Blacklisting bad keywords
People tend to think that the best way to run Search Marketing campaigns is to blacklist the keywords which are not performing. The thing is, when you blacklist a keyword, it’s gone forever and it is one of the reasons why you might want to avoid doing so.
When a keyword under performs, it does not mean it is a bad keyword. There are some factors which affect its performance, such as seasonality or low bids.
Just pick up your favorite keyword, analyze the data and look at the performance of this keyword over time. Sometimes even your best keyword does not perform as you might think.
So imagine you decide to blacklist all non-performing keywords. It means you may blacklist your best-performing keyword as well, because, at certain point in time, even these keywords might have struggled. This is why it is very dangerous to do automatic blacklisting!
You’d better lower your bids to a minimum, rather than getting rid of the keyword. If the situation is really bad, set it to a bare minimum. In the worst-case scenario, this keyword will get less traffic but your costs will be low and it may end up improving your Advertising Cost of Sales.
The other benefit of lowering your bids – it can help revive seasonable keywords and protect you from making decisions based on data which does usually not capture seasonal impacts.
Overuse of phrase or broad match
If you use a phrase or a broad match for every keyword that works well, you’re basically letting Amazon decide everything for you. Even more, you will always end up paying the highest bid possible.
Let’s say you are selling board games. Someone types “board games for kids”. You might have “games” as a phrase keyword and you might also have “board games” as a broad match keyword for the same product. In this case, the search term “board games for kids” will be matching “games” as a phrase and “board games” as a broad match.
Amazon will decide which product to show in a sponsored ad, based on the highest bid between your two keywords. That means you have traffic from different entry points and Amazon will pick the most expensive entry points. This situation will always lead you to spend much more money, without any certainty on a better performance.
So when you use a phrase keyword, make sure that it is not included in another broad or automatic ad group. It should be associated with a phrase negation which applies to the other entry points it is included in.
This is also the case with the exact keywords. When you are bidding in exact on a keyword, make sure it is negated on all the phrase and broad keywords, as well as all the automatic ad groups which it can possibly match. Otherwise, you are going to be bidding against yourself.
Another way to avoid this problem is to stop using hundreds of keywords with different matching types. If you have numerous keywords for the same product, you should consider reducing their number. It is always better to have a smaller amount of well-configured keywords rather than hundreds which are not properly managed.
Keep in mind this golden rule: all targeted keywords should be coupled with their negated versions!
Bidding very high and flat to guarantee a sponsored position
Doing so, you’ll end up spending too much without getting results. Cost Per Click (CPC) is not the only parameter Amazon takes inot account to grant a sponsored spot.
However, some people think that setting a high PPC (let’s say 5 euros) will guarantee a sponsored position. Even though your competitor is bidding 1 euro it remains very dangerous to bid this high. There are different reasons: your competitors are using smarter tools whose logic progressively increases their bids to get traffic. As a consequence, you will be paying more for the same traffic.
Another reason – Amazon uses different parameters to estimate the value of showing your product on a sponsored placement:
- PPC which helps Amazon decide if it’s worth to show your product,
- An estimate of the click through rate of your product,
- An estimate of the conversion rate - the probability of a customer buying your product.
By using these three main parameters, Amazon predicts the revenue they will get from one click. With this information, Amazon makes its own internal auction and decides which products to show on a sponsored placement.