Podcast 72: How Travis Jamison Sells Nearly $1 Million a Year with Amazon FBA and How His Software Makes it So Much Easier
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Okay folks, it's time for another podcast interview with an Amazon FBA specialist!
Today, I am sharing a discussion that I did with Travis Jamison from Supremacy SEO and AMZtracker.com. Travis is someone that has really figured out how to rank his products well for tons of long tail keywords in Amazon. During the interview, he dives into how he finds keywords, how he strategically uses keywords in his listings, and how he gets reviews.
In addition, Travis is also the created of a software tool called AMZtracker.com. I actually started using AMZ Tracker before I even knew Travis for my Kindle books. When I started doing Amazon FBA, I really started to see the power of AMZ Tracker…I use it for all my products.
Basically, AMZ tracker allows you to track your keyword rankings and sales for all your products. However, an even more powerful function of the software is the product reviews. The software makes it REALLY easy to connect with real amazon product reviewers. I won't go into all the details, but I use it to get reviews and it's super simple and effective.
If you want to check out AMZ Tracker, you can go right here.
However, I highly recommend you listen to the interview as it's full of great tips for ranking and selling your Amazon products.
Podcast Interview Notes
Travis has always been a serial entrepreneur. He is best known for his work at Supremacy SEO.
However, he also in the past had a dietary supplement business. This eventually led him to doing Amazon FBA.
What led Travis to Amazon FBA?
Travis had a supplement business and sold it about 2.5 years ago. So, he was familiar with the supplement space and got the itch to get back into the business.
Rather than having to do SEO and PPC, he just saw a huge explosion in his sales as soon as he got his product up on Amazon.
How well is the business on Amazon doing?
The Amazon FBA business is doing just under $1 million a year. And the business is quite passive for Travis. He spends only about 2 hours a week on the business. He has someone else that works with him that spends maybe 10 to 15 hours a week.
Travis is profiting about 50% on the sales.
Amazon has a lot of competition and the supplement market has TONS of competition. How do you go about standing out from the competition?
Travis would always rather be the big fish in a small pond. So, he doesn't pick the massive product niches in supplements, but he finds a sub-niche.
However, his strategy has always been keyword based. With a few different keyword tools he tries to find the intent of the buyers and really researches what keyword searches people might be typing in.
So, he always starts with the market and keywords and then goes from there.
Travis does use the Google search volume quite a bit for looking at his keywords. He also uses TermExplorer.com and MerchantWords.com to hunt for keywords.
For Merchant Words, Travis will look for keywords that have 100,000 searches per month or more when looking for a niche. This is NOT equivalent to what the Google search volume would be.
You can get all the info you need from the Google Keyword Planner. (This means that everything in Long Tail Pro can be used for your Amazon research).
Travis also really likes to go into niches that you can create a unique product or make a better branding. He really believes that you need to do something to make you stand out. (Very much like I discussed in this recent blog post).
How Should People Optimize their Listings for Keywords?
This is basically on-page SEO for the Amazon search engine.
When you create a product title, you need to optimize for 2 things. First, optimize for Amazon (keywords). Second, you need to optimize for the user; make your product title exciting and why it's unique.
You want to put as many keywords in your product title as possible. Amazon allows up to 200 characters, and you should be using up all of that space. In other words, put in as many keywords in your product title possible. Find as many long tail keywords as you can, and stuff them all into your title…it works.
You should also consider inputting your competitor's brand names on the backend of Amazon. This is a strategy that can work quite well.
Also on the backend, put more keywords that may be more awkward on the front end.
More tips for Product Descriptions?
This is a great place to sell using copywriting. Use some basic html to spruce up your listing.
The product description is also a great place to answer customer questions before they come up.
How do you launch a product?
The 80/20, or the easiest way to launch is getting product reviews. You can do this by giving promotional discounts to reviewers.
So, step 1 is getting product reviews.
Step 2, is getting the sales. The sales (even promotional giveaways) help push your product higher in the ranks…which in turn helps more people see your product.
Both Travis and I AMZ Tracker.
Travis designed the AMZ Tracker reviews because he wanted a service that worked. It really is super simple to use and it works.
Are promotional giveaways STILL okay on Amazon?
Amazon recently made some changes in it's Terms of Service, that has some people a little scared. Some people are wondering if promotional product reviews are still acceptable.
Based on feedback from Amazon, Travis believes the practice is still perfectly fine. Amazon is really trying to stop people that are truly manipulating product listing (including bots and excessive numbers of reviews).
Final tips for launching a product?
Once Travis has about 15 good reviews, he turns on Amazon PPC. For a lot of keywords, this can be incredibly effective. The added benefit is that it actually improves your search engine rankings.
This may not work for all products, but can be highly effective for other products.
Travis uses Term Explorer to find PPC keywords and loads them into Amazon.
Travis also ranks his Amazon products pages in Google! You can be pretty aggressive to rank your product pages in Google. That opens up a whole new source of traffic.
