PPC ENTOURAGE ACADEMY BLUEPRINT SERIES

NEW 2019 Edition!

The PPC Entourage Blueprint Series (Version 4.0) is designed to give users step-by-step instructions on how to use the system to reduce costs and gain your maximum ROI in your PPC campaigns

PPC ENTOURAGE IS TRUSTED BY
How To Run Profitable Amazon PPC Campaigns Step-By Step

The Blueprint Series will walk you step by step through the core strategies we use everyday to make a killing on Amazon. You’ll learn how to build impactful, scalable campaigns and, more importantly, how to maintain them.

You’ll learn strategies for increasing money-making traffic to your listing, plus instructions on how to research keywords, set up campaigns, funnel successful keywords and search terms, how to reduce your ACoS and lower wasteful ad spend through proper planning and optimization.

Each step builds upon the last. Starting with basic research campaigns and keyword generation all the way to more advanced scraping and match type specific campaigns.

Following these steps carefully will teach you how to create, implement, and maintain successful ad campaigns and give you the tools you need to massively grow your Amazon business.

new!  2019
Whats New in 2019?
  • • Updated Campaign Structures
  • • Updated Research Methodology
  • • Product Targeting & Negative Targeting
  • • Portfolios
  • • New Automatic Targeting Defaults
  • • Negative Product Targeting
  • • Bonus Campaign #3 – Competition/Brand Name
Blueprint Series Outline
1
Part 1: Finding Seed Keywords For Your Products.
  • Reverse ASIN
  • Keyword Variations
  • Negative Phrases
  • Auto Campaigns
  • Free Resources
2
Part 2: Setting Up The Proper Campaign Structure.
  • Campaign Naming
  • Portfolios
  • Start & End Dates
  • Budgets
  • Targeting (Auto vs. Manual)
  • Ad Group Structure
  • Bidding (Auto)
  • Keywords & Bids (Manual)
  • Match Type
  • Negative Match Type
  • Product Targeting
3
Part 3: PPC Entourage’s Core 4 Campaign Set Up
  • Automatic Campaign
  • Research/ACoS Scraping Campaign
  • Expansion Campaign
  • Product Targeting Campaign
  • Bonus Campaigns (Auto Low Campaign, Competition/Brand Name Campaign
4
Part 4: Campaign Optimization
  • Phase 1 – Bulk Optimization
  • Phase 2 – Individual Campaign Optimization
  • SKU Optimization
  • New Bid
  • Keyword Optimizer
  • Search Term Optimization
  • Negative Word Finder
  • Phase 3 – Autopilot Mode
5
Part 5: In-Depth Training, Advanced Campaigns, and Beyond
SIMPLE PPC CAMPAIGN SET UP FOR A NEW PRODUCT
Research Campaigns

Creating Automatic/Research campaigns will help determine which keywords and search terms are converting into sales. This will also help generate new customer search terms which we will then use as keywords in later campaigns.

ONE MONTH LATER
PPC ENTOURAGE
Add ACoS Scraping Ad Group to the Research Campaign
Use in Phrase Match
Expansion Campaign
Use Entourage to find winning keywords and search terms and create a highly targeted campaign for scale using exact match
Product Targeting
Use Entourage to find winning ASINS and Categories to target in a campaign that will give a competitive edge and lots of brand exposure!
PPC ENTOURAGE
Campaign Optimization
  • Optimize Campaigns Weekly to Reduce Needless Ad Spend
  • Use PPC Entourage’s 5 Simple Campaign Optimization Strategies for Best Results
1
Part 1: Finding Seed Keywords For Your Products.
Finding Seed Keywords for your products

For this example we will be using a product: Coffee cup lids for to go cups (paper cup) & here are some ways you can find keywords to use in your Research Campaign. We will explain how to use various sources (Amazon, Helium 10, and Viral Launch) to find keyword data. We’ll conclude with instructions on using negative phrases and auto campaign data during the research phase and beyond.

Let’s start with how to use Amazon itself for research purposes.

Sources: Amazon.com

One method of finding keywords is by looking at the category & subcategory your product is in. Amazon’s categories are located on the left hand side. Continue to browse the sub categories until you have pin pointed the exact sub category your product is in:

 

First – Select the Main Category your product is in. This example we are in Health & Household & Baby

Second – Select the Main Sub category your product is in. We are in Heath & Household

Third – Select the next Sub category to narrow your search your product is in. We are in Paper & Plastic.

Lastly – Select the final Sub category to pinpoint where your product is listed in. We are in Disposable Drinkware.

 

Our example brings us to :

Health & Household > Household Supplies > Paper & Plastic > Disposable Drinkware

Home & Kitchen > Kitchen & Dining > Food Service Equipment & Supplies > Disposables > Disposable Drinkware

(You can also get further information regarding category from your competitors)

After reviewing these 2 categories, we can determine that we can use the words “Paper” & “Disposable” in our keyword research since these 2 features explain our product.

The other method is letting the Amazon search bar help you in finding keywords. Search for your product in the most accurate but shortest search term possible, and allow Amazon to bring up autofill suggestions. Our example is Coffee Cup Lids. The autofill suggestions brings up various searches that we can use as keywords in our research campaign. In this example, our lids do cover 10 oz coffee cups, we can use 10 oz in our keyword research. However, the lids are for paper coffee cups, so we will take a note of the word “Styrofoam” to be used as a negative keyword in our Research campaign since our product is not for styrofoam cups. Please refer to our Negative Keywords Section for a full breakdown on how you can use keywords you find as negative phrases & exacts.

