35+ Amazon PPC Questions answered with Ben Aldern

Ben Aldern is one of the world’s leading Amazon PPC experts and a co-founder of Prestozon, a sophisticated software tool for managing Amazon ads that acts as an amplifier for your ad strategy by automating your PPC chores.

Ben’s PPC expertise combined with his background in engineering and data science helps to drive development of Prestozon’s proprietary algorithms. Before diving into the Amazon world, Ben worked at an enterprise-focused financial supply chain software firm in Silicon Valley.

List of questions covered in this video:

00:37 What is Prestozon?
01:43 How important is CTR in campaign structure? Should we separate HIGH CTR / LOW CTR exact keywords in separate campaigns?
02:40 Do you recommend 1 Ad-Group per campaign to be able to manage budget per Ad-Group instead of per campaign?
03:43 When we set up campaigns, what are the starting bids you suggest for the Automatic and Manual?
04:31 With how many keywords would you start your BROAD Campaign?
05:59 How many keywords do you suggest per research campaign?
06:34 How many campaigns is ideal for a product?
07:40 What is the main objective of PPC in general? Is it to find keywords or for ranking for specific keywords?
08:39 When and how do you eliminate keywords from your research campaigns? And what are the criteria for eliminating keywords from the research campaign?
10:10 How do you know when to lower a bid price on a product while ensuring that a good amount of people still buy it?
11:19 For an average product like a garlic press, what would be the average Impressions, Click, CTR per day so that one can know if his/her product is doing fine or not?
12:31 If you’re starting from the “top” of the suggested price range, what’s the minimum length you would run a campaign for before the information becomes valuable and not a matter of variance?
14:10 When do you get rid of a research keyword that doesn’t produce sales after generating expenses?
15:43 What do you think about running PPC from day one?
16:50 Question: I typically target 50+ KWs and start to bid high ($3+). But often most of the cost goes to a few keywords. But majority of the keywords got zero click. I lost a lot. Should I target fewer keywords and start to bid low?
18:30 Can you go more in detail on how would you restructure someone’s account with one year of PPC data?
20:51 Should we minimize the keywords on each campaign to avoid cannibalism?
22:17 What are the different uses for negative keywords?
24:19 Question: My listing, photos and keywords are already optimized, but my competitor has just given me one-star review to all of my products. Since then, I have almost no sales. Can I still use PPC since there is a negative review there and make the total review become three-star somehow? If yes, how can I target it or fix it? Because I saw many impressions and clicks, but no sales.
26:04 If you want to rank for a particularly expensive keyword, do you ever target long tail keywords and attempt to rank for the high level keywords this way?
27:14 What would cause a dramatic decrease in session and views suddenly with no change to campaigns?
28:09 What do you recommend for relevant keywords that do not get any impressions in a campaign even with highly competitive bids?
29:11 Should I start to bid high or low for a new set of keywords if the listing and conversion rate are great? Say, start to bid at $5+, 1.5*CPC or try a much lower bid when you get started?
30:12 Is repeating a keyword on a listing’s description/bullet points/backend keywords beneficial for bidding on that keyword in PPC?
30:54 In EXACT campaign, would you gradually reduce the bid if a keyword is not generating sales, or would you set the bid very low straight after it had 5-10 clicks and no sales?
32:32 Question: I sell a kitchen cleaner in two different sizes: 1 litre and 5 litres. Would you set up these two variants in separate PPC campaigns or organize them in ad groups within the same campaign?
34:21 Question: In one year of PPC data, I have 192 search terms that had at least one sale. If I have them all in one campaign, I’m afraid not all of them will get impressions. Should I keep the best keywords in separate EXACT?
36:03 Are long tail keywords included in single word keywords?
37:28 In your experience, do you agree or disagree with the opinion that Amazon prefers campaigns with high average CTR when it comes to bid auction? Do you get more impressions in campaigns with high average CTR?
40:19 Do you use reverse ASIN tools at all to work out initial ideas of what competitors are ranking for? If not, how do you try and work out what competition is ranking for?
41:37 When you see an ASIN with conversions in the search term report, what do you do with it?
42:41 What do you do with ASIN-triggered sales in terms of getting search terms or keyword insights?
43:36 Question: You previously mentioned that when CTR is less than 0.3%, it is very unlikely to get a sale (like less than 50% chance). Should I pause or even put Negative if one keyword gets less than 0.3% CTR and also has 1000+ impressions?
45:12 Do you offer the service to convert an existing PPC structure to the target-oriented single keyword campaign you proposed? And what is the cost?
46:14 What rules do you have in place for bid adjustment? How many clicks are you waiting for before adjusting a bid?
47:28 What are your thoughts about Headline Search Ads?
49:03 Have you looked into the Exact Rank Matching for typos?
50:03 How can Amazon sellers benefit from using Prestozon?
51:23 How can you contact Prestozon?


