Optimizing as An Outsider
When it comes to your private label listings, you may want to consider optimizing them like an outsider. And we’ll explain why, coming up in this episode of the Amazon Seller Podcasts.
Amazing Freedom Magic Listing Service
Nathan (Ad): 00:28 You’re listening to the Amazon Seller Podcasts and we’re talking about optimizing and getting ahead of the competition for your private label products. And as we get into that, I want to remind you to check out the Amazing Freedom Magic Listing Service at www.amazingfreedom.com/magic.
With the Amazing Freedom Listing Service – our team of expert US copywriters do a deep dive, into your product and provide you with a fully optimized listing. Including title, bullets, description, EBC, if needed and back end search terms. Having a listing that blends keywords and great sales copy to increase conversions is extremely important. And the Amazing Freedom Listing Service gets it done for you fast and right.
Optimizing As An Outsider
Nathan: 01:10 Welcome back to the Amazon Seller Podcast. My name is Nathan Slamans, joined by Andy Slamans and Liran Hirschkorn. And today we’re talking about how to optimize your Amazon listings by looking at them with objective eyes and not being emotionally driven with your decisions and your optimization of your product. So we’re going to get it to this.
Andy, maybe you can first talk about how sometimes it’s just easier to help other people with their products, whether it’s vetting or optimizing than it is with our own products. Maybe you can talk a little bit about your experience now that you’ve been really working with other sellers helping and training for, you know, several years now. And maybe you can just talk about your experience with that compared to sometimes just looking at your own products.
Andy: 01:57 Sure, sometimes familiarity with your niche or your products can be a hindrance. I remember one of my first products. It was doing very well, it was at a good place of search. I just happened to get lucky. I was first to market with this product, this was early on when I first started out. So my listing was not the best, it had okay images, the copy was okay. And I can remember showing Liran the listing and then Liran looking at it and saying “Andy, you got to have to get better images are, you know, you need to add to that copy”. And I remember arguing with him, saying, “but Liran, it’s selling, you know, it’s at a great place of search and his point was “Yeah, you know, just because it’s good, it doesn’t mean that you stop there. You need to make it great”.
And, you know, that’s, I think what happens in a lot of people’s business, specially if they’re listening is doing well. If their sales are okay, there’s a tendency to get stagnant and unfortunately, I didn’t listen to his advice at the time. So I left my listing as is. And sure enough, I slowly began to slip in rank as well as sales, as competition came in with optimized listings. And so, you know, after about seven or eight months, I recognize that I went back to Liran, I said “Man, what do I need to do?” He gave me the suggestions. I spent the money, got a professional services to help me beef up my listing. And as soon as I did that, my rank started to increase, my sales started to increase. So, you know, just having an outside perspective often makes it a little easier to see the things that you can improve upon.
Nathan: 03:49 And we’re going to get into that, in just a minute, Liran is going to give us some specific strategies and things to look at when we’re optimizing, but real quick, maybe you can just talk about, so that’s the optimization part, we’re going to be talking about. Maybe you can talk about the vetting part too. The three of us get together, we talk about this a lot on the podcast.
Every week the three of us get together and we evaluate ideas of our Inner Circle members. That’s one of the big benefits that people have who are in our inner circle group. They get to send us their ideas and the three of us get together, spend several hours, usually on a Sunday and go through their products.
Andy, maybe you can just talk about how sometimes it’s easier for us almost to vet other people’s ideas that we’re just seeing for the first time than it is for some of our own ideas. I’m even thinking of some products that you and I look at and we work on thinking about whether or not we should bring them, where we get a little bit emotionally attached to this idea after we look at it for a little bit. Maybe just talk about why it’s easier sometimes for us to vet other people’s ideas.
Andy: 04:47 Sure. So sometimes you can be blinded by enthusiasm or you know, you haven’t dug in deep enough to the data. And so, you know, by being able to look at what someone else is looking at and not being emotionally attached to their search. So, you know some of our clients, maybe they spent three to four hours on the computer, right? Looking at a potential product and they feel like that’s a lot of time invested. And so, you know, they’ll throw that product to us hoping that, you know, the research and the time is not going to be wasted. Know they want it, they want to kind of get something on the board and, and they necessarily haven’t, you know, pulled themselves back from it emotionally and really analyze that data properly. And so, you know, by us having fresh eyes and being able to come in and look at that product, not having spent the time, you know, the emotional or the physical amount of hours on that research. I think we’re able to give a little better perspective and insight, you know, to that product.