 

 

 

 

Part 1 Bg

Part 1 New 1 Part 1 New 2

Helium 10 or replicate same in Free Resources

Reverse ASIN – This is a great way to find keywords your competitors are targeting. Grab 3 competitor ASINs and insert them into the Cerebro tool. Soon, you’ll be able to do this right from within Entourage.

Add your top 3 competitor ASINs by entering them in  “Product ASIN” & “Competing ASINs”

Next, sort them by highest exact search volume. You can do this by using the dropdown menu.

 

Part 1 New 3

From that point on, go through the first 100-200 keywords and pick out portions of keywords or entire keywords that have no relevance to your product. Going back to our example, Coffee cup lids for to go cups – ignore keyword results that have “pot,” “pan,” “bowl,” “ceramic,” etc. Those keywords can be inserted in the “exclude phrases that contain” box in “Exclude phrases that contain” field in the filter section in a row followed by commas. This will reduce the number of keywords you have left.

 

Then you can export the top 50 keywords and reassess which keywords are the most relevant until you are down to your top 15-20 keywords.

 

Copy the keyword list in the “Exclude phrases that contain” box. Those will be your negative keywords that you will implement in your research campaign. Please refer to our Negative Section for a full breakdown on how you can use keywords you find as negative phrases & exacts. Relevancy is key.

Viral Launch or replicate same in Free Resources

Use your best keywords to find long tail keywords that best describe your product (features, etc.) to add to research campaign. So, “coffee cup lids,” “to go coffee cup lids,” and “lids for paper coffee cups” best describe our product. If Viral Launch does not have preloaded information on your keyword, it will do its research and you will be able to find it inside of “Search History.”

Part 1 New 4

Negative Phrases

A laser focused research campaign is key. You may come across single keywords or short tail keywords that your product can be advertised for that will not be relevant enough during your keyword research.

(Example 1: To go coffee cup lids – this product will attract all sorts of lids – negative phrasing Pot, Pan, and Bowl we found inside of our Reverse ASIN keyword research will not only save you ad spend dollars but direct traffic to your product where it matters the most.)

(Example 2: Coffee cup lids – We found the word “styrofoam” during our autofill suggestion inside of Amazon. Since there are paper cups and styrofoam cups, we want to ONLY target shoppers that are looking for lids for paper cups as that is what our lids are for. This is the reason we will be using the single keyword “styrofoam” as a negative phrase keyword in our Research Campaign)

 

 

Negative

Important note

Determining the correct negative phrases is very important as very generic negative phrases will hurt the exposure of your product. You want to assess the potential negative keywords and be certain they will not have any correlation with your product. If you have any questions regarding if a single, short tail, or long tail keyword can be used as a negative phrase – try it as a negative exact first and keep track of your search term reports.

(Example 1: Coffee cup lids – We are not selling coffee cups but if we were to negative phrase the keywords “coffee cups” or “cups” – even though it isn’t our product – we will be hurting our product exposure by negative phrasing such broad keywords that are related to our product)

 

Part 1 New 7

Review your data

Once you have compiled your keywords & negative keywords from Reverse ASIN & Keyword research, get rid of any duplicates you may have. Review all of your keywords, short tail and long tail and try to condense it to your top 20 keywords that best describe your product as well as more broad explanations (such as “coffee cup lids” to bring in additional search terms). After creating your research campaign in Broad & Phrase match, enter your negatives you have accumulated as negative phrase (single keywords or short tail keywords that are definitely not related to your product) or exact (if you are not entirely sure if you can use it as a negative phrase) . The key point is to target the best of the best that you have found and let the research campaign do its job by bringing you additional search terms while omitting anything that isn’t relevant at the same time.

The Auto Campaign

Start your auto campaign as this will also help bring in additional search terms that you can leverage in the future. It is recommended that you place the same negative keywords you have compiled in your auto campaign as well. This method will help the Amazon be more selective in where it shows your product. Again, relevance is key.

 

Free resources

2
Part 2: Setting Up The Proper Campaign Structure.
Campaign Naming

A simple naming convention that you stick to goes a long way in a well organized and easy to manipulate structure for your campaigns. Consider a formula such as this: [Campaign Type] – [Product Group] – [Optional Added Info]. Here are some examples:

Research/AcoS Campaign – Car Seats.

Auto Campaign – Car batteries

Highly Targeted Campaign – Car Seats

Product targeting – All Product Groups

 

 

(NEW) Portfolio

This feature was released in late 2018 and allows you to create “portfolios,” which are sets of ads grouped together in an effort to organize campaigns, set budget caps, and track performance.  At this time, you can only add a campaign to a single portfolio. Portfolios can be useful if you wanted to group all campaigns for a particular product together to see how that product’s advertising is doing as a whole.  You can add both Sponsored Product ads and Sponsored Brand ads. Portfolio budget caps allow you to shut off campaigns that are inside of that portfolio once they hit a certain daily budget. This can be helpful in the example of setting a daily budget for a particular sku that might be in several campaigns.

