Why Building Your Organic Rank on Amazon is Always The Key To Success

Sep 20, 2022 3:00 PM4:00 PM EDT

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

Business growth requires progress among many key variables: from SEO strategies to sales conversions to conserving momentum and profitability. So what tools could help brands adapt to the dynamic nature of online marketplaces while promoting business scalability?

Understanding how to leverage specific strategies for your brand is the key to a successful and profitable business. Data analytics tie into metric thresholds which translate to measurable results. David Grill and David Liggins II break down the performance eCommerce tactics and discover the key to a thriving business.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant welcomes David Grill, Director of Advertising and Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks and David Liggins II, Senior Business Development Manager of Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks. They discuss the most valuable metrics and tools that drive brand success in Amazon’s ecosystem, how to efficiently maintain strategy momentum, the pros and cons of paid media advertising versus organic placement, and the latest SEO analytics.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • David Liggins II breaks down the ecosystem of Amazon’s flywheel
  • Organic placement strategies that propel brands to first-page results
  • David Liggins II compares the influence between paid media advertising and organic placement in brand success
  • David Grill talks about the different target percent of sales
  • Leveraging the right tools to help your business build and maintain momentum
  • David Grill’s tips on how to avoid cannibalizing organic searches
  • David Liggins II shares metrics and analytics to help search optimization
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Event Partners


Headquartered in Seattle, WA, Media.Monks is an agency primarily focused on Amazon. They are one of very few Amazon Preferred Partners, which gives them direct access to Amazon API data. Their seasoned team has in-depth knowledge on all things related to Amazon including sales, logistics, SEO optimization, content creation, advertising & more.

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Guest Speakers

David Grill

David Grill LinkedIn

Director of Advertising, Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks

David Grill is the Director of Advertising and Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks, a company that combines data analytics with digital creativity to effectively engage target audiences for different types of brands. David has worked in the marketing industry for over a decade, specializing in advertising and digital strategies. 

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

David Liggins II LinkedIn

Sr. Business Development Manager, Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks

David Liggins II is the Senior Business Development Manager of Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks, focusing on eCommerce functionality and performance. David’s experience within the marketing industry has led him to develop stellar business management skills and reliable strategic approaches.

Event Moderator

David Grill

David Grill LinkedIn

Director of Advertising, Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks

David Grill is the Director of Advertising and Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks, a company that combines data analytics with digital creativity to effectively engage target audiences for different types of brands. David has worked in the marketing industry for over a decade, specializing in advertising and digital strategies. 

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

David Liggins II LinkedIn

Sr. Business Development Manager, Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks

David Liggins II is the Senior Business Development Manager of Performance eCommerce at Media.Monks, focusing on eCommerce functionality and performance. David’s experience within the marketing industry has led him to develop stellar business management skills and reliable strategic approaches.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18  

Happy Tuesday everybody, my name is Aaron Conant, I'm the Co-founder and managing director here at BWG Connect networking knowledge sharing group 1000s of organizations, we do exactly that we networking knowledge share together to stay on top of newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be the shaping digital as a whole, we just provide a variety of formats for the the educational networking piece, from in person events, we're gonna do probably close to 100, small format dinners across the US this year, some going on right now at grocery shop or at Dreamforce. We're also going to do some full day events this year, there's one a week from today, if you're in the New York City area, just let us know more than happy to send you an invite for that. Also have a podcast to kind of learn in these bite sized portions as a whole. I spend a lot of my time talking to brands 20 to 30 a week just to stay on top of trends when the same topics come up over and over again. It's how we get the ideas for any of the events that we do or any of the topics across the board. We're also asking everybody, Hey, who's working for you? And who's not? Who are the digital leaders out there that we should bring on? To answer the questions that are popping up. And when the same people call up over and over again, that's we invite on to kind of have us walk through the newest strategies around a couple of housekeeping items. So we'll get started here, we are kicking it off just a few minutes after the hour. So just that's always just to allow people enough time. The other thing is we're going to wrap up with three to four minutes to go in the hour as well. Make sure everybody has enough time to get on to the next meeting without being late, maybe grab a cup of coffee along the way. And so as we get started here, this topic way, building your organic rank on Amazon is always the key to success. You know, we're just in the pre call chat here. David and David and I were chatting about you know, this idea that paid media on Amazon especially has gotten incredibly more crowded as a space over over the past couple of years here. A lot more difficult. A lot more people in there. It's a lot more expensive in so strategically, there's a lot more levers that need to be pulled to capture the the all the benefits of what paid media might look like and what organic search rank and the importance of it as a whole. And so we've got, you know, a couple of great friends over at Media.Monks here. And David, I'm gonna kick it over to you David Liggins. If you want to jump in first, a brief intro on yourself Media.Monks would be awesome. Thank you get over to David Grill briefly, and then we'll jump into the content. Does that sound good? 


David Liggins II  2:46  

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. I appreciate it. So my name is David Liggins. I'm a Senior Business Development Manager here at Media.Monks formerly worked at Pacific, as you may know it. And so just kind of a little bit about who Media.Monks is. We were part of a larger organization. We're still that the order Pacific that was read here in Seattle, Washington, about 150 or so serve about 150. So clients over the 13 years we've been in business here and Media.Monks here is that that data driven global media, company conglomerate, you're actually part of that organization, and we are the performance eCommerce group within that organization here. So, you know, again, our bread and butter has been an eCommerce, performance and data driven eCommerce here. Amazon has been one of the main ecosystems that we performed on. But we've also done work on other marketplaces, you know, Walmart's targets and advertising in those particular marketplaces as well. So we have a breadth of experience and knowledge coming over, you know, from the company that's been bred, you know, and born here in Seattle, Washington. So I'm gonna kick it over to David Grill, who, who's my established colleague here at director of advertising? David, take it away?


