Agency Best Practice

How to Shift Client Profits Through Conversion Rate Optimization

Expert People

Host and Guests

Paul Sonneveld

Paul Sonneveld

Co-Founder & CEO
Profile Pictures-Mar-11-2024-02-00-20-2457-AM

Tim McKenzie


Podcast transcript


Hi, and welcome to this live episode of Marketplace Masters, proudly presented by MerchantSpring, your premier source for marketplace analytics. Today, we're embarking on an insightful journey into the digital commerce universe, tackling the pivotal challenges that agencies encounter in enhancing performance and expanding their clients' profitability on Amazon and other marketplaces.

Paul Sonneveld

I'm Paul Sonneveld. your guide through today's exploration. And in this episode, we are zeroing in on conversion rate optimization, peeling back the layers to discover impactful strategies that drive tangible, positive shifts in the profitability of your clients' brands. 

Now, to help me do this, I have invited Tim McKenzie to join me in this conversation. Tim is a director at Dynamix Digital, an agency renowned for its comprehensive account management services. With an arsenal of skills in PPC management, listing optimization, and digital media advertising, Tim's approach leverages the full spectrum of digital marketing strategies to fuel business growth. With over 15 years of direct engagement with Amazon's vendor and seller central platforms, Tim has mastered the art of crafting the ideal blend of strategies and tactics for client success. Tim, it's an absolute pleasure to have you on our show today.

Tim McKenzie
Paul, thank you so much for having me on. It's so good to be here. And yeah, really, really excited to kind of get into the depths, the trenches with this kind of a topic here.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, no, excellent. Well, look, today, we're obviously talking about conversion rate optimization. And, you know, there's lots of angles to that. And, you know, certainly the topic of listing optimization has been done a lot. But I wanted to sort of go back to the conversation that you and I had a couple of months ago around, you know, why does conversion rate optimization matter? And why does it matter, like right now, as in, you know, why does it matter more this year than maybe in previous years?

Tim McKenzie
Yeah, you know, it's so easy for brands, for businesses, for agencies to just look at increasing in Ad spend. But I think when we see the impact of where AI is taking things and wanting to kind of move listings and automate optimization with consumer searches, consumer demands, we really have to take the listing setup, you know, more seriously than ever before, really. And diving into conversion rates is a way of unpicking and to really kick the tires on a listing and find out what is relevant, what is irrelevant on it. 

So it's almost like we want to go back to the old days with the traditional shop. And a customer walks into the shop, let's say a shoe shop, and they walk in and they have a wallet full of cash. They've driven to the shoe shop. And nine times out of 10, what's going to be on the front of their mind is they want to buy some shoes. And the objective is to get that customer over the line, find what shoes they want, help them through the journey, make the sale and then move on from there. 

And I think where we see a big difference is that sometimes we will have the signs on the outside that says, hey, this is a shoe shop. And then as soon as the customer walks in, that's full of handbags. It's full of backpacks. It's full of all sorts of other irrelevant topics. The customer's gone in for a shoe shop and that's what they want to do. 

So if we flip it and look at our listings now, and customers are searching for something, the benefit that we have online is that it is intent orientated. People jump on, they jump on the app, they jump on desktop, and they're going to put a search term in. That's what they're looking for. So that's already a great example of relevancy. 

So we have to be able to look at the relevancy factor on it, because if the listings and the keywords and let's say the Ad structures aren't correct, we're going to be burning through Ad spend, showing Ads to irrelevant customers that are not looking for the product that we have. Adding Ad spenders is the first mistake. Increasing budgets is the first mistake. Increasing cost per click, again, let's call it the second mistake, because we need to be able to nail down this conversion rate. 

So if we take a basic metric, if we take 100 clicks, if we're able to impact the conversion from Ads. Let's say 15% keep numbers nice and easy. If we're able to increase that Ad conversion rate by 15%, it's basically out of 100 clicks, we've added 15 sales. Now, it might not sound that much, but if it's a small brand, if it's a white label brand, a white label product, and they're only doing 10 sales a day, by just increasing 15% on their Ads conversion, that's an extra 15 sales. 

So the first thing, we can't just forget about the cost of those clicks, because nowadays and old days, you could get clicks less than a dollar that are going to convert on a major keyword. Nowadays, it's like start at $2, start at $3, four pounds, whatever you want to call it. But we need to understand that there's a massive and a significant cost impact to search and advertising. It's extremely competitive. Organic, you really have to pay to play these days. And this is why conversion rate is so important. So there's kind of two sides to this. There's conversion rate on Ads. That's a critical metric to be looking at, but also critical metric is the conversion rate on the organic listing. 

