Ranking tactics or “hacks” are nothing new to Amazon sellers. The current, and most effective hack is Search Find Buy.
Previously used ranking tactics have mostly fallen away, as Amazon has become more sophisticated in picking up tricks Amazon sellers use to reach the top of the search results.
While the best way to rank your products is simply to build an optimized listing and give customers a product they’re going to love, tactics like these can be hugely beneficial by giving you a leg up in competitive search categories.
Read on, and we’ll explain all you need to know about Amazon Search Find Buy, and how you can start using this in your ranking strategy.
A Brief History of Amazon Ranking Hacks
As long as ranking on Amazon has been valuable, Amazon sellers have had ways to manipulate their listings to be favored in the search results.
“Rank manipulation” is actually against Amazon’s seller policies. That’s why ranking tricks are often changing, as Amazon works to shut down popular hacks.
These tactics are even going mainstream, as seen in the Wall Street Journal’s article “How Sellers Trick Amazon to Boost Sales”.
Extreme tactics, like the click farms and fake reviews mentioned in the above article, are clearly against the rules, and will get you banned. There are, however, less extreme tricks which are unlikely to get you in trouble – including Search Find Buy.
Here are a few other ranking tactics that came before SFB:
Unsophisticated search engines are pretty easy to fool by overloading your page with the keywords you want to rank for. On Amazon in particular, it used to be simple to rank, by filling your product listing with keywords, to appease the algorithm.
Today, the Amazon search algorithm is far too complex to be fooled so easily. If you over inflate your keyword density, your rankings are likely to drop. Worse still, you’ll lose out on sales from people who do make it to your listing, as overuse of keywords will hurt your sales copy.
Starting around 2016-2017, sellers started using super URLs to rank. These URLs would mimic the Amazon URL structure, to direct ranking power towards particular keywords.
This is important because you want Amazon to see your product as a popular choice for specific search terms with a lot of search volume. Ranking your products for these keywords will thus result in more organic sales.
Most super URLs don’t work anymore, as Amazon is able to detect these and disregard the keywords when it comes to ranking.
2-step URLs are the solution to super URLs losing effectiveness. The idea is the same – show Amazon you have a lot of sales for a particular keyword, and Amazon will rank you high for that keyword.
The difference with 2-step URLs, is you send people to a search page, with your keyword filled out. When they click through to your product, this is a unique click every time, with a unique timestamp. Thus Amazon doesn’t pick up on it the same way they do with super URLs.
2-step URLs are still effective in 2021. However some people report they don’t carry as much weight for ranking, and there are sometimes problems where products don’t show up correctly in search results.
What is Search Find Buy (SFB)?
Search Find Buy works very much like a 2-step URL. It gives an organic, natural-looking clickthrough from the search term you want to rank for.
As for what it is, the name tells all. It’s designed to get the customer to search, find and buy your product, as if they went to Amazon, searched for a keyword and found your product naturally.
Compared to sending a potential customer to your product directly, this is much more powerful if your goal is to rank for a certain keyword.
By sending someone through a direct link, the sale won’t be attributed to one keyword in particular. However, with Search Find Buy, Amazon sees the customer searched for that keyword and bought your product, and ranks your product higher as a result.
How to Use SFB to Rank Your Products
Here’s how to utilize Search Find Buy properly, and start ranking higher.
First, you need to get people into your SFB funnel. This usually comes from Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or an email blast (if you have an email list).
In your ad, a landing page or a ManyChat flow, you offer the customer a generous discount for buying your product. Technically you can do this without a discount, but you’ll have much fewer people willing to go and find your product, and buy it.
When you give the link to your customers, you’ll usually send them to the Amazon search page with the search term already filled out, and give them instructions on how to find your product (main image, title, reviews, star rating and price).
Customers will find your product, redeem the promotion, and buy your product.
You’ll want to track your results here, in terms of how many people reached your landing page/ManyChat flow, how many clicked the SFB link, how many actually went on to buy the product, and also changes in rank for your target keyword.
