Time-Stamped Show Notes:
• 02:13 – Maximizing internal traffic.
• 04:13 – How Entourage Software help Amazon sellers maximize their internal traffic.
• 08:18 – The importance of optimizing a listing improving PPC and CTR percentage.
• 10:05 – Clickthrough rate and campaigns.
• 13:30 – ACoS and ad spend.
• 16:52 – Negotiating and building relationships with suppliers.
• 19:27 – Difference between ACoS and true ACoS.
• 23:56 – Auto campaigns and ASINs..
• 27:47 – Maximum or optimal amount of keywords per campaign.
• 30:27 – Methods for kickstarting impressions on keywords.
• 34:00 – Mistake Amazon sellers making with PPC right now..
Resources from This Interview:
• PPC Entourage
• Helium 10
• Viral Launch
• PPC Entourage Fundamentals Course
• PPC Entourage Blueprint Series
• PPC Entourage Free Grader
• PPC Entourage Facebook Group
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• Subscribe to Actualize Freedom on iTunes
Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.
Full Transcript of The Episode
Danny: [00:00:18] This is the Actualize Freedom podcast. The no-bullshit podcast about selling on Amazon and lifestyle optimization. I’m your co-host Danny Carlson and today we have a very special guest, the self-proclaimed recovering physical therapist that started online in 2015 hustling boxes upon boxes of action figures retail arbitrage on eBay. In 2016, he became obsessed with Amazon FBA and started his own pet products business. You might be able to see his famous cat in the background there with his partner and he quickly scaled that to 50K per month, 250 k per month and in 2017 at around 4 million dollars in sales. From his experience in Amazon, he’s also been well one of the top PPC software companies, PPC entourage, where his mission is to free up valuable time, maximize return on ad spent for Amazon sellers. So without further ado, I’d like to welcome to the show, Mike’s Zigare. How are you doing man?
Mike: [00:01:13] Hey man doing awesome. That was some introduction. Thank you so much for that guys. Really excited to be here and can’t wait to share what I know with you guys and go from there.
Danny: [00:01:23] Awesome it’s great to have you on the show man. So in a previous episode of Actualize Freedom, we went into the basics of PPC so Mike is a real PPC expert so we’re going to be grilling him so to speak and getting in to the real nitty gritty tactics and stuff like that. So if you want to go over a lot of the more basic stuff, be sure to check out the previous episode where we’re going to know like all the terminology. So you have a basic understanding of PPC. So the first thing I want to go into here Mike is maximizing your internal traffic. So one thing that I know you’ve said before is internal traffic from Amazon is a real 80-20. Rather than driving a bunch of traffic from Facebook Ads or Google AdWords, the biggest leverage you can have in your business is driving traffic within Amazon and leveraging that. Is that correct?
Mike: [00:02:13] Yeah. So people on Amazon are shopping for products and they’re ready to buy. So why not serve your ads up right to the people that are hungry and ready to purchase. I am definitely a believer in getting outside traffic to Amazon. We work on that as well every single day. But what I’ve found from my experience is that the more time and the more effort we put on internal traffic whether that be through Amazon Sponsored Products, headline’s search, even product display, whatever we can do to maximize that internal traffic, that’s where we start. And then once that’s capped out, which I don’t think it ever really can get capped out because there’s a billion ways to say the same thing. So there’s a billion ways to keep on tweaking that. But once you’ve got a good handle on that let’s say, then go over to external strategies to get more traffic to Amazon, which they very much liked by the way. But yeah for sure. Maximize internal first and then go external.
Danny: [00:03:06] Awesome and with your pet products business, the one that’s doing that did 4 million sales last year, what percentage are your revenue is from Amazon compared to off of Amazon.
Mike: [00:03:16] About 95 percent and we are working on getting that to about 80-20. So we have a lot of sales on Amazon. We have a lot of international sales. We have a kick ass Shopify store and currently we’re working with the guy, Kurt Elster, who is optimizing our site for CTR percentage. Basically we’re getting a lot of people to the site but they’re not adding to cart, which is kind of taking me off. We’re actually profitable on our site but we want to really scale that out. So that is our goal of 2018 is audience building and getting more sales and skewing it more towards the Shopify side of things and then maintaining and of course still growing the Amazon side of things as well.
