If you’ve concluded that the answer to the question: “How to drive traffic to your Amazon FBA Product?” Is to build your own traffic generating website, then you’re in the right place.
This step by step process gets you on the path to high traffic from a standing start.
If you’ve got no website, a bunch of enthusiasm, a bit of cash and a product or few to sell on Amazon then this guide is for you.
Now before I get started, I have a confession…
By the time you’ve read to the end of this article you’re NOT going to have achieved a high traffic website. In fact, you will have JUST read this article! This process takes time and action.
Action starts one step at a time. So we’ve broken this down into chunks starting with Step 0.
I’ll touch also on some more advanced concepts, but I’ve kept them to a brief mention. They serve as a DISTRACTION at this stage. Worrying about how you’re going to over-optimise your 500,000 word website when you haven’t even installed your content management system yet is simply insanity which I won’t condone.
Therefore this guide is an introductory guide. Which will get you a LONG WAY towards your goal.
The next phase, beyond the scope of this article will however take some more advanced learning and action. But let’s not get distracted by that right now.
How to Build a Traffic Generating Website for Your Amazon FBA Business
The following are therefore the basic steps to getting yourself on the path of generating your own traffic to your own website and sending that traffic to Amazon.
These steps are applicable to the two main approaches to setting up a “traffic site” or “Media Property” for your Amazon Seller business. For example:
- A brand site with your product catalogue uploaded (no shopping cart functionality though) and a blog to generate traffic
- A non-brand “Publishing Site” that’s primarily a blog that generates traffic
Both of these types of sites will help you generate revenue and profit through the sale of your own product, but also have the added benefit of being able to generate profit selling OTHER PEOPLE’S products through the Amazon Affiliate Programme. But let’s not get distracted by that right now!
Step 0 – Outline your products, your brand and your market
Before we get into setting up websites, keyword research and driving copious amounts of traffic, we’ll start at the bit SO MANY people seem to want to leap over.
Who’s your market?
If you sell Garlic Presses, you don’t need to create a website that ONLY talks about Garlic Presses.
In fact, DON’T do that.
Who buys your type of Garlic Press? Is it industrial – “10 cloves at a time”? or is it for home use?
Once you’ve established WHO that person is, you can start to get into how you want to serve them.
Example of angles you could take:
- The “home gadget” angle – A Garlic Press is just one of the home gadgets that you could talk about
- The “home chef” angle – A keen chef at home may want cooking inspiration and other products they can use in the kitchen
- The “Professional Chef” angle – A pro chef might want to be guided on which professional cooking products to buy and also some insight as to where kitchen technology is headed
And there are probably a million other more niche examples that dig deeper into the above;
- The “Italian Cooking” angle – Garlic is a common ingredient in Italian cooking, therefore people interested in Italian Cooking may want to know about other products, ingredients, recipe books or training courses
I could have generically said “Choose your niche” but I find that statement generally unhelpful.
You’re not choosing a “niche” really.
You’re choosing how you’re going to serve your market and defining your website in terms of THE MARKET.
Why would I do that?! I just want to sell Garlic Presses God damn it!
Ok, if you don’t understand the value of what you can do once you’ve captured someone’s attention and got them on your website then maybe some more explanation is required. If you get it, you can move on to the next step.
Once someone is on YOUR web page you can do a number of things:
- Embed offers and Ads into your web page that you know they’ll be interested in (as they’re in your target market”!)
- Present them with Pop-up Ads, once again promoting your product.
- Provide them with an opt-in with an email and send them content offering your product as well as other useful information (like an eBook recipe book for “this season”?)
- Pixel them with Pinterest, Facebook, Google, Bing and every other Pixel you can think of and run remarketing Ads (Ok not organic, but you CAN limit your Ad Spend to people who already KNOW you through your blog)
- Encourage them to read other content on your website that DOES directly promote or review your “Garlic Press”
- Also you can make a profit from recommending other products for sale on Amazon through the Affiliate Programme – yes, you could take up to 10% commission on each sale (typically more like 5%)
ATTENTION is the asset you’re fighting for.
