amazon text ads

How to Quickly(!) Set Up Amazon Text Ads

In Amazon Text Ads, General, PPC Advertising by Kirk Williams

amazon text adsIf you do PPC, you are probably aware of Amazon dropping their Product Ads offering last week. Of course, since they left all details on the backend, visible only to current advertisers, you may not know much more about it than that.

Here is what we know so far (screenshot pulled from this Seller Central account page, 8/18/15):

amazon product ads discontinued announcement

This introduces Amazon Text Ads and the purpose of this article. I hope here to give a brief step-by-step introduction on setting up Amazon Text Ads in your Seller Central Account.

What is Amazon Text Ads?

As far as I can see with limited usage (under 1 week for me), Amazon Text Ads is extremely promising. It is basically a targeted display campaign(** this has been confirmed as incorrect by Amazon’s Ad guy, see Edit below). Think of your targeting, not in terms of keywords, but in related products Your text ads will show up where Amazon deems necessary on product pages and in its SERPs. Because of this, CPCs are ridiculously low so far. I’m seeing an average of $0.10. Got 500 clicks? You spent $50 (!!!!!).

I can’t speak to profitability at this time because it’s so new, but as with anything attribution will be important here. Because these will be showing with related products, it’s likely that your traffic will be relatively high in quality, even if they don’t purchase directly at this point.

**EDIT 8/19/15: Thanks to Matt Umbro’s great post on this at PPCHero, Amazon Text Ads Are Here – What Does It Mean For You? He points out that these are more like Search campaigns than I originally thought. On the other hand, they do show on product pages so I wondered if Amazon was mapping things to the content on the page, but Ping from Amazon ads verified that these are *always* search campaigns. In that case, the low CPC is even more astonishing!

This makes more sense when I re-evaluated an Amazon product page URL, it includes the search keyword in it! (I never noticed this before): http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-Digital-Stainless-46201/dp/B0041A5H5S/ref=sr_1_2?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1439990358&sr=1-2&keywords=coffee+maker. This would make sense to me how, even for product pages sent as links with no search, the original search keyword is able to remain with the product page and thus show the ads as search ads. On the other hand, products not visited from a search page (obviously) do not have the keyword in the URL. James Svoboda noted they probably use the product name or title to match to ads (like Google Search Partners). If this is happening though, then it is not technically Search in my mind!

amazon text ads discussion on twitter

Remarketing Idea

One idea I have right off the bat is to use Amazon with your remarketing strategy. Set up a list to capture all Amazon CPC visits. Then remarket to them and see where that gets you. If my suspicion is correct and these are more highly qualified visits than generic Adwords display campaigns, this could prove to be a successful strategy.

Who Can Get In On the Beta?

According to correspondence I received from a rep, you cannot get a beta unless it is showing in your current account. This is from an email I received on 8/14/15:
amazon text ads beta approval

Where Do Text Ads Show?

According to this Seller Central help article, they show ads appearing in the following places:

  • On product detail pages
  • Below search results

where amazon text ads are shown

Begin Account Setup

If you do login into your account and you *are* eligible to advertise with the Beta, you should see something like this:

Manage Amazon Text Ads Beta

After which you can either manually create a campaign or import from Adwords:
Create an amazon text ads Campaign

This is where it gets super easy.

Setup Steps to Take (Just Import from Adwords)

  1. Head over to Adwords Editor
  2. Select “Account > Export > Export selected campaigns and ad groups”
  3. Choose the Search campaigns you want to add to Amazon Text Ads & save the file as a csv
  4. Add tracking params on for Amazon (keep reading below for an easy step-by-step way to do this if you don’t have an easy URL software).
  5. Open Amazon Text Ads, Upload the csv file you saved with your Amazon tracking URLs
  6. Wait. No seriously… it takes a LONG time.
  7. Once it finishes uploading, wait some more. Seriously it takes a LOOONG time.
  8. Edit the Campaign budget if necessary (default is $150/day).
  9. Ensure everything is correct, ads, keywords, bids, etc.
  10. You’re Done!

That’s basically it at this time. Remember, think of this more like a Display campaign and you should be good with expectations (and those of your boss/client!).

My Manual Process for Bulk Updating My Amazon URLs

I created this in the past for Bing Ads before they released their auto-tagging. I’m glad I kept it around! Unless you have a 3rd party tracking software that does this for you, I think you will be very thankful for the following steps! Also, I make no effort to present myself as an Excel expert. If you know of an even simpler way to do this, please tweet at me (@PPCKirk) so I can simplify my process as well!

Step #1: Import CSV from Adwords – Using Google Adwords Editor, choose the campaign(s) you want to import to Amazon and download the CSV.

Step #2 – Create Blank Columns – Create 4 new, blank columns in spreadsheet to the right of “Final URL” column.

Step #2: Add Google Analytics URL Tracking Parameters – Add this formula into the column directly to the right of the Final URL column and apply to all rows. Ensure that formula is correct for each spreadsheet since columns & rows will shift. =CONCATENATE(AL2,”?utm_source=amazon&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term={keyword}&utm_content=”,S2,”&utm_campaign=”,A2)

Step #3: Remove Extra Columns – Create new column to the right and copy concatenated column, then paste in new column as “Paste Special” and check “value”. Delete previous row (formula row).

Step #4: Remove Blank Rows – Create new column to the right of current column from step 4, Add this formula. Copy and paste to all rows: >=IF(ISBLANK(AL2),””,AM2)

Step #5: Paste As Non-Formula Values – Create new row to the right, Copy all of original row, paste special, check “value”. Then delete original formula row.

Step #6: Replace Spaces in URLs – [replace spaces in URL’s with %20] Replace ALL: [space] Replace With: %20

Step #7: Save & Upload to Amazon