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Why Aren’t My Products Selling on Amazon?



Why Aren’t My Products Selling on Amazon?

You’re following everything you’ve learned on YouTube or Facebook about listing optimization for Amazon.

Maybe you’ve even paid an agency to optimize your listings.

But still, you just aren’t moving product.

A few years ago, if you just made sure you had a strong title, bullets, and images, it was enough to get your listing to sell on Amazon.

However, as the number of organic spots has shrunk, more placements go toward advertising, and competition has increased.

Making your listing easy to find on Amazon has become more challenging.

You will likely need a strategic plan, including a well-optimized listing and a well-thought-out ad strategy.


If your listing is not selling, this article will help you troubleshoot what could be stopping it from getting to the top of the Amazon search results.

Proper Keyword Research

One of the most fundamental pieces of a successful listing on Amazon is proper keyword research.

On Amazon, people primarily find products through search.

When customers visit Amazon, unless they come from an external link to a product, they are most likely typing what they want into the search bar.

They might enter hundreds of potential keyword research to find products.

There are several tools to help with keyword research.

I recommend a tool specializing in Amazon because the keywords you need will be different than for Google or other search engines.

Also, choose a tool that specifically shows you the potential search volume on Amazon.

My favorites are Merchant Words, Sellzone, and Helium10; each has its own strengths and we use a combination of all three.

Screenshot from Merchant Words, May 2022MerchantWords is one of several tools that can help you identify important keyword phrases for your Amazon listing.

Think of each keyword phrase as another potential door for people to find your product.

Each keyword phrase will attract specific types of customers.

Make sure you are ranking well for the most relevant keyword phrases for your product with search volume.

One of the most critical aspects of marketing products on Amazon is to make sure you have done the proper keyword research.

Missing important keyword phrases can significantly decrease your overall sales on Amazon.

As you do your keyword research, look at your product’s potential demand.

Here is a list of questions you should review after completing your keyword research:

  • Is there an existing search volume for my brand or product name?
  • Is there search volume for the keyword phrases my customers are most likely to type into Amazon?
  • Are there similar products selling well on Amazon?

You will need at least one of these questions to be a yes, for most products to succeed.

You will have the best start for a quick launch if your brand already has search volume because you can rank quickly for your name.

First, you should run some branded advertising campaigns to protect your branded SERPs (search engine result pages).


If no one is looking specifically for your brand or product, it is vital to have at least some highly relevant keywords to your product that have significant search volume.

If not, there might not be enough demand for your products yet on Amazon.

You can use Helium 10 or Merchant Words as a search volume estimator.

If you see that very similar products are selling well on Amazon, that shows you that there is demand for the product.

Do a reverse ASIN search on any of the earlier mentioned keyword tools to make sure you have correctly identified all of the most important keyword phrases your competitors are using to capture sales on Amazon.

Xray is a tool by Helium 10 that allows you to see estimated sales velocity for your competitor's products.Screenshot from Helium 10, May 2022Xray is a tool by Helium 10 that allows you to see estimated sales velocity for your competitor's products.

If you notice that other sellers have the same difficulty with sales, there may not be enough demand for the product you are trying to sell.

Alternatively, if you search and cannot find other people selling the product, it may be because there is not enough demand.

Once you have done your keyword research, look at the title, bullets, and structured data of your listing to make sure you have included your root keywords (the individual words that make up your essential keyword phrases).

Make Sure You Are Indexed

For example, if someone is searching for a women’s black cotton t-shirt on Amazon, you want specific terms indexed, such as “black shirt,” “women’s shirt,” and “cotton t-shirt.”


Customers cannot find you via those search terms if you are not indexed.

Not being indexed for the right keywords considerably affects your sales, affecting how customers find your products.

The easiest way to determine if you are indexed for specific keywords is to use the ASIN (Amazon standard identification number) tools on the Amazon market.

Enter your ASIN and look at the various keywords already indexed.

If you notice you are missing critical keywords, you may need to adjust.

You can also use the reverse search function of Merchant Words (ASIN Plus) or Helium 10 (Cerebro) to see the keywords those tools identified and are already indexed for your product.

Optimize Your Content And Product Descriptions

Optimizing your content and product descriptions is a balancing act.

You need to include as many root keywords as possible while making sure your copy is compelling to your potential buyers.


A few years ago, you wanted to include as many root keywords as possible.

It was all about increasing the number of keyword phrases your product could show up for in search.

However, since there is a finite number of ways and characters to index for on Amazon, you want to focus on the keywords with the most chance of ranking in the top three positions; this means being selective about the keywords you prioritize in your listing.

You may need to play around with the content to ensure it reads naturally but is also packed with relevant keywords that will help you get indexed.

