#535 – Amazon PPC Strategy Discussion

Video of the episode at the bottom

Ever felt like you’re just one PPC secret away from skyrocketing your Amazon or Walmart sales? Madalina from eComcy joins us on this month’s TACoS Tuesday program to lift the veil on advanced advertising tactics that could very well be your game-changer. From initiating precise exact-match campaigns to harnessing the untapped potential of broad match types, we cover the A-Z of creating a strategy that not only speaks to your product’s strengths but also steals the spotlight from your competitors. Using Helium 10 tools like Cerebro and Magnet, Madalina walks us through the art of strategic competitive analysis, ensuring your keyword lists are as refined as they are effective.

Bid management can often feel like walking a tightrope, but with insights from our guest expert and the aid of Adtomic, we transform this balancing act into a calculated dance of numbers and intuition. Discover how the blend of automated suggestions and manual adjustments can refine your campaigns to an unparalleled level of precision. Madalina doesn’t stop there—she dissects the significance of match types, niche-specific benchmarks, and the pivotal role they play in the fluctuating realm of click-through and conversion rates.

Wrapping up, we look into the crystal ball of keyword volumes and campaign management, offering a blueprint for structuring your campaigns so that they work smarter, not harder. Whether you’re dealing with keywords that command their own stage or those that perform better in an ensemble, Madalina’s methodical approach to campaign structure ensures you’ll stay in control while maximizing efficiency. As an added bonus, we touch on the experiences of Walmart sellers, inviting a broader discussion on the adaptability of these strategies across platforms. Tune in for a wealth of knowledge that’s sure to give your Amazon PPC efforts that extra edge.

In episode 535 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Shivali and Madalina discuss:

  • 00:00 – PPC Strategies and Campaign Optimization
  • 02:21 – eComcy’s Approach to PPC Campaigns
  • 08:21 – Strategies for Launching PPC Campaigns
  • 12:29 – Relative Rank Filters and Adjusting Strategy
  • 13:32 – Improve Amazon Rank and PPC Campaigns
  • 20:38 – Advertising Strategies for Amazon Sellers
  • 23:11 – Advertise With General Category Terms
  • 26:31 – Considering State-Specific Strategies for Sales
  • 31:29 – Using Free Retail Space and Placements

Transcript

Shivali Patel:

Today, on TACoS Tuesday, we sit down with Madalina from Ecomcy to talk about a variety of different things related to PPC, for example, how to do keyword research, how to set up your campaigns, recommendations for launching and what kind of key metrics to look out for.

Bradley Sutton:

How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think. I want to check estimated sales for products you see on Amazon. Or maybe you want to instantly see how many listings on page one of a search term result have the actual searched keyword in the title. You can find all of these things out and more with the Helium 10 Chrome extension tool X -Ray. More than one million people have used this tool. Find out what it can do for you by downloading it for free at h10.me/xray.

Shivali Patel:

Hello and welcome to another episode of the series sellers podcast by Helium 10. I’m your host, Shivali Patel, and this is the show that is our monthly TACoS Tuesday episode, where we talk anything and everything PPC. Today, our guest is from Ecomcy, which is an Amazon and Walmart ads agency, and our guest is Madalina. Welcome in. How are you? I’m great, thank you, how are you? I’m good. I’m good. I’m glad to have you on. I know that we’re talking all things PPC. We’re going to have some questions kind of filing in and it’s going to be AMA style. But in the meantime, how about we talk a little bit about you, so what you do at Ecomcy, how you got started in this field and what have you?

Madalina:

First of all, thanks for having me. I’m super excited and I’m really nice to see everyone just joining from different parts of the world. So I’m Madelina. I’ve been in the industry for the past six years yeah, doing everything Amazon and then specializing in PPC, because I’m more like a data lover, you know.