Danny: [00:03:59] Wow 95 percent on Amazon. That is absolutely huge. So you do also have the PPC Entourage Software. How does your Entourage Software help Amazon sellers maximize their internal traffic that 95 percent?
Mike: [00:04:13] So back in 2016 on my white board, I had things that I wanted to accomplish and basically the number one thing in that list was to learn sponsored products. And as I was learning sponsored products, we went from 50k a month all the way up to 250k a month just by trying out these new strategies and techniques. I just dug into it and learned a lot about it and I realize that this is an awesome way to maximize internal traffic strategies. Now the game has changed quite a bit. There’s a lot more competition and that’s what we’re going to share with you today how to overcome some of those obstacles, but basically maximizing internal traffic allowed us to scale our business in a significant way and PPC Entourage is the tool that we’ve developed and we used to do that in about half an hour a week where I used to spend about 12 hours a week doing that at Starbucks which is well worth it. It was like research and development for Entourage and we have the blueprint all those kinds of things that have helped a lot of Amazon sellers. But you know now we spend time doing other things. So half an hour to an hour week max is all we recommend with PPC. It doesn’t have to be an overkill situation.
Danny: [00:05:21] Awesome so in terms of like actual tactical stuff, what does the software actually do like automate some certain things to help save time for Amazon sellers?
Mike: [00:05:31] Yeah well first it follows very closely with the blueprint strategy that we’ve put together. So not that you have to use a blueprint strategy if you use our trust, you can use any strategy that you want whatsoever but the tabs inside go basically by listing optimization. So that’s how you can go about improve your conversions where you put in your profit margins and various things to improve your conversions on Amazon. Next is campaign optimization and inside campaign optimization where it used to take a long time to optimize. Now you can do it in a few minutes. It will adjust bid prices automatically. We have a bulk edit mode where it edits everything all at once, which is super important. I’d love to share the strategy with you. We actually reduced our ads spent from 70k to 30k a month profitably using the bulk edit mode inside of PPC Entourage just a few months ago. Four months ago now. So you can do that in a matter of seconds. And also autopilot so you can set up campaign on autopilot and optimize on auto which is more for like the more advanced campaigns once you know exactly what you want for that campaign to recommend doing that. Also setting up new campaigns is essential. So you want to consistently do some research on new keywords and new search terms, Entourage will find that for you. And this is how we got that broad visibility across many categories. The exact strategy that I use in 2016. Now on entourage you could do in 10 seconds. It doesn’t take long to learn. So it’s a tool that just cuts down time and allows for broad reach and also allows you to save some money a lot potentially lots and lots and lots of money. You guys like Amazon will not save it for you. They want to make it so you have to go in there and be proactive. The other thing is if you’re not optimizing, and we’ll talk about this later, it’s more challenging now than it was in 2016 to scale the business. You have to know what you’re doing and how you’re optimizing and how to leverage PPC. You have to know things like CTR percentage how to optimize for relevancy, various things to get ahead of the game. And if you can spend about half an hour a week, I think that’s enough time to do it. You don’t have to go nuts like I said but the game has changed a little bit since 2016.
Danny: [00:07:43] Yeah. A lot more money being dumped in by these big companies. They’re slowly starting to realize that Amazon is nothing to be ignored any more. It’s a massive massive amount of their sales these days. So I want to touch on another thing that I know you subscribed to that you teach a lot of your PPC clients here, which is step 1: optimize a listing, step 2: get traffic. So having a listing optimization company myself, Kenji ROI, I understand obviously pouring more traffic onto your copy and listing can waste a bunch of money, but with PPC Entourage, how often you see sellers making this mistake without even knowing it and how do you help them out?