When you throw up a Facebook Ad, you’re vying for attention with a bunch of other Advertisers.
When they’re on your web page, you’re in control. You have their attention. It’s time to use it.
That’s why we don’t just chase “eCommerce” or “bottom of funnel buyer intent” keyword rankings.
We try and rank for keywords that your TARGET MARKET are interested in, rank for them then turn that attention into our own Advertising opportunity.
If you’re still not convinced. This isn’t for you. I’d suggest you seek out a few courses and learn how to do paid advertising with optimal RoAS at about 3.5 X. That’s $10 in Ads to sell a $30 product. If you’ve got the cash, hey, go burn it. Who am I to stop you.
Step 1 – Setup Basic Website
This involves buying some web hosting, a Domain, installing WordPress and applying a Theme to the WordPress website.
OK, it’s not that easy.
But you don’t need to be a website developer to make it work! You’d actually be better described as a WordPress Integrator. Read my article here on the difference between Website Developers, Website Designers and WordPress Integrators.
Anyway, at this point in the process you have a website that’s accessible to the world.
From here you’ll need to do things like:
- Installing plugins to add functionality to the Core Website Content Management System
- Installing an SSL certificate
- Applying your logos and brand colours
This is very high level and doesn’t cover details such as the “type” of website you’re going to setup. *i.e. are you going to install WooCommerce and have a product catalogue (still, without an active shopping cart) as well as a blog?
This also underplays A BUNCH of SEO and technical configuration that’s necessary to set a site up for long term success.
“Anyone can throw-up a WordPress site, but that doesn’t mean anyone can make a success of it”
Of course, the same is true for Shopify (although not our advised platform), but WordPress offers more opportunities for optimisation so there are more opportunities to get ahead.
I’m also skipping over a bunch of other stuff for measuring and analysing your site at this stage such as:
- Implementing Google Analytics
- Implementing Google Search Console
- Implementing Bing Web Tools
- Inserting Facebook Pixel and configuring events
- Configuring and implementing Google Tag Manager
- Implementing Pinterest Pixel and configuring events
- Setting up and submitting Sitemap to Google & Bing
- Setting up Rich Pins and other Schema Markup
- Setting up Facebook App ID for integrations
- Configuring Caching settings for site speed
- Setting up and configuring a CDN for site speed
- Among a few other things…
Step 2 – Keyword Research
Why not Keyword Research first?
Get your domain up and ready to be filled with Content. Give Google the chance to index your homepage and get to know you exist.
And… it lights a fire under you as your website is sat there, naked without content. So you’re more likely to ACTUALLY move forward.
You can do your own keyword research using tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush or you can pay someone to do Keyword Research for you. Services like Human Proof Designs also offer “Keyword Packs” that you can simply purchase and use right off the bat.
Of course, this is where your “Defined Market” comes in.
The Keyword Research needs to be aligned with them.
How do you know what they search for?
Well, you know what types of products they’re likely interested in, therefore starting with Keyword Research for long tail keywords related to that list of products isn’t a bad place to start.
We’ve not got the time to cover Keyword Research, Long Tail Keywords, “Money Keywords” vs “Info Keywords” in this article, but just know that this is a fundamental area of your business if you choose this direction.
Choosing the wrong keywords is like loading a pistol full of blanks, all of the bang and bluster, but none of the desired results.
To get going, let’s set a target of 20 Keywords covering a broad range of topics to get your site started.
Ideally these keywords should be “KGR Keywords”, this again is a relatively advanced topic which could prevent you from progressing, BUT keywords are SO IMPORTANT. It’s worth either investing the time to understand them, or simply outsource the job for $99 bucks – job done for now, learn more later.
