Episode 5 – Game-Changing Amazon Listing Techniques for Keyword Research with Tomer
Updated on: October 7, 2020
Finally, a fresh look at efficient keyword research! Today’s podcast guest will blow your mind with his emphasis on using your competitors to do effective keyword research.
In this podcast, Bradley interviews Tomer, a highly successful seller from Israel who co-founded TopDogSummit.com and has cracked the code for finding the most effective keywords to use for your product listing. Here is a hint: you do NOT need to depend on search volume ;).
In episode 5 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Tomer discuss the following topics:
- How Tomer Prioritized Keywords Before Using Software Like Cerebro
- The Problem With Relying on Keywords Search Volume
- Ensuring Keywords Actually Match Your Product
- The Problem with Relying Too Much on Keyword Relevancy Automation
- Tomer’s Strategy for Choosing Buyer-Relevant Keywords
- Using the Successful Tactics of Your Competitors’ Listings to Your Advantage
- Scouting for Important Keywords That Competitors May Be Missing
- Monitoring Your Progress to Outranking Your Competitors
- PPC: The Game Changer in Climbing the Keyword Rankings
- Monitoring Your Ranking for Keywords in Comparison to Major Competitors
- Using Competitor Performance Score and Competitor Rank Average to Find Keywords
- Systematic Analysis of Competitor Images
- Giving Competitor Information to Your Team for Better Listings
- Comparing Your Product to Competing Products That Are on the Same Level
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.
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- 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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Bradley Sutton: We’ve got seven-figure amazing seller Tomer from Israel today who’s going to give us some game-changing techniques for listing optimization and keyword research that blew even my mind.
Bradley Sutton: How’s it going everybody? Welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast. My name is Bradley Sutton and I’ve got an awesome guest today, Tomer. Tomer, how’s it going?
Tomer: Very good, Bradley. How are you?
Bradley Sutton: I’m doing just ducky. I love saying that. I don’t know why I keep saying that, but that’s going to be my new catchphrase. My Dad would be very proud if he heard me say that. But anyways, Tomer, I wanted to talk to you about some serious things because there was a lot of misinformation out there as far as keyword planning, keyword research, and you have some super unique techniques that you’ve been using for years that has helped you become, you know, one of the leading Amazon sellers. And I wanted to talk to you a little bit about that. One of those techniques is actually one of the foundations that our CTO used to make a new tool in Cerebro earlier this year. So that’s the first thing I wanted to talk about. Tomer, how did you use to prioritize your keywords and how would you do that before we had the multi-ASIN comparison feature in Cerebro?
Tomer: Yeah, so forget about the multi-ASIN thing, even before the search volume. I used to do this. So what I used to do is to take note of the best competitors based on their BSR and everything that are similar to the product I’m going to launch and I was checking their ranking for different keywords. So if I type in a keyword, let’s say “silicon spatula” and all of my competitors here on the first page, that means they are all getting sales from that keyword. But if I type a keyword like kitchen utensils for example, and none of them appear on the first page, even if it has more search volume, then it means they are not getting as many sales probably, or it’s not even converting as well as silicon spatula. Now, I’m only guessing here, but that was basically looking for keywords that are super relevant, which means all of my main competitors, direct competitors are all–at least on the first page or the second page and so on and so on. And that’s how I chose the keywords I’m going to use to rank my products when I launch. And so on. And they’d be in my title, bullet points, et cetera, et cetera.
Bradley Sutton: So yeah, that, that makes so much sense because I think, you know, whether there is search volume, the estimated once or that exact phrase search volume that we had for the last 15 months that we no longer have access to. So many people were just focusing on search flying. But just like you said, we don’t know the conversion rate of the keywords. It could very well be a hundred thousand search volume keyword, you know, maybe only is converting 5,000 of them into sales, but then a 10,000 search volume keyword could be converting just the same amount. So it’s not to say that the hundred thousand search keyword is 10 times as good or 10 times as valuable. So that’s a big danger. And just worrying about search volume. Now, another interesting thing that you mentioned is that you’ve really got to make sure that visually the search results match your product. Because like, you know, if a whole bunch of search results don’t even look like our product, only one of them, it looks like yours, that means the buyer’s organic tendencies would probably be to buy a product that’s not like your product.
