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#301 – Maldives Honeymoon Strategies Plus Project X, 5K Case Study Updates – Part 2

In part 2, Bradley shares his thoughts on the latest Amazon TOS updates, more Project X and 5K case study updates, and the latest launch strategies he uses.

Did you enjoy part 1 of this 2 part series? Bradley is back and will be sharing his thoughts on the latest Amazon TOS updates, what you should avoid moving forward, and having a backup plan in case of significant changes like this one. Plus, he shares more details in his case studies.

Make sure to stay until the end, where he shares his new launch strategies!

In episode 301 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley discusses:

  • 01:00 – What’s Going On With Amazon’s TOS Updates?
  • 09:00 – Bradley’s Take On The Issue
  • 14:15 – Things Bradley Would Avoid Moving Forward
  • 15:45 – The Maldives Honeymoon Strategy Is More Important Now
  • 18:00 – More Updates On Bradley’s Case Studies
  • 23:30 – What Is The Amazon Death Spiral?
  • 28:15 – Canonical URL Keywords Are Important
  • 30:00 – Sending Traffic From Google Search
  • 32:00 – Bradley’s Backup Plan 
  • 37:30 – The Alternative To Search Find Buy
  • 40:00 – Sales Numbers Update For Projects X, 5K, And Others  

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

All right. This is part two in a two-part series, all about The Maldives Honeymoon Strategies. I’m also going to be giving you guys updates on Project X and Project 5k. And I’m going to give you my latest brand new launch strategies, or I was able to get to page one position, one on keywords that I didn’t even do. One search, find, buy for. 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 or Walmart world. This is part two in a two-part series, episode 300 and 301. We’re talking about The Maldives Honeymoon Strategies. All right, now you notice now I’m in front of a green screen. If you’re watching this on YouTube, I’m not filming this live in the Maldives like I did with the part one a few weeks ago. This is brand new information, guys. It is the 21st of November when I’m recording this and you’re probably hearing this just two days later. So that’s why I’ve got this green screen behind me trying to make me remember my times there in the Maldives.

Bradley Sutton:

But anyway, we’re going to talk about a lot of stuff today and the very first thing, which is the “Elefante”, the elephant in the room is what just dropped last week on the terms of service. All right, it’s been long rumor, to happen. And you know, there there’s moderator post here and there and different, you know, speculation on what’s going on. I’ve held back on unlike, you know, having some kind of like, you know, big podcast episode about it because I wanted to wait until the terms of service actually changed and I didn’t want to base it on Seller Central’s you know, comments, I didn’t want to base it on a moderator forums comments, you know, if there was something gonna change on the terms of service, it would have I figured and sure enough, it did.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, so let’s go over this now. And this is still developing. I mean, there’s literally just dropped two days ago. And so, you know, who knows by the time you’re listening to this, if it’s a week later or a month later, who knows maybe there’s new information, but I wanted to give you the information I had. All right. So the very first indication of this terms of service change was on November 19th, if you look at the other new section in your Seller Central Account, it said updates to Seller to Policies or Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct. So a lot of people were like, oh, oh, before I even click on this, I know what this might be about. Sure enough, it is. All right. So it said, this is the first part that’s confusing because it said effective November 26, which as of right now is still in the feature.

Bradley Sutton:

You’re probably listening to this. It’s still, probably not even September, November 26 the Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct will be updated. Now that’s the first part that was confusing because you actually click on the Seller Code of Conduct it’s already updated. So I’m not sure what the date 26, is it going to change again? Or maybe it means that these are not going to be effective until November 26, you know, it’s not going to be enforced or something like that. I’m not sure. So that was the first part that was confusing, but regardless it’s in the terms of service now. But you might want to go back on the 26th just to make sure they don’t, they don’t update it again. Now it says, Hey, we are adding prohibitions for price-fixing and search rank manipulation.

Bradley Sutton:

The very first time that this has come up, search rank manipulation as far as verbiage in terms of service price-fixing I swear was in there before, but maybe not, maybe it wasn’t in there. Everybody else was saying it wasn’t in there before. Now, this by itself is interesting to me. Why in the past for somewhat big changes to terms of service it’s mostly been about reviews or brushing, you know, the fake orders that people were doing and things like that, that result that were from kind of like exposés, you know, like exposés in the news or something like, Hey, the news article came out and said, how many fake reviews there are on Amazon? Or you know, Buzzfeed broke out a story. I’m not sure if it was Buzzfeed, but you know what? One of these news outlets broke a story about what brushing is and things like that.