Shivali Patel:

So I’ve started doing PPC at Ecomcy and now I’m the PPC lead and do you offer such an important service to F that PPC is so monumental for any business? So I’m excited to talk a little bit about how you guys kind of approach your PPC campaigns, how you audit, how you optimize, and so let’s kind of just dig right, deep right. How does Ecomcy navigate its PPC campaigns? Like, when somebody comes to you with their campaigns, what is sort of the first way that you really look at it and audit?

Madalina:

First of all, we would be looking not only at the advertising campaigns but we would be looking at the products overall and kind of reverse engineer performance, this against to the client’s target. So if we have issues with sales or if we have issues with profitability, we would be basically reverse engineer from there and kind of see like do we have a PPC order percentage that’s too high? Is our organics doing okay? Obviously, we would be using Cerebro and all the 10 tools to kind of like reverse engineer performance, see how we’re being compared to the markets and things like this when it comes to PPC. So of course, ppc plays like a very, very important role but like my point is that it’s not only PPC that goes in here, because we kind of like look at performance overall. So at an advertising level, we would be basically assessing main metrics like collect rate. Is everything that we put in our ads kind of relevant to our audience? We would be looking at conversion rates, see, like if there’s anything we can do at a very detailed level when it comes to like placements or things like this Are we doing migrations? Are we doing like all the different kind of placements? Are we doing all the match types? So kind of like going through a very detailed audit to see is if, basically, the client objectives are being reached or not. And if not, what else are we doing in order to reach the objectives?

Shivali Patel:

Yeah, I know, I kind of threw you into the deep end there, because there are so many different things that are part of the PPC campaigns. Right, you have your ad structure. Maybe it’s something that’s an underlying factor. I do see we have questions starting to roll in, so let’s go ahead and start with how to start PPC. So I guess, for this question, if somebody is just starting I know we just talked very briefly about auditing what about if you’re just getting started? Is there a specific campaign structure or, like match type, specific kind of ads that you recommend?

Madalina:

Yes, so we usually start with the bare minimum and that would be exact campaigns for your very relevant keywords, right? So we would be using the cerebral tool in order to find what are your competitors are ranking for and then, with kind of like, find your most relevant keyword and start exact campaigns from there. So I think that would be a good start. What I usually like from there to the from there as well is not to limit only on exact. Also do like a broad plus to, so a broad modifier to ensure, like you kind of find the long pills from your highly relevant keywords as well. So that would kind of like ensure you’re using the, the budget, in the most efficient way. So that would be the like the match types I would use. Then, at the structure level, like there’s a whole debate like how to organize your campaigns and things like this. It’s up to you and the tools you’ll be using to optimize campaigns. We would prefer to kind of like put all the highly searched keywords in one campaign because we can monitor them more closely and we can better understand performance. We can change the placements, do they partying, change budgets more easily, and things like this. And then for the maybe lower volume keywords, maybe like add maximum if they’re super low volume. I would say maybe like 15 keywords max per campaign and then try to put them, to group them based on intent. So then when you look at the very high level in your advertising console, you understand exactly what performs well, what kind of targets you might want to dial down on and things like this. There’s a lot, yeah, there’s a lot to start with, but don’t get overwhelmed. I bet that’s also an advice. Don’t get overwhelmed because, yeah, it’s, even if you start with the exact and doing like a broad modifier, you should see some performance. If you don’t see performance, then getting that through us, we can trouble you.

Shivali Patel:

Right, right, I think the most important thing is definitely what you said is just getting started and then modifying from there. Something that you did mention is budget. I’ve heard sort of a debate even on that aspect, right, because some people say you should start with a really large budget per day and then just bid a little bit lower. Some people say, just go based off of what you can really work with. So what is your take on that specifically?

Madalina:

So it really depends on your product price and your estimated conversion. Because let’s say you have a product price that’s $20 and your target A cost, let’s say, might be 100% to start with, your budget could for that particular company let’s say might be $20, right, so you can work it out this way If you have a higher price product, then of course you can work on your budget as well. But I would reverse engineer it from the price of your product and based on your estimated conversion rate.

