Amazon recently rolled out new features to help brands improve conversions using A/B or split testing. Under the Manage Your Experiments section, you will now find two new Keyword Test Features. The first is a Title and Image notifications feature that will automatically inform you if a proposed keyword test is too similar to current content. The second is the ability to automatically publish the winning version of the test, eliminating the need to go back and manually update the listing. The winning version will only auto-publish if it performs at least 66% better than the other version in the test.
As we previously covered in the blog post Maximize Your Profits by Split-Testing Your Amazon Listing Optimizations, it’s important to test one variable at a time. But before you start running keyword tests, there are a few important items to take into consideration. In this blog post, we’ll discuss five key questions you should ask when considering a keyword test.
It’s always tempting to play with a shiny new toy right away, but before you start using the new Amazon AB testing features, you must first ask yourself why you might want to run a split test in the first place. As we discussed in the joint webinar with Sellzone, there are several reasons to split test your Amazon listings, including but not limited to:
As Dan Saunders, Marketing Consultant at Sellzone, explains in the webinar, conversion rate is a massive part of the ranking system in Amazon, but it’s only one component. In addition to keywords, you can also test images, layouts, ad campaigns, and CTAs. Regardless of which component you test, however, you’ll get more valuable information if you determine why you want to perform the test in the first place. The answer to this question will ultimately guide which components you choose to test.
Every test must have a goal. Once you know why you wish to run the test, you must also figure out what you are hoping to get out of it. As we discussed in the Performance Metrics blog post, different metrics yield data on different customer behaviors. For example, if your listings have high visibility but low engagement, then the goal of your test might be to see which changes increase click rate. If you’re looking to increase conversions and profitability, then conversion rate is the metric to test for. Knowing what you are testing for always yields more valuable results.
You have many different types of customers and may have even created unique and targeted ad campaigns and listings for each one. It’s important to note, however, that keywords are not just for customers. The search engine algorithms use the keywords in your listing to determine relevancy. For Amazon, this means relevancy based on what customers are looking to buy, but for other search engines like Google, relevancy is more information-based with less emphasis on intent.
If the content on your listings is written for the customer but not the algorithm, then your ranking will suffer. Conversely, if your listings are stuffed with keywords to appeal to the algorithm but are unintelligible to potential buyers, your conversion rate will go down. You can keyword test to find the happy medium between appealing to the algorithm with the right back-end search terms and negative keywords while still appealing to the buyer reading the bullet points and descriptions on the listing.
Everything from holidays and worldwide events like the Olympics to seasonal shopping habits and product-specific promotions can skew the results of a test. For this reason, it’s recommended you rerun the same test at different times in the year to validate the results. It’s also generally not advisable to run tests during the busy holiday shopping season unless the test you have chosen is specific to that period.
As a rule, the longer you run a test, the more reliable the data from that test will be. The minimum amount of time you need to run a test is 4 weeks, while many in the industry agree that 6-10 weeks is ideal. As mentioned above, a variety of factors can skew results, so it is important that the test is long enough that these variations do not significantly impact your results.
Amazon has long offered tools to help you run keyword tests using the Manage Your Experiments section in the Seller Central dashboard. You can easily check within this section which listings are eligible for testing and which tests are currently active. To utilize the new A/B Keyword Test Features, go to ‘Brand’ then ‘Manage Experiments.’
Unfortunately, listings that are ineligible are often the ones most in need of updating due to low traffic. You can boost performance in these listings by analyzing the results of your other keyword tests and applying the lessons you learned.
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