Why Incrementality is Pivotal for Your Growth on Amazon

May 18, 2023 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

Amazon advertising metrics have been used to quantify success on the platform. But as Amazon raises ad costs, these measurements are insufficient in calculating total sales growth. What criterion can you leverage to obtain an extensive view of advertising and sales performance?

Incremental advertising approaches provide insight into comprehensive sales by emphasizing meaningful metrics like top-of-search placement and branded search terms, allowing you to allocate your ad spend accordingly. When considering advertising campaigns, top-of-search placements generate the most conversions through sponsored product ads. You can promote products to top-of-search by identifying incremental search terms, aligning your products to these search terms, assessing them against the competition, and ensuring they have a high organic ranking. 

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant speaks with Joe Rideout and Ellie Edwards of Perpetua about taking an incremental approach to advertising. Together, they discuss how to leverage incrementality as an ad metric, the three metrics for identifying incremental search terms, and how to promote products to top-of-search placements. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What is incrementality, and how can brands leverage it as an advertising metric?
  • How to allocate ad spend for long-term sales growth
  • The effect of incrementality on top-of-search placements
  • Identifying and mitigating top-of-search mirroring
  • Three metrics for distinguishing incremental search terms 
  • How brands can promote products to top-of-search placements
  • Emerging advertising trends and metrics brands should consider
  • Keyword and SEO optimization strategies
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Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Joe Rideout

Joe Rideout LinkedIn

Chief Product Officer & Co-President at Perpetua

Joe Rideout is the Co-president and Chief Product Officer at Perpetua, a company that helps brands, media agencies, and Amazon sellers improve performance through AI-powered automation. In his role, he builds growth infrastructure for eCommerce. Joe has 10 years of experience building and launching large-scale mobile and social products. Before Perpetua, he founded Relay, the world’s first GIF messaging app acquired by Kik, where he led expressive messaging. 

Ellie Edwards LinkedIn

Product Designer at Perpetua

Ellie Edwards is a Product Designer at Perpetua, where she has held additional roles, including Operations and Customer Experience and eCommerce Associate. Before Perpetua, she was a Support Advisor at Shopify, where she provided customer support and business coaching to eCommerce merchants across various industries. Ellie holds a certificate in UX/UI design for digital products. 

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Joe Rideout

Joe Rideout LinkedIn

Chief Product Officer & Co-President at Perpetua

Joe Rideout is the Co-president and Chief Product Officer at Perpetua, a company that helps brands, media agencies, and Amazon sellers improve performance through AI-powered automation. In his role, he builds growth infrastructure for eCommerce. Joe has 10 years of experience building and launching large-scale mobile and social products. Before Perpetua, he founded Relay, the world’s first GIF messaging app acquired by Kik, where he led expressive messaging. 

Ellie Edwards LinkedIn

Product Designer at Perpetua

Ellie Edwards is a Product Designer at Perpetua, where she has held additional roles, including Operations and Customer Experience and eCommerce Associate. Before Perpetua, she was a Support Advisor at Shopify, where she provided customer support and business coaching to eCommerce merchants across various industries. Ellie holds a certificate in UX/UI design for digital products. 

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Thursday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the co founder and managing director at BWG Connect, and we're just the giant networking knowledge sharing group have close to 9000 brands probably now that participate, I spend the majority of my time on a weekly basis talking to them, I'd love to talk to anybody that's on the line today, trying to understand the most up to date, most pressing pain points, issues that people are trying to solve for, and we're gonna host webinars like this. Also a ton of in-person events, if you're in a tier one city across the US, shoot us a note. We're new close to 100 dinners this year, and always love to meet people in the network in-person. So a couple of things that come out of those conversations are the topics. And from those topics, we get that our pain points, we get the ideas for these webinars. And so what's interesting about this one is why increment incrementality is pivotal for growth is we're moving I think, at the same time, we have to focus on back back to the basics. So just a podcast came out today in regards to that, that it was Michael But we have to be looking at next level is not just looking straight at content is not just updating, you know things that are triggered a night in an algorithm. But we're going next level how does everything play together? And so as we go through this conversation, if you have questions, drop them in the chat drop in the q&a, you can always email me Aaron Aaron@bwgconnect.com. And we'll get as many of these questions answered as possible as we go. But we've got some longtime friends, partners supporters, the network over IP Perpetua just, you know, great all around it openly sharing across the board with tons of brands and network and always open to jumping on the line here and sharing. But Joe, I'll kick it over to you first, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Perpetua. That'd be awesome. We kick it over to Ellie and doing kind of jump in the meat of it. Sounds good?

