There are people all over the place who will tell you they have the secret formula for your business. A recent podcast about ‘day-parting’ on Google Ads was one good example.
The theory of day-parting is simple. If you pay for ads when your bricks and mortar store isn’t open, you’re wasting your money. So you only advantage for the part of the day when you’re open. You don’t advertise at three in the morning.
Okay, that sounds simple. But when you think about an Amazon business, you’re always open. So that particular argument doesn’t apply.
But apparently, on Google you can see that you get a better return on certain days, or certain hours, from your statistics. You might see that you always sell well in advance of the weekend, and you might say okay, let’s spend more on Friday. That makes sense. If you want to, you up your PPC bids by 50% on Fridays, and you should still make money.
There’s just one little problem for FBA sellers here. Amazon doesn’t give you this data. So if you want to try it, you’re going to be flying blind.
In any case, apparently Amazon reckons it takes customers 5 days to get around to buying something they see in an ad. They do like to do a little thinking first. So maybe that ad they saw on Monday comes to mind when on Friday they’re thinking about buying a whatever-it-is… in which case, if you cut your Monday ad, you’ve done just the wrong thing.
Now there’s something else which was also featured a while back as a ‘secret of PPC’ and that was a 60/40 mix of sponsored brand and sponsored product ads. We looked it up and while the 60/40 mix apparently isn’t a special secret, there’s a grain of truth in the way the campaigns are mixed.
The truth is that if you use all three types of PPC that Amazon gives you (sponsored products, sponsored brand, and sponsored display), you will generally get a better average conversion rate. Customers will probably buy more quickly, too. Part of it is down to the subconscious effect of seeing your brand or product in more than one place – at the top of the page or in the search listings, for instance – and on more than one occasions. Things that are repeated tend to stick in our minds.
A third way to improve your advertising returns isn’t a ‘secret’ so much as a regular bit of housekeeping. It’s a bit like saying the best way to ‘declutter’ your house is to keep it properly organized in the first place.
Every quarter, or every month if you have the time, take a look at your ad campaigns. It can be a bit clunky getting the information together but what you are after is to find, for each of your keywords, the advertising cost of sales, or ACOS. It’s all there in your search term reports on Seller Central.
First of all, look for the high ACOS keywords. These are the ones that really cost you a lot. You don’t necessarily want to cut them out entirely, but just reduce what you’re spending on them. That can immediately cut the overall cost of your advertising quite significantly.
Then look at the other extreme. Look at your low ACOS keywords. These are the ones that are delivering you a dollar of sales for very few cents. If you increased the bid a little, would they deliver even more sales? It’s worth trying. If you want to feel like you’re balancing the books, work out what you saved on those high-cost keywords and ‘reinvest’ it in the low-cost search terms.
What you’re doing here is picking out the weeds, and watering the seedlings in your Amazon garden. And just like gardening, you’ll need to do it regularly for it to work well.