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#224 – A to Z Amazon Management Strategies from an E-Commerce Pro

Want to know how to manage your Amazon business & brand? Here are the latest strategies from Steven Pope, a top e-commerce and marketing pro!
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36 minutes read

Getting started on Amazon is easy. It’s keeping everything running smoothly that can sometimes be challenging. Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes an e-commerce veteran into the studio to talk about selling on Amazon in 2021 and give a report on what’s happened in the last year.

Steven Pope is a top Amazon thought leader and founder of My Amazon Guy, which offers full-service management from advertising, search engine optimization, and A+ enhanced brand content design, to catalog merchandising and inventory management for FBA. 

Before he started with e-commerce, Steven was a television reporter as well as a nationally ranked chess player. Over his marketing career he has helped businesses like APMEX raise SEO traffic 10-million unique visitors year over year, and others increase marketplace sales upwards of 300%.

This is one episode you don’t want to miss. After all, who doesn’t want to be a couple of moves ahead of the competition?

In episode 224 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Steven discuss:

  • 02:51 – Son of a Weatherman, TV was Steven’s First Career
  • 05:34 – Selling Everything from Plus-Sized Clothing to Silver and Gold
  • 06:33 – A Series of Failed Start-Ups Gave Him E-Commerce Experience
  • 10:30 – A Light at the End of the E-Commerce Tunnel  
  • 11:30 – Working in a Traditionally Challenging Niche
  • 14:52 – Selling (and Shipping) a Fragile Amazon Product  
  • 18:12 – Is a “Just in Time” Supply Chain Dead?  
  • 20:30 – A Big Shout-Out to Helium 10’s Frankenstein from Steven   
  • 23:30 – Looking Closely at Keyword Rankings    
  • 26:42 – How Steven Promotes Keywords
  • 30:18 – Amazon’s “Back End” Strategies
  • 31:34 – Going All in to Convert for a Phrase  
  • 34:21 – How to Connect with Steven  

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

On today’s episode, we’ve got an Amazon seller who has one of the top wine glasses on Amazon. And he’s going to talk about the importance of packaging, plus some advanced keyword research and listing optimization tactics that have helped him get to the top. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Hello everybody. And welcome to another episode of this Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS, free unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the Amazon world. And we’ve got the Pope who has joined us, not the Pope, but the Steven Pope. Steve, how’s it going, man?

Steven Pope:

Good. I’m driving my Popemobile right now. Just for you.

Steven Pope:

Bulletproof. There we go. Anyways. I don’t even know– I do know, but I just forgot it. Well, what state are you in?

Steven Pope:

I’m in the Atlanta Georgia area.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Atlanta, Georgia. Did it ever get cold there in the last few weeks like it did in other parts of the country?

Steven Pope:

So the country, no, like the Southeast was the one spot that stayed warm. So yeah, God bless the people of Texas right now. Like what you guys just went through is freezing over once in a decade story. My father is a weatherman, so he was giving us the play by play. I had one of my employees in Texas, we’re all remote. All 50 of our employees are remote. So sometimes we get hit in different locations and it’s like, okay, some people in the Philippines and there’s a hurricane and we lose them. And then we got people in Pakistan, Turkey, Romania, all over the Northeast of the United States. Even we have a new account director up in Canada and we’ve got California.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Let me just ask you– you were living it or you’re living now in Atlanta, but it was that where you were born and raised?

Steven Pope:

I grew up in Utah. We were state wild cats. Here we go. And nobody’s ever heard of them, except the one time they make the NCAA tournament and give a Gonzaga run for their money every once every five or 10 years ago.

Bradley Sutton:

There you go. All right. Yeah. I always try and do the mascots of different schools. Sometimes I’ll have some, which is Wichita state, and then there’ll be shocked. It’s the shockers, I’m like, Hey.

Steven Pope:

I’ve been there for a debate tournament.

Bradley Sutton:

So then growing up over there, like what was your ambition when you were like 10 years old? Like did you know you were going to be an entrepreneur? I mean, obviously, you didn’t know you’re going to sell on Amazon because that didn’t exist back then, but like, did you want to be a doctor? Did you want to be an airplane pilot?

Steven Pope:

So I don’t think I knew as a kid. So like my father was a television weatherman and I wanted to follow in his footsteps somewhat. So I became a television reporter growing up.

Bradley Sutton:

Growing up, as in you were in high school and you were a television reporter?