Joe Rideout 2:07

Sounds good. Great. Thanks, Aaron. So my name is Joe. I'm a co founder and chief product officer at Perpetua. And for those of you that aren't familiar, Perpetua is a SAS software platform. We help brands, agencies and sellers optimize their advertising and growth on Amazon, and also other retail media networks. support all of Amazon's different sponsored ad types, as well as the Amazon DSP. help sellers and brands drive incremental sales. And we also have some advanced measurement capabilities that are enabled with AMC, Amazon Marketing Cloud, Amazon Marketing stream and the selling Partner API as well for retail metrics. Yeah,

Ellie Edwards 2:50

yeah, I'm looking forward to diving into this topic. It's a really, really interesting one. My name is Ellie, I'm a product designer at Perpetua. I've been at the company for just over two and a half years. So have kind of seen our company evolve, and have been able to touch a lot of really interesting products, which now involves the idea of incrementality. So something I've been working on a lot over the past little while, is looking to build products to support this idea of incrementality and help our users or users take action on this data to essentially maximize their growth on Amazon. So yeah, that's me, I'm gonna kick it off to Joe to start things off, but I'm just gonna share screen quickly. We all get

Aaron Conant 3:41

in a quick reminder, if you have questions along the way, drop into the chat or the q&a, or just email me Aaron aaron@bwgconnect.com. And we'll get as many answered

Joe Rideout 3:52

as we can. Awesome, great. All right. Cool. So I'll kick things off. We're going to start by talking about how we think about incrementality. Like, what, what we think the definition of it is? And I think so, kind of the starting point is that as I'm sure many of you on the call, no advertising metrics, don't tell the full story. So design has kind of put these metrics like row as a costs front and center for us as ways of measuring success. But those don't necessarily always correlate to your growth in GMV or total sales. And really, that's because you know, what, what does an attribute ID sale tell you it says somebody saw your ad and then they bought your product doesn't tell you that they bought your product because they saw your ad? So really, you know, with Regardless, this goes back to like, I wasn't really in the ad space back in the sort of RTB like programmatic time but from what I've heard, there was always the sort of competition the last ad some saw before they purchased a product as kind of a, you know, last touch attribution. And so in fact, it was that the sort of the extreme of non incrementality is like, trying to buy a product before they buy it, and then you know, show the ad to them. There's just a ticket.

Aaron Conant 5:17

In agile, I'm having a little audio I don't know if dropping video will help. I don't know, Ellie, are you hearing the same thing? 

Ellie Edwards 5:25


Aaron Conant 5:25

So it might be just dropped video, and it might be better on the bandwidth. Yeah.

Joe Rideout 5:31

We'll give that a whirl. Cool. Yep. So yeah, just to go back there. So do you got you got this sort of wood of wood, the wood of the shopper purchased? Regardless, it's kind of all about causality. And then just again, going back to that idea of back in the day, when advertisers were kind of competing to show an ad to a shopper that was already going to buy a product. That's sort of the opposite of incrementality.

Aaron Conant 5:55

Yeah, no, it's really interesting, just this, you know, when you're talking about a costs, and the different KPIs, it's almost like they were crafted to tell an easy story. Right, that it's a simple metric that people can easily understand. But it's not necessarily and it caught fire, right. And everybody's looking at it. And you know, then there's tacos. And at the same time, we have to get to the next level of what's actually meaningful.