David Grill  3:59  

Yeah, appreciate it. Great to be here, David Grill, Director of Advertising. I've been with the company for five years now. And really excited to talk about this concept of the organic ranking, and how that ultimately, is what is going to drive long term sustainable growth for the brands that we work with. And for any brand on the platform. So everything we're covering today is directly tied to our philosophy as a company, on how we approach the platform not only through paid media, but through business and account management, content, SEO, storefront optimization, all of that and so excited for the conversation today and look forward to Aaron having us here. 


Aaron Conant  4:47  

Awesome. So, again, a reminder drop questions in the chat the q&a or email them directly to me at Aaron@BWGconnect.com. We'll get as many of those answered as possible. But, David, I'll kick it over to you first and I walked through the content here. And yeah, again, we'll get questions answered real time, if you drop them in junk.


David Liggins II  5:05  

No problem. So we have a full agenda today. So we're definitely going to kind of leverage this time here. First, we're going to talk about kind of spinning the Amazon flywheel. You may have seen this before, you're definitely going to see it again. But I think it's critically important to kind of understand what gets that momentum going all the different intricacies and inputs that goes into being successful successful on Amazon as the ecosystem, there's a lot of moving parts there, there's a lot of things to do, and to pay attention to. And so we're going to detail what that looks like in order to drive success and talk about revenue for your business as well. And that's we're gonna go into play page placement, organic sales. And this is a really good topic of the day. It's critically important for your business, when you talk about new customer acquisition, growth of your business visibility. And so we're going to talk about some of the things on why it's so important to place organically on Amazon, and why is that significant play as far as growth in your business there. Moving on, and selecting here are aces and keywords, I'll be speaking briefly about, you know, how you look at your product portfolio and your catalog, in the importance of really defining a strategy and laying out that framework and that blueprint, um, in order to define what products are driving revenue for your business and which ones to focus on. And that goes into it, it flows into the keywords and building relevancy for those particular keywords, how people are searching to find your products and your items that are on the on the ecosystem. And again, and this also ties into that discoverability. Please hear next, we'll be moving on to defining that the strategy of those hero ASINs. And my colleague, David Grill to kind of step you through what that looks like as far as what we do here at Media.Monks. And what that in how significant that strategy is for the success of your business, their best practices for advertising campaign to follow with that kind of help you understand, you know, how we can use the robust advertising that's across Amazon, how important it is to leverage Amazon to the many different levers you can pull with that advertising and the different forms and factors of that campaigns, etc, that you can leverage at your disposal. And also, critically how to measure success, right? There's a lot of things going around, on what metrics that we should be looking at with defined success. Our numbers too high or too low. So we're going to talk about what numbers to look at what metrics and KPIs that look like to determine, you know, the health and success of business and directionally are you improving, or it is something that you need to look at. So it can be really, really key indicators there. And lastly, we'll follow up with this a quick case study of what that process looked like and how it was able to, you know, grow the business, one of our in our clients business, it's here. So there's a case study to look at those numbers. So you can see how I hero strategy was implemented successfully and how we were able to grow and transform that business over time. 


Aaron Conant  7:55  

Awesome, love it. So


David Liggins II  7:58  

Diving into us at Amazon Fire Well, this is a diagram that you've seen multiple times throughout the years, I'm sure. And you know, we briefly talked about this, we don't have to go through every single line item here. But really, we're going to talk about how you establish how you engage and kind of how you earn. And one of the things I want you to keep in the back of your mind as we go through these presentations. Here. There's a quick formula that I want you to kind of pay attention to and just kind of leverage here. It's going to be your your traffic time, there's conversions equals sales. And that's huge, right. So when we talk about traffic, there's many things I mean, the levers that we can leverage to improve that traffic, which is your organic ranking, which we're going to talk about, which is your advertising to drive that drive customers to your detail page, for example. And next piece of that puzzle is going to be your conversion, right, just everything that lands on that detail page, how people engage with your brand, your product portfolio, for example, and how to convert on that particular page. And overall, that's really going to drive that top line revenue and the growth that you're looking for in your business. So we're going to talk about those inputs and how you drive that momentum and kind of build that strategy here. And this kind of just lays out some of those things that we do need to pay attention to when we're talking about getting that momentum with Amazon flywheel here. So when we're looking at establishing establishing a winning strategy, again, we're going to talk about a hybrid strategy and how that will work for your particular business. Your retail readiness, this term is like social proof, how people like to gauge which brand, for example, the reviews are male, maybe it'd be on the page, or content optimizations, all those things kind of play into spinning this flywheel here, engagement decided to bring in an advertising piece, again, driving some of that traffic, and you wanted to have that traffic convert, right so that again, flowing back into that content. And then you can start to see how these things are really intertwined. You can't look at them in silos and just focus on one thing, you really had to focus on the overall strategy. And that's what I hero strategy really tries to implement here for your business. And that's why we've seen such great success when we start to implement these strategies for your business at the end of that is that again,


Aaron Conant  10:00  

No, no, I just want to just jump in this little bit because it's such a delicate balance right around the advertising strategy as a whole. Right? You know, for each portion of this right, can you, you want to chat just a little bit on like the advertising approach that you would take. And the strategies around this,