Tomer: Yeah, yeah, that’s correct. In some keywords or just like for window shoppers. You know, like kitchen utensils, I don’t even know how many sales that keyword even generates. And if you think certain spatulas, it probably converts a lot better for silicone spatulas for example.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, that makes, that makes sense. And actually that’s the thing too, you know, of course I work for Helium 10 you know, I think our tools are great and it’s important that people use the tools. But I think too many people now are trying to use tools to replace or to automate too much of it. Tools cannot replace human intuition. You know, there’s not a tool that can go out there and analyze the images necessarily on a page one and say, “Hey, this does look like your product or it doesn’t look like your product.” You’ve got to just physically look at it, right?
Tomer: Yeah. Especially for the keywords you choose to launch with like super URLs or whatever keywords you focused on when you launch, you have to make sure those keywords are super, super relevant for your product. Not crazy high volumes or anything like that. That’s less important if you ask me. The important thing is the–first of all, they’re super relevant. After that you can look at search volume and whatever it is you want to look at, but the first thing we’ll look at is that they are super relevant.
Bradley Sutton: Anyway, when you say relevant, it’s kind of relevant to the buyer, right? That’s the most important.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, because I think a lot of people are brainwashed. You know, last year people would come up to me and say, Hey, I need to make sure my listing is super relevant, you know, to Amazon. And it is true, you know, if you want to have like I call ranking dues or whatever. You know, you do need to make your listing relevant to Amazon. And of course, you know, the way we do that is by putting something in phrase form in the title or you know, duplicate it or whatever. But at the end of the day, being relevant to Amazon does not give you a sale, you know, if it’s even relevant to the buyer.
Bradley Sutton: So, you know, like, the classic example that I keep using is how I was trying to rank a face toner for one of my clients and actually the Amazon relevancy score gave Cannon cartridge toner or something like that. 100% of relevancy. Well, that’s meaningless. Yes, I’m 100% relevant. But if I tried to get on page one, there was not one person who’s going to buy a beauty toner just because I’m relevant to Amazon because it’s irrelevant to them. So with that in mind, what is your strategy to make sure that you are choosing the most buyer relevant keywords?
Tomer: Yeah. So the way I see things in Amazon, and that’s the way I’ve always seen it. Everything is based half of your competition. So if you think about the products you chose, it was based off of the competition and then you try to improve it. You need the negative reviews, you talked to suppliers and you think how can you improve the product and make it better? And then we have hopefully higher conversion rate than your competitors and they will buy your product and everything is great. Now, everyone stops there when it comes to keyword research or images or anything else, they just start from scratch and they start keyword research from scratch and the images from scratch. They take their product to the photographer and they start everything from scratch. The way we do things is we take our top five, seven competitors and we take all of their titles, all of their bullet points, all of their images, and we improve that first. And only after we, let’s say we took seven titles right now, we put all of them in front of us..
Bradley Sutton: What do you mean by taking their images and improving? That’s something that’s new to me. So like what do you mean by that?
Tomer: So let’s say we look at all of their main images, and we look at how can we make our product stand out from those seven competitors, but not like doing something completely different. Let’s say they’re all pretty much the same image. Well, we’ll just maybe change the angle, maybe add the packaging on there. Maybe we’ll do something just to stand out. But we do everything else the same. So if you look at both, you know that ours is better.
Bradley Sutton: Ah, okay.
Tomer: Not just different. It’s better. So it’s very clear that it’s better. And we do that with everything. We do that with the title, the bullet points, because we don’t need the best listing in Amazon. We just need a better listing than all of our competitors.
Bradley Sutton: That’s a great point. So then you look for it now, you know, the way that I understand how your strategy worked was you would also run reverse ASIN tool on a lot of your main competitors that you are already analyzing their images and stuff and see kind of like what are they on page one for, you know, in other words, what are they organically converting for it? Then you wouldn’t just look at one competitor, right? How many would you pick?
