Amazon PPC Part 1: Why It’s Still Essential for Winning on Amazon

amazon ppc

This post is part 1 in a 2-part series on Amazon PPC. Read Part 2 here!

With all of the Amazon advertising options and tactics out there — DSP, Amazon Attribution, social media pushing to Amazon, etc. etc. — you might be tempted to turn off your PPC ads and call it a day. DON’T!

If you’re a seasoned advertiser (like we are), you should be constantly evaluating your Amazon PPC strategy. PPC is vital for winning on Amazon; without it, your products will most likely never be seen. Your Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads, and Sponsored Brand Video Ads are all a crucial part of your larger Amazon Advertising strategy, whether you’re scaling, conquering, or maintaining.

If you want to succeed on Amazon, you need to invest in and maintain a solid PPC strategy, no matter what your goals on the platform are. Here are some strategies that Amazon PPC can help your brand achieve on Amazon!

Boost Organic Ranking Long-Term

Amazon PPC is really the best — and arguably only — way your brand can succeed long-term on Amazon. Even if you have great success on Amazon, you shouldn’t stop running PPC. If you don’t maintain your PPC advertising, you won’t maintain your organic rank.

Because PPC ads help your brand gain visibility and drive traffic to your product detail pages, they also naturally improve your organic ranking by getting more eyes on your products. And, if you’re utilizing the principles of Search Term Isolation, your products are getting in front of the right people who are searching for a product like yours and ultimately purchasing.

Enact Strategies

Amazon has become a pay-to-play platform with the increased competition and ever increasing ad placements in search results. Even if your brand has a solid organic presence on the platform and great brand recognition, all brands must continue utilizing Amazon PPC to prevent your competition from conquesting against your brand name and taking over vital ad placements next to your product. 

There are a variety of strategies to scale your brand, increase your sales even more, and take over your competition. Some common strategies include:

  • Keyword takeover: bidding aggressively for increased visibility at the top of search to drive sales and ultimately boost organic rank
  • Launch products: paying higher CPCs up front to drive traffic to a new listing and gain sales and reviews before optimizing CPCs and getting ACoS down
  • Brand defense: targeting owned branded terms in all aspects (SBA, Sponsored Product, Video, etc.) to ensure branded real estate is not being taken over by your competitors
  • Conquest competition: a higher-ACoS strategy targeting competitor branded terms to attempt to sway customers who are actively searching for a competitor
  • Competitor ASINs targeting: ASINs owned by competitors that are directly related to your own products
  • Complementary ASINs: a high-ACoS strategy targeting ASINs that are complementary to your products (e.g. targeting your boot socks against a pair of boots)
  • ASIN retargeting: target customers that visited detail page but did not purchase

Amazon is not the platform to play it safe. Once your brand reaches a solid space where your ads are performing well and you’re consistently hitting revenue goals, it’s time to be more aggressive. You can explore and test new ad types, cast a wider net with more generic broad targeting, and bid more aggressively on high-performing keywords to gain more impression share and more favorable placements.

Prevent Competition from Overtaking

At the bare minimum, brands must be running PPC to protect their brand from the competition from overtaking your positions on the SERP. Your competitors are advertising, so if you want to be a force to be reckoned with in the industry on Amazon, you need to match their advertising efforts.

If you stop advertising, your competitors will be able to capture your organic traffic, which can quickly result in the brand overtaking your organic ranking, and their Sponsored Product Ads will be the first products to appear on the SERP. Even if somehow you maintain a high organic ranking, your competitors who are advertising will likely get the sale due to their Sponsored Product appearing first. And, because they got the sale, they will appear higher in the organic ranking as well — knocking you out of your spot.

Bottom line: if you want to stay relevant and beat out your competitors, you need to run Amazon PPC ads.

Tired of managing your Amazon PPC ads internally? Let the experts at Blue Wheel strategize, run, and monitor your PPC.

Amazon Advertising Agencies vs. Full-Service Agencies: Which is Right for You?

full-service amazon agency vs advertising agency
DOWNLOAD PDF

When your Amazon business is growing, you have two choices: buy or build.

Building means hiring an internal team to take on Amazon responsibilities. Buying means outsourcing to a third-party agency.

Many Amazon partners pride themselves on being a third-party agency that will tackle everything for your Amazon business, including inventory management, advertising, forecasting, customer service, reviews, and fulfillment.

Who wouldn’t want someone fully dedicated to help manage your Amazon account? These teams are jacks of all trades.

While there are certainly benefits to having one agency manage your Amazon account, there are also some drawbacks that should be taken into consideration. We’re here to walk you through the pros and cons of working with a full-service Amazon agency vs. a specialized Amazon Advertising agency.

Who is Right for a Full-Service Agency?

Full-service agencies are great for sellers who are just starting out on Amazon. If you truly don’t have the bandwidth to effectively manage all sides of your Amazon business, one agency who charges you a flat fee for all-encompassing services is a great option. You can learn a lot from these agencies, especially if you’re in the early days of running your Amazon business.

These end-to-end solution agencies are also good for companies where the majority of their e-commerce revenue stems from other channels, so they are just looking to manage and maintain their Amazon presence.

What are the Downfalls of a Full-Service Agency?

Lack of Dedicated, Specialized Resources

At a full-service Amazon agency, one person is managing your entire account — including fulfillment, inventory management and forecasting, customer service, and advertising.

For example, let’s say Amazon is having warehouse issues and inbound shipment delays like they have recently due to COVID-19. A full-service agency will shift efforts to make that their number one priority, and as a result, will miss opportunities as it relates to advertising.

Likely, advertising will be what suffers, because it’s seen as a nice addition that can run on auto-pilot. But the fact of the matter is that Amazon advertising requires many dedicated hours and resources in order top be effective and efficient.

Not Experts in Advertising

These agencies are jacks of all trades but masters of none.

A lot of brands noticed during the COVID-19 pandemic that these agencies don’t always know how to pivot their advertising strategies. You’ll likely notice that your inventory and reviews are being handled well, but your business won’t be growing as fast as you’d like it to.

Why is Advertising So Important?

Pay-to-Play Platform

Amazon is a pay-to-play platform. If you want to be a serious seller, you’ll need to invest in advertising. That’s why ACOS is viewed differently from ROAS — the cost of advertising should be built into your budget, not seen just as a return.

Amazon follows a performance-based algorithm, so advertising is really the bottom line of how you grow your business. At its simplest explanation, Amazon’s algorithm works to show the products that have the highest clickthrough rates, sales, and overall performance. “Traditional” SEO markers like your product description and bullet points are less important for organic placement. Advertising is the main driver of growth, and the best advertisers in the room are top sellers.

There are many different bidding philosophies on Amazon. Search Term Isolation has proven to be the most successful for the team at Blue Wheel.

Organic Isn’t As Important

If you’re used to working in a traditional Dotcom space, you might be hyper-focused on SEO and organic placement. While these certainly play a role in your Amazon business, they’re not as much of a priority for growth as you might think.

On page 1 of Amazon SERP, there are very few organic placements above the fold, if any at all. The first four search results are all sponsored products, and above that is a large sponsored brand ad.

Just thinking spatially, you would want to have the top placement possible on the SERP. And even if your product is the number-one organic search results, it won’t be seen until after someone scrolls.

The bottom line: Your organic ranking isn’t everything. What you should primarily strive for is a solid ad placement.

Advertising Drives Growth

Amazon ares less about how technically good your SEO is and more about how customers respond to your product — aka if customers are actually buying it. Or course, copy that converts is a huge part of sales, but most Amazon sales occur on page 1, and most of those sales are in the top few products that appear.

Amazon SEO is performance based. Amazon doesn’t differentiate ads performance from a product’s organic performance. The products with the most clicks, best sales, and highest conversion rates are represented higher up in the SERPs organically.

Advertising drives 60% of total growth on Amazon, so knowing your advertising is key to growing your company’s revenue and expanding the reach of your products on Amazon. Since advertising is by far the most important area of revenue growth for your brand, you need the smartest and most experienced people handling it.

