Improve your reviews on Amazon to decrease PPC ad spending

Amazon is proud of its advertising platform, and for good reason- it’s extremely profitable! But it’s also profitable for Amazon sellers, in fact most sellers have a 40% increase in units ordered after using Amazon advertising.

It’s pretty clear that ad spending can increase your sales. However, the ultimate goal is to gain enough awareness, so that you eventually don’t have to rely on Amazon PPC. Your key to reducing that reliance comes down to Amazon Product Reviews. 

This article will talk about how sales frequency and PPC relate. We will also tell you how to supplement that frequency while reducing reliance on PPC campaigns.

1. Sales Impact on Search Frequency and PPC

Sales impact on search frequency and PPC

In  2011 a case study revealed that 89% of site visits could be related to organic search results. Organic search results refers to the natural traffic you receive from search engines recognizing your credibility as a company or source of information. 

Why does this matter?

From the following study conducted in December 2018, only 25% of people view advertising as positive. Consumer perception of advertising through a three-step process:

  1. They see the ad
  2. They recognize that it is an ad
  3. They deliberately avoid clicking on the ad 

That being said, there is a time and place for advertising your product or service. However, over-reliance on that tactic will eventually turn people off.. 

Alternatives to PPC Advertising

Amazon knows that PPC advertising is not the only marketing strategy. This is why the new A10 Algorithm updates will put greater emphasis on off-site traffic.  Off-site traffic tells Amazon that you are willing to establish a long-term strategy.

Links coming from social media pages, external websites, and other sources are essential. The same logic applies when establishing backlinks from third-party websites. That means someone on the internet trusts you enough to cite your content. 

But how does this relate to product reviews? 

2. How Do Your Product Reviews Affect Your PPC Costs?

Product Reviews affect in PPC Costs

From another unrelated study, we can say that 88% of customers put high trust in Word-of-Mouth (WOM) advertising. That’s a considerable amount   of customers. This statistic reminds us that Amazon PPC isn't as effective when used as a stand alone strategy.

What does work with customers is social proof. Social proof is recognition from others in your same social group that something is good or bad. It is the evidence that turns good ideas into profitable ones. 

There are many ways for you to get that first ounce of social proof. Many of those rely on automatic campaigns where relevant keywords are targeted between competitors. Those keywords meet buyer intent, increasing a seller’s chance for a conversion. 

When you receive positive feedback, the Amazon algorithm recognizes your value. As a result, they then place you higher in search results. Amazon prioritizes positive customer experience. Without quality sellers to back that up, Amazon’s marketplace could fall apart. 

By extension, more Amazon product reviews mean you can reduce your reliance on PPC campaigns. Instead, you can focus those efforts towards paying for Amazon SEO, growing your social media presence, or other strategies that work better in the long term. 

3. Amazon PPC is Not A Viable Long Term Strategy

From our article on the A10 algorithm, Amazon has affirmed what you read in the heading.

PPC is not a good long-term strategy 

That being said, PPC is an excellent short-term strategy. Paying for advertisement space among search terms is a perfect way for high spenders to gain recognition. 

Pay-Per-Click is how ASINs get their first review. But what is important isn’t how they get the following reviews. Instead, people will most likely look for the products that have the most social recognition. 

A significant amount of effort does need to be put into building a large customer base. This customer base is far more valuable than the single sale you make tomorrow. 

Marketers are constantly talking about making people believers in what they sell. These sellers do that by providing value beyond what the product itself does.

They create a system that anyone could feasibly set up in any environment: Amazon or otherwise. Much of this from constantly being in a state of asking for feedback. You aren’t going to get many Amazon reviews if you don’t ask for them.  

The same can be said for building your social media lists or email marketing campaigns. None of this starts without getting social recognition in the form of positive feedback. 

4. What are the Top Ways to Leverage Reviews to Reduce Your Ad Costs?

Amazon has strict rules regarding how you gain reviews. However, they don’t say too much about leveraging them. Below, we will go through some of the top ways to utilize reviews to reduce your ad spend. 

Boost Your Amazon SEO Rank

Boost your Amazon SEO rank

One way to decrease ad spending is by employing a good SEO strategy. Amazon SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, chooses relevant keywords that match buyer intent. Buyer intent refers to the search term matching their desired product as closely as possible.

Amazon won’t mention much of SEO themselves because it involves discussion on how to beat the algorithm. Because they don’t like talking about their secrets, you’ll have to rely on a couple of things.

  • Amazon’s Sponsored Products Advertising
  • Third-party tools

How Does Amazon Sponsored Product Advertising Help With SEO?

Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads don’t help that much by themselves. However, both PPC and SEO have something in common: keywords

Keywords are what people search for when trying to get to the product they want. That means the keywords you target during your PPC campaigns will likely be close to those you will target for SEO campaigns. 

An excellent tip to improve your keyword strategy is to use long-tail keywords.  The term “long-tail” refers to targeted keywords of three (or more) words. Longer keywords still contain shorter keywords, meaning you can rank for multiple targets.

