Is there a specific keyword, which ranking for would make all the difference for your product?
If so, 2-Step URLs are the ranking tool you need to rank for that keyword, and enjoy the organic search traffic that comes with it.
Organic search is the backbone of any Amazon seller’s traffic acquisition strategy. If you can get sales through Amazon search, rather than having to rely on paid traffic, you’ll have higher profit margins and more flexibility with your pricing.
Owning the Amazon SERP (search engine results page) is simply a huge competitive advantage.
The 2-Step URL is a proven way to boost your rankings, targeting specific keywords that hold the most value to you.
Read on, and we’ll explain all you need to know about 2-Step URLs, and how to use them to rank your product for difficult keywords.
What is a 2-Step URL?
A 2-Step URL replicates a search for a specific keyword when you send someone to your product listing.
2-Step URLs do exactly as the name says. You send customers to your product listing in two steps.
First, they land on a search result page for your target keyword. Then the customer clicks through to your product listing, as if they searched for that keyword and found your product themselves.
This sends a signal to Amazon that your product is a popular choice for the given keyword, and the search algorithm ranks your product higher as a result.
Your 2-Step URL will look something like this:
This will bring up a search for “security camera” in this company’s storefront. You’ll see the keywords used for the search embedded in the URL.
The string of numbers after “me=” is the seller ID (or merchant ID).
If the shopper makes a purchase through that link, Amazon’s algorithm will see it as the result of an organic search. Thus increasing your product’s rank in future searches for that search term.
How do I create a 2-Step Storefront URL?
It takes less than a minute to find your storefront URL, and make a URL that replicates the search term you desire.
First, go to your Amazon storefront. Here’s how to get there: go to one of your product listings and click on your store name’s link. Either right under your title, or by where it says “Sold by.” Then click on your Amazon seller name.
[You may have to log out of your seller account to be able to access your storefront. Amazon will only show items in a storefront page that you are able to purchase. This means if you are in a country they don’t deliver to, or you are the seller of those products, they won’t show.]
From this page, click on the link to your storefront.
This will take you through to a page with all your active listings. Now put your targeted keyword in the search bar at the top. You’ll notice that instead of searching within a specific department, the search is now within only your Amazon store.
Once you search for your keyword within your Amazon storefront, you’ll have your 2-Step URL. If you have more than one product appearing for the same keyword, you might want to narrow the search even further to show only your desired listing.
Do this by adding the product ASIN at the end of the URL. After the keyword(s), add “&field-asin=[yourASIN]”.
The result will be a search, within your storefront, for a specific search term, isolated to the ASIN you specified.
Alternative 2-Step URLs
A storefront URL is the most common to use, as it reduces the chances that your customer could accidentally buy someone else’s product. However there are different variations of the 2-Step URL, which some sellers find more or less effective.
2-Step Brand URL
The brand URL works the same way, except the search is within the brand search page. This may or not be the same name as your store, however the brand page appears differently to the storefront page.
In this example, the brand is “Nintendo”:
A 2-Step brand URL with keywords will bring up a search results page like this:
As for how to create a brand URL, it’s a little trickier than a storefront URL. Since Amazon won’t let you do a manual search confined to the brand page, you won’t be able to replicate this URL on your own. Rather, you will need a service or software to automate this search (luckily, LandingCube’s URL builder does just that!)
This 2-Step URL confines a keyword search to a particular ASIN. As with other variants of the 2-Step URL, a click from this page will result in an organic clickthrough, containing your chosen search term.
Take this example:
This is effective as it ensures your ASIN is the only one that will show up on the results page. Further reducing the chance of your customer clicking and buying a different product.
To create a field-ASIN URL, copy the format above. All you need to change are the bolded terms (keywords, and ASIN). Be sure to include a “+” sign in between if your keyword has multiple words.
How to Boost Your Rankings Using 2-Step URLs
Finding your 2-Step URL is not hard. But how do you actually use 2-Step URLs to boost your rankings?
You’ll need to send traffic (customers) to your 2-Step keyword URL. If you get a lot of sales coming through a specific keyword, your product will move up in rank for it.
Here’s how to use 2-Step URLs in a product launch or targeting ranking campaign.
Step One: Keyword Research
The first step is to decide which keyword(s) to target.
This should be a core part of setting up and optimizing your listing in the first place. You should already have a collection of search terms relevant to your product, with a lot of search volume.
Choose which keyword you want to go after. You’ll generally want to target the highest volume keywords that you are not yet ranking #1 for.
You can choose multiple keywords, rotating which links are shown to your customers, but don’t use too many, as it will be hard to get enough traffic to each one. Focus on 1-2 at a time.
Step Two: Make Your 2-Step URL(s)
Next, set up your URLs you’re going to use for this campaign.
You can use the methods we showed above to make a keyword URL. Or you can use LandingCube’s link builder to make it easier.
There are a few big advantages of using this tool, over manually creating links yourself.
- You can set up one link that rotates to target multiple keywords
- This means the first customer to click the link goes to keyword #1. The second goes to keyword #2. And so on.
- You can adjust the weight of each keyword – keep it evenly split between each, or show one keyword 70% and another 30%, for example.
