The challenge for a lot of Amazon sellers is getting enough product views to generate conversions. With so much competition, it’s difficult to stand out, especially when there are a lot of similar products being sold across the site.
But there is a solution: Amazon sponsored product ads.
These ads elevate your products to featured positions in the search results and get your store much-needed visibility. This is especially important in the early days when very few consumers know about your brand.
But to see success with sponsored product ads, you have to get it right. This can be tricky when there’s so much information available out there. Sifting through all the guides can be confusing and overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together this simple guide that shows you how to optimize your ads.
First Things First… Know the Basics
Amazon has a few rules and regulations you need to stick to when running ads via their platform. Amazon account management is always recommended, but here are a few tips to get you started.
- Owning an active seller account
- Having a Buy Box
- Not violating the ad policy – there are certain words you can and can’t use in ads; content that’s banned includes phrases associated with increased sexual performance and any claims to cure or diagnose an illness
- Not using language that might pressure customers into buying – this includes phrases like “last chance” and “don’t miss out”
- Ensuring your products comply with the rules – you can’t run ads on adult products, disease diagnostic kits, or ammunition
If your account and products pass these rules, you’re good to get started creating and optimizing your Amazon sponsored product ads.
Optimize Your Product Listings Before You Start Running Ads
Optimizing your product listings is a prerequisite for running successful sponsored product ad campaigns.
To get the best results, you should optimize your listings as much as possible before setting up your first sponsored product ad campaign. However, there are a couple of elements that can be updated and tweaked later on based on the results and feedback you get from your first round of ads.
Match Your Product Listings to Your Ads
The last thing you want to do is confuse potential buyers. This means it’s vital that your product listings match up with the ads you’re serving. For example, if you’re running an ad for a bedside lamp, make sure you’re explicit about the product page viewers are going to end up on if they click on the ad.
It’s important to align the content and images on both your ads and product listings too. This means using the same or similar images in your ads and product listings and using similar copy.
Use High-Quality Photos
The biggest issue consumers have with shopping online is that they can’t touch or see a product in-person before they buy. Because of this, it’s important to display high-quality photos that show off your products in the best light possible. This might mean having a couple of close up shots as well as images that capture the product from every angle. The more descriptive you can be with the imagery, the more likely your ads are to convert.
Use Relevant Keywords
Keywords are one of the most important parts of an Amazon sponsored product ad because they tell Amazon exactly what the product is. This increases the chances of your ad being served to target buyers.
Getting your use of keywords spot on is difficult but worth it, and it can take some trial and error to get right.
To get started, consider the different types of keywords that are involved:
- Broad Match Keywords, which trigger your ad when someone searches for the exact keyword phrase, any similar phrases, plural forms, misspellings, or synonyms
- Phrase Match Keywords, which trigger your ad when a shopper searches for the exact keywords or, in some cases, very similar variations of the exact keyword
- Exact Match Keywords, which trigger your ad when a shopper searches for the exact keyword phrase word for word
- Negative Keywords, which prevent your ad from showing up when used in a search
Once you know the different kinds of keywords you can include in your ads, it’s time to experiment with the quantity. Use too many keywords in your ad, and your product will start to show up in irrelevant searches; use too few, and your product will only show up in a few searches which will limit the number of conversions you can get.
There’s no hard and fast rule for the number of keywords to use in your ads, but anywhere between 20-50 is a good place to start.
A/B Test Your Copy and Headlines
A/B testing means serving different groups of ad viewers different versions of your ads to see which one performs best. This will help you figure out what wording is most effective for your products and which headlines and images get the best results.
Experiment with the copy in your ads and the product listings themselves. The copy you use will absolutely make a difference – dull and boring copy will turn potential buyers off, while exciting and vivid sentences that are persuasive can have powerful results.
This is true for your ad titles and headlines too.
Remember, these short sentences are likely to be the first things your visitors see, so you want to capture their attention from the get-go. As well as making sure your titles read well and are compelling, it’s also a good idea to drop in some of your most prominent keywords.
Tap Into FOMO
FOMO (a.k.a. the fear of missing out) is common amongst consumers. This is because they want to feel like a part of something; they want to feel special and like you’re speaking directly to them.