Joe Rideout 6:21

Right? So yeah, yeah, easy metrics to understand and also metrics to tell a good story for the platform's. You know, if you're advertising on your branded terms, and you're a cost look. Looks like the platform is doing wonders for you getting those maybe sales that you would have got either way. Got it. Awesome. All right. Yeah. We've thought about been a part of the Perpetua platform for a while. And one of the ways that we think about this is segmenting different ends of search traffic or different targets. And laying around stood at the intent of those shoppers. So within striking capabilities with the brand traffic, so people that are actually searching for your brand, arms, Catholics already terms and competitor, so people that are searching for products. And so, you know, it's very typical, different budgets are different, a cost hurts for sense that you would know or having an intuition be less incremental.

Aaron Conant 7:30

Yeah, really, Joe, I want to have Ellie traffic. I'm gonna have Ellie jump in just because your audio says I don't know if you want to try to jump out and come back in. But the audio is still kind of breaking up. But I think Ellie will have will have her run, run with it. I don't know if it's just a bandwidth issue or what but I mean, is that cool? Did you want to drop out and come back in? And we'll Ellie run with it from here?

Ellie Edwards 7:54

Yep. Yep, I'm good with that. Um, yeah. So just sort of picking up where I left off here. The main the main idea here is so this idea of incrementality is not new to Perpetua. It's kind of embedded in our core approach to advertising. And so if you're familiar with, with Perpetua, we offer what we call segments, which is sort of an integral part of our campaign structure. And essentially, what this does is it forces our users to think about specify specific strategies for each keyword type. So for example, if we look at branded keywords, were you know, we're not going to be as aggressive on these on these keywords. Because a lot of that is probably already captured through organic placements. And those sales aren't really going to be incremental to our brand. I see Joe is back on here, too. So if you want to jump in at any point, feel free.

Joe Rideout 8:57

I think you're getting it. Okay. Okay, cool. Am I jumping on the next on the next slide?

Ellie Edwards 9:02

Yep. No worries. So yeah, so for branded targets. Again, the focus is, obviously brand loyalty. But when we look at targeting branded keywords, we want to be a little bit careful about how much spend we're allocating to that because those sales are likely not going to be as incremental as very generic keywords like category or competitor keywords, where we can actually capture additional market share. Um, so that's kind of the background with how incrementality is embedded into the Perpetua approach.

Aaron Conant 9:39

And is this like a good breakdown that you're asking people to have? Because I'm thinking, you know, as people go back, maybe they're running it internally, maybe they're going back to their agency, is this the Is this the conversation or is this a great breakdown? I see. 7% 30% 40%

Ellie Edwards 9:55

Yeah, I mean, it's, it's it's a breakdown and every brand is different. and some brands actually don't care as much about separating out competitor, they might just combine category and competitor into one segment, we have that option as well. But yeah, typically, what we find is, it's best you have sort of your your brand to target us on the lowest end, because your branded, your branded spend should really be the most efficient. Whereas competitor will be at the highest end. Because competitor, placements tend to be the most expensive, you're basically trying to conquest, search spaces that are directly related to a different brand. So the idea there is that your brand will look more appealing to shoppers on Amazon, that are searching for a brand. That's not you that they already know. So that's the idea there. But it does definitely depend on the brand. But we we do really encourage our users to strive towards this long term. And we've noticed that it has led to a lot of success for our customers.

Aaron Conant 11:03

You mean growth, right? Because you can get a high a cost if you just go all branded. And I think that's, you know, kind of what Joe was referring to earlier earlier was like, it's really easy to get a high high a cost if you're just going all branded, but exactly people, are you targeting people who are going to buy anyways? Yeah, and then that's where we get into this level of, okay, well, now there's a Strategy around the the type of brands, how you're structuring brands, the Detail page, how much you're spending, but then there's also the Strategy around where, what types of ads you use, and who is the target for each one of them? Yep,

Ellie Edwards 11:38

exactly. Yeah, and a good way to test this, which is kind of related to the next topic here is through looking at your, your total sales, not just your attributed sales. So one thing you'll notice is that if you are, you know, spending too much on branded keywords, or just generally targets that have low incrementality, you might you might see your attributed sales go up, but your total sales will probably remain flat. So what you're really looking for there is, as your attributed sales grow, ideally, your total sales should grow as well. Because then you know that those sales are incremental to what you would have had without ads. And you're really promoting basically a flywheel effect for for growing, growing sales long term, not just again, cap, cannibalizing those those placements that you are already capturing.

