Laura McCaul, Sponsored Profit.
Amazon Advertising is the most effective direct marketing channel for Amazon sellers but if you’ve been selling on Amazon for more than 5 minutes you’ll know it can be a somewhat of a mysterious process. It’s no secret that Amazon is not very transparent about the factors that influence ad placement, and ultimately, ad performance.
Fortunately, after managing thousands of PPC campaigns we’ve learned a few things along the way, so if your Amazon Sponsored Ads are not showing where or when they should, here are the top reasons why that might be the case, and how you can fix them.
Reason #1: Buy Box
In order for your ads to show you have to currently be winning the buy box. If you are not winning the buy box, Amazon’s algorithm will automatically know not to place your bid in the auction.
What Is The Buy Box?
The Buy Box is the section where the customer can add to cart or buy now. Since multiple sellers can sell the same item, Amazon has to decide which seller gets the sale when the customer purchases it. Only one seller can own the buy box at a time; if that’s your brand you’ll see your name next to “Sold By”.
If you aren’t winning the buy box, you’ll be listed as an “other seller” in the box below the buy box and you cannot advertise that product. Here are a few ways your products could lose their Buy Box:
1. Another seller stole the buy box
If another seller joins your listing and lists the product at a lower price than yours, Amazon’s algorithm awards the new seller the Buy Box.
2. Your price is too high or too low
If your price is too high or too low in comparison to the average price, you might lose the Buy Box, even if you’re the only seller on the listing.
3. Poor account health
If your Account Health falls below certain thresholds, your seller privileges are suspended or one of your ASINs is suppressed, you will lose the Buy Box.
How To Check How Often You’re Winning The Buy Box
Along the top of the Dashboard in Seller Central seven metrics. The middle metric lets you see your 2-Day Buy Box percentage.
Clicking on the box opens it up so you can see your Buy Box standing in each market that you sell in. It also gives you data for your Buy Box standing for the last 30 days.
How To Win The Buy Box
1. Sell new items
To be eligible for the Buy Box, sellers must offer new products. Used products can be bought through the New and Used section, not through the Buy Box.
2. Have a Professional Seller Account
Only sellers who have purchased a Professional Seller account are eligible. An individual seller is not.
3. Competitive pricing
Products that aren’t price-competitive aren’t attractive to consumers – and Amazon is less likely to feature them. Amazon recommends listing your product within 5% of the current Buy Box price to increase your chances of winning the Buy Box.
4. Use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
Sellers who choose FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or SFP (Seller-Fulfilled Prime) automatically qualify for Prime, and Amazon gives priority to its Prime sellers.
5. Keep sufficient inventory levels
Avoid stockouts. If your product is low in stock, your sales may not reach certain customers in time and you might lose the Buy Box to sellers with a larger inventory.
6. Positive seller feedback
Your most recent seller feedback rating will have a significant impact on whether you win the Buy Box.
Reason #2: SEO
It’s not enough to target keywords in your PPC campaigns. Your most important keywords should be in your product listing and backend search terms as well. If the crawlers of the A9 algorithm cannot find the keyword in the listing to categorize it as relevant under that search query, your ad is unlikely to get shown.
How To Check If Your Product Is Indexed For Keywords
To figure out if Amazon is recognizing your product as relevant for your target keywords, you need to check if it is “indexed” for a keyword.
To check if you are indexed for a specific keyword, type in the ASIN of your product and keywords into the Amazon search bar. You can include multiple keywords at the same time.
How To Show Amazon Your Listing Is Relevant
Place the most important keywords in your listing in order of importance: title, bullets, description. Place other keywords as backend keywords. These are typically words that don’t directly describe your product but are somewhat related to your product. You can also place mis-spelling and Spanish words here.
Having an optimized title is especially important. Here’s a simple format you can use to keyword optimize your title:
Brand Name + Main KW + Benefit + Ingredients + Size/Flavor
Including brand, color, size, material, and any other key features helps maximize a product’s ability to serve on a wide variety of search terms.
Just bear in mind that it typically takes up to 48 hours in order for Amazon to index you for a keyword so you need to wait before checking if the indexing worked.
Reason #3: Targeting
Targeting is critical to how your Amazon Ads show up.