Bradley Sutton:

And brushing’s a black hat tactic that, that sellers were using to get fake reviews and incentivize reviews. And you know, how there was insert cards that telling people to get you know, you’re going to get a gift card, if you get reviews and all of a sudden what happened. Well, you would see that come out in the terms of service. Now, for me for a big change like this, this is one of the first times I’ve noticed something where it wasn’t a result of bad publicity. Like, I don’t remember. I mean, you guys correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t remember any big articles about price-fixing, you know, there was price gouging that was happening during the pandemic, but price-fixing. If you know, we’re going by what, you know, their general definition is, which is, you know, a bunch of competitors get together and they say, Hey, let’s fix the prices, you know, high or low or whatever, right?

Bradley Sutton:

I mean, you guys send me some articles, you know, hit me up on my Instagram @h10bradley, let me know. Is there some articles maybe I missed where this is kind of big news? The one that I know is not in the news is the search rank, you know, like people talk about you know, the fake reviews and things, but I haven’t seen big exposé articles about, about search rank manipulation. So this is interesting, you know, a little bit of a pivot, you know, what prompted this, you know, are there some FTC issues happening in the back end, maybe are their lawsuits or something that we don’t know about in the public doesn’t matter what the reason is the fact is that this is now the new normal, this is now part of the Seller Code of Conduct or Terms of Service.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. So what is the new verbiage? All right. So if you actually click through to the new Terms of Service or the new Seller Code of Conduct right there, you’re going to see, Hey, not engage in conduct that violates price-fixing. All right. So that’s new, there’s a bunch of stuff that still is the same here. You know, I’m manipulating sales rank, you know, that’s been in there for years. You know, some people thought that that meant Search Rank, but again, no, this didn’t mean search rank. It meant what it says, Sales Rank. Right. And if you didn’t know what it meant, it says it always had it in parentheses. Like it says, Hey, making claims about sales rank and product titles or descriptions. You know, nobody’s talking about Search Rank in their product title or description, Hey, I am page one position, one coffin shelf in their title, you know, but you know, what people were doing in their description or titles is like, Hey, you know you know, bestseller health and household bestseller, or number one bestseller, or top 100 on Amazon, things like that. Right?

Bradley Sutton:

Now, what is the new thing that talks about Search Rank? Like I said, that’s never been in the terms of service before and now as of the 20th or 19th, when this got added, it is now there. So let me see what the actual verbiage is here. It says attempting to influence search results by inflating search ranking through keyword manipulation. Now, right off the bat. This is what makes a lot of people frustrated out there is this is very broad, right? And it’s not exactly something that you can go somewhere else in the verbiage to kind of figure out what Amazon means. For example, here is where you can do it. The second part of this is incentivizing customers searches to appear as organic behavior. So incentivizing customer searches, that might seem like a pretty broad thing, but you can correlate this with other existing language that Amazon has had for a while, for example, incentivizing, what does Amazon consider that well for a while, as you guys know, and it’s right here in the Seller code of Conduct on the same page, under ratings, feedback and reviews, it says you may not attempt to influence or inflate customers, rating feedback or reviews, you may not pay for, or offer an incentive. And then in parentheses, it defines it such as coupons or free products in exchange for providing or removing feedback or reviews.

Bradley Sutton:

So we take that definition of. Remember, it doesn’t matter what we think a word means. It matters what Amazon thinks. So that’s why so many people are trying to say, oh, no, sales rank, you know, rank means keyword rank that that’s an Amazon seller terminology. It doesn’t matter what we think rank means. It matters what Amazon thinks. And when Amazon says sales rank, it means best sellers rank, BSR, right? Same thing here, what we think is incentive doesn’t matter matters what Amazon thinks. So they define what they consider incentives, offering coupons, discounts, free products in exchange for review. So if we, if we take that to this new language of incentivizing customer searches to appear as organic behavior, I mean, I guess it’s still kind of open to some interpretation, but to me, you know, my strong opinion is. Hey, you’re offering a discount. You’re offering a free product. Just, just like it says an reviews for somebody to go do some kind of search that appears as organic.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, to me, what am I taking from this? That is what we have always done in the past is having people do search, find and buy. Now, again search, find, buy is naturally what people do to find products on Amazon. So we’re not talking about that. Obviously, Amazon is not talking about that. Otherwise, 50, more than 50% of their sales will go to zero. Like, no, no, we don’t want anybody searching and finding and buying their product names. Obviously not saying that, but the key here is you’re trying to have searches appear as organic behavior. So in my opinion, my personal opinion, again, I’m speaking here as Bradley, you know, not I’m wearing my Helium 10 hat and everything, but, you know I have, I don’t think we’re coming out with any press releases that say, Hey, what’s the Helium 10’s official position?

