29 September 2023
Simplifying Amazon PPC – How to Efficiently Add Negative Keywords in Bulk
TweetLinkedInShareEmailPrint In the world of Amazon PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, success often boils down...
One of the staples of selling on Amazon and using Amazon PPC Advertising is constant bid optimization. The Amazon PPC bid auction is a fast-paced and dynamic process that all sellers have to stay abreast of. On Amazon, the cost-per-click (CPC) for an ad spot is always changing, as frequently as every few hours. Leaving your keyword bids unoptimized is a huge mistake! The key to winning ad auctions to never let your bidding strategy go stagnant. For this reason, a lot of sellers utilize Amazon PPC tools like Reverse ASIN Lookup to find out what keywords their competitors are bidding on to keep up.
We will explain what Reverse ASIN Lookup tools are, what they do, benefits of using them, and how you can use them in your own campaigns.
A reverse ASIN lookup involves inputting an ASIN into a lookup software, which then outputs keywords used in the ASIN’s product listing. A reverse ASIN lookup is essentially ‘reverse engineering’ the listing of the ASIN you input into the search field. Essentially you are using this tool to ‘spy’ on that competitor’s ASIN. It allows you to see what keywords they are ranking for. You can then use that data to rank for the same keywords.
Below is a screenshot of a popular tool used for Reverse ASIN Lookup called Cerebro by Helium10. It serves as an example of what a reverse ASIN lookup tool will show you. We will talk more about how to use this tool in later sections.
As you can see, we input the ASIN of a pair of Bose earbuds, our “competitor” in this case. Cerebro then provides some key information, including what items it’s frequently bought with and the word frequency of certain keywords in the product listing description & bullet points. The real gold mine is actually underneath, where the list of keywords pulled from the listing begins. The search results provide us with 8,500 keywords, as well as giving us the search volume for each. Now, you can sort by search volume and relevance (Cerebro IQ score) and pick out the top 100 keywords you want to insert into your own ad campaigns.
Reverse ASIN lookup is arguably one of the most powerful methods to optimize your Amazon PPC campaigns. Tracking competitor keywords, and extracting them regularly allows Amazon sellers to keep up a high rank for their products. Some reverse ASIN lookup tools also provide other relevant statistics like search volume, match type, sponsored rank & organic rank.
Sellers can basically use all the information to reverse engineer a competitor’s listing, and actively compete for the same keywords. Once you start to win bid auctions, you need to keep up the momentum by optimising listings regularly. A lot of sellers new to Amazon think that since Amazon allows up to 1000 keywords in a campaign, they can simply bid on the top 1000 and let it be. This is the absolute worst strategy, because it will slow or completely stall your momentum.
Out of those 1000, there will always be low-converting keywords that will eat up your campaign budget and provide no sales in return. No one can force badly performing keywords to convert to sales. The best strategy is to carefully select the best-performing keywords and get rid of the rest. How do you do this? You find your top competitors and reverse ASIN lookup to find those top-tier high-performing keywords that you should be putting your campaign budget into. This is why reverse ASIN lookup tools are so useful.
There are several useful Reverse ASIN Lookup Tools. Most come included in a subscription to Amazon PPC Management Software. In this article, we will talk about two of the most popular Reverse ASIN Lookup Tools used by sellers.
Most Amazon PPC softwares will offer a free trial but some are definitely better than others. Two popular reverse ASIN lookup tools are JungleScout (JS)’s Keyword Scout and Helium10’s Cerebro, as we mentioned before.
Both of these are subscription based, and the free trial only allows a limited amount of searches. JungleScout is quite affordable at $39 per month. Helium10, though much more expensive at $97/month, is definitely worth the money for the other tools it offers. Helium10 also provides Black Box and the Magnet Tool in its subscription. Black Box allows you to enter parameters to find products. Magnet allows you to enter keywords to find related keywords.
If you really prefer not to pay for the service, there are ways to use Amazon’s interface itself to do similar mechanisms to a reverse ASIN lookup if you’re a brand-registered seller.
JungleScout’s Keyword Scout looks for what they call “keyword opportunities”. This means the keywords are already filtered unlike Helium10’s raw search volume data. In Keyword Scout, you can enter a keyword or an ASIN, and then put some basic filters like category, match type, and word count. You can also customise the columns to show various kinds of data including 30 day search volume,30 day trend, PPC bids, the JS relevancy score, ease to rank, organic product count, sponsored product count and more.
