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People running marathon; caption Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis

If your product isn’t visible in Amazon’s search results, you may have a problem with organic ranking.

Don’t worry. There are ways to fix the problem.

First, identify why your listing isn’t getting enough traffic. Then focus on why it isn’t converting to sales.

Once you’ve diagnosed the cause, design a custom optimization strategy to fit your listings’ unique needs. Keyword optimization, Amazon advertising, driving external traffic from ads off Amazon, and content and social media marketing can all help drive more customer traffic to your listing.

Once the shoppers have found your listing, convert them with killer copy, stellar reviews, and high-quality product photography.

How many shoppers are seeing my listing?

Man's face enlarged while wearing blue sunglasses and blue suit holding magnifying glass in front of facePhoto by Marten Newhall

Start with one question: Is my product listing getting enough traffic?

You can measure the traffic, the number of shoppers that see your listing in the search results, by viewing unit sessions. If your sessions are low it is important to identify the cause.

The following three factors can lead to poor traffic, and thus, an inability to rank:

#1 Too Few Keywords

The first step to ranking on the first page of search results is a product listing that is rich in relevant keywords. Amazon’s algorithms use Natural Language Processing to match a product with a customer’s search terms. The more keywords you include in your listing, the more customer searches it will match.

#2 Poor Rankings

Your goal is to appear at the top of the first page of the search results. The click-through rate of a listing drops significantly as its ranking decreases from the first organic position. Aim to be in the top sixteen organic positions on a page.

Graphic of Amazon Product Ranking: Review Count, Price & Stars in relation to page rank position

Not anywhere close to the top 16? Reach a niche audience by selecting relevant, long-tail high opportunity keywords with low competition.

#3 A Lack of Reviews

The fewer reviews a product has, the fewer times it has sold. Sales velocity is a primary driver of Amazon's ranking. If a product isn’t selling well, it won’t rank well.

Amazon offers programs to help your product get its first reviews. Make sure to enroll in the Early Reviewer or the Vine Program.

Are shoppers buying my product?

Woman holding credit card sitting on couch with laptop in lap Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Once shoppers have found your listing, the next question to ask yourself is: Are they converting to sales?

Keep in mind that sales power your ranking potential. If your listing is not converting, it will also decrease your traffic.

Here are some obstacles that can prevent a shopper from buying your product once they have found your listing:

  • A star rating below 3

  • Too few reviews

  • Poor quality reviews

  • Overpriced product

  • Poor quality or lack of photography

  • Poorly written listing

  • Not Buy Box eligible

  • Out-of-stock product

  • Delayed shipping time

Tackle one obstacle at a time, with a data-driven optimization strategy.

How do you create an optimization strategy?

MerchantWords’ free Digital Shelf Report is a powerful diagnostic tool that can help you identify your problem – low traffic or poor conversion – so you can design your best optimization strategy.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Power1 card game on display

POWER1 is a rummy-style card game enabling player elimination. The game is selling well on Amazon in Canada but they are still not winning sales in the US market. The brand contacted us for help getting their product to rank on Amazon.com.

Amazon listing for Power1 card game

Their Digital Shelf report was the first step to identify how this listing’s traffic and conversion rates stacked up to their competition’s performance.


Screenshot showing MerchantWords competitive review tool

As you can see above, the metrics are mixed. This listing has a competitive page rank, star rating, and price, but it is far behind the competition in terms of the share of voice, the number of reviews, and page 1 keywords.

In order to design an optimization strategy, it is important to determine if POWER1's main concern is traffic or conversion.

Ranking Indicators - Traffic

Graph Ranking indicators for traffic - Page 1 keywords

PAGE 1 KEYWORDS: A very low number of keywords rank this listing on the first page of search results, suggesting that the product is not visible organically on many search results pages.

Graph Ranking indicators for traffic - Review page

REVIEW AVERAGE: The number of reviews is far below the competitive average suggesting that this product has fewer sales than its competitors. Low sales volume is a major obstacle to ranking on Amazon.

Graph Ranking indicators for traffic - Share of voice

SHARE OF VOICE: This metric calculates the organic visibility of a listing using the number of indexed keywords, the search volumes of those keywords, and the listing’s positions on its search pages. The low share of voice numbers here suggests that this listing is overshadowed by its competitors.

Ranking Indicators - Conversion

Graph Ranking indicators for conversions - Price Average

PRICE AVERAGE: Price is a quarter lower than average competitor, suggesting that the product is competitively priced.

Graph Ranking indicators for conversions - Star Rating Average

STAR RATING AVERAGE: Star rating is higher than average, indicating that the quality of the product is good.

Graph Ranking indicators for conversions - Rank Average

RANK AVERAGE: When this product appears on page one, it is better ranked than its competitors. This suggests that when visible, this product listing successfully converts shoppers.

Listing Assessment

POWER1 appears to be converting extremely well, but their problem is low traffic. There are not enough customers seeing their product listing in the search results.

On Amazon, the keywords for playing cards and games are dominated by big brand names. Consumer demand appears to be brand loyal, so it is not surprising that this new, niche product is struggling to compete on top-of-the-funnel Amazon search terms (e.g., playing cards, family games). An effective optimization strategy must be creative, educate the market, and focus on small gains.

How do you beat big brands to maximize traffic to your listing?

1. Start with Free Traffic

Driving external traffic to your Amazon listing is free and Amazon rewards you for it. POWER1 designed its website to direct traffic to its Amazon listing. They’ve got active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The key here is not only posting regularly but being intentional with where the posts send traffic.

Three women lying on floor playing Power1

2. Collaborate with Influencers

Building relationships with influencers is a key strategy for novel products. People want to buy things they know they’ll love from people they already like. POWER1 is spreading the word about their product by partnering with board game vloggers.

3. Optimize Pay Per Click Campaigns for Opportunity

Create a manual and an automatic campaign. Get creative with long-tail keywords. These specific keyword phrases may have a lower search volume, but they’re cheaper and have a higher potential to convert.

A quick and simple way to start gaining back some share of voice, sales, and rank is to take the missing keywords from the Digital Shelf report and add them into a manual broad and phrase match campaign. Then move the keywords that perform well into an exact match ad group.

It is good practice to create a single keyword campaign for the keywords that perform well. This allows that keyword to have its own budget and the keywords in your other campaigns to get more clicks and sales.

Now Test, and Test Again!

The Digital Shelf tool helped POWER1 gain the insights they need to maximize their traffic with creative marketing on and off Amazon. How do we know if their efforts moved the needle? More testing! The best practice is to update your Digital Shelf report every 30 - 45 days to check results.

MerchantWords’ new, FREE Digital Shelf Report is a powerful diagnostic tool that shows your share of searches on Amazon.

  • Uncover new and unused keyword opportunities for SEO and PPC

  • Make more precise sourcing and bundling decisions with product intel

  • Discover your total share of search and overall search rank

CLICK HERE to receive a complimentary, Digital Shelf Report on your ASIN or ISBN now.