You can be pretty aggressive with trying to rank your Amazon product pages in Amazon. If you ever happened to get penalized in Google, you can actually re-write your Amazon product title a few times and the Amazon URL for your product will actually change. This will effectively remove any Google penalty that the old URL had.
What about going international on Amazon?
Some countries are good and others are bad. Canada sales are not good. The UK, Japan, and Germany are all excellent.
You can also use AMZ tracker to track how well products are selling in any market.
How did Travis get started with AMZ Tracker?
Well, it first started to “scratch his own itch”. Then they started adding additional features to make launching and selling on Amazon FBA much easier.
AMZ Tracker includes:
- Track keyword rankings
- Track sales rankings
- Amazon review club
- Negative review tracking
- On-page analyzer
- keyword research tools
- Super URL tool (kinda like backlinks for Amazon)
If you want to check out AMZ Tracker go here.
How has AMZ Tracker Grown?
SEO has been a big win for Travis in regards to growing his SaaS business. In addition, word of mouth has been a big driver of growth for the business.
If you want to follow along with Travis, you can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/travis_jamison or http://community.amztracker.com/
Overall, I hope you enjoyed the podcast interview with Travis! He shared a ton of awesome tips for ranking your products on Amazon, so hopefully you can take some of what's he's shared and apply it into your own business.
As always, I'd love to continue the discussion below…let me know your thoughts.
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Thanks again for the invite Spencer! I enjoyed hopping on the show.
Thanks Travis, it was great having you on the podcast!
hi spancer , thank you for this post I wait impatiently,
for me I am always on niche site.
Spencer and Travis thanks for the podcast.
Spencer, your last several podcasts about the FBA are just packed with super helpful and useful tips. You bring on the best and most interesting fellas. Awesome guests. Just wanted to give this positive feedback 🙂
Thank you Eddie, I really appreciate the positive feedback!
First time to leave my comments here. Lot of information and great tips. Thanks for share.
Hi Spencer and Travis, thanks for sharing all that info! Very awesome and insightful. My company just created a product that is selling exclusively on our ecommerce site and we are looking to list on Amazon (without FBA, since we have the warehouse and fulfillment center in house). One issue I’ve run into with simply listing our item, is that we don’t have a UPC or EAN. Everything I’ve searched shows that we cannot list without one. How have you been able to do this with your products? Also, do you recommend FBA regardless of it we have the ability to fulfill orders? Just curious. Thanks in advance for your helpful feedback!
1) Getting UPC’s are easy. You can buy 1,000 of them off of ebay for about $5 that work just fine on Amazon, or I go to nationwidebarcode.com to order mine.
2) No matter what, I still recommend using FBA for several reasons.
– Many “Prime” shoppers will only buy things if they are FBA so that they can get their free shipping. This can easily add 30% more sales from this alone.
– Using FBA can help keep your Amazon account in a better standing, as any kind of shipping problems as a result of FBA gets taken off your account, but if it’s FBM then it can harm your account more easily.
– IF your in house fulfillment is cheap than Amazon, then you can always offer both options on one listing. Personally for me I don’t even use traditional fulfillment anymore, only FBA for it’s ease of use.
Excellent! Just purchased from the website you referenced, Travis! One last question for you on the FBA topic: is there a minimum number of products that would need to be supplied to Amazon in order to get things rolling? Thanks again for all of your help.
There is no minimum.
Congratulations on all the success you have had Travis and thank you for sharing.
I have been seriously considering getting into FBA to diversify my income stream. I hate being dependent on Adsense and Affiliate links only.
I have been trying to run numbers and figure costs associated with FBA and I have had a hard time finding a source as to what the actual shipping costs average with FBA. Not talking about pick. pack and warehouse rental costs. Just the actual shipping charges from Amazon to the consumer.
I know the shipping costs must be much lower than I can get through self fulfilment but can you give me a ballpark figure of what they are? Like is it on average X% cheaper than going to the UPS store?
As an amazon seller, you don’t pay any shipping fees. The customer pays them. Or if is free shipping (for prime members), you still don’t pay anything as a seller.
Looks like Travis got this before I did…I concur! 🙂
Oh wow, FBA is good hassle free deal! Thank you!!!
Just an FYI Adsense has a massive class action lawsuit against them if you haven’t heard.
I have curiosity ….you sold using your website? or only amazon
What was the valuation of your busines x3 – x5 or up ? I have interest in have a plan for exit too ( so I want know more about business that get a valuation x5 minimum )
I’m surprised no one else has noticed the obvious. Unfortunately, you got some bad advice on a particular area. Putting your competitor’s brand name in the back-end (search terms) is NOT allowed.
I bring this up because I’d hate to see you get slapped by Amazon brother…
Do people get away with it? Yes. Can/Will Amazon find out eventually and penalize you? YOU BET! Below is the link proving this, but I also typed it out for you. Other than this, great show!