You also need to ensure that the content and product descriptions differentiate you from your competitors while providing enough information about the product and answering any questions customers may have.

Additionally, you need to ensure that you have the right keywords in your content to get indexed where you need to be indexed.

If you notice that your product is still not selling, it may be time to play around with your content and product descriptions.

Consider rewriting the content or hiring a professional writer to help you, and see if your conversion rate improves.


Optimize Your Images

Written content is essential, but a picture says a thousand words.

Having well-optimized images is vital on Amazon, especially when you consider that only your title and images are above the fold on mobile.

You may struggle with your conversion rate and higher advertising costs if you have poor-quality images.

Robyn Johnson explains the power of optimized images in ecommerce listings on Amazon.

Robyn Johnson explains the power of optimized images in ecommerce listings on Amazon.

For most ads, your primary image will be the direct creative for your campaigns.

Many customers decide to do business with one seller over another simply because the other sellers’ images make their products more appealing.

Images should highlight the product, the product’s essential features, and the direct benefits.

While there are stringent rules about your primary image, your secondary images can give you a chance to provide important information about your product.

It also is one of the few areas on the Amazon Product Detail Page where you can create some brand continuity.


If you have trouble with your conversion rate, look at your competitor’s images. What questions do they answer that your images do not?

Do they showcase the product in a better light?

Do they show something about the product that your images are not showing?

If your competitors’ pictures are better than yours, it may be time to upgrade your images and see if you can increase your conversion rate.

Organically Gather Reviews

Another common reason your Amazon listing may not be converting is that you do not have reviews.

Nearly every buyer on Amazon takes the time to read at least a few reviews to determine if the seller is legit and if the product is worth the money.

As a rule of thumb, you should try to have at least 25 reviews to be retail-ready.

You may need fewer reviews if you are in a more specialized or niche category.


If you are in a more competitive category, you may need more reviews.

You do have to start somewhere, so if you have fewer reviews, focus on getting conversions for your product.

It is expected that about 1% to 3% of Amazon customers will leave a review.

If you do not have reviews, you can obtain them in a few different ways.

  • You can use the Amazon Request a Review Button.
  • You can use Vine (eligibility requirements).
  • You can use third-party tools to request reviews.

Additionally, you want to ensure that your reviews are honest and reputable.

Not only can you get in trouble if you pay for good reviews, but it may turn off buyers if they suspect the fake reviews. If you get one or two negative reviews, do not worry.

However, if you start getting many negative reviews, address why they are happening and work to prevent them.

Amazon is very sensitive about fake reviews and review programs.

This includes not having family or friends review your products or your competitors.


It is vital to read and understand Amazon’s policies around reviews.

Determine Whether You Have A Traffic Or Conversion Problem

If we haven’t found a glaring issue, it’s time to look into why our product may not be selling.

Amazon provides sellers with a report called the Detail Sales and Traffic Report (under Reports, Business Reports).

Unfortunately, many sellers miss this valuable report, but it contains vital information that can help you determine if you may have a traffic or conversion issue.

Pay close attention to the Unit Sessions Percentage, ultimately, your conversion percentage.

The report also tells you how many page views and sessions your listing gets over a specified period.

By reviewing this report, you can see if your product is getting traffic or not.

If the traffic is low, you know to find a way to boost traffic.


You can boost traffic in several ways, including adding more keywords or utilizing paid ads.

You have a conversion issue to address if you see that you are getting traffic, but people are not buying.

You may have low-quality images or poor content preventing people from purchasing from you.

In this case, address why your product is not selling before you attempt to increase the overall traffic to get your product to sell.

Identify The Number Of Keywords On Page One

If you have been around digital marketing for any period, you have probably heard the joke that the best place to hide a dead body is page two of a search.

This is just as true on Amazon as on any other search engine.

We talked about reverse ASIN searches a few times in the article.

I recommend you look into both you and your primary competitors already selling well on Amazon for two things.


First, how many keywords are you in the top 10 positions compared to your competitors?

To do this:

  • Filter the search for organic positions between 1-10.
  • Compare your product to your competitor.
  • Suppose your competitors index for a significantly higher number of relevant keywords.

In that case, they are outranking you on the keywords with the highest search volume, which will be a primary reason they are outselling your product.

To combat this, run Sponsored Product campaigns for the keyword phrases to help increase your conversions for those keyword phrases.

This approach can allow you to climb the SERPs for your most important keyword phrases.

Make Sure Your Ad Campaigns Are Successful

On Amazon, advertising has a direct impact on organic ranking in addition to the sales you get directly from your advertising.

Even if produced as a result of an ad, each conversion can help your organic ranking on Amazon.

If you are selling a product in a competitive and crowded niche, you may need to run Amazon ads to help increase traffic or conversion rates.