Every other area (inventory, customer service, etc.) of a full-service Amazon agency is based on efficiency, and you don’t necessarily need a dedicated expert to do it. But advertising is different in that it requires an up-front monetary investment, and it requires constant optimization.

The bottom line: If you want to grow your sales on Amazon, you need to advertise.

Questions to Ask before Signing a Full-Service Contract

How many Amazon customer service inquiries do you receive weekly?

  • If you only get three calls a week, you can easily manage that internally.
  • Do you have an internal team who manages your Dotcom customer service? Could they take on your Amazon calls?
  • If you have an omnichannel strategy, you are doing yourself a disservice by outsourcing rather than keeping everything in house.

How many questions do you respond to per week?

  • Maybe 10? That can be tackled in 30 minutes each week.

How often do you monitor inventory levels?

  • Once a month? Full-service agencies promise to do inventory planning, but they really just use a simple spreadsheet formula to calculate how many products you sell in a month.
  • Once a week? If you didn’t know, the Amazon dashboard has a feature that can help you prepare and plan your next shipment to Amazon’s warehouses. Glancing at this feature provides the support a brand needs to manage inventory levels.

How often are you optimizing your titles/descriptions/bullet points?

  • Full-service agencies will say they continually optimize your content — but if your content is good, you won’t need to optimize it.

Can you break out services so you can grow accordingly?

  • DON’T get stuck in long-term contracts!

How well do you know each area of Amazon? Do you understand the importance of each? Which of these could you do in house?

Just Getting Started on Amazon?

Amazon has provided powerful resources that give clarity for beginners and seasoned sellers. The content truly simplifies the education and removes the learning curve many feel they cannot overcome. If you’ve ever thought that you don’t have the time, experience, or willingness, Seller University will eliminate those thoughts!

You do not need to have a Vendor or Seller account to access the content in the Seller University. This curated content is available directly from Amazon on YouTube!

If you have a Vendor or Seller account, you can access the full Seller University, which is the recommended user experience.

Once you’re logged in, you can view more resources here. This includes an amazing toolbar to help navigate to the exact topic you’re inquiring about!

While the Seller Forums are helpful, you will need an Amazon Vendor or Seller login to access. The content is all Q&As from volunteers and other sellers participating in the discussion. Some of the content you can trust, but be aware that Amazon does not directly provide any guidance here. The main benefit of this tool is that as a Vendor or Seller, you can submit questions to the Amazon community to answer!

Lastly, there is the Amazon Advertising Learning Console. The Learning Console can provide the most basic elementary teachings or more advanced advertising techniques!

DOWNLOAD PDF

Ready to take your advertising to the next level to grow your Amazon business? Schedule a consultation with one of our Amazon Advertising experts by emailing [email protected].

Selling Apparel on Amazon

selling apparel on amazon

Selling apparel on Amazon is no small feat. Some would argue it’s more complicated than selling on your own website, and it requires slightly different tactics than off-Amazon advertising and sales.

If you’re an apparel brand who is currently selling on Amazon, or is looking to venture into Amazon sales, you need to be aware of some tips and tricks that will make your apparel sales profitable.

We work with many clients in the apparel space on Amazon, and we’ve compiled some of our best practices for fellow apparel brands!

Our Tips on How to Sell Clothes on Amazon

Modifying Storefront for Seasons

The clothing industry is dictated by seasons, which means the products you’re selling are constantly changing. Your storefront should be modified based on the season you’re currently promoting. But don’t limit this to weather-based seasons. If you’re able, modify for other seasons or holidays, like back to school, wedding season, or Easter.

For one of our clients that sells face masks, 78% of all ad sales month to date are from Sponsored Brand Ad campaigns that link to the storefront. Their storefront has consistently proved to convert, especially when they modified their storefront to match their advertisements.

For this same client, we aligned our Sponsored Brand Ad campaigns with specific categories to effectively target shoppers looking for a certain type of product. Then within each of these storefront landing pages, we made sure to show top-converting ASINs first within the selection of products.

Advertising

We’ve waxed poetic about the importance of advertising many times before, but it’s especially true in the apparel space.

Because your products aren’t evergreen, you need advertising to gain visibility fast. You don’t have six months to increase your product’s visibility, because you’ll already be far into the next season by then. Advertising will give your new products the exposure and sales boost to gain  reviews, which will increase your product’s visibility in organic search.

On their own, these listings would not have been able to rank because of low visibility within the search results, as they would be new to the market with no sales history.

In addition, advertising is especially important because it generates reviews, which are crucial in the apparel space. Potential customers want to know about the quality and fit of your item (if it’s true to size, etc.) — and they tend to turn to reviews to find that information. Advertising is the quickest and easiest way to generate quality reviews on your product, which will encourage more customers to buy.

Large Catalog

Many clothing brands have a large catalog of items, which might include color and size variations, as well as different styles. Between parent and child ASINs, many brands have thousands of ASINs to organize and advertise.

It can be complicated to upload and advertise that many SKUs across Amazon and your dot com site. It’s important to have an organized system to keep track of all your items — or to outsource it to an agency who will handle advertising for you.

We upload 25,000–50,000 SKUs per update for one client, which requires not only a large amount of time to upload, but also time to manage and advertise those products so they gain visibility.

Brand Name vs Generic Clothing

One of the great conundrums on Amazon is selling branded items. Customers on Amazon are notorious for being non-brand loyal, which is why non-branded search terms are so competitive. However, with Amazon becoming more and more of a marketplace for brands and not just nameless products, many companies want to rely on brand recognition to sell their products.

Over the course of 60 days, a name brand athleisure line’s impressions were 4.6M, where generic impressions for athleisure were 24.7M. This seems to be the average for many apparel brands — we typically see about 5x more generic searches than brand searches.

Since brand name CPCs are about half of generic searches, and their conversion rate is 16% (versus a generic conversion rate of 7%), you definitely want to invest in branded search, even if it’s at a lesser volume than generic search. Branded campaigns typically don’t increase in price, and they don’t need as much time to optimize as non-branded campaigns.

It’s important to have a presence on both branded and non-branded search on Amazon. Similar to your dot com business, you’ll want to be visible, even if you’re not profitable. (This is all part of the Search Term Isolation bidding philosophy.)

If you’re establishing a brand on Amazon, be sure to design a storefront, and leverage Sponsored Brand Ads. It’s crucial that customers see consistency in brand look and feel across all channels, including Amazon.

Ready to boost your apparel sales on Amazon? Get a free Amazon audit — no strings attached.

Is Amazon Attribution Right for Your Brand?

amazon attribution

Amazon Attribution has many brands buzzing, whether they’re Amazon Advertising pros or dotcom natives. But many are also confused — is this just a new form of reporting? Is it available for my brand? How does it work?

Here’s a breakdown of exactly how Amazon Attribution works, and some guidelines to understanding whether it’s a measurement approach you should consider adopting for your brand.

What is Amazon Attribution?

Amazon Attribution is a relatively new feature on Amazon that allows you to track the impact your off-Amazon advertising campaigns have on your Amazon sales.

In other words, you now have visibility to see:

  • Additional revenue that can be attributed to your off-Amazon advertising campaigns
  • How your off-Amazon advertising is directly impacting your sales on the site
  • A holistic view of your ecommerce sales across the web — no silos here!

This tool is not yet available worldwide, but sellers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe can take advantage of this newfound visibility.

What Does Amazon Attribution Offer?

We’ve talked before about how Amazon Attribution can help you uncover additional revenue from your off-Amazon campaigns, in order to show the holistic success of a campaign and the new habits of shoppers.

But Amazon Attribution is really so much more than that. Not only does it allow you to see a big-picture view of your sales across multiple platforms, but it also allows you to drive traffic to your Amazon products from off the platform if you don’t have an owned-and-operated ecommerce site.