Tomer: So it depends on the product. It depends on how competitive the product is and everything. Usually we chose up to 10 competitors. That was it pretty much. But it really depends. You mean manually, you can do that many as well. So, it will depend.
Bradley Sutton: So then what would your process be? You’re checking what your five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, whatever competitors are all ranking for. And then what’s the next step?
Tomer: So the next step is to build your title. So you’ll take all of their titles, you checked it, they are all ranking for those keywords, you checked it, all of them are on the first page for those keywords, and then you try to improve that title. Now if all those titles are short, our title is going to be short as well because it’s working. If all of them are long, we’ll do a long title.
Bradley Sutton: Ah, that’s interesting.
Tomer: So we try to look for commonalities in those listings and just duplicate the process but improve it at the same time.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting.
Tomer: And over and over again throughout the listing just to make sure that our listing is better in every criteria there is title, bullet points, images, description, EBC, anything. So that’s the process. It’s very simple, but that’s how you can make sure that you are actually better than everyone else. You are not guessing because if you start keyword research from scratch, then you’re guessing. You have no idea if you’re better or not than anyone.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. So then here’s a, here’s a question for you. When you are picking your competitors, let’s say some of the top ones in that niche are brand names. Do you exclude those from your comparison or do you include those? And why or why not?
Tomer: So usually we only include the FBA sold type of brands, and not TMZ or FBM.
Bradley Sutton: Okay.
Tomer: But again, it depends. If it’s like a one off and maybe they are making like 60% of all of the sales, then we’ll probably include that in as well because it’s important. But if it’s just a one off or whatever, we’ll usually disregard it and just ignore it completely.
Bradley Sutton: Ah, okay. Good to know. Good to know. So now you’ve made your listing, you’ve improved the images based on your competitors images, you’ve improved the title while still keeping what kind of thematically I guess you know, obviously shows to convert for that niche. And I do agree, I never thought about that, but that totally makes sense. Some niches you’ll see like all the titles of the best performing products are all short. Other ones, they’re longer. So that’s a totally a great..
Tomer: Yeah, Bradley. Even more than that, I will say that–let’s say, you know, titles usually have like the variation we call it. Like in my–with my team and everything, we call it the variations. So that means the quantity, color or size, sometimes you will see it in the beginning of the title, sometimes it’s in the middle, sometimes it’s all the way at the end. Sometimes it’s not even in the title. So, we look again at the commonalities, maybe having it at the beginning saying two pack or five pieces or black or whatever. Maybe that’s working. So we’ll do the same. Okay. We’re not going to assume that because it’s working for everyone. So we do that over and over again and only after we created our title, that’s when we go in to Magnet or whatever. And we use a tool to find more keywords. Maybe they missed keyword with a lot of search volume and we targeted that keyword in and we see our competitors there, but none of them are putting it in their title. Then it’s important, it’s relevant, it’s important. They all missed it and now I can put it in and now I have a better title than everyone else.
Bradley Sutton: Ah, okay.
Tomer: We start the research only after the first part, which is taking all of what the competitors did, improve it, and then we start the research. And we do that with everything.
Bradley Sutton: So, that’s great. So then the goal is you’re going to try and capitalize on obviously what your competitors are doing that’s working so that maybe you can get to their level, but then what takes you above their level is by then finding out the keywords that they may have missed and that theoretically actually will catapult you to even do better than them.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, okay. So now you have your listing. It’s indexed, it’s live, you’re not making many sales yet. You’re rank for all those keywords that you targeted are important keywords because your competitor is ranking for it. How are you monitoring your improvement and how do you try to catch up your sales velocity to those top competitors?
