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#261 – Bradley’s Laboratory – A Deep Dive into My Amazon Experiments

Want to crush it on Amazon? Tune in for keyword rank tests, our new CPR 3.0, & how to identify sold products that came from customer searches.

In part one of this two-part series, I wrote about the many different hats that Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton wears assuming his day-to-day responsibilities. One very important “hat” that he wears doesn’t show up anywhere in his job description. I’m speaking of the time that Bradley spends every week, researching, optimizing, selling, and fulfilling Amazon products for customers around the world.

Sound familiar? Yep, I’m sure a lot of you out there are doing the exact same thing every single day. As Bradley says, if he’s going to preach the Amazon selling lifestyle, he needs to have boots on the ground and understand first-hand the struggles and successes that e-commerce sellers experience.

In the second part of this two-part series, Bradley talks about the different experiments that he ran within the many case studies he has recently conducted. The goal is to make sure that you have all the tools (and data), that will give you every possible advantage in your e-commerce business.

In episode 261 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley discusses:

  • 02:00 – Search Find Buy (for a Brand Name?)
  • 04:00 – Testing CPR Numbers for a Trending Product
  • 05:30 – The Power of the Maldives Honeymoon
  • 07:15 – Using Helium 10’s Audience to Solve a Puzzle
  • 09:00 – “Hemp Creme” Goes Straight to Page One   
  • 12:00 – A Gothic Décor Keyword Causes Bradley to Scratch His Head
  • 15:00 – Experimenting with Social Shares
  • 17:15 – Mirroring Search Find Buy Effects with a URL
  • 20:15 – Split Testing to Identify the Power of Impressions and Searches
  • 23:00 – Finding Unique Amazon Shoppers

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.
  • Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
  • Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
  • Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation. 
  • SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.

Transcript

Bradley Sutton: All right, guys, this is part two of a series where I’m doing a deep dive into all of my experiments I’ve been doing on Amazon. So you guys can hopefully learn from some of my keyword rank tests, and even a new way to see how many products I sold that came from search in this episode that I’m calling Bradley’s laboratory. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.

Bradley Sutton: Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the 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 right before the music said, this is now part two. So if you’re like, wait, what was part one? That means you probably didn’t listen to part one, go back guys right now and go back one episode and listen to that one first. But I recorded this episode all at the same time, but it was well over an hour. So I’m like I got to split this into two episodes. So in this episode, we’re going to talk a little bit more about Bradley’s laboratory. This is my experimentation kind of lab here. And let’s just go ahead and hop right into the data. This month is going to be really heavy on the keyword ranking because at the beginning of Q2, I was really, really rushing to test the new CPR number that we talked about for the Maldives honeymoon in episode 250. And so I was doing all kinds of tests. Some of those tests I actually did. And talked to you guys about in episode 250, like that egg rack. Remember that egg rack was that failed product I was telling you guys about. So, all of those you guys can check out episode 250, but the CPR number worked perfectly. I gave away hardly any units using azrank.com and boom got to like page one position, one for almost every single one of those keywords for another product that I had. I did an experiment where I was like, what if I did a search find buy for a brand name, right?

Bradley Sutton: So, a lot of people ask me about that. Should I be ranked for my competitors’ brands if it’s kind of relevant? And I’m like, you could, you might get some sales right now. Don’t put that keyword in your listing. So, I didn’t have that keyword in my listing, but I found that I was indexed on the PPC side, right? You can get index on the PPC side Index Checker and Helium 10 will actually has a way to show you if that’s the case. And so I wasn’t ranking very highly for this keyword, but it was the brand name of a competitor product, right. It was the brand name of a competitor product of one of my Project 5k products. Right. So I’m like, you know what, let’s just see. Let me do an actual search, find, buy for this competitor brand name and get to page one and see what happens. And my hypothesis was sure it would probably be easy to get to page one, but I would imagine I’m going to fall off of page one because people who are just searching for their brand probably don’t want my product and sure enough, that’s what happened. I got to page one position one quite easily on this, but within like two or three weeks, I fell off completely off of page one because I wasn’t converting organically. So, sometimes guys, yeah, sometimes other companies’ keywords or brand names could be profitable for you. That doesn’t mean to put it in your listing. That’s against Amazon terms of service. But if your index works, sure, you don’t try and get to page one through PPC or some other means, but at times you’re not going to be able to stay on page one.