Mike: [00:08:18] Yeah like first and foremost having an optimized listing is now an absolute must and I fell into this sort of trap too. I reached out to Danny a few months ago to do our listings because our listings were, I would say, ancient looking. They just needed a hell of a lot of work and having a really optimized listing has helped dramatically improve our conversions and all that stuff which if you’re sending a lot of traffic to your listing that’s the best place to start. So crappy listing. You know you could start with PPC and see if it’s working but of course that’s going to improve everything if you have a better listing. And also having really good made images and really good titles and stuff that’s going to sell the click like I said CTR percentage is vital. So take a good honest look at what your product look likes on Amazon both on the web and on mobile and see and ask yourself, is this better than my competition. Why would somebody click on this versus my competition? Am I getting the click? The CTR percentage is super important. And Danny is much more well versed in optimizing images and titles than I am and I’m sure he has some amazing podcasts on that topic but that’s so important with PPC as well because you’re paying for that click and you’re paying for that visibility into it. And Amazon looks at that very much, clicks and CTR percentage.
Danny: [00:09:40] Oh totally. You touched on something really important here and that’s the clickthrough rate. So how can you use a clickthrough rate to determine whether or not you should actually optimize your listing. Like if you’re getting an x presenters clickthrough rate. I know it really depends on the product category. But what would you consider a really crappy clickthrough rate that’s a good sign that you need to do something about your listing or something?
Mike: [00:10:05] We recommend 0.4 to 0.8 as a decent CTR percentage. Anything less than 0.4 you know that’s when you can start optimizing the search terms related to the keywords that are bringing down that performance. If it’s way less than that like 0.08 or you know something really really crappy then yeah they probably isn’t going to serve you very well to keep that search term live. Now in terms of how the CTR percentage impacts your conversion, I think it’s more about the relevancy. If you have a very low CTR percentage you’re not relating well to your audience in some way whether it be poor image, poor headline, maybe your product is not matching up to the search terms you’re using. So while you’ll get some visibility for those search terms, it’s not a direct match and the CTR percentage is suffering because of that and you’re not getting the click. For me, the conversion percentage tells a lot more about how that listing is speaking to the audience where the clickthrough rate percentage is how is it presenting to the audience at least initially. So different strategies but anything less than 0.4 I would consider optimizing out those search terms and keywords and how we do that as we set up a filter looking for those search terms and keywords that are performing better on us at a CTR percentage level and then we look at the ones that have no orders. And really there’s no benefit of having a keyword or search term that has no orders at a crappy CTR percentage because it’s just going to drag down your performance. So then you can optimize and just get rid of them.
Danny: [00:11:42] Okay. And you see that like cleaning up the back clickthrough rates. Do you see that actually affecting the health of your campaign overall like just bringing up the average clickthrough rate and then your campaign will perform better overall?
Mike: [00:11:54] Yeah. Well I was on the phone last week with Amazon specifically asking them this question. And yes CTR percentage is that important because even if your overall campaign like your overall account rather with all of your campaigns, if you a few campaigns that are really crappy CTR percentage, that could drag down the performance of everything. So optimizing based on CTR percentage is becoming more and more powerful. It’s involved in many areas and many aspects of the ranking system with their auction. So it’s really really important. And if you do it, you may notice better ad placement. You may notice cheaper bids. You may notice more visibility stuff like that because when your ads are being shown, they’re getting the click versus other people who are showing ads but maybe with a crappier CTR percentage and they may end up having to pay more for the same click than you do because you’ve been optimizing.
Danny: [00:12:52] Yeah totally totally makes sense. If customers are not clicking on their product they see it all the time, that’s probably a good indicator to Amazon that your product is crappy and Amazon, at the end of the day, they want to make sales. They want to make the customer the most happy so they want to show that customer the product that they’re most likely to actually purchase because that’s how they make money right. So totally totally makes sense. Now let’s talk a little bit about I know you like to be really aggressive with ad spend as long as it’s within your ACoS target and just spending high to maintain organic rank. Can you briefly describe ACoS and why you like to be so aggressive with this?
