Trevor George – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Thu, 21 May 2020 11:41:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 How to use Amazon advertising’s dynamic bidding feature /how-to-use-amazon-advertisings-dynamic-bidding-feature-320505 Tue, 13 Aug 2019 13:04:19 +0000 /?p=320505 Dynamic bidding gives more control of how and where you place your advertisements, enabling you to be more granular with your PPC strategy.

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Dynamic bidding is a feature that Amazon introduced early on in 2019 as a replacement for the original Amazon Bid+ modifier that Advertisers could use within the Amazon Advertising platform. Amazon Bid+ was an Amazon Advertising feature that increased your max CPC bid by 50% if Amazon thinks your ad is eligible to show up at the top of the search result. Bid+ was only available with manual campaigns and wouldn’t take you above your budget. With Dynamic bidding, instead of just being able to add a 50% modifier to bids, now you have 3 modifier options:

  • Dynamic – Bid Down Only
    • Basic rules of auction-style for Amazon. If Amazon believes the term that is searched for your item is not relevant, or less likely to convert, it will bid down to the appropriate sponsored position, for a lesser dollar amount.
  • Dynamic – Bid Up and Down
    • As the name implies, this option allows Amazon to raise or lower your bid based on your likelihood of converting. For example, if Amazon believes your ad is more likely to lead to a sale, they might increase your bid to give you better placements. Similarly, if Amazon believes you are less likely to convert a particular click to a sale (because of placement, price, competition, or even the search term), they might lower your bid so you don’t pay as much for the click. While dynamic bidding up and down can be a great tool, it’s not meant to be a replacement for sophisticated auto-bidding technology, as Amazon will only make changes up to $1 up or down. 
  • Fixed Bid
    • Amazon will not adjust your bid on the likelihood of conversion. 

When to use dynamic bidding on Amazon

A great time to use Dynamic Bidding is when you are trying to win the top placements for keywords within the selected campaign. In search results, it is the first set of products that a potential customer sees. If you place top of search, you are more likely to get clicks and impressions, than being lower down the page. If you are noticing in your placement report that you are not always winning top placement and wasting spend on either product page or “Rest of Search” placements, this is a great opportunity to use this new feature. By lowering your initial bid to a fraction of the cost and adding a bid modifier to the placement you want to win, Amazon cancels out all the other placements (as the bid is low enough not to compete) and focuses more of the spend and bids on the placement you want (as the modifier is on the placement you are targeting). Combining these placements gives you a great chance of getting a sale, taking advantage of the full landscape of what Amazon has to offer. This helps reduce unwanted spend in other placements.

When not to use dynamic bidding on Amazon

We suggest staying away from using modifiers (dynamic bidding and bid by placement) when starting new campaigns. When you do not have the data to support knowing the ideal bid that is needed to capture the search term, you are risking over or underbidding on the search query, resulting in either an unprofitable or unreliable bid. Raw data from simple inputs are better analyzed over adding additional metrics to the pot. Adding a bid modifier on top of a new keyword skews the average CPC data and ultimately the advertising can’t understand what is profitable or what isn’t profitable. Until data is accumulated, and you know how you convert for different search queries or have enough room to explore, then we do not suggest adding modifiers.

What is bid by placement?

Bid by placement is an additional modifier in conjunction with dynamic bidding. With bid by placement, It allows you to dedicate more spend towards better converting placements, segmenting your budget to make the most of it. You can modify your bid by where you would like your Ads to show up.

  • Placement Modifiers:
    • Top of Page: Top of first page placements
    • Product Page: Middle and bottom placements of first page
    • Rest of Search: Rest of the pages (second page on) placements.
  • How much can a placement be modified?
    • Top of Page: up to 900% of the original bid
    • Product Page: up to 900% of the original bid
    • Rest of Search: Cannot be modified.

What campaign types are supported?

  • Sponsored Products
    • Auto Campaigns
    • ASIN Targeting Campaigns
    • Manual Campaigns
  • Sponsored brand ads and product display ads are not currently supported

When to use bid by placement on Amazon

Adjust bids by placement is a relatively new feature that allows you to modify your bids, in real-time, to win specific placements on Amazon. Currently, Amazon categorizes its’ ad inventory into three different sections: top of search results, product pages and rest of search. Through testing, you might notice that your ads convert better when they appear on top of search – this would be an opportunity to use “bidding by placement” and target top of search for those specific products. For example, we often use bidding by placement to help our clients win all positions on the search results page for their specific branded keywords. By creating multiple campaigns with bid modifiers, we can precisely control where each ad shows on site. 

