Join Kris and Dustin as they discuss the differences between Amazon search terms and keywords as well as Amazon ASINs and category targets.
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Amazon Terminology 101: Search Terms vs Keywords – ASINs vs Category Targets
Hello everyone, and welcome to episode 48 of Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone. I’m Dustin Kane, and with me as always is Kris Gramlich. What’s up, Chris?
– Not much, we were just talking a little bit about that Monday Night Football game last night. That was insane.
– That was insane, this has been a wild football year.
– Yeah, well we both play some fantasy football so that was a wild ride last night with the Browns and the Ravens. Oh, man. Nuts, but, well, today’s gonna be fun to talk about some different Amazon terminology inside their advertising. There’s, you know, there’s been times where this confuses me, just the way that Amazon names things and what it’s, what it’s doing. So we’ll be talking about search terms versus keywords. We’re going to talk about ASINs and category targeting and just the different terminology and what that means when you’re looking at it. Because if you don’t really know what it’s talking about it can get a little confusing digging into all the reports that you’re pulling.
– Mhm, for sure.
– Yeah. So let’s get started here. I think we can plow through this pretty quickly. The, the most, the main one is, what’s the difference between search terms and keywords inside Amazon ads?
– Yeah, this gets turned around a lot. Even speaking with customers and they’re saying like, “Here’s my, here’s my search terms.” I’m like, “Well, okay, are you talking about keywords here? Or are you talking about search terms? Which one are you looking at?” So search terms are essentially just what customers go to Amazon and type into the search bar. That’s what the that’s the term that the customer is actually using when they’re searching for products. Keywords are what you and I, sellers use to manufacture and to put in our campaigns, to kind of cover our bases for those search terms. It’s kind of like a prediction game. Like we’re trying to predict what the customers are searching. So search terms are when actual Amazon customers go to Amazon and type a search term. And this is where in your advertising reports you can find these in the search term report. Now, this is what tells you what customers are searching for. So that’s why it’s super powerful to look at this. And Sellozo has this. So you can kind of see what people are typing in. And then if you find a good search term, you can then transition that over to a keyword and bid on it more aggressively by itself. So search term, customer searches it on Amazon. Keywords, you go to Amazon and you make the list of keywords that you want to, that you think customers are searching for.
– Yeah, so this is what, when you’re looking at these reports, this is where you want to know what you’re looking at. For example, if you run an automatic targeting campaign it’s going to be all search terms. You’re, when you pull the report you’re going to see a list of every single search term. That’s what the customer typed that Amazon decided to show your ad for. You know, so it’s basing that off of sort of going over your listing, looking at all the keywords that you have in your listings. And that’s, it’s determining what search terms to show your ad for. The thing with search terms is, is that’s, Amazon has the control there on what they’re showing it for. So if you can get a search term that can go off of every match type and an auto campaign, we’ll dig into that a little bit more. But with search terms, when you pull that, you have the ability to add negative keywords to campaigns, which will prevent Amazon from showing your ad for that search term. So that’s where we can really start talking about how you can really optimize your ads well, And we can talk about also in a second here how Sellozo will do that for you. But yeah, that’s important, is knowing that Amazon is going to show your ad and what, you may put keywords in the campaign, you may have a broad match, phrase match, or even an exact match. And those keywords, Amazon will trigger, when people type in search terms, it may trigger that, show your ad for that.
– Yeah, this is where it’s important to do keyword research, know what you’re going after. Know your main keywords. Like really put effort and time into doing extensive keyword research because you’re going to use this in your listing but as also in your PPC. So it’s important to know what terms you’re going after and what keywords you’re going after. And there’s tools out there that can help you discover these.
– Mhm. Now let’s talk about how this works with different match types as well. So, one thing I’ve learned not too long ago is that if you put an exact match in there, Amazon may still show it for things that are not exactly that match, as a plural.
– That’s the plural.
– Like if you had a dog. Yeah, if you have dog brush, they show dog brushes, even though it’s, you put an exact match on the term dog brush. So no matter what kind of campaign you’re running or whatever type of match type, you’ll always be able to see a search term report from Amazon that’ll show all the different things it has shown the ad for based on that. And of course, if you do a phrase match or a broad match by default, I mean, those are, those are discovery-type targeting. You’re trying to discover more keywords. So Amazon obviously will have a lot of search terms that come off of a broad and a phrase match type as well.
