Ranking to the First Page of Amazon Search – Episode 42
with Manny Coats
Getting to the first page of search is every Amazon Seller’s dream. In this episode, we discuss a formula for how many units to give away to get to the first page of search for any keyword. We also share other useful tools brought to you by our special guest, Manny Coats. You can watch the video portion of this episode on our Youtube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Manny Coats is the former founder of Twisted Humor.com, the world’s largest humor site, which he developed in 1999. Manny got his feet wet in the eCommerce space and in the mobile platform from his site. After a few months of beginning to sell on Amazon in 2015, he quit his previous business and went full-time selling on Amazon. Manny is now a multi-million dollar seller. He began his AM/PM podcast in 2016 and then transitioned into a software company for Amazon Sellers called Helium 10. Below is an excerpt of an interview with Manny Coats hosted by Liran Hirschkorn and Nathan Slamans.
Manny, when you started out with Private Label, you certainly learned what worked and what didn’t work when it came to products. How did you move from having a goal of $250,000 and end up with $1.6 million in sales?
- The first thing I would recommend is to have enough money to get started. Beginning with $500 is certainly more difficult to start with than a few thousand dollars. With several thousand you can build your inventory in order to not run out of stock.
- Second, don’t give up. My first product was liquid chalk markers, which is a hot item right now, but I failed at it. However, I learned from it. I wasn’t good with calculating all of the cost of everything involved. The cost of advertising, returns, damaged items, shipping fees, and taxes. This product was my first test case. I used this product, however, to improve my product research with back-end search terms, keywords, etc.
Do you have a certain amount of money that you would recommend to set aside for a marketing budget?
- It all depends on how much cash flow you have. If you have very little, then you have to get creative in other ways, and do a lot of the legwork yourself. But if you have $5-$10,000 then you are going to have to figure out pay-per-click, keyword search, and how to rank for keywords.
Golden Nugget: Every keyword in your title gets a “lift” from every sales. That means that even if you are not specifically targeted one of your keywords in a launch, or even if a customer is not organically searching for a particular keyword in your title, you will still see a boost in search rank for your sales. This is why it is important to optimize your listing, both with copy, keywords & images, before you launch your product.
Obviously you have been having some successes. So, what prompted you to say “hey, some of the tools out there are not really doing what I want them to do, so I need to develop something myself.”
- So I have been doing this for over a year now, ever since December of 2015. At the beginning of 2016 there were some tools, but now things have exploded. I had a software development team, so I had them customize a tool for me, but I didn’t design it for anyone else. Instead I would refer people to Jungle Scout. I realized then that I could create tools for others to use to help them get to the first page of search. So we first developed Scribbles and Frankenstein as listing optimization and keyword manipulation tools. These tools are free at Helium 10.
- Then we decided to create an entire Suite of Tools. Rather than pay a lot of different fees for separate tools. So we charge people for this larger suite of tools. Each one has its own unique feature. For example, Frankenstein allows you to paste in a host of phrases and it will filter your words and will yield you the most combinations of keywords. Scribbles allows you to paste everything in the tool and as you begin typing everything out, the words disappear. By the time you are done, you know you will have a super optimized listing, which will help you get to the first page of search.
Do you close your listing when you stock out?
Yes, I have. But, almost everyone that I have spoken to does not do this, but everyone should do this. When you run out of stock, sometimes it takes a long time to recover and sometimes you never really do. You can actually go into Seller Central and close the listing, even though it sounds scary, it stops the accumulation of you making zero sales daily. Because you don’t have this rolling average, you are able to rebound much faster.
Discuss for us a bit about rolling averages with sales. How does Amazon look at them and compare them to help rank products and how to do a launch successfully?
Sure! People have been looking for a reverse-ASIN tool, so we designed one called Cerebro. If you want to do a product launch you want to identify the keywords that you are going after. These would be keywords that give you good volume. We have over 10 billion data points with Amazon, so we are pretty accurate. The CPR method or Cerebro Product Rank is a formula we have come up with which allows you to take the keywords and apply it to an 8-day product launch. You will learn how many units to give away per day to end up on the first page of search for any product.
The rolling averages that we are talking about applied in our mobile side of business as well. Typically when we launched we noticed that we ranked very quickly, then we would stop the promotions, but we dropped fast. However, Amazon and mobile apps track launches over time. The first 24 hours and then 72 hours, 7 days, etc. it’s tracked. We give it a week and then if we give away the right amount based on the formula, our first page of search sticks.
Up until this point, it is usually a guessing game, right, Liran. Can you talk about how sellers learn what keywords to rank for and how many give-aways to have?
One of the biggest issues people have is what to go after, and how many units should I give away? Sellers notice that their competitors are selling crazy amounts of units. However, we know that those are probably due to promotions and other options. There are options from external marketing, sponsored-ads, etc. So Manny’s formula is really powerful to help sellers understand how to not give away too little or too much.
We’ve used Cerebro and one of the things it does is give you an IQ score. Can you talk about that score and what it means? When I get the results how should I sort the results?
I recommend you sort by search volume of exact match. What is cool about Cerebro is every single keyword listed is a keyword that ranks for. The IQ score is looking at the competing products and it is looking at the number of searches. The keyword that has the most search volume shows up.
Also, searching for exact phrase means you have to use your human brain and eliminate some of the obvious things. For example, LED is so broad that it’s not a good keyword to rank for. The tool also shows headline ads for that term. It also finds keywords that zero people are targeting for and I can use it for my headline ads.
The visual for these data points will be shared on YouTube as well.
Tell us a little bit about Review Revealer?
There’s a lot of cool stuff on this chrome extension tool. Go to helium10.com/extension There are buttons placed next to every single review. You want to make sure that when a customer is unsatisfied with a product, that you are able to improve customer service. Offer to send a new product by using the word “feedback”, rather than “review”.
The Helium10 suite has a variety of plans. So in order to become a paid member, there are a number of different plans. Each one gives you a certain amount of searches. There is a $97 plan, $197 plan and $297 plan.
If you would like to know more about Manny Coats and his AM/PM podcast, visit the page and give it a like.
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