Conclusion

Dynamic bidding is a robust replacement to the original Bid(+) modifier. Dynamic bidding gives more control of how and where you place your advertisements, enabling you to be more granular with your PPC strategy. The bid modifier options offered with the feature allow advertisers to strategically place lower end bids and leverage the automatic modifiers to ensure they are receiving the advertising placement their strategy calls for or allowing advertisers the option to bid down on terms that are deemed less valuable to your campaign – saving you money to invest in campaigns with higher conversion rates and helping keep you within your target ACoS goals. In addition to the bid modifiers, the bid by placement feature allows you to leverage the actual placement of your ad and ensure you are winning the placement you are after. With these options being offered to you and being able to customize them to your specific advertising strategy there is no reason not to be leveraging these in your ad campaigns across Amazon when it makes sense. This is a great improvement over the old feature and shows the level of investment that Amazon is making into its advertising platform by offering up these great features to its sellers. The future of Amazon Advertising is bright – be sure you are taking full advantage of all the tools, resources and offerings they are making available to you.

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3 ways to lower your Amazon advertising ACoS /3-ways-to-lower-your-amazon-advertising-acos-313151 Wed, 27 Feb 2019 18:49:04 +0000 /?p=313151 Negative keywords play a key role in keeping your ACoS low with Amazon’s advertising platforms. Isolating search terms and optimizing your bids also help. Here's how.

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Amazon’s advertising revenue topped $10B in 2018, creeping up right behind Facebook and Google, as the third largest ad platform in the U.S. The analysts were right… there would be a major influx of (big) brands investing more into Amazon advertising.

Why is this important to you? More advertisers = more demand = higher CPC.

When your CPC’s increase, so does your ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale). With more ad dollars being allocated to Amazon than ever before, lowering your ACoS in spite of this increased demand may seem like a tall task! This is exactly why we consulted our team of Amazon advertising experts to put together this article to understand how to make Amazon more profitable.

#1: Negative keywords

Negative keywords play a key role in keeping your ACoS low with Amazon’s advertising platforms. Negative keywords allow you to control what search terms not to serve ads for, which ultimately improves your profitability by focusing ad spend on relevant terms that are more likely to convert and drive sales.

Here are some tips for finding negative keywords before you’ve launched a campaign:

  • Use tools like Viral Launch, Jungle Scout, or even the google keyword planner, to create a list of keywords you want to negate first.
  • Look for search terms that are not relevant to the ASIN or set of ASIN’s you are advertising for in that campaign.
    • Example Item: Red Boys T-Shirt
      • Blue, Adult, Yellow, and Women’s would be prime examples to add as negative keywords before starting this campaign.

Adding negative keywords to your campaigns from the start will help you optimize the campaign faster, as you won’t’ be wasting money on clicks for irrelevant searches.

Here are some tips for finding negative keywords in existing campaigns:

  • Create an auto-targeting campaign AND a manual targeting campaign with Broad and/or Phrase match keywords (feel free to include the negatives from your pre-campaign creation efforts, if any).
  • Once your ads have accumulated enough clicks, use the search term query report and filter by search terms that have over 15 clicks and zero orders.
  • Add these back into your campaigns as negatives – if they haven’t converted within 15 clicks, you’re just going to waste your money on them.
  • Pro Tip: You cannot add negatives to Auto Campaigns through the Advertising Console (AMS), but you can through the API.  

#2: Isolate your search terms

In Amazon’s eyes, broad and phrase match keywords are actually “buckets” of search terms often yielding thousands of results for off-topic items. What does this mean? If you target a broad or phrase match keyword, you can only set one bid (Let’s say $2) for that keyword. Amazon then applies that bid to the entire bucket of search terms that match to it.

Example: If you’re bidding on “holiday sweater” as a broad/phrase match keyword, Amazon might show your product to someone searching for “holiday sweater for dogs” – which would not result in sales, as it’s completely different from what you’re selling.

Search term isolation redefines how brands should manage their advertising on Amazon.

Follow these steps to make sure your search terms are properly isolated:

  • Look at your search term reports frequently (or use technology that can read the report for you) and look at search terms that have at least one sale.
  • Move these converting search terms into specific campaigns as an Exact Match keyword.
  • Negate the same converting search term from all other campaigns.