So you absolutely nailed it. In the past, we've had optimization that was such a like a ding word like you know 10 years ago it was like oh no listing optimization was like the big thing it was like a massive factor no no we do listing optimization. But when we look at the structures of how it is right now, there's so many other elements that play and the important thing is to be able to take a customer through the journey and break down the main goals of each attribute on a listing. 

So title, what is the purpose of a title? The purpose of a title is to say what the product is to get the click. Customer then clicks on the product. We've got the bullets. We've got the images that are really there to elaborate on what this product is, what it's going to do for them and how. If a customer still needs some more information, they'll scroll down and then they'll see the description or the A plus content. Hopefully, that solidifies the customer. If they still really, really want to dig on it, then they need further convincing, we're going to drop into the storefront and really dive in deeper. 

So, we have to attack all of these layers of information and structure them in a way that makes the shopping journey super simple and easy for a customer. Going back to old school, bakery and all your milk products in a supermarket. They never buy the front door. They're the most purchased thing in a supermarket. They're always at the back of the shop. You have to walk through the whole entire shop to go get a bottle of milk and then walk back. And they do it on a specific reason because it's hopefully along the journey, they can snag you and present something. 

You know, the old saying, eyeline is byline. Put something in your eyeline that's going to catch you and bag the sale. They know you're going to buy milk, you know, $3 sale, $4 sale, but it's to add that value. We don't want to do that, take our customer through the ringer on Amazon. We want to present, someone's searching for a specific keyword, we want to present our product that's extremely, extremely relevant on that side. So that's for me how we'll start to form our approach, our attack on this specific subject.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, I love that structure that you apply there and very kind of logical look at each element, what's the purpose it serves, how you work from there. I want to go back to one of the points you made right at the beginning around looking at your conversion rates and maybe just doubling down on Ad spend is not the right strategy. 

How do you like practically speaking, let's say, you're taking on a new client with 20, 20 ASINs, right? 20 listings. How do you work through around which listings actually you better off focusing first on CRO, conversion rate optimization versus which ones you feel like, you know, they're ready to just pump a bit more advertising budget onto, you know, how do you work through that in your mind to prioritize things?

Tim McKenzie
Yeah. So, you know, that's a very real example for any agency. We take on a new client, new client comes and they want fireworks, you know, whatever they were doing in-house, they want to put it out of the house and get some expertise in there. So, we've got to be able to take each listing as it is. And, you know, in all honesty, it is quite easy. And let's say it's a shortcut to just go 80-20. which 20% are generating 80% of the revenue and start there. Not a bad place if we need to make a heavy impact, but it all goes down to what are the current conversion rates on the listing now. 

In seller, we can see that Amazon make it nice and easy for us. Vendor, we don't get that information unless you have contact. So, your account manager or AVS are set up on that side. So it's critical to start looking at the two metrics there. What are the Ads converting at? How do we compare this to benchmark? We can use the search term query report. We can see who's gaining market share on those specific words, on those specific keywords. Who's getting all the clicks? 

Again, if a brand or client is looking for help on this topic, they're not going to be in the top three, like they're not going to be in the top 10. So we need to then start breaking it down at who is getting the clicks and start pulling up and making up a quality, an image board of what the competitors are looking like. What are we looking like? What is their brand looking like? Because So many times, the whole Ads and strategy can just be red or black. Well, let's just go red or black. It's a complete gamble. 

So we've got to be able to, first of all, just using some logic in regards to looking at a listing, seeing the title structures. Maybe they're completely overstuffed. Maybe they're not. Vendors have always loved to keep their titles like brand name, three words, super, super, super narrow. And we found that a good hybrid of both. We don't want to go on the other spectrum and stuff the heck out of it, but we want to be able to tell customers what are they looking for and what the product is and stay quite close to that. 

So, staying in line with your question, we want to be able to look at category benchmarks. We can dive into this a bit later and see where the category is in regards to our, let's say, specific keyword or product niche. And we want to look at those elements of the listings and see first port of call, what are we going to do? So if it's about making a positive impact, we want to start with the biggest, let's say the best seller in the listing, in the catalogue and really look at what we can do. 