Steven Pope:

Well, I think by my senior year in high school, I’d figured it out. I was going to go get a communications degree, electronic media and become a TV reporter. Right. So this was, so I went to college for that. And I graduated in 2008 from Weaver State and that was– I got my job as a TV reporter right out of that, right out the gate. Okay. And I was the last person hired at my TV station before it went under. And so for two years, I was the last person hired there. And it was really fun being a reporter, loved being a reporter.

Bradley Sutton:

Do you have a catchphrase? Like boom goes the dynamite or anything like that?

Steven Pope:

Oh my gosh. So, it’s funny you say that I’m pretty sure the boom goes the dynamite guy is from where you were staying.

Bradley Sutton:

You know what that’s right. That clip I think was from– now that you mentioned it.

Steven Pope:

Yeah. And so I was, like one or one and a half years after that guy. And after me there was the other, we were state at that went viral within him cooking ramen noodles and other short noodle dishes that nobody thought was epic, but he took it really seriously. So, there’s quite a few viral videos of people doing, we restate news on the internet.

Bradley Sutton:

So then what did– when that kind of what you thought you were going to end up doing kind of went away? Like, what was your next job? I mean, because that’s a pretty big transition. I imagine into something completely different.

Steven Pope:

Yeah. When I was in Wisconsin in the middle of a blizzard, speaking of blizzards, right? Or big Texas weather events, Madison, Wisconsin went through its own version of that. And I was live at 10:00 PM at night in the middle of the largest blizzard in a decade. And the cameraman gave me the cue. I missed it. That was on the air with looking like an idiot. You can barely even see me. The snow was that bad. Everybody else was home in their pajamas and I was live on television. So I miss my cue. My hair froze over all that fun jazz. And so that was the moment I said, you know what? I want to do something different with my life. And I think that’s when I started my entrepreneurial aspirations. Now it was quite the journey to get from there to where I am. I picked up an MBA. I worked for four failed startups on the corporate side and I’ve sold everything from women’s plus size clothing, higher education, pitching equipment and even gold and silver coins. And so, the first item I ever sold online was on eBay as a 12 year old kid. I sold a sliver queen, the nerds out there, that’s a stronghold edition sliver queen on eBay.

Bradley Sutton:

Never heard of it.

Steven Pope:

The original trading card game magic, the gallery

Bradley Sutton:

Oh, okay. Okay. There you go. I’ve been getting a lot back into the cards lately, but mostly some Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, a bunch of basketball, a bunch of sports cards.

Steven Pope:

I traded my Pokemon cards in for a signed Kobe rank card, which by the way, I finally sold on eBay last week for like 500 bucks, kept that one for a long time.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. So, I mean, that’s definitely guys, we’re probably gonna have to do a podcast episode about the sports card industry right now because it’s just ridiculous. But anyway, we digress. We’re supposed to be talking about Amazon here. So what was your first kind of– how did you even discover the Amazon opportunity? What year, and then was it an email? Was it an ad or how did that even come about?

Steven Pope:

So when I was in one of my failed startups, I think it was failed startup number two, women’s plus size clothing. They had an Amazon shop and they were one of the few companies that was taking Amazon. I don’t know, semi seriously. They had access to beta advertising. We had an actual account rep back in those days when they had those. And so I have about a decade of experience selling on Amazon now. And so I was one of the first early entrance into the space. Selling clothing on Amazon back then you didn’t even have to have FBA to do well. And so between that, and my next couple of failed startups, I got a ton of hands-on Amazon experience, like straight up, full ownership going in and making the changes. The second, the third failed startup I worked for was a kitchen equipment company. And the mistake that that company made was they bought a $5 million warehouse in Baltimore and they filled it with a bunch of their stuff, and then they just printed catalogs and expected to succeed. And so that didn’t work. So they pivoted the marketplaces. And this was back in the day when you could do like rice cooker bids for 2 cents a pop. And so when I took that job, I turned on the advertising funnel and it was like seeing 3X results in 30 days. It’s amazing. I miss those days, they were so much easier. And we had a big catalog, you know, 2000 SKUs. So, it was rather easy to grow the Amazon business at that point. We also flipped, like dented fridges on eBay. Did a bunch of stuff.

Bradley Sutton:

When did you just like have that moment where it’s like, wow, this Amazon thing can just be, I don’t need to worry about going back into the “real world”, or I don’t need to go back. I forget newscasting, this Amazon thing can absolutely sustain the lifestyle want to live.

