Are you Ready for Your First PPC Campaign on Amazon?

Amazon PPC

When you’re launching a new product on Amazon it’s easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond. Organic search results take time to kick in, but sellers need an immediate impact to ensure your investment pays off. Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC) is a quick and effective way to drive traffic to new products. However, if you’re inexperienced in PPC campaigns, or you choose the wrong technology to manage it for you, it can be an expensive exercise that doesn’t always yield the right results.

If you’ve read our predictions for Amazon sellers, you know how important it is to learn the fundamentals and the basics so you don’t lose money.

To help you steer clear of potential pitfalls, we’ve put together a guide to launching your Amazon product with the help of PPC, so sellers can maximize the value of your pay-per-click campaigns.

Step 1: Prepare your new product listing

Most Amazon Sellers are aware that your choice of words will impact which organic search results your product appears in but did you know that it can affect your paid advertising campaigns as well?

This is why it’s critical to invest some time on your product listing before launch.

There are a few elements of your product page that you can optimise from a PPC point of view:

1. Page title

Unlike Google, which prefers short and snappy titles, Amazon prefers product listings that begin with a highly descriptive title. In fact, the website gives you up to 500 characters per title, so make the most of this and get creative!

The most important thing to think about when developing a page title is what you’d naturally type into Amazon if you were searching for your product, as this will guide you on the most effective keywords to use.

Be as descriptive as possible. For example, if you’re selling a baseball cap, the page title baseball cap isn’t going to tell customers much about your product. Lengthening the description to men’s black casual peaked baseball cap sun hat adjustable size says a lot more.

One reason your choice of keywords is so important at this stage is that you may choose to run an automatic PPC campaign through Amazon initially – we’ll discuss this further in a moment. If this is the route you go down then Amazon will choose words from your product listing that it thinks are a good search match, so the better you describe your product, the more effective your PPC campaigns will be.

2. Product description

If you thought the page title was descriptive, wait until you get to the main copy for your new product listing! There are two things you need to pay attention to here:

  • Overview bullet points at the top of your listing
  • Main product description further down the page

In actual fact, the bullet points matter more in many ways, as these are the first things that potential customers will read. Take the keywords you’ve used in your page title and make sure these are reiterated throughout the bulk of your listing copy, as the repetition will help Amazon to recognize that this is a keyword and select it for a PPC campaign.

A word of warning, though: remember you are selling to people, not algorithms, so don’t stuff your bullet points or product descriptions so full of keywords that they’re unreadable. You need to strike a balance between strategy and sales talk. And make sure your sentences are short and succinct as well, for any shoppers using their mobile or tablet to browse Amazon.

3. URL

It might seem strange to put this last in our list when it’s at the top of the page, but there’s a reason for this. When you’ve written your product description, Amazon will automatically select what it believes are your product keywords and pull these through into the web address for your page.

Therefore, it’s even more important to double-check your choice of words before you save your listing, as this will influence your URL – and your URL will influence Amazon’s automatic choice of keywords for PPC campaigns.

Step 2: Decide what type of PPC campaign you want to launch

When you’re launching a new product on Amazon, there are two pay-per-click routes you can go down. The first is an automatic campaign, where Amazon chooses the best keywords (or what it thinks are the best keywords) based on your product description and decides how to spend the budget you have set. There are pluses and minuses to this approach:

Reasons why you might want to choose an automatic Amazon PPC campaign:

  • It doesn’t require any expert knowledge
  • It doesn’t eat into your time
  • You’re in charge of the budget – even if you’re not making any of the other campaign decisions

Reasons why you might not want an automatic Amazon PPC campaign:

  • You’re not in control of any of the decisions
  • You might not know why Amazon is choosing certain keywords – but you have to go with the flow
  • You don’t know how Amazon is spending your budget; only that they’re getting through it each day

The alternative approach is to create a manual PPC campaign for your Amazon product launch, where you make all of the executive decisions about which keywords are chosen, how much you’re willing to bid per keyword, and how much you spend. Again, there are pluses and minuses to doing pay-per-click manually.

Reasons why you might want to choose a manual Amazon PPC campaign:

  • You are in control of everything at all times
  • You can see which keywords are bringing in the best results, and remove those that aren’t earning you sales
  • You can choose how you spend your budget – you might not always want to focus on the most expensive keywords as they will quickly rinse your daily allowance!