Using DataHawk’s SEO Tool To Get High Keyword Rankings

An important part of using keywords in your marketing strategy involves first performing  keyword research. Datahawk’s Amazon Keyword Tracker is an excellent tool to do this.The keyword tracker allows you to monitor keywords alongside other metrics easily. The keyword tracking tool analyzes product descriptions and their relevant keywords. You can even compare your product listings with competitors to see how to improve your own marketing strategy.

When using the software’s dashboard, you can track your keywords easily by creating different projects. Those projects  assess what's currently working in your product descriptions, and what’s not

Check out a demo of DataHawk's Amazon Keyword Tracker to see how the keyword system works. 

Using Amazon Reviews To Bolster Your Off-Site Presence

The first thing to be aware of is that Amazon has strict requirements against linking to pages outside of Amazon. They can potentially shut down your account if you fail to comply. So most sellers make sure not to do an external linking within your content.

There is an exception. Many veteranAmazon sellers get around this rule by attempting to funnel customers to their social media accounts. They do this by Including a link to their social media.  This is a strategic way to send customers over to your page to follow you for further content and advertising. 

Perhaps the most important of these restrictions is on including a link to your website. Avoid adding URLs to any external place aside from the name of your social media account.but avoid putting down URLs. 

But with Amazon holding copyright control over all content on its site, how do you address reviews? In this case, you have a few different options:

Drawing Social Media Followers (or Email List) To Buy From Your Site 

Once you establish your social media presence or email, you can ask them to buy similar (or the same) products from your site. From your eCommerce site, you can request a review from them and place those reviews as testimonials on your site. 

Other eCommerce sites (like Shopify) also allow you to use reviews in much the same way you see on Amazon. So you might not even have to create a testimonial section on your website. 

Regardless, having a palace where people can gather the user experience is helpful. The right customer review into a testimonial can be a significant difference when converting followers to buyers. 

Still, you might have the perfect Amazon review available on your product. Also, you may wish to encourage sales on multiple fronts. Option number two is utilizing the Amazon API.

Using the Amazon API to Move Reviews To Your Site

An API, otherwise known as an Application Programming Interface, allows two software ends to speak. If they talk, a data transfer occurs between the two sources. Data can refer to almost any information.  

In this case, the information you’ll want to gather refer to Amazon’s reviews. Because the API is done with approval from Amazon’s system, it establishes the review on your site through an official entity. 

However, you’ll also need to receive permission from the original poster of the review. Feasibly, you could look up the reviewer in your shopping history, but that is nearly impossible. The challenges to overcome (even when using the API) can be high. 

That’s why most people just request additional reviews from social media and other sources. Not only can you incentivize those reviews (Amazon doesn’t allow you to incentivize reviews), but you can post them anywhere you want with the proper communication. 

Just be sure to always appreciate the honest feedback. You won’t be able to grow as a business if you aren’t constantly looking to improve your product.

Invest In Becoming A Powerful Amazon Brand

When it comes to putting into that long-term strategy, a big part goes back to creating brands. Brands are going to be the driving force behind updates on Amazon.Check out how fast the Amazon Brand Registry is gaining new features

These analytics tools allow you to understand your customer’s buying journey in greater detail. There’s also the bread and butter of becoming an Amazon Brand: the storefront. 

Amazon Stores, as they are calling it, takes your Amazon Product Reviews to the next level. Instead of focusing on products, customers can focus on the overall brand experience.

Over 70 percent of brand managers say building an audience is more important than converting sales. From our earlier discussion, you already know that this is because your audience is a continuous sales pool. 

The Importance of Brand Management on Amazon

Amazon reviews for sellers are typically related to fast shipping, quality products, and easy-to-use products. But from the existence of storefronts on Amazon, we can affirm the importance of brands. 

All you need to do is look towards significant brands as a reminder. In America, Coca-Cola is usually called “coke.” Coke is a word used synonymously with soda, pop. or generic caffeinated, carbonated beverages. 

Your brand should focus on getting into people’s heads. Here are some quick tips that you can use to increase brand awareness:

  • Consider creating a unique logo alongside your standard text-based ones. People are visual, so they will recognize the shape you use over the letters..
  • Think about “custom packaging” that you can use to replace the standard Amazon packaging. The more places you can put your unique design, the more people will recognize it. 
  • Create ad campaigns promoting your brand story. People love a good story, and the “started in your mom’s basement” level of coming from the bottom is incredibly appealing.

5. Utilize Amazon’s Content To Draw Attention To Products With High Reviews

Amazon Posts drives Brand and product Discovery

You may have heard the term “content is king”, and well, that isn’t just a slogan dreamt up by hungry bloggers to encourage sales. It's a fact in many industries. 

People are always looking for inspiration, information, or all forms of help to encourage their next step. Content fills the void by positioning your brand as a source of helpful information. 

In this case, Amazon Posts is a beta solution to that platform you can put right in Amazon’s search results. Posts are entirely free and work for you to place engaging content in the right place. 