It works well in ads too. Tap into this psychological phenomenon by adding some urgency to your ads. This might be in the form of a limited-time deal or a special offer for shoppers that act fast.
Amazon actually has the option to run deal ads that show a reduced price next to the original price to drive a sense of urgency.
Experiment With Advertising Different Products
Products that sell well in summer might not sell so well in winter. As a result, it helps to rotate the products you run ads for throughout the year to jump on trends and to ensure your ads are seasonally accurate.
This can also help you figure out which products are your best sellers so you can pump more money into the ads to those.
Consistency is Key
However you choose to run your ads, one thing you should always be is consistent with. This will help you capture more accurate data about the kinds of shoppers that buy from you, the products they like, and key metrics like ACoS, AOV, and LTV.
Creating Your First Amazon Sponsored Product Ad Campaign
Decide On Your Goals
Running a campaign without knowing what you want to achieve is like running around in the dark with no sense of where you’re going.
While lofty goals can feel exciting, it’s actually more important to create realistic goals that are within reach. Start small and, once you’ve started to get results, expand out from there.
For example, you might focus your goals on getting more views on your top-selling products, increasing conversions to your new product line, or something else entirely. Your goals will depend on your business, your customers, and the kinds of products you’re selling.
Get to Grips With the Different Campaign Types
This post is mostly about Amazon sponsored product ads, but they aren’t the only ads you can run on Amazon. There are also headline search ads and product display ads, each of which has different placements on the site and different outcomes.
While sponsored product ads appear below the search results and are targeted by keywords, headline search ads are shown above the search results and require you to create additional landing pages and headlines.
Product display ads on the other hand are targeted by-product of interest and are shown on related product detail pages.
The type of ad you choose will depend on your goals, your budget, and who you’re targeting. For most eCommerce brands, sponsored product ads are a good place to start.
Set Up and Structure Your Campaigns
Now it’s time to actually start creating your campaigns, which means drilling into the structure of them. This will make managing your ads much easier and, as a result, will ensure you can measure your results easily and effectively.
There are a few different ways you can structure your campaigns, but by far the most effective for first-timers is to create an automatic campaign and a manual campaign for each product you want to feature.
Decide how long you want to run each campaign for and decide on a budget that you’re happy with but that is likely to get the results you want.
Start Your Automatic Campaign First
The secret is to start your automatic campaign about a week or two before you start your manual campaign. This is to capture important keyword data that you can use in your manual campaigns.
Once your automatic campaign has been running for long enough, you’ll have enough data to work with. Download the Search Term Report and look for keywords that have the highest conversion rates. These are the keywords your target buyers are using in their searches.
Set Up Your Manual Campaign
Next, it’s time to hit “go” on your manual campaigns. But first, add the highest converting keywords you discovered in your automatic campaign, including broad match keywords, phrase match keywords, and exact match keywords.
Once you’ve got both campaigns running in tandem, you’ll be able to dig even deeper into your data to get an understanding of your customers and their wants and needs.
This will help you learn what works, what doesn’t, and who is responding positively to your ads. Use the data you have from your automatic campaigns to generate keyword inspiration for your manual efforts, but don’t stop there. Determine what the top keywords tell you about your audience and then bring all the data you have together to identify any key trends.
Track, Measure, and Tweak
Once your ads have been running for a little while, you’ll be able to see if they’re getting good results. Don’t just set and forget your campaigns; instead, constantly track them, compare metrics, and tweak elements for higher conversion rates.
One of the most important metrics you can track is your Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS). This is used to show you the performance of your campaigns by calculating the ratio of ad spend to target sales. Use the formula ACoS = ad spend / sales to work out your unique ACoS.
Ready to Get Started With Amazon Sponsored Product Ads?
Amazon sellers looking to increase visibility on their products and generate more sales should definitely give sponsored product ads a try. Not only do these kinds of campaigns help you understand your customers by mining important keyword information, but they can generate a steady stream of income by getting your products in front of the right people every single day.
However, it’s important to optimize your campaigns so they perform at their best. This means structuring your campaigns in a way that lets you harvest important data, running automatic and manual ads in tandem, and consistently tweaking the copy, images, and headlines to ensure your ads are the best they can be.
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