(A more advanced topic, as you progress is building these Keywords into “Clusters” of article topics that can help you internally optimise your site. THIS IS A HUGE DISTRACTION to try and understand whilst you’re just trying to get off the ground and will set you back. Accept the fact that these first 20 keywords are JUST to get you out of the Google Sandbox. More on that shortly…)
Step 3 – Create Article Outlines for chosen keywords
Something many people hate / choose to ignore / don’t understand the importance of etc. etc. is the process of translating a single “Primary Keyword Target” into an article outline / brief.
This isn’t to be confused with “Article Research”.
These are more like “SEO Instructions” that provide clearer intent to a writer than just “Here’s a keyword, write an article for me”.
You need to be clear on:
- What angle are you approaching the article from (What are YOU trying to say)
- What articles you’re deeming as competitors
- What keywords are you deeming as secondary keyword targets (this is a moderately advanced topic, but fundamentally, what other keywords are similar to or associated with the Primary Keyword target you’ve chosen. There are techniques. Too much to cover here.)
- What products would you like to mention or promote in this article (NOT necessarily your own products either. Part of this strategy is to bring people in looking to purchase “complimentary products” like a “whisk” or “frying pan” in relation to your Garlic Press)
- How many words should your article be (Again, a moderately complex topic. Basic terms: How long are the competitor articles? Go at least as long as them)
- Tone of voice. What does your brand sound like? Playful? Technical paper? Dissertation?
- What external link targets would you like the article to link to (There may be some authoritative sources that AREN’T competitors to you for the Primary Keyword you’ve chosen, e.g. they’ve got a detailed guide on one of the steps included in your article)
- What internal link targets would you like the article to link to and what Anchor Text should be used (list of other blogs and keywords you want to use as Anchor Text for them)
We have a bunch of other stuff that goes into our outlines as it helps the content writer start of at a VERY powerful place and the content writers simply amplify the work we put in.
If you just throw a keyword at a content writer, expect sub-optimal results. In the worst case, this can mean NO results.
Step 4 – Purchase Content
You can hire a content writer, but at this stage, if you’re just getting started, you’re going to mess it up, waste your time and your money and probably give up.
Here’s a picture of you chasing “Cheap Content”
Go to a content writing service and get some high quality content written.
$100 for 1,000 words may be deemed as “expensive” in many circles, but trust me, you can waste THOUSANDS of dollars trying to chase after the “cheapest” content on the market and it’s a false economy.
If you buy content like you buy car insurance, this strategy is simply not for you.
The ROI is good enough that you don’t need “the cheapest content” to make it work, so why obsess over it?!
Buy content from a reputable agency who can manage the process for you.
ALSO – it’s best if you buy from an Agency that KNOWS how publishing sites work and regularly writes content for publishing sites. They know significantly more than you about content archetypes and best practices at this stage, so take advantage of the leg up.
So go and buy yourself 20,000 words of content – yes spend somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000 getting content written (that’s just writing, not keyword research or content outlines).
If you can’t afford it, that level of cost, you’ve got bigger problems.
That 20,000 words could be 20 articles or it could be 10 – it doesn’t really matter at this stage, just get 20,000 words published.
Step 5 – Publish the Content
After you’ve got the content written, get it up on your blog.
- Follow good on page SEO practices (internal linking, H tags, External linking etc. Too much to cover in this short guide)
- Include optimised images (file size and meta data)
- The content should already be written with SEO in mind, don’t chop and change it too much!
- Click publish on all 20,000 words
After publishing you’ll need to do things like submit the article to the Google and Bing index, it’s also a good idea to share to Social Media accounts if you have them. You’re not expecting traffic or an audience from sharing on Social Media, instead the focus here is “social signals”. This is to appease the search engines and show that there are signs that you exist in places other than your own website. You’re in the “legitimisation phase”.
Quick side note on the Google Sandbox
Google doesn’t treat your website with it’s full love until you’ve proved you’re legitimate and a force for good in the world (by it’s measures).