Mike: [00:13:30] Okay. So couple couple of things. First, as long as it’s breakeven, I’m cool. I mean there’s going to be different strategies depending on what you’re doing. If you’re launching a product maybe it’s going to be above breakeven. That’s okay too for a given period of time. You get a lot of research about what’s connecting with your product but after that, once you’ve had a product for a while, for me it’s got to be breakeven or less. Right. Here’s how I see it. If you have decent terms with your supplier and I’m going to circle back to this. Terms with your supplier is important because you are going to break even on the products, but you have to buy them from your supplier and that costs money and you have to pay for the PPC and that costs money. But if you can delay some of those terms and pay your supplier like 60 days after it’s landed in Amazon, then it’s actually much much better and you can just scale that out. So what do I mean by that? Let’s say you pay your supplier upfront and all those goods are paid off and they’re still 60 days away from landing on Amazon, you’ve paid all that off. Right. And then you go and you’re aggressive with PPC, that’s a different game than if you haven’t paid off those units yet and you’re aggressive with PPC. You’re still at that 40 percent ACoS. It improves cash flow. What I’m saying is to not get into cashflow issues, work on terms with your supplier so that they’re in your benefit, in your favor. And then yeah as long as it’s 40 percent or less, that’s our sweet spot. We’ll scale that all day long. Because, here’s the thing too, you’re going to get organic sales from the result of your efforts. So you’re going to swarm your competition. You’re going to take sales away from your competition even though there’s plenty to go around. You’re going to get that sale over your competition. You’re going to get potentially organic placement. I did ask the guys last week if that’s a true thing. And they said they couldn’t really tell me but they hinted that it was. If you’re aggressive with PPC, you get more love on the organic side. The other thing is you potentially gain a customer and if you have a product line, that customers could purchase other products from you. Maybe next year or the year after or maybe as a gift or maybe have a complementary product you can sell them through an insert coupon code. So yeah breakeven is good. Just keep in mind the terms of your supplier. if you can spit it in your favor terms of the supplier and also put it on a credit card that you pay off because that’ll skew everything in your favor so that you’re getting points for the credit card and you’re delaying the payment on that and you’re also delaying the payment on the units you’re making money faster and having to lay out cash right away.
Danny: [00:16:09] Oh yeah, Mike. That’s some super golden nugget tips right there. Just one of the biggest things that are preached to new beginners is Amazon is well e-commerce in general is a cash flow game right. You run out of cash flow. You can’t fund your own growth and you’re dead in the water right. A lot of beginners they get in they have their 3000 dollars or the five thousand dollars or whatever for the first shipment and that’s all of their money. They don’t realize that they’re going to have to spend another 5000 dollars or another 10000 dollars to get their second shipment before they’ve actually received the money from Amazon for selling through their entire first shipment and all the other costs that go with that. So maybe you could share with us, do you have one or two really good tips for negotiating these kind of terms with suppliers?
Mike: [00:16:52] I actually really don’t. Other than just like being a really genuine nice you know upfront person and building a relationship with your supplier. And then, I think at least from my experience, once we had a couple of huge massive orders and they knew we were serious even not even huge massive. We’ll pay the 30-70 just like everybody else. 30 percent upfront, 70 percent went down with production. But I got to be honest, that’s not a great method for cash flow. It’s not at all. So your cash is tied up now for like 60 days. And that’s stifling for a business that’s starting to grow. So a great method would be if you can shop around and then let them know these are the terms that you’re looking for and then go back to the supplier that you really liked. I got this from Seth Stephens. So I don’t want to take credit for this. we had a podcast webinar and we were going over this. Then you can sort of come at a better position of power where you just let them know these are the terms that other suppliers have agreed to. We want to work with you. Can you match these terms and most likely they’ll say yes. And he recommended which we’re doing on the next order of 20 percent down, 30 percent done when done with production and then an additional 50 percent 60 days after it’s landed at Amazon is what we’re negotiating. This flips everything on its side and skews everything in our favor, which is huge in this business guys.