So, whether you are an ecommerce brand looking to understand how many people who saw your Facebook ad ended up purchasing your product on Amazon, or are an Amazon-only brand who wants to expand your reach, Amazon Attribution helps you understand the impact your off-Amazon ads have on your Amazon sales.

And while Amazon has never confirmed it, many experts theorize that Amazon prioritizes products and brands who drive traffic to Amazon from outside sources. It’s easy to see why — Amazon’s search algorithms favor products that receive traffic that ultimately converts to a sale. If the traffic is coming from an external source that drives to a detail page and results in a sale, then that can also boost search results.

Video Source: Amazon

Is Amazon Attribution Right for My Brand?

There’s really not a use case where Amazon Attribution would be the wrong choice for a brand.

If you only sell on Amazon, you can utilize Amazon Attribution to understand the impact of your off-Amazon advertising on your Amazon sales. Driving traffic to your product detail pages or brand stores from off-Amazon channels is a big win for the Amazon algorithm, which could impact the organic ranking of your product.

If you’re a DTC brand whose main focus has traditionally been your dotcom site, Amazon Attribution can serve a few different purposes for your business. First, it can correctly attribute your Amazon sales to your off-Amazon advertising campaigns, increasing the ROI of a campaign. (We talk more in-depth about this in our free downloadable Amazon Attribution Case Study.) Second, it can help grow your Amazon business into a strong vertical in its own right, rather than just viewing the marketplace as an afterthought in relation to your dotcom business.

Amazon Attribution might not be a priority for brands who don’t already have a solid Amazon Advertising strategy. Before you delve into attributing off-Amazon advertising to Amazon revenue, you need to have a strong handle on how to first optimize your Amazon Advertising strategy to hit your target goals, whether that’s reducing wasted spend and/or lowering ACoS. Once your Amazon ad strategy is generating the desired results, you can shift focus to optimize your off-Amazon advertising tactics to further maximize your return on investment and drive incremental sales.

Are you looking to find alternative ways to drive traffic and revenue outside of the Amazon advertising ecosystem? Get in touch with our team to discuss what a test-and-learn strategy looks like for your brand.

Amazon ACoS: How to Optimize with an Account Audit

amazon acos

Improving your Amazon ACoS isn’t as simple as you might think. There are tons of articles out there about how to lower your ACoS, but optimizing for this metric involves more than making a few clicks and hoping for the best.

This is a deep dive into how to audit your Amazon account to improve your ACoS. If you’re new to Amazon Advertising, we recommend checking out our explanation of Search Term Isolation and downloading our free Amazon Advertising Guide to the Galaxy. Then come back here to get into the weeds!

Step 1: Determine Your Breakeven and Target ACoS

Like any other form of advertising, your breakeven and target ACoS will be different than another company’s. ACoS is calculated by dividing your ad spend by your ad revenue, and then multiplying that by 100. So, if you spend $100 and make $1,000, your ACoS would be 10%. In other words, for every dollar you made, you spent $0.10 on advertising.

Because ACoS is calculated based on the relationship between your ad spend and ad revenue, it focuses more on how much money you spent on advertising in order to make $1. (As opposed to ROAS, which focuses on how much money you earned for every $1 you spend on advertising.)

Breakeven ACoS

Your breakeven ACoS is the ACoS threshold that would allow you to not lose money on a sale from advertising. Of course, your production and shipping costs, as well as Amazon’s fees, are taken into account here. Your profit margin percentage on each product is also your breakeven ACoS percentage. For example, if your profit margin is 20% and your ACoS was 20%, you would make no profit on that sale.

Now, your breakeven ACoS is not your target ACoS. While you might initially try to just reach your breakeven ACoS, as your products gain more traction and visibility on Amazon, you will be able to lower your ACoS by following these steps down below. However, your breakeven ACoS will help you determine what your target ACoS should be.

Target ACoS

Rather, your target ACoS should be lower than your breakeven ACoS. Ideally, your target ACoS should align with your target profit margin. So, let’s say your breakeven ACoS is 20%. If your target profit margin is 10%, you would need to have a target ACoS of 10% or lower in order to meet your profit goals.

Many brands choose to live or die by their target ACoS, which can be helpful when you have slim profit margins. However, maintaining this ACoS will likely not help your business scale on Amazon.

Step 2: Analyze Keywords

Many sellers on Amazon use the site’s automatic keyword tool, which automatically determines which keywords you bid on. This feature is a great starting point, especially for sellers who are just starting out, but it’s not sustainable or profitable.

Our advanced bidding philosophy, Search Term Isolation, equips you to negate keywords that aren’t profitable and isolate those search terms that are performing well for you. By successfully implementing Search Term Isolation, you will likely see your ACoS improve.

Adding Negative Keywords

Negating negative keywords is as simple as it sounds — you are simple not bidding on those keywords that aren’t profitable for your product. For example, maybe your product is a 24 oz. water bottle. But with Amazon’s automatic keyword tool, this product was showing up for the search term 48 oz. water bottle, which (obviously) didn’t return any sales for you. By negating the keyword 48 oz. water bottle, you’re not only not wasting spend, but you’re also able to reallocate that money to a more profitable search term, which will result in more sales. These keywords should be negated in the campaign, so that there are no bids for this product.

Isolate Search Terms

After you negate the search terms that aren’t resulting in sales, now you need to isolate the search terms that are performing well for your chosen product. By isolating these terms, you’ll be able to individually adjust the bid for each keyword, depending on your strategy for that product. This level of customization allows you to make changes in real time.

Once you’ve identified these keywords, you should move them to the exact match bucket and negate them from any auto, broad, or phrase campaigns.

Step 3: Perform a Competitive Analysis

A huge part of auditing your Amazon account to improve your ACoS is researching your competitors. If you’ve done any sort of advertising off Amazon, you’ve likely done a similar process. However, it’s important to go through each step specifically for the Amazon side of your business, as your competitors may differ.

Identify Keywords

Remember those successful keywords you identified in step 2? Now’s the time to pull them out again. These keywords will also help you identify your main competitors! Remember, your keywords will differ for each of your products.

Identify Competitors

One by one, enter your keywords into the search bar on Amazon. (Alternatively, you can use a tool to identify competitors and do this research for you.) For each keyword, identify your main competitors — the sellers who are winning the top Sponsored Product slot, whose Sponsored Brand Ads are appearing at the top of the page, and who are in the first organic spot as well.

Analyze Content

Once you’ve identified your major competitors on Amazon, you need to analyze their product listing content. This includes:

  • Photos
  • Product title
  • Descriptions
  • Bullet points
  • A+ content
  • Reviews

Each of these pieces of content on the product page aids in converting customers. Compare their content to yours. Do their images have text descriptors of features? Is their A+ content fully designed? Do they have a lot of 5-star reviews? Optimize your product listing content based on best practices in the industry and what is working for your competitors.

This step is especially important if you are seeing high clicks but a low conversion rate, or high impressions with a low clickthrough rate.

Compare Pricing

Lastly, your pricing could be impacting your performance against your competition. Amazon prioritizes the product that has the best reviews and the lowest price — so if you have comparable reviews but a higher price, that could reduce your conversion rate and thus be a contributing factor in your high ACoS.

Step 4: Manage Bids

Managing your bids manually can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of ASINs to individually adjust. Amazon Advertising technology can assist you in this by auto-adjusting your bidding.

There are two general buckets your adjustments will fall into. If you have high spend but low sales, you’ll want to decrease your bid. If you have low spend but high sales, you can increase your bid to increase traffic and scale your business.

Step 5: Optimize Product Page

After step 3, you’ve hopefully already analyzed your competitor’s content. Now, it’s time to put those observances into practice on your own product detail page. As we’ve stated earlier, there are two main areas that indicate which areas of your content you need to optimize.

If You Have High Clicks but Low Conversions

If this is the trend you’re experiencing, your product image and product title are likely accurate — but your description and bullet points might need optimization. Make sure these two areas are clearly written with no typos. Each of these sections should accurately describe your product and the value it serves your customers.