This is called the Sandbox.
You get to play in the sandbox, but until we know you a little better we’re not inviting you to play anywhere else. Or, in real terms; “We’re not going to rank you particularly well for anything, even if your content is great. We don’t fully trust you yet.”
But you need to get a website published, some good quality content out there and some signals that show you’re legitimate. Social signals just so happens to be one of those signals.
It might take 6 months to a year to get out of the Sandbox, but the longer you wait, the further that timeframe is into the distance. Get started now.
Step 6 – Publish Content on Pinterest
Pinterest isn’t social media. It’s a visual search engine.
Unlike Google it doesn’t appear to have a significant “Sandbox Phase” therefore you can get early traction and traffic by using Pinterest.
Even beyond the Google Sandbox period, Pinterest is a great source of traffic – for pretty much every niche going.
Many of you reading this will be thinking Pinterest won’t work for my niche. That’s fine, ignore it. But you’re being ignorant to the fact that Pinterest is used by Millions of users who are very much in the buying intent mindset. This traffic isn’t just plentiful, it’s BUYER traffic.
Step 7 – Measure and Monitor
At this stage you do need to have setup some of the measurement and monitoring systems I mentioned in step 1.
If you’re just setting them up now, that’s no big deal. You’ve just missed out on some early data.
Things you want to measure and know:
- How well are your articles ranking for the primary keywords they’re targeting – so you can try to optimise
- Domain Rating – wanting to see consistent growth (this is linked with step 8)
- Other keywords you’re ranking for but not optimising for – so you can insert as secondary keywords or internal links with optimised anchor text (moderately advanced topic, in principle, if you want an article to rank for a keyword create a link from another page using the keyword you’re trying to rank for as the link text. There is a risk of over-optimisation, but not really at this stage)
- Total number of keywords you’re ranking for – you want this to be steadily increasing, showing Google is trusting you more
Step 8 – Build Link Profile
Notice I didn’t say “build links”.
Your link profile is actually of more importance right now.
You need a “Profile” with a mixture of link types.
This list briefly covers the types of links (and they can mix and match. e.g. you can have a No-Follow link with non-keyword optimised anchor text, pointing at a blog post):
- No-Follow Links
- Do-Follow Links
- Links with keyword optimised anchor text
- Links with non-keyword optimised anchor text
- Links pointing at your blog posts
- More links pointing at your homepage
What are No-Follow Links?
No follow links are EASY to get.
But they also have limited RANKING value.
But remember, we’re in the “Legitimisation Phase” therefore we’re not hell bent on rankings right now. We’re focused on showing Google we’re a legitimate website and we have footprints all over the web.
Main ways to get No-Follow links:
- Sign up for Social Profiles and websites where you create a “Profile” that includes a link to your website. e.g. signing up for an account on WattPad (extreme example, but weirdly the first one that comes to mind!)
- Comment on other blogs (Don’t spam – you will get highlighted as a spammer and the web is very interconnected)
As it happens, searching for Websites using the “Comment Luv” plugin does provide you with the occasional opportunity to get a Do-Follow link. So it’s worth prioritising the blogs you leave comments on. Those with Comment Luv first. Not all links will be Do-Follow, but you’ll pick up the occasional one.
What are Do-Follow Links?
Do-Follow links are tougher to get.
This is because they DO have ranking value. Therefore they have MONETARY value.
You need to work for them.
This can be done with outreach. But link outreach is a skill and does demand that you understand the right approach and the right type of content you need to produce. This is a HUGE topic and not one we’re going to cover off here today.
When getting started I would employ an agency to do your link building.
NOTE: THIS SHOULD BE WHITE HAT LINK BUILDING
Shitty links are a thing of the past, and exactly what got a tonne of sites banned with Penguin and Panda Google updates those few years ago.
Stay away from “Black Hat Link Building”.