Bradley Sutton: Another product I wanted to like test the CPR number on a very competitive keyword was charcuterie board. I mean, charcuterie boards were selling like crazy in Q4 last year. Some products are selling like 500 units a day is ridiculous. Now charcuterie board has 35,000 searches. And so I did a search find buy again using AZ rank. And how many units did I do? Let me just take a look here. Okay. Yeah, I did 25 units over five days. By the way, guys, my methodology that I’ve always used for like two years, even though CPR is eight days. Very rarely do I go eight days. I usually do all of my rankings by like 2, 3, 4 or five days, max. That’s just me. That’s what I find that works best. So I did 25 units over five days for charcuterie board and boom, I got to page one position one. Charcuterie board was in the title of this product that I was using to test. And Maldives Honeymoon method definitely worked right there. This wasn’t even a new listing. So when I say Maldives Honeymoon, that wasn’t even in the honeymoon period, but remember I told you guys you can get Maldives effects even on older listings because of how important it seems to be the keywords that are in the title. So that was a great test that I did, trying to rank up a keyword on a product that was like seven, eight months old. It wasn’t in the honeymoon period, the traditional honeymoon period, but I was still able to get it to the top of page one. Another test I did, and this was on that product that I discontinued. So this product was not a bagel cutter, not a bagel cutter, but what I did was bagel cutter, all right, was a word that was not in the listing.

Bradley Sutton: All right. Bagel cutter was a word that was not in that listing at all. So what I did was I was like, okay, let me see, I’m going to put this keyword in the title, even though it has nothing to do with this product, really. And let me get it, is it going to get indexed? All right. So sure enough, I put it in the title, it got indexed. It wasn’t ranking though at all. So I was having to use sponsored ads in order to do search find buy. And I was just curious, can I take like an eight month old listing or a six month old listing stick a brand new keyword in the title that it was never even indexed for and get some traction. And at first I thought it was a complete failure. This is, this was like super, super weird. I started this campaign on May 3rd and it went for five days, May 3rd to May 8th, nothing didn’t get ranked on the top seven pages at all. And then all of a sudden on May 20th, I think it was, or May 22nd. Boom. It goes to page one, position two. So, that’s just some, I don’t know what the heck happened there, but just like, Hey, let me do an experiment in my laboratory here of, can I take a keyword that I wasn’t even indexed for? Stick in to the title we’re outside of the honeymoon period and still get to page one for that keyword. And even though it took like a week longer or two weeks longer than it normally does. The answer was yes. So there’s another experiment that I tried. All right. What else experiments did I do here? All right. Another product, I looked at a competitor, right? This is for one of my Project 5k brands. And it was very similar to me, but they were just crushed on this one keyword, like I can look at brand analytics. I can look at Keyword Tracker, Cerebro is one keyword. They were just crushing it on. And it’s something to do with crystals. Kind of like people put crystals and coffin shelves. Well, this is a similar product. And I was like, why am I always on page two and three? And so I did a search find buy on this using the CPR method. Sure enough got to page one position one, but I just dropped off. And that just tells you sometimes guys, all right, what did we learn from this one well? You can have a competitor. And sometimes people really like for a certain keyword, a certain product, and you think your product is better than this other one, but it just, for whatever reason is not, right. And you’re not going to get the conversions your competitor is. And at that point, you’ve got to figure out why.

Bradley Sutton: So, what I’m going to do next, because this is just a recent study is I’m going to go and use Helium 10 Audience, right? Helium 10 Audiences are split testing tool inside of Helium 10, where I can pull 50 users of a certain demographic and I’m going to ask them all right, Hey, if you search this keyword, crystal holder display or whatever the keyword is, which of these products would you pick and why? And I’m pretty sure I’m going to figure out why in the world, people are picking this other product. When I think my product is way better, might be price. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s another lesson that can be learned from my experiments there, guys. Don’t be so hottie that you think that your product is always best and it should be selling more on certain keywords. Everybody out there, buyers out there, they have their own set of standards and their own likes and dislikes. And they might not be in the same wavelength as you. So, don’t just assume guys, all right, do the research to figure out why you’re not doing as well as you thought you should be okay. Another test I did. This was on the hemp cream account. Now this was an interesting one. I was like, all right, this is kind of like Maldives testing. On the hemp cream account, there’s two main products. I think I told you guys, there’s a hemp roll on. Okay. So it’s not necessarily a cream, a hemp roll on. It’s like you put it on your body in it. It has a roller ball on it. And that’s what applies to hemp. And then there’s the actual hemp cream right now. The hemp cream product actually has hemp cream in the title. Like, wow, fancy. Imagine that, right. The hemp roll-on does not have hemp cream in a title. So what I did was this, I was like, okay. I always talk about how important keyword in title is. And we’re basing that off the CPR. The other product still has hemp cream in a lot of places in it, right. But just not in the title. So what I did was I did identical campaigns on the same exact day or the hemp roll on and hemp cream. I both targeted 30 units each. Hemp cream is a crazy high search volume keyword. At the time, it was like 20 something thousand. I sent 30 units each. Both of them were like on page two or page three. And both of them got to page at the top page one, top 16.

