✔ Amazon PPC Optimization Tips & Tricks with Destaney Wishon

by Tomer

January 8, 2021

Tomer [00:00:00] What’s up, guys, this is going to be a very cool video that I (SourcingMonster) made with Destiny Wishon an Amazon PPC expert, we’re talking about Amazon PPC optimization.

So make sure that you watch the entire video so you can get all of these actionable tips and you’ll have a lot of value by watching everything.

Now, before we’re getting into the video, make sure that you subscribe to the channel and you click the bell.

So for every new video that I release, you can get updates notified and keep yourself up to date.

Tomer [00:00:36]  OK, we have today a really important guest, the CEO, and co-founder of Better AMS Destiny, Wishon, pro in amazon PPC optimization.

She’s very knowledgeable and shares so much value in the Amazon FBA community. And I’m sure she’ll provide a ton of value in this video as well.

To those that didn’t hear about you. Could you share who you are and your background?

Destaney Wishon [00:01:04] Yeah, of course. And thank you so much for having me. So as mentioned, I am co-founder and CEO of Better AMS.

We are an Amazon advertising agency focusing on scaling kind of on platform initiatives for brands.

Destaney Wishon [00:01:18] I personally came from a background of working primarily with vendors and based in Bentonville Arkansas, which is the home of  Walmart. So every vendor is in my back door.

So I got started working for those brands. And it’s kind of funny because our name is Better AMS because as you know, back in the old day, Amazon ads used to be called AMS for vendors.

So that’s kind of how we got started, got rolling, primarily focusing on the branded side of that. And then we combined our knowledge for sellers to help them scale their own platform and to compete with all the big name players.

Tomer [00:01:50] Yeah, that’s cool. How you would say like things are going as far as PPC this season comparing, you know, previous years. Conversion rates cost per click competition just in general.

Destaney Wishon [00:02:06] Yeah, I would say it’s going amazing, primarily because Amazon rolled out so many new ad types for us this year.

So although in certain brands and certain categories, we did see big name players move their budgets from in-store brick and mortar to Amazon, which one hundred percent made things a little bit more competitive.

If you’re in those categories. Amazon has tried to diversify that some by rolling out sponsored brands videos, store spotlight, custom image, news sponsored display re-marketing types of ads.

So all of those have been amazing and it really allowed us to have kind of a first-mover advantage this year.

Tomer [00:02:42] Yeah, yeah. I also saw it on my accounts, like all of these features, all these tools, I think it’s advantage to those that are on top of things.

And I was surprised, even like big brands and sellers, they don’t really try those new things as quick as they should.

So, you know, for everything that comes out, I think that everyone should just try it small, see how it works and just scale it if it works.

Of course. OK, so I have a couple of questions for you if it’s OK. So this is a topic that I don’t hear PPC experts talking about, but it’s super, super important, in my opinion, to your PPC campaign success, which is like organization and workflow, how your workflow is like looking like? How do you keep things organized?

You know, big accounts that have like, 40, 50 products and hundreds of campaigns. For me, I find it and for other people, I find it very challenging to keep everything organized and knowing, OK, I worked on those campaigns or I worked on these.

And when should I work on those campaigns again? So I don’t overall optimize and really keeping track of history like this is I try to find even tools for that, but it’s kind of missing there.

Destaney Wishon [00:04:03] Yeah, 100 percent. So there’s a few things to kind of build off that, one is I would recommend learning bulk optimization or bulk uploads in order to optimize your accounts.

That way you can clearly see when you made optimizations and you can make them in a very organized cadence.

So if you’re not using software, learn bulks, that way you can do everything at once based on your rules and formulas and see it incredibly clearly.

So that’s kind of a great way to dip your toes into that side of the business. If you are doing it just by hand, it becomes 90 times more complex.

So what we recommend doing is we personally do not run multiple ad groups because then you have to click into a campaign to see all of the actual data.

We do one campaign, one ad group, and we typically only have one ASIN. That way we can have our campaign name, clearly state everything that’s going on without having to then click on the campaign and see a whole different set of data, multiple ad groups that could be performing completely different.

So we would set up a very structured campaign name, which is one of the most important things you can do with Amazon PPC optimization.

For example, we would have the ASIN, maybe the product identifier for selling soccer balls, and be a blue soccer ball, ASIN, ad type, SP, SD, SP and then whatever we’re targeting.