David Liggins II  10:18  

you absolutely we're going to dive into that later in the presentation also. But I could talk briefly about, you know, some advertising strategies. One of the biggest things here is that there's placements, advertiser placements, you may have seen over the years have grown, specifically in those detail pages, right? You know, at times, it seems like over half of the page is advertising placements, that's a clear indicator that you do have to pay to play right, you do have to get in front of these customers with advertising, your brand kind of can get lost in the shuffle, and the shuffle. And that's also buying organic placement is so important, because you want to get out of that pay to play scenario, right? You want to get into that more of that maintenance phase where you can start to really optimize and hone in on the efficiency of that advertising, because you're leveraging that organic traffic, the millions of customers that is searching for your product across hundreds, if not 1000s, of search terms to find what they want to buy, right. So that's why there's a delicate balance there on understanding advertising, understanding of go to market strategies, where advertising may be a little bit more aggressive, defensive strategies is so many different ways that you can kind of play with this, your advertising in a way that makes sense for your particular business. And I think that's some of the things that you know, David also talked about David Grill, we'll also talk about as we move through the presentation as well. So let's do a questionnaire. 


Aaron Conant  11:37  

No, awesome. Love it.


David Liggins II  11:38  

Yeah, absolutely. So let's, we're going to dive in here on the next slide here. So we're going to talk about your organic pace placement. And why is it so important, okay. And this is one of the pieces of the puzzle that kind of spans that flywheel and gets your velocity going on Amazon, which is critically important here. As you can see some stuff by some of the statistics there 84% of the clicks go to brands on the first page of search results. That's this first page of search results, right? So that's a significant portion of the traffic there. And if you look here to your right, 70% of the shoppers that are searching for these products, don't even move to the second page. And I want that to sink in. Right. So if you're not on page one, really your your brand and your products are not really that discoverable for majority of the shoppers who are shopping in this ecosystem here. And that's proven by this last statistic here about 40 to 50%, I aside do you typically on average, receive about a 40% increase in sales by moving from the second page of search results to the first page. And when we say you know a lot of people get confused. When we say first page, what does that really mean? Right? First Page, first page is first pages in reality, right? There's again, hundreds, if not 1000s, of keywords that you could be bidding on that makes sense that are relevant for your particular product, or your product portfolio, or even your brand, for example. And you want to make sure that you have organic placement across the spectrum of these keywords that are relevant for your product. And that also goes in, you know, to the deeper, you know, theme of you know, optimizing your page, optimizing your content again. So advertising is not only in the silo just bidding on these keywords here to kind of drive traffic, it drives into the efficiency of other things that drives into conversion. If you're you're managing your page the right way, and your optimized and optimizations will help your advertising understand what it is that you're trying to advertise. That's why it's critically important these things play on well with each other. So the greater your optimized, the more efficiency that you can potentially drive, the more relevant your campaigns may be, for example, as a driving the right traffic, the relevant traffic to your products that make a purchase.


Aaron Conant  13:43  

Yes, so a couple of questions pop up. And the first one is around, you know, the paid media aspect of it. Right. So why should brands focus more on building organic share momentum, rather than being solely focused on paid advertising? If you look at the search results page, it's predominantly ads now. Right? And so it's kind of that, hey, where does the focus go? Is it you know, organic driving, you know, you know, organic search, relevance, or is it should be just more on paid media? What, I would love to hear your thoughts there? And then,


David Liggins II  14:17  

absolutely, absolutely. We would love to chime in here too, as well. But I started off here. You know, again, as we stated before, here, there's definitely a balance between the two, right, you don't want to be 100% paid, that's unprofitable for your business. There's no way that you can sustain paying for 100% of your customers to make a sale. And I think that's a pretty clear message to sin. So organic ranking is huge. There's millions of customers that have their wallets open, ready and trusting Amazon to make a purchase that is searching for your product. Right one of the greatest search engines ever created here is searching for products to spend money on and so you want to leverage that organic traffic right? You want to leverage the marketing that Amazon is putting out on your behalf. You know, you're paying for it with every referral fee for example. Whoa. So you want to leverage that traffic organic is really where you start to acquire new customers and start to build your brand. That's where you get the velocity and things start to take off. And if we talk about some of these metrics, there's another metric, I believe it's like 65% of the customers will click on the first three, or four items, or products that are listed on the search page results. So ranking is incredibly important. That's I'm not saying free traffic. But that's traffic that you haven't paid through, you know, an advertising medium, for example, to get that customer. So it really impacts your bottom line. However, there is a delicate balance, you do need to pay right to play, you need to make sure you're defending your brand. Or you may be going to live over aggressive strategy. If you're launching new products, to go to market strategy live in different you need visibility, for example, right. So all these things kind of play into the growth of your business. And you also want to make sure that you're able to protect your organic ranking as well. Advertising flows into organic ranking flows into conversion, it flows into that that traffic that is going to your page. And the more sales you get spins that flywheel the more reviews could potentially get right. The more reviews you get, you get to social proof, you know, people see your product list, they want to click on it, right, that's click metrics help your advertising. So again, you can look at these things in the silo, you really had to have an overall strategy that that encompasses both your advertising, organic ranking, your content optimization, and the operational support in the backend to really drive your business. David, is there something else that you want to add there? Nope. Well said.


Aaron Conant  16:29  

So a couple other questions come in, what's the target percent of sales from paid? I assume it might vary by product category is 30 to 40%. Good.


David Liggins II  16:40  

Absolutely. It does vary by product category, also, you know, varies by your particular business and what your strategy is. What we've typically seen is about a 7030 split between your organic sales and paid advertising. Um, David, do you have any some specifics there that you know, a little bit more defined?


