A lot of you have asked me to share more tips about Amazon ads. So here you have it
1) Do them! Amazon ads are like the turbo boosters to your organic rankings and sales.
2) Start creating ads with only your best selling books AND OR books that have the most positive reviews and ratings. Those will be the easiest to get good results with and learn from so you can apply your experience to your other books.
3) It’s okay to not be profitable at the beginning while launching a book for a short duration (some niches are harder to break into than others, just don’t be reckless.)
4) Your most important metric is ACOS. More important than Orders / Sales. For most books (depending on the price of your book and profit margins) you will need an ACOS below 35%, possibly even below 30%. But do your own calculation on this to find out the exact number. When running ads, your first target will be to have break-even ads. Once you have break-even ads your next goal will be to make them actually profitable so you are actually earning money from each sale you are getting from ads.
5) If you are not sure about what CPC (cost per click) you should have, a simple place to start would be finding out your profits for selling the book (royalties) and then dividing that by 5. (that would allow you to get up to 5 clicks at the CPC to get a sale and be break-even) If you are on a tight budget or conservative, you can calculate the cost for 7 clicks or 10 clicks. If you want to be a bit more aggressive, figure out what it would be for 3 or less. The better your clicks to sales ratio is, the better.
6) I usually start all my campaigns at $5 daily budgets. You can start higher, but I would not recommend starting much lower. $3 is the lowest I have gone at the beginning.
7) My bidding strategy always starts with choosing “dynamic bids – down only”. Once a campaign that is well optimized, has a great ACOS, and getting a lot of sales, I will switch it to up & down and test to see if it does better or worse… If it’s better I will leave it, if it does worse, it gets put back to down only where it was doing really well.
8) Increasing your daily budgets – If a campaign is running out of budget, I will only increase it if the ACOS is profitable or breaking even. If it is not, I never increase because then you are just losing even more money. First, you need to optimize your campaigns more so you cut the bleeding targets and stop wasting money.
9) If a new keyword or product target gets more than 15 clicks but no sales I generally pause it for now. If the clicks are super cheap you could afford more clicks BUT this is where you also need to decide what signals you want to send back to Amazon. If you get 40 clicks and 1 sale, that does not send good buying signals to them for being as relevant…For new keywords or product targets, I will also pause after spending $5-7. In the future, I might give some a go again, but first I want to give other keywords/products a chance to run to see which will perform the best and give those a lot more power. Once you start getting reviews and good ratings, you can always revisit ones that were not converting and give them a try again to see how they will perform now that there is some trust established by reviews and ratings.
10) Only negative target keywords that are actually not relevant to your book at all OR are losing you money (lots of spend and clicks and no sales or terrible ACOS) Don’t negative target anything else for now. Otherwise, it’s like shooting yourself in the foot. The same applies to products.
11) Once you start seeing what keywords/products are converting best, find more keywords like that that you can target.
12) I have almost never grouped more than 1 book into a campaign. I do not like doing it as it gives you less control over each book.
13) Keyword campaigns – This is where I do bend one usual recommendation. I create 1 combined campaign with all broad, phrase, and exact match keywords all in one. There are 2 reasons. Doing Low Content books makes it easy to have a large volume of books and instead of doing 3 keyword campaigns from the start, I start with 1 combined one. It saves me a lot of time and also keeps it simpler. In the future once I have a book that is selling really really well, I sometimes start to break them down into their own campaigns. Then also I like to start with all 3 instead of just broad or phrase or exact is that sometimes the exact match keyword will convert really badly, but then in the broad match, it will still target that exact same keyword (and other variations) but the exact keyword targeted in the broad will convert really really well. Sometimes phrase match will do better than exact or broad and sometimes broad will be better than the others. For me, I have seen too many examples where different books and campaigns will work differently on other books. Also, one thing that has been big for me is that the slightest variation of a keyword can make a huge difference. For example, if you have a coloring book and have these keywords “coloring book for adults” “adult coloring book” “coloring book adult”, you would think and assume that all 3 will do well since they are pretty much the same. That is not always the case. I have seen it so many times where examples like that were not the case, even with some of my top-selling books. So always get similar variations a try and see which will perform the best. When starting the keyword campaign I start with actually only a small number of keywords. I start with only the most relevant keywords for my product. Some people (actually many) recommend starting with hundreds of keywords…. BUT for me or at least for my strategy and approach that does not make sense. First thing I want to see IF my book will convert well for the main keywords I made it for. If it can’t pass that test, then I know I have done something wrong with the book and listing. So why spend money on keywords that are not as relevant or not targeted, and possibly waste money. I do agree that you should have LOTS of keywords, but what has worked best for me is to start small and relevant, and then once your campaign is profitable and doing well, to start increasing the keywords to start getting more and more sales.