So that really helps us personally keep things organized because then we can easily search by ASIN, types of products, ad type and then strategy- video and search, VIS, something like that.

Tomer [00:05:37] Yeah, that’s super important. I actually find it, not weird, but many people are not really following this structure.

Maybe, you know, not like yours, but you know, at least put the product name, the type of the campaign and all of that.

But what you mention about the ad group make a lot of sense actually.

I don’t really follow this process, but it makes a lot of sense because you can optimize without really, like wasting time getting into the campaign’s levels.

But how you keep track on, OK, we worked on this product and we optimized those like, sponsored product campaign for that specific ASIN and we want to test it like you test every like week, every two days, how you monitor,

OK, you want to try, like, optimizing the video, how you actually change , like check whether the changes you made make sense or you just like check the performance and optimize it like that.

amazon ppc optimization

Destaney Wishon [00:06:34] Yeah, I mean, we personally have our own bid optimization software, which makes a little bit more complex, but when you’re managing by hand, you can check and you should be optimizing at least two to three times a week based off different time frames.

Destaney Wishon [00:06:50] So I always recommend typically looking at your last 30 days of data.

Now, this is excluding this recommendation during the holidays where consumer habits are completely different 30 days ago than they are now because of the delivery dates.

But typically, we recommend looking at like the last 30 days of data because the attribution fluctuates, don’t include the last 48 hours of data and then make changes two to three times a week.

So go in and just optimize every single campaign in every keyword-based off your certain rules that regulations like if you’re trying to get a 40 percent ACOS, you should know how to do that through foundational bid optimization, because bid ops is the number one most important thing you can do to drive success.

More about Amazon PPC Optimization

Destaney Wishon [00:07:31] I mean, we’ve had keywords. I’ve gotten a hundred clicks in one order, yet they were still profitable because they had the appropriate bid.

So I think that’s something that is kind of slept on in the Amazon community, is they’re too busy looking at like clickthrough rate and impressions when at the end of the day, your bid is what matters probably the most.

Tomer [00:07:54] Sometimes also, I see it a lot in my campaigns like good keywords that weren’t before they suddenly like, you know, they’re not getting impressions and clicks.

And, you know, when things when things are good, you know, just keep doing what you do. But when you have issues, you start to dig. And one of the things I suggest like to check, is to really dig and see, like maybe last 90 days what you get sales for? What you get clicks for? And if you see suddenly, like last seven days, you’re not getting any clicks for these.

Tomer [00:08:24] It’s something that you you could look at further, you know. Yeah, but great, great tips. OK, the next question is that I know it’s not really related to PPC.

It’s something that I feel I struggle with a lot, especially now when I’m working from home, but as a successful entrepreneur, how do you deal with working from home and burnout, trying to complete many things, how you like, balance your personal life and work?

I personally thinking of moving out to like an office, small office so I can be productive and I’m curious to hear your take about it.

Destaney Wishon [00:09:01] Yeah, so this is a fantastic question, I will say one of the biggest things I personally did was set up a dedicated space for work.

So in my last apartment, it was five hundred square feet and I had turned my living room into an office. And I constantly struggled mentally with separating work and life because I would get home and I had a desk in the middle of my living room.

So it’s like I would just sit down and start working and it just mentally was incredibly draining.

Destaney Wishon [00:09:31] So I actually moved to a new apartment specifically so I can have a dedicated office space. If you don’t have that opportunity, try to set up a corner in another room or just one area where you can walk out.

And I’m the same way I have the secondary room in my apartment, but five o’clock, six o’clock at night, almost every single time I bring my computer downstairs and work downstairs just because it helps me separate and I could focus on other aspects.

So that’s one of the biggest things and it’s hard during covid on top of it because we’re not leaving the house near as much as any of us used to, but trying to force yourself to kind of step away and take a break because there’s always something you could be working on.

It never ends when you’re an entrepreneur.

Tomer [00:10:11]  Never ends, and it’s addictive. Like you, you have, like, success and you just want more of it and just feels good and then you just want to keep working.

But, I find like, I have a dedicated room to, like, as an office but still I feel that I’m constantly working. You know, I don’t watch TV anymore. I don’t do anything, like, I just work on, you know, it’s a big problem because to be honest, I think that if I focus on less things, I could actually make more, just harder, I have to find the balance, just was curious to hear your take about it.