Transcript - PPC Q&A with Prestozon's Ben Aldern

[00:02] Augustas: Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the PPC Q&A, Question and Answer Session with Ben Aldern from Prestozon. Oh, I hear myself. I probably hear from Ben’s. No, I hear myself from another window. Cool. Sorry guys. I could hear myself, so it was my mistake. So. Hello. And I hope you can hear me well. And I want to introduce you to my guest today. It’s Ben Aldern. Hello Ben.

[00:35] Ben Aldern: Hey Augustas.

[00:37] Augustas: And Ben is from Prestozon, which is a PPC automation software. Ben, can you quickly tell us what Prestozon is?

[00:45] Ben Aldern: Yeah, it’s like basically really big levers to manage your PPC ads. You know, Amazon’s tools are really low level and you have to manipulate a lot of CSVs, so we do that automatically for you. When we move keywords around and manage bids so that you don’t have to do all of those chores.

[01:06] Augustas: Sure. And Prestozon I think is linked in the description of this video, so you’re welcome to visit and try it for free. You might find a coupon code over there. And today’s session is purely questions and answers. So if you have any questions about PPC Sponsored Products Advertising on Amazon, write them in the chat and Ben will be answering them for you. This is what this session is for. We’re not going to do any kind of presentation or extra content, and I see already the first question coming in and let’s do it. Vadims is asking: “How important is CTR in campaign structure? Should we separate High CTR / Low CTR exact keywords in separate campaigns?

[01:54] Ben Aldern: That’s a good question. I don’t think it’s that important. It certainly doesn’t predict whether a keyword’s going to be high or low ACoS. We actually wrote about this about a year ago on our blog. There, you can have really low CTR keywords that perform really well, and you can have high CTR keywords that perform really poorly. But they all kind of circle around the same amount. CTR is useful for predicting whether something is going to get a sale at all. So higher CTR things tend to be more likely to get a sale. But once they get a sale, what the ACoS is is not dependent on CTR. So I don’t use CTR really in campaign management at all.

[02:40] Augustas: And another question from the same person is: “Do you recommend 1 Ad-Group per campaign to be able to manage budget per Ad Group instead of per campaign?”

[02:51] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I think it’s important to keep your campaigns goal-oriented. So you should have a campaign for researching new search terms, and you should have a goal for performance or a campaign for performance of maximizing the search terms that you’ve already found. And if you have those as separate campaigns, you can increase your performance budget as soon as that starts really taking off, and then you can decrease your research budget after you found most of the keywords. So you want to have like a goal per campaign. You can have multiple Ad Groups in that campaign, but generally, I stick with one, unless it’s really necessary to have more than one.

[03:32] Augustas: And yes, everyone on the live call, please type your PPC Sponsored Ads Amazon advertising questions in the chat and Ben will take them during the session. So the next question is from Paul. He’s asking: “When we set up campaigns, what are the starting bids you suggest for the Automatic and Manual ones?”

[03:52] Ben Aldern: It really depends on niche. Some niches have CPCs at fifty cents, some have CPCs at $5. So you really just got to figure out what CPC is going to be useful. I think Amazon provides some starting estimates. Their range, I don’t know, I don’t think it’s that great. But if you start at the high end of that range, then you’ll probably find a lot of stuff. So starting high is always good and then bringing it down. That’s the faster way to get started. If you’re really careful about budget, you can start low and go up, but that takes a long time.

[04:31] Augustas: Raphael is saying that he usually starts with the following PPC setup and he’s asking: “How many keywords would you start with BROAD campaign?”

[04:42] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I mean, this gets into research budgets. Think about it like this, we’ll take a really simple example. Your average CPC is $1 and your average conversion rate is 10 percent. It’s pretty high. It’s good if your average conversion rate is 10 percent. So every 10 clicks, you get a sale. So that’s $10 per sale. And if each search term has a conversion rate of 10 percent, you have to try to get at least 10 clicks per search term that you want to research before you know if it’s gonna work or not. So you have to spend at least $10 per search term. If you see the BROAD campaign with a thousand keywords and each keyword can get exposure to 10 search terms, that’s 10,000 search terms. And if you want to research all of them, that’s $10 times 10,000 search terms — that’s $100,000. Clearly, that’s not going to work for most people. So I really recommend starting with a smaller group of keywords and really researching the ones that you think are going to work the best. And then expanding, doing more research later, but definitely set aside a couple thousand dollars generally to do the research.

[05:59] Augustas: And how many keywords do you suggest for the research campaign?

[06:02] Ben Aldern: It depends on your budget. You know, if it’s a thousand (budget), maybe less than 100 (keywords). I think people will start like a thousand or 2000 keywords, and they want to do all the research for like $20 a day. It just doesn’t work like that. You’re actually going to hurt yourself because you’re not gonna get enough data to make any good decisions. So you’re basically wasting a lot of money.

[06:34] Augustas: Can we take more a general question? For example: “How many campaigns is ideal for a product?” So someone starts their Amazon business, they launch a product, and now they’re confused how many campaigns they should create for one product.

