Amazon is the leading eCommerce marketplace in America. With over 353 million products listed for sale on the marketplace, how can you help your Amazon product listing pages rise to the top?
It’s simple: optimize, advertise, strategize—and drive external traffic to your product listing!
Why Should I Send External Traffic to my Amazon Product Listing?
What was once implicit is now explicit: Amazon rewards sellers for driving traffic to Amazon product listings from external sources in a new Brand Referral Bonus program.
What Do I Need to Know About the Brand Referral Bonus Program?
The Brand Referral Bonus program gives brands an opportunity to earn a bonus from non-Amazon marketing efforts and improve their advertising efficiency.
In other words, Amazon is incentivizing off-Amazon traffic to poach sales from competitor companies like Shopify or Walmart. As a result, if you’re driving traffic to Amazon from another source of traffic (like Google), Amazon wants to reward you.
Congratulations, you’ve earned a spot on Amazon’s sales team! Kinda, sorta. 😊
What Kinds of External Traffic Does Amazon Prefer?
Thanks to some serious sleuthing by the resident expert Adam Heist, we can confirm that Amazon is keeping close tabs on all the traffic coming to its platform and can identify:
Though Amazon will reward both types of external traffic campaigns (organic and paid), we have reason to believe they prefer the latter for several reasons:
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for Amazon, right?
How Will Amazon Reward Me for Running an External Traffic Campaign?
Aka—what’s in it for me?!
There are two primary ways Amazon will reward you:
As every seller knows, Amazon takes a cut of every item sold on its platform. This fee ranges from as low as 6 percent to as high as 45 percent. Therefore, you can view the bonus as a reduction of that cut.
And if you’re feeling extra curious and want to estimate what your approximate bonus would be, multiply your qualifying sales by the minimum bonus rate in the corresponding product category.
P.S. (The total amount will vary based on inputs such as additional shipping and gift wrapping charges, which differ between selling partners.)
P.P.S. (You won’t see the bonus credited to your account until two months after an order was made. This cushion time is put in place in order to factor in the possibility of a cancellation or return.)
What Platform Should I Use to Launch an External Traffic Campaign?
Creating an external traffic campaign is a highly effective weapon in the arsenal to drive performance on Amazon—and we recommend starting with Google ads. Here’s why:
Google is the go-to search engine for information, and Amazon is the go-to search engine for products. But for some reason, Amazon isn’t getting any SEO love organically from Google.
Aka—Amazon and Google are competitors, so this is an especially powerful poach.
The good news? Google ads are the easiest to implement, as they don’t involve graphics or grueling copywriting. #winning
How Do I Set Up My First Campaign on Google Ads?
If you’re new to Google’s advertising platform, the first time may feel complicated and stressful. The good news is there are so many resources you can tap into to make it easier, including a playlist of step-by-step tutorials on external traffic by Adam Heist himself.
Here are the steps to help you set up your first campaign on Google Ads
P.S. (Here’s what we mean by keyword research and the other things that are important to rank well on Amazon.)
That feeling when Amazon PPC data is easy to read.
When Should I Run Google Ads to Amazon?
Adam recommends using Google ads for the duration of a campaign, but it’s especially important in the beginning. Turning on Google ads helps to get the seedlings of organic rank going on your Amazon product page.
How Many Campaigns Should I Run on Google Ads?
Adam recommends running three different types of campaigns from Google Ads to your Amazon listing: a launch campaign, a relaunch or re-rank campaign, and a maintenance campaign.
Strategy: The first 30-60 days of a product are the most important and non-negotiable. If you are launching a product, you’re running a Google ad campaign for at least 60 days. Extensive optimization is not important.
Budget: You have to do an investment; whether it’s a hard push on an Amazon PPC or an influencer or something, there will be an input cost to it and the end goal is to improve organic rank, which facilitates an ROI.
Relaunch or Re-rank Campaigns
Strategy: At some point in a product’s lifecycle, you have to pump life back into it. We call this a relaunch/re-rank campaign because we treat it like a launch, but the product has been live for some time.
The benefit of this kind of campaign is that you have access to data and know a bit more about what works and what doesn’t work. Lean on your Amazon PPC results to inform these campaigns as well.
Budget: Same as launch. See above.
Strategy: These are low-budget campaigns that slowly drip feed external traffic to your listing with a stronger focus on ROI. With a maintenance campaign, you will use a standard PPC strategy and optimize bids.
Budget: We recommend $5-10/day. What ACOS are you comfortable with paying to hold or improve rank?
Note: These campaigns won’t convert the same as an Amazon PPC campaign, but typically CPC is significantly cheaper.
What’s the Ultimate Goal of External Traffic Campaigns?
The goal of directing Google ad campaigns to your Amazon PPC listing is not a conversion or direct ROI, but rather to send external tag signals and tags to product listing pages so Amazon will notice and reward your product’s organic rank.
Note: It’s hard to see the ROI or huge impact of a Google campaign during a launch.
The impact is easier to see after a year or so when you can use a relaunch campaign to inject some external attribution into your playbook and see the positive impact over a 2-3 week period as your organic rank increases across the board for everything your listing is optimized for.
There are no guarantees; there is only trend analysis.
Direct External Traffic to your Amazon Listing Now!
In summary, you’ve now learned what we know about Amazon’s Brand Referral Bonus program, how they reward you, why they prefer paid external traffic to organic external traffic, how to set up your google ads campaign, when to run it, how many to run, and the ultimate goal of these campaigns.
TL;DR—you’re now equipped with everything you need to launch your first external campaign and elevate your overall launch playbook!
Until next time, we’ll see you in The Badger Den.
This article was written by Alexa Davis. Alexa Davis is a Digital Marketing Manager at Scribe Media where she participated in Ad Badger’s Amazon PPC Coaching program. She went to school for cultural anthropology and writes in her free time. She is exceptionally skilled at building beautiful Google Sheets.
This article was edited by Nancy Lili Gonzalez, Ad Badger’s Chief Joy Officer.
The PPC Den Podcast
If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with audio or video, we cover this topic on our podcast as well, The PPC Den.
- 0:00 Intro– Utah living
- 2:00 Driving external traffic to Amazon listing
- 8:50 Nefarious tactics that contradicted long-lasting strategies
- 11:40 How to set up your first campaign on Google Ads
- 16:55 How else to incorporate Google Ads into marketing mix
- 22:37 Direct URL in Google Ads?
- 25:20 What ranking and revenue components should be considered?
- 28:17 How to think about spend and revenue generated
- 31:00 Other benefits of external traffic, regardless of conversions
- 34:50 When to use Google Ads to send traffic to your Amazon listing
- 35:27 Do the little things that 95% of sellers are too lazy to do.