Patel:

Good advice, good advice. I feel like my broad match campaign is always burn money, so it’s always a tricky game getting the right sweet spot. I see we have some more questions, so let’s go ahead and pop those onto the page. We have Yizak. He says I’m about to launch two new listings Congratulations. Any new strategies? Do you have any PPC recommendations for launching? Which keywords do long tail, low search or high search volume?

Madalina:

For the long tails. I would definitely add your long tails. It’s all based on relevancy. So if your long tails are relevant, definitely add them in your campaign. If they are high in search volume, just make sure you start with low bids in order to make sure you can’t control the spend. You can always go back and increase bids, but if you wake up with a very high spend that’s you can’t go back on that. So make sure you set up low bids initially. I would say start with the classic approach Go and research your competitors, see what they’re ranking on, see if there’s any sales you can sell from them With the highly relevant keywords you’ll be targeting and, of course, add those keywords in exact campaigns. Then start with the broad modifier to do the long tails. You have a limited budget.

Shivali Patel:

All right, we have. What are the key metrics?

Madalina:

you are following we love conversion rate, we love orders, so that is a key metric we are looking at. Other than that, to define relevancy, we look at click through rate as well and down the profitability road we would look at clicks, impressions, spend a-cost, total advertising cost of sales tax cost and things like this. So basically a lot of metrics, but the key ones would be basically conversion. So it’s like how your campaign is going and then how much traffic you’re putting into or you’re receiving from us on impressions and clicks, Amazing.

Shivali Patel:

We also have Ismall who said how to research keywords. Now, of course, as somebody from Helium 10 can also say, you can check out the Sears Sellers podcast. We have a few episodes that Bradley has done for keyword research, like master classes that you can go in and check out how to do keyword research using Serebro Magnet, some other ways. But, Maddalena, I also want to hear from you sort of how you guys approach keyword research.

Madalina:

Yeah, so we are actually in line with the Hewley Newton approach. So we would be, with this, very important to look at your market, study your competitors. So find your competitors first and you can do that by looking at your product features. So the price would be very important, the number of ratings, how many, how established they are in the market and things like this. So first find your competitors, then find your keyword based on the competitors and this is where the Cerebro will come in and you’d reverse engineer based on the keyword competitors would be ranking on and you’d try to go for those particular keywords. Now the Cerebro also have that relevancy column which you can look at. So basically, try to go for. You basically assess relevancy based on how many competitors would be ranking for your product. So try to look at the keywords that are the most relevant ones in order to prioritize those in your advertising campaigns and then be higher on them and try to base your launch strategy on them.

Shivali Patel:

Basically, I think what Madalina said is really important. You guys can go in check out relative rank filters inside of Cerebro or Magnet. But in doing so, in running a multi-ASIN search, you can then go in check out where you’re positioned in accordance with your competitors and then adjust your strategy. So let’s say you have a really great competitor who is killing it and you see that they’re ranking higher than you want a specific keyword. You can use that keyword, adjust your strategy and incorporate into your listing or into your PPC campaigns and then vice versa, if you have some of these other filters, you have Amazon recommended rank, you have your sponsored type. You can go in reverse engineer somebody’s PPC strategy If you’re doing a single-ASIN search. There’s so many cool things to do. So, again, make sure you guys go and check out the Ceresellers podcast I’m talking about with the masterclasses. If you type in masterclass, you should be able to find it. We also have Tassine from Germany Any Amazon report to check day parting performance and your rank on Amazon.

Madalina:

Yes, so there would be. So we have that in Adtomic and I love the Adtomic performance graph on it. But if you’re using Amazon, there is a sponsored product report. You can download it. If you go in the sponsored product, then it’s the campaign one and then you have the hourly. You just have to choose it hourly and then we’ll go for the last 14 days. I don’t like the fact that it’s for 14 days Only. Helium 10 has for 60 days, so I do love that.

