I had mentioned last month in my post about promoting products as an Amazon associate that I would give you some tips about what I look for in a product before I decide to promote it on a site. These are no way set in stone but this is what I am doing for research when it comes to products to promote from Amazon. Some people may find that these guidelines don’t work for them or the niche they want to be in and that is fine. These are just some helpful tips to get you started.
Criteria for an Amazon Product I Would Choose to Promote
There are several different aspects of the product that I look at when I am researching if the product can make me some money by promoting it. The way that I set up my niche websites for Amazon products is I choose a few different products that are related and do reviews and tips on these products. So here are the different aspects that I look for in the products:
Since the commission for Amazon affiliates is not 50% but rather anywhere from 4%-10% I look for items that cost more. I usually set my limit at $75 and but there are some additional factors that I include as well. Some people will only promote products that cost several hundred dollars, but truthfully those are the products that most affiliates go after and some of them like LCD TVs can be a lot more competitive.
The thing about Amazon associates is the more items that you sell, the higher your commission is. So if you are only promoting very high ticket items you may only get a few sales a month, which means you stay at the lower commission rate of 4%. But if you mix in some lower priced items (I even have a few very popular ones that are only $50) you can easily bump your commission rate up with these lesser priced items. This means if you do happen to sell a product that cost $500 and you also sell 15 lesser priced items, you get the higher commission on all the items, including the $500 one. This means more money for you. It does pay to diversify your price points for this reason.
2. Star Ratings
On Amazon people who buy a product can come back and give a rating for the product from anywhere from 1-5 stars, with 5 stars being the highest. You will notice the average rating for the product right by the product name. When I choose my products I look for one that has a rating of at least 3.5-4 stars. Anything lower and I feel like that may be a turn off from people buying the item.
3. User Reviews
Just like the star ratings, people can come and leave comments on whether they liked the product or not. When it comes to user reviews I try to find a product that has at least 15 reviews. Not only does this help give you content for your articles but it also tells you that there is some kind of market for the product.
4. Similar Products
I don’t really go that strict on this one, but if I find a product that I want to promote on Amazon, I try to find at least 4-5 other products just like it. If these products also fit the above criteria, even better, but it is not a must.
Checking the Demand for a Product
Once I have found a product that fits the criteria I describe (or comes pretty close to it) I check out what kind of market there is for the product. This is not very hard to do at all and doesn’t take any paid tools.
The tool that I use the old trusty Google Adwords Keyword Tool. All I do is check to see how many monthly searches there are for the product and take a quick look at the competition.
Let’s use Canon PIXMA MP560 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Photo Printer (3747B002) for an example of a product we picked. What I would do is enter in Canon PIXMA MP560 into the search field in the keyword tool and hit enter. I always use the exact match whenever I do keyword research, so change the match type to exact if you want the best results. Right now, this keyword gets 27,100 searches a month. I would say this is a pretty high in demand product.
Next I go to Google through Firefox and enter in the same keyword in quotations into the search field. So it would like “Canon PIXMA MP560″ I use a plugin called SEOQuake that tells me more about the competition I am facing such as page rank, amount of links, and age of domain. When I search for this keyword I find that there are over 2,000,000 competing pages. This is way too high of competition for my liking. This would most likely be a product and niche that I personally would stay away from just because it is too difficult, especially since the payout on the product is not that much.
What I Look for in Regards to Search Volume and Competition
The example product would not be a product that I pursue to market on Amazon just because the competition is too difficult. I could easily find other products that have a lot less competition, are higher priced, and are still in demand. So, what does my specific criteria for search volume and competition look like?
When entering in the exact name of the product (or part of the name as exampled) I like to have at least 2000 exact global searches a month for the product. The higher the better, but once you start getting too high, like the 27,100 for the printer you will often find the competition greatly increases. I have found that anywhere from 2000-5000 monthly searches is a pretty good range for me. Remember that you are trying to target buying traffic by using the product name, which means if you can get your site to rank high on Google, you can get a decent conversion rate with those 2000 searches a month.
Everyone analyzes competition differently but for me, right now I don’t like to compete with a lot of other people since I am still getting my feet wet with this whole online passive income thing. I try to choose Amazon products that have no more than 10,000 competing pages for the keyword in quotes.
I even go a step further and analyze the first page of results for the keyword. If I see that a website that has a page rank of 1 is sitting in the first position that can be a great green light sign for the keyword. I look at the first 4 websites and if they are all PR3 and under then I know it’s possible for my site to get up there. I also look at the rest of the results on the page and if I see a few PR0 popping up that is an even better sign that I could get my site on the first page of Google for the keyword.
Some Extra Tips for Choosing a Product
If you have read down to the end of this post great, because I am going to share a couple of tips that work well when choosing a product to promote.
Look for products that are involved in hobbies. People tend to spend money on a hobby they are passionate about. People are more likely to add on other items to a sale for an item that is for a hobby, which means more money for you.
Look for a product that solves a problem. For this type of product you may not be able to find one that fits all the criteria especially price but it may be worth it (remember when I said I have exceptions when it comes to price.) If you can provide people with a product that will solve their problem they are more inclined to buy than if you were simply telling them how great this product was and they really didn’t need it. Some examples may be weight loss products, stop snoring products, and pet medications.
Here is the basis of how I choose Amazon products to promote. When it comes to Amazon I really try to think outside the box and not just go with the typical TVs or cameras that are so popular. I try to dive deeper and really find niches that are not competitive and can have a great pay off.
Any questions or tips you would like to offer, I would love to hear them and hope this gives you some ideas on choosing Amazon products to promote.