Danny: [00:18:31] Oh huge huge. Absolutely and I really love your answer to that because you know what it’s not a pretty answer. The first thing you said there is just building the relationship and just being really honest and friendly with your suppliers and not something like crazy manipulation trick that you just pull out and immediately get the stuff. Real relationships with real human beings over a long time. You know it’s not some fancy hack to the automatic get-what-you-want. It is not what people want to hear a lot of the time, but I think is probably the most powerful thing you can do. Building those real relationships. So kind of coming back to the ACoS thing here, there’s another thing you talked about called true ACoS which is ad spent overall organic revenue. Would you mind explaining to the audience how they can calculate that number for themselves? Why like how is it actually different from a regular ACoS and what you consider to be a healthy range for that?
Mike: [00:19:27] Sure. So true ACoS is the measurement of your ad spend relative to your organic and PPC sales. So you know if you go on Sellar Central and you see your ACoS, that’s telling you how much money you’re spending and how much money you’re making and the percentage that you’re spending relative to how much you are making is the ACoS. But if you add in another layer and you add in your organic sales to that number, then you get what’s called the true ACoS which is how much you’re spending on advertising compared to the whole pie. Because if you’re spending 40 percent on sponsored ads like 40 percent ACoS of normal sponsored ads and you think that’s not good. OK. Well maybe that’s breakeven for you but if your true ACoS is 10 percent, so you’re spending only 10 percent relative to the entire pie then you’re profitable then you know if your profit margins are 30 to 40 percent, your real profit margins after all your ad spend is 30 percent. So it’s important to know that because if you don’t know that then you don’t know what impact your ad spend dollars are having. And if you were to shut that down, you can easily see that maybe you’re saving money on ad spend, but how is it impacting the entire gross sales. All of these things come into play. So let me just rephrase that. True ACoS is the measurement of your your ad spend to your overall PPC and organic sales. We like to keep that at around 10 percent. Ours is like 9.7 percent. So even though we’re spending late 30 to 40 thousand dollars on ad spends, we’re cool with that because that’s only a fraction that’s bringing in sales and all that kind of stuff. And it’s only 9.7 percent relative to everything. I hope I explain that right. But Danny, do you have any more questions about that?
Danny: [00:21:17] Yes. How did you come to that number 10 percent. Is that based specifically off your you know your profit margin is 40 percent and then you use that to come to that 10 percent number for your true ACoS?
Mike: [00:21:29] Well that’s the number that we wanted to stay at. It could be different for everybody. If you have 60 percent profit margins and you want to go like gangbusters, you can make that number like 20, 30, 40 percent or you can start off with that higher true ACoS and then optimize your way down to about 10 percent. But we have a budget of about 10 percent that we’re putting towards our advertising. So we know if we get over that, we may tweak our daily budget a little bit to try to make that a little bit less. We might make some fine-tuned adjustments.
Danny: [00:22:02] I see. So it’s like a really good topline metric that you can just look at to get a really quick overview. Okay what percentage of my overall sales I’m actually spending on advertising and for different businesses is probably going to be a different number right. So based on your profit margin, 10 percent might be a lot or might be too little. Is that correct? You kind of just you see you’re calculating your profits at that 10 percent and you realize that that’s good for you and then that’s your benchmark true ACoS going forward?
Mike: [00:22:33] That’s our benchmark. Now let’s say you’re just starting out and you don’t have any organic sales. So all of your sales might be PPC. So your true ACoS is going to be much higher. It will be almost close to the sponsored products ACoS. But then over time, the beauty of the true ACoS is as you get more organic visibility, you want to see that number level out a little bit because obviously that’s your profit margin. That number is your profit margin. So if you can get it from initially starting out, if you can get it from like let’s say 30-40 percent down to 10 percent, now you have a 30 percent profit margin and you can scale that. You can scale that. And you know that the more you spend on that if you’re optimized out and you could potentially put more ad spend then it’ll stay at 10 percent because your gross revenue will go up hopefully in proportion with the amount of ad spend that you’re putting towards it and you can scale that out a little bit further.