 

Start Date/ End Date

Most of the time we set the start date as the current date that campaign is being created on and the end date as No end date. There are occasional examples, such as seasonal products or campaigns that are targeting time sensitive keywords, where setting a certain start date and end date would be necessary. An example of this would be bidding on Prime Day keywords during Prime Day week.

 

Part 2 New 2

Why is this important? First, staying organized is critical.You will be searching for campaigns both inside of seller central and PPC Entourage during the optimization and campaign expansion process.  Furthermore, each campaign will have slightly different goals and objectives. For example, you may want to have a target ACoS for your research campaigns of 50%, but an ACoS of 35% for your Auto. By properly naming your campaigns, you will be able to easily find all research campaigns at once so you can get a quick snapshot of all of your research campaigns to see how they are all doing. This will streamline your process for finding campaigns to optimize and to expand upon.

 

Part 2 New 1

 

 

 

Daily Budget

The daily budget is a daily amount you are willing to spend on a campaign. In Sponsored Products campaigns, this amount is averaged over the course of a month. For example, if you set your daily budget to $100, Amazon will deliver up to $3100 worth of clicks in that calendar month, assuming that you start your campaign on the first day of a 31-day month. However, on any given day you could spend less or more than your average daily budget.

It is important to give your campaigns a high enough daily budget to be considered in the ad auction. A minimum of $10 is recommended during the research phase but higher spending will yield results faster.

Targeting (Automatic vs Manual)

We will explain Automatic campaigns, and how to manage them in much greater detail later on in the Blueprint. Essentially, choosing an automatic campaign means that Amazon will choose which keywords to target for you whereas choosing a manual campaign means you are determining the keywords, products or categories that you would like to target for your product.

 

Ad Group Structure

Amazon allows you to set up multiple ad groups inside of campaigns which can help to keep your campaign organized. Each ad group can have any combination of products and keywords to target. This is helpful when making optimizations because you can optimize on an ad group level, making optimizations much more specific. There are a few general rules that we following when setting up an ad group.

Part 2 New 3

You can use ad groups to separate your campaigns by match type to see if keywords are performing better in one match type versus another. An example of this would be the Research/ACoS campaign, where keywords are separated into broad and phrase match ad groups.

Product Grouping - If you have multiple variations under the same product listing, we recommend only running ads on the top one or two variations (based on sales). The increased traffic will trickle down to your weaker variations. Like-products should be grouped together in campaigns, with each product variation having its own ad group. For example, you may have a research campaign with two color variations on the same product. Each variation would get an ad group with the same keywords.

You can also use ad groups to replace having multiple campaigns for a given objective. Let's say you wanted to set up a product targeting campaign with 10 of your best products. You may wish to house all of those products as separate ad groups inside of one product targeting campaign.

Bidding (Auto Campaigns)

When setting up bid prices for an automatic campaigns, it is essential to test out several different bid prices to see its effect on impressions, average cost per click and ACoS. We recommend starting with a fairly aggressive bid price on all automatic campaigns, with the assumptions that you are optimizing that campaign regularly.  You can also test a separate automatic campaign with a very low bid price.

Part 2 New 4

Keywords and Bids

(Manual Campaigns)

Choosing the right keywords bids and match types is one of the most critical aspects of setting up winning PPC campaigns. Earlier in the Blueprint we discussed how to find winning keywords for your product. Later, we will discuss how and when to use those keywords, which will include a discussion about match types.  

 

Initial Bid Prices – Since every niche is different when it comes to keyword bid prices, it’s important to know what bid to use initially so that you have a decent chance of getting impression share. You will be initially setting a default bid price for each keyword inside of that ad group. However, you can adjust the keyword bid individually after the default has been set up.  Here are a few strategies that we use to determine the initial bid price.

Strategy 1) Start a campaign, in this example let’s make it a Research campaign. Enter the list of keywords into Seller Central and click save so the keywords are live. Then go back into the ad group and take note of the AMAZON SUGGESTED BID ranges. This will give you an idea of where to start. Make sure you are somewhere in that range of suggested bids.

Strategy 2) Start with a moderate to high bid, let’s say $1.50 or so, and monitor impressions. If your product is not getting impressions then slowly raise the bid price each day until you start to notice impressions rise.

Strategy 3) Start with a moderate to high bid, let’s say $1.50 or so, and monitor Amazon. After 15 minutes of setting up your campaign or adjusting your bid price your ad should be visible in the search results.  If your ad is not there, consider raising your bid price.

Match Type

Having a general understanding of keyword match types is essential when setting up an Amazon PPC campaign.  You will have three options, broad, phrase and exact. You can add the same keyword multiple times in the same ad group with different match types, as we may suggest in the campaign setup in this Blueprint. For Research campaigns/ad groups we will be using broad and phrase match so that we can see which variations of the terms convert well for us. Highly targeted campaigns will use phrase/exact match type with a higher bid price since we know these keywords have converted in the past and we want to maximize exposure on them.

Negative Match Type

Amazon allows us to add keywords or search terms as negative match types to help prevent our ad from showing to the wrong audience or for a keyword that you know does not convert for you. You will have two options, negative phrase and negative exact. Using negative phrase match means that you will eliminate your ad whenever that phrase, in any order is used by an Amazon customer. Negative exact match will eliminate your ad from being shown only when the customer uses that exact term.  Both will be explained more thoroughly in the optimization section of the Blueprint.