If we've got solid Ad conversion rate, we can keep that going. We can look to optimize, optimize Ads and breakdown and how the spend is. That's one element, but we then still want to focus on, it's great that the Ad is getting clicks, and let's say it's converting well, but if we're able to achieve marginal gains at every touchpoint, it'll impact with a significant way. So if we can improve 10% on the Ad's conversion rate, if we can then attack and build a better title that's going to get an extra 10% of clicks, if we can then build out the bullet points that are going to be a lot more accurate and give customer information about the size of what it is, how it does it, what it works. All of these elements are marginal gains that make overall a significant impact to the listings on it.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, it's all of these, I call it the one percenters, maybe they're two percenters, but they all add up and they sort of have this multiplication effect throughout the funnel. Yeah, that's spot on. So let's go deep. Take us through. You've got a new listing. You feel it's a good candidate for optimization. Perhaps the conversion rate is well below the category average or below the rest of your account for that particular category. Where do you start on a listing?

Tim McKenzie
Okay, so if we start with relevancy, right? If we use an example as a bullseye, you know, a dartboard, the center is like ultra, ultra super relevancy, say what the product is. We can then look at building out the layers as to the different attributes of the type of product and the listing. 

So it's important to say what the product is and what it does and not the opposite of that, what it doesn't do. You know, in the old days, when you would like doing eBay listings and stuff, you might be selling an Audi A3. But in the same title, you put not a Golf, not a Seat Leon, not a Vauxhall, not a BMW, to try and get the, you know, exposure. But the problem is it detracts from relevancy.

Paul Sonneveld
All of a sudden, you're wondering why your conversion rate is so low.

Tim McKenzie
Yeah, massive impressions, glance views through the roof. This is wonderful. And if you're in those vendor conversations with their Ads team, it's like, no, no, no, we need eyeballs on listings. And from our side, it's like, no, well, of course we want eyeballs on listings, but we want clicks and purchases. Let's not forget those two slightly important metrics. 

So we're starting with this bullseye and we want to build out the core relevancy of the product. What is the product? What does it do for a customer? So if it's a mineral sun cream that is organic and it's bio and it's this and it's that, we want to start right there. Whack those ditos in the title. If it's a skin moisturizer that helps with rosacea, helps with acne, helps with scar tissue, we want to start right there. 

The mistake in this optimization is by using a search volume and saying, Ooh, anti-aging has the most highest search volume in skincare. So we're going to put that first. The fact that anti-aging is a high search volume doesn't make it relevant for your product. So it's about starting with the needs, starting with the problems that the product solves, because you will have a much higher conversion rate and we should be able to prove this because if your product helps with acne scarring and rosacea. 

Now, if those two fundamental elements are built on the listing on the title, for example, when people are searching for a product, if they were to search, you know, just the, the high IQ, the high volume keywords, anti-aging, That's not a, it's so broad and it's a massive, massive brushstroke there. So customers search by their problems. They want to solve their problems. So if we start with this bullseye and we start building this out. 

So let's say our product is as we started talking about it helps with rosacea. It helps with acne scarring but then it also has vitamin e in it and it also has other attributes that are additional we're now going outside of the bullseye and we start widening the relevancy on it. So let's say we can then at the end of that we can add in anti-aging cream, but anti-aging is not the primary focus unless it is exactly that product. 

So it's important that we start with the bullseye approach. And then from that, we can then backfill through keywords and backfill through the highest keyword volume rather than the other way around. Because there's no point in building a listing out that has the highest search volume in every single category, which makes that product now irrelevant to the actual person that's searching and buying for their problem, their need. because we think that we've got relevancy factor maximized because we have the highest volume of keywords at search volumes. So we're completely detract. And this is where you see impressions and glance views. You're like way up there. Customer lands in the listing and is like, what is this? This is not what I'm after. 

So it's really important that we start with solving what the product is and what the client is looking for. And we can start building out those portions of it. And that's where we start using each element of the listing, like we said about the title, the bullets, and really driving. And again, nowadays, you can have a keyword stuffed bullet. I mean, you can have this, I don't know how many thousands of characters now, but there's only the first thousand characters are actually counted for relevancy. So for search term indexing. But it doesn't mean we negate the bottom. 

So we want to have the highest impacting search terms in those first thousand characters. But we still want to utilize and take the customer on that journey about this is how this product works. This is what it's going to do for your skin or your need. This is where it's made. And we want to start building out that structure for the customer. And then nowadays, we have access to brand stories. And I think if anyone is not using a brand story or they haven't got Premium A+, they're a plonker. Straight up, you're a plonker. If you don't have Premium A+, and brand stories.