Aaron Conant 12:35

Next. Do you so are you plugging into like a vendor Central or seller central to like do a direct plug on organic sales? Or attributed sales versus overall total sales? Like a you plug it in on the back end to their accounts? Or is this a scraped number?

Ellie Edwards 12:54

Yeah, so we pull tributed sales directly from from Amazon. So whether the customer as a seller or a vendor, we're able to get that data. And then to calculate organic sales, we we, we do. So for sellers, we're able to pull total sales sort of like periodically for every day, vendors are a little bit more tricky. We kind of have to rely on vendor vendor central reports, which we essentially have our users upload, but the effect is the exact same. And what we'll do is we'll just take that that total sales number and then subtract it generated sales to calculate those organic

Aaron Conant 13:31

sales. Yeah. Awesome. I like about it is the the answer here is did your overall sales go up?

Ellie Edwards 13:42

Exactly. Yeah. So all this stuff.

Joe Rideout 13:46

Only thing I would add here is, um, you know, the sort of dream, right would be that you could have two parallel universes. And there's one universe where you run ads, and there's another universe where you don't, and then you see, you know, which one has more total sales coming through. I mean, that's the only sort of true way to know incrementality. But in Lea of being able to do that, then really what you want to do is experiment. So you try running the ad or not running the ad, and you see what impact it has on these organic metrics that that Ellie has been talking about.

Aaron Conant 14:17

Is there a is there a timeframe for those experiments? Is it like, is it running for a week run? Is there is there a standard I think it is people think about this, as you know, they're taking notes really quick because I do a lot of it right? You want. You want to incremental sales, you want to know that you spent and it went up because you spent because it went up not because you spent that you don't want to spend but everybody's spending because it's pay to play. But you're running trials, is there like a standard if you do this, let it run for 14 days, let it run for 28 days is there is there kind

Joe Rideout 14:54

of if there's industry standards, I think more about the volume of data as opposed to The timeframe. So if you get many, many daily sales, then you might be able to get insights within a day. Versus if it's slower, it might take you longer. Yeah, that's probably probably how I would think about it. You know, the other, of course, important thing is just being aware of like, seasonal time of day day of the week, impact and whether there's any, like, you know, things in your, you know, you want to make sure your control group is a control is a control group, you know, so you don't want to run your tests without the ad on a Saturday and your test with the ad on a Tuesday, if you have completely different dynamics on those two days. And similarly, you know, be aware of retail stuff that's going on, like to have any promotions on or has anything gone out of stock. So just try to keep it as controlled as possible. Awesome. Love it. Love it.

Ellie Edwards 15:49

Awesome. Yeah, so we'll move on the next. The next kind of point we want to highlight is the importance of incrementality, specifically on top of search. So top of search is interesting. It's I mean, it's long been understood as the most effective ad type on Amazon. And this is for good reason. These These placements appear above the fold are typically the first products that shoppers will see. And so there, they get a ton of visibility. And because of this type of search, ads also drive most sales when compared to other ad placements, which again, comes to no surprise. But actually, to kind of prove this further, we have a graph here that we pulled from our q1 2023 bench Benchmark Report, that's perpetuals benchmark report would recommend checking out the whole thing, because there's a lot of really cool insights like this. But if we actually look at the data, we find the top of search ad placements generate around 49% of conversions, almost 50% of conversions from only 2% of impressions on sponsored products overall, so pretty significant. And these ads also are responsible for around one in every clicks on sponsored product ads. So they're taking up a large portion of the conversions that are happening through through sponsored product ads overall. So we know that top of search is one of the most effective ways of driving sales. But the other thing to keep in mind is these ads tend to be the most expensive, which makes it all the more important to ensure these ads, these sales sorry, that are coming from these ads are incremental, so. And the other the other thing to keep in mind with top of search is that ads, they live in an organic environment. And they're often not distinguishable from organic placements surrounding them at the top of the page. So as a shopper, depending on what other what other items I see at the top of the page is really going to impact my decision to purchase. Which brings me to my next point, which is top of search mirroring. Now, I'm not sure if anyone on the call today has heard of this term before. But essentially what type of search Mirroring is and how it occurs is when you see the same product appearing in top of search organically, and also appearing as a top of search ad. And the effect here is that essentially shoppers feel like they're seeing double when the exact same product is showing up twice above the fold. And again now because because sponsored products are appear. So similar to organic placements, most shoppers can't distinguish between the two. And they may click on your ad, but only because it appears slightly before the organic placement. So the main point here is, when this happens, you're effectively losing out on incrementality by essentially cannibalizing sales that you would have likely earned without paying for an ad. This is a very specific example of what you want to avoid to maximize your incremental sales.

