EP5: Why Keyword Rank Tracking Is Crucial to Your Success on Amazon
In episode 3 of the eCommerce Podcast by DataHawk, we explain why you should care about Keyword Rank Tracking on Amazon, the benefits you can reap from tracking the ranks for both organic as well as ad related keywords, and how you can use DataHawk to do so.
Raphael: Hi, and welcome to another episode of the DataHawk eCommerce podcast. I’m your host ur.
Prateek: Bonjour, Raphael. Comment ça va?
Raphael: Ça va trés bien. Et toi?
Prateek: Ça va bien, merci.Raphael live from DataHawk Studio here in Paris. In our first episode, we talked about SEO strategies and data-driven keyword ideas. Today, let’s dive deeper into the Amazon SEO topic by discussing the importance of keyword rank tracking. So, you’re selling on Amazon. Your product has a five-star rating. You have a one hundred percent positive feedback rating. You promise deliveries within two hours of customers placing their orders, and you’re running ads on the product. Yet, for some bizarre reason, you don’t show up on the first page of search results on Amazon. That just doesn’t make any sense and you’re panicking because you followed every rule in the book. That’s what we’re going to cover today, so stay tuned.
Raphael: For today, I’m here with my dear friend Pratik, an Amazon expert here at DataHawk. Prateek, bonjour.
Raphael: Thank you for being on the show today.
Prateek: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure.
Raphael: Prateek, maybe we should start with the beginning. Tell us first what’s a keyword and what’s a keyword rank?
Prateek: Sure. Well, I’m sure that most of your listeners, you know, today already know what keywords are, but if they don’t, essentially, your Amazon listing is made up of a bunch of textual content and images. When a potential shopper visits Amazon and begins their search for a product, they enter textual content in the search field. In order to show the most relevant products to the shopper, Amazon takes the content entered by the shopper and checks which listings have them. Those who do, Amazon displays to the shopper. This textual content is keywords. Of course, this is a simplified explanation of what keywords are, but what you need to know is that keywords form one of the central pillars of Amazon’s search and display algorithm, also referred to as the A9 algorithm. This is what allows Amazon to show only the most relevant products to shoppers. And the order in which these products rank for the shopper’s search query, those are keyword ranks.
Raphael: Right. So now, why do you think that the listeners to our podcast today should care about keywords’ ranks? Why is it so important in your opinion?
Prateek: That’s a good question. Did you know that eighty-one percent of clicks go-to brands on the first page of search results? Or that seventy percent of Amazon shoppers never actually browse past the first page of such results? Also, Raphael, the first three items displayed in search results, account for sixty-four percent of clicks. That’s why you need to care about keyword ranks. It’s the whole basis of your Amazon business. If you don’t rank among the first three results, your likelihood of making the sale is very low. Raphael, the thing is, it’s about measurement. What you cannot measure, you cannot manage. Everything starts with measurement. It’s important to be data-driven to measure success. This is all the more important as you don’t have access to your competitors’ traffic data. And it’s still hard to get it for your own products in a historical way intuitively. So keyword ranks sort of becoming the best alternative.
Raphael: So, Pratik, why don’t you explain in detail the benefits of keyword rank tracking, knowing that you can track ranks for organic as well as sponsored keywords.
Prateek: Sure, of course. Just so you know, ninety percent of page views on Amazon still result from organic traffic. You know, it’s easy to track sales. Anyone can do that. But determining why on a particular date you experience a sales spike, or let’s say why for a week you went through a slump? Not that easy. Keyword ranks can reveal the story behind the story. They can help you demystify the variations. In all likelihood, your sales drop was a result of a rank drop, which resulted in reduced visibility and therefore reduced sales. And your rank drop may have been caused by a multitude of factors – competition, price updates, listing changes, and so on. Keyword rank tracking actually is the first step towards helping you make sense of sales variations. Another major benefit of keyword rank tracking is improved visibility. Look, the higher you rank on search results on Amazon, the greater your visibility. And the greater the visibility, the higher the traffic. You get the drift, right? But how does keyword rank tracking help you improve visibility? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. You ascertain which keywords deliver a high search result rank for your product, then you check to see whether or not you have those keywords on your listing. If you don’t, just add them. And you’ll start indexing for them. thus moving higher in search results and as a consequence, improving your product’s visibility. That actually brings me to the third benefit, you know, uncovering obscure keywords. Some of the keywords shoppers will use to search for your product will come to you intuitively.
