October 25, 2021

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Amazon PPC Management with Limited Budget

Over the years of working with different Amazon Seller clients as an Agency, we came...

Over the years of working with different Amazon Seller clients as an Agency, we came across the budget limited request on a few occasions. Here is how to do Amazon PPC management when there is a limited budget spend.

Not just with starting sellers

The request is not just the starting Sellers (who still have their Amazon sales cashflow to be straightened out) who ask for this. A number of hitched and mono-product Sellers can fall back to this method of budgeting, die to their quantitative cash flow structure.

Amazon PPC Management with Limited Budget Request Must Use Greater PPC Skills

Either way, this kind of restriction of Amazon PPC calls for certain changes to be made to the classic PPC Campaign Structure. After all, you will be deliberately limiting the number of impressions your Ads will be receiving.

It’s best for business if you make all of these impressions count.

Step 1: Three Keystones of Good Amazon PPC Ads

⚠ Spoiler alert — budget is one of them.

To build a strong foundation for a truly effective Amazon PPC Campaign, there are 3 important keystones. Only when worked on together, will they allow a Seller to make the most out of a limited budget.

Amazon Product Detail Page: Quality and Theme

Amazon.com is about letting buyers meet their perfect product. In fact, we’ve got a whole separate article like this on Amazon SEO. But to keep things simple, Amazon’s algorithm will be more likely to regard your ASIN as a good product if you help it out:

  1. The algorithm scans text on the Product Detail Page to index the ASIN against these keywords. Specifically, it draws on:
  • At least 256 characters from product Title
  • First 100 characters of every Bullet Point
  • 250 characters from Backend Keywords

If you want to use specific keywords in your limited budget ads — make sure they are indexed. This helps to boost keyword ranking a lot from the get-go.

Product Picture 1. A good picture (that clearly shows your product will catch more eyes out of all customers who were searching for something like it. Thus — better Click Through Rate (CTR). And the algorithm takes note of good CTRs.

⚠ Remember: a picture is considered “good” if the product is visible in any adverse conditions. Like on a small smartphone screen, outside, and on a summer sunny day.

Amazon Product Reviews. Other things being equal, be considered trustworthy, an ASIN should have at least 1/10th of the average number of reviews that top 5 competitors boast. If it’s less at the moment — the product will likely be losing some conversions from the more risk-avert customers. Even if the product itself is good.

The Amazon PPC Budget

Since this article is all about running Amazon PPC Ads with a limited budget, a Seller will have to work around some limitations manually. For example — she’ll have to run a larger/ a few shorter keyword research sessions at the beginning of the PPC Campaign.

Since the limited budget would not give her the luxury of running broad match or Auto campaigns and then study the Search Term Report to get those new targeting keywords and negative keywords out of it.

Amazon Relevant Keyword Research: Targeting Keywords and ASINs

Collecting a pool of relevant target keywords/ASINs is fundamental for the success of a limited budget for the Amazon PPC Campaign.

The more (out of hypothetical 100%) relevant keywords/ASINs you find during the research phase — the more you will have to choose from. In fact, this is our Step 2 in preparing to run a tight budget Amazon PPC Campaign.

Step 2: Amazon Keyword Research

Think of it this way: people are already using some words to describe your product. Some search terms used by the average person are pinpoint accurate. Other people use vague ideas and terms when they search. The individual can mean several things at once — but these search terms are used by real people who DO want to find a product like yours nonetheless.

Amazon.com is not easy on giving out those search terms everyone is using. It will only let you know what search terms people used to find your paid Sponsored Ads (via Search Term Report).

Naturally, if you are making your first Sponsored Product campaign — you just don’t have that yet. With a limited budget — you aren’t likely to get a too rich one in the future either.

Profound keyword research is the major step in preparing for a successful limited budget PPC campaign, as is knowing your negative keywords.

We assume that tight Ads funding indicates that you will also be limited in finances for the starting research. But just in case you are not, remember: there are a few perfectly viable keyword research tools that can help you cut some corners. For a price. “Merchant Words,” “Helium 10,” to name a few. Try them.

Whichever way you have chosen to get a hold of a pool of relevant potential keywords, they need to be tried out and tested in combo with your specific product before you are confident that you ARE leaving only the truly best-performing ones.

Unfortunately, some budget WILL have to be spent on this trial-and-error — there is no way around this.

But there is a way to make it worthwhile.

Step 3: The Magic of Amazon PPC Optimization

What is a good targeting keyword/ASIN?

ASIN is the one that generates sales at an acceptable cost. As simple as this.

Once you’ve completed step 2 — you should prepare for testing your discoveries. We are subject to make a clear and Strategy-oriented Amazon PPC Campaign Structure (see: profitwhales dot com, amazon campaign structure) from the get-go.

You may opt to disable the campaigns and ad groups that were built around keywords with worse than expected performance (leave them for later tests), but at least you’ll keep them in order.

As for the more aspiring keywords — they must be tried and tested.

We suggest running ads for at least a 7-day period before diving into the results to analyze.

Suppose the target keyword/ASIN in question is a good candidate for full-time Limited Ad Budget allocation. Here’s how we do it:

Look at the Impressions.

Impressions are governed by how many people have entered a search term that has triggered your keyword over a given period.

The other factor is the bid: set it too low, and many customers who made it to the Search Results page — may end up being abysmal.

But if you see some good figures (e.g., a hundred impressions a week) — then that keyword is valid. The only question now is…

What’s the CTR?

CTR of a keyword indicates how relevant your product title and your Pic 1 is to the text a customer has just typed into her Amazon search console.

Across many incidences, we’ve come to see that:

    1. CTR below 0.25% is indicative of an irrelevant keyword (or a VERY strong competition present);
    2. CTR between 0,25% and 1% means a keyword is reasonable;
    3. CTR above 1% means that the keyword is highly relevant.

Remember that showing you Ads on Top of Search placement changes all the CTR values dramatically. If that is where your product Ads end up — multiply the above approximate CTR thresholds by 3 to judge the quality of the keyword.

Now that we’ve picked the more product-relevant keywords, we need to see…

How well CTR converts (at what ACoS).

This is where we start separating the weeds from the grain.

Here’s how to make the keyword judgment call:

  • If a keyword had 10-15 clocks and no sales — discard (pause) it;
  • If there is a sale, you will need to wait for at least 3 (better 5) sales to make a further judgment, so be patient. Some long-tail, extremely relevant keywords could become a great and cheap sales-generating asset for your limited budget Amazon PPC Campaign. Even if they do generate 5 sales a month — it’s worth waiting to find out for certain;
  • Any keywords that do generate sales but at ACoS 80%+ should be discarded (paused);
  • For any keywords with ACoS between 80% and your break-even ACoS — it may be worthwhile to lower the bid and have them slow-burning. They are likely to generate you sales in the future at a reasonable ACoS each;
  • For any keywords that perform at ACoS 5% or less than your break-even level… congrats. These are the candidates to go into your strict budget top-performing exact match type keyword campaigns. They will be the ones that will generate the bulk of your PPC sales.

Panning for Amazon Gold

You can make money on Amazon even with a limited budget, and that is your version of panning for the gold.

The above keyword testing is the only real way to confirm that every keyword’s worth it for your product and market circumstances.

Ensure you are giving at least 20% of that limited budget to running more keywords through the test. And direct the other 80% to feed the campaigns that contain already-verified ones that will generate you sales.

You can meet your business goals even within a budget.

Using careful product testing, you will always be on your business goals. This will allow you to hang on and not let go of a chance to eventually discover an even better targeting option that will be perfect for your ASIN.

Image Credit: karolina grabowska; pexels; thank you!

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