Product Targeting (Categories vs Individual Products)

Product targeting allows you to choose specific products, categories, brands, or other product features that are similar to the product in your ad. Use this strategy to help shoppers find your product when browsing detail pages and categories, or when searching products on Amazon.  We will show you exactly how we’re setting up winning product targeting campaigns inside of this Blueprint!

Part 2 New 5

3
Part 3: PPC Entourage's Core 4 Campaign Set Up

The Automatic Campaign

Research/ACoS Campaign

Expansion Campaign

Product Targeting Campaign

The Core 4 Campaign Strategies are four campaign types, each building off of the success of the last, that allow you to track with pinpoint accuracy what is (and is not) working for your campaigns.

As you have success with keyword and search terms they will be escalated in match type and ad spend. Keywords in your Expansion campaign will be highly relevant and have the highest bid prices.

Your best performers will be given a higher investment, and your worst performers will be optimized out.

new!  2019
CAMPAIGN OVERVIEW
1.The Automatic Campaign
Use Amazon to discover keywords and potential bid price and leverage Entourage to analyze winners. Feed best results to campaigns 2 and 3
2.Research/AcoS Campaign
Test relevant research keywords while also adding newly found search terms to the ACoS Ad group inside of this campaign
3.Expansion Campaign
Take the biggest winners from previous campaigns and scale using exact match type
4.Product Targeting Campaign
Find the best categories and products to target for maximum visibility and scale
Campaign Schedule

Week 1: Start the Auto Campaign, and Research Campaign. You can also start the Expansion campaign if you know the high converting keywords that you want to target. We suggest starting the Expansion campaign early to "age" the campaign (begin with a low budget).

Week 2: Observe and collect data.

Week 3: Begin to optimize the Auto and Research campaigns. Inside of the research campaign, add another ad group called the ACos Scraping and add the best converting search terms in phrase match. Search terms with 3 or more profitable orders can also be added to the Expansion Campaign as Exact Match.

Week 4: Optimize all campaigns using the simple strategies in this Blueprint.

WEEKLY - Add converting search terms to the Research campaign in the ACoS Scraping ad group. Add highly converting and best performing keywords into the Expansion campaign. PPC Entourage can help you do this in minutes.

Looking to stay organized? We have arranged a Google spreadsheet to help you follow the process!

Get it by clicking here..

1
new!  2019
CAMPAIGN №1
THE AUTOMATIC CAMPAIGN

Goals of Campaign:  Discover new keywords and search terms that are converting well for your products so you can target them. Gain more brand and product exposure and visibility leveraging “other Amazon placements” including middle of search results page, upper product detail page of competitors, lower product detail page of competitors and in cart ads.

Automatic Targeting Defaults

Automatic targeting defaults use multiple strategies to match your ads to shoppers looking for your product.

 

After you have set up an automatic campaign, you will be able to view these targeting defaults under the targeting tab.  You will notice 4 different targets: The main key here is that loose match and close match are related to search term targeting (connecting your product to what the customer searches for) while Substitutes and compliments are targeting product detail pages of either your competitors or complimentary items.

 

Loose Match – shows your ads to shoppers who use search terms loosely related. Example: You sell a grill mat and a customer searches for grill brush. There is a loose match connection.

Close Match – shows your ads to shoppers who use search terms closely related. Example: You sell a grill mat and a customer searches for outdoor grill mat.

Substitutes – Shows your ads to shoppers who view product detail pages of products similar to yours.  Example: On your competitors product page and you both are selling grill mats.

Complements – Shows your ads to shoppers who view product detail pages of products that complements yours.  Example: On product detail page of grill brushes if you are selling grill mats.

 

Why is this critical in 2019? The automatic campaign gives us lots of information about what Amazon thinks about our products. We can use this campaign to find new search terms to bid on as keywords. We can also use the AUTO campaign to gain visibility of our product on product detail pages for similar products and for our competitors. You will notice lots of ASINS showing up in your search term report and inside of PPC Entourage. This means that a shopper was viewing the product page for that ASIN and saw your sponsored product ad. They then decided to click on/purchase your product!

Important:We use the Automatic campaign to find new product ideas to sell in our product line. Simply take the ASIN that comes up in the search term report and paste it into the Amazon search bar to reveal the product that led to the sale. This is a great way to know what other products your target audience is shopping for!

How To Optimize this Campaign

Schedule:Start optimization after 2-3 weeks of having the campaign running. Make sure to optimize on a weekly basis to weed out irrelevant search terms and words.  PPC Entourage will make it very simple to identify the search terms that are not converting into sales so that you can use them as negative exact match. Our software will also help identify the individual words that are not converting so that you can use them as a negative phrase match.  If you have identified any individual words or phrases that you can use as negatives from the beginning it can help reduce wasteful ad spend right from the start

Bid Price:We like to keep the bid price competitive at the moderate to high level as long as this campaign is near the break even ACoS point (usually 40%). We will teach you to optimize AUTO campaigns using negative exact and negative phrase match to help keep the ACoS lower.

If you have tried optimizing the AUTO campaign using the methods in this Blueprint, and you still have a high ACoS, then consider lowering the bid down to 20-50 cents.

NEW Negative Match Types: Using Negative Exact on the search terms that are not converting will likely help to reduce wasted ad spend. PPC Entourage can help you do this in seconds. We also highly recommend using negative phrase match on words and phrases that you have identified as either unrelated to your product or unprofitable based on actual data.