The potential to educate prospective shoppers on what your product offers can be helpful. In many ways, it can draw people away from the more “salesy” content expected from your generic product descriptions. 

For now, posts are only available to US-based sellers, so sellers outside of the US should rely on other platforms. 

Creating an Off-Site Blog Linking To Your Products

Linking back to earlier discussions about Amazon’s A10 algorithm, you already know about the importance of off-site content. Amazon puts a higher emphasis on traffic coming from non-Amazon locations. That means that the seller is concerned with long-term results over short-term sales. 

With this in mind, non-US and US-based Amazon sellers should consider starting a blog. A blog draws attention to your website with the promise of unique solutions. You can use blogs to answer burning questions in your niche that you have the expertise to answer. 

By linking those blogs to high-ranking reviews, you increase your sales potential heavily. Blog creation, combined with social proof, provides you more significant potential to be a thought leader in your industry. 

Create a Cycle Of Reviews Using Product Inserts

One way to increase customer reviews is by using  product inserts. 

A product insert can serve multiple purposes:

  • Review request
  • Instructional pamphlet
  • Discount code for next purchase 
  • A thank-you note

All of these are great options but don’t include review requests with discount codes. Having them together has the potential to incite Amazon’s wrath against paid-for reviews. 

Instead, include your review requests alongside instructional pamphlets. 

Instructions reduce the chance of your order defect rate, a key to winning the buy box. Winning the buy box increases your opportunity to gain reviews. 

When they see this alongside the review request, customers will be more likely to respond. Seeing you as helpful and “not too pushy” is a win in most customer’s books. 

6. Amazon Product Reviews FAQs

Can People Who Purchase The Product Off of Amazon Make A Review?

Yes, many customers have the opportunity to leave behind reviews if they purchased the product on another site than Amazon. However, customers are limited to five unverified reviews a week. 

While most customers aren’t likely to run into this limitation, it’s best to keep your review request to Amazon buyers. Having an “unverified buyer” on this list won’t get you as much social proof. 

Does Amazon Automatically Ask For Reviews?

Amazon’s default settings are to send email requests asking the buyer for reviews. Therefore, you do not technically need to do anything to request it, as Amazon will do it for you. 

Do Amazon Reviews Post Immediately?

No. Amazon reviews typically appear three days after the post was initially made. Some reviews come sooner, while others come later.

Amazon takes all reviews through its review process to ensure they abide by community standards. Amazon wants reviews to focus on the buyer experience. Any reviews that include inappropriate content are removed. 

What Things are Not Allowed On Amazon Product Reviews?

Amazon doesn’t allow price comparisons, fulfillment comments, or availability issues on public reviews. Those statements are left to seller feedback, as that has nothing to do with the product. 

Amazon also bans consumers from making price comparisons in public. This draws prospective buyers away from Amazon. Also, pricing is typically set by Amazon, meaning it should not be considered for the product quality. 

How Many Reviews on Amazon are Fake?

This is difficult to estimate, as Amazon doesn’t talk about the limitations of its system. However, some have speculated that up to 60% of Amazon’s electronics reviews are fake. 

Given that almost all buyers do not leave behind reviews, some sellers can get desperate. Despite Amazon’s best efforts, many of the reviews available are paid for. These are considered “black hat” activities, given that they are morally questionable. 

How Does Amazon Find Fake Reviews?

Amazon fake reviews are typically found based on the lack of a “verified” tag on the purchase. That’s one big sign that the review has nothing to do with the product. 

Also, some reviews are entirely too positive. There’s no critical aspect of them, and they use terminology like “must-have” to open the door. 

Can You Get Paid For Amazon Reviews?

No. Amazon once had an early reviewer program for their favorite people. However, it turned out to be a bit hypocritical, so Amazon ended the early review program some time ago. 

There is no way to get paid for an Amazon review without breaking the TOS. 

Can Friends Leave Behind Reviews on Amazon?

If you sold your first product to friends (which isn’t uncommon), you might be tempted to ask them for reviews. However, Amazon may frown upon this activity, as friends are those you have a personal relationship with. 

Amazon frowns upon reviews with any chance of favoritism. Given that they want all reviews to be honest, you might see those go down if they determine you know the reviewer. 

7. Wrap Up

Amazon reviews are a great way to gain exposure and draw attention. With this in mind, more attention from this source means less reliance on other sources. Diversifying your advertising platform is crucial to keeping steady conversion rates. 

Through data on Amazon Seller Central, you can utilize review information to power your responses. While your ultimate goal is positive feedback, you’ll want to be responsive to all feedback in general. With this, you can benchmark product changes and see how they work. 

For an alternate form of gaining attention with your Amazon product reviews fame, check out Datahawk’s SEO Analytics tool. Our system can help your products rank well for effective keywords.

Titles

  • How To Gain Positive Customer Feedback to Reduce Advertising Costs on Amazon
  • How Positive Amazon Reviews Can Reduce Advertising Costs
  • Reducing Amazon Advertising Costs Using Customer Reviews

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