Bradley Sutton: Both of them did because that was what the CPR number said. And sure enough, both of them got to page one, but guess what? The product that had the word hemp cream in it got to page one, position three, the product that didn’t have hemp cream in it got to page one, position eight. So that was still pretty good. Both of them got to the top of page one, but again, the slight edge went to the product, which had that target keyword in the title. So there’s another experiment from Bradley’s laboratory. Let’s keep the experiments going. All right. So the next thing I want to talk about was I had some super old products that I found here from like 2015. All right. These are Amazon listings that were phone cases. All right. For one of my first companies I’ve worked at, and the ASIN was still there, it’s crazy from 2015. All right. So I’m like the search find buy work on listings that are like six years old, right. They still have search volume. And so that was my experiment. So again, I went to azrank.com and I was like, Hey, I’m just going to throw eight units, eight units at this one keyword on this year 2015 listing for this keyword that they are ranked like on page 44. And let’s see if it works, what happened? I got to page one position one. All right. So guys, super old listings, this keyword, by the way only had 600 search volume, but still it works guys. It got me to page one, position one on this super old listing. So, like search find buy. It is just really, really good these days. All right. Let’s continue with the Bradley’s laboratory tests, all right.

Bradley Sutton: The next thing I tested was on Manny’s mysterious oddities Project X, coffin shelf. As you guys remember, we used to convert like crazy for Gothic decor, right? Gothic decor. We used to convert like crazy for, but for the last year, it just hasn’t really been performing. And I had another product on Project 5k that it could be considered Gothic decor. It’s not a coffin shelf, but it could be considered Gothic decor. So here now we had two listings, two listings, both of them had Gothic decor in the title, right? Both of them had Gothic decor in the title. The Manny’s mysterious oddities product was a year older than this Project 5k product. I did very similar campaigns for both. How many units did I give away through AZ rank? Let me just check my notes here. I gave away 30 units, 30 units of each to the Project 5k product that was Gothic decor and to the Project X coffin shelf. That was Gothic decor. All right. 30 units each and now both of them got to page one position one. So again, it did really well. I use the CPR number. It got me to page one position one on these. Thanks to that keyword being in the title. However, for whatever reason, the Project 5k held its rank longer. Now it’s a different kind of product. So does that have to do with it? I really don’t know. Or is it because that product is like a year newer than Manny’s mysterious oddities but the Manny’s mysterious oddities coffin shelf fell off page one within like two weeks. But on the Project 5k, it’s remained on page one. So, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on there, but it could be, I’m going to have to do some more testing in the lab on that, but it could be, is this listing newer or is it just because there’s a different kind of product and it’s resonating better. Again, guys that just teaches you, you could have a keyword that maybe two years ago or two and a half years ago was doing great for you. And it just doesn’t resonate with buyers anymore. It’s doesn’t mean that you failed or there’s something wrong with your listing, just buyer behavior changes. So, just keep that in mind. Keep that in mind. All right. Let’s keep it moving to my next test. Let me just keep going here. Let’s see. Oh yeah. I did this test for witchy gifts. It was just a random keyword that I saw that we never ranked highly for really on the coffin shelf, if I’m not mistaken.