Additionally, reviews can impact this. If your reviews are not retail ready (our threshold is typically anything over 3.5 stars), you may not gain a lot of conversions, especially if these reviews state a lot of the same issues.

If You Have High Impressions but Low Clicks

This trend could indicate a poor product title or product image. Your product titles should clearly state what your product is, as well as specific keywords that identify details about your product. Your featured product image should clearly indicate what the final product looks like. 

Of course, you should still ensure that your description, bullet points, and A+ content are optimized. Because once you optimize your product title and product image, hopefully your traffic will increase to your product page!

If your product has low star ratings, people might not even click into your product, especially if your competitors have markedly better ratings.

Don’t have bandwidth to tackle improving your ACoS? Let the experts at Blue Wheel help. Reach out for a free audit today to let our team identify ways to improve your ACoS.

Why Did I Lose the Amazon Buy Box? [2021]

amazon buy box

The Amazon Buy Box is essential for sellers. If you earn the buy box, Amazon’s algorithm believes you are the best seller for your product, so you earn the sale!

You can also lose the Buy Box — whether you are a seller competing against other sellers who list the same product, or a brand who has the same product listed across multiple marketplaces.

Losing the Buy Box can have severe ramifications for your business on Amazon  — you’ll lose out on the sale of that particular item, and Amazon will suppress your Sponsored Product advertising. Not being able to run sponsored products ads will open the door for competition to run conquesting ads, which can damage the velocity of your products These two effects combined could cause a dramatic loss in sales. After all, Amazon is a pay-to-play platform, and advertising is required to grow your business (that’s the whole idea behind our bidding philosophy, Search Term Isolation).

What if you lose the Amazon Buy Box? Did you do something wrong? Is there an unauthorized reseller who is beating your prices?

Before we get into why you might have lost the Amazon Buy Box, let’s review what the Buy Box actually is.

The Amazon Buy Box is located on the right side of the page on desktop, and partway down the page on mobile.

amazon buy box desktop
The Amazon Buy Box on desktop

The Buy Box consists of the “Add to Cart” button and the “Buy Now” button, both of which purchase the product from that specific seller. If a product has more than one seller, and no one is winning the buy box, you’ll see a “See All Buying Options” button, which opens a pop-up window to show all the different sellers who are selling that specific product.

amazon buy box buying options
See All Buying Options button.

There are a few criteria to winning the Amazon Buy Box, whether you’re a sole seller or competing with sellers who sell your exact same product.

In order to not lose the Buy Box, you need to meet these threshold standards that are set by Amazon:

  • Have a Professional Seller Account
  • Sell new items (used items have a separate Buy Box)
  • Have inventory availability (if your product isn’t available, it goes to another seller)
  • Have high-quality products (with low order defect and return rate)
  • Have high seller performance metrics (clickthrough rate, purchase rate, etc.)
  • Have fast and comprehensive customer service (low dissatisfaction rate)
  • Length of time selling product on Amazon

These standards are the basic requirement to win the Buy Box, but they’re not everything. While there are many variables that influence your chances of winning the Buy Box and getting favored by Amazon’s algorithms, these are the 5 key factors that can impact your loss of the Buy Box:

  1. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
  2. Competitive Landed Price
  3. Inventory Health
  4. Overall Amazon Account Health
  5. Seller Feedback Score

We’ve outlined these five requirements below, and explained how they impact why you may have lost the Amazon Buy Box!

You Aren’t Using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

Fast shipping is one of the key factors to winning the Amazon Buy Box. With Amazon Prime, products are usually packed and shipped within a day, and arrive within two days. Whether your products are fulfilled by you or Amazon, they need to match Prime’s shipping rates.

When you allow Amazon to fulfill your orders, you will be more likely to meet Amazon’s quick shipping threshold that would better qualify you for the Amazon Buy Box.

You Don’t Have A Competitive Landed Price

It’s no secret that Amazon favors lower prices. If your competitor’s prices are higher than yours, they’ll likely win the Buy Box instead of you. To combat this, you can incrementally lower your prices to beat out the competition.

You can choose to manually adjust your prices, or set them up to adjust automatically. Whichever option you choose, you should keep your MAP pricing and profitability in mind.

Manual Adjustment

You can choose to manually adjust your prices to beat out the competition. If you have a limited number of SKUs, this process might work for you, as you can easily monitor your competitor’s prices and quickly adjust your own prices to be slightly lower. This does require constant monitoring, so if you have an expansive catalog it might be too much of a time investment.

Automatic Adjustment

Many brands, especially those with a large number of SKUs, choose to automate their price adjustments. There are many third-party integrations that can automate this process for you, whether you choose to adjust based on a simple price differential (automatically reprice your item to be $0.50 less than the competition) or a more complex repricing structure based on an algorithm. An algorithmic adjustment can take your profitability margins into account, so many brands prefer this option to keep their profitability high.

Your Inventory Health Is Poor

If your products are continually out of stock, Amazon will likely strip you of the Buy Box. Because Amazon is so customer-centric, they won’t recommend products that aren’t available because it won’t result in a sale. Keep meticulous track of your inventory, and make sure your products don’t dip below a certain threshold.

Your Overall Amazon Account Health Is Poor

This qualification is a little more intangible than some of the others, but it’s vitally important to winning the Amazon Buy Box. Your Amazon Account Health consists of a few factors:

  • Order defect rate
  • Cancellation rate
  • Late shipment rate
  • Valid tracking rate
  • On-time delivery rate

All of these factors except for order defect rate only apply to seller-fulfilled orders. So, if you are utilizing FBA, you won’t have to worry about any of these impacting your account health — just be sure to pay attention to your order defect rate.

If you are fulfilling and shipping orders yourself, you’ll need to be cognizant of all of the above factors. The speed and accuracy of your shipping must match Amazon’s impeccably high standards — specifically matching Prime shipping rates.

To see the status of your Amazon Account Health, look under “Account Health” in Seller Central for an overview of your account.

You Have A Low Seller Feedback Score

Your Seller Feedback Score is another factor that impacts whether your product is winning the Amazon Buy Box. Amazon created this system to better monitor its third-party sellers and determine who provides the best customer experience — and who should win the Buy Box.

Your Seller Feedback Score is based on a customer’s experience with your packaging and shipping, customer service, and general professionalism.

Sometimes, customers mistakenly leave product reviews on your Seller Feedback page. If this is the case, you can contact Amazon to remove the review. Usually, it will be rectified quickly. Additionally, if you are shipping with FBA and someone is unhappy with their product’s shipping or packaging, you can report that to Amazon, since they are responsible for that portion of the order. Amazon will also remove that incorrectly placed review.

Another Marketplace Has Your Product at a Lower Price

Amazon is not the silo marketplace it once was. You can no longer afford to keep your revenue streams and marketplaces separate from one another! (We call this omni-ecommerce.)

For example, if you also sell your products at Walmart.com and there is a promotion on your product on that marketplace, Amazon will likely suppress your listing, causing you to lose the Buy Box. Why? Because your listing on Amazon no longer has the lowest price — not just on Amazon, but across all marketplaces.

Want to optimize your Amazon Advertising efforts to help beat out the competition and ensure you don’t lose the Amazon Buy Box? Get a no-cost audit from the experts at Blue Wheel today.

Search Term Isolation: A 2021 Guide

search term isolation

Amazon is a pay-to-play platform, which means that in order to succeed, you need to advertise. Almost the entire first page of search results is taken up by sponsored brand ads and sponsored product ads — everything above the fold is sponsored. Organic placements appear below sponsored products, but even those placements are determined by highest conversion rate, positive reviews, and relevancy. And Amazon is releasing new advertising types all the time, including the relatively new Sponsored Brand Video Ad.

Advertising is the bread and butter of your growth on Amazon, and in order to advertise successfully and profitably, you need a proven Amazon bidding process and strategy to power your approach.

Want to save this article and read it later? Download a PDF version of this post for free!