Steven Pope:

So I did a bunch of corporate work in the marketplace space and fell in love, and I’ve been doing that ever since. And so I always knew that I wanted to do one of two things, right. Like I was either going to go CMO track corporate side or start my own business. So I started a wine glass rent and I, today I have the number one funny wine glass Amazon. My brand name is Momster, Momster like a mom who stirs things in the kitchen. And organically speaking, like you can find my social distancing wineglass in the top three or four search results organically for the term wineglass. And what I learned in it, all of these businesses is that there’s tremendous opportunities to just simply show up and get some sales online and advertising and SEO and catalog management and design, and all of these things that affect your traffic and conversion rates very much can be nurtured in such a way that you can grow a brand. So, I’m really excited about the success that we’ve been able to do for Momster. And that brand right now is primitive, in my opinion, I have so much more I can do with it. Because right now I just, literally, it’s just like one single play where I’m running silly, funny wineglasses.

Bradley Sutton:

Let’s talk about just that in general, first of all, because I think there’s people out there and this is not necessarily wrong, but some people say, Oh, don’t do breakable things or don’t do glass. If you’re a new on Amazon, just a nightmare for logistics, and you’re going to get a lot of bad reviews and stuff for breaking. So obviously that hasn’t been the case for you. So how were you able to do what some people say, Hey, maybe this is not a good idea.

Steven Pope:

I’ll tell you what I did first, where I failed. I try to start a sweet heat, hot sauce in a glass bottle. And these were like four and a half pound bottles. And when I shipped them into Amazon, I naively said, Oh, I’ll pay Amazon to do the prep. Right. And Bradley, I know, like, I know you’re immediately, like, you know what’s going to happen here. You’ve seen it many times. Amazon did the prep work. All right. They put it in the bubble wrap, they put on the sticker and then what they do, they shipped it in padded envelopes, blew my mind. I was like, how could Amazon be this incompetent? Right. Like why would they do that? Why would they take a four and a half pound bottle and ship it in padded envelopes? But like, and by then, by the way, I was like seven, eight years of Amazon experience, like running into this problem, like never would’ve comprehended that it could even happen.

Bradley Sutton:

And then I’m assuming. How did you figure it out? Did you just start getting bad reviews or a lot of returns and you just start investigating what was going on, or what?

Steven Pope:

Well, the first 10 or 15 orders, I announced it on Facebook, all my friends and family order, and I start getting text messages and they sent me pictures and I was like, seeing just completely broken us everywhere. Right? Like this awful awful situation. And I was– I invested probably five grand into maybe six grand into the hot sauce business. And I immediately said, I should have boxed this. My cogs are too high and the logistics nightmare is a huge pain. And this is an unprofitable one that I’m going to markup to a failure. And so for every three products that I launch one does one fails, like completely, right. It’s like complete garbage failure. And then one breaks even does, okay. Probably still going to disco it. And then one does exceptionally well and pays for the difference on all three. So like me personally, I operate on the one to three ratio. I kind of use Momster as my testing ground and I run tons and tons of tests. So for example, my social distancing wineglass, it has a 42% conversion rate, which is extremely high. But when I would normally look at somebody’s account and see that kind of conversion rate, I would say, Hey, you must be under spending on ads, right? Like if you have a conversion rate that’s too high, you’re not pushing enough traffic. So, I really like the fact that there’s a way to hit a niche audience, and also kind of pivot around and see the various trends. So, let’s say a new episode of star Wars comes out or Wanda vision or whatever it might be. And this is the way is now on my, you know, one of my wine glasses and it’s selling out because you can go to market really quickly take advantage of the novelty. But there are not very many glasses that structurally stay long-term. So it’s very– each business has its advantages and perks and disadvantages. So the disadvantage in this world is you have to keep up with cultural phenomenon and you’ve got to have structurally pivot to some of those cultural norms.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, guys, quick break into episode for my BTS Bradley’s 30 seconds. Here is my 30-second tip. And actually this actually comes from an idea I saw that Steven has now in this episode, he’s talking about how he has those social distancing wine glasses. And if you look on his site on Amazon, he’s got a lot of other kind of like pop culture things. So if you’ve got a product that you can turn around fairly quickly, like it doesn’t take four months to get here from China or something, make sure that you’re keeping up with these trends and these phrases that you can possibly capitalize on, especially for selling merch by Amazon. You could use tools such as Trendster in Helium 10, and then kind of like, see what kind of phrases and keywords have an increase lately on their kind of popularity out there, and then capitalize on that, make a shirt that talks about social distance, or make a shirt that says virtual teaching fails, or make a shirt that says, this is the way– whatever is hitting and pop culture, or that’s trending. And if you can make a fast turnaround on a product, do that, and that you can get some pretty good market share because of that.