14) Product campaigns & categories – I always create a product and categories campaign. I select some of the top-selling products in my niche and then some new products in the niche that have 0 reviews. Targeting new products is always an easy way to “steal” some sales, especially once you start getting ratings and reviews. I also target the most relevant categories I can find. Not much more to this. Really simple and can be very effective.
15) Auto campaigns – easiest of them all to set up. Great for beginners to get into the ad game. But also the most mixed results from my experience and from what I have heard from others. Sometimes Amazon has a hard time understanding certain books and will target very bad products that dont go well with your own book. And sometimes the keywords aren’t the best either. Also one interesting thing to note. If you create 10 auto ad campaigns you are highly likely to get 1 or more profitable campaigns. But when creating only 1, your chances are lower. I am not saying create 10 for all books. I am just saying I have tried this, and found it an interesting experiment. I must also say that some of my top overall ad campaigns are auto campaigns. So definitely worth it overall.
16) Turning campaigns off – Just want to make a small point on that. There is no reason to keep a campaign going for any reason that is highly unprofitable. I have seen some people with campaigns of an ACOS with 90% or so and trying to keep that going. That as an example is just financial suicide. The only thing worse than a high ACOS would be a campaign with a high spending amount and no sales.
17) Search terms tab – Best feature to scale and create profitable campaigns. Very simple to use. 1) Take all converting keywords/products and target them individually directly. (If you want to be conservative, wait until it has converted 2 times) You can go back as far as 65 days, so make sure you do that while looking at all the data. I always start at 65 days, but then also look at 30 days and the last 7 days. Just to see extreme changes. You can download the search reports data and open it in Google sheets to analyze it or just on the Amazon page. The next thing you want to look at is the keywords/product targets that are getting a lot of clicks but no sales. I look for ones with 10-15 clicks and no sales or a lot of $$$ spend and no sales. Those ones you want to negative exact match so they stop being targeted. Actually really simple steps. It will help you a LOT.
18) Click-through rate and impression and much less important than clicks and sales. Something getting low impressions AND OR low click-through rate can still get a great click to sale ratio and an amazing ACOS. What do you think Amazon cares more about, how many people click on sometimes or the fact that some do click on it and buy it? Amazon makes money from ads and from sales. If people are clicking and if people are buying, Amazon is happy. (Once you are very advanced and pro there can be some use to these metrics, but for now, keep it simple and stick to the most important things)
19) Don’t learn from people that are hardly spending any money on ads. Also, don’t take advice from people that do not have profitable ads. Just because someone is good on a camera and is interesting to watch, does not make them knowledgeable on a subject. Find out what their actual track record is. What is their ACOS? How much are they spending? Are they putting on filters to make their overall ACOS, sales, etc look better? Anyone telling you to only do ads for a launch and then later pause them is not worth learning from. They are missing the boat. Anyone telling you does turn ads on and off, not worth listening to. If the ads are profitable, you let them run forever! It only makes sense. Just for clarification, I do not consider myself a pro at all. My wife and I have only spent $60,000 on ads since starting FBA/KDP but people keep asking me for tips on ads so that is the only reason I am even giving my tips from my experience thus far but always recommend learning from people way up there with experience and ad spend.
20) Ads are both an art and a science. Learn as much as you can from people about ads that are doing well with it and spending a lot of money on ads. Start doing ads yourself and find a process that is working for your budget and your type of books.
If I had to call out and single out a single person for learning about ads, it would have to be “Cherie Yvette” You can find some interviews with her on YouTube. I don’t know of anyone else with as much of experience in Amazon ads as her. She is working with some of the biggest brands on Amazon. If I had to list 5 other FBA seller channels that have a lot of experience with ads it would have to be these: Jungle Scout, Sebastian Castaneda, Amazing (ASM), Sharon Even, Yaniv Itskovich.
Hope some of this data will help you on your ads journey. I would recommend watching LOTS of videos, taking notes, start applying the data, and do trial and error until you find the path that works for you.
If you have any questions, ask in the comments below and I will answer them as best I can. I’m going to try and make these posts more regular again, so if you have any topic requests, also feel free to comment below.
Happy publishing guys