How to Drive Internal and External Traffic to Your Amazon Listing
Every brand, no matter how small, should be reaching their customers everywhere, not just on Amazon. A good traffic strategy can boost your sales, improve your ranking, and enable you to build a lasting brand. Having a variety of traffic sources also lets you diversify your sales channels and take back some of the enormous control Amazon has over your business.
There are two main sources of traffic for your Amazon listings: internal traffic sources (on-Amazon optimization) and external traffic sources (off-Amazon optimization).
In this guide we’ll cover a variety of traffic sources under both categories, which can work together to drive a lot more visitors to your Amazon FBA listings and ultimately, increase sales.
Let’s get to it:
Table of Contents
Internal Traffic Sources
Internal traffic sources are channels within Amazon that you can use to improve your ranking in Amazon’s search engine page results. These are sources you should optimize before you go looking for traffic outside Amazon.
1. Amazon SEO
Amazon’s search engine page results play a critical role in getting customers to find you. According to a survey by San Francisco-based research firm Survata, 49% of consumers in the U.S. begin their product search on Amazon.
Optimizing your product content will have a direct impact on your organic search ranking and is guaranteed to increase your traffic and sales. Read our full guide to Amazon SEO here.
Here are a few tips to help you optimize your listings on Amazon:
- Analyze the competition – The first step to promoting your Amazon listing is to understand what you’re up against. You can gain a tremendous amount of information about what customers want and don’t want just by looking at competitor pages. It’ll also alert you to best practices and/or promotional opportunities.
- Fix your titles – Make sure your title clearly describes your item and its primary benefit. Write it concisely so it’s just long enough to skim.
- Pictures matter – Your primary photo should clearly show the product before the customer zooms/pans in. Additional photos should show different angles of the product. It’s also a good idea to have one photo of the ‘back of the box’ showing instructions, ingredients, etc.
- Refine your bullets – The bullets are your elevator pitch so make sure to hit all the key areas a customer needs answered before they scroll down. Mention important facts like the product has warranty or customer service is available to troubleshoot issues. Keep the bullets short and to the point since most customers only skim this section.
- Product descriptions also matter – Use the product description to reiterate key selling points while mentioning any supporting facts that can convince a customer to buy right now. Keep it short and avoid rambling.
2. Amazon Sponsored Products
Amazon has a thriving ad platform that lets you market your products directly to Amazon users. With Sponsored Products, you can promote your listings with keyword-targeted ads that may be displayed alongside, on top of, or within search results as well as on product detail pages.
Sponsored Products uses a PPC (pay-per-click), auction-based pricing model. You set the maximum amount that you are willing to pay for ad clicks. The larger your bid, the higher the probability your ad will be displayed.
Fine tuning a Sponsored Products campaign can take several weeks or even months. First, you need to find the best keywords for your space. You can either download your “search term report” in Seller Central or use third-party tools like Sellics, AMZ Tracker, or Jungle Scout for that task.
Test various bid amounts to start. After you’ve collected data for a few weeks, you can evaluate your campaign to learn which keywords performed the best and adjust your bids accordingly. Continue to perform tests until you figure out what works best for your business. Go to advertising.amazon.com to get started.
3. Amazon Reviews
It’s no secret that reviews are critical for sales on Amazon. For many buyers, the decision on what to buy usually comes down to which product in the search results has the better reviews.
Good reviews will improve your ranking and add social proof to your product as shoppers tend to trust other shoppers, but getting them is a little tricky. You must comply with Amazon’s new guidelines for reviews, which means:
- Ask for honest feedback, whether it’s negative or positive.
- Don’t ask for feedback in exchange for a discount.
- Don’t ask a buyer to edit or remove a negative review.
Incentivized reviews are a big no-no, but that’s a good thing because it levels the playing field. Email follow-ups are now the recommended way of getting buyers to leave Amazon reviews, and there are other things you can do to be proactive.
Amazon allows sellers to send follow-up emails to customers related to a specific order, and there are several services available that can help you manage the process. You can use the Seller Central dashboard or third-party services like Feedback Genius or Feedback Five or Jump Send.