– Yeah. It’s just like casting a net. Your broad match is going to be the widest. Then you’re going to funnel it down to a phrase and then you’re going to funnel down to an exact. So in your seller central account, if you click on the campaign name and then go to the ad group, you can look at the different targeting types on the left-hand side, there’s a section that says search terms. This will show you, and it works on manual campaigns, Dustin and I did this before the podcast. It’ll show you what your ad is getting triggered for. So to his example, there are some plurals that will show up and then under broad match, you could really find, there’s a whole bunch of them, there’ll be a ton of them. It would be in any order, all over the place. So it’ll be in different orders. And then in phrase match, it has to be in that exact order. So yeah, check them out. They’re in your, it’s in your campaign manager. Sellozo has this easy to find. You can easily see this in your Sellozo account. Super, super easy to get to. And, and yeah, that’s the difference. Search terms versus keywords. It gets thrown around a lot. It’s different terms. People use them all the time.
– For sure. And I think the thing to know is you have to be looking at that search term report to make sure that your ads are not being shown for terms that are unprofitable or not converting well because that can happen. And of course the more, the wider net you’re casting, you know, the auto is the widest. You know, then your broad match is pretty wide too. There can be lots of search terms in there that are just not working, not profitable. They’re getting clicked a lot and they’re just not relevant enough to your product and you have to get rid of those. And I think that’s for sure the biggest mistake people make is they run ads and they don’t have enough negative keywords in there. And so they’re just wasting spend.
– And that’s what you and I do when we do our onboarding calls, we’ll pull up those clients’ accounts when they first sign up, we’ll go straight to the search term report, sort it by spend, see what they’re spending their most money on. And half the time they’re like, “I didn’t even know I was bidding on that.” And it’s like, well, Amazon’s showing your ad for that search term. So you want to get rid of it cause it doesn’t make sense or you maybe want to put it in its own campaign because it’s eating all the budget. So having that data and understanding what you’re looking at is going to just help optimize your campaigns even further and try and get to an ACoS that you’re trying to achieve. Again, this is what Sellozo does.
– Mhm, absolutely. Yeah and I think, just going, looking at it from the perspective of being inside of your campaign manager, if you drill down to a campaign and into an ad group, if you’re just looking at the targeting tab on there, let’s say you’ve got some broad, you know, a couple of broad matches in there and you look at the targeting. You’re not going to see all of the search terms that each one of those targets triggered. Right? You’re just going to see the results for that. So if it’s a broad match for a dog brush, you’re not going, if you don’t go to the search term report, you may not see why that broad match isn’t performing the way you want to. But if you go to the search term, you’ll see all the search terms that that broad match is triggering. And you might be able to deduce where that’s going wrong and clean that up. So that’s super important.
– Just to touch a little bit on this and finish this one up is, you can also use your search term report as like product discovery for like new products. So if there’s something in there that you’re seeing a lot of clicks on and people looking at and you’re getting, your ad’s showing up for might be a product worth going after. If it’s something that no one’s really using. So I would look at your search term report as a way to find different products too.
– Absolutely. That’s a great point. All right, Chris, let’s touch on a few other things inside the campaigns that you can do. We’ve got ASIN and category targets. Why don’t you go over some of that just so people know what’s going on here?
– Yeah, this is a good one. And this one is still kind of dealing with automatic campaigns because in automatic campaigns, if you haven’t already, go download a search term report from your automatic campaign and you’ll see different search terms that Amazon customers are typing in but you’ll also see ASINs. And they’ll start with the B, zero, and some letters and numbers after that, those are specific products your product is showing up on, on their detail page. So if somebody goes to a detail page and buys your product, it’ll show that ASIN and it’ll say conversion. So somebody bought your product from that detail page. So this is where you can target specific ASINs based off of that search term report. So if there’s one ASIN that’s getting you a lot of sales, you can move that out of the search term report and just target that specific ASIN by itself. It kind of works the same way as keywords. And Sellozo optimizes this and automates this process as well. But what you’re basically doing is you’re trying to find the best performing ASINs that are for your keyword. So if you type in something on Amazon and you want to target those ASINs, those of your competitors, you can put those in an ad campaign and you can bid on those individual ASINs in a different ad group and then control the bid and be more aggressive on some of them. So what you’re doing is you’re just targeting specific ASINs for ASIN targeting. And then category targeting is kind of like a broad match or kind of like a phrase match. Like you’re going out to all the categories. So it’s not just a specific ASIN you’re going after. It’s like grooming brushes for dogs category. Like that’s the whole entire category you’re going after. And you can narrow these down. Like you know, go by price, or you can do like the ratings or reviews and filter these down a little bit more. But what I’ve seen is like casting a wide net first and maybe do a separate campaign that you filter down. So like, if your product has a four and a half stars and your price is $20, maybe you go after products that are four stars and $25, and you target those products because you’ve got an advantage there. You’ve got a lower price and you got a better rating. So your conversion rates probably going to be high, you’re probably gonna get some high conversions there. So I know I’ve said a lot there, but ASIN targeting is just targeting specific products in that category. So specific ASINs, competitors, you could do brands but you’re looking at specific ASINs and you’re putting those in a separate campaign or separate ad group and individually bidding on those. Category targeting is just the entire category that you’re bidding on. And then you can do another campaign where you do category targeting and just filter down to the kind of like, you know, ratings, reviews, price. And so I know I covered a lot but I don’t know if I missed anything there.