Shivali Patel:

All right. We also have Abe, who’s responding to something I said about the Broad Match campaign. He said Nake Shivali negate frequently in broad. I do negate frequently and I use Adtomic. So Adtomic lets you set up rules and suggestions. I suppose I probably need to go in there even more frequently. However, speaking of Adtomic, I hear that Ecomcy uses Adtomic, so I would love to know a little bit about how you guys use the tool itself for all of your clients.

Madalina:

It depends on the client, on the brand, on the product, so we don’t do an overall approach. So we would be basically going with some benchmarks and we would be setting up some rules in atomic based on them. So we would be looking at the main metrics we talked about, in fact, like the conversion rate, the clicks, the impressions, overall spend for that particular target, and we would go with those kind of metrics and set up rules and kind of like if performance is not good, based on the category or the product, decrease speed. If performance is good, increase speed and things like this. We do want a very, because we put a lot of time into knowing the product and understanding the category and things like this. And we would be manually going and approving the bid suggestions, Because if the audience doesn’t know, basically what the atomic would do is to give you some suggestions, bid suggestions or budget suggestions or negative keyword suggestions and things like this. So then we would be manually applying those to make sure our knowledge is combined with the knowledge we put in atomic and make sure that we understand what kind of actions we took and then how the results were affected by those particular actions. So kind of like track and measure this way. Yes, and again, it would be like it would depend on the product market category and things like this, and then on your goals as well, If you want to be more profitable, even to increase sales, and things like this.

Shivali Patel:

We also have another question on the thresholds, since we were talking about the key metrics before. So what are the general thresholds for click-through rate and conversion?

Madalina:

Yeah, I love that question, but it’s a yeah, it will really depend on your category and on your product. Because, yeah, if you can see very big variations from one product to another, I would really throw you off if I were to give you some benchmarks. I don’t know, at some point it used to be like 0.3, let’s say, in click-through rate. Now, let’s say, we are seeing a little bit of an improvement when it comes to click-through rate and conversion rate. Again, it really depends on your product. So, yeah, now you can actually see that in the product. You can see some ideas of your category conversion rate in the product that Opportunity Explorer, as well. If you search for the niche, you can basically see the conversion rate for that particular niche.

Shivali Patel:

What is the best metric to use, in Surabro or Magnet, to find the most relevant keywords for the product that you are selling?

Madalina:

So what we usually do internally I know there’s now the column that shows you how many computers are waiting for that product we are doing the report to make sure there’s nothing we’re seeing in the filter things down and things like this, and we would basically just apply a relevancy for a new lot to better understand, based on the keyword relevancy as well. So Sorry, let me take that from the beginning. Basically we would be taking like the, what sounds relevant. We would be clustering that and then apply a relevancy column from formula from there in with the data we downloaded from Cerebro.

Shivali Patel:

I think that answers that. We have explained what is the best match type for PPC broad phrase and exact.

Madalina:

I wouldn’t say there’s something like the best match type because, again, like, it will depend on your product and your target. Exact is the most controlled one. So from a profitability point of view that’s your best, let’s say, because you can really like the search terms you would have would be essentially like the search terms you wanted to put in that campaign. Then phrase is good, like for a mean between discovery and then broad is best for discovery. Broad now is super broad on some accounts actually and on some products. But yes, I would say if you’re launching, exact is your best friend. If you’re, like in a discovery phase and trying to find new keywords, then broad and phrase would also be good friends.

Shivali Patel:

Okay, now we have. Ysak has asked. I found around 80 keywords or phrases relevant to my product. How many exact campaigns would you do or should do, and do you use auto campaign for launch?