Another question is, as a PPC agency, I’m sure that you guys like driving a lot of external traffic through your Amazon listings. With that being said, attribution is a big part of how you optimize like your ads and traffic from those like platforms.

What is a simple strategy you recommend to anyone watching this video to get started with, like Google ads, Facebook, Pinterest? Without..Because what I found on here from a lot of people that, OK, let’s do Facebook ads, they just drive driving directly to the release thing and they can’t really know whether it’s working or not.

Yes, we have the you know, the new Amazon attribution thing, but it’s kind of like funky, doesn’t really work well. What do you think about, like, all this? Like the whole topic?

Destaney Wishon [00:11:40] So we have played around with attribution as well, and, you know, they’re rolling out new Betas for new APIs and I personally don’t think the platforms where it needs to be yet.

Destaney Wishon [00:11:51] So we stopped managing it for.. We never fully managed it for all of our brands, but we tested it with quite a few brands. And then we just ran into misalignment with a lot of data.

So we kind of pushed it to the backburner for now and I definitely think it’s going to be something that needs to be looked at in the future once it gets better.

But when I have brands that are coming to me asking these questions and looking at different ways that they can start aligning and tracking their data, My biggest recommendation is to start small and test small.

If you start 20 different external campaigns, you’re not going to know what’s driving your results because we just don’t have insights to a lot of data.

So I always recommend kind of start really small, put a few dollars into different things, test, and once you see kind of that uptick, go from there.

But until the attribution is made just a little bit better, I think it’s going to be way too complex to align the data.

Tomer [00:12:46] Yeah, just like.. I even myself, last year, I had good success with Pinterest, so I was like because, you know, the clicks there are not that expensive as like Facebook or Google Ads and, you know, I started to launch the campaigns and started to see lift in sales.

But then I also increased the the budget on Amazon. And it’s hard to really figure out, OK, where it’s coming from. And yes, you know, it’s all about numbers and data.

So it’s confusing. What do you think about like, I know many people like using Amazon affiliate accounts to generate like a specific affiliate link. And with that link you have like actually better data that you can get with Amazon attribution.

Destaney Wishon [00:13:35] Oh, really? We haven’t played around with any of that too much since we only manage kind of Amazon and then DSP, so we haven’t touched that too much.

But that’s something that always comes up because our brands are working with influencers, but they’re doing different models similar to that. So that’s really good to know.

Tomer [00:13:52] Yeah. How do you approach, like, new things? Let’s say Amazon rolled out like a new type of campaign, new type of feature.

How you like approach it because, you know, you have a responsibility on, you know, people’s account. You can’t just, like, go crazy with it. So how do you actually what is the strategy that you guys have? I’m very curious.

Destaney Wishon [00:14:16] So I mentioned this with attribution, but my number one philosophy and one of the number one benefits of Amazon is there are no minimums typically when it comes to everything we have on a self server outside.

So I always recommend if you see something new and shiny on account, start with a low bid and low budget. If we have a five day budget and a 17 cent bid and we don’t get any impressions, it doesn’t hurt anything.

All we need to do is increase our bid, maybe test thirty seven cents. Forty seven cents. And if it’s a five dollar day budget, it’s low cost as you collect data. So we basically run that philosophy of everything.

We do test small. And then as we start collecting data, maybe we’re doing the new sponsored display, remarketing on a 30 day look back window. We’re going to start that campaign and collect data over a few days and it’s probably not going to have a 10 percent akos.

Amazon rolls things out really, really quickly and then makes updates as they go. It’s one of their philosophies is like failing fast, like Phil Knight. So I think we should all run with that as well and know that we shouldn’t expect a five percent ACOS in the beginning.

So put a small amount of budget and then know it’s going to get better over time. And we’re going to have first mover advantage because we are in there collecting data before anyone else.

Tomer [00:15:32] Yeah, yeah, I agree. I also like upgrades like that too. Like you said, you have you have no risks. You start small, scale up a little bit every day. You check the results and optimize.

What is your prediction for 2020 as far as like Amazon and especially with PPC of the features like, you know, it’s not like before like clicks were way, way cheaper, like in every platform, you know, every new platform that comes in the clicks and because not many sellers are there yet, the clicks are cheap and then it goes up the competition now, it’s stronger and stronger.

What do you foresee for the future?

Destaney Wishon [00:16:15] I think that in order to diversify, Amazon’s going to continue to have new rollouts, we saw a lot of really exciting opportunities in 2020 and I don’t think they’re going to slow down anytime soon.