Tomer: Well, I wish there was a tool for that. I don’t know any tool that does that. Now, I do hope that Helium10 can add a tracking the ranking based off the competitors because that’s what needed to be done. So, Cerebro but like keep track of what’s going on based on your competitors for keywords that you want to track. But I don’t really know how to answer that. I mean that’s a bit complex. We do have a strategy with PPC. So what we do with PPC is basically what you need to understand what PPC, especially when you launch a product. Is it anything you do up to this point? What we are talking about right now, keyword research, planning, everything. We’re only guessing. We don’t know because Amazon doesn’t give us the conversion rate on anything. We have no idea how our product is going to perform with silicone spatula. I don’t know how it’s going to perform. I have no idea. I’m just guessing it will do well. I don’t really know. So PPC is the only tool that gives us the exact numbers of what’s working and what’s converting and what’s not and everything.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting.
Tomer: And so what we do with PPC after a while, like after a month or two months or whatever, after it’s running for a while, what I suggest for everyone to do, you can do it right now, go to–and all the products that you’re selling, like a few months or a year or whatever, and go to the exact keywords ad groups. Okay? Then you choose lifetime on the top and you arrange everything by the number of orders, by the number of sales you had with that specific ad group. So then you will see–usually you will see anywhere between three to ten keywords that they’re getting at least 50% of the sale. That’s usually what happens with most products.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah.
Tomer: Now those keywords are the ones that you probably want in your title, bullet points, title for sure. And then check bullet points as well. And maybe you want to have them in different phrases in the title, like having the Yoga Mat and then Exercise Mat, both maybe in the same title if even if the word “mat” appears twice because both might be super important for you. Um, and again you want to check competitors to make sure that those keywords are actually relevant as well. And you’re not just putting stuff there that don’t make much sense and obviously check the VA. Why is this feeling good and those keywords. But yeah, that’s the process we do. So a lot of people after they create a listing, they have the product live and then you just stop. The listing is perfect, we don’t need to change it, but they need to understand now they have data from PPC and they need to use that data to even–now really improve their listing based on that new data that just came in.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now one thing I wanted to ask you. A lot of this information I just have kind of secondhand from Manny and Bojan when they talked to you. This is actually the first time you and I have ever talked live, but the way I understand it is that one metric or one thing that your team really looks at is or monitors on like a daily or a weekly basis. I’m not sure. You can tell me, but it’s like your relative rank on certain keywords compare to your competitors. Like regardless of what page they’re on a certain keyword, you want to make sure that you are showing up before them. Is that something that you do?
Tomer: Yeah, because let’s say, so we track our competitors obsessively. I will say. Though, we have a spreadsheet, so it’s a similar imagine x-Ray. Okay. We have a similar spreadsheets for each of our products. So let’s say we have 20 competitors in there and let’s say I have 200 reviews and let’s say five more competitors have 50 reviews, but they’re all killing it in sales, selling you more than me. We have the same number of reviews, similar product, similar everything, and they’re killing me. So that means I’m doing something wrong. I need to fix my listing in some way, or my ranking, or my PPC, or my images, or something to improve my quality because I can get more sales, right? That basically means I can get more sales from those people because I should do better than them at the moment. So we tried to analyze everything and yes, it’s images and everything. It’s also keywords and if all of them, so what we try to do is if I see that all of them are ranking for a keyword better than me, I will bid heavily on PPC on that specific keyword because maybe that’s the big difference here. Maybe that’s what taking out of the sales by myself.
Bradley Sutton: So just by like increasing your bid, you’re shown more and possibly start converting more and just that by itself is going to increase the keyword rank then.
Tomer: Yeah. Yeah, because again, I make sure again that I have the better listing, the better images that are everything that price, everything needs to be better or at least the same level as the competitors. And then there is no reason why I shouldn’t think better than them after a few more sales from PPC and everything.
Bradley Sutton: What else can you tell me about some of your process? Because almost everything, I mean a lot of the things that you’ve talked about today, if not everything is, is I think pretty unique. Not a lot of people are using these strategies. What other, I mean, especially the one that blew my mind today about is the titles and the images. So those are things that I think most of us don’t even think about, but it just totally makes sense. Now that you mentioned it, what other strategies would you highly recommend?