[06:48] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I always start with three — an Auto, a BROAD research campaign, and an EXACT performance campaign. And then as things move, as search terms get sales, I start them in the BROAD and the EXACT, and then NEGATIVE, then back up. We have a whole structure for this on our blog. But basically, those three allow you to manage your search terms and manage your budgets. And you can expand from there if you find that, “I’m getting a lot of sales for branded terms and I really want to move those out into their own campaign.” You can do that. It’s much easier to expand from a simple setup than it is to take a complex setup and like simplify it down. So yeah, start simple three campaigns — Auto, Research, Performance — and then you can expand from there if you need to.

[07:40] Augustas: And Ramy is interested: “What is the main objective of PPC in general? Is it to find keywords or for ranking for specific keywords?”

[07:52] Ben Aldern: That depends on your business goals. PPC is good for both of those. I think one of the things that people don’t do often enough is feedback their PPC results into their listing. You just bought all of this data on what search terms resonate with your customers, so you should put that back into your listing and make sure that those keywords are there and they’re in your back end — and that’s really critical. It’s also very good for focusing spend on specific keywords. And if you can show Amazon that you can drive sales with a specific keyword, they will show you higher for those organic rankings. So you can do both of those things. Just depends on what you want to do as a business.

[08:39] Augustas: And Paul is interested: “When and how do you eliminate keywords from your research campaigns?”

[08:46] Ben Aldern: As soon as they get a sale generally. So as soon as something, as soon as the search term…let me take a moment to explain the difference between search terms and keywords here. So keywords are what you bid on. A keyword can show for multiple search terms. The search term is what the customer searches on. And all of Amazon advertising is basically managing exposure to search terms. So you want to get shown in front of customers searching for a specific thing for the right amount of money. And as soon as a search term gets a sale, I move that into the Performance campaign, and then I Negative Exact it in the research campaign. And that allows me to control my exposure to that search term as an exact match keyword in the Performance campaign.

[09:36] Augustas: And I think this also answers the next question: “What criteria for eliminating keywords from the research campaign do you use?”

[09:42] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I mean, it kind of can depend on how big of a budget you have. You know, if you’re managing a campaign that’s spending $10,000 a month, maybe it’s better to wait for two sales. I generally would just wait for one, because you know it has some resonance with your customers if somebody bought it.

[10:10] Augustas: Great. So we have a lot of questions coming in and the next one is: “How do you know when to lower a bid price on a product while ensuring that the good amount of people still buy the product?”

[10:23] Ben Aldern: It’s a marketplace, so if you bid too low, your competitors are going to outbid you, and then they’re going to get shown. So there is less Volume, fewer impressions available at lower bids. So you can’t have your cake and eat it too in this scenario. You have to bid the right amount that gets you enough impressions that makes you enough sales. The question is whether that’s at a price that’s affordable to you. And there’s this curve where, at some point, you basically don’t get any volume. So you don’t want to bid lower than that. But if you bid too high, then it costs a lot of money. It’s this art of balancing how much money you’re spending per sale.

[11:19] Augustas: Ramy is asking: “For an average product like Garlic Press…” Oh no, I hate Garlic Press examples, so let’s create a new example: orange clock or something. And so, for average products like this, “What would be the average impressions, Click, CTR per day? So that I can know if mine is doing fine or not.”

[11:45] Ben Aldern: You know, it’s all about the results. So generally, I look at ACoS. You set a target ACoS. If you’re achieving that, then great. And if you’re not, then you need to change something. The question is whether you can get volume at that target ACoS. For a Garlic Press, if you’re trying to hit 10 percent ACoS, you’re probably going to be getting three impressions per day, because everybody’s going to be outbidding you. But if you have like a 50 percent ACoS, then maybe you can get some good Volume. But you can’t have a five percent ACoS and an extremely high Volume. That’s just not how ads work.

[12:31] Augustas: And “If you’re starting from the ‘top’ of the suggested price range, what’s the minimum length you would run a campaign for before the information becomes valuable and not a matter of variance?”

[12:47] Ben Aldern: Well, say, if your threshold is one sale before you move it over to your Performance campaign, there’s no variance there. It’s just like, “Did you get a sale or not?” As far as campaign-level ACoS, yeah, I think that’s valid. It generally look at like the seven-day rolling value. I almost never look at the day-to-day ACoS for a campaign. That’s just not useful. So at least a week. Amazon has a two-day delay, so probably at least nine days. There’s also a lot of variance day-to-day, like weekday-to-weekday. So weekends, people have different buying habits than they do on weekdays. So you never want to look at like a five-day value or a three-day value — you really need to look at a seven-day value because it includes the weekend and the whole week. So, I don’t know, that’s kind of a roundabout answer. Wait at least nine days, don’t make any rash decisions. I think that the accounts that I’ve seen perform the best make small changes over time, and they have patience. The patient account managers win in this game. The people who are making tons of changes all the time just end up not knowing what’s going on, and then they end up having a terribly-performing account.