DOWNLOAD PDF

Table of Contents

  1. What is Search Term Isolation?
  2. Traditional Bid Management
  3. Search Term Isolation Bid Management
  4. Benefits of Search Term Isolation
  5. Specific Search Term Isolation Strategies
  6. How to Implement Search Term Isolation
  7. Search Term Isolation on Amazon: An Example
  8. Other Amazon Advertising Strategies
  9. Why Search Term Isolation is Critical in 2021
  10. Who Can Do Search Term Isolation?
  11. What Makes Blue Wheel Different?

What is Search Term Isolation?

Search Term Isolation is an advanced bidding philosophy on Amazon. At its simplest, Search Term Isolation is bidding on Amazon search terms that convert while negating search terms that don’t — so you only put money towards the best keywords with the best bids. While that explanation is fairly simple, the actual practice of Search Term Isolation is actually much more complicated.

search term isolation example

As you can see in the image above, the actual process is extremely complicated and complex due to the high number of keywords! With Search Term Isolation, you are able to break down each of these parabolas (keywords) individually in order to get more customization and increase profitability.

In the image below, you can see on a very zoomed-in scale how one would edit two individual keywords. Bids can individually be adjusted to account for the amount of impressions, desired budget, and CPC target.

search term isolation keywords

Traditional Bid Management

The Process

  1. Every time an Amazon customer makes a search, Amazon creates an auction.
  2. If you are running a relevant ad and are bidding on a keyword that can show up for that search term, Amazon will include you in the auction.
  3. If your bid is high enough, then your ad gets shown — you get an impression!
  4. If the customer clicks on your ad, then you pay Amazon (i.e. PPC or Pay Per Click)
  5. If they don’t click, you don’t pay anything.
  6. If your bid is too low, you don’t get the impression.
  7. This is the essence of bid management.

The Problem

With traditional bid management, you must bid the same amount on all Amazon search terms within a bucket — regardless of whether or not the term is profitable for you.

The issue with this process is that each search term in an auto campaign has a different and constantly changing cost-per-click (CPC) distribution. If there are particular search terms in the group that are bad for you, you can’t bid down. And on the flip side, if there are search terms that are good for you, you can’t bid up. This limitation wastes spend and restricts growth.

Let’s role play. You sell women’s haircare and are launching an amazing new specialty product: sulfate-free shampoo for color-treated hair. If you’re targeting shampoo in a broad match type on Amazon, you’re actually targeting longer-tail terms too, like shampoo for curly hair, or shampoo for men. The problem is you don’t even sell men’s shampoo! Uh-oh. In these research match types, your bid is being distributed across a big bucket of terms… some are relevant terms that convert profitably, some convert but are not profitable, while other terms are not effective and do not lead to sales. Unless you have full control over your search terms, you’ll be paying to target search terms that are nowhere near relevant to your product — which can waste spend. Yikes.

Search Term Isolation Bid Management

We developed an advanced campaign structure for each set of products. This structure allows us to optimize bids on the highest-performing Amazon search terms only — one isolated search term instead of a bucket of search terms.

When the auto campaign or the research campaign drives a sale for a specific phrase, our proprietary technology grabs the search term in these two campaigns, puts it in the performance campaign in exact match so it only targets that search term, and simultaneously negates it out of the original two campaigns, isolating it in this performance campaign.

Auto

Auto campaigns are when Amazon targets what they feel are the right keywords. These keywords are chosen based on the product title and description.

Keywords are “buckets” of search terms. With Amazon, you can only set one cost-per-click bid for each keyword. This means if you set a bid of $2 for the keyword pants, all of the related search terms like men’s pants, khaki pants, etc. will also have a $2 bid. If there are particular search terms in the group that are bad for you, you can’t bid down. And on the flip side, if there are search terms that are good for you, you can’t bid up.

Auto campaigns are beneficial to gain an understanding of which keywords perform well and which aren’t converting. However, these campaigns only serve a purpose for a short amount of time to gain an understanding of each keyword’s performance; aside from that, these campaigns typically waste spend.

Research

In research campaigns, you get to indicate the keyword to target. Perhaps you’ve identified a keyword you’d like to explore — one that has performed well for you in your auto campaigns and you’re looking to investigate further. For example, maybe the keyword white t shirt has performed well for you, and you’re looking to see if similar keywords, like white t shirt for men or white t shirt large, perform just as well.

Research campaigns contain broad match and phrase match keywords. A broad match is your chosen keyword and any other word in any order. So, white t shirt could be white t shirt for men or white cropped t shirt. A phrase match is the keyword in that exact phrase order and any other word. So, Superman t shirt can have a word before or after it (men’s white t shirt or white t shirt large), but not in between them.

In addition, research campaigns are good for finding longtail keywords. Longtail keywords generally convert better, as they are more specific than a simple, generic keyword. For example, a longtail keyword for white t shirt might be mens’ white t shirt pack of 6. This longtail keyword contains more specific terms, meaning the consumer is searching for something very specific. Usually, longtail keywords perform well because the consumer is closer to the point of purchase. (And, hopefully you have the Amazon Buy Box to get them even closer to purchasing.)

Performance

In performance campaigns, bids are optimized on the highest-performing search terms only: one isolated search term instead of a bucket of search terms. The keywords that are in performance campaigns have proven to have a high conversion rate.

Performance campaigns only contain exact match keywords. An exact match keyword is exactly that term, so your keyword Superman t shirt can only be Superman t shirt.

Performance campaigns are usually left empty at first, unless you have a solid idea of a specific exact keyword that performs well for your brand. However, in order to fully understand the scope of an account, auto campaigns are usually run first, and high-performing keywords are automatically filtered in later.

Benefits of Search Term Isolation

Search Term Isolation, then, allows you to manage bids of each individual search term, not buckets of keywords.

So not only are you only bidding on keywords that are profitable for you, but you’re also able to adjust the bids of each individual search term, maximizing profitability. You can set bids based on ACoS and profitability goals. This allows you to not only isolate profitable search terms, but also optimize those search terms to be the most profitable for you.

You might be trying to hit a target ACoS, which could be different for each keyword. Being able to adjust the bid on each individual keyword allows you to maximize your bids individually to avoid wasted spend, so you are more profitable overall. Or, you might be trying to reach a certain revenue goal, in which case ACoS might not be a priority for you — as long as you reach a certain revenue threshold from your ad sales.

Specific Search Term Isolation Strategies

Ranking

Implementing a ranking strategy is an ideal time to utilize the principles of Search Term Isolation. Because you can control the spend of individual keywords and monitor the success of them, you are able to more easily conquer the SERP of a specific keyword.

There are a variety of reasons you’d want to launch a ranking campaign. Most commonly, you would seek to do this if you are looking to assert your dominance in a space for a certain search term. (If you think you are ranking low because of negative reviews, learn how to remove negative reviews.)

For example, let’s say you’re a new running sock brand who wants to assert yourself as a leader in the space. You might target the keyword running sock and run Sponsored Product Ads for four different products as well as a Sponsored Brand ad, so your products completely take over the content that is above the fold on the search results page.

The goal of these campaigns is to make your brand name and products fully associated with the keyword. It’s often used for product launches, or as part of a larger strategy to jump start sales and gain reviews. This is an expensive strategy, so it should only be used for a specific amount of time in a specific circumstance.

Maintaining branded search coverage is a key part of most brands’ strategies on Amazon. For many brands, this is the bulk of their Amazon Advertising strategy in order to maintain their brand presence without spending a ton of money on the platform.

Search Term Isolation can still help in maintaining branded coverage, even though bids for these keywords are usually relatively low because competition is also low. In addition, ACoS is usually lower for branded search terms because those searching for your brand name are usually primed to buy, while the cost is relatively low in comparison.

Regardless, you can utilize the principles of Search Term Isolation to ensure your products appear at the top of the SERP and aren’t overtaken by competitors. Maintaining branded coverage is crucial to many brands’ strategies on Amazon, and Search Term Isolation will help you reach that goal, whether it’s your sole strategy or part of a larger one.