Bradley Sutton:

What kind of testing did you do to like, get to the point where you’re like, you know what, I’m comfortable with sending a thousand of these to Amazon because I know that they are not going to break.

Steven Pope:

I’m going to break a really tight box was the solution for this particular problem. And typical bubble wrap situation and tight box is the way to go. But for other products, obviously nobody wants to deal with foam or peanuts. There’s too much, too many problems that that entails. So I think just being able to measure your products and tight it tight is the way to go.

Bradley Sutton:

Did you do like drop tests and things like that at the factory?

Steven Pope:

Yes. Drop testing is critical, right? So like if they, I mean, three foot drop test is critical six foot though, if you really want to go that route. And yes, these passes six foot drop tests now. So, that’s the win. So find your competitive advantage when somebody doesn’t want to solve your problem and you can solve it. That’s huge.

Bradley Sutton:

I would imagine your packaging on this then, that obviously is more than like your typical phone case or something like this, but it’s definitely worth it for you to invest in that because you don’t want these batteries. Have you seen competitors get killed with bad reviews because of breaking in your niche?

Steven Pope:

Not as bad as I would suspect. I would say the high-end elegant wine glass industry has much more of a problem because a lot of the elegant things that you would see in high-end retail, they don’t box well at all. Right? So like your four tests your craft houses of the world. They are not boxing for shipping. They are boxing for retail. And so, one of the things that people can do when they looked at entering a space is if you see a deficiency in your competitors, right. And I always like to use the yoga mat, right? So like, if you go look at yoga mats online, you could look at the reviews and you could go down and see, like, what are the top two or three complaints that people always utter on yoga mats and it’s, they stink, they stretch and they break, and they’re slippery. And so if you’re going to make a yoga mat today, you would obviously solve for two, or if not, all three of those problems and go to market, same thing with wine glasses, you need a box really well. And if you’re not willing to put in the logistics effort, it’s not the niche for you.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, all right. So I mean, that’s important because I probably have been one of the ones who have told people, Hey, I don’t know about glass products, but Hey, Steven has definitely shown that it can be done and you can be successful in it. What just of this glass brand, I’m sure you do other things on Amazon, but for the glass brand, like what were your sales like in 2020?

Steven Pope:

So I did 800K. In 2020, 833K. Uh, and it would have been another 200K in December if I didn’t have to deal with stock, restock SKU limitations. That was brutal. I made the decision to focus on my Amazon guy as an agency, instead of like opening up my own 3PL and warehouse, which is a tough decision to make as an entrepreneur and business owner. But it was the right call. And so if I was– back in July, I was like telling everybody, get your own warehouse, get your own 3PL and I didn’t have time to go execute it myself, but that’s what I was telling everybody around me. And for those that had the ability to do more direct shipping themselves, they crushed it in December because people were running out of stock, people couldn’t ship in enough stuff to FBA. And so, like, I think the concept of just-in-time supply chain management is totally dead. I think that you should have a year supply of your goods right now. Because you never know what the next black Swan event is going to be. And all the commodity goods prices are going up. So even if you invest in a year supply, you actually probably will come out ahead because your cogs are going to go up anyway, even though you’re paying for storage. Yeah. So that’s kind of the advice I would say, focus on people are looking ahead, but I plan to turn it into a $3 million company this year with some pretty aggressive expansion. And it’s going to be a fun ride. We’ll see what happens.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, recently you or a speaker on our Helium 10 elite monthly workshops that we do, that’s our high end mastermind group that we have, and you went on there with Kevin King now, I don’t want to give all the secret tips and strategies you gave there, but just one thing, in general, is hoping we can talk about that. I found interesting is your strategy about doing your you’re kind of like I guess what you would call it. There is another word that not many people use is Amazon SEO. People say, Oh, there’s keyword research, there’s listing optimization, but all of these work together, I mean the whole purpose is basically SEO on Amazon, but you do things in phases. Can you just talk in general about some of the strategy of how you do this in phases? Because I haven’t really heard anybody else talk about it like this.