Reasons why you might not want to choose a manual Amazon PPC campaign:

  • You don’t want to learn anything about PPC (but it’s a great skill to master)
  • It takes more time than an auto campaign (but not always a huge amount)
  • You might make the odd mistake along the way (but it’s all part of the learning curve)

Of course, there is a third option if you’re still not sure which approach is best for your product launch, and that’s to find a piece of technology that combines the two types of PPC campaign.

New AI-driven tech is coming onto the market that uses a ‘best of both worlds’ approach to maximise PPC campaign results.

It starts by running a short automatic campaign to see which keywords are working best initially and then enables you to manage the best-performing keywords manually so you’re in the driving seat.

Step 3: Choosing your keywords

Whichever route you go down, automatic or manual, there are three types of keyword you will encounter in your PPC campaigns:

Broad match – Ad appears in searches related to your keyword, e.g. if shoppers have misspelt the word or they are searching for something similar. Can reveal some hidden opportunities, but it does increase the chances your product will show up in irrelevant searches.

Phrase match – Ad appears when someone types in a certain phrase. Allows for longer search terms that people but still room for error, as your product will show up in close matches or misspelt searches.

Exact match – Ad appears only when consumers type in that exact keyword or phrase. Limits the number of search results you appear in, but increases the chance that you appear in the results of a customer who goes on to purchase your products.

Although you don’t want to have an unmanageable keyword list, it’s important that you have a decent number of keywords so that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. If you only use a couple of keywords, Amazon can only include you in the search results when shoppers type in that term, which limits your visibility.

If you want some help building a keyword list, here are some useful sites to visit:

Specifically, for Amazon:

  • Helium 10
  • Merchant Words

Some of the keywords you choose are bound to attract more searches than others. If you think back to the baseball cap example, more people are going to search with a phrase involving the word baseball cap than black men’s baseball cap. However, it’s not just about the volume of traffic; it’s about the likelihood of consumers clicking on your ad once it appears on their search results page.

Sometimes longer or more obscure keywords get a better click-through ratio and adding the success of these smaller keywords together generates a noticeable uplift in sales. It’s what’s sometimes referred to as a rising tide lifting all boats.

Step 4: Continuing your upward trajectory

If you’re using PPC to support a new product launch on Amazon, your advertising effort will soon yield good results. However, the investment shouldn’t stop as soon as your new item is off the ground.

To realise the true benefit of pay-per-click advertising you need to keep running it beyond initial launch stage and keep refining your strategy until you’re focusing on the keywords that deliver the most profit and enable you to reach your goals.

This may sound daunting, but there are some broad principles you can put in place to help you stay on track with PPC advertising:

1. Get rid of unproductive keywords

If you find a keyword isn’t generating profitable sales for you, set it as a negative keyword match on Amazon and don’t waste any more money on it. Be particularly careful if you’re running auto campaigns that they’re not being populated by unproductive keywords.

2. Assess your product listing

If irrelevant or unprofitable keywords keep getting pulled through into your PPC campaigns, does this mean you haven’t optimised your product page appropriately? You should always be looking to adapt your Amazon listings based on pay-per-click results, as this will bolster your organic search results as well.

3. See whether your best keywords can work harder

A few weeks after your product launch you will see certain keywords yielding better results than others. This is a good time to go back to your keyword search tool and look at whether there are variations of your best-performing words that you could try in future PPC campaigns.

4. Focus on your most profitable keywords

This one might go without saying, but we’re going to cover it anyway. If you’re paying every time a customer clicks on an advert, you want to maximise the chances of that customer going on to make a purchase.

Look at the ACoS of your top keywords and adjust your budget to focus on the ones delivering the best results. They might not be the obvious choices, but they are adding money to your bottom line. You can reserve a smaller amount of money to experiment with new or untested keywords alongside your main investment.

With the right PPC strategy, you can utilise your spend really effectively to sell more of your new product on Amazon – and it’s easier than you think to get started. Plus, if you’re worried about the knowledge, time and effort it takes to get PPC right, there’s always technology available to speed up and simplify your journey.

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