Marcel, thank you for joining me. I have no idea what time it is for you, but I'm going to assume it's early. Why don't you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself and Intellirank?
James, thank you for having me. It's actually, 11:00 AM here. So it's morning. I just had my coffee and managed to do a little bit of, work. Yeah. So my name is Marcel Marculescu, I'm the CEO and Co-founder of Intellirank. We're an agency servicing Amazon and Walmart sellers. So what we're doing actually, we're helping them, build more visibility on the Amazon and Walmart platforms and also on social media. So depending on the needs, we are trying and we're dealing with organic traffic, that's our main source. Yeah, and I'm happy to be here. Thank you.
Cool. All right. So last time we chatted we were obviously talking about Q4 and you just mentioned, organic ranking, and I think that was on your mind. Why is that on your mind in Q4? Like, why now?
Well, actually, organic ranking is on my mind always because it's, yeah, you know, it's one of the ways for every seller out there to be visible. Now, visibility is achieved in two ways. We always have two options, the paid version, All organic. Now, what we're trying to do and what we're helping sellers is to gain and benefit from the organic positioning in this area, we're looking into product testing campaigns, more visibility, running different, free programs within the platform, like on Amazon, we have Amazon posts, which is free at the moment. So we still in better testing. It's free visibility as long as everyone out there, you know, knows about it and leverages it.
So, our main goal is to educate mainly we're educating our let's say, audience and the whole idea behind it is to build up healthy habits into posting daily into doing daily looking at the metrics, doing daily tweaks and measuring the results, experimenting. So one problem we had and also I had as an Amazon seller is that when I started on Amazon back in 2017, that's when the product was alive at the beginning of 2017, you know, I was emotionally attached to the product and going back then, you know, makes me also a bit nervous right now because, you know, whenever we're attached to the product, we're trying to put the images, put the text as we think it's the best way forward, but in marketing and on the Amazon and all the other e commerce platforms out there, it's about what the customers say. And how they want it to be perceived and how they want to see it. So this is how you know it's important for everyone to look at it from the perspective of the buyers.
So by looking from the perspective of the buyer, what's in it for me? The whole idea
behind it and what I'm trying to say is that always try to experiment. Try to test things and get metrics about how your product is performing and last but not, let's say, more or less important would be the fact to always, always look at what your competitors are doing and try to get more ideas from there.
So that's the way to success. Now, coming back to Q4. Now this is like, and I can make a very nice, let's say way of putting thing is like, we have a prime day every day. So imagine that for most of the niches out there, it's a prime day every day. The spikes probably that you see during prime day are now every day. And the moment we are recording this is the most important moment of the year, because everyone is buying, buying, buying, preparing for Christmas, preparing to gifts for the loved ones.
So everyone is on the sales rush on mostly on Amazon. Walmart also is gaining a very, very, competitive advantage. So they're growing and it's important to look at it and leverage it and how you can leverage it, paid ads or get organic positioning. Is that simple?
Yeah, makes sense. I mean, there's a lot of traffic certainly to give you a lot of data to measure as well, like for your testing and so on. So, just going back a step a little bit, what is organic ranking like, talk to me as if, I’m a very simple person and talk about it, like how it's relevant to both Walmart and Amazon. So, what is it? Why is it important? I think you touched on that, and how do you track that? Like, how should you track that? So I'm keen to hear your thoughts.
Super. Very good questions, James. So, first of all, whenever you're going and a customer is going onto the Amazon and or Walmart platform, I'll stick to Amazon for the discussion purposes, for this example purposes. Whenever you're searching for a product, you're typing in that search box. So if you're looking for, let's say, a yoga mat, you'll be putting there yoga mat, the keyword. And Amazon will provide you with some suggestions. But As soon as you press enter and you hit the search button, you'll get a lot of results there from different sellers.
So the whole idea is how you look at it from the customer perspective. They just look at the main image, at the pricing, at the, you know, maybe the number of stars in the review section. But what's very important to also look at is the actual, you know, there's a small text there that says sponsored or not. So if you have that sponsored text there, you'll see that someone paid in order to be displayed on that search result for that particular keyword.