Madalina:

Yes, auto campaigns could be good for launch. Again, like, depends on your budget, depends on your product and how much you want to invest in discovery. You, it would be good to set up auto as well, but usually, like, if your budget is limited, go with a lower budget and lower bid on auto, just to ensure your budget is distributed nicely in those exact you put a lot of work discovering already. So about the 80 keyword phrases relevant to your product. So depends on your search volume, depends, like how popular those keywords would be on Amazon. You can I that does sound like a lot of keywords. I would say that will be like. If you imagine if you, if all your keywords would have one click you already have and you have like a dollar cost per click, you’d already have 80 in spend only from those particular keywords only with one click. Depending on your conversion rate, that will obviously be higher. So I would maybe try to filter down a little bit more. But again, depends on your, on your budget and your launch strategy, your product. I would do for the very, very low volume keywords I would do 10 keywords per campaign and then for the high volume keywords I or medium volume keywords, I would do five keywords per campaign. Then for the very high volume keywords and the ones that you’re really trying to to go with for the launch, I would do only one keyword per campaign. You can control the placement that you can do. Sorry, you can play with the day parting and things like this, because, yeah, you might have if they are very high in volume, you might be surprised with how much they could be spending.

Shivali Patel:

So, if I sum that up, just for those of you that are listening, maybe four or five that are very high search volume, very highly relevant, that you do want to rank for just one each and exact match campaigns, and then the medium style ones, maybe five keywords per and then the low would be 10 to 15. I believe is what you said at the beginning, right? Yes, exactly Okay. On the note of exact, this person’s asked the number of keywords in campaign structure. I can see that you avoid making too many single word campaigns. Is there a specific reason for that, like difficulty to manage it or something else?

Madalina:

Yes, so when you start especially, it is quite hard to manage it. If you don’t have like a tool like atomic, I would say, yeah, it would be. It would be quite difficult to look manually in each campaign, you know, and kind of apply your bit. So that that is the main reason why you wouldn’t do too many single word, too many single search term campaigns. Yeah, just to clarify. Actually, you don’t mean single words, right, you mean single search terms.

Shivali Patel:

I think it’s yeah, single search term inside of campaigns. But for any of you guys who don’t use atomic at the moment and you want a free demo, you can go to h10.me forward slash atomic. So that’s h10.me forward slash atomic. If you want to get a free demo of atomic to learn how to use it. Hey guys, been working with brand related terms, tried branching out to general category terms. Currently running campaigns with limited sales. What should be the strategy here?

Madalina:

So I guess that’s where you’re taking most of your traffic from. But you’re also doing a general category search term, like a product I would imagine, a sponsor product category target. So I would do, I would ensure, like, apart from the branded search terms, you also have those kind of product descriptors in your exact and broad plus or phrase. So back to the, the garlic press example, like if it was Nike garlic press, let’s say, yeah, you, you are everything on all the the branded search terms, but also make sure you’re advertising on garlic press. So your product descriptor and then go, go from there again like, check your competitors, see where they’re getting their sales from, do some some keywords, research and ensure, like you, you also like, do all the the exacts that are not related necessarily to your, your brand. And then, apart from, like the, if you’re already running only sponsor products, I would also ensure you’re doing like sponsor brands, sponsor brand videos for your branded search terms. Sponsor display you’re targeting your own asians and then you’re doing sponsor display targeting, free targeting, the kind of thing. So ensure, like all the different advertising types are also being ticked for your branded search terms, if that’s where your, your, you have seen performance.

Shivali Patel:

We do also have whether or not you should run campaigns for competition brand names when you are just getting started, when you’re just launching.

Madalina:

Yes, I would. Well, those would be relevant targets, I guess, again, it depends on your budget. It depends how closely related your competitors would be as well from a price perspective and from a reviews perspective. If they are very popular in Amazon as well, like how much visibility would they get out of it? What’s your plan with the launch? Are you planning to seal sales from there, from them, or are you planning to rank on other keywords? So if you’re planning to rank on other keywords organically and those are more like extras you might want to steal some sales from them, but that’s not what your strategy is focused on. I would just run them with very low bid see how they’re working, see how they could convert. If that’s your strategy, if you’re stealing sales from them, definitely run campaigns on them. But yes, again, it depends on the different factors regarding search volume and the metrics I’ve mentioned.