Bradley Sutton:

This is Bradley Sutton’s position is that is probably referring to using services that have people organically search, find, and buy, but you’re telling them what to do because you are trying to make this seem like an organic search. So that could be two-step URLs. In my opinion, you’re trying to get it to look like an organic search or you know, paying a service to do search, find, buy. And then incentivizing part is another thing like incentivizing is you know, offering them a rebate, giving them a discount, 20% discount, 50% discount if you search this way, all right, now this wasn’t against terms of service before now. Now it is. Now here’s the thing, incentivizing customer searches to appear as organic behavior. This to me kind of opens it up still. And, you know, I’m hoping that they kind of clarify this because, you know what, if I do use a two-step URL, right?

Bradley Sutton:

If I use a two-step URL with no discount, no rebate, no nothing. I’m trying to help the, you know, Amazon algorithm, I guess, to increase my ranking. And of course, that’s why we use two-step URLs. Now that’s not incentivizing, but is Amazon saying that this is only bad if you’re incentivizing it? You know, like for example, you cannot, again, going back to Amazon’s, you know, verbiage here you cannot pay for, or offer an incentive in exchange for providing or removing feedback or reviews. Right. So what you can do is ask them to you know, to provide a review, right. You know, just naturally without offering an incentive. What about this other thing? What about, you know, this customer searches to appear as organic behavior? Is it the incentive part that makes it wrong? Or is it just, Hey, no, all two-step URLs are bad, you know?

Bradley Sutton:

It’s hard. And then that’s why this keyword manipulation thing that was the first thing I mentioned. Like, that’s why I really don’t understand what exactly this is going to, or what Amazon is actually referring to right here in this part. So, because, you know, if you think about it any activity in PPC on a certain search term necessarily, you know, that kind of changes your organic search it, so, you know that can’t be against terms of service. So I opened up a case with Seller Central. Now, again, guys, I know that you know, the Seller Central employees, it’s not exactly, you know, gospel. Like, it’s not exactly they are the high executives of Amazon, but the entire Amazon, you know, customer service staff, they’re given scripts when people ask things, right.

Bradley Sutton:

And there’s company memos that are given out like, Hey, if somebody asks this, this is the thing that you say, they’re not just coming up with some of this stuff at the top of our heads. So I was just curious, what is the current policy for asking what this means? You know, what is the current script now? I’m sure it’s going to be updated, but right after this came out, I said, Hey Seller Central Support, you know, this new terms of service, what does keyword manipulation refer to it? So what they replied to me was, Hey, we, we understand that you want to know about keyword manipulation. And then basically they gave me the script of what was in the terms of service before about using brand names and ASIN and your backend search terms, because they say, “Hey, these practices are unfair towards buyers and manipulate search results because it makes it harder for them to find the item they’re looking for.”

Bradley Sutton:

So as of now, you know, the Amazon customer service employees still haven’t been updated with any new scripts in order to reply to something like this, they’re giving, like the, you know, the reply that’s been in there since 2018 at the latest where it talks about putting in irrelevant things into your backend search terms. So, you know, take that for what it’s worth. You know, I’ll keep trying to see if they’re going to have a new script, but as of this time, I am not sure, you know, I can make a guess. We all can make guesses, but it’s not very clear what they’re going to consider keyword manipulation. All right. But in my opinion, my personal opinion if I’m trying to rank for certain keywords, I really don’t want to do rebates anymore because that can be considered incentivizing something to look like an organic search.

Bradley Sutton:

I’m not going to give you no coupons, which I haven’t really done in a while, other than tests, and even two-step URLs, I might, I might slow my roll and I’m gonna talk a little bit later how I would use two-step URLs. But anyway, that is what is going on in these new terms of service. Like I said, they also talk about price-fixing. They added some language about manipulating sales rank, which is weird to me cause I’m like, I don’t even understand, like, people have not used, tried to manipulate sales rank in a long time. Like, why is this even still here? You know, they, they took away some of the search term language from here, you know, about putting an ASINs in the backend, like that used to be here in the code of conduct.

Bradley Sutton:

It’s not anymore, it’s somewhere else now because I’m assuming because hardly anybody does that anymore. Like who puts ASINs in the back end of their search terms, honestly. But nobody can manipulate sales rank anymore like they did in the old days. But anyways, they added some terminology here that says, Hey, you can’t do it when you refund externally or discount externally. So that was some new verbiage as well. But anyway, that is the latest on what is going on in terms of service. And I got some messages, people saying, Hey, the Maldives, aren’t going to really, are you going to take away Maldives episodes and, and tell people not to use a stretch? I’m like, no. I mean, like if you’re talking about two-step URLs and search, find, buy, that’s a very small part of the Maldives Honeymoon Strategy. I mean, the Maldives Honeymoon Strategies about so much more things that beyond search, find, buy, or two-step URLs that if anything, the Maldives Strategies are even exponentially, in my opinion, more important now, like it’s easy to get to page one, using search, find, buy two-step URLs and things like that.