Organic ranking means that you're there and you're not paying to be displayed there. So this is the cheapest way to get traffic to your listing. Because, you know, imagine for PPC, for every click that someone is, let's say, adding to that unique click, let's go like this, every unique click that someone is getting on that sponsored listing of sponsored product, they will be paying and depending on the niche that can go from Let's say 1$ to a lot of dollars.
So, sponsored is very, very expensive. Of course, in the end is the sale that counts because you may get a lot of clicks if you're not selling, that's a problem. This is with sponsored. With organic, this is how Amazon is looking and analyzing your product and displaying it at the top of the search results without paying for every click. So every click that you get from there, it's free. It doesn't matter if it's one or 1000, God help, you know, it's important to be there and get all the clicks and accumulate all the traffic.
Now this is the difference. I don't want to say that organic is the only way to go forward. I'm also into it for the paid version. So try to balance it and try to balance your spend in order to be there and displayed. Can you imagine if you're there sponsored and also organic, this is a huge marketing advantage because you get more real estate. And everyone is purchasing usually from the top of the page one.
So if you're looking for the yoga mat, the older results that will be displayed there, usually people stick to placing the purchase within the first results. So they do not go to page seven and find your product there and purchase it. So, that's not something that a regular customer does. Most of the customers will be purchasing from the top of page one more specifically.
Now, in order to track your ranking, there are different tools out there. I'm sure that everyone in the industry is familiar with them Helium10 I don't know, Junglescout a lot of them have this option to track the ranking of the product on specific keywords. So, always always look at how your product is behaving, and especially now with Q4, and this is, very transparently, this is a very good, time of the year to test your product.
If your product hasn't been selling throughout the year, and it's not selling now, considering that it may be giftable and be in those areas because if you're selling, I don't know, tires or something winter, not winter, let's say, summer tires, it's probably not a good, season for you, but, you know, considering the winter and, you know, your product, usually people know their product. Think about it.
If you're selling this period of the year and also track your competitors, if they're making millions this period of the year and you're not, you might have something to work on there in order to make a product better to get more visibility to get more exposure because in marketing, people need to see your product multiple times before they actually click it and you convince them to click the button, to click your main image.
And this is going back to experiments experimenting on the main image. It's also called the hook. So whenever you're working on this, you want the people to click on it and land on your listing. As soon as they are on the listing. Now the listing has to convince them to place that to hit that buy button. And that's when the magic happens. That's how the sales come in and the money is made. So, Yeah.
Understand. So just on the tracking of it, right? And you mentioned yoga mats as an example, so would you be tracking the organic ranking? Just for like, how many search terms or words would you be tracking the organic ranking for? Like, and how do you determine that?
That's a very good question again. So, whenever you're starting on Amazon, usually the first thing that you need to do is a keyword research, considering that you've done all the product research and everything in between. Now, keyword research would mean actually getting all the keywords related to your product and arranging them into different, let's say columns. I look at Excel and I'm looking at the columns. On the first column, you'll have all the relevant keywords. So, everything that is directly relevant to your product. So if we're talking again about yoga mats and I don't know if you have a specific, type of yoga mat, a specific feature that you've added to the product, it's very important to be yoga mat and that specific thing that you've added to it.
So, it's like non-slip yoga mat would be an example or maybe cork yoga mat. This will actually define and be directly relevant to your product. Now, if you don't have this feature, then, it's important to always stick to whatever you're delivering, because you want to be very straight bullseye to the point. Now, this will be the very relevant type of keywords that you can find around your product. Of course, within this category, within this column, you would add all the other yoga mat related keywords. But the whole idea would be to make sure that they're directly relevant to your product. Now, this would be the first column.
The second column would be the somehow relevant keywords. You want to add here maybe different type of other keywords that are, you know, a way to reach out to your product. So you don't want to be very aggressive on this, but it's a nice to have because people are, you know, looking for, I don't know, for different type of other keywords on the Amazon marketplace and end up also with your non-slip yoga mat. Let's take that one, for example. So in that category, I would look at maybe some other type of yoga products that are on the market. Yoga products that are somehow relevant to your yoga mat. So they have to be relevant to the yoga mat.
