A Guide to Self-Auditing your Amazon Account – Optimizing for Performance and Profitability
By manually auditing your Amazon account, you can develop a better understanding of your account performance, with insight into what is performing well and where there may be issues that need improvement.
Implementing an audit process as part of your PPC strategy can result in;
- Increased sales
- Reduce wasted ad spend
- New keyword discovery
- Lower ACoS
With budget and advertising goals in mind, establishing targets for key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow you to gauge where your Amazon FBA business is prospering and where it is failing.
How often you perform an audit depends on your sales volume and ad spend. Create a data log of your metrics each time you perform an audit so that you can compare them with previous audits and assess the effectiveness of your optimizations.
The Audit Process
Auditing your Amazon account performance is an essential process in ensuring the success of your business. It involves a comprehensive look and trend analysis to identify areas that need improvement.
By following these steps, you can easily audit your account performance and identify areas of opportunity to increase your sales and profitability.
Review your Listing and Product Detail Page
Since shoppers cannot hold or try a product they are searching for online, like they can in a brick-and-mortar store, they make purchase decisions based on the information in front of them.
With click-through rate (CTR) a measure of how many people click on your ad and conversion rate (CVR) a measure of the percentage of people convinced to make a purchase, you can easily assess your listing performance and monitor the effectiveness of your optimizations.
If CTR is high but CVR is low, it indicates that people are interested in your product but aren’t convinced, by your product detail page (PDP), to make a purchase. If CTR is low but CVR is high, your listing is not getting enough attention, but those who do view your PDP are likely to convert.
A well-optimized listing and PDP are essential to improving your product visibility and maximizing your sales. In addition, they are more likely to receive high star ratings and customer reviews.
Well-optimized listings and PDPs include the following:
- High-quality images and professional photography
- Clear, easy-to-read titles
- Comprehensive, descriptive bullet points
- Enticing A+ Content with detailed product descriptions
- Competitive pricing
- A high star rating and positive reviews
Monitoring your CTR, CVR and assessing your listing is vital for continual improvement. Compare your listings to your competitors’, ensure you have included relevant keywords, and run split tests with different images, titles, bullet points, and A+ content.
Run a checklist;
- Is your sale price competitive?
- Do you have any unanswered customer questions?
- Do you have any bad reviews that need addressing?
Account and Campaign Structure
A good campaign structure and a well-organized account allow you to be more granular when it comes to optimizations and data analysis. Taking the time to ensure your campaigns are organized and structured will streamline future audits.
At the top of the campaign hierarchy is portfolios. As each product is promoted by multiple campaigns, ensure all your campaigns are housed within one portfolio per parent ASIN.
Establishing portfolios as you launch new products will allow you to monitor performance at the product level. You will be able to effectively determine which products are performing well and which products require your attention.
The value of proper campaign nomenclature is often underestimated. As a business grows, and more and more campaigns are launched, following a standardized naming convention keeps an account organized and simplifies PPC management.
While not directly contributing to profitability, identifiable campaigns help streamline effective navigation, analysis, and optimization processes.
There is no right or wrong naming convention – as long as it is consistent and reflects each element of the campaign.
Single Ad Group
Do you have more than one ad group running per campaign?
Part of your audit process should be to check each campaign is limited to one ad group. Creating a single ad group for Amazon campaigns is an essential part of successful campaign management.
This will ensure that the campaign budget is being directed solely to that one ad group. With multiple ad groups, you cannot be certain the budget is being evenly distributed.
One Match Type
Verify that both auto and manual campaigns are segregated based on match type.
Match types perform differently, therefore, separating each type into separate campaigns enables you to optimize and scale more effectively.
Maximum 5 Keywords/Product Targets
Keyword dumping results in an unequal distribution of both sessions and spend.
With the possibility of adding 1,000 keywords per ad group, keyword dumping can be tempting, however, the number of keywords within an ad group dramatically impacts the performance of the campaign.
When auditing your account, confirm that you have restricted each ad group to 5 keywords/product targets.
Segregating campaigns based on search volume and performance allows you to focus on the keywords with high search volume and potentially better performance while still gaining visibility from low search volume keywords.
When dissimilar keywords are grouped together, the majority of the spend goes to high-converting keywords, leaving keywords that could convert, with low or zero impressions.
Another element to consider when auditing your account is your branded keyword campaigns. With a higher purchase intent, branded keywords will perform differently and require different optimizations than your generic keywords. Ensuring your branded keywords are segregated into their own campaigns will allow you to better scale and optimize based on performance.
Assess Campaign Performance
Budgets play a pivotal role in the effectiveness of campaign performance. Exhausting a daily budget can have a negative impact on PPC performance and result in missed sales opportunities. As part of your audit process, ensure your campaign budgets are at a level high enough to meet the traffic demand.
Assess campaign performance. If a campaign is performing well and is profitable with a good return on ad spend (RoAS), scaling up the budget will drive an increase in sessions and spend, resulting in more sales.
Bid by Placement
Optimizing bids by placement can be a powerful tool for increasing sales. It can also be ineffective and lead to wasted ad spend if misused.
When auditing your account, assess how your bid adjustments have been performing. Or if you have not set an adjustment, consider if this could be effective.
For campaigns with existing bid adjustments, scale those with a high RoAS. If performance is poor and wasted ad spend is high, reduce the adjustment for those placements.
If no campaign bid adjustment has been set, determine if the campaign is performing better at the top of search or product pages and make a suitable bid adjustment.
Identify Profitable and Non-Profitable Search Terms
Campaigns are great for discovering new keywords but they can also lead to Amazon showing your ad for irrelevant or non-profitable search terms.
Auditing your search terms on a regular basis will ensure you are capitalizing on terms that are profitable while limiting wasted ad spend on irrelevant or non-profitable search terms.
Identifying customer search terms/ASINs that have a high spend and no sales, and adding these as negative exact match or product targets will ensure that your ads are reaching a more targeted audience and with less wasted ad spend.
Also, be on the look for irrelevant search terms or ASINs. In addition to being costly, these can affect your performance in the eyes of the Amazon algorithm.
The powerful side of discovery campaigns is when you perform an audit and discover profitable search terms that you may not have considered. Launching these in new campaigns improves your visibility and increases your chances of getting more sales.
Keyword/Product Target Bids
The final step in your PPC audit is evaluating and optimizing your keyword and product target bids. Each keyword or product target within your campaign should have a set bid based on performance.
If keywords or product targets are performing well, with a low ACoS, increase the bid to gain more visibility. Decrease the bid for poor-performing keywords and product targets with a high ACoS.
Identify keywords or product targets that are underperforming, with low or zero impressions, and give them a second chance by increasing the bid to drive more impressions and spend.
As a tip, make bid adjustments incrementally, in small amounts at a time eg. $0.05. This will limit any drastic reduction in sales or increases in ad spend.
Self-Audit Your Amazon Account For Increased Performance and Profit
Selling on Amazon requires constant attention and optimization to continually improve performance with the goal of increasing sales, revenue, and profitability.
Taking a proactive approach to performing regular Amazon account audits will see that you are not spending unnecessarily and you are identifying every opportunity to increase account performance.
If you are looking to increase your brand growth and drive more sales, why not have one of Trivium’s experienced Amazon Consultants take a deep dive into your Seller Central account with a free PPC audit? They’ll provide an overview of your current status and recommend areas of opportunity to increase your brand performance.
And, if you want to test your newly acquired Amazon account auditing knowledge by buying an Amazon business of your own, register an account on our marketplace. You’ll unlock everything you need to find the perfect Amazon business to suit your needs.