David Grill  16:58  

Or Is that about right is very much category specific, and where your products are in their own lifecycle where your brand is in brand level lifecycle? Right. So I mean, generally, if you're launching a new product or a new brand, it's not unusual for the first 246 months to see 60 7080 90% of your sales coming from paid. But the important thing is, is that as you're measuring this, and you start building that initial momentum through all of the efforts and advertising being one of the main drivers upon initial launch, that organic starts to rise over time, right. And so to David's point, we shouldn't be targeting roughly a 7030 split. And I've seen that hold true on brands of all sizes.


Aaron Conant  17:53  

Awesome. And so here's the next question. A couple more that come in. And I missed this one, actually. So our best selling number one hero asin, has 60% of sales coming through PPC, nearly all from branded ads, do I wind down that ASINs ad. So that's kind of going along the idea of, you know, Hero ASINs, as a whole would love to hear your thoughts there.


David Liggins II  18:16  

So David Graham was actually Yep.


David Grill  18:20  

Yeah, so the answer, in short, is probably yes, you should be dialing that back. The reason for that is because especially if it's coming from branded search, that number one hero product is likely already in an organic position on page one for that branded keyword, so to just you're essentially cannibalizing, that product sale and advertising is just accounting for looks like it's accounting for more of the total revenue because of the amount of investment behind it. What I would say regardless of branded search, or non branded flash category keywords, like your threshold for scaling up or down spend an investment and the asin level. Should your main consideration there is what is the unit velocity that is required to be on page one for this keyword or for these 10 or 50 keywords. And so if you're going after robot vacuum, and you know you already rank organically page one for robot vacuum, but you need to sell roughly 1000 or 2000 units a week to maintain that page one placement. I mean, that's that's your barrier. That's your threshold, right? And so, as long as that as long as you maintain the unit velocity at a high level that's required to stay on page one, you can play around with the advertising investments, and maybe not even the investments but also like your ad type strategy and the different areas that you may be investing in or your media mix, I guess tag As you could say,


Aaron Conant  20:02  

Awesome. So we're gonna jump to how do we protect organic rank. And then I've got one around top of funnel middle of funnel campaigns. So first, how do we protect organic rank?


David Grill  20:20  

how you protect that is similar, I would say very similar at a high level to my previous response. So you need to understand the thresholds, right. And you have to understand that for all of the products in your catalog, or at least the hero products that represent a bulk of your business, for the top 50 100 200 500 keywords, where are you ranking today, if you don't understand that, you will never be able to maintain anything or have any type of organic share based strategy. So you have to know the baseline of where you're at today, and where you want to be for given products and keywords. From there. Again, I mean, the basics of Amazon is just a traffic unit velocity machine. So you need to maintain your your key metrics, obviously, you need all the operations to be very sound, your content SEO strategies. But when it comes to paid media, it is just about using that as a vehicle to maintain existing unit velocities to keep that organic ranking in place. Or to boost it, as you understand what unit velocity need to be in order to get to page one. That makes sense. Yeah.


Aaron Conant  21:40  

Awesome. So then one more, and we can jump back quickly. And then there's, I'm sure there's going to be more that come in everybody. Thanks for sending in the questions. We could talk a little bit about metrics to measure the success of top of funnel middle of funnel campaigns, when you aren't doing there aren't conversion strategies. We're trying to increase traffic by using more brand focused advertising campaigns for cheaper CPCs and using SEO tactics to increase organic, what metrics indicate that they are a qualified customer, and how can we utilize current report and potential reports if you integrate Amazon Marketing Cloud? Oh, that's a deep one.


David Liggins II  22:15  

I know, David, we have a slide on metrics here a little bit later. Did you want to you want to talk about questions later? Do you want to address it now?


David Grill  22:23  

I think the notes let's save it for later because it'll tie into the measurement.


Aaron Conant  22:28  

Oh, perfect. Yeah. And he's saying yeah, that's perfect. Love it.


David Liggins II  22:33  

So moving on here, you know, selecting your hero, Aces and keywords. And again, this this kind of all ties back into this, you know, really this evolving strategy here when you're talking about spinning the Amazon flywheel? Why is it important to select the right ASICs? And what does that even mean? Right. So again, we look at your catalog and kind of segmented your segment, your catalog in roughly three tiers depends on your product catalog, how big it is, right? Maybe you don't have tier three products, for example, but your tier one products are going to be those hero products are going to be the ones that are driving a significant portion of your revenue, right for your business 50% Or more of so it could also be potential products that have great potential, maybe ones that you're launching, for example, new products, but these tier one products are going to be ones that we want to focus on. Because these are the significant revenue drivers for your business. These are ones that we need to make sure we're optimize, right, you're in stock, your inventory levels are healthy, that you're not going to have the potential to run and excite, for example, because we're going to drive that momentum, drive that traffic there and increase that sales velocity, we need to make sure that we can also maintain that, right. So the chairman products are going to be your most important ones, your evergreens. For example, maybe there's some seasonal items that make sense. But going into q4 here pretty soon, I can't believe the years gone by that fast. But here we are. So these are the things that we want to pay attention to. And we develop that strategy around these products that make sense and can move the needle for your business. The second piece of that is also developing strategies for your tier two and tier three products. Again, once you've finished with the tier one, they're in that maintenance phase, right, they have that page, one presence during the top half of that first page, you've moved them there to have a nice, they're very searchable and discoverable across relevant search terms that make sense that are driving traffic to your business and to those products, then we can start to move to tier two and do and do the same thing. Right? It's kind of a rinse and repeat. So what are those tier two problems look like these you have secondary and tertiary products that could be supporting products, for example, but we're still going to approach them the same, right? build them up, build that relevancy, making sure we select the keywords that are making sense how people are searching, and finding and discovering a particular product. And those are the ones that we're going to focus on. And you start to build your content strategy, and also your advertising strategy around those things to make sense. And that's why this is why the flywheel is so important is getting that momentum going because you're not focusing on just one particular thing. You have to focus on all these things because they do play well together.