Shivali Patel:

We have a question here that says we all sell better in some states and worse than others. So is this something that you consider in your strategy and, if yes, how?

Madalina:

To prioritize the market. Sorry, I’m not sure I’m understanding the.

Shivali Patel:

Really, this is just more widespread. Let’s say you’re selling in the US marketplace and you know that your consumers are purchasing more in a given state, then is that something that you consider?

Madalina:

I guess, yes, you can definitely tailor your strategy based on the different states as well. You won’t be able to advertise differently in different states, unfortunately. We hope that will be a feature that will be released soon. But, yes, you can definitely target keywords that are for the different states and you can potentially use day parting as well if there is quite different. I guess the states are super differently from a geographical point of view. It’s super different from a geographical point of view and then you might see some performance differences. You could potentially use day parting to tailor that strategy.

Shivali Patel:

So time zones if you know that certain time zones are selling better than others, then definitely day parting. But outside of that, I think your best bet, if you were going to go that route, is really just external traffic. Right, it’s going to be Facebook, I think, is where you can actually segment stuff like that out when you’re going geographically speaking if you want to do certain states. But that’s completely off Amazon. We have a defensive PPC question. What tactics do you recommend to cover more real estate from your own page? What is your advice to sellers when they have competitors that push very hard PPC on your listing or your product detail page?

Madalina:

We would make sure we are targeting ourselves. So basically target your own AC limit when it comes to a sponsor product, because you’d be basically following the customer throughout the journey, and then it’s not only on your product page but also target those customers that were interested in your product and also target your product in your whole catalog. So make sure you have a defensive campaign for all the products in your catalog, and that covers sponsor products, sponsor brands, sponsor brand videos and sponsor display. It depends how popular your brand is as well, because sometimes you might want to, as you say, have a defensive strategy. Other times you might just want to ensure you’re getting sales from it, because the page could be already super cluttered by other search results and also depends on your product performance. So, let’s say you have some product that you’re launching right now and you might not have a great visibility on them. There is a chance you might not even index on those products for your brand names. So definitely, I would definitely target the new products to ensure they are at the top of the search results. You also want to make sure the customers are not too distracted when they go on your page, so make sure that you keep them there and show them what other options they can have from you. Also, make use of the free retail space when it comes to stores sorry, the costs and publish a lot of costs, so those will appear on your product page. Yeah, basically, use all the different types of placements on your own ASIN.

Shivali Patel:

So I know we’re kind of coming up on time here, but I just wanted to leave a little bit of room to give you some space to talk a little bit about how people can contact you if they want to reach out to you or talk to Ecomcy.

Madalina:

[email protected] and we also offer a free audit. We’re happy to look at clients’ performance, see how we can help increase their sales with PPC and also with product optimization. We also do Walmart, so in case I didn’t mention it. So we are happy to help on that side as well. And actually for the audience here, we are happy to offer a 25% discount for the first three months as well. So just let us know if you need any help and you can get the freebie as well on your first three months Amazing.

Shivali Patel:

So I know you mentioned Walmart really briefly. I know we said we were closing out, but just really quickly, do we have any Walmart sellers here that are watching and do any of you actually sell on the platform? I’d love to know because I know a lot of our questions were kind of geared in general or like mostly Amazon based. Thank you so much, Madalina, by the way, for being here, and it seems like people got a lot of value out of it and I’m excited for this episode to go out. All right, take care.


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Brand Evangelist

With an affinity for people, Shivali is passionate about industries centered around delivering authentic, helpful tools others can use to grow and succeed. She has offered strategic guidance to tens of thousands of sellers at all levels and is currently a Brand Evangelist at Helium 10 and the founder of LIVIVACE, a mind & body wellness company.

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