Bradley Sutton:

But if you’re not going to use that anymore, it makes the rest of the Maldives Honeymoon Strategy that much more important about, you know, the title and the title density, and about when you start your listing and about your Canonical URL and things like that. So I’m going to get into guys, you know, make sure to stay to the end of this episode. Somewhere in here, I’m going to give you guys my new strategy that can replace where I would have done search, find, buy on things. Is it, harder to do than search find, buy, and using AZrank? Absolutely. By the way, that’s the question too. Like what’s going to happen to AZrank and Rank Bell and these companies that I’ve used, I’m not sure, you know, but I’m positive. I know them intimately, the both of those companies and the people behind it.

Bradley Sutton:

And I know that they’re going to be fine. Like they’re going to be able to pivot and make sure their businesses are compliant. You know, there’s a lot of different things that they can do out there that’s not just about rebates and search, find, buy. I mean, if I, if I had one of those companies, I might try and maybe change the business model or something to maybe make it more about almost like Helium 10 Audience or PickFu where they use their vast audience to go, you know, order products and then give feedback on the actual product itself to the manufacturer, to the seller. Right. You know, not, to leave reviews on the actual product pages, but anyway, that’s a complete other subject, but I’m sure AZrank, Rank Bell to the other companies that they’re going to be just fine.

Bradley Sutton:

Now anyways, let’s get back to more Maldives Strategy updates and my Project 5k and Project X updates here. All right. So we left off when I was recording in the Maldives, you know, about that coffin egg tray that we have launched. Now, something very interesting that I kind of mentioned was, I was not getting impressions in PPC in the first few days. All right, let me go a little bit more in-depth in there because I’m sure you guys have experienced this as well. And this is going to be a situation where I personally might use a two-step URL by the way, guys probably two-step URLs. You probably won’t see the ones that have to do with search ranking in Helium 10 anymore. But I’ll show you how you guys can make your own two-step URLs. But anyways the coffin egg tray, from the very 1st of October, October 1 to 3, that was when this listing first got started.

Bradley Sutton:

Usually new listings, you get tons and tons of PPC impressions. You know, that’s part of the Maldives Honeymoon or just the Honeymoon at all. Right. but remember the coffin egg tray was a non-existent product. This was a brand new thing. There’s no coffin, egg trays that were ever made before on Amazon that Amazon can relate it. So it was struggling for PPC impressions. I had 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I had five PPC campaigns running, you know, a Manual, a Broad Campaign, and Auto Campaign, a Product Targeting Campaign, Sponsored Display Campaign. And in the first three days of October, I only got 2,100 impressions and only 29 clicks. All right. So I was like, man, this is, I am not using my budget at all. $10 spend in three days. And my daily budget was like $50 total. And I spent 10 overall out of all these campaigns. So what I figured was I was like, man, it’s just, Amazon is just not relating to me.

Bradley Sutton:

Like it’s not relating me to these products or to these keywords. So I have to like send Amazon some signals. Now this, in my opinion, I’m still gonna do this. You know, like, cause I’m not trying to in this case I wasn’t trying to inflate search results or anything like that. I wasn’t incentivizing it to encourage a search result. I was just trying to fix Amazon’s algorithm. It was broken because it didn’t know what my product was. So I actually just did some two-step URLs and just got a couple of purchases. And this is something that I use AZrank for. Again, this is just my personal decision, you know, maybe you guys don’t feel comfortable doing this, but in my opinion, I didn’t even know that this, the terms of service are changing, but if I had to do this over again, now that I do know I still would have done it, right.

Bradley Sutton:

Because in my personal opinion, this isn’t violating terms of service because I’m not trying to increase my pay drinking. I just want to show Amazon that, Hey, this product is relevant for this keyword, right? Because it’s Amazon didn’t have the data now from the fourth to the 6th of October, this is the next three-day period. When when I was doing so I was sending some traffic to these keywords. There was a slight increase already in impressions about a 20% increase. Remember from the first to the third, my impressions were only 2,169. I just got a couple of purchases on a couple of the keywords in here that I knew I wasn’t getting any impressions on, and I wasn’t ranking at all in anything. Right. I didn’t get to page one or anything for this, but just by having these, this activity on those 2, 3, 4 keywords that I was sending traffic via two-step URLs to, take a look at this, the very next three-day period, which is October 7th to 9th.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Just as a remember, or just as a reminder from the first of the third 2000 impressions I got and only how many clicks did I get a 29 clicks now that I did my little two-step URLs from the seventh to the ninth I had $104 spend instead of just 10 and 27,000 impressions, 250 clicks. All right. That is crazy guys. That’s I don’t know what, what is that a hundred times as many, not 10 times as many. Yeah. 10 times has been out a 100 times, 10 times as many impressions guys in a three-day period, because now all of a sudden the Amazon algorithm is like, oh, okay. So this is what this product is. We kind of know what it is now. We’re going to go ahead and give you a lot of impressions on it. All right. So again, if you know, you’re relevant for keyword and you’re not getting impressions on PPC, you know, sometimes people say, Hey, just restart the campaign or something.

Bradley Sutton:

But what you could try is just using that keyword, put it in a two-step URL, like a field ASIN two-step URL or a brand two-step URL. If you want to do that, and you can’t do it on Helium 10 anymore, just go search for a, you know, the brand, use those filters inside of Amazon, just copy the URL that, that it comes up and then just, you know, change it up to, to put your information, your brand and your keyword. Right. but yeah, that absolutely worked for me in order to like, kind of fix Amazon’s algorithm to help it understand that this coffin egg tray was relevant for these other keywords. So that was pretty big.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. What else did we do? Something that Casey Gauss spoke about in the last Billion Dollar Seller Summit was a term I think might start trending. And if it ever does make sure to give Casey credit, because maybe you guys have used it before, but he’s the first person I’ve ever heard using it. I think he called it the Amazon Death Spiral. He noticed that for older products that maybe they weren’t promoting as much, it just started dropping on keyword ranks and sales and impressions and things like that, and impossible to get it back. And this was before, when there’s search, find, buys and things like that, just, it just wouldn’t come back. Like there was nothing you could do to kind of resurrect it. And so he coined the term, the Amazon Death Spiral.

Bradley Sutton:

And I was like, you know what? Then, you know the one of the products on Project X, I’ve been noticing has gone down a lot. And when I try and boost it up through search, find, buy again through my experiments at the time last few months, it didn’t have as much effect. So I actually, like I said, guys, in multiple accounts, I have very similar products because I like being able to compare apples to apples. So for one of the products in Project X, I had another account, completely unrelated account, have a very similar product that I launched over a year after the Project X item launched, because I like testing what happens to more mature listing compared to a newer listing. And so I was like, whoa, this is a great time to test this Amazon Death Spiral thing that Casey was talking about. So what I did was I did a search find buy campaign. And again, guys, you know, I’m still gonna do search, find, buy campaign test for case studies, because remember, this is representative of what happens organically.

Bradley Sutton:

I’m not trying to increase page rank necessarily on here. And if Amazon ever calls me out for it you know, they know who Helium 10 is. I’ll tell them like, guys, I’m sorry, this was, this is just an experiment I was trying. They can see that I have podcasts. I’m not trying to say guys, Hey, despite this new terms of service change, keep doing search, find, buy. I’m just explaining to you what I’m doing, because I’m trying to bring you guys into information. But anyway, what I did was I ran the same identical campaign with AZrank on these two, nearly identical products, but on two completely separate accounts, remember one product was only about one year old. And then the other product was about two and a half years old. I did the same exact campaign on one of them, the older one, we just peaked at position two, but it was at position six kind of consistently position, like four to five to six. And then all it did was one day peak to number two, and then it dropped back down. That’s it.

Bradley Sutton:

Now I did the identical campaign, the identical search, find, buy on this same exact days on another product that at the time was on positioned 10 to 15 on that same keyword, 10 to 15, but this newer product with the same search, find, buy got me to consistently position two and three, a much better increase than the other one. So I don’t know. I’m definitely gonna keep testing this out, but I’m wondering about what are you guys? You guys have any mature products, maybe you guys neglected it a little bit cut back on the spend. You know, haven’t done any deals with a day in a long time, have you start to lose your keyword rank and have trouble getting it back and your sales velocity, could it be this Amazon death spiral? I don’t know.

