Amazon is the Web’s most popular shopping destination. And that’s great for online retailers, like you, who want to get their products in front of as many shoppers as possible through one single shopping channel. But, it also means it can get crowded in there. With literally millions of products to compete with, it can be tough to reach the top of search results, especially with new products.

So how do you make sure your products are getting the attention they deserve?

Amazon Sponsored Products can be one of the best options to boost the profile of your products. This paid feature can put products that might otherwise rank low in search results on the first page; right next to the heavy hitters.

Unfortunately, not everyone can use this feature. Only sellers in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Spain, and Italy can use Amazon Sponsored Products. And only then if the product falls into one of the categories that currently work with the feature. And only then if it is Buy Box eligible. But those who qualify only pay if someone clicks on their listing, and the added exposure can really help get products noticed.

Naturally, it’s not quite as simple as making the highest bid and claiming the top sponsored spot. Amazon decides which eligible sponsored products to feature based on their own complex algorithm that looks at the bid, the keywords used by searchers, the likelihood that your product will sell, and more.

That being said, there are ways to make it more likely that your product will get that coveted top sponsored spot – and actually sell.

1. Write Detailed Titles

This is always a good practice, but it’s even more important for Amazon Sponsored Products.

Longer, more detailed, more specific titles have an advantage for a couple of reasons. The first is that every part of your title is considered a keyword. If you use more words, then more search terms will apply to your product. The second reason is that you can essentially help to “filter” your product by including specific information, such as the color, height, brand, and so on.

For example, let’s say two merchants are selling the same shirt. The product title for one is “Long-Sleeved Shirt.” In contrast, the other merchant titles their product (the same one, remember) “Tommy Hilfiger Long-Sleeved 100% Cotton Shirt.”

The second title has a higher likelihood of getting the top sponsored spot because it contains more potential search terms, so it’s bound to come up in more searches. It also has the added bonus of appearing if someone is looking for Tommy Hilfiger items or items that are 100% cotton.

The bottom line is this: Amazon gives you 120 characters for your title. Use them.

2. Bid Based On Relevance

You certainly want to bid on many keywords to ensure people see your listing using a variety of search terms. That being said, not all keywords are created equal.

Let’s say you’re selling white and red high top athletic sneakers from Nike. “Athletic sneakers,” “high top,” and “Nike” are probably all more valuable to you as keywords than “white,” “red,” or even possibly the more general term “shoe.” Bid higher on the words that seem more likely to bring people to you.

3. Watch Amazon’s Automatic Keywords

Based on the type of product in the listing, Amazon can suggest keywords to use. You may either wish to use these or you may not, but they are worth at least looking at because they can give you ideas about what keywords you ultimately do decide to use.

4. Opt for Quality Over Quantity

Along these lines, campaigns tend to see more success when they focus on a relatively small number of the most relevant keywords rather than attempting to “cover their bases” by using dozens of keywords that only relate to the product listing in a tertiary way.

5. Start High, Then Lower Over Time

Amazon gives preferential treatment to campaigns based on how long they’ve been running. Beyond this, products (and campaigns) start to gain their own momentum over time.

Because of this, the smartest thing you can do is start with a relatively high daily budget and high keyword bids to make it more likely that you will win a good sponsored spot. Once you get more sales under your belt and collect some positive reviews, those things will weigh more heavily into the equation of whether or not your product should be shown. Then you can lower your bids and budget.

Don’t ignore Amazon though. They have an “estimated page 1 bid” listed for a reason. If you want your listing to show up on the first page, you will likely have to at least bid this amount.


6. Stick With What’s Working (and Fix What Isn’t)

If you are reaching your daily budget and making sales, good for you! Above, we said that this was a sign that you could decrease your budget – and that’s true, but it’s not the only way to go.

Some merchants actually increase their budget as sales go up because, well, the sponsored product seems to be working! The more people see it, the more likely they are to sell more, which will, in turn, increase their Buy Box share for that product page. All good things.

A lot of Amazon sellers find themselves in one of the other two potential scenarios though:

  1. They are not meeting that daily budget. This means either the ad isn’t showing up or people aren’t clicking on it. If it’s the former, you should take another look at the elements you can control to encourage Amazon to post it. If it’s the latter, you may want to ensure your title accurately reflects the product you are trying to sell.
  2. They are meeting the budget but not selling products. This means people are clicking on your ad, but once they get there, something keeps them from buying it. In this scenario, you want to take another look at the listing itself. Do you have strong images? Detailed information? Is your price competitive?

You may have to play around a bit before you discover the strategy that works best for you, but this advice should give you a good start.