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The Amazon Files, hosted by Kristin Ostrander, Amazon business strategist and one of the founders of Mommy Income, hits the airwaves every Tuesday with the real truth about selling on Amazon. This show isn’t about sugar-coated reality. It’s real truth - the good, the bad and the ugly - shared with practical action steps and strategies to help both new and experienced sellers tackle the world’s largest retail sales platform.

Jun 20, 2022

On this episode of The Amazon Files, I’m joined by returning guest Steven Pope from listings optimization agency My Amazon Guy. Steven is an amazing Amazon expert with a wealth of information on ecommerce, and he’s here today to share his expertise on Amazon SEO keyword practices and rankings. First up, since it’s been a little while since Steven was on the podcast, he brings us up to speed on what My Amazon Guy does and the growth it’s experienced over the last couple of years. He talks about the importance of happy employees and his aim to buck the trend of high turnover by creating a supportive culture even as stress levels in the workforce climb to all-time highs. After that, we dive into SEO, as Steven explains the impact of social trends on keyword data and how keeping track of these can reveal opportunities to improve your ranking and make more money. He also points out the importance of understanding the Amazon algorithm in order to get the most out of the keyword system.

Next, Steven runs us through the four SEO phases he runs (indexing, incremental indexing, strike zone, and the search query performance report (SQPR)) and how following these will improve your ranking with minimal effort. I also jump on Steven’s point about the SQPR to once again encourage everyone to get brand registry and trademarks for all the benefits they give you, including this report. Then Steven tells us about the courses he’s running through My Amazon Guy (including one on SEO), and I encourage everybody to invest in education, especially since Amazon doesn’t always make life easy for us! We then loop back to the SQPR, as Steven gives an example from his own business on how to utilize the report’s data to find immediate activity and action tips and also explains why he prioritizes traffic over conversion. And we close the episode with some advice from Steven on how to set the meta description of your brand store to get more exposure and control over Google and how much time you should set aside each week to spend on optimization, plus a couple of tips on raising your prices when other sellers are lowering theirs.

You can talk about SEO rankings and more in the Amazon Files and Mommy Income community. Join our Facebook group with today’s codeword MAG to learn more about bundling, ask questions, and participate in the conversation with other sellers. And if you’re ready to take your business to a whole new level, visit to schedule your one-on-one coaching call today.

This week on the Amazon Files:

  • Social trends and keyword data
  • Understanding the Amazon algorithm
  • SEO phases
  • The benefits of brand registry and trademarking
  • Utilizing the Search Query Performance Report
  • Traffic vs. conversion and volume vs. margin
  • How to set your brand store’s meta description
  • How much time to spend on optimization


I’d rather have margin all day long than worry about constant volume. I’m like, I don’t want to have to manage ten thousand pieces a day. How about just a hundred pieces a day at ten times the profit margin that you’re making? That’s a better deal for me.”

- Kristin Ostrander


I feel like I spend more time focused on people and their problems and what their challenges are than I do focused on trying to actually run the company, and that, quite frankly, is actually running the company, right? Like, it’s all about people.”

If you put employees at the top of your pyramid and have clients and customers beneath the employee—because you can’t serve two masters, they can only serve one or the other—you will have happier employees, which will make happier customers and clients because happier employees do better work. It’s just bottom line.”

If you are kind and understanding and help people feel supported and accountable, even in relationships, and marriage, and parenting, and anything like that, people naturally perform better when they feel supported and happy and feel like they can handle the task, and they feel like they can go to you as a leader if something’s going wrong.”

I would say stress levels in the workforce are at all-time highs. And I’ve never seen so much pressure from inflation, from just overwhelmingly, you know, post-pandemic bullcrap, mental illness, you name it, and people are really just worn out right now. And I just feel for them.”

I like to look at myself as a caveman with fire in prehistoric times, right? So like, I figured something out, I feel like I’ve got some fire, and I want to share that fire. You bring your torch over here, I’ll light your torch. What you decide to do with your torch is completely up to you. I hope you go light the world up. But what you do is up to you.”

SEO, search engine optimization, it’s not set it and forget it, right? You can’t just do one round of research and then walk away.”

The difference between that and the characters, as far as Amazon is concerned, is they don’t count syntax, they don’t count spaces, they don’t count commas, etc. So with that in mind, if you were only doing 250 characters, and somebody else was doing 250 bytes, they would actually be getting 20% more SEO juice.”

When you’re first launching a product, of course, the most important thing you want to be done is get indexed by the search engine. Because you don’t want to just rely upon hardcore PPC costs, which are up, like, 35% in the last twelve months.”

You need to really understand that brand registry and trademarking has more value than you can spend on the trademark itself because of the protection, because of these new reports, because of these exact keywords.”

If you are doing wholesale bundling-slash-kits, and you don’t have any brand equity, you should still get a trademark and file the kits, the bundle under your own brand name. Because then you prevent hijackers, then you prevent all of these other data problems, and the other brands can’t come after you. And in addition to that, you get all the benefits that Kristin was talking about, the brand registry, the A+ content.”

I’ll give you a little secret, the Amazon help files suck. They’re incomprehensible and incomplete and often inaccurate. And so like, I’m literally getting three messages a week from Amazon employees thanking me for actually talking about how the algorithm actually works.”

Time is money. And if you want to get it faster, and you want to get it done now, and you want to have these tests done by the end of your day, then you take a course because education is absolutely everything.”

You have a percentage of impressions that gets higher by clicks, which gets higher by add to carts, which gets higher by purchases—those are the four different things that Amazon tracks in the search query report—what that tells you is you need to focus on getting more impressions. Why? Because you’re converting higher than the competitors. Therefore, whenever you have high conversion, what is the activity you should do? Go get more traffic.”

We make assumptions that most people that have Amazon go there first to look for things, but a lot of times people go to Google first. And if you’re not ranking on Amazon, you’re not gonna come up first on Google either.”

Not only will the brand store show up on your own brand term, which gives you more exposure and control over Google, it also can rank for other keywords. So you can generate more income by setting the meta description of your brand store.”

This meta description of your store can change your business overnight. Getting a trademark and getting your store branded so that you can use A+ content will change your business overnight because you’re doing the things that other people are too lazy to do, or they’re not interested, or they think that they can get by on just doing it on a dime.”

If you just added SEO in as something you work on for one to three hours every month in a chunk, and then keep doing it, you will see continuous gains.”

Number one rule of Amazon: don't go out of stock. Second rule is like the first, don’t go out of stock.”

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Amazon Files, the show to help Amazon sellers along their business journey one step at a time with Amazon expert and your host, Kristin Ostrander. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to the show, and leave us your honest review. Don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media! Use the codeword MAG to join us on Facebook. Each week, Kristin hosts a live discussion on how to grow your Amazon business. Don’t forget to check out our website and subscribe to our mailing list for even more resources.