Tomer: Honestly, to tell you truth about Helium 10, I didn’t watch a lot of your videos or Manny’s videos because I think I use it in a bit of a different way than you now that you have that feature that I requested in Cerebro. So, this is the process we’re doing. So we go to Cerebro, we put them–so this is for a new product. Okay, this is like a brand new product. I don’t even have our product climate. I’m just doing research. So I put the main competitor in Cerebro, like the best VSR, the ones that sells probably the most and everything. We put that main competitor there and then we put related ASINs, like five to seven of the main competitor ASINs. If you don’t know who the main competitors, you can also use magnets to find the main competitor if you want, but we just think like five or seven competitor ASINs and put them in there and then we arrange everything by either competitor performance score or competitor rank average, right? Which is what you added over my request and that will basically give you the most important keywords you want to focus on.
Bradley Sutton: Yup.
Tomer: And that’s what you want really want to do now. If it’s a live product already instead of that main competitor ASIN, you can just put your ASIN, and then compare it to like five, seven, ten different competitors. And, that’s where you really see where you’re at. And if you’ll see like you are number, let’s say you put seven competitors and you are number eight on those keywords in, it’s like a season product and you were selling pretty well. You can do a lot better if you’re going to bid heavily on exact match on those key words or phrase or whatever it is. Just bid heavily on those keywords, and you will do much better and you want to keep track of where you got them with the keywords. You are not yet ranking well compared to those competitors.
Bradley Sutton: That’s great. Yeah, that’s actually similar to the technique that I’ve been teaching Helium. Back in the day, you probably did something similar but you know, there’s always been, or not always, but you know, for the last few years there have been some kind of reverse ASIN tools. So I would run reverse ASIN tool on, you know, five, six different ASINs, export to excel. And then I would put all of them together and have to run pivot tables and things, and see which were the, you know, similar ones and then the rank. So was that kind of like similar to what you would have to do back in the day before this?
Tomer: Yeah, exactly. This just saves a lot of time. ut yeah. Yeah, we did something very similar.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What else? We have time for maybe one more cool technique. Like, I’m very curious as to how, like, unique ways that you use the Helium10 tools because that’s where I learned the most is somebody would just tell me like, oh, I use, you know, this one. I’m like, Whoa, I never thought of that way. What’s another thing that you think you do unique?
Tomer: What I can talk about a bit, is a bit more about images. So, you mentioned images before. We took down images, report broken down to a science now.
Bradley Sutton: I’m definitely interested to hear this.
Tomer: So I mean I tried to systemize everything and have processes for everything with my team. All of my entire team is based in the Philippines, so they just need very simple systems and processes they can follow obviously. So we have a process called image planning. What we do is we take those, let’s say seven competitors and we take all of their main images, put it in slide number one, like in, you know, PowerPoint slide, then all of the second images, that’s number two. The third image, that’s number three, and so on and so on. And then we’ll look for commonalities. Now I see like different blog posts and everything you need to do–a comparison chart or you need to do lifestyle images or you need to do whatever, or this is too much text, this needs text and so on and so on. Now, there is no right or wrong with any of that. What is right is to take all the competitors, look for commonalities and then improve what they’re doing. So I mentioned that in the main image. Let’s say everyone has comparison charts. We’re going to have one as well. Everyone has a lifestyle images, we’re going to have them as well. But if no one has lifestyle images, maybe it’s not that important to have those. So we just try to improve everything and obviously we’re going to use all the real state Amazon is giving us. All of the images, EBC, everything but also EBC everyone has, like a favorite template maybe, but there is no right templates. The template that works is the one that works for your competitors, and take the same template and just improve the images. Improve the copy and everything else. And that’s the process that we do for every product, every single product that we launch. We do this process by our competitors products. Look in their follow up emails, improve those because we want to get more reviews than they get like organically and so on and so on. So we do that process for everything you can imagine.
Bradley Sutton: I love that. Especially that the images, you know, I never thought about that. Laying it all out and see what works and then improve it. Are there cases where it’s–you don’t feel you can improve the images? I mean cause some of these companies are so big. They probably have amazing photography teams or when you say improve it also just means kind of differentiate or what do you mean?