Aaron Conant  24:59  

Yeah, this lesson Start the planning process for this type of strategy, because I think it's something that's rapidly evolving. And it's kind of new, right? I mean, it's not new, everybody should have been doing it from the get go. But it's not been it's, it's never been as relevant or as important, right? The reality is, you know, going back two years, you could dump money in and it will come back out. And it's just gotten a lot more, I don't know, complicated, a lot more competition. 


David Liggins II  25:24  

And that's why the here our strategy here, our strategy is so important, right? What we've, what we've found is that a lot of businesses do spend themselves too thin, and especially when it comes to advertising and budgets, for example, which products to advertise. So it becomes increasingly important to focus on what is driving your business and growth, right. And so that's what there are two one products are, again, it could be evergreen products, there could be some seasonal products in there at the right time, right. And so, you look at your product portfolio and see like, okay, which which ones of my evergreen, which ones are driving that consistent revenue month, over month, over month, year, over year, those are the ones that are going to be identified as your tier one, or the new products that you feel like have great potential that you need to focus on. Those could also be included in your tier one products. But these are the ones that we focus on. And as we refine that that product portfolio into the tier 122. and tier three, we become more focused, right, so your advertising becomes more focused, your content strategy becomes more focused on things become a little more efficient. And we have again, a business case a little bit later in the presentation, we'll give you an example of what that looks like when you start to implement this strategy and identifying what products that you need to target first and your portfolio. And this is also something that, you know, we hope with


Aaron Conant  26:40  

Awesome, love it.


David Liggins II  26:43  

So selecting the right product, you know, talked a little bit about this right now, again, just kind of the narrow list of products. You don't have to like, for example, advertise every asin in your product portfolio, or every variation of style. In your product portfolio, we have to understand what kind of what makes sense. For example, if you just want to talk about variations, if you have a few variations, depending on what theme, there's typically one or two items that stand out from the rest that are really driving most of that traffic, most of the reviews most of the sales for that particular product, decent ones that you need to focus on. So this is kind of where we talk about also understanding which products that you want to target within those tiers, especially when it comes to advertising. Is there anything there that you want to add, David?


David Grill  27:28  

No, that's it


David Liggins II  27:32  

the next step. This is the part of that strategy. And I'll let David I'll take from you.


David Grill  27:38  

Good. So this is a lot of things outside of paid media, right? You want to think about specifically, if you are focused on what we would call this, like bottoms up mindset bottoms up approach. With your tiered product strategies, your tiered keyword strategies. You're not looking to neglect to the rest of your catalog, but you're looking to prioritize based on what drives volume. First, make sure that the foundation is there, that momentum is being built, you're confident in that momentum. And then, as David mentioned, it's a rinse and repeat type of thing. So beyond that, like how can you leverage other other strategies or tools to help kind of offset some of this consolidation, especially around advertising, right, because oftentimes, we're asking our partners to go from promoting 200 products in search, or DSP, 210, or five. And that's a big jump. It's a really big leap. And it's often met with a lot of challenge and pushback. But when we can take that type of approach, it's this less is more concept and funneling more to accelerate at a quicker rate versus spreading too thin. And you're never going to have any impact on any one product. So when we look at organic strategies beyond advertising, to help expand reach variations is a good example of that, right? Like how can you select just one or two lead in parent or hero variations, to then represent the entire group, if you have a T shirt, that's 10 different colors and 20 different sizes. to David's point, advertising, all of those is is simply just a waste of investment. So pick the top seller pick the two top sellers, those are your leading products just get the traffic there. And the variation sets act as kind of a small store environment, right. And that store environment outside of the PDP experience is also a great way to just expand reach into other areas of your catalog, right? If that is optimized, you're still focused on fewer products in your paid search DSP efforts, but your broader catalog is always there. Right, always available to be shopped, navigated purchased. The other highly debated topic in the industry is, how do I know to keep a variation set together or to break them apart? So there are the considerations here listed at the top. I mean, obviously, you know, you can certainly enrich the customer experience and all of those things. But as you're thinking about what are the benefits of me breaking this variation apart, not taking the t shirt example, but maybe something else, potentially where the products? Or maybe the initial strategy was a variation set to get the new product momentum or to get something kind of latched on to an existing product with history, so that maybe eventually you can break it apart? How do I know when that is the right time and the way that we would approach it? And, again, going back to our earlier conversation, is, if we know the thresholds in Unit velocity needed to rank on page one for our targeted focus keywords? Is our current parents doing that already? The answer is yes. Then we already know what that page one or threshold is. Right? And then what is our other variations unit velocity? are we and what is the gap? Right? So if we know that, that the gap is 100, or 1000 units a week, that's going to tell us like, yes or no? Or is it time to break this apart and let it stand on its own, because the benefit of breaking it apart is ultimately increased organic share. So when done successfully, you can have more standalone products that will take up more shelf space on page one for the given keywords, you just have to make sure that you're not breaking it apart. And seeing things deteriorate, because that is the other option. That's what can happen when you do that.