Danny: [00:23:30] That’s awesome. Really really good info there. I know a lot of people they pay close attention to the ACoS but not the true ACoS. I really like that metric. So the next thing I want to talk about here is auto campaigns. So it’s a two-part question here. One, do you always have an auto campaign running? And then two, this a little bit more complex is ASINs. What is your process for stopping the auto campaign for showing ASINs that don’t perform?
Mike: [00:23:56] Okay so first part, do I always have an auto campaign running personally? Yes I do. I do for all products because they’ve been performing very well for us. And I see no reason. Now if I have optimized an auto campaign and done all the work to optimize it out and if it’s not performing well, then for sure I would consider pausing an auto campaign. However, it gives me a ton of information. It gives me a ton of search terms. It gives me a ton of ASINs which is great great research. You can then repurpose those ASINs and do reverse ASIN searches to do even more keyword research. You can go and potentially get complementary product ideas. It’s the only way to get visibility on someone else’s listing other than product display ads. So I totally would recommend keeping automatic campaign on as long as you’re optimizing it. If you’re not optimizing it, then you’re probably, even if you have a decent ACoS, you’re losing money. You’re just wasting money. Now the second part of your question is the ASINs that show up, some of them are profitable and lots of them are not. You cannot negative exact out an ASIN unfortunately. There really is no great way around it. That’s not a little bit time consuming, I hate to say, but what you can potentially do, I have not done this, but you could potentially go into that ASIN, click on it on Amazon, inside of Entourage you can just click on the ASIN and it will open up on Amazon, and then look for the words, look for maybe it’s a brand. Maybe it’s a particular brand that people are searching for but then they click on yours and it doesn’t convert because they’re really attached to this brand. You could then take that brand name let’s say like you know any brand name like like Gatorade or whatever just came my head and then put that in as a negative phrase match. And this way you don’t get visibility. That’s the only strategy out there to reduce it and it is time consuming.
Danny: [00:25:54] Yes. And for people, this is going way over their head right now. This is a little bit technical. So in automatic campaigns, a lot of the time it will make your ad show up on another Amazon sellers listing. So in your search term report when you look up, that will show up as just the ASIN, just this random alphanumeric number. So then you have to take that ASIN and then type it into Amazon to see what product that is or use the PPC Entourage software. So that’s just what we’re talking about here. And sometimes it can be really, you know, something totally not related to your product right. You have the automatic campaign on for your grill brush and then a dildo showing up in your search term report or something like that right. So using this process some might just explain you can hopefully not have your products show up on the dildoes search results page there.
Mike: [00:26:46] Yeah I never got search visibility for dildo but for some reason I had the words cigarette would come up on all my search term reports and I sell pet supplies and I’m wondering like okay where’s the connection there. So what I did was I found that word and did a negative phrase. This way I never get visibility for anything related to cigarette because _____ on my cat left, but we both don’t smoke.
Danny: [00:27:10] Yeah. Those tobacco marketers, they’ll do anything. They’re even going after pets these days.
Mike: [00:27:16] They are.
Danny: [00:27:18] OK. So we’ll finish off with a bang here. I have a bunch of rapid fire questions. These are questions actually straight from the Value Library Facebook Group here. I mean guys if you’re not a member of that, go to ActualizeFreedom.com/Facebook. Join our private Facebook group of Amazon sellers. So these are rapid fire questions, but the answers do not have to be quick. So first off, does it matter how many keywords you have per campaign or per ad group and if so what is the optimal amount per ad group per campaign?