Following the above steps will allow you to control your bid on this search term specifically, rather than trying to set a bid on a bucket of search terms.

#3: Effective bid management

Although this seems obvious, bid management is a lot more complex than most advertisers realize. As we mentioned above, Amazon’s advertising platform only really allows you to control bids for exact match keywords. Phrase and Broad keywords manage a bucket of search terms, which limits your ability to control the CPC.

Here are some common scenarios you might encounter when optimizing your bids:

  • If there are low ad sales and high ad spend – Bid down on your keywords
  • If there is a high conversion rate and low impressions – Increase the bid to capture more traffic and sales
  • If there are high clicks but low sales and low conversion rate – Check your price and detail page content to make sure they’re competitive and encouraging conversions
  • If there are high impressions but low clicks – Optimize your product image & product title to get a better click-through rate.

Using an auto-bidding technology, like Prestozon, you can calculate which bid price is needed to reach ACoS goals (higher or lower), automatically. If you don’t have a tech partner, you can use simple math and this equation to help you calculate your bids:

  • Bid = Average Sale Price x Target ACoS (decimal) x Search Term Conversion Rate (decimal)

Conclusion

We hope these tips to lower your ACoS will help you save money on wasted ad spend and reinvest those funds in your business. Whether you decide to tackle this on your own, with the help of auto-bidding technology, or hire an agency partner, these strategies will help stretch your ad dollars further.

And remember, even if your ACoS isn’t skyrocketing yet, Amazon is just getting started with their advertising business and things are about to get crazy, really soon.

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Amazon advertising attribution: Here’s how it works /amazon-advertising-attribution-heres-how-it-works-310936 Mon, 28 Jan 2019 13:18:15 +0000 /?p=310936 There are three dashboards on Amazon and each one tracks attribution differently. Here's what you need to know about Seller Central, Advertising Console and Amazon DSP.

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Amazon is complex. Amazon Advertising is really complex. And Amazon Advertising Attribution – well, that’s another level entirely!

Amazon Sales Attribution is when Amazon assigns credit for a sale to a specific campaign. For example, when a user clicks on one of your ads and buys a product within a certain time period such as 7 or 14 days, the “sale” is attributed to your campaign.

There are three different dashboards you can use to advertise on Amazon.

  • Seller Central, also known as 3P or the dashboard third party sellers use.
  • Advertising Console, formerly Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), or the dashboard vendors use (1P/first party sellers).
  • Amazon DSP, formerly the Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP), run by the Amazon Media Group (AMG). Note: Amazon DSP is offered through AMG’s managed service. It is also available through select agency partners as a self-service tool or directly to top-tier, large budget advertisers.

Amazon tracks attribution differently depending on the platform you’re using. Oh, you thought this was going to be easy? Think again! Here’s what you need to know:

Seller Central attribution

Sponsored Product (SP) Campaigns

  • Sales attribution is measured on a 7-day click-through attribution window. Meaning, if a user clicks on an ad, comes back up to 7 days later, and buys one of your products from your brand Amazon will attribute the sale to that campaign.
  • Sales are attributed only to the last ad the user clicked.

Note: Product ASIN targeting attribution falls under the same rules as SP.

Sponsored Brand Ad (SBA) campaigns:

  • Sales are measured on 14-day click-through attribution window.
  • Sales are attributed only to the last campaign the user clicked (last touch model).
  • SBAs follow what Amazon calls “Brand Halo” sales attribution. This means that if the user clicks on your ad and buys ANY product with your brand name on it, not just a product featured in your SBA ad, Amazon will attribute the sale to that campaign.

“Brand Halo” gets very tricky. If you are a brand that has listings with different variations of your brand names, Amazon will attribute ANY sale from ANY of those brands, including sales made by anyone on Amazon who sells products under your brand.

For example, here are two toys owned by Mattel. One has the brand name “Mattel” and the other “Mattel Games.” If both of these products are in a single campaign, Amazon will attribute any sale to any product with EITHER brand name. So if Mattel just wanted to see performance on its “Mattel Games,” Mattel would not be able to do that in this case because it would pull in data on any Mattel-branded product on Amazon… not necessarily only Mattel Games.

Brand Halo gets even more complex for licensed brands such as Disney Princess. They license the rights out to many different companies to make products around its brand, Disney Princess.

