A little while back, I invited Seller Labs’ Edward “PPC Ed” Ruffin to join me during a webinar to share some exceptional information about getting the best results from Amazon Sponsored Products Ads (SPAs).
Ed’s an expert on all things SPAs so we got a lot of insight from him as well as about Ignite, the Seller Labs tool for managing and automating Sponsored Products ad campaigns.
Here are a few of the many topics we covered. I’m sure you’ll gain some useful tips from reading a portion of the detailed information attendees heard.
“When you’re choosing an amount to bid, do you use the highest amount noted in the suggested bid?”
I normally bid at the suggested bid amount or slightly higher. This allows me to gain as much traffic on a keyword when I first launch a Sponsored Products ad campaign. This is the more aggressive approach of creating a new campaign.
By having higher bids upfront, I am able to see which keywords are driving traffic in a shorter amount of time. Since you are charged per click and not per impression, your money is not being thrown away by any means. As time goes on and I am able to see precisely which keywords are converting, I will then lower bids on unprofitable keywords.
“What does it mean if I see impressions but I don’t see any money spent on my PPC campaigns? Who am I bidding against?”
With Sponsored Products Ads, you will only be charged if keywords you are bidding on actually get clicks. If you have keywords that are not receiving any clicks at all, you will not be charged. You can control how much you spend by increasing or decreasing your bids and daily budgets.
While you cannot see exactly how many other sellers are bidding on the same keywords you are, you can always get an idea of how competitive a keyword is by its price. By that I mean that as more sellers bid on a keyword, the higher the bid will get. For example, a keyword with an average CPC (cost per click) of $3.00 is much more competitive than one with a CPC of only $.30. You can also simply search for the keyword you are bidding on to see what other sellers may be bidding on that same keyword.
“What should I do with keywords that aren’t performing at all?”
If you notice that one of your keywords is not performing at all, you’ll want to look at a couple metrics before taking any action.
If a keyword is not receiving any impressions at all, you should first check the bid currently set. If your bid is not high enough, you will not gain any impressions. You should always check the suggested bid for a keyword to see if your keyword currently has an adequate bid. If are still not receiving impressions for a keyword that has an adequate bid, Amazon may just simply think your product does not index for that specific word. If this is the case, you may need to optimize or revise your listing and make sure it includes that word in the backend, description, or title.
For keywords that are receiving clicks but no conversions, you may want to take action a little faster as you don’t want to continue wasting money on clicks that don’t lead to sales.
For keywords that get no conversions at all (over a period of time), you may want to set these words as negative keywords or pause them. If you have keywords that get a few conversions but still have a low conversion rate, you can simply lower the bid. This will allow them to still get a few clicks but at a lower cost for each click. By doing this, you can cut back on wasted ad spend while still driving a small amount of traffic to the keyword.
“When setting up campaigns, are all campaigns set up solely using Ignite or do you have to set up partially in Seller Central and then also on Ignite?”
After you’ve signed up for Ignite, you can create all your campaigns in Ignite! We wanted to make sure that all new campaign creation and adjustments can be done without having to visit Seller Central each time. And if you have existing campaigns in Seller Central, you can import those into Ignite.
Ignite allows you to create new auto-targeting and manual campaigns, while also diving into your keywords to see exactly which terms are working and which ones are not so that you can bid better. You can adjust bids, set keywords as negative matches, and everything else normally done within Seller Central, just better and easier.
“I thought ‘keyword’ and ‘search term’ were interchangeable. When you talk about PPC ads, you’re using them as two terms. Can you explain the difference?”
As far as SPAs go, user search terms are the words and phrases that shoppers actually input into the Amazon search bar. Amazon then matches up user search terms with keywords in order to display the most-relevant products.
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Keywords are elements of your product listing found in the title, bullet points, etc. They are how you describe your product so that it appeals to the Amazon search and to shoppers.
What connects a customer with a product is the matching of user search terms with keywords.
When you are creating a manual-targeted Sponsored Products Ad campaign, you will manually add keywords that you wish to bid on. You will assign these keywords to broad match, phrase match, or exact match targeting.
By bidding on keywords, you can choose which words you think are important for driving traffic to your campaign and listing. Within each of these keywords, you will see many user search terms. These are the specific terms that a shopper searched for in order to find your Sponsored Products ad. This language tells you exactly how shoppers are trying to find your products.
For example, if you sell an apple slicer, you might see the following user search terms associated with “apple slicer.”
- Slicer for apples
- Apple corer slicer
- Red apple corer slicer
- Apple parer
Since “apple slicer” was added as a broad match keyword, all of these search terms can show in your user search term report.
By reviewing your search term report, you can see exactly which terms led to clicks and conversions for your campaign. With this information, you can set what doesn’t work as negative matches in order to keep them out while focusing your ad-spend on terms that are converting well for you.
“How do you decide which ad group/match type to put a keyword in?”
When a campaign is first created, I suggest having one ad group created for each match type. This means that your campaign will have an ad group for broad match, one for phrase match, and one for exact match. By structuring your campaign like this, it makes it easier to monitor and adjust your campaign as time goes on.
With these ad groups, you can simply put all of your keywords in the corresponding group based on their match type. By grouping all of the keywords together with the same match type, you can change the default bid for the ad group and it will adjust for all of the included keywords. You can move words to and from groups as you learn more.
I normally suggest starting with broad match keywords. This makes it easier to really make sure a term is converting before you make it a phrase match or exact match keyword. By starting off with a handful of broad match keywords, you will be able to get a big picture of keywords and see all the user search terms that are currently driving traffic to your listing.
Once you have located a specific user search term that is working well for you, you can make that term into a phrase match or exact match keyword. Simply put, because the target is becoming narrower and more specific (also more likely to convert when it matches a user search), I suggest only making a term a phrase or exact match keyword if you know it is converting well.
“I see on your website that the price for Ignite depends on the number of managed campaigns plus unlimited manual and automatic campaigns. Ddoes that mean that pricing covers unlimited manual and auto campaigns but doesn’t offer suggestions for those campaigns that aren’t managed?”
This is correct. Ignite offers multiple different monthly plans. Each plan is simply based on how many Ignite managed campaigns you have. An Ignite managed campaign allows you to do some awesome things that go beyond Seller Central. And it makes campaign management kind of fun and exciting. In Ignite managed campaigns, you can do the following:
- Seamlessly migrate keywords from auto-targeted campaigns to manual-targeted campaigns.
- Copy keywords from one campaign or ad group to another (Ignite will even copy your history from one to the other as well).
- Specify a target ACOS or CPS for your product (suggestions made by Ignite will use these targets).
- Get info fast and easy with a consolidated view of your combined campaign’s performance across multiple Sponsored Products campaigns.
If a campaign is not included in a managed campaign, you will still be able to view it in Ignite, you just won’t receive intelligent suggestions aimed to help you achieve your target ACoS nor will you be able to move terms from one campaign or ad group to another.