Selling your products on Amazon is a whole different game than traditional sales. Even if your product is well-priced, it most likely will not make the cut on Amazon if it doesn’t rank on top.
Sellers constantly try to keep up with product ranking to boost their sales. Ranking algorithms are strict. But sellers have found their way to rise to the top anyway.
While sellers are smart with their product tactics, Amazon is becoming smarter!
With sophisticated algorithms, Amazon’s ranking method has become more complex. Many old hacks are no good any longer.
Search Find Buy is one that is currently super popular to help sellers jump their product rank to the top. It stands out for organically bringing up your product rank, which is always the best!
Folks still have their reservations about what Search Find Buy does and how it exactly works.
Not sure if you want to take the plunge?
Read along to understand how Search Find Buy works and what you can expect at large.
Let’s get started!
What is Search Find Buy? Why Shouldn’t Amazon FBA Sellers take it for granted?
Search Find Buy, as the name suggests, is intended for the customers to search for your product, find it, and then buy it. You can use it to create real-time Amazon click-throughs. These will direct your target customers.
The only difference here is that the customer reached your product in an organic flow. No directed URLs are used. SFB is a method that the customer follows through to make a purchase. A dedicated purchase funnel needs to be created for this to lay the foundation for organic traffic.
Amidst tens of quick hacks and tactics to rank your product higher, SFB is one that sellers shouldn’t ignore. And here’s why:
Especially if you’re an FBA, i.e., Amazon Fulfilled Seller, you shouldn’t take the SFB funnel for granted. Amazon offers its FBA program to all third-party sellers.
There are hundreds of competitive sellers in the Amazon Marketplace. So, sellers end up employing some way or another to capture good keywords. If yours is a smaller brand, the struggle is even more.
For smaller brands with not much budget to spend on PPC, Search Find Buy can be a game-changer. A game-changer that is organic, self-implemented, simple and efficient.
What is Rank Manipulation?
Before we get to how SFB works, let us understand what it is, technically. To get up to date with that, let’s talk about how rank manipulation works.
How similar or different is Search Find Buy to rank manipulation methods? And how does this impact sales?
Rank Manipulation: Ways to optimize product ranks
Rank Manipulation, quite literally, means taking a peek at Amazon’s answer key to top the ranking exam.
You can think of it this way – Amazon sets certain filters and criteria to enlist products. If you know what these are, you can easily ensure your product links satisfy them.
Would this make your product what they intended to look for? – No. Would it at least be ethical to do so? – Absolutely not. Why would people manipulate their product ranks then? Because it would rank your product higher and sell it better.
Is Rank Manipulation legal?
Here is what is interesting – Why would Amazon make its criteria public to allow such manipulation? Well, it doesn’t. In fact, rank manipulation of any kind is against their Terms of Service.
They clearly explain here that manipulating sales rank or even using it as an anchor to brag is strictly prohibited. So, technically, you are not allowed to manipulate the search and browse experience of the user.
Even with clearly laid rules, it is often difficult to assess if rank manipulation has occurred or not. To avoid any manipulation and have only relevant search results, Amazon does its bit. It keeps changing the rules of ranking. They are getting stricter and difficult to fool by the day.
You will read about some of these “against-the-policy” ranking methods later in this blog.
**(Add Internal Site Hyperlink to section “Product Ranking Strategies You Should Avoid Using in 2021”)
The question now is – Is SFB one among these policy-breaker methods? How long can you rely on it before Amazon catches up with it? Let’s understand this.
How Does Search Find Buy Work?
Search Find Buy is a ranking tactic that can help you derive great results. Some extreme ranking methods could get your account banned. SFB is more in line with Amazon’s policy. Even though it’s not completely playing fair, it lies in the grey area and is less likely to have any consequences.
So, to answer the question – it is better on Amazon’s books. SFB is more in line with regulations and is organic. Amazon loves organic, so you’re most likely out of trouble.
We can say that Search Find Buy is an Amazon Keyword Ranking Tool that apes customer shopping behavior to fit with Amazon’s algorithm.
The Search. The Find. The Buy
There are some things that need to go right for sale to be successful. Let us assess these.
The customer first needs to “Search” the right keyword that you rank for. They then need to “Find” your product from the diverse list of products for that keyword. But this isn’t sufficient. They also need to “Buy” your product for a sale to occur for that keyword.
This is the customer behavior that is common for all kinds of Amazon products. So, it’s a pass for the best products through the algorithm. In other words, Amazon thinks the best products are the ones that follow this cycle the most.
How it Works
The Search Find Buy method of ranking is simply the actions of your customer. The customer types the keyword, finds a product, and makes a purchase.