Use only relevant search terms:
Choose your search terms with care. They should relate to the product. For a set of blue, queen-sized Laura Ashley pillow cases, it would be inappropriate to use search terms like RALPH LAUREN, king-sized, or paisley. Customers resent getting irrelevant results when they’re searching for a different type of product. Unrelated keywords increase clutter in search results and is simply not useful—the truly relevant matches will always rise to the top of the search results list. In addition, AMAZON MAY REMOVE PRODUCTS FROM THE CATALOG if they’re found to contain inappropriate keywords.
Oh wow, thanks for sharing! I didn’t realize this. I hadn’t actually ever done this before, but I was planning on it since I can see so many other people obviously using brand names.
For anyone reading, DONT USE BRAND NAMES AS KEYWORDS!
Thank you SO MUCH for the info.
I have one question if you wouldn’t mind REALLY would be AWESOME if you could answer this.
I am in a crossroad situation right now. This would be great:
Suppose that huge number of people are known to suffer from SHOULDER PAIN.
But there is NO specific supplement out there that is marketed and labeled as “FOR SHOULDER PAIN”
That is if someone searches Amazon for shoulder pain he would only get like other items like bandages for shoulders etc…
And it is know that everybody with shoulder pain type in Shoulder Pain and gets to general Join Pain vitamins, which are totally fine and working.
But what if I take this generic product, maybe add an ingrdient to it or not even that, and just private label the same product towards these sufferes such as a supplement “SHOULDER PAIN REDUCER” ?
Would it work? Even if on Google I do not see any competitor? As i know some people like to see at least a few competitors as it validates their idea.
What’s your take on this example?
Do you only go for doing supplements that you already absolutely see at least a few already making ?
Thanks in advance.
I’m not as familiar with the supplement market. However, what you are describing has been done is other markets. Taking an existing product in one market and selling it to a new market. I’m not saying your ideal will work, just saying its not entirely far fetched.
Sorry is off topic question but please reply,
Is there any way to make autopilot sites that can maike $100 daily without much efforts?
No, despite what any Warrior Forum “friends” may say.
Nope. Definitely not.
It has been a while since I last visited this website. It’s good to see that the fundamentals of keyword research are still the same.
This post inspires to continue with making quality websites and earning money.
What is the easiest way to get my support ticket resolved. I have tried everything including emailing you. No body is responding. Do I need to keep paying Premium subscription while I am unable to use it for over a month. I know this is not the right channel. But I have lost all hopes.
I see that you have filed 2 different support tickets in the past couple of days and both of them have received responses in less than 24 hours.
Awesome stuff, Spencer. Big fan of AMZTracker and it’s really cool to see how Travis goes about finding his niche in Amazon and the idea is to be the big fish in a small pond. I now that my habit when using Merchant Words is to go for the terms that look like they’ll sell massive amounts, but of course there’s usually a ton of competition. Been doing FBA for a while and have been moving into private label and wholesale so this info is priceless. the only thing I don’t quite agree with is the power of promotional giveaways in some cases. From a conversion perspective it seems as though reviews help out a lot, but from a traffic perspective they seem to only go so far. Maybe I’m wrong though. Other than that, this was amazing
Thanks Dean! Always good to hear another perspective on promos. They’ve worked for me, but I haven’t tried much else…
Great podcast Spencer and Travis! I’ve been checking up on Spencer’s FBA business and listened to guests since the beginning and it has inspired me to try it myself. So far I have 1) Found a top selling product on Amazon and found a way to make it unique 2) Contacted multiple suppliers on Alibaba to send samples 3) Decided on a Supplier 4) Hired a designer to create a custom logo 5) Purchased UPC codes
I think Spencer is at the point now where he wants to expand his business worldwide. Maybe I am jumping into things really quickly but it makes sense to start selling at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk right away if I want to move as much inventory as possible if I have a MOQ of 500 for instance. It may be as simple as getting your product description translated by a pro. (As a hint go to Alexa.com, to see the world ranking of the top Amazon sites. Conveniently enough, the top sites are exactly the ones Travis recommended.)
Now before I finalize terms on the supplier, I am a little confused about the logistics shipping aspect of it. Do you contact a logistics company before production starts or closer to the end? I want to eliminate as much uncertainty as possible. I would like to know if the logistics company handles customs papers and if they would split up the shipment to go to multiple Amazon fulfillment centers.
Thanks Lisa! You can contact the logistics company near the start of production, just to make sure you have everything in place. There is some initial paperwork, etc.
I’m not much of an SEO guy so excuses the noon question here, but what type of gray hat balks was Travis referring to? I only know of GSR for spam. Also, anyway you can do a podcast on how to do keyword research for amazon product? You seem to have gotten good results. Thanks
I’m not sure about the gray hat comments. Good idea for the podcast…thanks!
Love the podcast. Great information and lots of good tips.