As displayed above, an ASIN for a keyboard drawer is input into the search field. Then, data on search volume and other selected columns is provided. One perk of JS Keyword Scout is you can see the PPC bids for broad and exact, which you can’t see on Helium10. Another perk specific to JS is that you can do a ASIN group search where you compare up to 10 ASINs. Even better, with the chrome extension, you can see sales history and other useful data about competitors as you search on Amazon, just click on the extension to see a chart of ASINs and metrics for the search term you input into Amazon.
Helium10’s Cerebro tool has similar functionality to JS’s Keyword Scout, with some added filters to really narrow down your search. For basic filters, you can set a range for search volume, Cerebro IQ score, a higher limit for organic rank, a word count range, and also select Match Type or Amazon’s Choice. You can then sort by the Cerebro IQ score, the higher the more relevant, by search volume or search volume trend. Each keyword is also labeled by the match type – Sponsored, Amazon Recommended and Organic.
In Advanced Filters, you can put in a maximum Amazon Recommended Rank, sponsored rank, max amount of competing products, search volume and even include or exclude certain phrases, like brand names to narrow your results. If you really want to dive into all the raw data and then manually filter out the keywords you want, then Helium10 is definitely the tool for you because of all the useful filters it offers.
Finally, if you want to avoid using and paying for external software, you can use Amazon itself. If you are a brand-registered seller, you can use Amazon Brand Analytics (ABA) as a reverse ASIN lookup tool. It provides top ranking search terms, ranked by search frequency and two useful metrics – click share & conversion share, that are not provided by JungleScout or Helium10.
Another useful functionality of ABA is the Item Comparison report which compares your ASIN to the top 5 products most frequently viewed on the same day, along with a percentage of time each product was viewed in a given range.
Nevertheless, it definitely has limitations. Firstly, you can see search terms, rather than actual keywords used by competitor ASINs in their ad campaigns. Search terms and keywords are NOT the same thing, and its important to know the distinction. A search term is the word or set of words a customer enters when searching on Amazon, but a keyword is the word or phrase that Amazon Ads creates for a given ad group to target your ads to customers.
Not only that, ABA will only show ASINs that rank in the top 3 products for at least 1 search term, and then only show top 3 ranking keywords. Compared to external software like Helium10 or JungleScout, the “reverse ASIN lookup” data is extremely limited. Still, if your purpose is only to identify and simplify a list of good keywords, ABA will do the job at its most basic level. You can use other tools to extrapolate more keywords from the search terms you found using ABA.
Once you have the raw data outputted by reverse ASIN lookup tools, you need to know which data is useful and which isn’t. As we mentioned earlier, keyword dumping – putting 1000 keywords in your ad campaigns – is a very bad strategy. Even if you leverage Helium10 or JS Keyword Scout to find keywords, it’s not useful to your ad rank if you simply dump in the first 100-200 keywords the software outputs for you. Even the best Amazon PPC softwares require you to further filter your data.
A good way to obtain the best, most relevant and high-performing keywords is to narrow them down using searches. A good guideline to follow for filtering keywords is the following:
By following those basic guidelines you can already narrow a set of 1000-5000 keywords to 200 or less. Further refining of the search results will have to be done manually.
To further refine your keywords, most softwares allow you to export the data in a .csv format. Once it’s in .csv format, you can filter headers, set ranges & rules to really pull out the best keywords. The best thing about exporting data to .csv is you can easily transfer it all into a Bulk Upload File Template. This way, you can input hundreds of keywords, bids, and optimise your campaigns in just 15 minutes.
You can remove duplicates in Excel, and create pivot tables if needed to better visualise which keywords are best. If you have sales data for your competitors for those same keywords (JungleScout provides this), you can cross-reference sales history with keywords for maximum results.
To sum up, a seller’s most useful Amazon PPC tool is a reverse ASIN lookup tool. A reverse ASIN lookup tool can help you stay toe to toe with competitors, and keep that momentum going. Optimising your Amazon PPC ad campaigns has never been easier with the variety of tools at your disposal. It’s only a matter of choosing the right tool for you. Of course, once you’ve found your keywords, bid management is the next obvious step. There is also incredibly useful Amazon Advertising Software that can fully automate the bid management process for you.
If you have questions or insights to share, please feel free to post them via the comments section. Please also consider joining our Facebook Group where we discuss any questions you may have about running an Amazon business.