By tracking results, you’ll be able to tell whether your Search Find Buy campaign was a success, or whether you may be better off trying another method.
Now, here are some tips to help you run SFB effectively.
Best traffic source
The first step is where you get your traffic from. The most popular and effective ways to drive traffic are from Facebook Ads, Google Ads, organic social media, or your email list.
Email traffic is often the cheapest and most effective out there. That’s why you should put effort into building your email list.
Organic social media is much the same. Pages don’t have much reach with regular posts anymore, but if you’re able to build a community, such as a Facebook group, these can be a great way to get your promotion in front of people for little to no cost.
On the other hand, Facebook allows you to scale much further, and reach a lot more new customers. It can be expensive when you’re first starting out though.
Google Ads are the forgotten ad platform for Amazon sellers. They have the potential to bring in a lot of additional sales, mostly through people searching for your keywords in Google search. Their suitability for SFB campaigns is questionable though, as you want more of a promotional platform, like Facebook.
Make sure you offer an incentive
Your incentive is a vital part of Search Find Buy. Why? Because you need some way to convince customers to go through the extra steps required to find your product.
If you don’t offer a discount, it’s unlikely that people will go and find your product among all the others in the search results. They’ll more than likely click on one of the products ranking higher than you, and you’ll end up driving more sales to your competitors.
SFB is often used together with 100% rebates (refund after purchase). This gives a golden reason for someone to find and buy your product, not any of your competitors.
Otherwise, you can use a discount code. Just be aware that a discount too low may not be a good enough incentive, and a discount too high (above ~70% off) may not carry much weight for ranking.
Make it easy – offer clear instructions
Even with a discount on the line, there’s a limit to how much initiative customers will take to find your product.
If it’s like finding a needle in a haystack, your potential customers will forget it and move on. Make your instructions super clear. Provide the main image, title, reviews, star rating and current price for your product. Even better, make sure it’s updated once or twice daily, in case your pricing/reviews change.
Only do SFB if your product is on the first 3 pages
Generally accepted best practice is to only do Search Find Buy for your products if it’s on the first three pages for the keyword you’re targeting. Otherwise, it’s just going to take too long for customers to find it, and your purchase rate will be too low.
If your product is lower than this, it’s best to try 2-step URLs instead, until you’re ranking a little higher. Alternatively, you could send people through a regular link to the product page, at least until you have a little more traction.
Are There Any Downsides to Search Find Buy?
SFB is a powerful way to rank for keywords, but there are some downsides. It’s not perfect for every situation.
First, it can be expensive, since you have to incentivize people to search and find your product. If you don’t have the budget to give a lot of discounts or rebates, consider a different method. Also, make sure the keyword you’re going after is worth the amount you spend. If the keyword doesn’t have enough search volume, it may not be worthwhile.
Finally, you’ve got to expect some decrease in conversions with Search Find Buy, because of the extra friction involved for customers. You might want to test a couple of different funnels, one with SFB and one without. Observe how many clicks and sales you get with each, as well as the impact on your rankings, to see if SFB is worth it.
How to Start Using Search Find Buy
The best way to start utilizing Search Find Buy in your Amazon ranking strategy is with our tool, LandingCube. Our link shortener features Search Find Buy (as well as various types of 2-step URL). You just need to put in your product URL, and we’ll generate a Search Find Buy link, which gives your customer instructions and up to date product information.
You can also track and manage your SFB links from within your analytics dashboard.
A Search Find Buy link generator is also part of our landing page builder, letting you make the button URL on your landing page a Search Find Buy link.
Check out this video to see how it works:
Amazon Search Find Buy: In Summary
In need of a way to rank against tough competitors for difficult keywords? Search Find Buy is here for you.
The key to ranking is to show Amazon that people are organically finding and buying your product for your target keyword(s). Once the search algorithm catches on to these signals, it will start pushing your product higher, and you’ll start to see the powerful organic sales flywheel kick into action.
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