For example, if you’re selling black tea, I think your human intelligence will tell you that shoppers are likely to use search terms like tea, black tea, black tea bags, black tea organic, but would you ever just guess that they might also be searching for, I don’t know, a stress relief organic Ceylon loose black tea unless you’re sitting with a crystal ball? Probably not, right? That’s why you track keyword ranks because they reveal even the obscure keywords that nonetheless bring traffic to your product pages. And of course, as the maxim goes, the only constant on Amazon changes, right? So keyword rank tracking helps you keep track of the impact of changes. Something about your product listing changed. Maybe it was you who made the change, say increased the price, or maybe it was a customer who left a poor star rating for the product. How did the change affect your product visibility in search results? Again, keyword ranks hold the answer to that.
By studying rank, trend lines, and co-relating them with listing changes, you’re able to pinpoint exactly how the rank responded to which change. And then you can decide, I mean you can use this insight to decide whether to keep the changes or revert them.
Today, there are over two million sellers on Amazon. Unless you’re selling moon dust, you’re going to have to compete with others for shoppers’ dollars. And when you compete, you need competitive intelligence, right, to give you the edge. So when you track competing products, you can see co-relations between changes to competitors’ product listings and search result ranks. Maybe they added a couple of new keywords to their product title and those keywords drove them to the top of the search results. You can get quote-on-quote inspired by these changes and make their strategy work for you as well.
Raphael: What about the benefits of the ads’ performance level?
Prateek: So ads are a great way to actually drive future organic ranks, you know? Keyword rank tracking tells you which keywords you’re not ranking well for. You bid on those keywords in the short term, you drive up the sales velocity, and voila – the next thing you know, your organic rank has been boosted. Amazon’s A9 algorithm factors in a product’s sales velocity, while ranking products in search results. Even if your results are ad-generated, Amazon will factor in the increased sales velocity the next time even if you stop running the ads.
Secondly, it helps you bid more judiciously. If, for a particular keyword or a set of keywords, your product is already ranking high organically, bidding on those keywords is not going to yield any incremental results. As such, any ad dollars you spend on those keywords will just be a waste. By tracking keywords ranks, you can actually determine which keywords not to bid on, resulting in a reduced ad cost.
And thirdly, Raphael, remember your opening statement regarding the guy who was doing everything right but couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t showing up on the first page of search results? Let’s revisit that for a second.
For any keyword of your choice, DataHawk’s market research and intelligence tool provide you with the associated competitive dynamics, helping you make better SEO and SEM decisions. Say you’re Casper and you sell mattresses on Amazon, and that your mattresses range from let’s say five hundred to eight hundred dollars. Your products have excellent star ratings, you promise delivery within two days, hey, I mean two hours if your customer’s placing their order, have a one hundred percent positive feedback rating on Amazon, and run ads. Yet when a shopper types mattress, you don’t show up on mage one of the search results on Amazon. You’re bewildered. This makes zero sense to you. Well, it makes perfect sense to us actually, and the answer lies in keyword rank tracking. Here’s how. Using the keyword market analysis tool on DataHawk for the keyword mattress, we prepared a page-wise competitive profile of products up to the fifth page of search results.
This revealed to us that the maximum price for a mattress shown on page one is 350, with the minimum being 185 and the median being 240. This tells us that no matter how well you do in terms of other parameters like star ratings or reviews or even if you run ads if you want to show up on page one for the keyword mattress, you need to be selling closer to the median price of 240. Given that Casper sells at a much higher price, in order to show up on page one, they’d rather be bidding on longer-tailed keywords like, I don’t know, queen-sized mattress instead. This way, a data-driven ad strategy can help them improve their impressions, CTR, conversions, and margins. All of this results in a better overall ad campaign with a reduced ad cost.
