Chicken and the Egg
One of Amazon PPC’s true paradoxes is how we can optimize, lower our bids, and retain our high organic placements? This is the true chicken and the egg question about Amazon PPC optimization.
We all know that converting for a keyword on Amazon Advertising PPC directly affects the Amazon organic SEO algorithm. There is a lot of rank or launch strategies built around Amazon PPC.
The thinking goes, if I keep aggressively bidding and winning top place for the targeted keywords, I will rank organically. Eventually, the organic profits from organic sales will make up for the extra spend in PPC.
The above thinking is true… But if done incorrectly, you might run into an issue… Once you turn off the Amazon PPC, your organic ranking will start dropping like a rock!
Below, I have presented some tested strategies and methods to prevent losing rank while optimizing for Amazon PPC. This article will assume that you are at the stage where the product is organically ranked. It will also assume you have achieved this partly or fully by bidding hard on your main keyword using some Amazon PPC launch strategy.
How to Back Off Without Losing Ranking
You need to do what I called “targeted moderation.” You need to see which keywords are performing (targeted) and then make a slow incremental down bid to them (moderation).
Although the above concept sounds easy, the actual implementation is not. To do it right, it requires you to know your metrics and keywords inside and out. Also, it requires much care and daily monitoring of the changes.
Often, you do not need to be placed on the first sponsored placement to rank organically. You can do that with your product being placed in 2nd or 3rd, as long as you don’t fall off completely from the top placement. Sometimes, there is a wide bid range between winning the first and second placement, and you can really optimize by aiming to place second instead of the first.
So the first thing you can do is lower your bid in small increments to see if you are still winning the keyword auction.
Limit the Keywords and Match Type
Before you start the Amazon PPC optimization process, you need your campaign to be more targeted. Therefore you want to limit your keywords and also use the “exact” match type. This is for your Amazon launch campaign.
The key aim here is to get the right attribution. If you don’t know which keywords/customer queries are driving sales, then you will have no way to optimize for the right target.
If you have more than 20 keywords in your launch/ranking campaign, it might be too much for your to monitor and track which keywords are the key drivers of your sales, and you might run into an issue of a “whack a mole” situation where you were constantly optimizing with no end in sight.
You also need to make sure the keywords you are tracking is of “exact” match type, so you know the exact customer query that are driving the sales.
Optimize for Conversion Rate (In-Line With Competitors)
The first thing you need to do now is to see where you are ranking organically. Then you need to check your conversion rate. For example, you have been ranking around 4th organically in the last 30 days or so on keyword X, now you need to find the conversion rate. To find the conversion rate or the closest thing to it, you will go to your Amazon dashboard ➔ Reports ➔ Business Report.
On this screen on the left, click on “Detail Page Sales and Traffic.”
Find the ASIN on the report. The metrics that you need to look for is “Unit Session Percentage.” This is basically the conversion rate of your ASIN. Find the corresponding unit session percentage for your ASIN.
By getting the above information, you can conclude the following:
It took a conversion rate of 24.41% to achieve an organic ranking of 4 on keyword X.
With this information, you can optimize or stop keywords that are not achieving close to the 24.41% conversion rate. If your target keyword is far off from this conversion rate, it would be much more difficult and you need to consider the following
1) Rank for a new target keyword,
2) increase your Target ACoS
3) Focus on longer tail keywords, more on that below.
Back Off From the Main Keyword, Focus on Long Tail
Another way to achieve Amazon PPC optimization without having a dramatic effect on your overall organic ranking is to bid aggressively on the long tail keywords that are a phrase match of your main keyword.
For example, your main keyword is “Baby Crib,” but the actually implied conversion rate and ACoS are way outside your target. So if you over-optimize for this keyword, you can potentially cause a material fall in organic rankings.
What you can do instead is to bid to win for a basket of keywords around “Baby Crib,” such as “Baby crib for infants,” “Sectional Baby crib,” and “baby crib with storage.”
The idea is to bid and win the keywords that are phrase match derivative of “Baby Crib”.
By doing this it will signal Amazon that this product is related to the main keyword while keeping up with the sales velocity and conversion rate of the competitors. It is a way to indirectly bid for the main keyword that can potentially be as effective as being placed #1 on the sponsored placement of your main keyword.
Tracking Your Rank
Make sure to track your rankings as you make the bid changes. This way, you know the cause and effect of the actions that you take. You will also want to see if your competitors are making a move on your sponsored keywords, so any type of tool you use to monitor should be able to track sponsored products ranking placement.
The tool that I like to use is Helium 10. It does the job of tracking both organic and sponsored product ranking.
Amazon PPC optimization is simple if you follow these steps, I hope you found this article helpful!
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