Next to it, I see more of the different type of keywords that are seasonal. So, for example, this period, it's important to have like gift yoga mat. And, you know, present yoga mat, different type for different holidays for different type of different periods of the year, you can adapt your yoga mat to different holidays.
So right now, everything should be giftable, should be in that area.
People don't have an idea what to be a good gift for a yoga instructor, for example, so or something like that. If they're searching for a gift for yoga instructor on the Amazon marketplace for this keyword, a yoga mat could be a nice gift, so you would want to be there as well. But this is only, okay to handle during this period of the year, not throughout the entire year, even though it might be a birthday gift for a yoga instructor or you have to think about it.
So having this categories of keywords and having your keyword research done properly is the first element of marketing because everything in marketing is handled by keywords. You will be targeting keywords through PPC. So the sponsored, then the paid Ads, you also want organically to know where you're positioned on these keywords. And at the end of the day, you will need to know what your product is about and what you're selling, to be honest. So yeah, hope that is clear for everyone out there. Yeah.
Yeah. It makes sense. Now just moving on to influencing. The organic ranking that you mentioned, like the columns in your spreadsheet and how you think about related words and terms and so on. But can you give us like the building blocks for influencing organic ranking. What are they?
So in order to do that, let's go back to the basics. How is ranking done on the Amazon platform? And I'm talking about organic ranking. Amazon is in this game for the money, of course. So the organic ranking is calculated based on not on the number of units that you're selling, but rather on the amount of money that you're selling on that specific keyword.
So if we're targeting non-slip yoga mat, and this is the example keyword that we're looking at. All the search results there, not the sponsored one, but the sponsored one are based on the actual bidding that's being done on the product, but the organic results on this keyword are calculated. You know, there are a lot of factors behind, I don't want to get very technical, but the most important factor out there is the actual the amount of money you're getting from your sales considering.
So if there's one person selling a non-slip yoga mat for 20$, and there's another one selling a non-slip yoga mat for 60$, imagine that for this person selling for 60$, they can sell one yoga mat. While the others can sell three in order to be approximately the same in rank. So it's not about a matter of units, but rather amount of money they are spending.
Of course, this is a simple way of explaining it again. I don't want to get too technical because nobody knows exactly how amazon is taking things into consideration like add to carts, buyer behavior. They have a lot of algorithms that are working towards the actual ranking. But this is from what we've seen and from my personal experience, the best way to look at it and understand it, how it's working.
And in the end, it's a matter of selling on that specific keyword. That's the most powerful signal that you can send to Amazon. And by selling, you'll get you know, to the top of the search results slowly, because Amazon loves making money. You know, they're in this game for the money, not for the beauty of your product and the nice features that you've added to it.
It's always about making money. And of course, Amazon will do it'll go with an extra mile and present your product in front of their customers in different ways. Maybe email marketing afterwards, follow ups and a lot of other things. If as long as your product and if your product is considered to be a good one is desired, it gets quality review. So I'm sure that some people have noticed that like a bad review, like one star review.
Sometimes we'll get the sales on the product to drop. That's because, you know, in Amazon's algorithm, the product has, like, you know, has hit a bump in the road and, yeah, they're slowing it down a bit just to be sure that, hey, is this, something that you, is a one-time thing? Will you remedy the problem? Or, yeah, so they're always, you know, building up algorithms and trying to get people to, to sell more, to sell quality products. And if all those are in favor of the customer, then it's a good product to push and that's how Amazon is looking at the organic ranking.
Yeah, it's interesting about the sell mount. That's really interesting. I mean, it's, I certainly didn't expect that answer from you. So that's interesting. So just going back a bit, you mentioned Amazon posts. Now people have obviously heard of that, but, but tell us about how that influences ranking like in your world, like how does, how does that influence this whole organic thing?
I would target the Amazon post not for the ranking, but rather for visibility and free traffic. The ranking is influenced when the people are searching for a keyword usually or buying and following up on a specific keyword. But Amazon posts, and I want to elaborate more on this subject because it's really a hot one. Amazon posts is currently in beta.