– No, no, it’s good. I just want to highlight the point. When you’re targeting ASINs, the ones that work is when you have a competitive advantage. I mean, you have to think about the way that a shopper on Amazon sees you. They’re looking at somebody else’s product. And so they’re looking at it like you’re talking about. They see the price, so it’s 19.99, it’s got nice reviews and then they scroll down, and then they’re going to see all those sponsored products in that section right there below, just a little bit down below the fold on the detail page. And if they see your product and there’s an obvious competitive advantage, like your picture’s just way better, or you priced it $14, you know, something, that will stop them and get them to click on it. So ASIN targeting can be some of your best ads, for sure. Only if, but if you don’t have that competitive advantage, you might be wasting a lot of money and clicks. So that’s why you test it out. Now, all of this, everything we’ve been talking about, the search terms, keywords, ASINs, category targeting. We’re just scratching the surface on the options you have inside of Amazon for advertising. I mean, it can get really, really complex. I mean, we’ve talked to people that have 20, 30, 40 different types of campaigns running for a product. So it can get really complex. That’s where a tool like Sellozo can make a huge difference. I mean, if you don’t want to pull your search term report, you know, weekly and go through it, if you want a tool to help you create those negative keywords on poor-performing search terms, Sellozo can automate all that for you. If you want these keywords, if you want the good keywords moved up or search terms in an auto campaign moved to a manual campaign, Sellozo can automate that for you. And we can adjust the bids every day for you, based on the desired ACoS that you want. So we’d love, Chris and I’d love to get you on a call. You can go to sellozo.com and book a time with either Chris or I. We can talk all about the different types of advertising and automation that Sellozo can do for you. We’ll spend 30 minutes talking about anything that you want, Amazon-related for sure. But it is complex. I mean, Chris and I live in this world on a day-to-day basis and we learn something new every day and Amazon releases new features, new ad types all the time. So it’s, certainly helps you out. Also, we’re airing this, it’s December 15th, 2020. So if you’re listening to this, you know, a couple of weeks later you can ignore this, but tomorrow, December 16th, Chris and I are having a, hosting a live webinar, where we’re going to talk about different campaign structures based on sort of your budgets. So if you’ve got a low budget, these are the types of campaign structures we talk about, encourage you to set up, versus a high budget. And so we’re talking, we’ll dive into a lot of this type of stuff, like product targeting and category targeting, et cetera, on that webinar tomorrow. So you can go to sellozo.com. Chris, is it up on the homepage?
– There’s a banner there. But yeah, you should be able to find a place to log in there.
– Yeah, you can register for that webinar on the homepage at sellozo.com. I encourage everyone to do that, I think there’s going to be a lot of really good information there as well for good campaign structures for 2021. It’s hard to believe we’re already–
– I know.
– 2021, but we are. All right, Chris, I think we covered a lot there. That’s just, that helps everyone just understand that terminology a little bit better but we’ll be doing that webinar tomorrow. So come join us. It will be an exciting, podcast, we’ll see. We’ll see if we can cram a podcast in our webinar tomorrow.
– So we do have one tomorrow.
– Oh yeah, we have a guest.
– Pretty good guest. So it’s going to probably be a little bit more in-depth on PPC. So we’ve talked to this guy before, but not on the podcast.
– Oh yeah.
– And now we’re bringing him on. So if you’re listening to this now, wait till you get your coffee because there’s going to be information overflow on this one.
– That will be great.
– All right, we’ll let everybody get back to your day, and yeah, hit us up. Come to sellozo.com, book a time with Chris and myself.