- The tool lets you shorten your link to something brandable and easy to type in.
- You can add your own domain name to the think.
- You can integrate the Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics or other tracking code with the link.
- An analytics dashboard lets you track your links’ performance in one place.
Step Three: Send Traffic
Finally, you need to send traffic to your 2-Step keyword URL.
This will have to be traffic from outside Amazon – you’re not allowed to send marketing material to people on Amazon. So you may need to take some time to learn how to use external traffic sources effectively.
Common traffic sources include:
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
- Other social media platforms (paid/organic)
- Your website
- Links on packaging and product inserts
It’s most common to use Facebook Ads or Google Ads for a campaign like this.
You don’t just want to send traffic to your links haphazardly. If you send a lot of low-intent, non-converting traffic, you could hurt your product’s conversion rate, and actually end up with lower rankings.
We advise you to “warm up” your traffic first. When you run a Facebook or Google Ads campaign, create a landing page for your product, and direct your ads to this page.
This serves to filter out anyone who is not yet ready to buy, or not really interested in your product.
The link to buy your product from the landing page will be your 2-Step URL, eventually leading to your product listing.
(Setting this up is simple if you use LandingCube, with the URL builder built in to the landing page generator).
With this method, you can be sure that anyone making it to your listing is in buy-now mode, and will likely convert to a sale.
Step Four: Track Your Rankings
You should be tracking where you rank for your target keywords before starting your launch. So make sure you continue to track where your product ranks throughout the campaign.
Ideally, your product will increase in rank and start making more organic sales. It’s possible that you don’t see any movement however, in which case you’ll need to think about using a different URL type, increasing your traffic volume, or potentially changing your target to a less competitive keyword.
Tip #1: Include an incentive to buy
One potential downside to consider when running ads to a 2-Step URL is the added friction. You’re giving customers a extra steps to go through before buying, so it’s best to give potential buyers a good reason for the added effort, such as a discount code.
Super high discounts (over 70%) may be ineffective, as highly discounted sales carry less weight for rankings. But something small (less than 30%) is a good enough incentive for the customer, will still rank your product, and also lets you ask for reviews afterwards.
Tip #2: Run your campaign for at least a week
When you’re spending money on Facebook Ads, as well as the cost of a discount, it can be tempting to stop your 2-Step URL campaign as soon as you start to see results.
However, make sure you continue your campaign for a little while after your rankings start to go up. But Amazon wants to see sustained sales volume, which means you may lose your ranking gains if you stop the campaign straight away.
We’d say you should run your launch for at least a week. However, this may differ from case to case. For more competitive keywords, you could need to run a campaign longer than this to see results.
Are 2-Step URLs Legal?
The legality of tactics such as 2-Step URLs and Super URLs is a bit of a grey area.
Amazon’s Terms of Service forbids “Activities that could be perceived as attempting to manipulate Amazon’s search results or sales rankings”. Whether this includes directing traffic through specific keywords is unclear.
Amazon doesn’t give us any information on the matter, and at this stage, we are not aware of any sellers facing disciplinary action for using 2-Step URLs. If Amazon cracks down, it’s likely they will do so with a change to the search algorithm or URL structure, that may render this method defunct.
2-Step URLs vs. Amazon Super URLs
Super URLs, up until recently, were the big thing for Amazon sellers trying to artificially inflate keyword search volume. And while it’s not 100% clear, most sellers report that Super URLs don’t work anymore.
2-Step URLs differ from Super URLs in that the customer still has to click through to your product listing. Thus, each time you direct someone to your storefront URL, the result will be a unique click with a unique timestamp.
There are enough reports from seasoned Amazon sellers to show that the day of the Super URL is over, but 2-Step URLs are still effective.
2-Step URLs vs Search Find Buy
The newest variation of the 2-Step URL is the Search Find Buy method.
With Search Find Buy, you send people to the normal search page for your keyword, rather than something like a Storefront URL or Brand URL. Then the customer has to look through the search results, find your product, and buy it.
Search Find Buy is considered a more organic way of ranking products, since it’s the regular search page, and there’s nothing to distinguish this from an actual organic search.
The downside is that Search Find Buy takes a lot more work for the customer, so the incentive for them needs to be better. That’s why it’s usually combined with full-price rebates after purchase.
2-Step Storefront URL Case Study
Not sure if 2-Step URLs really work for ranking?
We put together a case study with one LandingCube user, Dave, who also wanted to test whether storefront URLs actually worked.
The result was that Dave was able to rank his product over 20+ copycats, get the Amazon choice badge, and maintain those rankings without even running high discounts or PPC.
What Does The Future Hold For Amazon Keyword Rankings?
The details of the Amazon search algorithm are a closely-guarded secret – kept right next to the 11 herbs and spices.
This is not likely to change any time soon. However, as sellers continually test different ranking methods, we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t for Amazon product launches.
The common perception is that most Super URLs have stopped working. But from what we know from prominent figures in the Amazon seller community, 2-Step URLs (and Search Find Buy) are still going strong.
This may change in the future, but for now, consider 2-Step URLs a key part of your ranking toolbox.
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