And finally, it provides you with a competitive edge. As mentioned in the organic performance section, tracking competing products is a must for any Amazon seller. When you see that competing products are running ads, ranking higher than you, and as a result garnering more sales, and you’ve done everything you could on the organic side, you know it’s time for you to run ads. But this is where rank tracking becomes interesting. You don’t just run ads randomly. You pick your battles carefully. You run ads on keywords in which it makes the most sense to do so.
Raphael: So now how can you actually track keyword rank?
Prateek: Well, so there’s actually a bunch of software tools out there in the market which you can use to track keyword ranks, but DataHawk happens to be one of the best ones out there. You can actually use DataHawk at scale in the sense, I mean not only can you track your products, but you can also track those of your competitors and you can do this at scale.
There’s no limit to how many products you can track, and also regardless of which hat you were, whether you’re in seller central or vendor central, you don’t really need to integrate your Amazon account with DataHawk to use us, which means you can keep your Amazon account and DataHawk separate. Let’s talk about how DataHawk can help you. Let’s talk about our keyword tracker. It starts with creating a project on DataHawk.
A project can be for a bunch of products within the same subcategory or a single product. Let’s say you created a project for Lipton black tea. Add some keywords which you think are relevant, for example, Lipton Tea, black tea, organic black tea, and so on. Our keyword tracker allows you to track the product ranks for all of these keywords. You can use the ranking site and adapt your strategy. For example, if there are specific keywords for which you are not ranking high, just run ads. Or if there are keywords for which you have been ranking high for organically and running ads as well, I mean at the same time, just stop running the ads. Do you know? The other really powerful tool is the keyword lookup feature.
Our constantly evolving and expanding database shows you even those keywords for which your product has ranked, at some point, historically. For each of those keywords, it shows you both the rank and the search volume. Take the ones which have high ranks and large search volumes. If they’re not on your listing, just add them. And there you go. Your visibility is boosted, you know that drives more traffic and increased sales, which again, in turn, improves visibility. Do you see the flywheel emerging, Raphael?
Prateek: As I’ve mentioned throughout this podcast, you have to track your competitors on Amazon, right? You watch them, you learn from them, you pick up the good things and you avoid the mistakes they’re making, right? DataHawk’s market tool helps you with that. The tool uncovers competing products. You create a project with those products. Then, using the keyword lookup tool, you uncover the keywords which result in high ranks for those products. And if you don’t have those keywords for your listing, just add them. Relevant keywords, improved visibility, which boosts your traffic, again, which increases sales and that improves visibility. I mean, the entire objective of building superior technology at DataHawk, Raphael, is to manifest Amazon’s flywheel in your business.
Raphael: Maybe to summarize what you just said because it’s a lot to take and I understand for our listeners, but it’s so complete. So, again, thank you for that. So the benefits of keyword rank tracking in the organic performance goes from understanding your sales variation, improving your visibility, your listing visibility, uncovering obscure keywords, you mentioned it, a very interesting one, helps you keep track of the impact of changes, your changes, or any changes on your listing, and uncover competitive intelligence. I think this is very very very interesting for the organic. On the ads performance level, you talked about bidding more judiciously, I think that’s a good one. Definitely saving money by reducing your ad cost, as we talked. And provides you with a competitive edge. I don’t know if we mentioned this but I don’t think everyone on Amazon is doing it – tracking keyword ranks.
Prateek: I mean, I think the whole eCommerce online retail landscape has changed so much. I mean I’ve been in this game for almost seven years now. I remember back in the day in 2011, all you had to do to sell on Amazon was basically source, you know, and then list the product at a decent price and you’d be moving items.
Prateek: So many people selling so many kinds of products. I mean, the number of products, SKUs on Amazon has just exploded. So you can’t just be listing a product and hoping that it’s going to sell. Right? You have to use data-driven strategies like you have to track who your competitors are, what changes they are making, what kinds of keywords people are using to search for the kind of products that you sell to buy those products. Then you start bidding on those keywords, you make sure you have those keywords on your listings. Yeah. I mean, keyword rank tracking has sort of becoming one of the cornerstones of selling strategies on Amazon.
Raphael: We’ll end this episode on this beautiful note. Thanks so much, Prateek for being our guest today.
Prateek: Thank you, Raphael. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
Raphael: That was another episode of the DataHawk eCommerce podcast and we’ll see you soon on our next episode. Bye, guys.