Nathan: 05:51 Yeah. And this could probably be a whole episode in of itself because it really is a different topic but I thought it was relevant enough that we could talk about it. Another reason we see people get emotionally attached to this is actually a mistake that we often tell people that we think they should look to avoid is people will find a product that they have some kind of connection to, right? Like they really enjoy this niche or they have maybe a brother in law that works in this field so they feel like they’re connected that way or they met this really great supplier that they feel like they have this inside relationship with.
And because of that, then they feel like this is the product that they have to do and then they kind of ignore the data that’s telling them otherwise, right? Like there’s not enough demand or there’s not enough search volume for that keyword, their main keyword. So I think that kind of it too where we can look at it objectively when we get together and we can say like, “look, you might, you know, know a lot about this product. You might be able to build up, you have some kind of inside information maybe about it. However, the data’s just not supporting those results”.
So again, this is kind of a different side of this emotionally part of private label that we say that you should maybe vet with somebody else. Maybe if you’re not part of our Inner Circle, you go to, you know, some close friends or something. Have them also think like, through if they think it’s a good idea. But you should just do your due diligence. But getting back to the optimization part of it, Liran, maybe we can talk some specific strategies that you like to look at when you’re helping other people. We know that you help dozens of people per day usually, with their listings. People in our group, people that aren’t in our group, usually helping everybody.
Amazing Freedom PPC Flight Agency
And then you know, the main person of our PPC agency where you’re looking at people’s, not only their sponsored ads, but this is something different about the Amazing Freedom PPC service we have is you don’t just look at people’s ads, you look at their entire picture.
So maybe go through specifically what you like to do when you’re looking at other people’s listings and how everybody should be looking at their listings from kind of a third party perspective.
Liran: 08:00 Yes. Recently, I was looking to start advertising. This was a new listing that I was working with the seller to figure out, okay, what’s, what’s a strategy when it comes to advertising? And then are there some specific keywords that we want to try to be more aggressive on that we’re going to try to look at it, not just from a-cost perspective, but like a, a ranking perspective. And, one of those keyword we’re trying to, to put in the top of search and really kind of compete and get traction with, I’m looking at the, I’m not just going into, campaign manager or software, bulk uploads and just putting in keywords and putting in high bids and saying, okay, I’m done. I’m actually, looking at the search results on Amazon and say, okay, who are we actually going to compete with when we show up at the top of the search results?
And what I saw was, this was a new product that our client had had a really good optimized listing, good images, good copy. So everything was good except, when I look at their product compared to the competitors on the page, they have a similar product, some, some minor like nice differences, but mostly similar and they’re priced $3 higher than another listing that they’re going to show up right next to it at the top of the sponsored ad results, that listing as 800 reviews, they’re new listing.
One of the things I said to them was, hey, I really think he, if we want to get traction with both PPC and some organic ranking for this keyword, I, my recommendation is that you drop the price a little bit and in fact that you drop the price lower, not just, the same as the competitor, but somewhat lower than this competitor if you want to try and take market share, get those conversions. Those conversions at the top of the search results are also going to lead to a lower cost per click and better rankings for you and there’s going to be a lot, a lot of good things that are going to happen.
They came back and they said to me, yeah, but our product has this and this feature, and that’s a little bit different. And my response was, it’s not good enough starting out. And they took the advice and they, and they lower the price, but when, when I’m looking at their listing and, and everything, I’m looking at it from sort of an objective point of view as opposed to this is my, my baby and hey, I don’t think that we should price my baby at this price because this is like a premium version of, of their product. Starting out, you’re going to need to be aggressive, especially if you want to go for, specific keywords that have more higher search volume etc.
So, one yeah, what we do when it comes to PPC is we don’t just, throw in keywords and optimize. We actually look at what the search results look like and how do you fare against the competition. But we also have the advantage that we are not emotionally tied to, to the product. And I’ve made the same mistake on my own products in the past where I said, hey, I have a premium product. I’m not going to price it below certain price. But there’s some seasonality to it. And there may be times of the year, then it’s slower than I need to price more aggressively in order to keep moving, moving inventory. And that ultimately should be more important than my attachment to the fact that I think I have a premium product. So, I think the, the learning lesson here is that you want to look at your listing as if it’s not yours, right? As if you are, as if somebody just hired you to critique every single part of a listing, rip it apart and find all the flaws.
And if you look at it that way, you might come up with some things like, hey, you know what? My images need work. They’re not good enough. I need to add a coupon on my listing because several of my competitors on page one have that orange coupon badge and maybe I need to do it. Or, I need to be okay accepting a higher a-cost because I’m in my first couple of months in the product and I’m in launch phase and getting traction as opposed to killing something. And you really need to, you really need to look at your listing from a sort of third party perspective is as opposed to from, having some kind of time, same, same with your price or targeting certain keywords in PPC.
