- Lena R. Liberman
- On November 1, 2017
- 0 Comments
This is a replay of our weekly Facebook Live event from November 1, 2017, with Jeff Cohen and Edward “PPC Ed” Ruffin discussing Q4 Amazon advertising strategies, capitalizing on ASIN data in reports, test-changes to ad placements, and optimization tips galore! As it is the crazy season and everyone is pressed for time, Ed and Jeff kept it brief and answered many questions with tips that sellers can put into effect ASAP. Oh, and if you’re wondering about all of those boxes behind Ed, those are toy donations we’re collecting for the Seller Labs Cares Toys for Tots holiday campaign. There’s still time for you to make a difference, find out how you can donate.
Holiday Prep & Ad Placement – Join Jeff and Edward of the Seller Labs team as they discuss:1. Preparing for the holidays2. ASIN Data3. Testing ad placements
Posted by Seller Labs on Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The Time Is Now
Both Ed and Jeff stressed that Q4 is NOW and sellers need to be optimizing their listings and their ad campaigns ASAP for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and then into December for Christmas. For more detail on organizing your efforts, check out our Q4 calendar and planner.
Dude, Where’s My Sidebar?
Jeff addressed that Amazon is testing changes to Sponsored Products ad placement, namely the removal of ads in the sidebar. Again, this is in testing. Some viewers shared that they had experienced a noticeable loss in SPA performance and sales as a result. Ed added that the removal of the sidebar as SPA real estate would result in the following: less space available, more competition and higher spends.
Ad Placement Report and Bid+ Reconsidered
Amazon doesn’t say exactly where SPAs appear. They only separate them by stacking ads on top of one another. Jeff and Ed recommended that sellers consult their Ad Placement Report to see where their ads are landing and the differences in performance. Their advice: If your conversions and placements are good then try Bid+ for what is working to get top placement. Ed spoke about how he has revised his opinion on Bid+ and now sees it as a helpful tool in some cases and not just a license for Amazon to just spend your money.
Ways in Which to Isolate and Remedy Low-Performing Ads
Audience Question: If my ads aren’t performing well now, why should I spend more?
Answer: Because upping your spend on strong keywords can get you good placement, which can result in more conversions and a lower ACOS. Jeff recommends the Business Report, which shows page conversion at the child ASIN level. He refers viewers to How to Build a Working Amazon ASIN Strategy with Peter Kearns, a Facebook Live event from earlier this month. The full replay and recap are there along with Peter’s slides and an example of a Business Report.
Don’t Just Throw Good Money at Bad Listings
If you look at that report (ar any report) and see low conversions, all the SPAs in the world aren’t going to help those convert better. Sponsored Products ads are about discovery, impressions and traffic. Low conversions indicate that there is something wrong with your listing as customers are abandoning it after seeing the full listing even though they were initially interested based on the ad. In short: If your listing sucks, all the spending in the world won’t help make people buy your product.
What’s Up with the ASINs in My Search Report?
Ed is an expert on this and advises sellers not to disregard these or ignore them. There is value here. ASINs in your report means that your product appeared on some other product’s page and it was clicked on. This is the result of a user coming from Google or an external site. When the user clicks on your product, Amazon associates the click with the ASIN rather than a keyword. Hence the ASIN in your report. What does this really mean? This means that for some reason, there is something in your listing and that other ASIN’s listing that Amazon has linked. So how do you leverage that? Check the other ASIN and see what’s going on and revise/optimize your listing based on this so that you become the match rather than your competitor.
Power-Up from Ed: Ed goes further to explain the gold in the listings for other ASINs: Analyze these and pick up on their Q&A and reviews and incorporate that type of information into your own listing. Turn a competitor’s negatives into your positives.
No-Nonsense Answers and Advice About Q4 and Sponsored Products Ads
- Check in more often these days. Increased traffic could mean that your budgets might be maxed early in the day. Don’t lose sales because your ads stopped running before your competitors’ did.
- Make adjustments to keywords and bids NOW. If you’re using Seller Labs’ Ignite for Sponsored Products ad campaign management, you know that the application is constantly learning by adding data. Do not wait to put this to work for you. Ed says that he usually advises people not to tinker too often, but Q4 is different because the weeks leading up to the biggest days are when you should be making adjustments.
- Again for Ignite users: Ed loves the line graphs in Ignite and says to look at those for trends that will provide direction on how your ads are performing and how your adjustments affect performance (note the dates when you make those adjustments).
Audience Question: If I have a strict budget and keep running out of ad spend early in the day, should I decrease my bids so they last longer?
Seller Labs’ Answer: You could do that across the board but then you wouldn’t win ads. A better strategy: Isolate low-performing keywords and decrease your bids on just those. Maybe shift some of that money to your best performers. CPC will increase this season due to so much competition. You can’t afford not to zoom in on the best keywords and give them the love while decreasing spend on lesser performers.
Another idea: Pause your campaigns during low-performing hours so you aren’t spending at all during that time. Jeff mentions a client who turns his ads on every morning at 11:00 A.M. and off at 11:00 P.M. Anyone can choose when to pause. The downside is that when you pause, you’re not collecting data, which then skews it.
Final Words of Wisdom from Jeff and PPC Ed
- Optimization before all else. Optimize your listing, then optimize your ads. If your ad wins and gets clicked, but your listing is bad, you lose. Not only do you lose the sale, you pay for the click.
- #1 Missed Opportunity: Not using the User Search Terms Report at all or to its fullest. This report is literally telling you the exact words that customers are using to find your product. Ask yourself if these words really describe your product. If so, make sure you are using them in your listing and in your ad-bids. If not, why are they showing up for your ASIN? What is misleading in your listing? Find it and fix it!
- Jeff says that for those who need help managing their Sponsored Products ad campaigns, Seller Labs can assist. Contact us and we’ll work with you.
PPC Ed Leaves Us His Q4 Advice
- START NOW. If you haven’t already optimized your listings and adjusted your spends and campaigns, do it now.
- Use fewer keywords. Instead of spreading your ad spend all around, find your best converters and spend on them. Lower the spend on poor performers or disable them.
- For Ignite users: take chances on Ignite suggestions that have lower confidence than you might normally look for. You could get an edge here. If it doesn’t work, you can always pull back.
- And speaking of . . . don’t be timid with ads this holiday season.
Craving more knowledge still? Visit the Seller Labs’ Amazon PPC Resource Center.