#AmazonDomination: This series will take you start-to-finish through the process of finding a profitable retail opportunity and successfully capitalizing on it on the Amazon Marketplace. Part 2 is about finding good keywords to support the product niche you choose for your business.
The biggest (and most important) question that anyone wishing to sell online must answer is “what should I sell?” Many people make the mistake of trying to sell everything under the sun. There’s already someone doing that. And that someone is called Amazon!
Sure, you can piggyback on Amazon and squeeze out a few sales by playing the numbers game, but to really shine, to really DOMINATE, you need a niche.
A niche is a small, but profitable corner of a market that is less difficult to get established in than broader markets.
Tweet this: “To DOMINATE selling online, you must have a niche. #AmazonDomination”
Not only can you succeed being a niche seller on Amazon, but you can also open your own store and build your own brand. And that’s where the real money is.
Also, don’t think that a niche means you will have fewer products. You might, but that’s not always the case. There are just so many products out there that even niche stores can be superstores for their particular category. Someone like Walmart might sell folding umbrellas, but they certainly don’t sell every folding umbrella under the sun. That’s where your opportunity lies. You don’t need to go after that one big fish. Instead, you focus on finding many little fish.
Finding your niche
Your niche doesn’t necessarily have to be something you are passionate about. In fact, 9 out of 10 times, it probably won’t be what you are passionate about!
Let’s say you are a huge collector and fan of porcelain dolls. Just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean that there will be a significant number of people that are also passionate about them too, right? Take me, for example. I find them really scary. Their eyes just freak me out!
I say a significant number of people because that’s the main factor in starting any business or selling any product. If there isn’t enough demand, it just may not be worth your time and effort to pursue it.
Don’t let me discourage you from following your passion, though. It’s the first place you should start looking. The only reason I scared you with the porcelain dolls is to make it clear that you shouldn’t get too hung up on an idea because it’s your passion.
Selling things online is so exciting that if you do it with enough conviction, you are bound to become passionate about your niche by the time you are deep into it. You may just become the expert that everyone approaches!
Andrew Youderian has written a fantastic post about how to find a profitable ecommerce niche. In it, he lists 3 main criteria for choosing a product.
1) Pick a niche where you can add value
You don’t want to sell paper towels online. You can, but tough luck finding ways to add value! Choose something that’s a little complicated, so you can position yourself as an expert. I’ve written a post about ways to do this for both eBay and Amazon sellers.
While it’s not crucial in #AmazonDomination, having the option of adding value is always a big plus. You can use it to grow trust and credibility, and you can also send traffic from your website (if you have one) to your Amazon product page. It’s a win-win situation.
2) Target the right customer
There are three kinds of people who are the best customers. The first is people who are passionate about their hobbies. Let’s say porcelain dolls were super popular, and people were really passionate about buying paint and lacquer to keep them in tip top shape. A porcelain doll paint and lacquer shop (“love me!”) would be an example of an enthusiast specialty retailer.
Next up are people with problems. Especially embarrassing problems, the kind you buy solutions for in a more private environment. I’ll spare you the details and leave it up to your imagination.
Finally, there are B2B and government clients. These people are spending someone else’s money, so if they like you more than the other guy, they will buy from you and not really be too picky about the price. This category doesn’t really fit too smoothly into the #AmazonDomination system, because you can’t really control your persona on the Amazon marketplace, but it’s still good advice.
3) Find the right product
To find the right product, there are a few things that Andrew mentions you should take into consideration:
- Proper pricing. The $100-200 price range is the sweet spot. Tim Ferriss has mentioned this extensively, too.
- Providing support. For a really expensive item, you’ll be expected to provide a greater level of support. If you are a one man operation, this may be tough.
- Volumes and margins. Cheaper products will sell much more than more expensive products, so you’ll probably make more through volume selling lots of cheaper products than just a few expensive products.
- Sell small products. This is especially important for Amazon, which really digs its heels into you with fees and tight shipping rates. The smaller the product, the easier and cheaper it will be to ship.
There are a lot more criteria that Andrew talks about which you can check out in his post, but this much is a good enough intro for our purposes.
After having found our niche, we come to finding a good keyword. When brainstorming for keywords, the first thing you should ask yourself is: how would I look for this product? Let’s say the product you are selling is a motorized vacuum cleaner.
Some ways you may search for the product would be:
- The actual item itself: motorized vacuum cleaner, automatic vacuum cleaner, robotic vacuum, motorized vacuum, portable vacuum
- A description of what the item looks like: small round vacuum cleaner, flat vacuum with wheels, small robot like vacuum
- What the product does: vacuum that cleans automatically, vacuum that roams around the room, vacuum that I don’t need to push around
Think of a few keywords like this around your niche. Remember, right now, you are aiming for something pretty broad, so don’t worry about your final keyword just yet. Load this list of keywords in a spreadsheet.
Validate your ideas using keyword tools
Now, you want to load these keywords into the Keyword Planner Tool and see which of those show promise, and which of those aren’t any good. You will also get a list of related keywords that you can choose to add in your list.
For #AmazonDomination purposes, you want something that shows at least 200-300 searches. Like I mentioned it the last post, this number is usually lowballed, but you still want to keep a minimum threshold to make it worth your while.
You can also use Promediacorp’s Suggester tool and load all of their relevant suggestions into the spreadsheet you have.
Sifting through the mess
By now, you should have a decent list of keywords that all define your product. Go through your list and eliminate any that are not directly about your product – we don’t need these.
Once you are left with just relevant keywords, it’s time to see which ones are the most promising. This we can see by actually searching for keywords and seeing what results come up. Whichever keywords show ecommerce sites in the results are good. They might not all be from stores – if the results are a mix of the two, it’s actually better.
It’s also important to judge whether or not a keyword has commercial intent. For example, a keyword containing “best” or “review” has moderate commercial intent, but a keyword that has the word “manual” has very little.
Now we want to combine two or three keywords into a coherent, human-friendly phrase that we will use as the title of our product listing.
This works better because google is getting smarter with keyword phrases – it’s no longer about individual words or phrases, but more about intent and concepts.
Don’t throw away the rest of the keywords just yet – we will need to work them into the description we will write for our Amazon listing.
As for the keyword I will be using, well, that’s a surprise that I’ll spring on you guys in the next post! Cheers!