How to use Amazon Product Ads to your advantage

In my last article I spoke about best practice Amazon product page optimisation for gaining higher rankings.

That’s fine if you have an Amazon Seller Account but for many Australian businesses it’s hard to create a fully operational Amazon Seller Account if you don’t have a US or EU bank account.

But there is another way to get your products listed on Amazon – which I feel is a lean way to test the market before jumping through all the hoops to get a US Bank Account and shipping your products to Amazon for fulfilment (which I recommend).

As some of you might be aware, I have a little ecommerce business on the side, selling a sound reducing sleep mask: http://www.hibermate.com. It’s my laboratory; I try out all sorts of online marketing tactics to gauge effectiveness before making recommendations to clients.

After I wrote last month’s article I went ahead and set up an Amazon Product Ad to see what would happen and so far, the results are pretty compelling. I’ll explain the results in a minute; first I’ll quickly walk you through the steps to get going.

To get started, you simply go to the home page of Amazon.com and find the link at the bottom of the page saying “Advertise Your Products”:

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You’ll get $75 in free clicks, so you’d be crazy not to take advantage and give this a go. In my case, I’ve set click costs to 0.45c (USD).

Note: If you’re selling the exact same products that other Amazon sellers have and you can’t match their prices, I don’t recommend Amazon Product Ads. If you have products which are unique to Amazon, then go for it.

Once you’ve been accepted (which happens pretty much instantly), you can login to your account and start uploading products, either by a csv spread sheet or manually (which is what I did given I only have one product!). Again, it’s probably best to start lean and small and get a couple of your best sellers up.

Before you set the product Ads ‘live’ I strongly recommend that you get your tracking set up properly; Amazon allows you to modify tracking parameters up so you can see how things are going in your Google Analytics account.

You’ll see a link in your account on the left hand navigation which says “Link Macros”; click that.

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Click the ‘edit’ button to manually update the standard tracking parameters so you can gauge the performance of your listings in Google Analytics; here I’ve manually added utm_source etc. into the fields:

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Once this is completed, set your product ads live and keep an eye on things for the first few days.

Your Product Ads look almost exactly like any other product listed on Amazon except for a small line of text saying “Available at external website”

Here’s my product as it’s currently listed on Amazon (right now on Page 15 for the search term ‘sleep mask’ – i.e. buried deep!):

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When you click the result and visit the page, the call to action is a link which says “Available at external website”, then “Visit this site” on the button, so it’s pretty clear to people that they’re about to leave the safe, walled garden of Amazon:

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Okay, to the results so far; remembering that my product has little or no visibility in terms of where it ranks for highly trafficked key phrases. Also note that in your Amazon Seller Account, there’s no way of seeing how many impressions your product page receives, just the amount of (0.45c) clicks that have occurred on the “visit this site” button.

In Analytics the results are modest but I think quite impressive when put in perspective: April 1st to April 30th 2013 – 374 visits from product Ad and revenue of $1,320 dollars for a modest click spend of $168. I’ll take that ROI any day of the week.

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Other things to note: On average the site gets 12.5 visits from Amazon each day. I estimate the product page is getting a Click Through Rate of about 5% (guestimate?) which means the page is probably receiving about 200 impressions per day. Given the page is hardly visible, that tells you there are a lot of people actively searching and digging around on Amazon for products.

When I looked at the multi-channel funnel reports in Google Analytics, the revenue is actually a bit higher with assisted conversions from Amazon adding another $300 or so.

Next I’ll up the click spend to try and get the page to rank higher in the search results – the ROI is definitely there!

Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

 

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