[14:10] Augustas: The same person who was asking earlier about getting rid of research keywords from your campaigns I think is clarifying that he means getting rid of research keywords that doesn’t produce sales after generating expenses.

[14:25] Ben Aldern: Yeah. So the way we do this in the Prestozon software is we have a couple of thresholds. I want to shy away from saying you get rid of a keyword. You want to get rid of a search term. You want to look at your search terms and say, “I’ve spent this much money, I had this many clicks and I haven’t gotten a sale. How long do I wait there?” That’s a great question. We have two criteria. One is, “Should I have expected a sale by now?” If your average conversion rate is 10 percent and you’ve already had like 12 or 15 clicks, then you probably aren’t going to get a sale because you’re beyond what you would expect to get a sale if you had a 10 percent conversion rate. The other thing is with Spend. So if you have a $100 product and a 30 percent ACoS target and you’ve already spent $40 or $45 on a search term, then even if you got a sale at $100, you wouldn’t meet your ACoS target, and it will probably be challenging to get it down. So yeah, you wait for the right amount of Spend or clicks.

[15:43] Augustas: Thank you. And another newbie question: “What do you think about running PPC from day one?”

[15:51] Ben Aldern: Well, conversion rate is going to be low if you don’t have any reviews. And if you have bad reviews, then that’s also going to be low. The flip side is that even if you have a low conversion rate but you can afford to spend some money on PPC, that might get you your first couple of orders and that might result in a review. It really depends on how much money you have to spend and if this is the best launch strategy. I absolutely think it should be used after you have like five or ten reviews. Conversion rate goes up a lot and it can be a great way to get you onto page one or two pretty quickly.

[16:37] Augustas: All right. So I hope it’s clear for this starting seller. Well, it doesn’t mean starting. This person was asking about launching a product, and starting the PPCs doesn’t mean it’s the first product. So next question is from Duff Lee. He says, “I typically target 50+ keywords and start to bid high — like $3 and more — but often, most of the costs go to a few keywords. But majority of the keywords got zero clicks. I lost a lot. Should I target fewer keywords and start to bid low?”

[17:18] Ben Aldern: Again, I think it’s important to think about search terms. So if you are starting two keywords: “clock” and “orange clock”, they’re both broad. “Clock” is going to cover all of the search terms that “orange clock” is going to cover, because you can also show for “orange clock” with the “clock” keyword. And so the question is, “where are you spending your money on search terms?” Most products don’t have a ton of search terms that will actually work, so people search on very specific things to find your product. So you have a lot of overlap between your keywords. These other ones might get zero clicks or super low impressions because they’re already being covered by these other keywords that are getting clicks. And so what you want to do is you want to minimize your overlap there so that you can maximize your concentration of search term data.

[18:30] Augustas: And, “Can you go more in detail on how would you restructure someone’s account with one year of PPC data?”

[18:41] Ben Aldern: The unfortunate thing is that Amazon throws away search term data after two months. I would recommend that, hopefully, you’d have that search term data saved somewhere either in a software that you’ve been using for a year or you’ve downloaded the search term reports every two months. So basically what I would do is I would find all of the search terms that made one sale and start them in an EXACT campaign and try to scale that campaign as much as possible. Allow yourself four weeks or something to really tune these bids. But you have to wait for the data to come in for these bid changes. So you can only make a couple, maybe one or two changes a week maximum.

[19:41] Ben Aldern: I guess broadly take these search terms that have made sales, put them in an EXACT campaign, manage your bids on them and make sure they’re not showing up anywhere else — this is extremely critical and most people miss this. So you want to make sure that the search terms that you’re bidding on with these exact keywords aren’t showing up in any other campaigns. Either make them Negative in all of the campaigns or turn off other campaigns. If you have a BROAD research campaign, make these keywords that are in your EXACT campaign, make them an Exact Negative in your research campaign so that you can focus all of the search term exposure on these Exact Match keywords. This is really critical to managing bids because a lot of times, what happens is you manage the bid in one place, but maybe reduce the bid a little bit, the impressions for that search term moved over to this other keyword over in this other campaign. It’s hard to chase that around. So you really want to focus all of your search exposure in one place.

[20:51] Augustas: And Hector is referring to your previous answer about the keywords for the campaigns. He says, “In that case, do we need to minimize the keywords on each campaign to avoid cannibalism?”

[21:11] Ben Aldern: Yeah. You should be looking at the search term data. You want a way to aggregate search term data across keywords at least, and it’s better to be able to also do it across campaigns. This is what Prestozon does really well. If you’re just managing based on keyword, you’re missing out a lot. You need to aggregate your search term data. In that case, if you are aggregating your search term data, cannibalism doesn’t matter too much because you’ll still know how your product is performing for that search term. But in general, when you’re researching stuff, minimizing the number of keywords is good because you can focus your Spend a little bit better. Just throwing in a whole bunch of keywords that might work is just super expensive.

[22:17] Augustas: All right. And can you share any different uses for negative keywords? What could be the different uses?