These increased conversions, especially through sponsored products, can help you move up in the rankings for important keyword phrases.


Many brands find if they run ads at a high volume for a short period of time, they start to see an increase in traffic and conversion rates, and then that increase naturally continues on its own even after dialing back the ads.

If you are running ads, you want to ensure you use particular keywords that convert and carefully consider the structure and strategy behind your ads.

Amazon features an Amazon Learning Console, a free tool that helps you learn more about ads and use the match types, placement, and ad products to improve your overall return from advertising on Amazon.

More resources: 

Featured Image: totojang1977/Shutterstock


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How We Used a Video Course to Promote Ahrefs (And Got 500K+ Views)



How We Used a Video Course to Promote Ahrefs (And Got 500K+ Views)

Creating and selling educational courses can be a lucrative business. But if you already have a product to sell, you can actually use courses as a marketing tool.

Back in 2017, about two years after joining Ahrefs, I decided to create a course on content marketing.

I had a very clear understanding of how an educational course would help me promote Ahrefs.

  • People like courses – Folks like Brian Dean and Glen Allsopp were selling theirs for $500 to $2,000 a pop (and rather successfully). So a free course of comparable quality was sure to get attention.
  • Courses allow for a deeper connection – You would basically be spending a few hours one on one with your students. And if you managed to win their trust, you’d get an opportunity to promote your product to them.

That was my raw thought process going into this venture.

And I absolutely didn’t expect that the lifespan of my course would be as interesting and nuanced as it turned out to be.

The lessons of my course have generated over 500K+ in total views, brought in mid-five-figures in revenue (without even trying), and turned out to be a very helpful resource for our various marketing purposes.

So here goes the story of my “Blogging for Business” course.

1. The creation

I won’t give you any tips on how to create a successful course (well, maybe just one). There are plenty of resources (courses?) on that topic already.


All I want to say is that my own experience was quite grueling.

The 10 lessons of my course span some 40K words. I have never attempted the feat of writing a book, but I imagine creating such a lengthy course is as close as it gets.

Scripts of the course in Google Docs.

I spent a tremendous amount of time polishing each lesson. The course was going to be free, so it was critical that my content was riveting. If not, people would just bounce from it.

Paid courses are quite different in that sense. You pay money to watch them. So even if the content is boring at times, you’ll persevere anyway to ensure a return on your investment.

When I showed the draft version of the course to my friend, Ali Mese, he gave me a simple yet invaluable tip: “Break your lessons into smaller ones. Make each just three to four minutes long.”

How did I not think of this myself? 

Short, “snackable” lessons provide a better sense of completion and progress. You’re also more likely to finish a short lesson without getting distracted by something. 

I’m pretty sure that it is because of this simple tip that my course landed this Netflix comparison (i.e., best compliment ever):

2. The strategy

With the prices of similar courses ranging from $500 to $2,000, it was really tempting to make some profit with ours.

I think we had around 15,000 paying customers at Ahrefs at that time (and many more on the free plan). So if just 1% of them bought that course for $1K, that would be an easy $150K to pocket. And then we could keep upselling it to our future customers.

Alternatively, we thought about giving access to the course to our paying customers only. 

This might have boosted our sales, since the course was a cool addition to the Ahrefs subscription. 

And it could also improve user retention. The course was a great training resource for new employees, which our customers would lose access to if they canceled their Ahrefs subscription.

And yet, releasing it for free as a lead acquisition and lead nurturing play seemed to make a lot more sense than the other two options. So we stuck to that.

3. The waitlist

Teasing something to people before you let them get it seems like one of the fundamental rules of marketing.

  • Apple announces new products way before they’re available in stores. 
  • Movie studios publish trailers of upcoming movies months (sometimes years) before they hit the theaters. 
  • When you have a surprise for your significant other (or your kids), you can’t help but give them some hints before the reveal.

There’s something about “the wait” and the anticipation that we humans just love to experience.

So while I was toiling away and putting lessons of my course together, we launched a landing page to announce it and collect people’s emails.

The landing page of the course.

In case someone hesitated to leave their email, we had two cool bonuses to nudge them:

  1. Access to the private Slack community
  2. Free two-week trial of Ahrefs

The latter appealed to freebie lovers so much that it soon “leaked” to Reddit and BlackHatWorld. In hindsight, this leak was actually a nice (unplanned) promo for the course.

4. The promotion

I don’t remember our exact promotion strategy. But I’m pretty sure it went something like this:

I also added a little “sharing loop” to the welcome email. I asked people to tell their friends about the course, justifying it with the fact that taking the course with others was more fun than doing it alone.

Welcome email with a "sharing loop."

I have no idea how effective that “growth hack” was, but there was no reason not to encourage sharing.