Displays probably going to be a very large area focus. You know, the way Amazon views the consumer funnel is DSP is up here for their larger brands.

Typically a lot of brand awareness focus. But with DSP and with sponsored display, we do have the ability to have more control than most people realize.

So as we saw in the last four or five weeks, Amazon rolled out sponsored display remarketing, which allows us to remarket anyone who views our listing or anyone who views a competitor’s listing.

Yeah, on a 30 day lookback window, which is something that’s only been available for DSP. So I think Amazon’s going to continue to roll out more display ad types for us to dip our toes in.

Some accounts do have the ability to re market with cost per impression model. It’s one of those betas that they roll out and pull back in depending on your account.

So I think display in general is going to be a really large focus for Amazon because it’s going to allow us to diversify, spend even more because sponsored brands, sponsored products can be more competitive.

I mean, sponsored brands has three placements on page one typically and three to four on the product detail page.

That’s not a lot of ad inventory. So if you’re trying to compete against Coke or Nestlé or some of these big name players, it’s going to get expensive. So I think that’s going to be a big area focus.

And then sponsored brands video is going to be scaled more because right now inventory is limited on that. You have one placement on page one.

So I think we’re going to have the opportunity to drive store pages, planing pages and then probably show up on the product detail page.

Tomer [00:17:52] Yeah, you know, you mentioned the sponsored brand video, what I find with my products that, you know, if Amazon, like, you know, they see some good conversions and they feel that your ad is good for certain keywords, will keep you there, there is no way to like, It’s very hard to take someone away from that placement.

What is your strategy or if you have any any idea on how to move someone that is constantly there, you know, without, like, going crazy, maybe just going crazy with bids and then slow down?

Like, what is your take about it? 

Destaney Wishon [00:18:27] At the end of the day, one of the most important metrics almost always be your bid.

So for one keywood, for example, one of our brands, we pay over twenty seven dollars a click in order to win that first placement.

So what we do is we put that keyword in it’s own campaign, isolate it so I can control exactly how much budget I’m giving to this keyword and I’ll pay twenty seven dollars and I’ll show up almost 100 percent of the time because at the end of the day, what really matters is your bid.

Now, if you’re trying to bid on something that’s completely not relevant, as you said, relevancy will weight that and probably outride your bid.

But at the end of the day, if it’s a relevant keyword, then your bid is going to be one of the number one things that’s going to get you there.

Now, if it comes down to a scenario where you have two people both bidding like four dollars on a placement, the one that converts better and has a higher click through rate will probably win it for slightly cheaper.

So, for example, we have three products, all in the same category with slight variations, all bidding on the same keyword. Our cheapest bid for it is thirteen dollars and then a few of our other products, it cost twenty seven dollars to win it.

So there is variance, like you said, in relevancy. But at the end of the day, your bids can be one of the most important things to do to win that placement.

Tomer [00:19:40] Yeah, but it’s not like scary like bidding twenty seven dollars. I’m sure the ACOS there is very high. The strategy just bidding so you can get enough sales for that keyword and then slowly decreasing the bids?

Destaney Wishon [00:19:54] So this brand specifically is in brick and mortar and retail and they have really high lifetime value. So we have the budget to kind of justify it.

So we spend incredibly high just to prevent our competitors because we know that we have a really high lifetime value in returning consumers.

So if we could prove that those consumers are then going to return and continue to buy our products, that new to brand market is all the more important.

So we do make sure that we’re analyzing the new to brand returning. If it was a one time product, I probably would not bid that.

Destaney Wishon [00:20:29] Yeah. Oh, OK, that makes sense. I’m like my products are kind of the lower price range. So for me, doing something like that doesn’t make sense to many other Amazon sellers.

What is your like?  You mentioned before that use like bid optimization tools. I drive a couple of tools out there. I really like Perpetua, but at the end of the day, I feel that, you know, I know what I’m doing and I want that control.

And, you know, it’s not like an agency that they have, like many clients, like thousands of campaigns maybe. It’s hundreds of campaigns and I can still manage it myself.

And I felt that the control part is, just like when you have like when you give like a tool that have an AI to decide for you and it doesn’t really still there are some like metrics that they can’t really see.

I’m getting actually better results than the feeling. And I give it like a good couple of months to run to see, you know, I wanted to come forward and point that, OK, I don’t know if I’m doing a good job or not.