Paul Sonneveld
I'm not familiar with that technical term, Tim.

Tim McKenzie
You're not. Yeah, it's a technical term, a polite technical term. Because there's so much added value that we can now put on the listing. We can add video on the PDP. We can really elaborate on how this product works to a customer. Now, we've used maybe a skincare product we've used. Yeah, but we really want to elaborate on whether it's brand, if the ethos of the brand and the business is, you know, organics and it's biodegradable. This is where, for example, you can't, you're very restricted in Amazon and the listings on what you can have when you say biodegradable, when you say all of these certain keywords you have to have, and it's sometimes in some categories it's extremely difficult to be able to use biodegradable in the title, whether it is or it isn't, you know, but this is where that video really, really helps to pull out all of those things. 

When we're snagging on keywords, even in, it might be okay TOS wise for a title, but nowadays, certain Ad types, it's restricted because you haven't said this or on the product. We need to see that phrase on the actual packaging of the product. Well, do you know how many phrases we would need to put on the packaging of a product? It's not physically not possible. So there are a number of attributes where we need to get across to the customer that helps solidify and seal the deal using the listing, using our storefront, using the shop as we use in the example in the beginning.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah. So and on those, I mean, it's interesting because you started off talking really about, I guess, some of the more technical parts of the listing, the title, the bullets, the structure, I guess, the words. Of course, there's the back-end fields and all of that. And then there's the much more visual aspect to the actual listing, right? A-plus content, brand story, and the like. 

In your mind, you know, and let's assume, we're shopping from a desktop, because I think maybe the answer from the mobile is different, keen to have that as well. But in your mind, say, on a desktop experience, what is your hierarchy of prioritization there? Of course, I'd like to do it all. 

Tim McKenzie

Paul Sonneveld
But if you do have to make trade-offs, how do you think about those?

Tim McKenzie
Yeah, exactly. Hierarchy in what's relevant and what is mobile and desktop are completely different user experiences there. So what's a good thing nowadays is that we can customize a separate version of mobile to a separate version of desktop. So we can address that search issue. So for example, typical, and it does depend on category, so you can title is always going to be the most important thing that's going to be where your the actual core values you know we call them hero keywords what are the three the four hero keywords it doesn't really go outside of that. Because this is the what the product is what it does. This is a whatever we said a mineral-based sun cream that is it.

So that's always going to be in the title on both versions. We can then drop into images. For example, on mobile, images come first before description, even before bullets. Sometimes some categories you have to scroll right to the bottom to even try and get bullet points. So if we stay on the mobile version, we're going to have titles, we're going to have images or secondary. Now, great to have lifestyle images, but we want more detail. If we only have five images to convince a customer that our product is good, we need some elaboration, we need some pop-outs, we need some signals to say what the product is. Great to throw in lifestyle images, but we need to maximize educating the customer. 

So the education piece is another one that we see with customers that are really coming out with a hardcore niche. You can take a generic, maybe we spoke about biodegradable, you can take a plastic bag or a plastic product and now you have a client that is bringing a very nice corn starch-based product, a biodegradable product. And now we need to start educating the customer because they're just so used to buying a plastic product and it's half the price. 

So we have to be able to divide and conquer what the title is going to say, what it is, and then educate through the images. So staying on mobile, we've got the title, we've got the images, then we're going to drop down into the A+. On 90% of the differences, you'll see your A-plus before you even see your bullet points. So we want to be able to ensure that visually, obviously, with A-plus on the mobile, there's no restriction on the small text. So we need to make sure that that is all correct, that it's very readable. It's part of the journey that we want to take a customer on. 

So just if we're able to maintain and keep the focus on breaking down each element, breaking down the title, breaking down the images, making sure that the function and the use of those images stay, the focus is on track. It's not just about bish, bash, bosh, black or red. Let's hope it works. 

Amazon do provide their A-B split testing modules, which in all honesty, we have mixed results with but a good thing is that we can keep A-B testing moving. We want to keep and through testing, and testing, and testing, and testing, we will get, at the end of the day, we will get to a structure and a listing breakdown that works and that generates results. 

And then on the desktop side of things, again, staying with title, bullets are always going to be important. Always about breaking down the customer, what it is, how it works. At the same time, we still want to be utilizing as much keyword search volume as possible. Maintaining relevancy. There's no point in getting a click, paying for the click, and then they're in the shoe shop and you're selling them handbags. It doesn't always work.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, yeah, makes sense. Makes sense. So, I mean, you start to touch on kind of, you know, volumes and A-B testing. And of course, there's a question here, which is art versus science, right? And part of this experience and doing this over and over again. But let's talk more about the science piece, right, in particular around how do you make data-backed deficiency in this space, right? What data sources are out there, and how do you use those to make the best possible decision for your client as you optimize the listing?