Tomer: Well, I think from your top seven competitors, all of them have like killer images that you can’t improve any of that. It might be too competitive to go into, to be honest.
Bradley Sutton: Good point. Good point.
Tomer: So, yeah, I mean you need to use your common sense, you can also use websites like Picfu or whatever you want to make sure that yours are actually better than theirs. But imagine this, a lot of guys go to their photographer with a product and tell them, look, take this product and take images and that’s it. And then you use those images with the graphic design and everything. But if you go to your photographer and you’re ready with all of the competitors images and you give him, look, this is the main image of all of our competitors. We need something that is a bit better. He will know what to do. That’s his profession.
Bradley Sutton: Oh. I love that.
Tomer: How to tackle that and improve your image. Because that’s his job basically. And the same with the copy. If you go to a copywriter with blank and just give them keywords, it’s nice. But if you give them all of the bullet points of the competitors and tell them, look, this is everything we got. These are the keywords we want you to focus on and improve. Just make sure ours is better in the bullet points and everything. You can get a much better listing that way.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, that’s good. That’s golden. It’s rare sometimes. So you know, I interview people and it’s kind of like stuff we all hear over and over again. But almost everything that you’re saying today is semi-new to me. Nobody knows. The podcasts aren’t live yet, so yeah, I technically could be telling that. No, but no, seriously, this is great stuff. So just one last thing going backwards, talking about when you’re pulling your competitors, whether it’s for the images, whether it’s for their bullet points, whether it’s to check their keywords. All of these strategies seems to be based on pulling the competitors. Now this is one thing that I teach and I just want to kind of see if you agree with it. So what I teach, and I think this is your technique too, is if I already know my main keyword, yeah. You know, probably my main competitors are on my main keyword. But if I see a listing that is on my main keyword, you know, even if it’s ranked number one or two or even if it has Amazon’s Choice, but if it’s completely different than my product, I’m not going to include that in my comparison. Like think Bojan. I don’t know if he got this example from you or who he got it from, but he used the example of accordion, you know there’s kids accordion and there’s, you know, professional accordion. One is $40, one is 500. If I have a kids’ accordion, I am not going to compare my images. I’m not going to compare my keywords to the adults’ accordion. Is that correct?
Tomer: That’s the solid point. When I told you we have like a spreadsheet for each product that we track, we make sure that all of those products are similar in price and are like similar in the product itself. So Yoga Mats, they have very big ranges of pricing, right? You have $10 Yoga Mat, and you’d have 50, and you probably have $200. So the price range that we put is only 20% difference. From the products we compare to each other. Because even–let’s say, silicon spatula. So a silicone spatula, 5 set, or a 10 set, or a single is going to demand completely different price. So we might put those in three different sheets to track, because again, it’s a different product for us. It’s not the same product and we’re going to look at them as individual different products just because of the reasons you mentioned. You can’t compare a–you want to compare apples to apples basically.
Bradley Sutton: Exactly. Okay, good. It’s good to know that I’m doing–I’m teaching the right way. So, when somebody smarter than me teaches the same thing as me. Then I know I’m on the right track. Alright. Well, Tomer, thank you so much mean I can’t believe this is already been almost 30 minutes. You have been just giving us some amazing techniques that I know I’m going to start teaching right away and hopefully our audience is going to be able to implement these. Now you yourself, you don’t have your own course or you don’t have something to sell, which is, you know, one thing why I really appreciate that you’re coming on here. But is there any way that somebody can contact you if they have more questions?
Tomer: Not really.
Bradley Sutton: No problem.
Tomer: No, I’m kidding. They can find me on Facebook and just message me and we’ll talk.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Alright guys, find him on Facebook and this guy knows his stuff. So Tomer, thank you so much again for your time. I know it’s like 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock over there where you’re in and the nighttime, so I appreciate it. Alright, Tomer, thanks a lot. We’ll talk to you later.
Have more questions about using your competitors as a model to improve upon for your own product listing? Put your questions in the comments below!