Aaron Conant 19:01

I mean, are we at a point where the Amazon the search results are different depending on previous search history? Like KU, Google is right. It used to be, you know, five years ago, we all search on the same term on Google the same results show up and now it's highly tailored to previous search history purchase history. Is that the same on Amazon? And then would that make it almost impossible to know whether or not mirrors are because we all looking at our own brands all the time. So naturally, if I'm running an ad and I do a search term, it's going to show me my product in organic if that's if this is the case, and I'm gonna get an ad for it.

Joe Rideout 19:39

So is Yeah, that's actually a really good questionnaire. And we studied this a fair bit as we started looking into this. From what we've observed, like there still is kind of a baseline set of organic results that most people are going to see especially if it's in a category that you're shopping for For the first time, you know, so there is that like bass line a tan algorithm like, pure ranking. So trying to identify mirroring and go after it and prevent it is still very valuable. What we have seen is if people have already been shopping in a category for a while, maybe they bought some of the products that they've searched for that before, then the ordering might start to get very Tibet. And I don't know if, you know, Amazon tends to do a lot of A B testing experiments, you know, see what drives click through, try different things on different users. So that tends to happen. Again, from what we've observed a little more in areas where somebody has already done some searches, potentially made some purchases. Okay.

Aaron Conant 20:41

Yeah. Awesome. All right. The crazy thing in this case is they probably would have bought your product anyways.

Ellie Edwards 20:48

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Cuz it's really, it's right there. But if, depending on how they navigate throughout the page, they might notice the ad first and just end up clicking there instead of the organic.

Aaron Conant 21:00

I'll take attribution for it if you did.

Ellie Edwards 21:02

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, and I mean, sometimes this is unavoidable, I have seen instances where, you know, a brand just has such strong share voice on a particular search space, that they're, you know, they're the best seller. And they're doing they're kind of capturing like most of the share on a certain set of keywords. So they're organically going to place very, very high. And, and so I guess, in some sense, you know, maybe they don't need to sponsor at all on that page. But there is a potential that the brand just really wants to have maximum coverage as well, on the search results page. It really depends on specific Strategy. But it's a really good thing to keep in mind when you're thinking about incremental sales is that this can be a large inhibitor, especially because a large amount of sales can come from these top of search placements. So

Aaron Conant 22:01

my takeaway, then is, if I've got a top selling item, it's always showing up in, you know, top of organic search anyways, is limiting my top of search placement ads.

Ellie Edwards 22:12

I don't know if that's necessarily true, I think that Amazon will still serve an ad if it's even if, like, it's typically based on their idea of, you know, what's the most relevant? What's gonna convert what's gonna get clicks? So if you are the best seller, and you're still targeting that that search term, you likely we're still probably gonna get that placement. Okay. Yeah, yeah. So how do we avoid mirroring. So again, when you're looking at mirroring, you want to look for instances where your product is ranking in the top six organically, and also has a top placement for the same search term. So for top of search, that's really like the top four. And when this happens, there's a couple different things that you can do. So the first one is to minimize sales cannibalization on that specific product that is being mirrored, you'll likely just want to try lowering your bid on applicable keywords to reduce your sponsored ad ranking. And this encourages more shoppers to purchase your product by clicking on that top organic placement. But in this case, it's important to keep in mind that just because top of search, placements aren't incremental, it doesn't necessarily mean that other sponsored product placements are not incremental, as well. So it could just be a matter here of reducing your bid to hit rest of search or product detail page placements, so that you're still getting attributed sales, but you're not paying a premium for those type of search placements. And alternatively, and maybe actually, in addition to this, if you have a range of products that are relevant to the search term, your targeting, you may also just want to consider swapping out this ad for a more profitable product, or maybe even cross sell a new product within your catalog. And we're going to get a little bit more into detail on this later. But essentially, you'll want to look for products that are again, relevant to the search term, also highly competitive in terms of ratings, reviews and price. So you want to look at like the top ranking products and see how your ratings reviews and price stack up against those products. And then ideally, the products that you're promoting currently rank low organically. So again, you're limiting missing out on those organic sales that you would have probably achieved without not. Well,