Tim McKenzie
Yeah. Yeah, so, you know, old-school days, we'd have a number of third-party apps that kind of plug in, and everyone thought that this was, like, the mutts-nuts, really, the bees' knees. But Amazon now have a number of elements and tools, we can call them, that they basically show Amazon data. So it's the best we're ever going to get with it. So, I mean, we can jump in here and see some insights in the back end. 

There's two things, there's category insights we want to go through, and then there is, let me just move my screen out there, category insights and product opportunity explorer. So if we stay with category insights on this side here, So what we're looking for is we want to be able to drive down and to extract Amazon data. And I want us to stay on this example of the sunscreen because I want to prove a point over here. 

So for those that have never seen this, this is your category insights. And you can go through different countries right here. We only have Germany, Japan, UK, US available right now. We've got all the different categories overall here, your parent categories, and then we can dive into product types. So we can see skin moisturizers, we can see some beautiful wigs over here, but I've got us nailed in here on sunscreen. So we can choose facial sunscreens, and then we start diving into a bit more of a keyword type. We want to stay on body sunscreen over here. So what I was actually looking for is sunscreen for kids that we can stay over here. 

The first thing we see here is demand. So, we can see, we can compare the demand year over year. And this is giving us actual Amazon data on the demand. So, this is great because we can see the trend. Obviously, we've coming out of winter right now. So this is exactly where we would expect to see things right now. Coming out of March, March we bought a ramp up for April and then the peak season of summer here. 

So through this, we're able to see actual Amazon data. So a key thing that I like to see here is compare year over year. If we're looking at January or even February, what's the difference in February units sold versus 2024? So 23 versus 24, we can see there's nearly 200,000 units, 180,000 units difference in a month. So we've got really good growth in this and some categories or some niches we're able to drill in and see that there's minimal growth in this. 

Let's say coming out of COVID, this is where we would have seen a significant drop off because shops are back open, they don't need to buy, you don't need to buy your toilet rolls online, you can go back into store and fight for them. So, diving into this data here, we're going to see a very clear path of rate of sale and when the sales are happening. 

So, the first thing we want to see from this is when we start going to ramp up our campaigns. So, there’s no point in trying to turn on Ads in April once the sales have already started, the season's already started. We need to be making sure that we're, let's say, indexing, if we're rebuilding listings, that we've got a good run-up on ranking, on indexing, and this is where we want to start over here. So that's one thing we look at first of all, a good run-up into the season here. 

Second thing we want to look at is where are the keywords at? So we really expect to see big brands dominating in here, but we want to see the actual volume on search. So this is the actual volume here, actual Amazon volume on these particular types of brands, which is really good. We can really see who's dominating market share, which customers are searching for what brands, and we want to look into those things. 

Again, we can see glance views, obviously search impressions. We want to see year over year, the difference, how many more people this year are searching than last year for this product. So from where we were 23 to 22, and where we are now 23 to 24, significantly up. So 23 was 3.6. And now we're just at 4.1 million. So a month out, a year on, we can see search purchase to ratio. So this is quite a cool ratio where how many people are searching for a product and how many people are actually buying those products. So give us some insights over here. 

We can then start seeing the reasons over here. Reasons for returns, if we want to, if it's a really high return rate or damage allowance that we want to put into the budgets to make sure that we can really maintain profitability. We can then start seeing and start learning some of the data from these things. So this is another cool element down here at the bottom here. Average daily spend. So I don't understand this. Do we really believe average daily spend for a sun cream product is a dollar? Majority spend up to 3.3. So I'm not sure I trust that data, but we can then dive into the certain types of products. If we have a sensitive type product, we can have, if it's cream, lotion, aerosol, the price points, we can really see where we are price pointing. 

So if we already have a brand, and we're looking to kind of optimize from there on out, or if we're actually thinking of adding a new product to the range, this is where we can ballpark. And we can start building on what kind of a product, you know, people want a premium product, it's going to be over here, this is where we're at. 

So there's just a number of insights that we can start pulling into sunscreen over here. And we can put it into the opportunity explorer over here I’ve got this one ready. Allows you to drill down find your categories. I've already got this one loaded for sun cream over here because the keyword that I really wanted to nail was kids sun cream so this this data here again is all amazon data it gives you the products a great way of really identifying competitors and keeping your eyeball on competitors. 