Maybe you’re targeting your main keyword and it’s super competitive and it’s just not working, right? You spent, you spent $50 and you have sales of $35, and you need to kill that keyword or search term for now and, and go after long tail keywords and maybe come back to this when you have more reviews, or try it again in the future and kind of kill that main keyword that maybe you were expecting and hoping that you would get sales from but you kind of miscalculated. so we have, we have kind of an interesting perspective because we can, we can look at something we’re not tied to it at all versus ourselves are being tied to our own products. And you listening, being tied emotionally to your product and I would challenge you to go in and look at your product like a, like you’re doing some kind of forensic audit of it and finding every single flaw and how you can improve it.
Nathan: 13:11 Yeah. And so, you know, the first things you already mentioned, some of the things like your images, which we talk about all the time how important images are. Things like your title and looking at your title probably on desktop versus mobile. Those kinds of things and your description and your bullets. But you also mentioned how this person you are working with, you weren’t just looking at yours, you’re analyzing the competition.
Maybe you can dive a little bit deeper into that because I think most of us can wrap her head around, look at our own listing and trying to really tear that apart. Like you sat and critique it. But how do, how do, how would you say that you objectively look at your listing compared to the competition? And really what we will want to look from is a consumer shopper standpoint, right? Like if we’re going to look for it. So what would be your advice on that? Just diving a little deeper?
Liran: 14:01 Yeah. So I mean, one question I think you need to ask yourself, is do I have a better offer? Right? So if you are, if you are showing up on a page look at the list things that are around you. Um, you know, a question I always say you should ask yourself is, why would somebody buy for me? And in order for somebody to buy from you, I think they would need to think that you have the better offer or you have more targeted product that they’re looking for. Um, so you know, for example, if, if your, maybe your product has some kind of feature or benefit or something unique that would justify, um, being priced higher, um, maybe not, but you need to, you need to kind of put yourself, yeah in a consumer point of view and do a search, see what the search results come up and say, hey, if I was sitting right here, or maybe if you are right there in the search results, you know, what’s the reason why somebody is going to click on my listing and buy mine? What’s the, what’s the compelling reason? How do I get them to buy?
So, you know, you know, get the click and buy emotionally. And so maybe it’s differentiating your image from the competition. Um, maybe it’s a price. Um, maybe, maybe you have four and a half stars and they have four and that’s good enough reason why they would click on your, on your listing. But you need to, you need to put yourself in a consumer sort of mindset and say, is my offer better?
And you know, that’s the same, we’ve been talking a lot about PPC for example. You know, that’s very, it’s exactly what you need to do. If you’re doing like product targeting ads where you’re not necessarily in the search results, but you’re targeting a specific, you’re targeting a specific product where you’re going to show up on their detail page as sponsored products related to this item and somebody’s already looking at that page, what would make them click on your listing and buy? Do you have a better price? Do you, are they selling a four pack for $20 and you’re selling a five pack for $20 or a five pack for $22 where it seems like it’s a, it’s a better value.
And the, in reality this isn’t, this is something that you should be doing at the product research phase, right? When you’re looking at, you know, who the competitors are for these keywords and somebody has a, you know, a four pack for 20, and if you could figure out a way to make a profit on a five pack for 1995, then you figured out maybe how to make it better, how to make a better offer. How am I going to advertise on their page and beat them? So these are all questions you should be asking when deciding, you know, on your product targeting gems. But, but in reality, these are all questions that you should be asking when you, when you’re actually looking to source the product and, and create what ultimately what your product is is how do I create more value? How do I create a better offer where I can come in and compete? And ideally it’s not going to be just on price.
It’s going to be a better offer because you differentiated based on design or like I said, they had a four pack and you have a five pack or they have, you know, they’re selling a shampoo and the entire market is selling a, a 10 ounce, 10 ounce a biotin shampoo, and you just created a 14 ounce biotin shampoo and you can create it at the, at the same price or right. And then, and then you’re going to create an image that says, my, you know, our, our shampoo versus theirs, right? And you show your bottle and you show like a generic bottle, a 10 ounce, you’re figuring out what is, what does it mean to be…
Nathan: 17:28 For 40% more or something or whatever the whatever number you said.
Liran: 17:32 Yeah, 40% more value than the competition. You see major brands doing this or you know what, I go to a CVS and you see like the name brand and then you see like the CVS brand, the CVS brand is always cheaper, right? Or always is maybe it’s the same price, but you know, the tile on all version of something is giving you 30 pills in the CVS versions getting you’d 50 pills for the, for the same price, right? They’re coming, they know that they’re the sort of no frill, sort of like no branding version, they need to come up with a better offer.
