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4 Amazon Ads Best Practices to Borrow From Google

Janelle Kozyra

Sidecar recently aired a webinar about Amazon ads best practices. One of the things we learned from the audience is that:

  • 26% of viewers polled said they have not tested Amazon ads and are looking for advice to get started.
  • 9% have tested Amazon ads, struggled, and shut them off, yet want to restart them.
  • 15% are advertising on Amazon, but are unhappy with performance.
  • 49% are happy with their Amazon ads performance, but looking for new ways to grow.

No matter what bucket you fall into, the advice that Sidecar’s experts shared on the webinar rings true. The idea is to leverage an environment that you’re probably very familiar with — Google.

Consider: Amazon and Google are similar in their CPC-based bid auction, keyword targeting, product and category targeting, match types, campaign structures, ad groups, ad formats, and product attributes.

While you won’t be able to copy and paste your strategy from one platform to the other, consider how you can glean important context from your Google experience and apply it as you start, ramp up, or improve your Amazon Advertising approach.

Watch the webinar now — Think Like a Google Advertiser to Win at Amazon Ads. It’s just under 30 minutes.

Or, check out the key takeaways here, straight from Mike Farrell, Senior Director of Market and Customer Intelligence, and Chris Corrado, VP of Customer Strategy.

Product Data Optimization

Similar to Google Ads, a key Amazon ads best practice is to optimize product data, which is the secret to an effective campaign structure. Consider these Amazon-related attributes:

  • Fulfillment method
  • Price tiers
  • ASIN
  • Inventory tiers

“Conversion rates on Amazon-fulfilled products are typically much higher [than products fulfilled by merchant], so separating these and having different goals for them can help focus budget appropriately,” said Chris.

At the same, keep in mind the following, according to Mike: “While advertising your whole catalog gives you the most reach, not every product is right for advertising on Amazon, just like not every product is right for selling on the marketplace. We typically consider excluding products that have low or no likelihood of profit, that typically under-perform, and that have low inventory.”

Campaign Structure

Structure ad campaigns according to your specific business goals, including special considerations for seasonality and promotions, as well as margins.

“We see this frequently for multi-category retailers, like department stores. They may have 60% margins on apparel, but only 15% margins on appliances, and there’s a business need to ensure that spend is managed accordingly,” explained Chris.

Likewise, be aware of how granular you can segment your data while still making informed decisions. “Retailers should consider not just ad group structure, but also the targeting that they’re using within an ad group. That includes things like keywords and match types,” said Mike.

Search Query Segmentation

Segmenting search queries on Amazon (just like Google) is critical for categorizing shopper intent and the budget you’re willing to invest on a particular set of queries.

“Amazon is generally a platform that drives orders and revenue. It’s rarely a new customer acquisition tool for retailers’ e-commerce businesses. The need for a focus on lower funnel query activity that converts at a higher rate might be warranted given the increased cost of advertising on Amazon,” said Mike.

Chris illustrated an example. “Segment by things like branded versus non-branded queries — or let’s take that a step further and segment generic branded queries or more specific longer tail branded queries. That can go a long way towards improving performance.”

Bidding and Budget Pacing

Automating bid management is the new norm across digital marketing channels. Amazon ad campaign strategy and structure will only be effective if the proper bids are set and they’re optimized based on the shifting landscape.

“Keep an eye out for alerts of budget capping, which would suggest opportunity is being left on the table or that budget is not getting spent effectively throughout the day. Stagger your budgets per campaign to ensure your best performing campaigns are getting priority and aren’t at risk of being capped,” said Mike.

Want the deeper dive on Amazon ads best practices? Watch Sidecar’s webinar on demand now.