Aaron Conant  32:06  

I think that's probably the number one question that people are going to have. They wanted to answer it was because there is that ongoing? Like, do I put it all together or not? And if I do, then it's only one, especially when you're talking organic, which is what we're focusing focusing on right now. Like what benefits considerations come to mind, you know, in establishing the variation strategy, so if it's already a part, like, what should they be thinking about when putting it all together into a variation? And then we have another question that comes in here about cannibalizing organic searches.


David Grill  32:41  

I mean, if everything is separate today, being very realistic with yourself and saying, What are the odds that I can achieve my organic share goals? If they're separated versus the mind and reaping a lot of the benefits of okay, maybe I will only have the one single placement on page one for x amount of keywords, that scenario oftentimes outweighs having no organic share. Right? So it's, it's an, it's an ever evolving conversation that I mean, I would recommend on at least a monthly basis. This is a topic of conversation that we're always reconsidering, and our products stand alone. And if they are standing by themselves today, would there be any benefit to enacting them and this is leading into peak season, right? So if those conversations haven't happened, you probably you're running short on time to kind of test this out ahead of q4. So our approach is always to, you know, test and learn throughout the year, find what works for each product and set. And then you do ultimately have to just stick with your decision and let it play out for likely at least a couple of months. Otherwise, you're going to cut yourself so short. You may not even realize the full potential of that decision.


Aaron Conant  34:09  

It's just how do we validate what the unit velocity is that's required to be on page one.


David Grill  34:18  

So there are tools within our tech stack that help us identify what those thresholds are. If you aren't using a partner, and you're trying to figure it out by yourself. You can kind of quickly come up with those some of the threshold estimates on your own just by typing in various keywords, high volume keywords, mid volume, keywords, longtail low volume, keywords that are relevant to your products, and just seeing which of my products rank organically on page one for these keywords. Now, if none of your products rank organically today, you're not going to be able to really understand the thresholds or But if they do, and you know that okay for this mid volume keyword, this product ranks organically on page one. And I know that I sell X number of units a month. I mean, that's really your threshold. And then you could make a very broad assumption that if you know what other middle volume keywords are, that that same unit threshold could apply to the mid volume group, high volume, you're going to need higher velocity for page one, lower volume, longer tail, lower velocity, so you could take that type of logic and try to try to back into it that way.


Aaron Conant  35:40  

Awesome, thanks.


David Grill  35:47  

So how does this all relate to advertising? I mean, as we've said, advertising, at least from our perspective, the main goal is to improve rank and page visibility. So gone are the days of advertising just being a very transactional type of strategy, right? Like we want a high return. And we want high growth. It just, those are competing goals, right, and we have to ultimately, select one you can meet in the middle oftentimes, but you're not going to achieve both at the same time, especially if both are aggressive goals, aggressive bro as targets, aggressive growth initiatives and goals. So this is all relative, we're related to the growth type of approach and when that is our main goal, we need to improve organic rank and visibility. And then that also, as we know and can measure now, you know, this halo impact that's caused by this incremental lift and sales. The second thing is taking this bottoms up mindset. And this is especially important if you're running DSP plus paid search. But without a strong foundation, you're just going to forever be bleeding sales at the bottom of your funnel, right? If you're a consumables type of company, or in the supplements category, where you have high volumes of repeat purchase rates, and you don't have a strong foundation, which would include Subscribe and Save retargeting general PDP store retargeting loyalty based campaigns, and you're working your way up, you'll have your branded search. So think of it as a funnel, and all the different media activations within that funnel, upper funnel, mid funnel, lower funnel across every strategy and channel, meaning search and DSP. And we want to work from the bottom up, we don't have to have 100% coverage of anything at the bottom, but it has to be there and it has to be dialed in and working. Because if you're going to invest in mid funnel campaigns, or ranking campaigns against higher volume keywords, that's going to ultimately drive the retention strategy, the loyalty strategy, the retargeting, and so everything works together. And that's why we're, we're always suggesting this bottoms up mindset. And you may find that you don't ever have enough budget to get to the high volume keywords. And you may never have to spend on high volume keywords, we oftentimes find that you can maximize your spend and find a very sweet spot in middle funnel type of keywords or a middle volume type of keywords. Now, oftentimes, marketers get hung up that, you know, I want to rank on the biggest keyword in the category where the most amount of volume is happening. And it's also the most expensive and you could spend your entire investment on two keywords. That doesn't mean you're going to ever rank because the unit volume discrepancy could just still be so large, so you need to kind of play in your own lane to start. And then that builds momentum on itself so that you can then compete in the middle of the pack. Ultimately competing in the middle of your catalog category enables you to go to that for the bigger, bigger stuff, right? So it's it's all a bottoms up approach, and then ensuring the right number of products are selected. So we want to make sure that we're having a meaningful impact on the products that we're promoting. The whole purpose is to drive sales for those promoted products and to drive rank and if we're not impacting, or significantly impacting impressions, clicks, traffic conversions, for the products that we're promoting. Amazon system is just simply Never gonna care that, that we're promoting these products if we're driving an extra 10 units a week or 100 units a week, I mean, they want to see movement of 1000s of incremental units in order for this, quote unquote flywheel to start kicking in to start gaining momentum and traction.


Aaron Conant  40:18  

Quick question, how do we make sure our ads are not cannibalizing the organic searches?