Bradley Sutton:

You know, who knows what, what the reason for this could be, it could be maybe just Amazon wants to prioritize newer products. I’m not sure, but this is definitely something that I’m going to start looking at. This was the first time I started looking into it. And there is something here. There’s something interesting for me to take a look at another thing that I talked about in the last episode, you might have just heard 300, right? I talked about how I did that social media coupon code for that bad egg shelf. Well, I actually had another 200 units left in stock in my warehouse. I sent that to Amazon and I tried to do the same thing, 50% off, nothing happened. I was like, well, that’s weird. And so I just kept increasing it. I kept doing social media coupon codes, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% off, which is the maximum no biters.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. So what does that say? The social media coupon code hack that I talked about in the last episode, it’s not guaranteed. You’re going to get an influencer to post that product, right. It’s kind of hit or miss. So I just kept doing it. I would raise the price a little bit lower the price after like the seventh time of trying it again in 24 hours, I sold out all 200 units. All right. So it definitely does work, but sometimes it doesn’t happen on your first try. Now, when I did this again, I checked those canonically or the keywords that were in the Canonical URL. Sure enough. Again, there was an increase in page rank on those. I got to the top of page one for the keywords in the Canonical URL. Why is this important? Well, remember if we’re not going to be able to do search, find, buy anymore, or two-step URLs, we gotta be, we gotta be doing other techniques with getting to page one.

Bradley Sutton:

So this makes your Canonical URL keywords even more important. Don’t forget about the hack we’ve been talking about for three years on how to lock in your Canonical URL on Amazon is you do five keywords that are full words, you know, not the no numbers or punctuations or things like that. And then a dash. And that usually locks in that usually works about 60% to 70% of the time. In my opinion, recently, in the Helium 10 Elite Webinar that Kevin did, he talked about another way you can just open up a case to Amazon seller central and say, Hey, can I, can you change my Canonical URL to these five to seven keywords? And sometimes it takes three or four times to get an employee who knows how to do that, but they will change it too. So Canonical URL is important. So I was like, I had, I was curious, I look back at previous deals of the day that I did lightning deals for the coffin shelf and other project X products throughout this year.

Bradley Sutton:

And what I did was like, for example, the coffin shelf in the Canonical URL or over coffin shelf, it actually has our brand name Manny’s Mysterious Oddities, and coffin shelf, because I locked in the Canonical URL using that hack. I told you about it, so coffin shelf is in the Canonical. Check this out, every single time I did a lightning deal where I had like 50 or a 100 orders in one day, we got to like page one position, one or two for coffin shelf. You know, there’s no search, find buys, or anything, but it just goes to show that if there’s activity on a listing, it seems to give some nice boost to whatever keywords you have in your Canonical IRL. I check that across other products, very similar thing where the keywords in the Canonical URL gave a boost. Now here’s the thing where now we get into the gray area.

Bradley Sutton:

You know what, if you send a whole bunch of traffic from Google, right? To an Amazon listing, no search, find, buy, no two-step URL, no ManyChat bot, nothing. And you’re just like, Hey, here’s a Google ad and they’re going to go click on my listing. Now, one thing that I don’t think we are removing in Helium 10 Gems is the Canonical URL Generator member. The canonical URL that Amazon shows that’s locked. That’s decided by Amazon, but the canonical URL generator in helium, 10 gyms allows you to put any keywords you want in a canonical URL that will still go to directly to your listing. But it’s in there in the sense that, Hey, you need, you can boost your keyword ranking on Google, right? So, in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with that. Like, if you’re trying to boost your, your, your being or your Google search, you know, indexing, do whatever you want.

Bradley Sutton:

Why would Amazon care about that? Now, the curious thing that I’m going to start investigating, and for episode three 50, I’m sure I’ll have tons and tons of reports for you is what if you start using those Canonical URLs in Google and you have enough activity around it, would it actually also increase your page ranking? Now that’s where now this philosophical debate is going to come up while you’re trying to increase your page rank on Google. You know, maybe you’re doing rebates. Maybe you’re not. Whatever the case is, but this residual effect having it on Amazon now does Amazon frown on that? Right. You know? So again, you know, I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of debates on this, but it could be worth looking into, right. So canonical or URL guys looks like it does help for ranking.

Bradley Sutton:

I’ve heard some other things you know, like Amazon posts, you know, might help with that. There’s a lot of things that we can speculate on that might work for ranking, but what I did well, as soon as, as the first rumor started coming out, that, you know, Amazon might be cracking down on it. I was like, you know what? I need to have some backup plans ready, as far as what I would normally use for search find, buy, or two-step URLs that I’ve been using for five years, just in case one day, I can’t. Cause I was like, you know what? Like I’ve always said it could happen. And sure enough, that day in my opinion is here.

Bradley Sutton:

So what I did was I hit up Kevin King. I was like, Kevin, I’ve got this idea for a PPC launch possibly without using search, find, buy. But, the reason why I haven’t done it is because the last time I tested this, I got my buy box oppressed because I lowered the price way down. But then when I put it back to regular price, then Amazon suppressed the buy box. And I was like, well, this is not going to work. And he came up with an idea which I haven’t tested, but I know it works because he tested it and is in your Seller Central, you can edit the minimum and the maximum price. So if you put like a minimum price of 95 cents or whatever is way below your minimum and a maximum price of like, you know, $30, and you’re trying to temporarily change your price to like $2 for some PPC launch, and then you want to raise it back to $20. It should not suppress the buy box.