And it’s kinda the same thing when you’re coming in competing against other people with more, more reviews. You need to come in with a better offer. And so asking that question both when you’re doing advertising and when you’re, and when you’re doing, uh, product research, and then you can utilize some of that copy, for example, with like headline ads, right? So you can do something like, uh, you know, 40, 40% if you can use that text, but like, right, 40% more value in each bottle or something like that. We can highlight that offer, but you really need to think about what, what is my offer, how does it compare to the competition? And then how do I use that strategically in advertising and getting, getting people to Click and buy?
Testing Your Listing With a Friend
Nathan: 18:43 Yeah. I’ll brag a little bit on one of our newer products. Um, and, and kind of just the power of advertising too. We were talking about this before the show. Uh, actually had a friend over just last night who doesn’t sell on Amazon. And I was kind of showing him some of our products he was interested in just hearing about it, like most people are that I talked to you, they always think it’s cool, right? Uh, if they’re, if they’re not familiar with it. And so I was saying, I told them, hey, get up, get out your phone and type in one of my keywords, right. That I knew that we’ve been owning the PPC results for. So he typed it in and sure enough, , our ad came up for the headline ad and the first, uh, page top of search ad and I said. And he was like, but this is an ad? So, you know, just a general consumer, most consumers shopping on Amazon don’t, aren’t looking at the little sponsored by texts on there or they just, you know, haven’t thought about it. They’re not realizing that just to, again, point to the power of PPC and why we talk about it in so many recent episodes.
And then I had them go down to the organic results, click on my PPC and look through that page of results and he was like, wow, yours looks so much better than all the other ones. And so that, you know, a little bit of pride kind of swelled up in my heart when I heard that, right? So, um, yeah, again, that was probably an emotionally driven thing, but I got kind of validation from a third party that hey, mine looks better like a lot of the other listings on the first page have really bad main images, like non white backgrounds, they just don’t look like is a quality of products.
Like I look and I say, yeah, mine looks better, but with an average shopper who doesn’t know as much as me also look at it and think mine is better, that might be something, an exercise you want to go through like have other people kind of give you just some objective feedback, like what’s your main image look like compared to this other one? Which one would you click on if you were a shopper? And so I was happy to get that little bit of validation last night.
Liran: 20:36 Yeah. And, you kind of got him to see, hey, he’s going to click on yours because yours looks like a better offer. I might not always be a better offer, but at least yours looks like a offer because you have optimized images and one tool you can use for example, there’s a tool, there’s a website out there called PickFu where you can actually have people, you can show them two of your main images and ask them or two images you’re thinking of for main image is ask them which one they would buy. You can also ask people to survey and vote on it. You can also show people like one listing versus another, like your main image versus somebody else or your title versus somebody else and ask them which one they think is more compelling and vote on it. And I think within that tool you can even pay a little bit more to surveys, specifically Amazon prime customers.
So you can really get like an objective view for example, on something like that where, um, why would somebody buy, you know, one product over another or would you pay more for this versus that type thing? And you can, you can survey people and get those, get that objective view. But I think just having the mindset step back and say, this isn’t my listing, let me breakdown everything that’s sort of that I think I can improve on this. Um, and maybe why and is this really a better offer? Would I buy this product versus this one?
Um, and a good thing is just asking some people too, because they’re definitely not, they definitely don’t have the, you know, three or four months you just put in to sort of creating this and bringing it in and like what after all this work, I’m going to price it at this price. Like that wasn’t my hopes and dreams. Right? But again, it’s part of a strategy and it’s not necessarily long term. And so you need to understand that being aggressive on price or you know, losing money on PPC upfront or doing a giveaway or, or any of these things are ultimately just part of a marketing strategy to get you towards your goal with the product.
Nathan: 22:32 Awesome. We’ll a really important topic, something becoming more and more important as more sellers are kind of becoming savvy to some of these types of strategies. Something we want our listeners to be ahead of the game and trying to use these strategies in their own businesses for private label. And if you’re interested in having Liran be someone who’s potentially helping you, with this kind of objective, um, looking at your PPC campaigns and looking at your products and you’re interested in having helped with PPC management, you can go to www.amazingfreedom.com/ppc we’ve been having a really good feedback and results from our members and clients have been working with Liran and the service to help with their PPC.
And of course you can go to www.amazingfreedom.com/facebook to join our public Facebook group to learn more about us. To hear about the different free services that we have about Amazon.