David Grill  40:27  

The way that we would look at that. I mean, there's a couple of different things that come to mind. But at a high level, and again, you need to understand what your existing organic presence is for your, for your hero products, and your focus keywords, and then evaluate that against what your paid media strategy is. Right, oftentimes, the question, a related question that comes up oftentimes, is, if I'm already ranking on page one organically, why do I need to promote the same product on page one? And that's something that I think is different for each brand, but something to evaluate, right? And that's a good way that you could potentially just test like, am I cannibalizing my organic sales by promoting the same product on page one? Or should I replace that product with an up and coming item that could benefit from some more incremental volume and, and visibility? I'll tell you from our experience, in the scenario of having the same paid and organic listing on page one together, even side by side right next to each other, you remove that advertising, we've seen, almost instant decreases in POs, unit velocity, organic rank starts to deteriorate after two to three weeks, it's pretty clear that there is a correlation and there is some level of cannibalized cannibalization, but not enough to justify completely pulling that duplicate ad off the page. 


Aaron Conant  42:07  



David Grill  42:13  

All right. So measuring success. This is a good visual representation of the metrics that we want to focus on, I would call all of these, or most of them anyways. forward facing kind of flywheel indicator type metrics, right, these are metrics that are going to bridge the gap between your paid efforts and your organic efforts and tell you a more well rounded story about the value of your investment beyond just the transactional, quick win return on adspend metric right row, as was how a lot of brands measured success, the primary way brands measure success, three, five plus years ago, it still is an important KPI for us, and it's something that we are optimizing towards, and we want to have some level of return on adspend guardrails in place. But if the whole purpose is to improve organic rank, we're actually less focused on returns. And we want to be more focused and dialed in on things like organic page placement and rank. And are we taking a product from page three position 22 at the top of page two to the bottom of page one, and being able to visualize that and tell that story through data over time that a while our return? Short term is lower than we would like? The momentum is building, right. And as we know, we get to page one, page one represents mostly the entire category for a given keyword. And so these metrics again, tie it all together. For us, we're looking at things like share voice, what percentage of our businesses add attributed versus organic, total return on adspend or total a costs, top posts, the percentage of our sales that we're investing in advertising, making sure that we're consistently growing our investment as our businesses growing and not being comfortable with where we're at, if our goal is to continue to push and lean in, grow the business. A set budget type of dynamic oftentimes will just limit that growth over time. And then all your scale metrics, right your your scalability metrics, or your conversion rate, your cost per acquisition, click through rate new to brand sales. Looking at these data points, helps us understand you know, if we were to get another $100,000 on top of what we're investing today, what is that going to get us in terms of our paid expectations or paid output as well as the organic lift that we'll see from that incremental investment.


Aaron Conant  44:55  

And again, the the the split between organic and paid sales


David Grill  45:03  

70-30 60-40 heavier on organic. The last thing I would add to that, Aaron, it's a good, I'm glad you brought that back up. For brands running DSP we often run into this because DSP is a lot of view through attribution, I mean upwards of 80 to 90% of a DSP campaign could be viewed through conversions and search is only attributed to the click right? It's a conversion is only attributed with the exception of sponsored display nowadays, but mostly, that's a major consideration. Because if you're, if you're if you're tracking your paid and organic percentages over time, and all of a sudden you launch a fairly substantial DSP program, you're going to look like you go from 70% organic, to the next month, 50%, organic or possibly even 40%. Organic, because of the view through nature of that platform. So it means you're hitting the right audience, you're doing the right things you're the audiences converting. But take that into consideration. And oftentimes, you could use the information just kind of by itself, and take DSP out of the equation just simply because it's it's not an apples to apples comparison, when you're looking at total revenue and and your ad revenue. That makes sense.


Aaron Conant  46:26  

Yeah, awesome. Love it.


David Grill  46:30  

And to the to the question earlier, I think AMC does start to solve a lot of this too, right. So there is new paid subscription, AMC data feeds, that bring in retail data and a lot of the organic metrics that we're talking about today. And so while you can report on all of this through vendor seller, Amazon advertising and the tools that we have access to, ultimately, I think AMC levels everyone up as this is new and evolving tool over the next three to six months. This whole paid organic and especially organic conversation, I think, really starts to open up a bit more with with the new seeds that are coming out of it.


