Given how prolific and influential the Amazon marketplace is, it is vital for merchants of all sizes and niches to learn how to maximize their Amazon ad dollars and generate the highest ROI possible.
On that note, let’s get to work.
Employ Adjacent Keywords
Keyword targeting is a discipline that requires considerable thought and skill to implement effectively.
Given that keywords are a foundational element to a robust Amazon SEO strategy and Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads, it is essential that retailers give these terms and phrases the proper care and attention.
While there are a variety of methods and tools for conducting keyword research for Amazon, it is likely that merchants already have a core methodology for this task. However, there is a decent chance that retailers are leaving plenty of “adjacent” keywords on the table, thereby losing tons of PPC opportunities.
A prime example of this strategy at work is small-time tortilla chip maker, Way Better Snacks. This small organization, which competes with the likes of brand-name behemoths such as Doritos, Tostitos and Frito-Lay, opted use a keyword strategy that focused not on extremely competitive terms like “tortilla chips,” but on adjacent keywords. In Way Better Snacks’ Amazon playbook, the manufacturer targeted neighboring phrases like “tortilla wraps” for its PPC efforts.
By taking this approach, the company was able to leverage a lower competition term, thereby earning an 11 percent share of Amazon’s “tortilla” ads for August 2018.
However, it isn’t just the types of keywords targeted that matters. It’s how they are matched.
For instance, if a retailer is selling paint brushes and the word “brushes” is used as a broad match or phrase match keyword, then the ad will likely surface for searches for “hair brushes,” “makeup brushes,” “dog brushes” and various other queries that are wholly unrelated to painting supplies. If users end up clicking (or accidentally clicking) on the ad, merchants lose money and reduce their campaign’s ROI.
Therefore, is it wise for Amazon sellers to cautiously implement different keyword match typesand make good use of negative match phrases as this will help to increase the ad’s relevancy for its audience and minimize irrelevant clicks.
Broadly speaking, retailers should aim to uncover effective exact and phrase match terms, while using broad match sparingly. Exact match and phrase match keywords will help to keep ads focused on the right audiences, whereas negative keywords will assist in filtering out those that might surface an advertisement with a like-sounding term that has nothing to do with the product in question.
Target Similar Competitor Products
There are two different strategies that retailers can use in targeting their competitors to enhance Amazon PPC performance.
Firstly, when conducting keyword research, it is a good idea to study competitors’ pages to establish the terms and phrases used in the title, description, bullet points, reviews and other vital areas.
Secondly, sellers can target rival products that are comparable to those that a retailer wishes to advertise. For example, Dark Iron Fitness partnered with Visiture to scale its presence on Amazon by enhancing its advertising performance. To help the brand attain the desired results, Visiture targeted competitor products that provided near-identical functionality to the products that were to be advertised.
Employing a pointed and clever strategy, Visiture was able to help Dark Iron Fitness increase its CTR by 100 percent, boost orders by 126 percent, expand sales revenue by 359 percent and enhance its ROAS by a whopping 364 percent.
To see the full case study, check out the link above.
Utilize Automatic Targeting to Inform Manual Campaigns
Another strategy Visiture employed for Dark Iron Fitness was to leverage automatic campaigns as a means of generating useful data to deploy in manual efforts.
Much in the same vein as many of Google Ads’ automation features, Amazon advertisers can deploy ad campaigns that leave the decisions regarding keywords and placement to the marketplace’s algorithms. While retailers give up virtually complete control over their campaigns, automated efforts remove all the tedious research and trial and error foibles that can cost advertisers.
However, the upside to automated efforts is that it tends to increase the number of impressions that a product receives and generates a wealth of data on keywords that earn clicks and conversions that retailers can then extract and apply to manual campaigns.
With valuable data in hand, merchants can then craft and launch a manually targeted campaign in which the retailer will bid on the proof-positive keywords harvested in the previous step.
However, whenever entering into a manual campaign, it is essential to refer back to the “adjacent keywords” and “match types” sections of this blog to ensure maximum performance and ROI.
As manually targeted campaigns progress and run their courses, be sure to analyze the data to refine bidding strategies, keyword implementation and other essential elements. If retailers fail to perfect their keyword bidding strategies meticulously, campaigns will continually produce mediocre results.
With Dynamic bidding, sellers can opt to have bids adjusted up or down by a maximum of 100 percent based on the likelihood of a conversion. For instance, the “down only” option enables advertisers to reduce bids on clicks that are unlikely to convert. Alternatively, the “up and down” feature will apply the aforementioned function while also increasing bids in real-time for clicks that are more likely to result in a sale.
Moreover, the company also implemented the “Adjust Bids by Placement” element which effectively replaces the “Bid+” feature of the platform.
Bid+ has been supplanted because of its limitations in establishing a 50 percent increase for the first page, top of SERP placement. Using Adjust Bids by Placement, merchants can now increase bids by up to 900 percent for premier top of search placement, in addition to product detail positioning.
Do be aware that while this feature can result in an uptick in impressions due to ad placement, it could end up negatively impacting a campaign’s ACoS as retailers are merely bidding for placement, thereby not guaranteeing an increase in conversions.
Therefore, it is vital for sellers to work at the next step actively.
Refine Ad Creatives
Retailers should continually seek to improve their ad’s performance by testing and better honing keyword performance, bidding strategies and the elements of the ads themselves.
Therefore, it is essential for merchants to employ high-quality imagery while polishing headlines to reflect the product and its benefits. Additionally, if retailers are currently running a deal, be sure to highlight this with a sense of urgency in the ad’s copy.
For retailers who opt to utilize Sponsored Brands ads, it is necessary to direct consumers to a landing page that aligns with the ad copy. Failing to do so will result in a lower conversion rate, thereby failing to achieve maximum ROI.
However, not all brands are in a position where managing ad strategies in-house is wise, or even possible. In such a situation, reach out to Visiture’s Amazon PPC management experts to help your store reach peak performance in the Amazon marketplace.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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