(A side note: you should invest in creating a Brand Store for your brand, especially if you want full coverage on Amazon.)

For many brands who are new to Amazon Advertising, non-branded search is unfounded territory — usually, brands just seek to maintain branded coverage without gaining new customers through other Amazon search terms.

However, non-branded search is essential to growing your Amazon business, and it should absolutely be supported by a Search Term Isolation strategy. Because you’re consolidating spend behind profitable keywords, you will be able to more easily put money behind profitable non-branded search terms, as well as branch out into new search terms you want to conquer.

When expanding to non-branded search terms, each keyword will have varying degrees of profitability. Search Term Isolation makes it possible to avoid wasted spend and make each keyword as profitable as it can be, while staying within your ACoS or revenue goals. Ideally, because you’ve used this bid management technique to optimize other areas of your business on Amazon, you have “extra” money from reducing wasted spend to invest in expanding your business through non-branded search.

Revenue Goal

When it comes to goals for Amazon, some businesses are solely concerned about revenue, regardless of budget. If you view Amazon as a separate revenue stream, not just covering your bases for your brand, you’ll likely seek to hit a specific target.

To scale your business, you need to have an advertising budget behind your Amazon account. Amazon is a pay-to-play platform, so you need to invest advertising in order to grow. To achieve higher revenue, you must put more budget behind an aggressive advertising strategy.

Search Term Isolation can help you achieve your revenue goals. Because you are avoiding wasting spend on unprofitable search terms, you will naturally be able to put more money behind terms that are going to actually make you money. Reaching your revenue goal is much easier with Search Term Isolation, even if you don’t have tons of extra capital to invest in advertising.

Many brands shy away from revenue-based goals because it requires additional capital investment on the advertising side. However, with Search Term Isolation, you are avoiding wasted ad spend, which gives you more money to spend on profitable ads.

ACoS Target

On the flip side, many brands want to hit a specific ACoS, or Average Cost of Sale, to determine the profitability of their ads. While revenue-based goals are preferable for some brands, many choose to instead determine the success of their campaign by monitoring ACoS.

Hitting an ACoS target is preferable for many brands, as it indicates the success of an advertising campaign. ACoS is calculated by dividing your ad spend by your ad revenue, so you can see a direct correlation between how much money you spent vs how much money you made.

If you’re looking to consistently reach a specific ACoS for your advertising campaigns, Search Term Isolation can help you reach that specific goal, whether you’re looking to lower your ACoS or maintain a specific target ACoS. By avoiding wasted spend and putting money behind profitable search terms, you’ll be able to maintain a more stable ACoS with a dedicated account manager who makes sure you’re hitting your target goals.

Additionally, you or your agency partner might come up with an ACoS target that will open up your budget and spend to allow you to scale. So, rather than choosing an ACoS based on just maintaining results, you might determine your target ACoS based on a primary metric or goal, and running an open budget when that ACoS is achieved.

How to Implement Search Term Isolation

Search Term Isolation requires a delicate balance between technology that automates processes and smart humans who manually make changes. The marriage between technology and humans is one that can’t be overlooked when it comes to this bid management system, especially if you have a large number of ASINs. Whether your account is simple or complex, whether you have just a few products or hundreds, whether you’re running 10 campaigns or 1,000 campaigns, Search Term Isolation can be implemented successfully across your account.

Powered by Technology

Technology automates the process of Search Term Isolation, making it easy to manage your entire catalog of product listings on Amazon.

When the auto campaign or the research campaign drives a sale for a specific phrase, our proprietary technology grabs the search term in these two campaigns, puts it in the performance campaign in exact match so it only targets that search term, and simultaneously negates it out of the original two campaigns, isolating it in this performance campaign.

While you could technically implement Search Term Isolation without any technology, the process would be very tedious and time consuming. Having to do this process manually requires a level of attention that is nearly impossible if you have more than a few product listings. Having technology that automates the process allows you to implement Search Term Isolation across your entire product catalog quickly and efficiently.

Managed by Humans

Although technology is crucial to effectively implementing Search Term Isolation, the most important component to this bid management technique is marketing-savvy humans who manage the account. Marketers are needed to manually adjust the bidding of certain keywords as necessary.

In addition, humans are needed to develop specific strategies based on the specific needs of the brand. Different strategies are needed to reach different goals. For example, conquesting a specific search term requires a different strategy than expanding into a non-branded search term which is different than owning a branded search term.

Without an Amazon Advertising specialist to manage the account, the automations could not achieve success on their own. While the system can manage itself to a certain extent, humans are essential to the sustained success of Search Term Isolation. From daily monitoring of the account to manual altering of Amazon search terms, dedicated marketers are the lynchpin to Search Term Isolation’s success.

Search Term Isolation on Amazon: An Example

Here is a simplified version of Search Term Isolation, summarizing all of the steps we’ve outlined above!

Let’s say your brand sells shampoo. You turn on an auto campaign, which bids on keywords such as shampoo, rose shampoo, shampoo for curly hair, and cruelty free shampoo. Each of these keywords have varying degrees of success for your brand.

The keyword shampoo is not profitable for you at all — big-name brands completely dominate the space with their large budgets for this high-volume keyword, and you just can’t compete. But with the auto campaign, it keeps running. A savvy Amazon advertiser would recognize this, and negate this search term from all campaigns, choosing to go after more profitable keywords.

Rose shampoo drives quite a few sales for your brand. If you have the technology like Blue Wheel, this keyword will be moved into the performance campaign as an exact match, and negated from the Auto and Research campaigns. Now, this keyword can do its best work!

But perhaps the keyword shampoo for curly hair doesn’t accurately describe your product, so consumers are confused about who your product is actually for. An Amazon advertising specialist would negate this keyword from all campaigns, and likely replace it with a keyword that accurately describes your product — maybe something like volumizing shampoo.

Of course, this is just a quick snapshot of what Search Term Isolation looks like in play. As we’ve stated before, this management technique is complex, especially if you have a large catalog of products. Managing your account requires a balance of powerful technology and talented humans.

Other Amazon Advertising Strategies

Many Amazon sellers who are none the wiser turn on Auto Campaigns and think their advertising efforts are done — after all, the name implies that the campaign runs itself! However, as we’ve previously discussed, Auto Campaigns have their limitations. These campaigns are effective at discovering new keywords, but they equally prioritize all keywords, regardless of how profitable they are.

Other sellers may decide to enlist a full-service agency to tackle their entire Amazon Advertising strategy. While these agencies certainly have their benefits for certain situations, there are marked limitations — and usually advertising is the first faulty characteristic. Many of these agencies will simply turn on an Auto Campaign and let it run, assuming that Amazon Advertising is a set-it-and-forget-it platform. In reality, it requires constant optimization and is essential to scaling your business.

Why Search Term Isolation is Critical in 2021

As Amazon continues to assert its dominance in the ecommerce space, Search Term Isolation will become even more important as more brands sell on the site and more shoppers flock to the site for all of their shopping needs.

In 2020, we saw how essential Amazon became, as people shifted to online shopping in the midst of the pandemic. Amazon continued to dominate the ecommerce industry, as people altered their shopping habits to be solely online. From groceries to toilet paper to beauty products, Amazon became a one-stop shop for regular shopping more so than it had been ever before. With the convenience and speed of Amazon Prime, shoppers now expect to be able to buy their essentials online.

As these trends increase in 2021, Search Term Isolation is going to become even more important for sellers. According to Seeking Alpha, the “advertising segment is turning into one of the strongest business areas for Amazon. The company has successfully broken the duopoly of Google and Facebook in the digital ad market. It is quite certain that Amazon will expand its current market share in the ad market as its growth is much higher than Google and Facebook. Amazon’s ad business is also the fastest-growing segment within the company, easily beating the growth rate of AWS, online sales, and the subscription segment.”