Steven Pope:

I think I’m the first one on the market to mention, like how you can structurally dissect the phasing of SEO and search engine optimization. First of all, I’m a huge Helium 10 fan. And I got to say, Bradley, this i been a couple year dream to be on your podcast. So, I hope you know that a lot of people very much follow what you’re doing and what you’re building. And Helium 10 as a product is a phenomenal software. And I’m not being paid to say this. I found you guys naturally, Everybody, I know uses you, everybody I try and share intel with uses you, all of our SEO phases and practices are based on Helium 10 software, a hundred percent of the way. And some of the things that you guys would come out with would add to our phases, right? Like Frankenstein is your probably most underutilized tool that everybody needs to go and take a second look at, right? Like I could not believe how many accounts I would go into. And I would see commas, I’d see duplicate words and parsing and issues on the backend of the SEO, and Frankenstein with one button, click solves all of that. And it even includes Spanish, which is an underrated thing, right? So like, if you’re looking for five second hack today, listening to this pod, it’s go take your top three competitor ASINs, throw them into Frankenstein, click a button, and then compare the top 250 characters against your 250 characters on your search term field and see what needs to be improved. But from a high level, three phases of SEO, phase one’s all about indexing phase two is, and all the best practices included in that phase two is about incremental indexing.

Steven Pope:

And I like to call it the pink word update. Also the Danish Rodman update. And that’s because the brand analytics dashboard tells you which words are already in your title and your bullets, and you can pull them out of your search terms. And we do it this way because in testing, we found that including the title stuff in the search term field actually has a greater indexing impact in the first 30 days. And so we work on it during phase two to update it at a later point for incremental indexing. And finally, phase three, we call it the strike zone update. And that’s where words that are in rank 20 through 50. Use Cerebro to see what your keyword rankings are in 23, 50, run a filter to do that. You then would throw out phase and one to strategy in favor of phase three and go in, and target all of your fields, your search term field, your title, your bullets, your A-plus content, and the A-plus, all text which Amazon claims isn’t index, but totally is. And do all of your search terms focused on your strike zone to matriculate them to the top of page one. So that’s kind of the two minute summary of a great present– a great opportunity to, to look at SEO. And if you guys haven’t signed up for Helium 10 Elite, you totally need to, so you can get access to that presentation. Kafka.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Now, a couple of things I want to kind of focus in on there is first of all, I’m not sure how, if you ever heard that podcast, I did about the Maldives honeymoon, but that’s very okay, cool. That’s very much a part of it about the title, how important the title is, especially in the beginning. Now here’s a question I have, and I think a lot of people have this similar question, is they understand that with time, buyer behavior changes. And so of course, you’ve got to keep your listing up with the times, but a lot of people are reluctant to change their listings. Like, let’s just say that, Hey, I’ve got this keyword, Gothic coffin shelf and boom, I’m crushing it. And I’m like at the top of page one. Now, of course you don’t want to take Gothic coffin shelf completely out of your listing because you don’t want to be for if it’s possible that you might be de-indexed or something, but you’re saying that if you, like, let’s say it’s in phrase form, like two or three times in your listing, are you saying you would maybe take it even out of the title, as long as it’s somewhere in the bullet points or description, and then try another keyword, and you’re not going to have a negative impact, like in your ranking for that original keyword?

Steven Pope:

Every time I’ve tested this, anything you remove 98% of the time, it retains its rankings.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool.

Steven Pope:

And that’s because, if you look at the A9 update on the search term allocation, as long as you’re converting on keywords, you’re going to retain your rankings. And there’s all kinds of things that can muck up your rankings and listing inks and whatever else and suppressions, Man, a live hidden suppressions are the craziest thing ever. That’s, by the way, I think that’s what Helium 10 needs to develop next is how to check for hidden suppressions. And that’s when Amazon suppresses your listing without telling you, and there’s no alert for it. But in any case, obviously, it wouldn’t take out the term coffin shelf out of your title would never do that. But if you look at your other, your other words, right? So wall hang Gothic, room decor, removable shelves display for spooky home decorations, like I’m leading reading one of the listings right now. Any one of those phrases could be replaced. You could change spooky home decoration with any other iteration and rotating your title copy is a great opportunity to increase your rankings on other phrases that you’ve under-tapped on. I did a coaching session with somebody who was selling– what you would use in a kitchen that’s a flame lighter. And you would use it to make Cream Brulee right, like a really fancy cook chef thing and sell for 20 bucks. And when we looked at the data, um, from the brand analytics dashboard, I thought I was going to see 70% women buying this thing. And it was completely opposite. It was 70% men. And I said that’s really weird. So I went and started looking at all of the competitor listings to try and figure out, like, why are men buying this item? And it turns out on one of the competitor’s listings, there was a photo of a guy lighting, a cigar, and it hit me. And I was like, Oh my gosh, the men are buying this because they want to impress the ladies. They’re single, maybe they’re divorced and they’re trying to show their cooking game and they pull out the lighter and it’s just really cool. Right. And then they also, at the same time, want to buy it because they’re going to smoke a cigar, right? Like, those are the kinds of things that you can gain from looking at data that you wouldn’t normally understand. And so there’s so many data points from brand analytics dashboard to the Helium 10’s Cerebro and every other tool that’s available, people just need to, people need to not be static. They need to constantly iterate, change your photos, change your title, A plus content can be AB tested. Now, your title can be AB tested. And in fact, even just like a week ago, they rolled out the ability to AB test a main photo, like crazy. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, then, like, instead of taking like coffin shelf out of the title, like if you were ranking high for Gothic coffin shelf, and let’s just say that rustic coffin shelf was something that you weren’t ranking high for, would you be okay with just in the title, replacing Gothic with rustic?

Steven Pope:

Absolutely.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. But then do you get that juice though? Because like this is by definition is a six to eight month old listing. I think you do, I think you still get juice. I’ve shown it with like the atria, which is like a year old, but you still can get some bumps by adding it to the title, even after the “honeymoon period”, right.

Steven Pope:

So I’ve tested this repeatedly. It completely is possible to gain new indexing as well as increased rankings with no external traffic ploys, with no increase PPC though. You should do the PPC on any SEO terms you’re trying to do in phase three, but you could totally do that. So maybe instead of going from Gothic shelf, maybe you test goth shelf, right. Where maybe you’re in rank 10 for that, and you’re rank one for Gothic. And so you shorten it down to try and get the exact match to get the conversion on it. Okay.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, along those same lines, a few minutes ago, you mentioned about how one of your phases you’re talking about, Hey, let’s take these keywords where I’m on page one, but maybe the middle or bottom and try and get them up. Well, what’s your strategy on that though? Like how do you get them up? Are you just talking about PPC, like increasing your bid so that you show up at the top of the page, or do you have other strategies on how you can get those middle to bottom page one keywords to the top?

Steven Pope:

So if we were having this conversation two years ago, the number one play would be PPC, right. But then the A9 search algorithm update hit, and PPC went from, I don’t know, 25% factor down to like a 6% factor. And so because of that, the number one, or number two, search factors organic traffic and organic conversion. And so, you really don’t have as much capacity for that anymore. You should still do the PPC because it, if you’re not index for a word as the fastest way to index for a word beyond just listing the phrase, exact match on the listing, and driving a conversion to it. But in any case, the things that I would change in phase three, so let’s say you’re ranked for two, three, 4,000 keywords, right? Your index for everything you possibly could imagine, but for whatever reason, there’s a segment of keywords. Maybe there’s a hundred keywords in this particular iteration of phrasing that you’re not ranking well on. Right. So, taking the coffin angle, maybe there’s a series of spooky keywords that you’re not matriculated on. And what I mean by matriculated is top of page one. Okay. So you would then redo all of your content focused on that angle, title, bullets, A-plus content search term field, all of the other backend keyword fields as well, target audience, et cetera, as well as the alt text of your photos and restructure everything. So you have multiple instances of every combination of spooky. So, remember how I said a hundred keywords in the spooky category, right? So every iteration exact match of those 100 iterations. So it’s not just the same word over and over again, it’s a nuance, a word over and over again. And then in the back end, the search terms, throw in the misspelling of spooky, although I’m hearing conflicting theories on whether misspellings are needed anymore, and then all texts as well, another great place to put Spanish or misspellings.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Cool. Now, what about– there seems to be a diminishing number of listings that have the subject matter. Subject matter was a great way to almost double your, your backend search terms. Cause you usually get five rows of 50 know, so you get another 250 characters you can use, but then more and more categories. I mean, actually, Europe has never had subject matter if I’m not mistaken, but then even in the USA, more and more categories don’t have subject matter. So in cases like that, it’s just a matter of man, you really got to make sure that your 250 characters or two 49, whatever in your search terms are that more valuable or have you found another, any other fields that might get index on the backend?