David Liggins II  47:20  

So I'm thinking they're just talking about how they your strategy to help our clients, not partners, right. So this is the business case I've referenced earlier. And I'm going to try to bring this all home for you guys. At the beginning of this campaign again, you know, we had brand that had very limited visibility, when you're talking about the top of search, right. And we all know based on the statistics that we've seen around 65% of the people click within that those first three to four brands on a search result page, right. And so now with, you know, paid media that's being there, or organic placement is really critical for the growth of your business. And they had about two Amazon's choice badges. And I'll talk a little bit more about that, you know, again, Amazon's choice badges is that tool that increases social proof, and improves your engagement. Right? So when we're talking about that, that piece of the puzzle, right? When we talk about all your traffic times conversion is yourselves right? That conversion piece is going to be impacted by not only just your Amazon choice badge and your social proof, but your organic ranking people convert more on your product when it's great, higher organically insert, there's social proof that's built behind that. And that's the power of the platform that power organic ranking. So this is how all these things are intertwined. So when we talk about how, what has what is done for this brand, you know, by the end of this campaign, he tripled the number of products that were listed organically, right? So when you talk about that first page presence, you know, we've able to triple the volume of the first page presence, and we know somebody from the second page to the first page, you can see 40 to 50%, on average, increase in revenue and sales. From going to that step up first page. Amazon's choice badges. Again, we went from two to 19 Amazon's choice badges across multiple relevant search terms, improving their social proof across that you know that the relevant search term presents again, there contemplates a significant piece of that. Optimizing right SEO optimization, targeting specific words, having these things listen in on the way you build your page, front end and back end, along with your advertising piece honing in in a more focused approach, a bottoms up approach to your advertising, making them more concise and more focus. And this allowed us to really improve on those organic ranking and that social proof and coming and getting these Amazon's choice badges for example, and we're going to show you the power with those numbers could do for you, right. So again, the goal here was it a tier one products is drive sales through your your keyword segmentation, right? So understanding what what keywords are relevant for your particular product. Make sure we're honing and focusing our strategies around those things that are going to drive relevant product and customers who are willing to purchase your product there to the right product. You Tourists who go here identifying additional aces that could bring a mood up to tier one. So again, once we've established that organic presence, let's figure out what other products have potential, right. Um, this could be variations and colors, it just could be other products, there's gonna be new go to market products, but what other products can be used to like expand that product portfolio, and improve your organic ranking across your product portfolio, thus, acquiring new customers and increasing your sales there. The third goal here is increased visibility, I've recently launched products. Again, you know, there's different advertising strategies for maintenance products or products that have already established organically and high on the first page. And it's a different strategy for a new bow to market products, right? There's different strategy products that are part of variations that you can start to target, right. So there's many different inputs and factors that go into it. But ultimately, you're still looking at the same formula, traffic times conversions is your sales, there's many things that focuses on traffic is going to be your advertising, your organic ranking, your content is going to focus on your conversions, your content is going to make a bigger play, your organic ranking could be a play as far as your your conversions, and also how you optimize and reach that customer really is going to convert them into social proof to Amazon's choice badges. So what does that mean? The bottom line here, here's some results. When we talked about this, we started out with eight keywords in the top 10. Pay our top 10 for page one, organic rank placement, and we ended with 24. Right, again, going back to the 42%, on average increase from going to page one to page two, this is huge. This is critical for the distance in the growth to keywords with Amazon's choice badge into 19. More social proof, right? People see that Amazon's choice badge, they're like, oh, yeah, this is probably the product I need to look at is going to improve your click through your advertising make that a little bit more efficient, right could be targeted these particular words, we've optimized both front end and back end with your SEO. So this really plays into factor when you're talking about building that that proof that engagement, right? Looking at that flywheel, it establishes yourself as a brand established a presence and that share voice is all things that contribute to the growth of your brand 35% of the total revenue from terrible products, we increase that to 45. Right? What do we did increase the limit of aspen here. So we have 4.7% of revenue invested in your advertising, we've met that up to 6.2%. But what's more important here, as we stopped promoting on 140 per bottle, are we decreased promoting on 140 products at 30. So when we're talking about those tier one items, we really focus on honing in and those products that are really driving your bottom line. So we were able to establish better organic ranking, greater social proof and engagement through your keywords, and Amazon's choice badges, we improved your total revenue, which is the bottom line. And then we had a crease spin but we had a more focused spin on products that are moving, moving your business in the right way. So that's why it's really critical to really implement this hero strategy, folks that advertising bring all the pieces together when we're talking about your traffic and your conversions. And the end result is an improvement in your business and new customer acquisition.


Aaron Conant  53:04  

Awesome. And I like one last question here. Is there any other metric that shows measurement of qualified traffic for those growth metrics? Or do you just need to wait and see I look back window to see at the bottoms up approach worked. 


David Liggins II  53:16  

In regards to advertising organic, both? I'll try my shot at it. So yep, advertising in advertising. So for qualified traffic, I mean, when you're looking at certain metrics, for example, when you when you're advertising, it's going to try to get you that customer to your detail page, right, you're gonna have to engage with that piece of advertising. I've seen one of the one of the key indicators here and you know, David, feel free to step in, it's going to be a flicker that's going to show how they're engaging with that particular placement and particular advertising know how efficient is it to grab that customer's attention away from all the other products that are on that page, and drive them to your detail page. And from there, it's up to your detail page to convert that customer. Right. So that's why it's really important to optimize your your listing your detail pages, both SEO images, essential content, branded content, a plus content, because if you're spending money on getting that traffic there, and you're doing it not doing a good job doing that, and poorly converting them, you're not improving your business. Right. So that's one of the key metrics there. And David, do you have any additional additional metrics that you would pay attention to also?


David Grill  54:20  

Definitely click through rate. I mean, the goal of advertising is to always drive the most qualified traffic. And oftentimes, that is through all the various keyword targeting competitive conquesting defending your own brand. It's always about driving the most qualified traffic. And it comes down to the targeting of those advertising campaigns, which to David's point, click through rate is a good lead indicator of engagement and how qualified that traffic is. And then conversion rate cost per acquisition when we're looking at, you know, how does this advertising convert and at what rate and how much does It costs us to drive one single advertising order news or, again, more of the scale based metrics, but also telling the full story around how content and advertising are working together.


Aaron Conant  55:15  

Awesome. And I see we're getting right here at time. And so I think we're gonna have to wrap it up. I am going to drop a link to our full day event next Tuesday in New York City. That was encouraged anybody that it's able to attend in New York City. Next Tuesday, sign up there. As always, all of our events are free for all brands to join. And so looking forward to that again, David Liggins, David Grill. Thanks so much for your time today. I encourage anybody you have follow up questions in this space. The Media.Monks team has been a great partner of the network for a ton of brands in it. And it's just, you know, helping educate us in the Amazon space for I don't know, over five years now. And so they're just great friends, partners, encourage anybody, you have questions in the space, you need help whatsoever, reach out to them in their team more than happy to send a follow up email connecting everybody afterwards and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to share the deck as a whole. With that, we're going to wrap it up. Thanks again, everybody. Thanks, David. Thanks, David. Hope everybody has a fantastic Tuesday. Everybody take care stay safe. We look forward to having you got a future event already.

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