In the three examples below, you can see that each of these products are technically Disney Princess products, but their respective brand names are different: “Disney,” “Hasbro” and “Lego.” If Disney were to serve an ad targeting these three products, Amazon would attribute a sale after a click was made for ANY product in EITHER of the three brands. This means that if someone clicked on a Disney Princess ad, with these products in it, and later bought a Minecraft Lego set, Amazon would attribute the sale to Disney’s ad, even though Minecraft has nothing to do with Disney. It is simply because the Minecraft product has the “Lego” brand name in it.

Advertising Console attribution, Formerly AMS

The first thing you should know is that the attribution for the Advertising Console differs from Seller Central, even though many of the ad types are the same.

Across the board, all the units in the Advertising Console work on Amazon’s Brand Halo attribution, whereas in Seller Central, only Sponsored Brand Ads work on Brand Halo.

Sponsored Product campaigns

  • Instead of a 7-day click-through attribution like in Seller Central, the Advertising Console works on a 14-day click-through attribution.
  • Brand Halo attribution applies here.

Sponsored Brand ad campaigns

  • Same 14-day click-through attribution as Seller Central.
  • Brand Halo applies here just as it does in Seller Central, BUT it also includes:
    • Sales from products within your brand when EITHER Amazon ships and sells the product OR other sellers sell your product.

Product Display ads

  • Measured on a 14-day click-through attribution.
  • Amazon’s Brand Halo attribution applies here.

What happens if there is a promotion?

In either Seller Central or the Advertising Console, attribution is treated the same. Any discounts that are applied before the customer enters the checkout phase are applied and taken out of the attributed ad revenue. But if the discount was applied during the checkout process, Amazon still reports the full retail price as the sale. Here is an example:

  • Let’s pretend the item you’re advertising costs $100. If it sells, Amazon reports a $100 sale.
  • Let’s say you had a $15 off COUPON (pre-checkout discount) running and the customer clicked it. Amazon reports an $85 sale. In this case, the discount was accounted for.
  • Let’s say you had a $15 PROMO CODE (checkout discount) running and the customer applied it. Amazon still reports a $100 sale. In this case, the discount was not accounted for. 

Amazon DSP, formerly AAP

There are a few different ways that Amazon attributes sales in the DSP platform, Amazon’s display advertising platform.

First, if you are advertising a product sold on Amazon, there are two types of reporting metrics or values to measure your return on ad spend: Product Sales and Total Sales.

Product Sales only tracks the ASINs you provide to Amazon for conversion tracking purposes. There is NO Brand Halo attribution applied here. Amazon currently has to manually approve each list of ASINs you provide to them to verify they are indeed yours.

Other info to note:

  • The Product Sales metric is calculated on a 14-day view-through attribution window. This means the ad only has to appear on the screen, it doesn’t actually need to be clicked. Whether or not the user actually saw that ad, the impression is considered a “view.”
  • Viewable impressions are based on the Media Rating Council’s (MRC) viewability standards. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, only 50 percent of the display ad needs to be in view for one second or more for a sale to be attributed. Also, only 50 percent of a video ad needs to be in view for two seconds or more for a sale to be attributed.
  • Deduplication applies: meaning if they saw a DSP ad but then clicked on an SP ad, SP would take the credit for the sale, not DSP.

Total Sales tracks sales on the ASINs provided to Amazon for conversion tracking AND all Brand Halo sales from the brand names included in the tracked ASIN list. If Dyson were to give Amazon a list of all their ASINs and they all had the name “Dyson” in the brand field, then their Total Sales value should be clean. If a brand gave a list of ASINs with 10 different brand names, like the licensed brand example we mentioned above, then Total Sales would be skewed because Amazon would attribute ANY sale from ANY of those brands in the list, even if you weren’t tracking those ASINs.

Other info to note:

  • Total Sales is calculated on a 14-day view-through attribution window.
  • Deduplication applies.

With Amazon DSP, you can also serve ads sending traffic OFF-Amazon. You can track the number of conversions attributed to the ad campaign but not the dollar amount or type. The same 14-day-attribution applies.

Let’s close this down

Now that your eyes have rolled back into your head, let’s close this article down! All in all, Amazon’s attribution is complex and not necessarily front and center. It’s important to understand not just the numbers, but also the attribution behind the numbers so you can get a complete sense of how your advertising is really performing to your specific goals.

As a closing gift, here is a quick summary table to keep in your back pocket:

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