With more than 80% of Amazon sales taking place on the marketplace’s first page, it’s critical for products to rank high in search results.
Amazon uses its own proprietary search algorithm to determine which products deserve those coveted first-page spots, and since the ecommerce giant foregrounds the consumer’s experiences, it will always promote products that receive more clicks and are most likely to convert.
So, what are the best ways to measure your product’s search success on Amazon? Click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CVR) continue to stand as the titans of search metrics. But what are CTR and CVR, and how can you best optimize them for your Amazon business?
Simply put, CTR measures the amount of traffic to your listing, while CVR measures the volume of traffic that converts to a sale. On top of influencing where Amazon places a product listing in search, these metrics also impact total revenue and profitability.
Understanding and improving click-through rate and conversion rate can help you identify areas of opportunity and maximize sales. But what are the best ways to turn these measurements into profitable ecommerce strategies?
If the product listing is a buyer’s first stop on their journey to making a purchase, the search feature is their vehicle.
Consumers use search to disqualify products that don’t appeal to them based on their query and to explore those that do. That’s why the first impression is key to winning a purchase over your competitors. Constantly monitoring and taking actionable steps to increase your CTR can positively impact your revenue and bottom line.
Click-through rate (CTR) is the number of clicks on a product listing compared to the number of times the listing appeared in search (also known as impressions).
Here is how to calculate CTR:
If a listing appears to buyers 1,000 times, for example, and five people click on the listing to view the product detail page, the product listing’s CTR is 0.5%.
CTR is a key indicator that shows sellers how relevant and appealing a product listing is to shoppers. A high CTR means your listing is relevant and shoppers are enticed to click. A low CTR, on the other hand, means you aren’t reaching the target audience or shoppers aren’t convinced enough to click. Simply put? There’s an issue with your listing.
A CTR of over 0.5% is considered good, while a rate of 0.3% or less indicates that the product listing or advertising campaigns need attention.
A good CTR begins with relevancy. Whether it’s in Amazon or Google, buyers use search to find the products that are most relevant to their queries.
The key to improving click-through rate is to make your product listing highly relevant to the search terms shoppers use. In addition to using top-performing keywords in your product title, advertising campaigns can ensure your ads are effectively matching your customer search terms.
Good keyword research and PPC optimization strategies will drive relevant traffic to your listings and improve your CTR. Make sure you consistently analyze search term reports to determine which keywords are creating a good CTR and which are driving irrelevant customer search terms.
Optimizing keyword and product targeting campaigns will contribute to an improved CTR, as well. Here’s how to optimize your click-through rate strategy:
Sometimes your product listing placement will be the culprit of a low CTR — even attractive product listings might have a low CTR if they're not in prime placements.
As a general rule, listings at the top of the first search page generate the highest click-through rates. To help your listings reach the top, add campaign bids by placement into your regular optimization schedule.
The biggest factor that impacts CTR is the main image. An attractive, eye-catching main image is key to guiding buyers’ attention to your product and away from your competitors. When creating your main image, ensure:
The product title is the first piece of text that a buyer sees, so it significantly influences whether they click or move on.
The product title needs to be clear and concise. It should explain the product in a way that buyers understand, and it must include the keywords that buyers are searching for.
Here are some tips for crafting the perfect keyword-rich title:
A critical factor in winning a sale is social proof. It’s nearly guaranteed that a buyer will click on a listing with a five-star review before engaging with a product only boasting a three-star review.
While incentivized reviews are against Amazon’s terms of service, it’s important to seek positive reviews by driving external traffic and quickly address negative reviews when they pop up.
Pro tip: ManageByStats can help sellers automate review requests without violating Amazon terms of service.
Buyer behavior indicates that price point is a major factor influencing product disqualification. It’s not essential to offer the lowest price on a product, but beating your competition often means remaining competitively priced.
Buyers spend time determining which product has a bigger bang for their buck, so providing a validated offer can often lock in a sale.
Run split testing to see what performs best for your product. Sometimes the difference between a price ending in $0.99 and $0.95 can make all the difference to your CTR.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s human nature to want quick shipping options.
Buyers often select product ads based on the estimated arrival date. Therefore, merchant fulfillment (FBM) isn’t the best option — unless you can compete with Amazon Prime’s 1–2 day shipping. With more than half the shoppers on Amazon eligible for Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) will always outperform FBM.
Coupons don’t play a major role in product selection, but they do capture buyers’ attention.