There are a lot of different best practices for sending emails, but we’d recommend sending no more than two emails: one during order confirmation and one a few days or weeks after a product is delivered. Avoid sounding too ‘spammy’ or desperate and always keep Amazon’s guidelines in mind.
External Traffic Sources
External traffic sources are channels outside Amazon that you can leverage to expand your customer base and gain an advantage over your competitors. By seeking traffic off Amazon, you won’t have to compete with other products on the Amazon search engine results page.
1. Landing Pages
Before you start leveraging different external traffic sources, let’s take a minute to discuss why you wouldn’t want to send your traffic directly to your Amazon listings. It’s a bad idea for two reasons:
- Driving customers directly to your listing sacrifices any potential long-term relationship with them. You won’t be able to contact them with offers for new products or special discounts.
- Customers sent directly to an Amazon listing are less likely to convert, and that negates whatever benefit you may get from Amazon’s ranking algorithm from the traffic.
So, what should you do instead? Use a landing page. Drive all traffic to a landing page first and then lead customers to your Amazon listing. A good landing page will help you whittle your traffic down to customers who are most likely to convert. It’s also a great way to harvest emails for future marketing campaigns.
Services like LandingCube (read our review) and AMZPromoter (review) can help you to quickly build responsive landing pages for your Amazon products. Once you have a landing page set up, you can start using various external traffic sources to drive traffic to your products.
2. Email Marketing
It may seem old fashioned, but email blasts can be a reliable source of traffic. A good email marketing campaign can get you quality traffic and help you build a long-term relationship with your customers. It’s the key to creating a brand that’s profitable even without Amazon.
Use your landing page to capture emails from potential customers so you can market to them in the future. LandingCube’s landing pages can automate the process for you and offer your prospects single-use promo codes in exchange for their email address. Once you’ve gathered enough email addresses, you can use them to send traffic to new products and request reviews from customers who make a purchase.
3. Promo Codes and Deal Websites
Promo codes are a great way to get landing page visitors to sign up for your mailing list and potentially buy your product on Amazon. Whenever you launch a product, send out promo codes to your email list to drive traffic to your new Amazon listing.
Single-use promo codes are handy for this type of marketing. You can create them right from your Seller Central account. Go to the Promotions page under the Advertising tab. Choose the Money Off option and fill out the details of your promo.
You can also use various online marketplaces to list your products at a discounted price using promo codes and drive traffic directly to your Amazon listings. Jump Send has a marketplace of over 100,000 genuine Amazon shoppers looking for deals. You can add your promo codes to its system and list your products on the marketplace. When shoppers find your product, they will see the discounted price and receive a promo code to make a purchase on Amazon.
Getting a user to visit your landing page is only half the battle. A potential shopper can leave without converting for a variety of reasons: a distraction, second thoughts, lack of money, etc. There is no effective way to prevent users from leaving your website, but you can use retargeting to “follow” them around the web and remind them to come back.
The two biggest retargeting networks are Facebook and Google. With over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is especially useful for this purpose. You can use it to retarget potential customers who need a nudge to make purchase right from their Facebook profile. Google does the same using its ad network.
5. Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing lets you advertise your product right in the results of a Google or Bing search. For example, if you sell dog food, a search engine can promote your product every time someone searches for “dog food” in your target area.
As the most popular search engine in the world, Google is naturally best suited for this type of marketing. Google AdWords can provide you with ideas for keywords that are relevant to your product and give you details on search volume, suggested bid range, and other miscellaneous information. To set up an AdWords account, head over to adwords.google.com.
Recommended tools: Google AdWords, Bing Ads
6. Social Media
Setting up a social media ad campaign is a no-brainer if you’re looking to increase sales velocity and get better rankings and more profits. All of the major social networks have advertising programs you can use to direct traffic to your landing page and product listing. Let’s take a look at each one:
As mentioned earlier, Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users. It’s really no surprise that it’s the number one social media platform for marketing reach.
Facebook advertising offers several highly targeted filters for capturing an audience interested in your product, including location, age, gender, languages, and connections. It also has detailed targeting that enables you to include or exclude people from an audience based on interests, behaviors, or demographics. If you’re looking to increase brand visibility in all age demographics, Facebook is the best choice.