Genuinely placed links in genuine articles out there in the world are the way to go.
Again, we could get into “whether paying an agency to do link building is paying for links?” (and thus against Google ToS) but that’s a debate for the ages. Collaborative link outreach and guest post inclusions with quality content is the way to go as of 2019.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Your backlink profile should be made up of all of the different types of links discussed above. If you go overboard with one type and not another, this can either send a signal to Google that they need to keep an eye on you because there could be some manipulation going on, or; it could mean that you’re not sending ENOUGH signals to Google that you exist.
The more pages on the internet that contain links to your website, the more opportunities there are for Google to build a “DNA Profile” of your website. This concept is going beyond the use of a link profile for legitimisation and heading more towards the crafting of topical relevance.
What is Topical Relevance?
OK, I’m not going to explain Topical Relevance in full, as it’s wider reaching than JUST backlinks.
The principle however is that when you’re creating backlinks, those links should be coming from websites that are “Topically Relevant” to your own website.
If you sell surf stuff, then getting links from surf websites makes sense right?
If you sell surf stuff and then getting links from cooking websites… you’re probably sending mixed signals to Google.
So whether it’s a Do-Follow or a No-Follow link, make sure the website and the web page you’re building the link on is related to your market. (Of course you know your market so this should be easy!)
Step 9 – More Keywords, Content and Links
Calling Step 9 a “Step” is misleading.
Step 9 is actually “move onto the system of repeated steps you’ll use to grow and utilise the site”
Right now, you’ve got a site that should make it’s way out of the Google Sandbox.
Once you’ve done that, pouring on more keywords, content and links should grow your traffic.
Of course there are also the steps of inserting your Ads, offers and opt-ins to drive traffic towards your product.
And also the optional steps of setting up remarketing campaigns, chasing visitors of your website around the internet with targeted offers and Ads.
You’ll need to engage in some advanced concepts as you add the next batch of content, including:
- Keyword Cluster Building
- Keyword ranking opportunity spotting for existing articles
- Web page speed optimisation
- Advanced Keyword Research
- Advanced Article Outlines / Briefs (We scratched the surface earlier)
- Content update management
- Link monitoring and affiliate link insertion / management
But that’s just a flavour of what’s to come.
How to approach this going forward
Remember, expensive SEO isn’t necessary when you define your market and serve their needs through good keyword research and high quality content production.
Don’t stop to think about the complexities of the next stage, when what you need to do now is the next step, not the next three steps!
These things have in-built time delays to them, don’t add yourself to the queue!
A published website that Looks like crap is better than nothing (as long as it’s technical configuration is sound! Otherwise you could be wasting your time and energy).
When you start, no-one is visiting your website. So DON’T SWEAT IT! If it isn’t perfect, you’re not going to offend many, if any visitors.
Don’t underestimate the value of being the “Strategy person” and delegating the implementation to those who know what they’re doing and have done it before.
Trying to undertake a strategy like this with people who’ve never done it before is a HUGE learning curve, and it keeps on coming! You can completely bypass the majority of the learning curve (some stuff you’ll never use again in setting up a website, selecting the right plugins and configuring them, setting up the measurement systems etc. these are all things that are done ONCE. Why are you wasting your time learning how to do something someone else could do in 5 minutes?!)
So whether it’s an agency or an individual, seriously consider outsourcing at least the portion of getting off the ground. Of course, with so many other things to monitor and master as an Amazon Seller, you may want this one to be a passive stream of traffic and income. After all, who doesn’t want more aspects of this business model to be passive?!
Never Mind The Hype!
Amazon is a dominant player in the eCommerce world, there’s no doubt about it. However, their share of the eCommerce market has been repeatedly over-estimated, year on year and then revised steeply downwards. In 2019 for example, this revision came down almost 10% from 47% to 37.7%. That means there’s still a whole chunk of eCommerce that ISN’T Amazon… just think on that for a moment…