Bradley Sutton:

So I knew that worked because he told me he did, but I want to try another way. So this is what I did. I created two kind of fake products. These are products that were just like returns or I discontinued a long time ago, but I made completely brand new listings using Maldives methods. Again, remember Maldives is not just about search went by, you know, I optimize a title. I put keywords in the title that not many people had in the title. I started a fulfilled by merchant on day one and got some sales on day one of this. I did all of these things that are part of the Maldives Honeymoon Strategy. All right. Here is product one. So what I did was I started the product. I locked in my Canonical URL. All right. And I made sure some key keywords were in there.

Bradley Sutton:

Let’s just call it bread. Cutting board. Right bread. Cutting board was in my Canonical URL. Then I was like, you know, what if I was doing search, find, buy, these are the six keywords that I would target and I would have hit up AZrank to do it, but here I’m going to do this without search find buy. And these were all low-volume keywords, because again, guys, remember I pay out of my own pocket for most of this stuff. And, you know, I have a limited budget with what I’m going to spend on these case studies. So I picked six keywords that ranged in search volume of 200 to 2,300. And let’s just say that bread cutting board keyword is the one that had like 2000 search volume. All right.

Bradley Sutton:

So bread cutting board was in my Canonical URL. And what I did was I did not have an auto campaign on, I did not have a research campaign or a broad match. I just had one exact PPC campaign, exact manual match. Right. And I put these only six exact keywords. I put a fixed bid, super high, like $4 for this. You know, I knew that was super high. I put fixed bid. I want to show up at the top. So from day one, I was showing up at the very top of sponsored ads and I put the price, I forgot what I put something like, like $6 or something. And this is a $25 product because I was like, Hey, I want people to see this. As soon as they type in bread, cutting board, and these five other keywords and see, oh, holy crap, $6. I’m definitely gonna buy this product. Now what I did to put it at $6, I put sale price of $6.

Bradley Sutton:

So the regular price, I put $30 and put a sale price that is from this date to this date of $6. All right. And so, because I didn’t want to get the buy box suppressed and check this out, guys. All right. On that one, keyword over five days, bread cutting board. Let’s just say there wasn’t a Canonical. I got 2,500 impressions, 26 clicks. These are all organic. I mean, organic as in I didn’t pay anybody to do it or use AZrank or anybody else. 26 clicks got 11 purchases. Now the other keywords, a couple of them didn’t even get a lot of impressions and they didn’t get a lot of clicks and they didn’t even get purchases. But check this out, that keyword right there, bread cutting board, 2000 search wine within five days, page one, position three, the other keywords that were kind of like variations of that keyword.

Bradley Sutton:

Again, that’s part of the Maldives Strategy. Check this out, guys. Every single one of them, I got to the top 10 of page one on one of them. I got paid one position, one another one, nine another one for another one page, one position to the one that I got. Page one, position two. I didn’t get any impressions in PPC. Guess what? How did I do that? Well, that was in the title. That keyword, there was completely in the title and nobody else had it in a title or like one other person had it in the title in Amazon. So the Maldives still works. And that was a PPC-only launch. And I got to page one for all of my target keywords that I would have done search, find, buy.

Bradley Sutton:

In another sense, I did another product, same exact account. This was like phone cases. I had some old phone cases lying around again, pick-six different keywords use the Maldives method, got an order. Within the first day, I made sure to lock in my canonical URL to keywords only got to position 18 and 19, the rest page one position one in total, I had only 10 PPC orders and this was at like $1. I put it at $1 because this was a $9 product. And I put a sale price of $1. And so I got 10 orders and of those keywords, I got the orders. Those are the ones that all got to page one, position one. So again, what is this strategy now, which is my first and which is probably going to be multiple alternatives to search, find, buy on day one, try and get sales again. You know, just like the Maldives strategy talks about, make sure to have your Canonical URL be your most important keyword, have that in your title.

Bradley Sutton:

Hopefully, it’s a keyword that not many people have in their title. And then pick 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 keywords where you know that people you know, people will definitely buy your product at a cheap price for it. And then put a sale price, put a huge sale price where it’s like irresistible, despite the fact that you have zero reviews, right. You know, like if you’ve got a, a $30 product, are you cool with putting that $9, you know, as a big sales price? Because you know, now here’s the drawbacks and this is why this is, you know, I have been doing this forever. Right. But this is tedious. First of all, I had fulfilled by merchant because I can control my, my inventory. You know, I don’t want to sell 100 of these in like one hour. And I, you know, didn’t know about it and I just waste a whole bunch of money because everybody’s buying my $9 product for $1 and then maybe reselling it.

