• David Goldstrohm


Hey Guys! I hope you are all doing AWESOME and had a great week!

I just wanted to create a quick post to chat about a question that often comes up from my PPC clients. It's SUPER important to understand and knowing the answer and how to find it can SAVE YOU A TON OF $$$!

The question goes something like this...."Dude, how do I know when to negative match a search term?" Yea, I'm sure you've all tossed this one around before too! This is a great question and if you like money, read on and let's get to the bottom of this!

First, let's first roll through a few PPC basics, so we're all on the same page! Most of us know that keywords are what we are bidding on and search terms are what the customer is actually typing into Amazon. So, when should you manage KWs vs search terms and how can we answer the question at hand? Let's break it down...

EXACT MATCH KWs: You can easily manage exact match KWs by their bids alone. This is because, inherently, exact match KWs don't have any search term overlap. NICE! This means that any exact match KW can only fire for a single search term (yes, plurals too). So, there's no need to analyze or optimize exact match search terms. Just simply change your exact match KW bids to hit your advertising goals. EASY PEASY! Now, on to the trickier part...

BROAD/PHRASE MATCH KWs: Now, this is where it gets a little hairy. Both broad and phrase match KWs can produce more than one search term. Thus, I like to manage these at the search term level. BUMMER, I know, this means digging into your dreaded search term report :( However, have no fear, these reports are valuable pieces of PPC GOLD and you'll find data on precisely how each search term is performing. Now, you can determine the number of clicks and ad spend for each individual search term! FANTASTIC! This data will help us answer our very important question. Also, as a little aside, don't forget to negative phrase match in your broad campaigns and negative exact match in your phrase campaigns any KWs that are in your exact match campaigns. This will help prevent any search term overlap and data dilution. Thus, allowing you to get all of your PPC data nice and aggregated for easy analysis. This will make your PPC optimizations much more efficient and effective! PERFECT!

Sooo, now that we have a few PPC basics under our belt, let's get back to the question at hand..." Dude, how do I know when to negative match a search term?" Should it be 5, 20, 50 clicks??? Continue on and let's find out...

Well, there are a few great ways to tackle this question. First, you can take advantage of your conversion rate. Let's say you have a conversion rate of 10%. This means that you can expect a sale after roughly 10 clicks (100/10 = 10). Therefore, with this conversion rate, there would not be enough data collected within 5 clicks to make an accurate decision. So, you definitely don't want to negative match a non-converting search term with only 5 clicks. Well, what about 20 or 50 clicks? If you have a non-converting search term that has 20 or 50 clicks, it is time to negative match. Basically, any number of clicks after 10, with no sales, and it's a goner! Multiply this savings by the number of search terms in your report and you'll have some MAJOR $$$!!!

Now, let's take a look at ad spend. Let's say you are selling a $20 product and have a target ACoS of 30%. This means that you only really want to spend about $6 ($20 X 0.30 = $6) on a search term without a sale before you negative match it. Any sale after $6 ad spend will result in a higher than desired ACoS. So, feel free to negative match any search terms with higher than the calculated amount of maximum ad spend and no sales. Whoohoo.. major $$$ savings again!

Overall, following these simple tips will help you get to the bottom of your PPC data, make efficient and accurate adjustments, and ultimately SAVE YOU MONEY! Saving money, yea...I can get used to that :)

Cheers, David

David Goldstrohm is the owner of PL Prominence, an expert listing and PPC optimization service for Amazon sellers.

David Goldstrohm is the owner of PL Prominence, an expert listing and PPC optimization service for Amazon sellers.

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