paid a lot less. 

Amazon doesn’t like this.

As a result, Amazon shows these reviews as unverified, or worse, removes them altogether (and often removes regular reviews in the process).  It can be that your listing gets blackmarked by the algorithm which signals its death, because there is pretty much no way that your listing will rank well.

So, what if you could sell at the full price on Amazon and give the discount after 30 days?  Amazon gets a full sale, you get verified reviews, and the customer is happy because they receive the discount.  How?  Click here:

Rebate Key is a way for shoppers to buy directly from Amazon and know that they will enjoy a rebate retrospectively.  It is worth a look (and no, we are not affiliates, and are not associated with it – we just heard great things about it at a recent Amazon seminar).

In conclusion, if you want to rank on page one of Amazon you are unlikely to do that for choice keywords until your item has established itself more, however, as you have seen, a little time spent researching keywords can make a whole lot of difference to your profits and success.

There is one final thought I want to share with you, and it will be covered in detail on another blog post and that is, if you are going to run an Amazon PPC Ad Campaign, the strategies you make today for your choice of keywords will help keep your costs per click lower and make it easier to sustain a profitable advertising costs of sale (ACoS).  If you choose lower performing keywords their advertising costs per click will be lower, which means you make more profit against your sale price.  Whichever keywords you choose to aim for, it makes good sense to spend some time typing those search terms into Amazon to see who shows up in sponsored ads and on page one, you need to make sure you can compete with them or you may be paying for keywords where shoppers are also opening up hard-to-beat competitor items.

Let’s leave it there for now but there are some important notes you should also be aware of…

Important Notes:

FIRST, OPTIMIZE YOUR AMAZON LISTING… If the bullets are boring, the images aren’t great, the graphic design is confusing and the description looks hard work you will be attracting lots of buyers but they won’t buy.  Amazon will see that you had lots of visitors with no sales, and your hard work will only lead to a drop in ranking, as the algorithm thinks no one will buy from you.

SELL A LITTLE MORE THAN THOSE AROUND YOU… If you are ranking 100th for a keyword and you suddenly sell 10 a day while those on the same page are selling only 1 per day, the algorithm might suspect something, and could potentially suppress your listing.  So, our advice is to build things up gradually page-by-page.

DON’T ASK FOR REVIEWS… Although this appears counter to what you wish to achieve, you really don’t want to be getting too many reviews.  Amazon doesn’t like reviews from buyers who have purchased at sale price, because this is seen as unfairly influencing prospective buyers who are making decisions while at full price.  Such a review will not be “verified” and if you have too many of those, the algorithm will remove all of those reviews including (potentially) good ones.  If this were to happen, it would ruin your listing, and the only course of action for you would be to begin anew, as the algorithm would blackmark the original and your BSR will plummet.

Thanks for reading.  Feel free to let us know your story below.