Let’s test things out and see whether the software will do a better job. But what you come into, like small sellers, not agencies, of course, you have to manage like thousands of campaigns.

You need to have those tools in place.

Destaney Wishon [00:21:51] Yeah, so in general, when it comes to software versus management, things like that, the first question I usually ask is how much time do you have to invest in your Amazon advertising?

Especially if you’re looking at scaling and growing? That’s kind of the first question. If someone tells me, oh, I have like an hour a week, I’m like, you should probably look at a software for optimization purposes and then use that hour to invest on expanding all of your campaign types.

There’s at least 20 different campaigns you can launch per ASIN if you’re fully looking at setting a strong foundation, if you have appropriate bid management behind it, all of those could potentially still be profitable with a good product.

So that’s kind of the number one thing I always ask is how much time do you have to invest in Amazon PPC optimization? Because at the end of the day, you’re building a brand.

So it is fantastic to have that immediate control over your Amazon advertising.

But at the end of the day, you kind of need that blended approach of having some type of automation and whether that’s an internal macro, whether that’s a software to help you with the bit optimization and then that can save you time that you can invest in keyword research, competitor research, product targeting, things like that.

So I kind of recommend the blended approach. And when I say blended, again, that’s not necessarily a software.

I always recommend learning macros for your bit optimization because going in by hand and optimizing, let’s say, five hundred keywords is probably low in level for a decent size account.

So optimizing five hundred keywords three times a week can get, can get to be a lot if you don’t know macros.

Tomer [00:23:24] Yeah. Yeah. I need specifically a tool that will give me like recommendations and I would you know, I want to improve them. That’s I think the balance for me because I’m doing like everything manually.

Tomer [00:23:40] I spend like an hour to hour and a half every day just optimizing everything. Yeah. But, you know, for me right now, it’s working. Any softwares or like that you recommend that you try then new…

Destaney Wishon [00:23:59] We personally done use. Again, on the fundamental level, even for you, I recommend using bulk uploads. That’s going to be one of the best things you can do because you can download a bulk file, create your own formulas.

And there’s really basic formulas out there that are super easy, like, for example, we always are. I personally use, if I’m going through by hand, just making quick adjustments.

I’ll do sales times target ACOS if they give me my maximum spend, divide that spend by the number of clicks I have and that’s going to tell me what bid should have been based off that conversion rate.

So you can build those things into Excel sheets and then create your own rule based macros. And then it takes three minutes to download a book and re upload.

So I always recommend starting there. But for software we don’t outsource anything. So I don’t have a ton of experience. But I would say to take that one feature they have that aligns best with your business.

At the end of the day, 90 percent of softwares are doing pretty much the same thing in terms of scraping a search term report and optimizing bids. But then you have people like Perpetua, which has a video in search creator.

That’s an amazing asset for people with lots of ASINS. You have Pacvue, which is combining all the knowledge from all the platforms and creating an omni channel software and it aligns with DSP.

Then you take a metric, some of the big name people in the space, you have all of those. So it’s like don’t just settle for pricing, look for that additional asset. That’s something you really need.

Tomer [00:25:23] Sure. I agree. Yeah, that’s a lot of value that we got from this call. And I’m sure, like, I think one big thing that to work with bulk uploads, book files and getting through it, learn it and see it.

You have to really learn and keep trying and get out of your comfort zone. But I really appreciate you taking the time, being a guest here.

And I’m sure that people would love watching the tips and get a ton of value. I hope that I can have another call with you in the future.

Destaney Wishon [00:26:01] Of course, thank you so much.

Tomer [00:26:04] Now, before we wrap it up, if people would want to get more info about your services or about you, how they can contact you?

Destaney Wishon [00:26:11] Yeah, for sure. So I’m always trying to post some type of helpful information.

I’m pretty much all platforms Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. And if you guys are interested in what our agency does, Better AMS, you can go to BetterAMS.com and check us out.

Tomer [00:26:26] Yeah, thank you. All right, guys, Happy Holidays Destiny.

Destaney Wishon [00:26:30] Thank you!

Hope you learned something new today and implement and testing the ideas we mentioned in your Amazon PPC optimization strategy!

About the author

My name is Tomer, and I founded Sourcing Monster to share proven tips and methods that I use every day for my Amazon business to provide value and growth for you as well as you journey through your own business!

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