In total, we managed to get some 16,000 people on our waitlist by the day of the course launch.

5. The launch

On a set date, the following email went out to our waitlist:

Course launch email.

Did you notice the “note” saying that the videos were only available for free for 30 days? We did that to nudge people to watch them as soon as possible and not save them to the “Watch later” folder.

In retrospect, I wish we had used this angle from the very beginning: “FREE for 30 days. Then $799.”

This would’ve killed two birds with one stone: 

  1. Added an urgency to complete the course as soon as possible
  2. Made the course more desirable by assigning a specific (and rather high) monetary value to it

(If only we could be as smart about predicting the future as we are about reflecting on the past.) 

Once it was live, the course started to promote itself. I was seeing many super flattering tweets:

We then took the most prominent of those tweets and featured them on the course landing page for some social proof. (They’re still there, by the way.)

6. The paywall

Once the 30 days of free access ran out, we added a $799 paywall. And it didn’t take long for the first sale to arrive:

This early luck didn’t push us to focus on selling this course, though. We didn’t invest any effort into promoting it. It was just sitting passively in our Academy with a $799 price tag, and that was it.

And yet, despite the lack of promotion, that course was generating 8-10 sales every month—which were mostly coming from word of mouth.

A comment in TrafficThinkTank.
Eric Siu giving a shout-out about my course in TTT Slack.

Thanks to its hefty price, my course soon appeared on some popular websites with pirated courses. And we were actually glad that it did. Because that meant more people would learn about our content and product.

Then some people who were “late to the party” started asking me if I was ever going to reopen the course for free again. This actually seemed like a perfectly reasonable strategy at the time:

7. The giveaways

That $799 price tag also turned my free course into a pretty useful marketing tool. It was a perfect gift for all sorts of giveaways on Twitter, on podcasts, during live talks, and so on.

Giving away the course during a live talk.
Me giving away the course during a live talk.

And whenever we partnered with someone, they were super happy to get a few licenses of the course, which they could give out to their audience.

8. The relaunch

Despite my original plan to update and relaunch this course once a year, I got buried under other work and didn’t manage to find time for it.

And then the pandemic hit. 

That’s when we noticed a cool trend. Many companies were providing free access to their premium educational materials. This was done to support the “stay at home” narrative and help people learn new skills.

I think it was SQ who suggested that we should jump on that train with my “Blogging for Business” course. And so we did:

We couldn’t have hoped for a better timing for that relaunch. The buzz was absolutely insane. The announcement tweet alone has generated a staggering 278K+ impressions (not without some paid boosts, of course).

The statistics of the course announcement tweet.

We also went ahead and reposted that course on ProductHunt once again (because why not?).

All in all, that relaunch turned out to be even more successful than the original launch itself. 

In the course of their lifespan on Wistia, the 40 video lessons of my course generated a total of 372K plays.

Play count from Wistia.

And this isn’t even the end of it.

9. The launch on YouTube

Because the course was now free, it no longer made sense to host it at Wistia. So we uploaded all lessons to YouTube and made them public.

To date, the 41 videos of my course have generated about 187K views on YouTube.

"Blogging for Business" course playlist.

It’s fair to mention that we had around 200,000 subscribers on our channel at the time of publishing my course there. A brand-new channel with no existing subscribers will likely generate fewer views.

10. The relaunch on YouTube [coming soon]

Here’s an interesting observation that both Sam and I made at around the same time. 

Many people were publishing their courses on YouTube as a single video spanning a few hours rather than cutting them into individual lessons like we did. And those long videos were generating millions of views!

Like these two, ranking at the top for “learn Python course,” which have 33M and 27M views, respectively:

"Learn python course" search on YouTube.

So we decided to run a test with Sam’s “SEO for Beginners” course. It was originally published on YouTube as 14 standalone video lessons and generated a total of 140K views.

Well, the “single video” version of that same course has blown it out of the water with over 1M views as of today.

I’m sure you can already tell where I’m going with this.

We’re soon going to republish my “Blogging for Business” course on YouTube as a single video. And hopefully, it will perform just as well.


The end

So that’s the story of my “Blogging for Business” course. From the very beginning, it was planned as a promotional tool for Ahrefs. And judging by its performance, I guess it fulfilled its purpose rather successfully.

A screenshot of a Slack message.

Don’t get me wrong, though. 

The fact that my course was conceived as a promotional tool doesn’t mean that I didn’t pour my heart and soul into it. It was a perfectly genuine and honest attempt to create a super useful educational resource for content marketing newbies.

And I’m still hoping to work on the 2.0 version of it someday. In the past four years, I have accrued quite a bit more content marketing knowledge that I’m keen to share with everyone. So follow me on Twitter, and stay tuned.

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