So exactly the search volume that's happened on that competitor. So who's running massive Ads? What is their growth? Now, I think this is a really important one here because we see growth. All of these are on the negative. Why? Because we've just come out of the screen here and we've looked at the trend. This is why we're 50 to 90% down. So we want to be able to stick on that. So anyone that's not on a negative, we want to be able to look at why. So these guys, everyone else is at minus 80, minus 70, minus 60. These guys are at minus 30. When we look at it, it's because it's specifically a travel sized product. So that's going to have much more of a seasonal demand rather than a specific product that's non-travel sized. 

So we can look at their growth, we can look at customers, the return rate of products, we can see ones that are quite low, ones that are quite high. And this really helps when we start tackling specific brands and we start looking at who's winning the clicks. And I wanted to focus on the kids sun cream over here. So it really helps us with just giving some another layer of details as to the growth that's happening behind it. 

If we jump into another niche over here, Product Opportunity Explorer, if we go over to here, on this guided side here, let's go here, and we want to find, let's redo this whole thing here. So, if we go back to all, if we go to, let's think of a product example, shoot a product out, Let's go to Office Products. Any ideas on an Office product? Oh, let's go Office Planner. We want to dive down. We have an Office Planner and we want to start digging into some trends on this. So, Office and School Supplies. We want to drill through here and find an Office Planner.

Paul Sonneveld
You mean those sort of things you can stick on a wall, like the sort of calendars?

Tim McKenzie
Yeah, a planner or a… Let's start here. Workspace, desk, accessory, not that one. Filing products. Forms, bookkeeping, money handling. Writing supplies. So, let's just go into pocket protectors. I have no idea what a pocket protector is. I don't know if you do.

Paul Sonneveld
Isn't it those plastic sleeves where you can put like paper in and it goes into a binder? At least that's the Australian interpretation.

Tim McKenzie
So, if we're able to dive into this niche, this niche or this niche. So, pocket protector. Okay, right. Well, we're going to learn something on this. So with this as a kind of a niche keyword here, if this is what we do as a brand, we're able to look in and see, again, more details over to here. What's the growth? What's the kind of return rate on industry standard? 

We can start diving into search terms and actually start seeing which search terms have the highest, let's say, search volume. We can, again, start helping us with some trend, see what search terms are trending when. It's very possible that you might have a search term, let's say pocket protector for men, that all of a sudden this becomes one of your, just organically, we're getting significant volume on pocket protector for men. And then from one month to the next, that volume just drops off. Our listing has dropped off considerably. And when we start, again, this is where tracking keywords and tracking kind of everything that's drawing and understanding clearly where the traffic is coming from. 

What we can do is we've had it before where Amazon changed the structure of it. So they will change the structure of that, the long tail keyword, and they will say men's pocket protector instead. So all of a sudden, we've based our listing around pocket protector for men, pocket protector for women, pocket protector for kids, whatever it might be. But this is where the data is to follow that data back to where it's coming from and make sure that we're able to remain relevant and making sure that we're tracking where these sales are coming from, where the impressions are coming from. Because Amazon make these changes all the time. 

When Rufus kicked off, we kind of saw some backend testing a good few months ago, and the listings went absolutely haywire. We had listings, ridiculous listings suppressed for being a weapon, you know, Amazon snag it for being a weapon. And it's just a basic, you know, a tennis grip or, you know, anyway, we won't get into the glorious AI thing. 

So stay on track here. Search terms, we've got insights, we want to see, we can see, and again, banging on about Amazon data, this is exactly number of products sold, percentage, we can see a full breakdown of average reviews in this category, the number of sellers on here, brand counts, you know, 23. So, brand selling is 90% of top clicks are going to 23 brands. 

So to me, it seems like this is very niche and it could be ripe for someone to come in and start making more pocket protectors. What are the trends? Is it a seasonal product? We can see that right here. We can then see product count, average selling price, conversion rates. Let's see what other metrics we have here. Selling partner count, that's interesting. Brand count. Let's stay on brand count. 

So there's no one really, it's not like we just had a massive flood of sellers that had just hit the market on this. Let's look at purchase drivers. So we can look at positives, we can look at negatives. So on the left here, we have positives. So people want the pouch, okay? We can clearly see that here. They're looking for pouch, a pouch style. So keyword differentiators, pocket protector, or pouch pocket protector. We can look at, again, keeping that bullseye, and the focus on that. Leak proof, handmade, okay, is a very small factor. 