Mike: [00:27:47] Well the maximum amount is a thousand and there is no optimal. It’s all about relevancy. So in the blueprint that we suggest, you can use any format that you want, but in the blueprint things go from like a research basis all the way up to a profitable basis. So let’s say we have four different campaigns and the automatic campaign is running a research campaign then an ACoS scraping campaign, which is basically taking all of the search terms that have been profitable and putting them in as their own keywords and a new campaign then the fourth campaign is a match type expansion campaign. So depending on the type of campaign, that’s how many keywords will go into a particular campaign. So let’s say the automatic campaign you don’t use a keyword right. So that makes it easy. The research campaign is going to have the most amount of keywords. It’s just where you’re testing things out. So I think what you’re asking about is a research campaign and in a research campaign, you could have a maximum of 1000. But I caution you to go too high. We used to recommend back in 2016. I was doing tens of thousands. I was like a lunatic on stimulants from Starbucks but now like three to five hundred is probably a good place to start. And then you can do some research and add about 50 to 100 a week, maybe a little less than that and just slowly see how your account responds. You know just nice and easy. They don’t go crazy but relevancy is what it’s all about. And you can get the more relevant keywords and search terms the better. And then of course in the third campaign is the search term expansion campaign where you take the winners from the auto campaign, the winners from the research campaign and these are the winning search terms. So these aren’t keywords yet in those first two campaigns. We’re going to find them because that’s what a shopper does it, finds them and then it creates a new campaign with brand new search terms that you know were relevant and you know have decent metrics. So that’s a separate campaign. It’s kind of like a middle ground between the two. It’s kind of like a research. It’s kind of like a highly performing campaign. It’s right in the middle. And then the fourth campaign is the highly performing campaign. These are your winners, the ones that are performing well. This is a campaign you don’t want to dump a ton of keywords into. You want to make sure the keywords insertions you put in there are relevant and also performing at a high level.
Danny: [00:30:05] Awesome. Yeah and that leads me well into the next question here. So if you do have a lot of keywords in a campaign and there’s one or two that you know would perform well if you could actually get them to start getting impressions or you just can’t, you have any methods for kickstarting impressions on keywords that you know are actually going to perform well?
Mike: [00:30:27] Well besides jacking your bid price up to about 200 dollars a bid. You can jack your bid price and I’m sure you’ve done that already. But also making sure that that keyword is somewhere located in your bullet points your title if it’s really relevant and you’re back in search term fields. That’s important as well. And also making sure that you’re in the right category. If you’re not in the right category then it’s going to screw everything up with PPC. So it sounds like it’s a relevancy issue. This is like a golden nugget tip that we’ve been really working well with. I would try breaking out a separate campaign specifically for bid plus and if it’s a really hot keyword search term, you can put that in the ad group. So like one ad group but with relevant keywords with bid plus turned on. I just called this the bid plus dash whatever the heck you’re selling and then see if it gets some impressions and sales as a bid plus. Bid plus is when you’re willing to spend 50 percent more to get the hi rail on Amazon sponsored products. We’ve had really good results so far even overseas with bid plus more so in the last four or five months. Before like in 2016 when it first came out it was a nightmare horrible results. But I know that they’re working on it and we’ve gotten really good results recently.
Danny: [00:31:50] Interesting yes super good to know because I know a lot of Amazon sellers they tried it back when it came out and they’re like oh this is garbage. I’m not going to use this. But you’re saying that within the past four or five months it started to get a lot better. So yeah I’m definitely going to be trying a lot more of that out and I would recommend you guys do as well. Alright, so real quick here. Do you have any specific tools for finding PPC keywords that you really like? I know that entourage is a great tool for this, but besides entourage are there any?
Mike: [00:32:22] We’ve been using Helium 10 and MerchantWords as our to go to tools for that. I’ve been hearing a lot about Sellar tools and we’re going to start working with Seller.Tools in our management services. So those are the three that we go with and I’m sure you can use a whole abundance of tools out there. But the key I think now is to find the most relevant ones. So we’re actually thinking of creating a sort of tool within our tool that will take all of these keywords and then check off like how many times they show up. This way you can get the most relevant words the ones that have the most amount of density across all of the words list that you have. But yeah those are the tools that we use and I’ve heard great things about Seller.Tools.