Aaron Conant 24:42

if you have questions drop into the chat or the q&a, we'll make sure we tackle one for sure.

Ellie Edwards 24:48

All right, I'm going to hand things back over to Joe to talk about how we actually identify search terms worth investing in on top of search.

Joe Rideout 24:56

Yeah, thanks, Ellie. So so really talked about how you identify In this kind of bad scenario where you're specifically not driving incremental sales with an ad, we're now going to talk about how to identify search terms, where there's kind of maximal incremental opportunity, some of the kind of heuristics and tools that we've developed. And then second, once you've identified those highly incremental search terms, how you decide which of your ASINs to try to win top of search on with. So three metrics that we'd recommend looking at or three signals, one would be search volume, so is this a search term that gets a lot of traffic on Amazon, too, is top of search, click share. So this is a signal of how much do people tend to click on the top few search results versus scrolling around exploring a lot. And then finally, click through rate of your products, which is a proxy measure for the relevance of this search term to your products or to your brand. So let's do that double click into search volume. So if you have a search, if you know if you're gonna really sort of invest in an individual search term, maybe you're using keyword booster topic search optimizer, if you use Perpetua, you want to go after those search terms where there's going to be highest potential for return. So high volume search terms. And Amazon has this great tool within brand Analytics, which is the search frequency report. So the top Amazon search terms and a stacked rank order by volume. So that's a, they don't give you the exact sort of number of daily impressions. But that's a really good sort of proxy to understand which keywords are high volume. And depending on sort of your brand and your products, you may have just a threshold where the volume is below some certain amount on search frequency rank, it's just not interesting to you and not worth pursuing. And so figure out where that threshold is for your brand. And that's kind of a way to filter it down to those highest volume search terms. Second, is invest on terms that are less scrolly. So I don't know if anybody else uses this, this might just be a perpetual thing. But some search terms, people scroll around and search around more than others. So on the far right here, we have this example of when the search term women's tops. So for women's tops, the top three most clicked search results get only 2.8% of the clicks, meaning that the click the thing, the products that people click on are like peanut butter spread across that whole first page, maybe even across the second and the third page. Then if you look in the middle, here, we have toilet paper, toilet paper, probably a little less variety than women's tops, but still, you know, different brands that you can, you can choose from I go for the Kirkland Signature myself, but there's lots out there. So 26.39% of clicks go to those, those top three. So they are grabbing like a pretty good chunk of the clicks. And then air pods is the most extreme example, where the top three search results get 68%. So very, not scrolling to category. Not that many choices for air pods, not that many people selling air pods. So if you again, want to invest in top of search, which as we've said, you pay a premium for, you want to do that on search terms where people don't scroll much where they see whatever is at the top of the search, whether it's an organic placement or a paid placement, and they click on it. So go for it go for less less squirrely terms,

Aaron Conant 28:22

and how do you determine less growly? I mean, it intuitively makes sense, right? Like, T shirts, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, find something right, like, click. But how is how do you find out to it? Is there a tool? Like? Yeah,

Joe Rideout 28:37

we use a tool that Amazon provides, which is, again, in those top Amazon search term, reports this is in with within brand analytics. For every search term, you get the click share of the top three products. So those percentages that we have on this chart, that's you, you add those percentages up, you get a total for the first three. And you could kind of plot a graph where it's like, you know, how a percent of the clicks like how quick does it fall off as you go down the down the search result page. So we use this? Again, that's it's top of search, click Share. It's a metric that Amazon provides, in those brand analytic reports. We use that as a measure of scrolling us.