Let’s say you’re selling notebooks. Your target keyword could be “A4 Notebook”.
With SFB, you will send your customers to the Amazon page of the keyword that you’re ranking for(i.e., “A4 Notebook”). Instead of sending them directly to the product, using a product link, you send them to the search results page.
Here they will have to find your particular product. All purchases made for your “notebook” with these actions, Amazon recognizes to be organic.
How will this help? A product link similar to affiliate links can drive immediate sales but do little for the ranking of your product. By directing your customers to search, find and buy, you are actually ensuring you stand out to the algorithm; without even knowing it.
Amazon recognizes that a customer purchases YOUR product from the search page on his own. This helps you evade the loophole within the algorithm that recognizes affiliate and direct product links.
A purchase made by the customer’s own click is organic and, thus, recognized as valuable by the algorithm. It falls within the flow of natural customer behavior and hence has a much stronger impact on product ranking for that keyword.
Another troubling issue here is – You can get customers to reach the search page. But how do you get them to buy? Unless they buy, the process wouldn’t be fruitful. How to use Search Find Buy actually to enhance your product rank? Let’s find out.
How to Make Search Find Buy Help You Rank Your Products
Search Find Buy is a pretty powerful ranking tool that you can easily access as an FBA on Amazon. Create a Search Find Buy URL to build a link. You can readily create one by using different tools.
Here’s an example of LandingCube’s link builder creating a Search Fink Buy link:
- Use the product URL to create a campaign along with the target keyword.
- The next step is to draft the instructions for your customer through social media ads or email campaigns. In this case, Facebook Pixel Tracking and Google Analytics Tracking is also used.
- A typical example of a Search Find Buy instruction communication will look something like this:
Here, they will access the complete instructions to go to the Search Page. Now, this also includes the title and pricing of your particular product, which tells them what they are looking for.
When directed through this link, customers are likely to recognize this and make the purchase. This answers the question of how they will buy your exact product.
Keep your instructions and representation clear enough for your product, its reviews, and credibility to stand out. When appropriately executed, SFB directs the customers to pick the right product.
Search Find Buy Funnel
The process described above is an example of how you can build a Search Find Buy purchase funnel.
This involves capturing your customers’ attention first. This happens like most link-sharing campaigns where you share an SFB link in place of an affiliate link, in this case. Email campaigns and popular ads can also include this link for quickly grabbing attention.
The next part involves precise instructions. Let your customer know that they will reach a search page. Here they will need to “Find Your Product.” A poor SFB campaign that doesn’t clarify this part can fail quickly.
Once users are aware of your credibility and understand the process, it is likely to succeed. The customer will reach the search page for that keyword and complete the purchase. Amazon will assume that this was an organic sale. So, even though it wasn’t precisely organic, your ranking stands significantly improved.
New Listings and Search Find Buy
SFB can have even better results for new product listings on Amazon’s marketplace. Many sellers delete old listings and create new ones to take the benefit of the first few months of listing with SFB. How so?
The first two to three months or the honeymoon period of a new product listing is the best time to implement Search Find Buy. You can rank new products much more quickly than long-existing ones.
Within the first 60 to 90 days, the Search Find Buy strategy can do wonders for your ranking. With recursive SFB for this product, your product ranking is easily improved.
That’s a pro-tip for new listers – Use SFB within the first few months to see a significant effect!
Product Ranking Strategies You Should Avoid Using in 2021
You have seen how Search Find Buy checks all boxes for a powerful ranking tool. Truly organic or not, it does the job with no damage done.
There are other rank manipulation methods that can be less orthodox, and frankly, even outdated now. These are not only completely “not by the book” but could also land your seller account in some trouble in 2021.
Let us take a look at some “black-hat” methods that are popularly used. Let’s also see why using these in 2021 is a big NO!
Keyword Stuffing or Overuse
Let’s start with the popular and overdone tactic – Keyword Stuffing. This has been a favorite one for sellers, website owners, and keyword monopoly seekers for long. Mostly because it is extremely easy to implement and not very sophisticated.
Keyword Stuffing is the overuse of your keyword within the target link to fool a search engine to rank your page higher. Believe it or not, this worked like a charm for primitive search engine algorithms. These simply picked out the highest keyword densities and ranked them on top.
Sadly, or not so sadly for many, keyword stuffing is still pretty effective. Just not stuffing anymore, but keyword optimization. With an optimum concentration of high traffic and relevant keywords, your page or product can get a good rank.