Bradley Sutton: And sure enough, I just through– how many units, 20 units at it and got to page one, position one, I mean the CPR number guys is just been working so great when I’m doing search find buy. So remember if you have no idea what’s the CPR number, go back to episode 250 of the Serious Sellers Podcasts. And you’ll find out all about that. Another test I did, I hadn’t heard of anybody trying this out, but back in the day, I used to try those social share buttons that are on the Amazon page. How there’s like a Pinterest button or a Twitter button, and then it gives you a link and then you could share a product on Amazon with those communities. Well, before I used to test out using a URL string, like at the end of that URL, that is the social share Amazon button. I would put, like, I forgot how it goes. It goes like equals K or K equals and then the keyword. And then what happens is when you do that, it generates a search. So it’s not just a social share button, but it’s a social share button with the actual something in the search bar, a keyword in the search. So the theory was a, Hey, can I get keyword ranking by doing it? And for other people, I heard it worked, but for me, I never got to work. This is like a year or two ago. All right. So I would put this URL and I would run some purchases there, and I couldn’t get it to work. So I was just like, nah, I’m not going to do this. But I was like, you know what, there’s this thing called the social coupon, right? So you go into advertising, right? And then you go to promotions and Seller central, and then you do social media, promo code, not the percentage off, but the social media promo code. Right. So then I created a 25% off social media promo code, all right. And then I made it go live. Now this is something that you can share with influencers and things like that. And what this URL does is it just takes you to this page on Amazon, where it just shows the product. And it says, Hey, save twenty-five percent on these eligible items and below. And all it does is it shows the product that you use had the social media coupon for. So it’s really great to like send an influencer or whatever traffic to you. It’s literally called a social media promo code. But what I did was to the end of that URL for this page on Amazon, I added that little string of characters of equals K or K equals.

Bradley Sutton: And then I put this keyword, I did two tests. The first one I did was this keyword, Gothic kitchen decor, all right. Gothic kitchen decor. And at the time that I did this promotion, the product was a ranking. Let me just check Keyword Tracker. Helium 10 Keyword Tracker. It was ranking like on page two or three. All right. It was like a hundred, 115. And I used AZ rank to give out the URL. Again, it wasn’t search find buy. I was just like, Hey, if I give this URL out, then nobody has to search find and buy their product. A lot simpler than having to search find and buy the product, will it work? All right. So, I gave this URL that had the Gothic kitchen decor URL or search built into it, but it brings you to that 25% off coupon coupon page. And so I told AZ rank, I was like, Hey, give this to eight people over three days. All right. Eight people over three days, this is a keyword that had 1600 searches and we did it and it didn’t have the same effects as search find buy. If I did that search find buy, I would’ve seen this product go to like page one, top 16 within two days within three days. So, a week went by and nothing happens. I’m like, you know what? This just didn’t work. But then I went back to it and I checked and lo and behold a little bit later, it actually went up in rank like a week and a half later. It got to page one for an in one browse and sorry, we got to number 14. It got to position eight on another day, like a week later.

Bradley Sutton: So it did actually increase the ranking. So there you have it, if you don’t want to use search find buy. There’s an interesting URL to use that is strictly available in Amazon. And it takes away kind of like the pain of having to search find buy. But again, still I use AZ rank obviously. So I don’t have to worry about the customers, having trouble searching, and finding and buying it. They guarantee is going to happen. But if you’re doing like your own promotion or something, or your own chat bots, maybe you get some like kickback on or some pushback on people wanting to have to search, find and buy, but Hey, you can try this URL. The other thing that I experimented with on this with the same coupon, and I was like, let me take a keyword that I am not indexed for. So the coffin shelf was not indexed for this keyword coffin utensil holder. So what I did was I built the social coupon, the social media coupon, and I built in that keyword to the URL. And I gave that out also to eight different people. And I had eight people hit that, so that it looks like they were searching for coffin utensil holder and then buying this coffin shelf, right. So my theory was, would that get me indexed for it? The answer is no. All right. So, the reason I did this test is people were asking about, can I force Amazon sometimes to indexed? And there are ways you can kind of do that through PPC, but using your URLs? No, just because you kind of Amazon think that the person is searching for this keyword. Nope. It absolutely doesn’t work at least in this situation. It did not work to get this product in.

Bradley Sutton: Last thing for Bradley’s laboratory here of what I tested was this feature that I talked about as my 30-second tip in the Natalie episode a few weeks ago, right? So it’s this thing that in brand dashboard called experiments, all right. Manage experiments. So, it allows you to split on your live listing, different titles, different images, things like that. Now remember, I personally do not suggest running live split test, not when you have Helium 10 Audience, right? I don’t like split testing on a live because by definition, one scenario was going to be better than the other and you’re losing money. Right. So I always do my split tests even before I have the live listing. I use Helium 10 Audience for that. So guys, if you don’t want Helium 10 Audiences, make sure to go to Helium 10 and then just go to the tools and go to Audience under listing optimization allows you to kind of like pull a variety of Amazon prime members that meet a certain demographic so that you can get some insights into what they like and don’t like. But anyways, I did not use magic experiments to do a real split test, but it’s still split testing my listing. What was I trying to find out? I was just curious across different products. How many purchases come from a scenario in which the customer saw the product first on a search page, right? Again, how many purchases come from when the person saw the product first on the search page? All right. And the information was interesting. On the one Project 5k, I did a one month case study on it using Amazon experiments and 50 per only 50% of the products that were sold that month came when the product was seen first and the search. I did it on the egg tray on Project X. And in the short time I did this experiment, there was 12 units sold, and six of them were from search.