If your brand wants to scale your Amazon Advertising business, you need to implement Search Term Isolation in 2021. Not only is this strategy essential to reaching new customers, it’s also crucial for beating out the fierce competition, which will only get more intense as time goes on.

Who Can Do Search Term Isolation?

Blue Wheel: Powered by AI. Managed by People.

Blue Wheel is a new breed of agency. We combine our powerful AI technology with skilled Amazon experts to give brands the cutting edge in a competitive industry. The Amazon marketplace is more crowded than ever, and with every brand trying to get a leg up, you should entrust your Amazon advertising to the experts. Advertising is the key to growth on Amazon.

Whether you’re looking to lower ACOS, increase sales, or boost revenue, our Amazon team will develop a custom advertising plan to help you reach your goals.

What Makes Blue Wheel Different

Unlike other agencies, Blue Wheel is dedicated to Amazon Advertising. We don’t handle inventory, forecasting, or customer service, because we believe that advertising is the single most important piece of your Amazon growth strategy — and any full-service agency who offers other services on top of that are short changing you by not giving advertising their full attention or don’t have the same level of advertising expertise..

Our History

Our journey on Amazon actually began as sellers — we grew into a Top 8 Figure Seller on Amazon in less than 2 years, a feat that less than 1% of Amazon sellers reach. We knew we had cracked the code on something special. It wasn’t luck, and it wasn’t coincidence. We had discovered a way to use advertising as the primary means of growth, and it was profitable.

We pioneered the use of Search Term Isolation on a larger scale with other brands after we saw the success it had on our own brand on Amazon. After a few years, we developed our own proprietary technology that has allowed us to implement Search Term Isolation across all of our accounts. As we’ve grown our team of Amazon experts, we’ve been able to help more brands grow their companies on Amazon.

Now, as an official Amazon Advertising Partner, we’re offering our expertise to sellers across a variety of verticals, from beauty and hair care to apparel and supplements — and more!

Our Proprietary Technology

Let’s get into the weeds a little bit. Because if you’re trying to implement Search Term Isolation on your own, your head will start spinning. It’s totally possible, but at the same time it will be incredibly tedious and complex.

Working with a technology that can automate certain processes and give you the specific tools necessary to manage complex accounts allows you to scale Search Term Isolation as your business grows. So, even if you don’t think you need it now, because the principles of Search Term Isolation are so proven to help your brand grow, you will likely need the assistance of powerful technology to help implement it on a grander scale.

At Blue Wheel, we couldn’t find a technology that gave us the tools we needed to serve our clients best.

We tried to find a software that would give us the flexibility and customization we needed to manage complex accounts, but nothing quite fit the bill. Too many softwares entirely automate the process, giving no wiggle room to customize keywords and strategies. Yet other software options didn’t have any automation, so the process would have been entirely too tedious and complex, especially for accounts with a high number of ASINs.

So we created our own. Enter Companion.

We created this proprietary technology because we needed total control and customization in order to effectively manage Amazon accounts successfully.

With Companion, we’re able to harvest keywords and negative keywords in real time, giving our clients the competitive edge they need to succeed in a crowded marketplace. Our technology seamlessly handles the bidding of individual keywords, automatically negates keywords, and allows us to fully customize your account. Another key advantage of this technology is the ability to edit keywords in real time.

Our People

Perhaps the most impactful part of Blue Wheel is our people — the Amazon experts who are actually managing your account. Our team provides the human touch that is necessary to drive your business forward… because ad tech on its own is no replacement for Blue Wheel brainpower.

These Amazon Advertising specialists don’t just look at your account once a day and call it good. They are dedicated to strategically planning, implementing, and monitoring advertising campaigns for your account. While they rely on our proprietary technology to take care of the tasks that can be automated, they also diligently plan out strategies that will help your business reach their goals, whether you want to increase product visibility and ranking, lower ACoS, boost revenue, or test a new ad type, like Sponsored Brand Video Ads.

Without our people, Blue Wheel would just be another SaaS company that might help streamline some processes, but overall doesn’t contribute to any markable growth in your brand on Amazon. You’d be able to plug-and-play, but you’d likely not see much movement. A software alone can’t work to help you reach specific business objectives.

But with these experts on our team, Blue Wheel is truly a partner with your brand on Amazon. You’ll always work with real people who have a deep understanding of how Amazon works as well as your brand’s specific goals. As your industry changes, our team pivots their strategy. When your business has new goals, we adapt our strategies to align with yours. When Amazon releases an algorithm or policy change, our team is ready to address any possible changes at a moment’s notice. And, at the core of it all, is Search Term Isolation.

See how Search Term Isolation can help increase your sales and decrease your ACoS. Reach out for a no-cost Amazon audit today!

Creating Amazon Content that Sells: Sponsored Brand Video

This is part 3 of our 3-part series on creating Amazon content that sells, where we break down our top three areas you can improve your content to boost sales. Read part 1 and part 2.

This blog post is based on our webinar “How Compelling is Your Amazon Content?”

We can’t talk about content without talking about video. Amazon is very hungry for video content, and this is especially noticeable in their launch of Sponsored Video Ads.

This ad type beta launched in January 2020, and was open to a select number of brands and only featured at the bottom of the SERP on the Amazon mobile app. Since then, it’s opened up to all sellers as an official ad type and has also migrated to the desktop SERP.

As a refresher, Sponsored Brand Videos have some unique requirements and restrictions that set them apart from other types of video advertisements. These videos advertise a single product, even though the ad type is called Sponsored Brand Videos. The videos must be between 6 and 45 seconds long, and audio is muted by default when scrolling.

Sponsored Brand Videos give you a broader reach, and will only continue to expand, as we expect Amazon to keep investing in this ad unit. Right now, there’s more limited competition as brands might not have video content readily available, which could mean higher ad sales for you!

We’re breaking down our recommendations for Sponsored Brand Videos!

Short and Sweet

Having run a large number of video ads for our clients, we’ve found that the ads that convert the best are between 10 and 20 seconds—long enough to be attention-grabbing but short enough to not lose the customer’s attention.

Generally, longer ads on platforms like Facebook are around 30 seconds, but on Amazon, we’ve seen the opposite to be more effective. People don’t engage with ads that are too short, but ads that are too long lose people’s attention. 10–20 seconds seems to be the sweet spot of the highest-converting ads based on the A/B testing we’ve done thus far.

No Audio and Minimal Subtitles

Video ads are muted by default on Amazon, and most customers won’t unmute the ad because it’s a little button in the right-hand corner. Most people don’t bother to click it, so you shouldn’t rely on audio to tell your story. If you do use audio, use a generic musicbed song, not talking, as most of that will be lost to your customer.

If you are using a video that has talking, absolutely make sure you have subtitles, because more often than not no one will hear the audio and will read it instead. But try to avoid vocalization and subtitles as much as you can. Let your visuals tell the story.

Visually Flashy and Colorful

Your video ad needs to be flashy and colorful, especially in the first 2 seconds. Studies have shown the first 2 seconds are the most important part of video advertising. These ads have a higher CTR because they stand out in comparison to the Sponsored Product Ads and SBAs on that same page. There’s so much white space that these colorful video ads really stick out

By making your video ad flashy and colorful, you’re really going to stand out and grab the customer’s attention, and you’ll see higher CTR, which of course is going to help drive more traffic to your pages.

Show, Don’t Tell

Show your product in action, whether it’s a use case or lifestyle shot. You really want to minimize bullet points in your video as much as possible. We found that action or lifestyle shots have some of the best returns.

Another tip is to not use reviews in your video, even if they are real customer reviews from your product. Amazon is a stickler for including reviews in video ads, and they’ll often disapprove ads that contain reviews or even “5 stars.”

Including individual reviews from your Amazon page is your best bet if you really want to include some kind of review, but you’re going to be prepared to back it up against Amazon in case they flag it. It opens up a whole can of worms, so we recommend focusing more on the product than the reviews behind it.