[22:28] Ben Aldern: Yeah. The one that gets overlooked as search term isolation. So like I was saying, if you have an EXACT campaign, all of those keywords should be Negative Exact in everywhere else. And that focuses all of your search term impressions in one place. Another great use of negative keywords is kind of focusing your branded spend. So, if you have maybe a BROAD campaign that you’re researching, or maybe a Phrase campaign, but you don’t want it showing up for any of your branded keywords because you’re bidding for all of those in a different campaign, you can just Negative Phrase your brand name in this BROAD campaign. That’s really useful. Because a lot of times, people will come to me and they’ll be like, “My campaign’s doing great, it’s hitting three percent ACoS and I just want to expand it as much as we can.” But a lot of the time, it’s because they have one or two keywords that are their branded names and they get like zero percent or one percent ACoS on those, and all of their sales come from that. That’s not scalable. You’re probably getting all of the Volume that you can there. So you want to separate those out so that you can see that these are the customers, these are defensive terms, I just don’t want my competitors showing up for my brand name — that kind of thing. But on this other campaign where I’m not bidding on branded stuff, I want to make sure that I’m actually hitting my target ACoS for these non-branded terms. So that’s another good use of negatives.

[24:19] Augustas: Great. Thank you. I just remembered one question I got via email a few days ago and that person was saying: “My listing, photos and keywords are already optimized, but my competitor has just given me one-star review to all of my products. Since then, I have almost no sales. Can I still use PPC since there is a negative review there and make the total review become three-star somehow? If yes, how can I target it or fix it? Because I saw many impressions and clicks, but no sales. Big possibility is because of the negative reviews.”

[25:00] Ben Aldern: Yeah. That’s hard. That will affect your PPC performance. I would say try to contact Amazon and see if you can get that removed. If you have proof that it is actually your competitor doing that, that is against Terms of Service. So try to get them to remove it. It’s absolutely going to make your PPC more expensive and it can make it less profitable or not profitable to run PPC. You can outspend. You can just like throw a bunch of money at it and you will get somebody to buy it. It’s just going to be really expensive.

[25:44] Augustas: Maybe doing a few giveaways with the hope that some people will leave a review. Maybe it could improve the situation.

[25:51] Ben Aldern: Yeah. PPC is not the only way to get more reviews. So you definitely want to explore all of the ways that you can get reviews and use those.

[26:04] Augustas: Next question is: “If you want to rank for a particularly expensive keyword, do you ever target long tail keywords and attempt to rank for the high level keywords this way?”

[26:17] Ben Aldern: I don’t know if that would help much. If the main keyword is really expensive, then it might not be profitable for you to try to rank for that one. I think it’s absolutely good to start with the longer tail ones a. It’s kind of a long-term play, but you can definitely rank for all of the longer tail, lower volume keywords and then use that to build up your sales volume. And ranking is primarily based on sales volume. So if you can increase your sales volume over the course of like a year or something by ranking really highly for these longer tail terms, then that will allow you to rank more easily for these really expensive high-volume terms.

[27:14] Augustas: One of the viewers is saying that he is “experiencing dramatic decrease in session and views suddenly with no change to campaigns. What can be the cause?”

[27:29] Ben Aldern: Usually, that comes down to a listing issue — if you got a bad review or sometimes, Amazon comes in and changes your pictures or your title or something, or maybe you got a new competitor coming into the market. If you were the only one who is seriously advertising in your niche, but then somebody else comes in and starts throwing a bunch of money at it, then that can reduce the amount of impressions you get. So it’s usually not something that you did, but it’s something that changed either in the market or on your listing.

[28:09] Augustas: Makes sense. And “What do you recommend for relevant keywords that do not get any impressions in a campaign even with highly competitive bids?”

[28:21] Ben Aldern: Yeah. So troubleshooting this is kind of just brute force. So I generally just put the bid really high and if that still doesn’t get any impressions, then I’ll email Amazon. Amazon sometimes does have issues where you’ll email them that “that shouldn’t be showing, I don’t know why it is”, and then they’ll fix it. You shouldn’t be getting zero impressions. If you’re getting zero impressions with a very competitive bid…I’m talking like if a good CPC is like a dollar, I’ll run it at like $5 for a day and see if that can kickstart it. And if that doesn’t work, then you should [ask Amazon] — Amazon is pretty responsive — like “I was running this for $5, I didn’t get any impressions.”

[29:11] Augustas: Great. Next question: “Should I start to bid high or low for a new set of keywords if the listing and conversion rate are great? Say, start to bid at $5+, 1.50*CPC, or try a much lower bid when you get started?”

[29:34] Ben Aldern: I mean, it depends on how you want to attack it. Starting at a high bid does yield faster results. That’s just a fact. If you have the money to throw at it and you want to get this started really quickly, yeah, start high. Maybe like double what an average CPC would be. So if you’re at $1.50, maybe try $3. Probably no reason to go to $5 right off the bat because you don’t want to be irresponsible with your money. But I think starting high is definitely my preference.