Steven Pope:

I think any other fields that I haven’t mentioned have a substantially less impact, but there are obviously opportunities in your attributes to always plug those opportunities. But I would, yeah. So I agree with you, right? Like seeing most categories lose some of those fields, it’s less opportunity for you, but to be honest, Amazon deployed those in a wrong way. So if I were going to sell a wristband that has, when you click on the button, it dispenses hand sanitizer. Right? Okay. So if I was to do that, there’s two target demographics potentially right there is the mom. And then there’s the kid. Well, if I were you selling set item, I would have two listings, one for the kid and one for the mom. Do not mix them up and you should polarize your target demographics. So, that the secondary images are all about one target demographic. I think this is the most fundamental number one mistake made by marketers is they try and be too inclusive and they try and show how many different ways an item can be used. And what they do by doing that is they actually push away and they make a smaller tent and they actually push away the target demographics. So if you’re trying to organically rank or a particular phrase like spooky, then you have to go all in– photos, titles, texts, A-plus content, everything needs to be all in to convert on that phrase. And that’s, I think what a lot of people aren’t willing to do, right. They get their nice infographics in place and they’re like, Oh, I’m good now. Right. And they move on, right? It’d be like the same thing of setting up a $10,000 PPC campaign. And then saying, I’m never going to make bid adjustments. Everybody needs to constantly iterate their Amazon listings. Even if you’re number one in the space. Now, most people, number one in this space they’re uncomfortable, right? Like, I don’t want to mess with this and this things going well. And I would get that. That’s a legitimate argument, but most of us are not number one. That’s why we’re listening to the podcast. That’s why we’re trying to go out and do things. And the question is just like operationally priorities, right? Like what do you focus on? So, I think people need to focus on their target demographics to increase their organic rankings.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Cool. So, I mean, another reason that, Hey guys, brand analytics is very important because brand analytics isn’t just about finding your search terms and top click things, but you also got some very valuable data inside your brand analytics because the target demographic that might be buying your product might be different than what you personally imagined. So always rely on the data, not your own intuition there. Any last, like how about– before we get to your 30-second tip, how about like, you mentioned you use Helium 10 a lot, so what’s a Helium 10 strategy that you use that you don’t think is that mainstream.

Steven Pope:

I really think the Frankenstein one is the one that’s most underutilized because of the push button aspect of looking three ASINs and clicking the button. And then you go in there and you can see the top iterated keywords, and then structurally start deleting those phrases until you’re down to the list that you’re looking for. So, I know that’s a common one. I know that Frankenstein has been out a while. It’s not sexy, but it honestly is the most underutilized tool in my opinion.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Like it. All right, now we have this part of the show we call the TST, or the TST 30-second tip. So you’ve been giving us a lot of strategies throughout this episode, but what’s something you haven’t mentioned yet that’s a highly actionable, pretty unique that you can say, and hopefully 30 seconds or less.

Steven Pope:

Text keywords have a 100 keywords or characters per photo and Amazon claims they do not index the all text. And I’m telling you, they totally do. Go put Spanish in one photo. And I guarantee you, you will index within 10 days for Spanish. And then, use that methodology go, chock-full all of your all text. You’ve got more than one photo and all in A-plus content, you’ve got tens to work on. So lots of thousands of keywords you can stuff in there.

Bradley Sutton:

I love it. I love it. All right. Well, if people want to reach out to you more– you mentioned podcasts, you mentioned agency and different things. Like what are the ways that people can find you on the interwebs?

Steven Pope:

We have more than 600 videos on YouTube with all things Amazon, how to troubleshoot any problem imaginable from pesticide skating to listing yanks, to how to grow sales and everything. You can find us at youtube.com/my Amazon guy. If you want to reach out to me directly email [email protected], we’re a full service agency for all things, traffic, and conversion to grow sales faster on Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Well, thank you very much for coming on the show. And if I had one of your wine glasses, I would just raise a toast to you and wish you the success of the rest of this year.

Steven Pope:

I appreciate it right back at you Bradley.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. See you later.


Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.

Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:

  • Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
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