Editorial Recommendations are designed to help consumers make informed decisions. Consumers, publishers, and Amazon are all incentivized to ensure that the items mentioned are worthy of recommendation and relevant to the search term provided. The easiest way to select products that meet these criteria is to look at the Best Seller Ranking (BSR) of each item, and whether they are organically ranking for the given search term.

This is great news for sellers whose products are already well-reviewed and maintaining a high Amazon BSR. But what about newer products, or those that have been stuck on the second or third page of SERP? How can Editorial Recommendations work for products that are not already dominating their category?

Editorial Recommendations have to perform

Editorial recommendations must drive sales; therefore, search terms must appeal to as many consumers as possible.

Every seller wants to appear on the first SERP for their category, on the keywords with the most search volume. But real estate on that page is limited, and Amazon is carefully monitoring every pixel to ensure that revenue is maximized. An Editorial Recommendation (ER) that surfaces for “sheets”, has to perform well, or Amazon will not show it to customers.

Performance for Editorial Recommendations is measured by the purchases they drive. If customers click on articles, read each word and click on each item, but ultimately don’t purchase, the ER is not helping to drive sales, and is therefore not performing for Amazon. The ER must drive sales. To drive sales on a search term like “sheets”, the items mentioned in the ER must be very popular, and appeal to as many people as possible. The best way to choose items for such a short-tail keyword is to choose the highest BSR items.

Keywords with the highest search volume are considered “short-tail”, while lower search volume terms stretch out the mid and long tail. Highly specialized search terms like “XL twin size sheets for girls with unicorns” would be considered “long-tail”, but the searcher has a very specific item in mind, and will be more likely to convert if shown an item that matches.

The mid-tail strategy

So how can a product with a mid-range BSR compete? By targeting lower search-volume keywords. With a less competitive keyword, the ER has a better chance of rendering in the first place. Although there are fewer searches, the searches are more specialized, and the products recommended are more likely to be salient to the customer. So, a search for “twin sheets for girls” rendering an article full of twin-sized sheets with children’s prints will be more relevant.

Sellers can look for these mid-tail keywords in their own data. We can help identify those keywords that have moderate search volume but also aren’t already covered by ERs with the highest BSR products. Each ER impression builds brand awareness, and each ER driven sale drives improvements in Amazon BSR.

Moving to the Short Tail

Once the item’s Amazon BSR is more competitive, the product’s organic listing should start to rise to the first SERP for the more generic or short-tail keywords for their category. Once this starts to happen, and ER featuring the product and targeting those short-tail keywords can start to gain share of voice. Once the product is organically appearing on the first SERP, and ER is rendering, the seller can optimize their sponsored posts to maximize their presence on that page.

If your products are having trouble breaking into the first SERP, contact us at support@hbwcommerce.com, and we can help you strategize an Editorial Recommendations-based effort to kickstart your BSR growth.