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Am I ready for an Amazon Advertising Automation Tool?

Prestozon and other automation tools are valuable resources to get the most out of your Amazon Ads account.  These tools perform best when paired with an account manager that understands the basics of Amazon PPC Advertising and an account that has enough data for our powerful algorithms to crunch the underlying numbers.  You wouldn’t go out and get an industrial grade tractor for your home garden and you wouldn’t start using that tractor without having an understanding of how the contraption works. Similarly, Prestozon and tools like it can be overkill for some smaller accounts. Before automating your account, it can be incredibly beneficial to learn the basics of Amazon PPC.  You and your account will get a lot more out of Prestozon if you start your Amazon Ads experience in the Amazon Ads portal and get comfortable with the options there.  This will not only give your account a chance to grow and accumulate data, but it will also give you a chance to learn the ins and outs of Amazon Ads so you can be a more effective account manager.  This knowledge is integral to be able to view the tools and features of Prestozon in the larger context of Amazon ads.

The Nuts and Bolts

Prestozon has two main active functions, our bid optimization and our keyword rules.  These functions both need different types of data and track that data on different entities.  As you’ll see from the explanation that follows, it’s difficult for us to give blanket restrictions like, “Don’t use Prestozon if your daily budget is below $15.”  This may be generally a good rule of thumb, but hopefully the more in-depth explanation below will show that in certain situations low budget accounts and campaigns can be effective.

Bid Optimization

Bid optimization runs on the target level, so all the metrics discussed in this section will be target level metrics (keywords and product targets).  Without getting too technical, we’ll try to provide a few metrics you can check to ensure you’re going to get value from our bid optimization.

First, you need impressions.  The bare minimum impressions needed for us to start making decisions is 1300 impressions.  If you only have a few targets getting more than 1300 impressions over the course of 5-10 days, then our bid optimization isn’t going to have enough data to make meaningful decisions on your account.

Second, clicks.  Generally our algorithm requires between 10-30 clicks to make decisions depending on the aspect of the algorithm that is firing.  Similar to the advice above, if you don’t have many targets with 20+ clicks over the past 5-10 days, then our algorithm is going to be limited in terms of the decisions it can make for your account.

Third, conversions.  Conversions are the end goal for Amazon Ads, if you’re not getting conversions then there may be more optimization you need to do on the account outside of PPC.  Consider things like reviews, retail readiness and your competition.

Keyword Rules

Just like bid optimization runs on the target level, keyword rules run on the search term level, it is important to note that search terms and keywords are different entities! Understanding that difference is incredibly important to optimize your Amazon PPC.  There are two types of rules and they both have different triggers.

Promotion Rules – Promotion rules fire on conversions, full stop.  If you aren’t getting any conversions then the rules will not fire.  You need sales in order to get the benefits of our keyword migration rules.  By default, promotion rules will fire after a single sale, but you can set custom thresholds to only have the rules fire on multiple sales and you can even add ACoS thresholds to only have the rule fire if the search term is below a certain ACoS threshold.

Negative Rules – Negative rules can either be set to use Prestozon’s proprietary algorithm or you can set custom thresholds.  The thresholds can be set to clicks, spend or both.  If a particular search term reaches either threshold before getting a sale, we will suggest a negative keyword for that search term.

Not sure if you have enough data?  Use an auto campaign as a guide.

Our entire platform is focused on letting the data tell you what the best choice is for an account – so the first thing a new account, campaign, or product needs is enough data to make good decisions. One of the first things you’ll want to see in the first few weeks of a campaign is that your Auto Campaign is regularly hitting its daily budget – that’s gonna kick your keyword funnel into gear and start the process of optimizing your account.  

If an Auto Campaign isn’t hitting it’s daily budget, I have two major questions I like to ask: 

  1. “What kind of impressions am I getting on this campaign”. If the campaign has tens of thousands of impressions in the last 30 days but no clicks, then I know that Amazon is showing my ad, but customers aren’t clicking on it. In this case, there might be work to be done on the product images or book cover, the reviews, the ratings, the description – anything the customer might see when Amazon is serving the ad that isn’t enticing the customer to click on the ad. If all those things are in good shape, it’s possible that the book is just in a highly competitive market. To give an oversimplified example – If your newly launched indy fantasy novel is going up against The Lord of the Rings, you’re just gonna have trouble getting folks to click on your book ad.  
  2. “What’s the bid maximum on this Auto Campaign?” Auto Campaigns have a bid maximum set by default for all the auto targets. If you’re not getting impressions, that means Amazon isn’t showing your ad at all.  Auto campaigns leverage Amazon’s own internal algorithms so one of the only levers you can pull in this scenario is the bid. We recommend increasing the bid in this instance. You want to find out what the threshold for winning bids is.  If you’re comfortable with some of the more advanced settings in the Amazon interface, you could also modify your bid maximum using the top of search multiplier in the Amazon console. If you can start generating impressions and learning what it costs to advertise in the environment, then you can make an informed decision if that CPC is worth it for your account goals – but you just can’t know that for sure unless you test out the theory! Once you find those keywords that perform well, we have a whole lot of strategies for managing the bid into a sweet spot that meets your ACOS goals, but we have to find those keywords and where they start generating impressions first!  

There’s only a few levers we have available for generating data in the early stages of a campaign, and they all cost time and money – so the goal is to find the most efficient way to get there based on the realities of your account. It may be worth it to you to tightly control your bids in the early stages, and to increase them incrementally in order to find the threshold where you start getting clicks. That’s likely going to take time! On the flip side, you can raise the bid by a lot and gather data quickly (remember, you won’t pay your actual bid, just a little over whatever your competitor in the ad auction is bidding), which may cost you a little more in the short term, but you will quickly get the data you need to get your account optimized.

Don’t want to learn PPC or Prestozon, just want a tool to do everything for you?

Self serve software options take initial setup time.  If you want a plug and play option, you should consider hiring an agency or freelancer to set everything up for you.  Like everything, you’re only going to get value out of PPC tools if you put effort into understanding them.  Prestozon works best when the theory and structure is understood and you utilize our tools towards a specific goal.

In order for target level bid management to really work optimally, you need to be using exact match keywords. The reason for this is that different search terms have different impression peaks at different price points. By managing using Broad Match Keywords, you’re bundling all these different search terms together. There are some really good visualizations of this phenomenon in our Search Term Isolation Blog Post.

It is also important to keep in mind how Amazon entities interact with each other. For instance, negative keywords apply to search terms, not keywords. So if you are looking at an individual keyword and you think you should negate, you may not be seeing the whole story. This is another reason search term isolation is important. If you have multiple targets firing on the same search term, then the data on any one particular target may not be indicative of the search term as a whole. This gets complicated further when considering how different targets that overlap on search terms can steal impressions/clicks/conversions from each other.

The points above are why it’s so important to use all of Prestozon’s features together and to understand their purpose. Using the promotion rules to isolate search terms, negative keyword rules to negate poor performing search terms help structure the account in a way that allows the bid optimization to manage individual search terms effectively. All of the various tools within Prestozon are meant to work in conjunction with each other in order to maximize your Amazon PPC Advertising return.