What about the ASINS? Can I use Negative match on those? Unfortunately, no, you can’t. You can dig a little further and do some research by copying that ASIN into Amazon to find the product and potentially finding the keywords associated with that product so that you can add to the negative exact/phrase list. For example, a competitor brand name could be used as a negative to avoid further exposure.

The Following Campaign Optimization Strategies (noted in section 4 of this blueprint) can be used for this campaign:

Campaign Optimization Strategy #1 (SKU Optimization),

Campaign Optimization Strategy #4 (Search Term Optimization),

Campaign Optimization Strategy #5 (Negative Word Finder).

General Strategy:

  • Campaign Title : (AUTO – PRODUCT GROUP) For example, if you are selling grill brushes, the campaign title would look like this –> AUTO – GRILL BRUSHES. This helps with organization and saves lots of time when optimizing.
  • Bid Prices: Use a moderate to high bid price initially. For more information on how to determine proper bid price for your niche, go to section 2 in this blueprint.
  • Remember to follow the proper ad structure guidelines noted in section 2 of this blueprint
  • Set up the Automatic campaign and let it begin to accumulate data for 2-3 weeks. The Automatic campaign can be left running forever if it is profitable or near the break even point. We prefer to keep it running
  • Initially,  you may experience a higher than desired ACoS, but remember you are gaining valuable insight about converting keywords and learning about your target audience’s shopping behaviors.
  • Long term target for this campaign is to hit break even ACoS or better, meaning if your profit margins are 40%, a good target ACoS would be 40% or less.
  • Converting search terms from the AUTO campaign will also be elevated into other campaigns which we will discuss in Campaign Strategies 2-4. This can be done automatically with PPC Entourage software.
  • ***DO NOT SET AND FORGET THE AUTOMATIC CAMPAIGN *** If you do, you will likely be wasting a lot of money in ad spend. Follow the steps below to optimize the Automatic campaign.
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new!  2019
CAMPAIGN №2
The Research/Acos Scraping Campaign

Goals of Campaign: Using the keyword research strategies outlined in this Blueprint, the goal is to find, test, and expand on new keywords that are relevant to your product and audience.  The newly discovered search terms that perform well will be added to the ACoS Scraping ad group inside of this research campaign. Overall we are looking to gain more exposure to your product and discover which keywords and search terms perform well so that they can be elevated to other campaigns.

Why is this critical in 2019? There’s more and more competition using Sponsored Products than ever before. Finding, expanding and bidding on long tail search terms can help you get sales on keywords that have lower competition at a much cheaper price!

Bid Price: We like to keep the bid price competitive at the moderate to high level as long as this campaign is near the break even ACoS point (usually 40%).

How To Optimize this Campaign

Schedule: Start optimization after 2-3 weeks of having the campaign running. Make sure to optimize on a weekly basis to weed out irrelevant search terms and words.

Bid Price: We like to keep the bid price competitive at the moderate to high level as long as this campaign is near the break even ACoS point (usually 40%). We like to optimize the RESEARCH campaigns using negative exact matches on search terms that are not converting

Negative Match Types: Using Negative Exact on the search terms that are not converting will likely help to reduce wasted ad spend. PPC Entourage can help you do this in seconds. If you notice trends of words that are not related to your product appearing in multiple search terms, carefully consider adding them as negative phrase.

The following Campaign Optimization strategies (noted in section 4 of this blueprint) can be used for this campaign:

Campaign Optimization Strategy #1 (SKU Optimization),

Campaign Optimization Strategy #4 (Search Term Optimization),

Campaign Optimization Strategy #5 (Negative Word Finder).

General Strategy:

  • Campaign Title: (RESEARCH – PRODUCT NAME) For example, if you are selling grill brushes the campaign title would look like this –> RESEARCH – GRILL BRUSHES. This helps with organization and saves lots of time when optimizing.
  • NEW* 4 Ad groups per Research Campaign—> Ad Group 1) Broad match, low bid (.20-.50) using individual words. You can do this by breaking down research words into their individual words inside of Entourage. Ad Group 2) Broad match – full keyword – moderate bid. Ad group 3) Phrase match – full keyword – moderate-high bid. Ad Group 4) ACoS Scraping Ad Group.  Find all of the NEW search terms that have 2 or more orders and place them here as Phrase Match with moderate to high bid. Add to campaign on a weekly basis.
  • Initially, you may experience a higher than desired ACoS, but remember you are gaining valuable insight about converting keywords and learning about your target audience’s shopping behaviors.
  • Long term target for this campaign is to hit break even ACoS or better, meaning if your profit margins are 40%, a good target would be 40% or less.
  • Converting keywords from the RESEARCH/ACoS Scraping campaign will also be “elevated” into the next campaign (Expansion Campaign).  This can be done easily with PPC Entourage.
  • ***DO NOT SET AND FORGET THE RESEARCH CAMPAIGN *** If you do, you will likely be wasting a lot of money in ad spend. Follow the steps below to optimize the research campaign.
  • A LOWER CTR% is likely for this campaign along with high impressions and Ad spend.
  • We suggest leaving this campaign running indefinitely as long as it is performing relatively well. Campaign optimization strategies that are outlined in this guide will be essential to reduce needless ad spend.
  • Add Keywords weekly! Once you hit 1000 keywords inside of an ad group, simply create another ad group for this campaign
  • Expect moderate to high ad spend. High Impressions. Low to moderate CTR %. Campaign Optimization is essential for this campaign and will be outlined below.
  • Add relevant keywords weekly! Remember to keep them relevant to the product that you are selling.
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new!  2019
CAMPAIGN №3
The Expansion Campaign

Goals of Campaign: Here, you will expand on winning keywords and search terms. Broad and phrase match keywords (in auto and manual campaigns) that were successful (had at least 3 sales and have a profitable ACoS) will be elevated to exact match type inside of this campaign. Keywords that are profitable will be scaled by raising bid prices and daily budgets.