Bradley Sutton: I did it on the coffin shelf. And in the couple of weeks that I did it on the coffin shelf, there was 100 units sold and 40 units were sold from search. You might be wondering like, what, like where the heck are these 50 and 60% of orders coming from, if not from search, like it doesn’t make any sense. Well, first of all, not everything just happens from search. People hit sponsored ads on the page. People hit by things from frequently bought together and customer also bought things like that. However, keep in mind that let’s just say, if you’re doing well with PPC and you’re getting a lot of placements on product pages as well, maybe somebody searched for something, they didn’t see you in the search results and they click on another product. Now, if they’re on that page and your product showed up somewhere on that page, as a sponsored ad, even if they didn’t physically see it, or they didn’t click on it or anything, technically that means that they didn’t see your product first from a search. Does that make sense, guys? So if they, for whatever reason, buy your product later, like even if they search find and buy our product, guess what? In this manage experiments it’s going to register as a sale that came from not from search, if that makes sense. All right. So it’s really kind of interesting to check how many of your products are sold, where the customer first saw your product in the search results? So how do you do it without screwing up your listing on a test? All right. So what I did was I went to manage experiments. I made an experiment and I just changed like one dash or like one letter inside of my title. All right. I have dashes, hyphens, I guess you can say sometimes in my title, so on. I did a split test, one with the dash and one without the dash to Amazon, it’s two different titles, right. But for all customers, it pretty much makes no difference, right? So I’m like, I’m not hurting my listing by trying to like change my main image or anything. But after three weeks I got all this cool information on exactly what my conversion rates were and how many units were sold from search. Super, super interesting. And also how many impressions my product was getting, or how many unique shoppers in the experiment saw my title. Super, super interesting. Like in the coffin shelf one, it was crazy 74,000 in these three weeks, 74,400 people saw somehow, through PPC or through search or something, somehow saw the title of my product. So I mean, that in itself is interesting.

Bradley Sutton: So anyways, guys, those I did, I do so much testing, but I’ve already had to split this episode into two episodes because I’ve been talking too much here, but I hope you guys were able to take some benefit from these episodes here. And, number one, going back to the original, the last episode about just the numbers of what I was doing in the different accounts. I want you guys to get excited, inspired, all right. I am not a superhuman, right? I am not a superhuman. Yes. I study Amazon and I love Amazon. There are hundreds of people out there who have more knowledge on Amazon than me, but if I can, in 10 hours a week, make well over a quarter of a million dollars in one quarter, you can do the math. That’s well over a million dollars, I did $300,000 on 10 hours a week. Guys, it’s doable and me, I could have done more if I was doing this full time and actually putting some more time into this and I could have been more profitable. My profit margin was probably only like 10%, I think, overall out of all these accounts, like 10 and 15%, because I’m doing so many of these laboratory experiments and spending all kinds of money just to get some data that I’m eating into my profits, which is fine. I’m not selling on Amazon guys to make profit. But if you guys are great, use that as motivation, nothing wrong with selling on Amazon for profit. I’m the weird one, not you guys. I’m just doing this so I can get some cool information for you guys and keep my knowledge for us. But anyways, the point is, guys, let me do some experiments so that you guys don’t have to waste your money. Let me waste my own money. Let me waste a Helium 10 money on Project X. Don’t worry, guys. I’m still making them a profit, but let me know. Would you like me to test or what theories do you have? A lot of these tests that I did came from things I see in Facebook groups or things that people were asking about. So, I love to hear from you guys on what you’d like me to experiment or what you have doubts about what works and doesn’t work on Amazon.

Bradley Sutton: And if it makes sense and if I can do an experiment on it without losing too much money, I’ll go ahead and do it on one of my accounts. So, I hope you guys were able to learn something and able to use, learn from my mistakes. And I made some mistakes here in the last few months on some of these products learn from my mistakes, but also learn from my successes and keep on growing on Amazon because the Amazon ecosystem is changing all the time. And if you don’t stick with the times, you’re going to fall behind, right? So don’t fall behind, keep testing or have Bradley test for you in my laboratory. Anyways, guys, I hope you enjoyed these two episodes and we’ll do that if you did, we’ll do this again in about three months and do a recap on Q3 if that sounds good. All right. See you guys in the next episode.

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