On the other side, these guys here, negative feature that's impacting when units sold, leather. So I'm assuming it's been sold as leather and this is not leather, but let's see what else we can find here. So we've got customer review insights. Again, if this was a purchase driver where people thought they were buying leather, we're going to see that in the review insights. So we can again look at positives, we can drive into negatives. So 21% of all positives, we can see the quality overall is really good. 

So we can dive into here and we can see what customers are saying about other listings that we can repatriate those keywords or whatever the positive element and the negative element, we can then pull back into our listing on these things, value for money, drop impact protection. We can start to look, let's flip over to the negative side. and then we can start really seeing. 

So how do we use this for our advantage? So everyone is bashed on here about not real leather, not leather. So if this was our product, the first thing we want to do is if we did have leather, if it was real leather, we really want to elaborate that because everyone else is not leather and they basically pulling the clicks from the consumers, they're buying the product, they get it and this is trash, goes straight back to Amazon. 

So for example, if we were selling a faux leather product, we then need to make it very sure in the title and make it clear to the customer that this is not real leather, it's faux leather, looks like real leather, but elements that we want to keep putting back to the pile, making sure that the relevancy of our listings is very, very good. So returns, if there's any returns info, we spoke about faux leather, leather quality, the colors, if it's off, the thickness. Just elements that we can keep looking and learning from others mistakes and seeing what we can if we can fine-tune our listings and making sure that the relevancy factor stays on point it really is going to be yeah it's really going to be critical for that on in making sure that we are able to stay relevant with our listings and I can't really stress this enough in regards to Amazon and the split testing. 

We have to keep testing, testing, testing, testing, use every single attribute that Amazon give us in the back end. There's a number of attributes that repeat themselves. You know, for one seller we had, they sold very nice wine glasses, red wine glasses, cocktail glasses, white wine glasses. But we use one of the attributes on the listing. That was the color attribute, which is red. And we said wine glass, you know, red wine glasses. But as soon as we loaded the color attribute as red, the organic relevancy just kicked that listing to number one. And we were able to dominate that until everyone started seeing that it's because we were using the color, the color attribute, the glass isn't red, but Amazon saw it as red wine glass. Like it was a red pair of shoes on the color attribute. Very, very relevant. 

So make sure we're maximizing all of the backend opportunity that we have from Amazon. There's a lot of it from seller side, you know, they just released another five four slots for backend search terms. Vendor have had that since day one, but how are they being utilized? Are we stuffing all those irrelevant keywords in the titles and the bullets, or are we really making sure that the customer has a very clear journey to the finish line and convert on things?

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, no, that's amazing. I mean, even just the speed of the tools that Amazon is rolling out here is super impressive. You know, we all know what Seller Central looked like only like two years ago, right? So it's rolling out with the breakneck speed here. I appreciate you giving us a really kind of practitioner's walkthrough of those tools, by the way. Very handy, very useful. 

We are almost out of time, but I wanted to maybe just to close us off, I wanted to just go slightly kind of deeper on the A-B testing piece. Maybe not that deep in the interest of time, but going back to that early comment you made around, you know, you've had mixed results on A-B testing. It'd be great if you could elaborate on that and really with a view of kind of sharing any knowledge or learnings for others that may be kind of experimenting or playing around with the same tools.

Tim McKenzie
Yeah, sure. So, again, this is where it's important for brands, for account managers, for agencies to just test and test and test and test. It does impact for example, if we're testing new titles, it does impact the actual search term on it. So if we're taking over a period, Amazon will be flipping the title over. So if you want to use a hack, you can basically keep adding new keywords into your A, B split testing that Amazon are going to throw into the title, into the customer and keep your title, let's say your title indexing value at a thousand characters when we're only allowed 250. And we only might only have a hundred characters in the title. 

So, we can just keep Amazon flipping our title over through A-B split testing. That's going to keep those certain relevant, very core relevancy keywords right at the top in our title. So where we see a difference, and I think where we need to look at understanding the data is we'll take a product. It might have two or three or four, maybe five size variations. Let's keep it simple and stay with two. 

The product might be a technical product. It might be a product that has a premium price point or just to say average value. We will split test the product and we'll use the same title on both sizes. So variation title is what it is. But what we see is different results. Customers choose title A for the small size and they choose title B for the big size. So what do we see from that? Obviously, there's a price point difference in the size variation. 