Aaron Conant 29:18

That's awesome. Right? I mean, totally makes sense. I mean, it's just it's just so funny, how difficult it's getting to when it's just getting more and more complicated, right? They weren't talking about less scrolling and more slow scrolly a year and a half ago. Right. But as more and more people have flooded to the platform, it's increasingly pay to play. You know, overall, you know, cost advertisers going up. You have to get to this level, or you're, you're losing money. I mean, we definitely

Joe Rideout 29:53

love Amazon has been innovating quite fast and rolling out. More and more reports more and more levers to pull All. So that's great. If you know how to use these things, you can get an early mover advantage. But it does mean that there's a lot to learn and a lot to keep up with you got to kind of stay on top of it. Awesome. Yeah. And then the last one is, you want to look for search terms that are relevant to your products. And click through rate is a pretty good proxy for this. If you run ads, and you're looking you're advertising search term reports, search terms that tend to have a high click through rate are likely relevant to your brand to your products. So to summarize, those three, you know, probably first thing is find, find search terms that are relevant to your product, either you can say a click through rate or the title, then filter that down using that Amazon top search terms to the ones with the highest volume using some threshold. And then from those figure out the ones that are the least scrolly. So those least scroll a high volume relevant search terms are good places to invest in winning top of search, and we expect to see more incremental sales. Awesome. Awesome. Oh, yeah. So

Ellie Edwards 31:18

so after, so after you identify the search term that you want to go after, you want to you want to be strategic about which products in your catalog you promote on these type of search placements. And so similar to search terms with when it comes to products, there's sort of three key factors you want to keep in mind when determining which product has the most incrementality potential on a specific keyword. So the first one is again, relevancy. So this one is pretty straightforward. But you just want to make sure that the product is highly relevant to the search term being targeted, and is going to be appealing to the shoppers that are searching for that specific term. The second one here is competitiveness, which I briefly touched on again earlier, but you want to make sure that your product reviews, price and rating are at par, so around the same or better than the ASINs that are currently ranking at top of search to make sure that you're going to be able to compete and convert. And then finally we'll look at organic rank. So ideally, you want to focus spend towards products that are currently ranking low organically to maximize the sales incrementality.

Aaron Conant 32:34

If I look at number two, though, competitiveness, yeah, literally, I look at my product, and I'm half a star lower, and I'm $3 More than don't do it. It's a waste of money.

Ellie Edwards 32:48

No, I would say I would use it as one of the factors to consider. There's always going to be a range here. And I think like if you're saying, you know, you're half a star below the top ASINs are your price only $3 above, like, you're you're still sort of around the same range. I think it's you know, if you're seeing products at top of search that are all priced at $10, and your product is 30, then maybe you're not going to convert as well. So just keeping that in mind when you when you select products.

Aaron Conant 33:21

Yeah, but definitely, yeah, no, I love it. It's, you know, you've got, you know, a portfolio of 500 ASINs. Yeah, it's almost like you need a rule setter in there. That if this then that if this if this if this? If this if this if this, then this.

Ellie Edwards 33:38

Yeah, exactly. I mean, I would be the ideal state, hopefully, Perpetua will have some tools in the future to help with making this process a lot easier and less complicated recommendation

Aaron Conant 33:50

on products most likely to win. Yeah, that is going to be invaluable for what what products rather than the peanut butter spread across all my products, right? It is kind of what you're saying is pick the right pick the winners you have. Yeah, exactly. ride that horse. And then as they go, then you actually can decrease paid media spend over time. You know, once you're at the organic level, you're naturally via but there might be a time where like, Hey, you're already at the top dial back on, you know, on that product and go what's the next best one to go for to get at the top?

Ellie Edwards 34:24

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And actually, currently we do we are we're kind of working in beta right now with a top of search optimizer which essentially so once you have the asin in mind, we have an algorithm built around basically ensuring that that product hits top of search and then we'll proactively like shade your bid down and tell you lose that placement and then bump it up again. So you're really getting that type of search placement for the lowest cost possible. So the idea there is yes to kind of pair that with the you know, this is the the top product that you could possibly put in out on this search term.