[30:12] Augustas: Right. “Is repeating a keyword on a listing’s description/bullet points/backend keywords beneficial for bidding on that keyword in PPC?”

[30:21] Ben Aldern: Yeah. This should be a feedback cycle. Anything that’s working in PPC should get fed back into your backend search terms. And anything that you want to rank in or have high performance with PPC should be in your backend search terms. Amazon takes into account your listing’s relevancy and your bid when deciding who gets what Impression. So by modifying your backend search terms, you can become more relevant to specific search terms.

[30:54] Augustas: “In EXACT campaign, would you gradually reduce the bid if a keyword is not generating sales, or would you set the bid very low straight after it had 5-10 clicks and no sales?”

[31:09] Ben Aldern: 5 (clicks) is very low. If you think you should have a sale after five clicks, that means you’re expecting a 20 percent conversion rate. Some products do have a 20 percent conversion rate, most don’t. So you should look at it realistically and say like, on average, I have a 5 percent conversion rate, 10 percent conversion rate, 3 percent conversion rate. Then you should figure out how many clicks do you need to wait. So let’s say you’ve waited that many clicks. So you have a 10 percent conversion rate and you’ve waited 10 clicks. I would still wait a few more. And then, if it’s not making any sales, I would reduce it. But the question is why is that in your Exact Match campaign anyway? I don’t think anything should be in Exact Match campaign unless it’s already made a sale or if you’re really sure that you want to rank for that term. So if you sell orange clocks, you probably want “orange clock” in your Exact Match and you want to bid really high on it so that you can make sure that you’re getting impressions for that. But you’re probably gonna make a conversion for that anyway. So don’t put stuff in your Exact Match campaigns if you don’t know that they’re going to work or if you don’t have a strategic goal behind them.

[32:32] Augustas: Raphael says that he’s “selling kitchen cleaner in two different sizes: 1 litre and 5 litres. Would you set up these two variants in separate PPC campaigns or organize them in ad groups within the same campaign?”

[32:49] Ben Aldern: Definitely put them in the same ad group. My rule of thumb here is that anything that is relevant to the same search terms should be in the same ad group. So if you have two different ad groups, you have to have two sets of keywords. That means that your search term exposure is split between these two sets of keywords. If they’re all the same keywords, then any bid that you changed on one set affects how many impressions the other set gets. Let’s say you are bidding on the Exact Match keyword “kitchen cleaner” for $1 with the 1-litre and $1.50 for the 5-litre. If you reduce the bid on the 5-litre one from $1.50 to ninety cents, then your 1-litre is going to start getting all of those impressions. And this is what you don’t want. You don’t want to just be chasing around impressions between these two keywords. You want to just put it in one place and manage all of your search term exposure through one keyword. Splitting up gives you the illusion of control, but Amazon will still decide which keyword gets entered into the auction. And if you put them together, Amazon still has that control, but you have it all consolidated in one place that you do have control over. Now, one thing to consider is that if the 5-litre is, say, four or five times more expensive than the 1-litre, then maybe that’s way more profitable to advertise. And maybe you don’t want to advertise your 1-litre.

[34:21] Augustas: Great. Thank you. Vadims is saying that in one year of PPC data, he has “192 ST (search terms) that had at least one sale. If I have them all in one campaign, I’m afraid not all of them will get impressions. Should I keep the best keywords in separate EXACT?”

[34:47] Ben Aldern: Yeah. If you have 192 search terms, then you should start all of those as Exact Match, and they should all get impressions. The only problem here is that Amazon treats plurals and stuff the same. So if you have like…we’ll go back to orange clock. So somebody searches on “orange clock”, that will show up for your Exact Match keyword “orange clock”, obviously. But if they search on “orange clocks”, that will also show up for your Exact Match keyword “orange clock.” So if these 192 search terms have no overlap, then you should get exposure to all of them. But my guess is that you have some overlap and you have some plurals and you have like “a orange clock” or something like that in there and those are all going to show up for the same Exact Match. So you kind of want to parse them down and see which ones have overlap and which ones don’t, and then advertise one, pick one. It doesn’t really matter if you are advertising on “orange clock” or “orange clocks.”

[35:53] Augustas: Thank you for using a great example of orange clocks.

[35:58] Ben Aldern: Anything that’s not a Garlic Press.

[36:03] Augustas: Yeah. Paul wants a clarification about long tail keywords and single word keywords, this is what you talked about, about eliminating them. So he says: “So long tail keywords are included in single word keywords?” So you don’t need to use long tail keywords, right?

[36:21] Ben Aldern: It depends on the Match type. If you have a Phrase or a Broad “clock”, you’ll get “orange clock” and “bright orange clock.” But obviously, if you have an Exact Match keyword “clock”, you won’t get either of those other two. So the critical thing to remember here is that when you’re managing bid on a Broad Match keyword like “clock”, you’re not just managing bid on that search term — you’re managing bid for “clock”, “orange clock”, “red clock”, “bright orange clock”, all these search terms. And so that’s what makes Exact Match so powerful. You have control over one specific search term, which is the whole point of advertising on Amazon. You want to get away from using Broad and Phrase Match, and move towards using Exact Match. There are a couple scenarios where Phrase Match works better for some products, but for most stuff, Exact Match is where you want to be.