Now, approximately one year ago, Amazon has launched another closed beta program, which is called Amazon Inspire. The whole purpose of Amazon Inspire is to actually build a TikTok like shopping experience on the Amazon platform. So, you know, based on the interest that you select there, everything happens on the Amazon app on the Amazon platform. So, every customer will select his interests on the platform. So let's say you're looking into home and kitchen, you're into pets and into sports and outdoors. So based on those interests, they will feed you with the content in Amazon inspire, I'm talking now.
Content that is being grabbed and pulled from where, from your reviews. So people that have left a review with a photo and or video from your actual videos and photos that have been added to your listing from your Amazon posts that you've created for that specific product and it's relevant for that specific category of products. So all this, it's here to help you get more visibility on the platform because people are used to this, swipe up, swipe up, swipe up and looking at things. They'll be looking at a lot of products and sometimes, oh, I see a product that I didn't know I needed it, but hey, it's solving a problem. Maybe I don't need any more to, get dirt on my hands whenever I'm gardening. So I can now use gloves. I didn't know that. So, yeah, never know. You know, life may amaze you.
So the whole idea behind it is to leverage all this and try to get as much content out there on the Amazon platform because this will get you visibility, will get you clicks and eventually will end up with some sales. Never know. Free sales, free money for you. In terms of doing some work into creating and getting authenticity, I would say, is the key factor here. Authentic content people, you know, not, you know, like studio lights and everything. Of course, you can pose that as well is good for your product, maybe in the sales category, the sales part of the product.
But you need also authenticity. You need to see regular people that are using your product and say how it feels, how big it is in their hand. If it's a small product to actually send this image out there to the other customers on the platform. And this way, you're getting more and more and more followers for your brand.
So this is a huge opportunity. Of course, you need to have brand registry. So your brand has to be brand registered. So this is a must. But you get more and more people that will interact with your brand. And if they like you, they will follow your brand. And guess what? You build up followers. You're getting into social media.
Yeah. So Amazon is really leveraging up their game. That's for sure. Yeah. And trying to get as many as, you know, as keeping, actually they're trying to keep the people on the Amazon platform, not to go anywhere else on, who needs Tik Tok or Instagram, they can use Amazon for that.
Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Can I have one last question? I know we're at 21,
But tell us about Amazon Inspire. I mean, that's the first time I've heard of it, but tell us about like what it is, how you came across it. How do you get involved? Like, give us your, your knowledge on this.
So it's available only for a closed beta group of people that are testing the actual software. So Amazon is slowly releasing things. So whenever they're launching a new product, they'll be releasing it to a small batch of, of sellers and then spreading it to a lot more.
So, for example, like Amazon post, Amazon post now is like an open data, so to speak, because everyone has access to it. But, Amazon inspire is quite at the beginning. Like I said, it was launched a year ago, on December 2022. And, yeah, what they're trying to do is to get exactly what I explained to get people to stay on the platform. So this means that, they will be feeding them with different, social media, let's say, content that is being pulled from your listing.
So the whole idea of inspire is to keep people on the platform. This is my thoughts. So yeah, according to that, again, it will become available to everyone in time. But right now they're testing. The best advice I could give to everyone could give to everyone out there is to start posting and using content and using Amazon posts.
And, you know, you can also leverage the Q and A section on your listing whenever someone is, yeah, you can ask a friend maybe sometimes to land and, you know, a question on your listing. Hey, is this true that this product is doing this and that? And you end up replying with a nice explanatory video.
So that's the best strategy to actually get authenticity out there and get people out there to talk about your product. Like, hey, I just used James’ new product here and I'm happy to help people to see the new features that they added. They're solving my problems and helping me do this and that.
And you know, people want to see, because whenever it comes to marketing, the product needs to either enchant you in any way or actually solve one of your problems. So we're trying to get a better life and easier life. So yeah, sometimes we don't know that all the products, whatever they're doing. So yeah.
It's always about pleasure or pain. Yeah, it depends.
I haven't heard that one before, but yeah, cool. All right. Well look, Amazon, that was a great, great way to finish. I've not heard of that. And you know, I think the next time we get you on to talk, maybe we can just talk about posts and Amazon Inspire actually that would be really interesting. We're at 25 minutes myself. So, thank you again for making time and, and yeah, certainly some answers I didn't expect. So really appreciate it.
Thank you for having me, James. And yeah.