Danny: [00:33:13] Yeah I also have as well and a new favorite of mine is keyword research by Viral Launch. It’s currently my favorite that we’re using. I have links to all these resources and the shownotes as well for you guys. And any specific keyword tools that you would recommend or stay away from. You just had like a bad experience or you know something bad about it, but you know a lot of people still use it.
Mike: [00:33:35] Well the only one is a Keyword Inspector. I’ve heard some sketchy things about things going on the back end. So we haven’t used that in a while. I don’t know any full story so I just stay away from that but that’s it.
Danny: [00:33:49] Yeah I have heard some things about that as well. And then last question for you here, Mike. What is the number one mistake you see Amazon sellers making with PPC right now?
Mike: [00:34:00] Not optimizing and not looking at certain metrics like campaign history and CTR percentage. So if you’re not optimizing then you’re wasting money first and foremost, but you’re also impairing your account performance to a certain degree. So it’s really important that you take an hour maybe you know or half an hour a week to optimize. Take the time to learn how to optimize. We have a blueprint that goes over this. We have a fundamental course that goes over this. It’s FREE. You can take the time to learn it and then just execute and optimize on a weekly basis because if not, you might as well keep the money in your pocket and out of Amazon’s pocket and it’s going to help you get more rank and visibility too because ultimately Amazon wants optimized things. That’s how they’re going to show your campaigns over someone else.
Danny: [00:34:53] It’s awesome Mike. And that segues perfectly into what you have for the audience here. So you mentioned briefly the blueprint and some free resources that if you’re new to amazon PBC you want to learn how to set it up properly and actually learn how to optimize and be successful at PBC. And Mike has some awesome resources for you. Why don’t you tell the audience a bit about that?
Mike: [00:35:14] Sure. So we have the fundamentals course. So if you’re very new to PPC and you’re not really quite sure about some of the things that we discussed today, on our website PPCEntourage.com you can go and go to the fundamentals course. It’s FREE. You’ll learn about campaign metrics. You’ll learn about set up structure, all the things that you need to know. It’s like an hour and a half course with videos and actually some quizzes to help get it ingrained in your brain so that this way when you go to set up your campaigns, it’ll be very easy cakewalk stuff. Once you learn the basics and the fundamentals, then we have the blueprint strategy which is what I just discussed on this podcast. And that is FREE as well. It will go over the four campaign setup strategies. It will also go over lots of things that people had questions. This is the third version of this. So we’ve been optimizing and getting it better each and every year. How to optimize each campaign. Like everyone’s got to be treated a little bit differently. These are the subtleties that will set you apart from everyone else. So that’s all inside the blueprint series. And finally if you already have campaigns set up, then you can head on over to PPC Entourage and get a FREE grading tool. So basically we will look at all of your campaigns. We will tell you what’s working, what’s not working, where you can make some improvements, and how to make those improvements and what to do. That’s completely available for FREE on our site.
Danny: [00:36:38] Yeah. And you guys thought that you’re done getting report cards after you graduated from school. Not the case. Well that’s awesome, Mike. I’m sure everyone’s going to really enjoy that. And thank you for hopping on man. So real gold nuggets in here. We went into some really good advanced stuff and it’s been a pleasure chatting with you in our chats and good to see you down at capitalism conference last December there. And guys if you want some of the resources down here make sure to head to ActualizeFreedom.com/14. There are links to everything Mike just mentioned keyword tools and stuff like that. And it was a pleasure chatting with you man. Thanks for coming on the Actualize Freedom podcast.
Mike: [00:37:17] Awesome Danny. Guys thanks so much for having me. And feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Thanks again.
Danny: [00:37:24] Awesome. Where can they reach you out if they want questions, Mike?
Mike: [00:37:28] We have a Facebook page. Just type in PPC Entourage and come join us at the Facebook group and I’m on there everyday answering some questions. And also we have a bunch of other people who answer questions as well.
Danny: [00:37:40] Awesome. All cheers. Thanks for joining me man.
Mike: [00:37:44] Bye guys take care.
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