When it comes down it, as with any business, Amazon is all about profit. To that end, Amazon nurses its biggest sellers, and huge sales are always empowered by Amazon, since their numbers continue to grow. Amazon doesn’t care about the “next big thing”, or notions of championing underdog ideas. They simply follow the numbers – and products that gain interest will start climbing on all Amazon levels. New products with a lower audience are pretty much out there on their own.

So, as a publisher, you need to understand that Amazon will honor your sale results, but won’t provide you any chances to jump your rankings… unless you’re lucky enough to have solid numbers on your side.

What sort of figures make your sales rank higher?

Obviously, your sale’s results directly affect your sales rank. If you sell 2 copies per week, there’s nobody on earth who’ll be able to make your books rank higher. You are very much on your own. Having said that, before your initial results can be considered noticeable, they must come from your marketing efforts. You have to build your audience, and once you’ve achieved that, Amazon will start building your rank!

You rank can also be improved by 3.5+ star reviews. It’s better to have seven 5-star reviews than 57 reviews that has an average of 3.2 star. The quality of your work that is shared with the community and your potential customers is, therefore, something that can improve your ranks. This won’t make a dramatic difference when it comes to new books by unknown authors, but Amazon’s algorithm will take your reviews into account.

How do I build an audience?

The first step: stop thinking of yourself as a publisher and start thinking of yourself as a seller! Let’s say your book is a product in the grocery store. Generally speaking, people walk around trying to identify well-known brands, and won’t pay a whole lot of attention to things they aren’t already familiar with. If you want their interest, therefore, you need to talk to them. On Amazon, you talk to your customers by sending the correct information to their search engine. Customers are already familiar with search engine features, since this is the easiest way to identify the products they need. As such, if your product page looks charming but lacks the keywords used by search engines, your book page is going to be practically invisible to your  potential customers.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be considered as a group of techniques that bring recognition to your products via organic searches. Optimized SEO listings use keywords attached to your potential customers, and those keywords are used in your product’s description, as well as in your titles and subtitles. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stuff your page with keywords; rather, it means that you should carefully identify the top keywords that could be used as search phrases by your potential customers. A good practice is that you should use only one keyword in your title, and then 2-3 repeated keywords in the product description. Furthermore, it’s recommended that your top keyword should be in bold.

It would take at least a couple of hours to explain how Amazon’s algorithms work. There’s no point in getting in too deep for now, so let’s instead focus on building your audience.

The previously mentioned SEO techniques are considered on-site or internal tweaks, those that you should use to convert Amazon’s visitors into your buyers. Besides internal methods, there are plenty of external methods that also affect your product’s rankings. The more external links that point to your product page result in more traffic, and as a result, more potential sales. The best results are achieved with external links coming from different sources (not just your website or Facebook page). Different sources informs Amazon that people are clicking on your product with interest… although, naturally, what they find on your product page will ultimately affect their decision to buy or not. The bottom line here is that there can never be too much work when it comes to boosting your conversion rates, and there are no golden rules. But the first step definitely is to gain more traffic on your page, and then see how it impacts your sales results.

The best external links are those which come from the targeted audience. For example, if you sell a book for young mothers, the best clicks would come from popular forums and groups in which young mothers share information and look for help. Also, if you sell picture-books, your desirable clicks should come from parent groups or websites that offer various content for parents. If your product gains a only a slim interest from your targeted audience, it’s unlikely that you could expect your overall sales results to increase.

Building an author page on Facebook and sharing links around is fine, but what definitely works more effectively is sharing valuable content. If you are a publisher of books for children aged 4-6, then you are probably able to share some trending details, as this can increase your views and shares. Do your own research and share your results – this won’t affect your sales immediately, but valuable content has been shown to have a long-term impact on your brand. People will start following your contributions and, as a result, your products as well.

When it comes to social media, the most important thing regarding building your audience is content. No content – no interest. No interest – no clicks. No clicks – no sales.

Finally, these are best external sources that you can use to boost your Amazon sale:

  1. Facebook fan page
  2. Website blog (SEO optimized)
  3. Twitter profile
  4. PR articles on top-level domains
  5. Writing valuable content on top-level domains (for example, as a contributing author)
  6. Reviews from renowned sources (the more people speaking about your products, instead of just yourself – the better)

There are actually many ways, both internally and externally, that can increase your sales figures. The vast majority of them require real commitment and patience. You don’t have to be an SEO guru to improve your listings on Amazon… and you really can become a successful seller on your own! But if you need guidance and more SEO secrets and tweaks, we’ll be more than happy to assist you. Contact me at jo@seolajko.com for rates.

Good luck with your books, and never stop believing in them!