So, the size variation might mean that actual people that are looking to kind of test the product out, they're looking to test this one, test out the brand. Let's say if it's skincare, does it work for them? Um, there's no point buying big and then sending it back and it doesn't work for them. So does the product work for them? They're going to try the small option. They might be new to this type of a niche. And again, the price point is going to dictate which product they're going to look at. 

So, with all due respect, sometimes on the small size titles, we can dumb it down and it will show that on your Ads. So yes, it's a variation. When someone's on the listing, the title will show whichever best variation Amazon want to put forward, which is converting the best. They'll put that variation forward. But when we're presenting Ads in new categories or across the board, we want to be using let's say that very simple title, if it's the low value item in the variation, we want to say, hey, here's a very basic listing title. Here's what it does, and here's how it does it. 

On the bigger title, we can then, let's say, again, staying with the skin cream, people, they know exactly what they're looking at. They know they want this type of a product, and we want to then add on extra attributes to say, to go into ingredient breakdown. This one has this ingredient and this ingredient and this ingredient. It's so adding on the layers and the complexities to the type of customer that we're really looking at. And we've seen, we've run multiple tests on this and we see, you know, at first we thought this is impossible. We're running variations and 90% will buy A and 90% will buy B. So that's how we've kind of utilized it into making sure we can test it with the first title and run it as a difference. 

And then we can start changing up those titles and changing up certain keywords and functions for the type of customer we're going to go after. Let's say if we're looking at an electrical product, an electrician's product, or a tradesman's product, they want to know what kind of detail it is, what the voltage certifications it has, whether it might just be a DIYer who's looking for a tester, the title breakdown can be completely different. Even though it's the same product and it's on the same listing, it's just on being able to pull the right click in and close that right sale. 

So when you've got creation, there's certain elements like that. And then this is where we keep building. For example, we know that we're adding in a very relevant factor for the title. Let's say we take in on a new listing, we can optimize the title and we want to now benchmark it. We know that there's certain functions of that title that are very relevant. It's part of the hero keywords that we use. That's very, very relevant. We need to now make sure that it's not just the title that's going to get a click on it, but we know that we're pushing out relevancy on this. We really need to see that relevancy on those certain element keywords that we're putting through that has a consistency throughout the whole listing.

It's not just a case of having a magnificent title, as we've kind of been through already. It's about having a magnificent title that feeds straight into magnificent bullet points that are then reinforced by the images that will then reinforce the messages that we've already spoken to in the title, we've already gone through in the bullets. And it's just that process of reinforcement on it. 

So A, B split testing, tested, tested, tested, tested. There's always something to test there. There's always learnings. And I think the good thing is that nowadays we can test multiple elements. There's on the Ad side, you can test your different Ad, your Ad graphics. You can test on the A, B split, you can test your different A plus. If you really want to look at dialing in your desktop versus your mobile, start, get it all underway and get the testing done. You'll only learn from it. You know what I mean? It's only going to give you valuable insights. Here's the data set that was presented to consumers and they bought this. You then need to work out why. Why and how do we get more?

Paul Sonneveld
Fantastic. That's great, Tim. I'm looking at the clock. We're going to have to wrap it up, unfortunately. I think we could just go much, much deeper into various aspects. I will. Before we go, I always pose a question to the speaker. For those that are tuning in live or maybe watching our on-demand webinar afterwards, they want to get in touch with you. What's the best way to get hold of Tim McKenzie and explore some of these concepts further?

Tim McKenzie
Yeah, you're welcome to hit me up on my email address,, or you're welcome to just, yeah, snag me. Yeah, exactly. Thank you. Or just snag me on LinkedIn. Let's hook up through LinkedIn and get a conversation on the way.

Paul Sonneveld
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the show today, Tim. Really appreciate it. Thank you.

Tim McKenzie
Well, thanks so much for having me.

Paul Sonneveld
Okay, everyone, well, that is a wrap for today. Thank you so much for tuning in to today's enlightening episode on conversion rate optimization. If you're hungry for more, don't forget to visit our video on demand library on our website for a treasure trove of insights and agency best practices. And of course, if you're aiming to streamline your agency's analytics to gain sharper insights, make sure to reach out to us and discover how MerchantSpring can transform your journey. 

Lastly, I am all ears for what you'd like to hear next. Do you have a topic in mind or a burning question? Share your ideas with me in terms of what we can cover in terms of future episodes. Until next time, keep thriving, keep innovating, and thank you so much for listening. Take care.


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