Keywords are the foundation of manual Sponsored Products & Sponsored Brand campaigns. They determine when an ad will be triggered, and if there’s anything we know about ecommerce, it’s that it’s important to put the right product in front of the right customer at just the right time. This requires strategic planning. The most essential strategy for keywords is a Brand Defense vs. Brand Awareness approach.
A Brand Defense strategy uses branded keywords that contain the product’s brand name or widely recognized product name. For example, Capri Blue is the brand name of Volcano candles. Because of their brand recognition, both “capri blue” and “volcano candle” are branded terms. We can assume that anyone searching for “volcano candle” is specifically looking for a Capri Blue candle.
It may seem redundant to bid on “capri blue” or “volcano” if the user is already committed to purchasing the product, however, competitors recognize the opportunity of these terms and engage in a tactic called conquesting. This is when a competitor will bid on others’ branded terms in an effort to steal market share.
Think about it, if a competing candle brand were to win the ad auction, and the top spot on a search result page, for the term “volcano candle” that competing brand now has visibility with a customer that was never planning on finding them. This can lead some customers to waver, especially if factors like price or customer reviews seem more appealing from the competitor.
Branded terms defend your own ad real estate against these tactics & keep customers funneling through to your own product & storefront pages. It also provides a more seamless, effortless experience for the customer.
The goal for a Brand Awareness strategy is to, most obviously, build awareness of the brand to audiences who are not yet committed to a brand and convert them. This involves the use of non-branded keywords. Using the last example of Capri Blue candles, awareness keywords would be those like “candle”, “long-lasting candle”, “scented candle”, etc. any keyword that does not contain the branded terms “Capri Blue” or “Volcano”.
An awareness strategy is the most important tactic for a brand looking to grow its market share on Amazon. Awareness campaigns are designed to increase new-to-brand customers. By targeting general keywords, like “candles”, the ads are served to users who are not yet committed to a specific product, but are looking for the type of product Capri Blue offers. Customers searching for general terms are usually looking to shop around, so this is when your listing optimizations and A+ content come into play.
Awareness keywords and campaigns are great for converting new customers but they also come with their own challenges. Other brands recognize this important opportunity and also want to show up for non-branded, general terms. This creates more competition and, therefore, creates more expensive costs-per-click (CPC) on the keywords. The ad real estate also becomes more lucrative & difficult to win during peak shopping times. This is where automated rules & day-parting maximize the available budget for the most profitable return.
Each strategy has a different goal and targets different points of the advertising funnel, resulting in different KPIs to determine success. Prices can also vary by industry, type of product, and time of year (looking at you, holiday season).
Brand Defense keywords are less competitive because the searcher is usually already committed, meaning lower costs-per-click. The average defense CPC on Amazon is between $.50 and $1.50. The lower CPC results in a much higher Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), more advertising sales and better rates of repeat customers.
Brand Awareness keywords are significantly more competitive with higher search volume resulting in higher CPCs, lower ROAS and less sales. The average awareness CPC on Amazon is $3.5. The benefits to awareness keywords are that you can expect higher impressions, more new-to-brand customers, and the opportunity for future retargeting to turn these new customers into brand loyalists.
To implement an awareness vs defense strategy, first, set appropriate goals for both the awareness & defense campaigns, conduct keyword research, and determine the most important KPIs for each campaign.
From there, evaluate the available budget and establish an appropriate breakout between the two. Pattern recommends an aggressive approach, with an 80/20 breakout: 80% to awareness and 20% to defense. If your brand is experiencing more conquesting from competitors, a more conservative breakout up to 60/40 is an option. However, it is important to remain focused on growth and push for more awareness sales for long-term results.
Once the defense & awareness campaigns are accomplishing their predetermined goals, other strategies like retargeting, merchandising, and conquesting can be explored. But in the meantime, stay focused on the essentials!
Interested in learning more about effective Amazon advertising strategies? Check out our eBook: The Experts' Guide to Amazon Advertising Strategy.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.