If a buyer is torn between two products, they’ll often opt for the one with a coupon offering. Sellers that offer coupons achieve higher CTR in search results and higher conversion rates (CVR) on product detail pages.
Amazon awards sellers with two badges: Best Seller and Amazon’s Choice. Badges make your products stand out from the competition and build consumer confidence in your business. They also attract attention and typically generate higher CTR.
So you’ve won the consumer’s product listing selection over your competitors. Now it’s time to convince them to make a purchase.
The product page is ultimately responsible for convincing a buyer to purchase your product, and CVR is a key metric in determining if people are gaining, maintaining, or losing interest in your items after clicking on your listing.
Knowing how to maintain a good CVR — which is typically around 10-15% — is key to creating and restoring profitability, and ranking on Amazon.
Conversion rate (CVR) is the ratio of the number of orders to the number of clicks.
Here’s a simple formula for how to calculate CVR:
If a listing gets 500 clicks, for example, and 10 people make a purchase, the CVR for that listing would be 5%.
CVR is an important metric not only because it indicates how many visitors to your product pages make a purchase, but also because it influences your ranking position in search. A high CVR will help you rank higher in search results, which causes a cyclical effect:
Good CVR ⇒ increase in sales ⇒ increase in rank ⇒ increase in sales ⇒ increased CVR
Product listings with a high CVR tend to generate higher revenue at a lower advertising cost of sales (ACoS). If your CVR is too low, your CTR efforts will be futile, and you’ll end up paying for a high number of clicks with a higher cost per acquisition.
Since CTR and CVR are closely linked, there’s some crossover in factors that impact each. CVR is influenced by the factors we detailed above for click-through rate, as well as additional elements located on the product detail page.
After your main product image captures the buyer’s attention, your secondary image should offer a compelling explanation of the features and benefits of the product, and highlight what differentiates it from others. As with the main image, be sure to use high-quality photography with clear, easy-to-read text.
Within each product listing, the panel of images should highlight the product’s key differentiating and selling points. The images should provide all the information — both visual and textual — that a buyer needs to make a purchase, explaining how the product’s benefits help solve the consumer’s challenges.
The majority of shoppers will click away after viewing one or two images, so it’s critical that these provide the consumer with a reason for purchase.
Bullet points serve two purposes: convince buyers to make a purchase and boosting keyword ranking.
More often than not, shoppers will scan bulleted information for highlighted keywords, so it’s important to capitalize or bold the main selling points and benefits of the product. The remainder of the text should focus heavily on relevant keywords for improved product ranking.
Sponsored ads targeting your detail page that are launched by competitors can divert traffic away from your product page. Launching branded campaigns targeting your own products, on the other hand, will reduce the space occupied by competing products. It’s also an effective method of upselling from your product range.
Text-heavy A+ content reduces conversion rates because buyers tend to disqualify a product if they’re overwhelmed with the amount of text, and if it takes too much time to find the product information they want.
Opting for image-rich descriptions with clearly outlined selling points allows you to showcase your brand.
Videos can greatly impact buyer experience. Showing how your product works in real time can be the nudge a shopper needs to make a purchase. Utilizing influencers for comparison and unboxing videos is also a powerful way to engage and retain a shopper on your product page.
Building a FAQ is a surefire way of eliminating purchase doubt in a shopper’s mind. The number of questions received and answered not only indicates social proof, it also legitimizes the product and your brand.
An effective way to increase the number of questions on your product page is to use your own shopper account to pose the question and your seller account to answer it. Both questions and answers are indexed by Amazon’s algorithm, so be sure to include plenty of relevant keywords, especially those you couldn’t organically fit in your product description.
Reviews are the quintessential trust builders for any Amazon product listing. Most shoppers tend to disqualify products with four stars or less, perceiving low reviews as lack of social proof. Managing, facilitating, and monitoring your product reviews is key to driving conversions.
CTR and CVR are key metrics that give sellers insight into how their customers engage with their products. Without constant monitoring, sellers are left in the dark about how their product pages are performing, and improving click-through rate and conversion rate become nearly impossible.
Giving you insight into the number of visitors to your page and the percentage of visitors that are making a purchase, CTR and CVR are essential to your success. If you’re looking to give your bottom line a bump, keep a close eye on these metrics and follow these best practices.
If you’re an Amazon seller looking to make the most out of Amazon search, Carbon6 can help simplify your success with a comprehensive and robust tool suite to help you manage inventory, listings, PPC campaigns, and much more.