Several keyword planning tools and those for identifying competitor keywords are available now. Keyword tools like the Google Search Console, Jaaxy, AHrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer, and many more make “opportunity keyword” hunting much easier.
Why is this a no-go in 2021? For multiple reasons. Keyword optimization, firstly, demands correct usage. Stuffing can do more harm than good. Secondly, it only works well for relatively simpler algorithms. It is only a matter of time that Amazon finds a way to filter or, worse, punish these account sellers.
With mechanisms to track keyword stuffing in the future, you could also be against Amazon FBA guidelines and end up in trouble with your account. For 2021, keyword stuffing for your product listing is a no-go.
A Super URL is the good old way of directly linking your Amazon product. In this ranking method, you’re essentially tricking the algorithm into thinking it’s an organic search by using a specific URL.
This is a textbook black hat tactic for improving your product ranking. A Super URL consists of a keyword and time stamp to ape Amazon’s original URL.
Super URLs have been popular in the last five years to rank products “seemingly” organically to the Amazon algorithm. While the “seemingly organically” part is common to the SFB method, this is very different.
A super URL is an impersonation of an Amazon URL and is strictly against Amazon’s seller policy. Instead of directing users through the loophole of a customer click, you are actually creating an unethical URL to fool the system.
While the lines of ethical and unethical are pretty blurred with ranking over the Internet, Super URLs are pretty dangerous to use in 2021. Not only can Amazon detect and filter these links now, but they can also suspend your account permanently if found using a super URL.
If you’re still leaning towards Super URLs to rank your product, 2021 is a good time to walk away.
Another effective ranking tactic is the use of 2-Step URLs. In a similar attempt to trick the algorithm, here, you are trying to convince Amazon that you have more sales for a said keyword than you actually do.
2-Step URLs came up as alternatives to Super URLs that used sales from outside of Amazon, too, for ranking purposes. 2-Step URLs have been popularly used for several keywords.
The seller starts with keyword research and pins a target keyword. Once decided, the next step is to create the URLs for the campaign. Your 2-Step URLs can then direct traffic and improve your product ranking from another source.
Here the user reaches a search page first and then the product listing in the 2nd step. Platforms like Helium 10 offer several tools to create URLs for this purpose.
The problem with this for Amazon ranking? It just doesn’t work that well anymore. Even though it delivers results, the extent of ranking benefits with this is questionable in 2021.
Needless to say, it involves a direct product listing link and is against Amazon’s policy. So, it is fair to expect that 2-Step URL ranking is soon likely to lose its effectiveness. In 2021, for ranking your products, 2-Step URLs might not be the best bet.
Is Search Find Buy Strategy Worth Your Time and Effort?
Despite all the ranting and raving about how amazing SFB is, you’re sure wondering if it’s worth the hassle.
After all, asking customers to first search for a keyword, find an exact product from the listing, and then to buy it too is easier said than done. Link builder tools can solve half the problem. But the other half remains – Why should customers do that extra bit to make a purchase? Is the whole thing really worth your time and effort?
Incentive & Clear Instructions
A little incentive or offer can often do the trick to make it easier for the customer to go ahead with SFB. As emphasized repeatedly, clear instructions can make or break your strategy.
An SFB builder tool takes a completely different approach. But if you can’t get your hands on one, some common SFB methods have delivered great results. Rebating or incentivizing the customer can be one trick. Make an impassable offer or list a heavy discount, and customers will follow. For clear and concise instructions for customers, chatbots and messengers can offer a good conversation. Tools like ManyChat are extremely popular for this.
Coming back to the original question – Is it worth it? Well, it definitely is profitable. But if you’re heading out with the idea to rank a “no good” product merely with SFB, you’re wasting your time.
SFB has delivered great results for many products and sellers. But they eventually draw in customers and keep them due to the merit of the product. At the end of the day, it is a ranking strategy. SFB is not a substitute for good sales but merely a great facilitator!
It is important to rank your products well. But it is also important to safeguard being an Amazon seller and get more creative with your ranking tactics. While keyword stuffing and super URLs seem to work in many cases, it doesn’t take a magician to figure out that Amazon will catch up sooner or later.
Isn’t it the same for SFB? It could be; in the near future. For now, this tactic works within the guidelines to optimize your listing and launch your product. Having said that, it can’t carry the load alone. After some point, at least.
A combination of great product offerings, branding, and ranking tactics is a great recipe to see your product skyrocket to the top. As for Search Find Buy, as they say, make hay while the sun shines!
If you’re still at sea and looking to sell on Amazon, we can help out. Subscribe to our Amazon FBA Coaching and find profitable products and solutions to optimize your sales.