Once you’ve gathered enough emails from product sales and your mailing list, you can use Facebook Custom Audiences to target those customers on Facebook. They’ve already shown they’re willing to spend money on your products and selling to them again will be comparatively easy. In addition to targeting your existing customers, Custom Audiences also lets you target a “lookalike” audience (same age, location, gender and interests) on Facebook who are similar to your best customers.
To set up a Facebook Ad account, go to facebook.com/business.
Instagram has steadily grown to become a social media powerhouse with over 800 million monthly active users. That’s more than double the monthly active users of Twitter. With its heavy focus on visual aesthetics, it’s become a great platform for brand promotion.
70.7% of U.S. businesses were reportedly using Instagram in 2017, up from 48.8% in 2016. The reason? Engagement. Instagram reported that 80% of its users follow at least one business, and as of March 2017, more than 120 million Instagram users visited a website, called a business, got directions, or sent a direct message to a business.
A Pew Research study revealed that Instagram is highly popular among young adults aged 18 to 29. Some 28% of all internet users in that age group use Instagram, which means the platform appeals to a more younger demographic than Facebook.
If your product is geared towards a younger audience, advertising on Instagram is a good choice. You don’t even need an Instagram account to get started. You can run ads on the platform using Facebook’s ad manager.
Despite having rocky growth, Twitter remains one of the world’s largest social networks with over 320 million monthly active users. It’s not the first place we’d recommend you use to drive traffic to your Amazon listing, but it can be a traffic goldmine if used strategically.
Twitter starts you off with broad targeting (like location and gender) when you first launch a campaign, but you can fine tune your desired variables to get very, very specific. You can even create audience profiles that you can refine and reuse for future ad campaigns. Head over to ads.twitter.com to get started.
Pinterest may seem like an unlikely candidate for traffic, but here are some interesting facts from Shopify:
- Pinterest is the second biggest source of all social media traffic to Shopify stores.
- Conversions from Pinterest click-throughs generate $50 on average, which is higher than any other social media platform.
- 93% of Pinterest users plan purchases using the platform.
- 2 million people pin products every day.
Take advantage of the power of Pinterest to promote highly visual, quality pins using relevant keywords and long tail phrases. It may take a few tests before you can properly optimize your boards for maximum traffic gains. Go to ads.pinterest.com to start your campaign.
7. Influencer Marketing
Targeting bloggers and influencers in your niche is one of the most effective ways to reach your target market. Influencer marketing incorporates content and social media to drive your brand’s message to your desired audience. It’s a bit more involved than simply buying ads on social networks or search engines, but the payoff is worth it.
Make a list of all the influencers (YouTubers, Instagrammers, bloggers, etc.) in your space. Reach out to them and strike a deal to get them to share your product with their audience. If you’re unsure about where to start, consider using influencer platforms to find influencers who best fit for your niche. They can be pricey, but they’ll get you quick results and a lot of useful data about your marketing campaign.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to note that there is no absolute best source for driving traffic to Amazon listings. It all depends on what products you’re selling, your target market, and your business goals.
For example, Pinterest is a great traffic source, but its layout generally favors very visual products. Facebook Ads are great for some niches, particularly lifestyle-related products like makeup and outdoor gear, but it can get costly and extremely competitive.
Carefully look at each of the traffic channels and try to figure out which one best suits your business. Don’t worry if all this information seems overwhelming. We’re not suggesting you try all of the channels at once. Choose one traffic channel that seems promising, try it out, and carefully track your results. Spend just a small amount of money at first, if necessary.
Re-evaluate your experiment as soon as you have results. If your experiment is a success, double down and put in all your effort into extracting as much value as you can from that traffic channel. If it doesn’t work? Don’t worry, just try another idea.
Amazon is a competitive marketplace, but if you take the time to properly optimize and promote your listings, you’ll be in a much better position to compete. Don’t bother trying to game the system. Instead, focus on what you would want to see if you were the customer: competitive pricing, clear and descriptive pages, quality reviews, and a trustworthy seller. If you focus on those things, you’re already ahead of many competitors.