Why is this critical in 2019? Choosing the most relevant and highly converting keywords inside of the Expansion campaign is really important in 2019. We want to maximize top of rail exposure on those keywords that drive the most sales profitably. By isolating them inside of this campaign and aggressively bidding on them we can begin to achieve this.

How To Optimize this Campaign

Schedule: Start optimization after 2-3 weeks of having the campaign running.

Optimizing this campaign will consist mainly of adjusting keyword bid prices and budgets.  On keywords that are performing well, uncapping bid prices and budgets allows the Amazon algorithm to show your ad more freely as compared to having a limited bid with a tight budget.

Entourage will help you identify the Max Cost Per Click (Max CPC), which is a simple calculation based on the number of clicks it takes to achieve a sale and your break even costs.  You can use this number as a target for keyword bid prices inside of this campaign. However, if you have keywords that are performing well at a lower ACoS, consider using a much higher bid price than the Max CPC suggests to help with scaling that keyword.

 

The Following Campaign Optimization Strategies (noted in section 4 of this Blueprint) can be used for this campaign:

Campaign Optimization Strategy #2 (New Bid),

Campaign Optimization Strategy 3 (Keyword Optimizer),

General Strategy:

  • Get this campaign started as soon as possible; we want to “age” this campaign. If you know the keywords that convert well for your product, start it on week 1 and add some additional keywords over time.
  • Find the keywords and search terms that have already performed well for your other campaigns (Campaign #2 noted in this Blueprint) put them into the expansion campaign.  Using PPC Entourage’s Match Type Expansion Module, we will find the profitable keywords that are in broad and phrase match type only so that we can easily identify them and expand into this campaign. Next, we will find the search terms (Using Entourage Search Term Expansion) to find the search terms that have 3 or more profitable orders. These will be added into the Expansion campaign as well.
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new!  2019
CAMPAIGN №4
The Product Targeting Campaign

Goals of Campaign: Amazon released product targeting late in 2018 and so far it has been showing some promising signs. Product targeting allows sellers to target relevant categories or competitor products.  The goal of this campaign is to gain more exposure in your category niche by targeting related categories when shoppers are browsing through that category. Product targeting allows you to also display your ad on the detail page of your competitors.  We are going to use the search term report and the results from automatic campaigns to find out which competitors to target.

Why is this critical in 2019? Right now product targeting is brand new and many sellers are just now getting around to setting them up. Because it is so new, it is essential to get your campaigns set up right away.  Amazon favors campaigns with history, and by getting these campaigns set up sooner rather than later, you can start to build longevity and also test to see what works and what does not.

Coming soon!  PPC Entourage will be fully equipped to help you dominate product targeting campaigns.  We anticipate the release of key features by the middle of Q1. You can expect cutting edge optimization techniques that will save you time and money along with tools to help you find the very best ASINS (products) and categories to target.

How To Optimize this Campaign

You have the option to target ASINs, Categories or Brands inside of a product targeting campaign. Amazon will treat each one of these very similarly to a keyword, making optimizing these campaigns simple.  Basically, if you know how to optimize a keyword, you can follow the same thought process when optimizing a product targeting campaign.

On Targets that are performing really well, uncapping bid prices and budgets allows the Amazon algorithm to show your ad more freely as compared to having a limited bid with a tight budget.

Coming soon: Entourage will help you identify the Max Cost Per Click (Max CPC), which is a simple calculation based on the number of clicks it takes to achieve a sale and your break even costs.  You can use this number as a target for keyword bid prices inside of this campaign. However, if you have keywords that are performing really well at a lower ACoS, consider using a much higher bid price than the Max CPC suggests to help with scaling that keyword.

The Following Campaign Optimization Strategies (noted in section 4 of this Blueprint) can be used for this campaign:

Campaign Optimization Strategy #2 (New Bid)

Amazon also gives you the ability to use negative product targets for ASINS, brands and categories so that your ad does not get visibility for the negative targets selected. Using Search Term Optimization inside of Entourage, you can easily identify the ASINS that are not converting profitably. These would be ideal to use as negative targets.