1. Too Many Keywords
When it comes to keywords, less is more. You don’t want to overcrowd campaigns with too many keywords. Otherwise the targets with the highest search volume monopolize all the clicks meaning other keywords won’t get any views.
2. Over-reliance on Auto campaigns
An over-reliance on auto campaigns is one of the most common issues with keyword targeting. While it can be beneficial and uncover valuable terms and phrases that you may not have even considered, you cannot rely upon auto campaigns entirely.
3. Mis-use of Negative keywords
Another targeting issue could be negative keywords. For example, you could have a negative or exact match keyword where it should not and as a result is preventing your ad from showing for that keyword.
Reason #4: Bidding
Amazon Ads uses an auction bidding system with millions of sellers trying to compete for the top spots.
Bids need to be high enough to compete in the auction. When Amazon Ads are not showing up as expected, one possibility is that the bid is that it is too low and, therefore, highly uncompetitive, so it’s not even considered in the bidding pool.
Amazon’s suggested bid range is a good
starting point. This tells you what other ads are having to bid to have their ad showed.However, if you are launching a brand new product, you will need to bid higher.
A Word On Bids By Placement
Top of search placements are the first four paid placements in the search results. Top of search bid adjustment is an automated bidding strategy that allows sellers to set the bid up to a 900% increase in order to get the ad to the top of search results.
Most sellers make the mistake of thinking that Top-of-Search Placement is automatically the best placement. The reality is that Sponsored Product ads perform wildly differently between top-of-search, rest-of-search, and product pages.
While the average conversion rate for Top-of-Search is 10%, which is higher than Rest-of-Search (5%) and Product Pages (7%) it doesn’t mean that’s what you should target.
It’s how your specific keywords convert at a cost effective CPC (Cost Per Click) that matters, otherwise targeting Top-of-Search placement at any cost could be a real money pit and still not guarantee your ads show up.
Reason # 5: Budget
Running out of budget is probably the easiest way an ad can fail—and the simplest one to remedy.
If your daily budget runs out during the day, your campaign will become inactive and your ads won’t show until midnight of the next day. This means that your ads ‘go dark’ and you could miss out on valuable ad impressions and sales conversions through your Amazon Sponsored Ads.
What Is A Daily Budget In Amazon PPC?
An Amazon PPC daily budget allows you to set a limit on how much you want to spend on PPC campaigns.
There are 2 different types of budgets you can set up in Sponsored Products:
1. Average daily budget for individual ad campaigns (compulsory)
It is compulsory to set an average daily budget for each ad campaign. This is the maximum daily budget you’re willing to spend for each campaign.
2. Fixed daily account budget (optional)
When you set up your advertising campaign, you have the option to set a fixed daily budget for each day. This applies to your entire advertising account.
How To Prevent Running Out of Budget
1. Fewer keywords
Ensuring you have a more manageable number of keywords in each campaign, say no more than 20, ensures that all keywords receive the same and fair amount of consideration when it comes to budget distribution.
2. Budget Rules
Budget Rules give sellers the ability to set campaign budgets in advance using budget rules using the Amazon Advertising API. Budget rules help reduce manual effort spent on adjusting budgets.
You can set budget rules for specific date ranges or recommended events, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. During shopping events. Amazon will provide recommended budgets based on historical shopping activities.
Ensuring your Amazon Ads show up is essential to your brand’s growth and success on the platform. Now that you understand the main reasons why your Amazon Ads aren’t showing up, you know what to do the next time they’re not showing where or when they should.
Co-Founder at Sponsored Profit
Laura is an Amazon Ads and SEO expert. Laura and her team of specialized experts help sellers increase their PPC sales without increasing ad spend. Unlike other agencies that charge a random retainer and a percentage of ad spend irrespective of results, they have a full money-back guarantee in place to make sure they get results and a performance fee that means they get paid on the difference they make so incentives are perfectly aligned.
And eCommerceChris members get the following exclusive benefits:
- No Setup Fee: we have agreed to waive our $2,997 setup fee for all eCommerceChris members
- Priority Onboarding: we typically have a 4-6 week waiting list but have put aside 2 onboarding spots per month exclusively for eCommerceChris members so you can get onboarded within 2 weeks
Visit https://www.sponsoredprofit.com/ to book your free Amazon Growth session and learn more.