[37:28] Augustas: Thank you. Next question: “There is an opinion that Amazon prefers campaigns with high average CTR when it comes to bid auction. In your experience, do you agree or disagree with this? Do you get more impressions in campaigns with high average CTR?”

[37:48] Ben Aldern: Like I said earlier, I don’t really pay too much attention to it because I’ve been able to manage very large accounts extremely successfully without being attached to it. So I think that Amazon’s smarter than using campaign-level stuff all the time — they do use keyword-level stuff. So a low CTR on a keyword does mean that it’s less likely to get a sale just statistically. And you can go check out our blog, I have a whole post about the data behind that. I’m sure that Amazon treats keywords differently. If your keyword is getting a lot of sales, that’s great. And it shouldn’t matter what the CTR is. I think you can trust Amazon to do what is best for Amazon. They will try to put ads up that are going to get clicks, and they’ll try to put ads up that are going to get sales. So if you’re making a lot of sales, Amazon is making money on that, so they’re going to show your ad. Another myth that I want to dispel here is that “Amazon really treats campaign history with a lot of importance.” I’ll give an example of why that’s not true. I just switched over an account to a totally new structure. All new campaigns completely migrated away from their entire old campaign structure. And this was on like $20,000 to $40,000 a month, and it took one week to move over to this entirely new campaign structure.

[39:26] Ben Aldern: And we went from a 12 percent ACoS to an 8 percent of ACoS. This is the power of restructuring and just going by the data. We set bids based on the old data, but then just moved it all over and we set a really powerful structure with a lot of search term isolation, and everything was working really well and took one week to move $40,000 a month over from the old structure to the new structure. So I just kind of laugh when people say, “Oh yeah, but what about the campaign history?” I’m like, well, I dunno, I got better performance out of these week-old campaigns than I did out of the old ones. I don’t think people should be that worried about it.

[40:09] Augustas: Thank you for busting the myth. And I think we have 10 more minutes for the questions, so you are still welcome to type them in the chat if you’re still on the call. So next question: “Do you use reverse ASIN tools at all to work out initial ideas of what competitors are ranking for? If not, how do you try and work out what competition is ranking for?”

[40:34] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I think reverse ASIN tools are great. Basically, keyword research and market intelligence is not something that we handle at Prestozon. We were looking at ways of bringing that into our product, but we mainly work with what is set up in your account already. When you’re looking for what keywords you should bid on, you’re looking for two things. One is what can you rank for easily and make a lot of sales on — that’s super important just for your business. But also, you’re looking at who are my competitors and what are they ranking on and how do I bump them off, because they’re going to be doing the same thing for you. So find out what your competitors are bidding on, if they bid more for those, that can be very expensive, but you know, it’s all part of the game.

[41:37] Augustas: Another question from one of my viewers: “When you see in the search term report an ASIN with conversions, what do you do with it?”

[41:47] Ben Aldern: If it’s converting really well, this is great competitive intelligence. So I would go and open up that ASIN in Amazon and see why you think your product is resonating with people who were originally looking at that product. What are the differentiating features? Is the price different? Is your listing prettier or do you have better pictures? Do you have a better description? Why are people buying your item over that item? You have an extra opportunity here if that other item is branded because then, you can bid on that brand name, and if people are converting well for you against that brand, then that’s great. You can just basically take all of their traffic.

[42:41] Augustas: And I think the next one is a related question: “What do you do with ASIN-triggered sales in terms of getting search terms or keyword insights?”

[42:52] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I mean, just go to the Details page on Amazon and look at what they’re ranking for. What words do they use? What’s their brand name? Again, compare your product to their product. If your product has a standout feature that their product doesn’t, that might be why you’re converting well for that ASIN. And in that case, you want to emphasize that you have this feature. That’s great. That’s your competitive advantage. So find that difference that’s bringing you customers and then advertise for that.

[43:36] Augustas: “You previously mentioned that when CTR is less than 0.3%, it is very unlikely to get a sale (like less than 50% chance). Should I pause or even put Negative if one keyword gets less than 0.3% CTR and also has 1000+ impressions?”

[44:01] Ben Aldern: The absolute minimum you should wait is 1,300 (impressions). I think that’s super, super, super low still. If you’re really cash-constrained, then you can make it Negative or pause it. I’m generally of the mind that you should be researching keywords that you think are going to make a sale. If you’re researching keywords that you don’t think are going to make a sale, then you should go back and revise your keyword research approach. But basically, if you think it’s going to make a sale, then wait for enough clicks to come in. You’d be surprised. A lot of the times, low CTR things do make sales at good ACoS, and they just have a low CTR for some other reason. But if you’re really budget-constrained and you want to only spend money on things that you’re most sure are going to convert, then yeah, try to spend money on the high CTR stuff.