Bradley Sutton:

So with fulfilled by merchant I was able to actually put in what inventory wants to do for a day. So I put five every day and I was like, if those five went out, I was like, forget it. I’m not doing anymore. And then I could actually see which keywords were converting for in my PPC. So that if I already hit the max for the CPR number inside of Helium 10 members, CPR is the same, you know, if you’re organic or sponsored or whatever, people are searching and finding and buying the product. Right. So I could just view my search term reports and be able to pause that keyword target. If I hit my, my goal. If you’re doing FBA though, it’s going to be tedious for you. You’re going to have to like maybe hire somebody to be checking your, your sales 24 hours a day, like once an hour to make sure that you don’t sell out a whole bunch.

Bradley Sutton:

Right. Went with FBM. It was easy because I can control the inventory every day. So this is a more tedious way to do things. You’re going to have to have people ready, who knows maybe AZrank or Rank Bell might provide this kind of service where they can monitor it for you. I’m not sure. I’m giving out free business advice here. Maybe it’s useless. So anyway but again, this worked for me. All right. So these were all low search volume, but, but theoretically speaking, you would work on higher search volume as well. You know, so I would still look at that CPR number and I would still use them all these methods, but it’s important guys, you know, rules can change at any time, you know one day incentivize reviews was okay, the next day. It wasn’t, you know, I’ve said that a lot, you know, if your entire strategy was based on incentivized reviews and you did not have a backup plan, or you did not know how to pivot, you would have been screwed when Amazon changed the terms of service.

Bradley Sutton:

If you don’t have a backup plan now that you can’t do search find, buy, or two-step URLs, what are you gonna do? You don’t, you got to always have backup plan guys, and you can’t just put all your faith in just one strategy, right? And you gotta be ready to pivot when Amazon changes their terms of service. All right. One more thing, every quarter I do this, I give you guys an update on the sales numbers for Project 5k, Project X, and the Hemp Cream case study. So, so here is what we’re doing year to date and the Q3 total. So for Project X Q3, very low sales, $42,000 of gross sales. And so year to date in Project X, we are at $170,000, all right. $170,000 year to date. Hopefully, we can, we can get up to like 250,000 by the end of the year, the Hemp Cream case study account that I’ve talked about before Q3, we did $42,000 worth of gross sales and year-to-date, 145,000 of gross sales.

Bradley Sutton:

The Project 5k account Q3, we did $193,000 of sales and year-to-date $694,000. All right. And that’s based on different brands and including a couple wholesale experiments I’m doing as well as a project 5k, that account is blowing up right now. It would be cool if we hit 1 million on that account by itself this year. So there you have it guys, there’s the latest episode, 300 and 301. And one about the Maldives honeymoon strategy about what’s going on with Project 5k. What’s going on with Project X, what’s going on with the Hemp Cream case study, what’s going on in the world of Amazon terms of service. Let me know what you guys think. I want to get your feedback. Let me know what’s working for you. What’s not working for you. Best way to, you know, to do something like, you know post a story on Instagram and then tag me @h10bradley, and I’ll usually see it, or you can send me a message on there.

Bradley Sutton:

I would love to hear what’s working for you from this. What’s working for you from the other strategies. Last words of wisdom, again, is always be ready to pivot on Amazon, right? And try and keep within the terms of service I’ve always been, you know, I’d like to consider myself a stickler for the terms of service. You know, if the data incentivize reviews became you know, against terms of service, I stopped it that very, that very day, the day that Amazon said, you can only now send one follow-up message. Instead of three, I changed my flows. All right. And now they seemingly are saying, you know, they don’t want incentivized a search find, buy possibly two-step euros. I’m not going to do incentivize search, find, buy, and two-step URLs in trying to get search position ranking.

Bradley Sutton:

So you know, what you guys choose to do or not to do that, that’s completely up to you, but you know, I’m just letting you guys know what I’m doing. So I wish you guys, the best of sales and the rest of this Q4, we’ll come back in the first part of 2022 and possibly give you guys another update on Project 5k and Project X, and then don’t forget, you know, hopefully, I can get back to I can get back to the Maldives for episode 350, and then we’ll see what other new launching and other keyword strategies we have then. Hope you guys enjoyed this episode and we’ll see you in the next one.


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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.
  • Helium 10: 30+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon or Walmart 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.
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