General Strategy:

  • Get this campaign started as soon as possible; we want to “age” this campaign.
  • Campaign Title: (Product Targeting – PRODUCT NAME). For example, if you are selling grill brushes the campaign title would look like this –> Product Targeting – Grill Brushes. This helps with organization and saves lots of time when optimizing.
  • For this campaign we are going to have 2 Ad groups.  Ad Group 1-> Product targeting (finding the competitors ASINS that you want to target on their detail page), Ad Group 2 is for category targeting.
  • To find the best ASINS to target in Ad Group 1, The Product targeting ad group we are going to use real data from the search term report to see which ASINS show up within a desirable ACoS range. This can be done by downloading the report and sorting by ASIN and ACoS.  You can also do this in seconds inside of PPC Entourage Search Term Expansion. Simply enter the desired ACoS range, select the product and its associated campaign and the ASIN targets will be revealed to you. Add these ASINS into the ad group with a moderate to high bid price. If you do not have a search term report yet, Amazon will make some recommendations for targeting when setting up your campaign. Start with 10-20 on week 1.
  • The next ad group will be for category targeting. Once again Amazon will make some recommendations that you can test out or you can search for and add some of your own. Just be mindful when selecting categories to keep your targeting relevant to the product niche and not go too wide.
  • Amazon will also allow you to refine your targeting.  This can allow you to find products to target based on price and review score. Using this, we can target competitors who are more expensive and have a lower review score, which could make your product more attractive to buyers.
  • Use Negative product targeting from the beginning by identifying the ASINS inside of the search term report that have not converted profitably. Using Entourage’s Search Term Optimization module allows you to do this in seconds.
  • Bid Prices: Use a moderate to high (competitive) bid price.
new!  2019
Bidding Strategies & Placements
Amazon has enabled several new features that have added new layers to bidding strategy and advertising placement. We are continuing to test and develop new strategies for these added capabilities, and will add them here and within the Entourage VIP Facebook group as we confirm their successful implementation.

Adjust Bids By Placement, which is taking the place of Bid+, allows you to analyze your performance based on the placement of your ads, and adjust your bidding strategy accordingly. You may now enter a percentage that you allow Amazon raise your bid by (on top of your base bid). This can be done for two placement areas: Top of Search and Product Pages. Increases by your specified percentage will only be applied when your ad is competing for those areas – everything else will use your base bid.

You’ll find the ability to adjust these areas by clicking on a campaign and then going to either Placements or Campaign Settings.

Bidding Strategy And Placements

Placements

Dynamic Bidding allows for varying rules for bid increases or decreases. There are three Dynamic Bidding strategies currently available:

  • Dynamic Bids – Down Only: The default strategy for older campaigns. Selecting this means Amazon will reduce your bid price for the cheapest win rate, but may also lead to clicks less likely to convert.
  • Dynamic Bids – Up and Down: Choosing this will allow Amazon to increase your bids for clicks that may be more expensive but that they deem more likely to convert into a sale, while also reducing in the same manner as “Down Only.” Bids will not be increased more than 100% for placement at the top of the first one or by more than 50% for any other placement.
  • Fixed Bids: Choosing this will tell Amazon to use only your exact bid price for any and all click opportunities.

Find Dynamic Bidding during the campaign creation process, or in your Campaign Settings.

new!  2019
Bonus Campaigns... That Work!

Bonus Campaign #1 - The Auto Low Campaign

Create a single automatic campaign that has one ad group for each product group. Set the bid price to between 35 and 55 cents.

Bonus Campaign #2- Competition/Brand Name

In this campaign, you can bid on your competitors brand name keywords to win over some new customers. Simply add in your competitors brand name as a phrase match. You can also create another ad group with your own brand name keywords to make sure they don’t do the same to you! Also, to keep things simple, neat and organized you may wish to house this campaign inside of your research campaign as two separate ad groups.

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4
Part 4: Campaign Optimization

Campaign Optimization is an essential part of scaling your business and preventing your ad spend from being used on keywords that are not converting. Without proper instruction and planning, it can be a daunting task if is new to you.

Before proceeding, we recommend that you take the time to fully understand negative match types and how they are used. Please click here to learn more.

We break down campaign optimization into three phases.

Phase 1

Phase one is called BULK OPTIMIZATION and is only done if you have seasoned campaigns that have been around a while. Here, you can perform BULK OPTIMIZATIONS across all of your campaigns at once. Its a true game changer and time saver if using PPC Entourage!

Phase 2

When you dig a little deeper into each individual campaign to optimize. We have outlined the 5 simple campaign optimization strategies that can help you keep your ad spend down. We have also outlined when to use each strategy based on the type of campaign that you are optimizing.

Phase 3 is awesome!

This is called AUTOPILOT MODE and its for Entourage users only! In this phase, you are setting up criteria for our system to follow and the system will make optimizations based on those criteria.

Know Your ACoS Target Zone

We also recommend knowing your ACoS Target Zone. The ACoS Target Zone is your personal threshold for determining if a keyword, search term, or SKU is considered profitable or unprofitable. Anything above your ACoS Target Zone will be considered unprofitable, while anything falling within your ACoS Target Zone will be considered profitable.

Your ACoS Target Zone might be slightly different for each campaign. For example, on Research campaigns, the ACoS Target Zone might be set to a slightly higher value to allow for a broader reach and higher amount of impressions. On the Phrase/Exact Campaign, the ACoS Target Zone might be in alignment with your profit margins for the product and thus be lower than the ACoS Target Zone of the Research campaign.

new!  2019
Phase 1: Bulk Optimization

Bulk Optimization is an incredible time-saving tool within PPC Entourage that allows you to perform Campaign Optimization strategies across multiple campaigns and ad groups all at once. You can select any combination of campaigns, set filters (or use helpful pre-made filters), and then find under-performing SKUs, keywords, search terms, and words. You can apply sweeping bid changes all at once, pause individual SKUs within certain ad groups where they are not responding well to ads, and even add negative exacts on a campaign or ad group level in bulk. You can also find and optimize individual words that are your worst offenders, account-wide. Below is a checklist we prepared to help sellers to prepare for 2019 via multiple bulk optimization methods. You can use these any time to help clean up your advertising.