[45:12] Augustas: Someone is wondering if you offer the service to convert existing PPC structure to the target-oriented single keyword campaign you propose, and what is the cost?

[45:22] Ben Aldern: Yeah. We have this feature called “Rules Engine” which helps you do this really easily. Basically, all you have to do is set up a new campaign and then set up a rule that will mine your old campaigns for converting search terms and start them in the new one. And you can also tell it to start it as Negative in your old ones. So this moves over these search terms into this new Exact Match structure and then makes sure it’s isolated to that new Exact Match campaign by Negativing the old ones. And that’s super fast to do. If you go to our blog, we have ways to use Rules, Post — there’s just so much power behind this feature. So yeah, it’s pretty easy to do it with Prestozon.

[46:14] Augustas: And “What rules do you have in place for bid adjustment? How many clicks are you waiting for before adjusting a bid?”

[46:23] Ben Aldern: Our bid management algorithm is more complex than I can explain in 10 minutes, but we have a lot of thresholds. They’re not baked in. They vary based on ad group performance, based on that keyword’s performance. I think if you’re using only rules of thumb to manage your ads, then you’re probably missing out on some performance. So what we do is we look at the keywords, see how it has performed. If it’s performing well, then we increase the bid. If it’s not, then we decrease the bid. If it’s not getting any impressions, we’ll increase the bid. If it’s getting impressions and clicks but no sales, then we’ll decrease the bid. There’s a lot that goes into this algorithm, and there’s a lot of nuance in how much you change the bid — and that’s based on how much data we have and how well it’s performing, what the ACoS is, how far it is from your target ACoS, just lots of stuff like that.

[47:28] Augustas: Great. We will be wrapping up in a couple of minutes, so we’ll take a few more questions. And next question is: “What do you think about Headline Ads?”

[47:40] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I’m really glad they’re in Seller Central now. They’re getting more expensive as more people start using them. They’re just like anything else. I think you need to try all of the strategies, and some strategies work really well for some products and some don’t for some other products. So try Headline Search Ads, see what works. I would definitely take data from your Sponsored Products campaigns and use that to start keywords and Headline Search. You know, you don’t have to go in blind. You know what you’re converting for because you’re running Sponsored Product ads, then run that as Headline Search. The interesting thing about HSA (Headline Search Ads) is that you have a little bit more control over the creative. You have one sentence that you can set like five words or whatever, and then you have the four pictures and you can pick what those are. So the question is, do you show your really popular items? Do you show a variety of items? Do you show items that you want to sell? There’s a lot of stuff to test out there. And I really do encourage everybody to try HSA because there are some accounts that perform extremely well with HSA and that’s just awesome. That’s what you want.

[49:03] Augustas: And someone is wondering if you have looked into the Exact Rank Matching for typos?

[49:11] Ben Aldern: I don’t know what “Exact Rank Matching” means, but typos are good. Bid on those. So in Prestozon, we make this really easy. You can go to an Exact Match keyword that’s high volume for you and then expand the search terms and you can see what search terms have shown up for that keyword. Sometimes, typos are included in Exact Match keywords — not all the time — but check that out and see if that’s happening. If it’s not happening, then you definitely want to make sure that you’re bidding on these typos with other keywords.

[49:52] Augustas: Perfect. So I think we will finish here. Thanks a lot everyone who was on the live call and gave these great questions. I hope it was helpful. And Ben, can you just talk one more time how Amazon sellers can benefit by using Prestozon?

[50:12] Ben Aldern: Yeah. I just also want to say thank you for all the questions. That hour went by really fast. That was like the most rapid fire PPC Question & Answer Session I’ve ever done. That was a lot of fun. Yeah. With Prestozon, basically, we make all the chores and the grunt work that nobody likes doing really easy. Bid management is really hard because nobody wants to do it, and so we do that. And then all these search term research, nobody likes going over search term reports in Excel. We do that for you. Like all of the bad stuff that you don’t want to do for PPC, we do. Unless you like doing that stuff and whatever, but most people don’t.

[51:01] Augustas: I personally don’t even like resonate with this stuff. So yeah, you will find a link to Prestozon below in the comments. And also, if there is an ongoing promotion, you will find a coupon code or something like that to claim a free period (trial) to test Prestozon. And Ben, is there a way to contact you via email?

[51:28] Ben Aldern: Yeah. You can just email us at Team@Prestozon.com.

[51:33] Augustas: Great. Thanks a lot and good luck in your business. Bye.

[51:38] Ben Aldern: Thanks Augustas.

About the Author Augustas Kligys

Augustas Kligys is the host and creator of several popular virtual summits for Amazon sellers. The first one is European Private Label Summit, which covers a lot of important topics for those willing to grow their Amazon FBA business in European Marketplaces. The second - AMZ Seller Summit - an event, where experts shared their Amazon business optimization secrets and mindset, which helps to elevate your business to the next level. Augustas also hosts weekly DEMO MONDAYS video series, where Amazon seller tools are demoing their products.

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