Create Amazon-Specific Videos

Of course, the requirements for this video ad set are semi-unique—the length, content, etc.are different from other platforms. They’re very product-specific, so it usually works best if you create videos with the purpose of quickly grabbing attention and getting them to your page, rather than telling a whole story in a minute-long video.

Another tip is to not reuse your video assets from your social media. In working with clients, we found that this doesn’t really work. Social ads usually include talking, are very brand-heavy, aren’t oriented around a single product, and are longer than 10–20 seconds. If possible, repackage those videos into something more Amazon-specific or get all-new video footage.

Maintain Brand Voice

Use the same fonts and logos as your brand, but don’t let your logo be the hero of the ad. Keeping your brand voice similar to what is in the listing can help further grab attention, increase conversions, increase brand loyalty, and really make people feel comfortable that they’re buying from you.

People usually go for the product not the brand on Amazon, so highlight the product as the hero of your ad. If you’re going after a brand-specific keyword, it might make sense to have your logo prominently featured. However, keep in mind that most Amazon customers are looking for generic keywords. You absolutely should include it, as it might help your brand’s halo sales, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus of your video ad.

Start Now, Optimize Later

Given the strong results and low CPCs of this ad type, now is the time to get in on these ads before they really blow up. This will be an opportunity for you to get a leg up on your competition and bring in sales before they can wrangle the appropriate assets together.

Even if you cannot put together really eye-catching content, you should try to get some video ads up fairly right now.

We’ve seen clients who put products up that are just a shot of the product with their brand logo fading in, and it actually is very successful. Even a simple video ad will bring more sales and more attention. Later on, you can work on crafting a better, flashier, and more optimized video. But now is the time to jump in while you can, even if you have very limited assets available!

For more information on creating Amazon content that sells, watch our webinar “How Compelling is Your Amazon Content?”

And, if you’re ready to take your Amazon video content to the next level, get a free Amazon audit. No pressure, no obligation—and it’s 100% free.

Creating Amazon Content that Sells: Listing Imagery

This is part 2 of our 3-part series on creating Amazon content that sells, where we break down our top three areas you can improve your content to boost sales. Read part 1 here.

This blog post is based on our webinar “How Compelling is Your Amazon Content?”

With regards to listing imagery, Amazon-specific content converts better. A lot of brands try to reuse assets they have elsewhere, especially if you have a good social media presence or website. It’s tempting to recycle those assets on Amazon, but that can be a big mistake.

Things that may seem minor can make a big difference on Amazon, because Amazon doesn’t give you the flexibility to make large changes, like inserting HTML, to create a rich branding experience.

Instead, you have to pay attention to the small details, which really make all the difference when it comes to creating Amazon content that sells. Here are a few of our top tips for creating better listing imagery!

Don’t leave white space

Get rid of all white space. This goes for basically everywhere on your listing page or brand store page.

A good example of a place where brands often have extra white space is the main image for their product. Amazon requires that you have a blank white background for your featured product, but it’s important that you make that white background as small as possible so your product is as large as possible. This way, your image looks bigger on the SERP and on the product detail page, and that’s been shown to increase click-through rate.

Use Lifestyle Imagery

One item that will make the biggest difference in your listing imagery is to create lifestyle imagery that was made specifically for Amazon. These images show how your product can be used and helps the consumer envision what they’re going to use it for.

A really cost-effective way to generate this content if you don’t already have these assets is to work with micro-influencers on social media who can help you generate this content.

Add Graphic Callouts

While callouts aren’t allowed on your product’s featured image, you can and should definitely add graphic callouts for the rest of your product images. Callouts remind customers of the best features about your product.

An easy way to generate callouts is to take the relevant features (we mentioned this in our last post) such as washable or reversible, and add those call-outs into your description and imagery.

Another good callout is to show how your product works and give some easy tips and tricks. This not only shows your customer what the product can be used for, but also can aid them in using it to its full potential. (Because we know no one actually reads the instruction booklet, right?)

Avoid Text-Heavy A+/EBC

Amazon’s default modules for building A+ content include a lot of text, and if you work within that flow, you’ll be adding all that text to your listing. You want to minimize the amount of text within that content, so it’s important to edit that down.

Great A+ content has been shown to increase the overall sales of a product by 3–10%, according to Amazon. It’s really important to not overlook the benefits that A+ content can bring. Really try your best, and invest some money if that’s what it takes to create some great content that will convert.

For more information on creating Amazon content that sells, watch our webinar “How Compelling is Your Amazon Content?”

And, if you’re ready to take your Amazon content to the next level, get a free Amazon audit. No pressure, no obligation—and it’s 100% free.

Creating Amazon Content that Sells: Keywords and SEO

This is part 1 of our 3-part series on creating Amazon content that sells, where we break down our top three areas you can improve your content to boost sales. This blog post is based on our webinar “How Compelling is Your Amazon Content?”

Many of the questions people have about Amazon center on keywords and SEO. From how to find relevant keywords to concerns about keyword stuffing, sellers are always looking to improve their listings to rank higher and sell more.

Amazon’s algorithm works differently than traditional SEO, giving preference to products that will result in a sale, not just the product with the most keywords.

So where do you start? How do you utilize keyword research and SEO to create Amazon content that sells? We’re breaking down our top three tips for effective Amazon SEO.

Find Keywords

The key to ranking on Amazon is to include meaningful keywords in your listing, without keyword stuffing.

To find relevant keywords, first identify the monthly search volume of your intended keyword. (We use Merchant Words.) We’ll use “dog bed” in this example. Then, identify similar keywords. So in this example, you might identify keywords like “large dog bed” or “gray dog bed.” Grab these high-volume, relevant search terms and set them aside for now.

Now it’s time to do a reverse ASIN lookup! There are various programs that allow you to do this (we use Helium 10), so you are able to look up the highest-ranking product for that ASIN and see what keywords are working for that ASIN. So you could enter in “dog bed” and view the highest-selling ASIN for that search term, and see what that ASIN’s top-converting keywords are. Note the keywords that are also relevant to your product.

Now compare your two buckets of keywords, and determine which ones would fit best into your listing! You have your list of keywords!

List Features

The next step in finding relevant keywords is to just look at your product’s sellable features. It’s that simple! In our example, potential keywords might be things like “washable,” so you could rank for the high-volume term “washable dog bed.”

Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want to overload your product title and description with every single keyword your product fits into—you only want to include relevant keywords that are also profitable for your product.

Amazon made a change in their algorithm about 18 months ago that gives preference to listings that have profitable keywords. So a keyword could be relevant to your product (gray dog bed), but unless it’s a high-converting keyword for your product, Amazon won’t give it preference.

So even if your keywords have high volume, Amazon doesn’t really care that those keywords are in your listing unless you’re also making sales on those keywords. It’s pretty rare that you’d make sales on a bunch of similar search terms, so only limit yourself to your highest-converting search terms.

Don’t Keyword Stuff

We can’t stress this enough.

Amazon’s algorithm recognizes and shows favoritism to products that contain relevant information, so stuffing your title, description, and bullet points with keywords will only go to hurt your listing.

Only gather high-volume, relevant terms. Amazon wants to serve customers products that are going to result in a sale, so they base their algorithm on a product’s relevancy.

In short, you want to find a good balance between your product’s pertinent information and features and high-volume, relevant keywords.

If you’re wondering how to know if your product title is keyword stuffed. Amazon does have limits as to how long your title can be based on what category you’re in. Only include high-volume, relevant keywords. Don’t make it too cluttered or messy. Just make sure it makes sense and is easy for someone to read.

Rule of thumb: if it sounds like a real human wrote it, you’re good. But if it looks like a robot wrote it and there’s a ton of adjectives all in a row, you’re likely keyword stuffing.

For more information on creating Amazon content that sells, watch our webinar “How Compelling is Your Amazon Content?”

And, if you’re ready to take your Amazon content to the next level, get a free Amazon audit. No pressure, no obligation—and it’s 100% free.