PPC - PLACEMENTS & BID STRATEGIES:
Hey Guys!!! I hope you’re having a great weekend! I wanted to throw my $0.02 into the ring concerning ‘Top of Search’ placement and bidding strategies. LET’S DO THIS!
Alright, there’s been a lot of CRAZINESS recently about targeting ‘Top of Search’ for PPC. Targeting ‘Top of Search’ seems like a NO BRAINER, but if you don’t first check if it makes sense for you, you might only find out that it’s really like you have NO BRAIN! I can’t stress this enough. If it’s not right for you, you’ll only raise your CPC and end up driving your ACoS OUT OF THIS WORLD…and not it a good way :( So, how can you find out if you can fit in with the COOL KIDS and determine if this is a good strategy for you?
Start by analyzing your highest selling campaign as this campaign has the most data that can be factored into your initial analysis. For my clients, I like to take it a step further and take the average of all their campaigns, but for simplicity, we’ll just stick to your single, highest selling campaign.
Okay, so now that you’ve I.D. your highest selling campaign, click into this campaign and then on the ‘Placements’ tab at the top of the campaign. NICE! Now, we see a VERY COOL breakdown of where our ads are showing up for this campaign. These are broken down into ‘Top of Search’, ‘Product Pages’, and ‘Rest of Search’. Now, here’s the MOST IMPORTANT part of this whole strategy…you MUST first determine if it makes sense to target ‘Top of Search’ based on your historical PPC performance! Well, how the heck do you that? Carry on and let’s dive even further…Oops, just lost the TLDRs…SORRY…but hey…for the truly HARDCORE…let’s venture on…
Now, let’s zero in on your conversion rate for all these different placement types. To do this, simply divide your orders by your clicks for each placement type. For example, ‘Top of Search’ may have 1132 orders and 4528 clicks. So, if we do some FANCY MATH, that equals a conversion rate of 25% (1132/4528 X 100%). AWESOME conversion rate, I might add…good for you!!! Now, you want to do the same calculations for each placement type. Let’s say you determine that your conversion rate for ‘Product Pages’ is 15% and ‘Rest of Search’ is 12%. NICE! By doing these simple calculations, we’ve easily determined that..YES…it can make TOTAL sense to target ‘Top of Search’. Basically, you can convert 10% better if you are able to target ‘Top of Search’ vs ‘Product Pages’.
Where it gets really interesting is that if you look at where your ads are being shown, you’ll see the large majority of the past impressions are likely on ‘Product Pages’. Just divide the ‘Product Page’ impressions by the total impressions. It’s likely 80-90%. WHAT…this means that most of your ads were shown on a poorer performing placement type! OUCH! Hey…let’s carry and on and see how we can fix that and CRUSH IT…
Okay, now you know ‘Top of Search’ is a BETTER PLACEMENT, so now what? Now, you want to analyze what the actual CPC is for your VERY IMPORTANT ‘Top of Search’ placements. It’s important to analyze your own unique data because every niche is different. So, simply look at your ‘Top of Search’ placement CPC. This will give you a very accurate way to determine our next strategy…setting up a new campaign with a proper placement and bidding strategy…Let’s DO THIS, my friends!
Okay, so now simply create a NEW CAMPAIGN and label it ‘Top of Search’ – Product X – ASIN…or whatever your normal naming strategy is. Now, cruise through a recent search term report and look for any search terms that have converted into a sale. To really NAIL IT, only take search terms that are slightly above your target ACoS, knowing your conversion rate will likely be better at ‘Top of Search’. Now, simply add those search terms as new EXACT KWs to your new ‘Top of Search’ campaign. STOP…here’s one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts…you MUST set your default KW bid 9 times less than what you determined your optimal ‘Top of Search’ CPC to be. So, if your ‘Top of Search’ CPC is $1, you’d set the EXACT KW default bids to $0.11. Why the heck would we do this, they’ll be no impressions!?! Carry on and let’s find out…
SO, now the COOL PART…OUR NEW BID ADJUSTMENT STRATEGY for ‘Top of Search’! We’re now going to use a bid adjustment of 900% for ‘Top of Search’! This will allow you to increase your default bid by 900% to hit ‘Top of Search’ while the inefficient ‘Product Pages’ get very little impressions with only an $0.11 bid! NICE! We’ve selectively targeted ‘Top of Search’! You can set the bid adjustment in the Placement section when setting up your new campaign. Now, when a relevant search appears, you’ll have a 900% percent bid adjustments triggered for ‘Top of Search’ that will increase your $0.11 default bid to $0.11 X 9 or $1 PLUS the initial default bid of $0.11. SO, your bid could go up to $1.11 or just above our CPC determined for ‘Top of Search’. COOL, we’re all set to CRUSH IT at top of search!
AWESOME, YOU DID IT! You’ve now created a killer ‘Top of Search’ targeting campaign that we know converts better than our ads on ‘Product Pages’. We’ll now see the majority of our ad impressions hit ‘Top of Search’ vs ‘Product Pages’. We also harvested new KWs from search terms we know have converted to sales in the past AND set a PERFECT bid to hit our optimal ad placement…’Top of Search’! AWESOME! Best of luck with your new ‘Top of Search’ campaigns! And hey, if ‘Top of Search’ wasn’t your best performing placement, don’t worry…you can use the same strategy to target the ‘Product Pages’ and likely have less competition and a LOWER CPC…a WIN, WIN in my book! Happy Strategizing, my friends!
David Goldstrohm is the owner of PL Prominence, an expert listing and PPC optimization service for Amazon sellers.