2019 Check Bulk Optimization Checklist.
Reviewing Your Negative Keywords More

Doing a quick review of our existing negatives, especially directly-related words in negative phrase (and even some in negative exact), is crucial to ensuring we receive the maximum amount of impressions.

Optimizing Your SKUs in Bulk More

Not all products, even traditionally profitable ones, will perform well across all campaigns. Reviewing your products in bulk is an excellent way to identify campaigns and ad groups that may be causing certain products to underperform. This is a great way to cut wasteful ad spend and to ensure you’re investing properly in your products.

Optimize Based on Average Cost Per Click More

High CPC keywords can drain your budget completely, leaving you unable to compete for other keywords and search term opportunities in your niche. Reviewing the performance of your high CPC keywords will allow you to determine if you should continue to invest, or if it is time to reduce the budget (or remove the keyword entirely).

Properly Using Negative Phrase Match More

Mastering negative phrase match is an excellent (and increasingly important) method of lowering your ACoS by controlling which search terms Amazon connects to your keywords.

Eliminate High ACoS Keywords More

It may seem simple enough, but once a keyword starts generating revenue, it can feel difficult to get rid of it, even with a high ACoS. It might be tough, but learning when to draw the line on a keyword, even one that has generated revenue, is imperative as you look to properly invest your bids and budgets.

Congratulations on completing the checklist! If you need any additional help in optimizing your existing ads, or in expanding your advertising to increase visibility and scale your profits, we’re happy to help! Click here to check out all of the ways we can help, and use discount code ChecklistDiscount2019 to save 10% on any coaching, Blitz, or management service. This coupon may only be used once.

Start Your Free 14 Day Trial Today

Phase 2: Individual Campaign Optimization
Now that you have optimized in bulk, lets dig a little deeper into each campaign!
1
Strategy 1:SKU Optimization
Pause all of the SKU's or variations that are underperforming!
2
Strategy 2:Keyword New Bid
Adjust the keyword bid price to match your target!
3
Strategy 3:Keyword Optimizer
Eliminate search terms that are dragging down the performance of a keyword!
4
Strategy 4:Search Term Optimization
Eliminate all search terms that are wasting your ad spend using negative exact!
5
Strategy 5:Negative Word Finder
Find individual words that are dragging down the performance of your campaigns and use negative exact match to eliminate them!
Strategy №1
Sku Optimization
Watch video
  • The most basic form of optimization. Pause under-performing SKU’s
  • Can be used on all campaigns that have multiple SKU’s or variations
Strategy №2
New Bid
Watch video

Raise or lower keyword bid to align with your ACoS strategy

  • Best used on Expansion Campaign and on the Research/ACoS campaign.
  • N/A on Automatic campaigns
Strategy №3
Keyword Optimizer
Watch video
  • Used to find the individual search terms that are NOT converting for a given keyword
  • Can be used on both profitable and non profitable keywords within a campaign
  • Great for all campaigns (Research, Expansion). Can’t be used on Automatic campaigns.
Strategy №4
Search Term Optimization
Watch video
  • Find search terms that are dragging down the performance of your campaigns and use a “Negative Exact” strategy to eliminate further exposure.
  • Works great for all campaigns but especially for the Automatic, Research/AcoS campaigns.
Strategy №5
Neg Word Finder
Watch video
  • Find the individual words that have not been linked to any profitable sales and use a “Negative Phrase” strategy to eliminate further exposure
  • Works great for all campaigns but especially for the Automatic, Research/ACoS. Use Negative Phrase carefully.
new!  2019
Optimization Phase 3: Autopilot Mode
Autopilot is the ultimate in automating your Amazon PPC. Autopilot mode can now be used for any campaign type, though certain functions will only work in certain circumstances. For manual campaigns, use Autopilot to monitor each keyword's ACoS, CTR%, and amount of impressions, and raise or reduce bid prices based on rules you set (or use our convenient defaults). For both automatic and manual campaigns, you can set up autopilot to add poor performing search terms as negative exacts based upon number of clicks without sales or CTR%.
5
new!  2019
Part 5: In-Depth Training, Advanced Campaigns, and Beyond

The next step in your journey to mastering the art of Amazon Products is to take the Fundamentals Course!

PPC Entourage founder Mike Zagare will teach you the ropes, starting with the core basics of understanding your data, and will walk you through how to create winning campaigns, how to expand upon them and drive more traffic to your listings, and the best ways optimize them so you can get rid of wasteful ad spend. All of this, and so much more, can be done all within Entourage, and we’ll show you the exact steps to take to get there.

We will also be adding new content and strategies to the course over time. The Fundamentals Course is a great place to master PPC skills or to freshen up on what you’ve already learned.

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This PPC Entourage Blueprint is provided as is without any guarantees. In association with the product, Plutus Inc/PPC Entourage makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to guarantees of its success. Use of the product and/or suggested strategies by a user is at the user’s risk.