Aaron Conant 35:02

Awesome, as Scott puts it out here, and that is why you hire an agency or software, I have 15,000 skews. Yeah. Previous li previous company. I had 60,000 skews. Exactly. And do this manually. Now. You can't? You can't do it manually. I don't. Ellie may, if you have five skews. Yeah, at scale, it can't be done. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, um,

Ellie Edwards 35:28

okay. Let me just dive a little bit deeper into some of these. But yeah, feel free to keep, um, if anyone has questions, pop them in the chat. So again, the first thing we want to look at is relevancy. So it seems pretty straightforward. But you do want to keep this in mind. So you really the goal here is to ensure the ad you serve is appealing to shoppers. So I have an example here where I've searched for waterproof shoes, which actually seems like his one word not not too. And you can see that all the top ranked ASINs here have that that word as part of it as part of their title. But the bigger point here is that, you know, if you're, let's say you're selling water resistant shoes, like you don't want to really be targeting waterproof, because most likely the top ASINs, there are going to truly be waterproof shoes. So just making sure that you're being selected there. But pretty straightforward with this first point. And then the second thing that we want to look at is, again, competitiveness. So when you're looking for products, you ideally want to have your the product that you're promoting should have, again, ratings, reviews, and price, at least the same as around or better than the ASINs already ranking at top of search. So kind of going back to one of our earlier examples. And this visualization we have here. Your product, let's say is the organic products that we're showing here with five stars. But currently, all the products that top of search have between four to four and a half stars. But So assuming your price is similar, your your reviews are at par with what's showing up on top of search, and you have a strong five star rating like you have a very strong opportunity here to capitalize and win some of that, that top of search share voice. I see if you have a question.

Aaron Conant 37:28

Yeah, I'll read through it if you if you want to keep going. And then we'll we'll tackle it. Yeah,

Joe Rideout 37:32

actually, I'll I'll add one little nuance LA. So people might be wondering, when you're looking at your competitive set, like what, what do you compare it to, you're looking at the top three, the top five, the top 10. An interesting suggestion is again, to go back to those top Amazon search term reports, which I think are really powerful. And that will tell you, again, those top three most clicked ASINs. I would start with with those because those are the ones that people are clicking on. And you know, to your question earlier, Aaron about are people seeing different search results. Regardless of that, we know that those top three are the ones that are getting clicked. So when you're thinking about, you know who your competition is, I'd wait those three, maybe first or more heavily?

Aaron Conant 38:16

No, that's interesting, right? Because just your competition in brick and mortar. Right. I run into this a lot just in talking to brands all day, every day there. They view their competition is exactly the same as what they battle for shelf space for and a store. And I love the poem, Joe. Joe, that that's not necessarily true on Amazon, it can be but a lot of times it's another brand that's completely dominating. And, you know, you think you're bidding on competitive search terms, but you're not. Right. It's they might be on page three. So just knowing who the other players are, I think is is really important. Yeah, yeah,

Ellie Edwards 38:58

sure. Yeah. Yeah, really good point. Oh, awesome. And then the last, the last factor that you should really focus on when it comes to selecting your products to promote a top of search is organic rank. So essentially, the lower that your organic rank is currently assuming, again, your product is relevant, it's competitive, the more incremental opportunity that you have. So as you can see, kind of we've created this simple visualization here. But as organic rank increases, ie your rank is going actually lower down on the page, your incremental opportunity is increasing. And that is again, just due to the fact that it's less likely for a shopper to find your product when you're through an organic placement when that rank is very low. So with an ad here, you have the opportunity to gain incremental sales on that product by bumping it to top of search.

Aaron Conant 39:55

Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, in your top of search, you even get the mirror In effect, and then maybe they're going on sponsored is, if you're on page three, you're not getting the marry effect. Exactly, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. The comment that came in was just around, you know, trying to build internal software, third party software to do this on your own. And, you know, Scott was just saying, you get to the point where teams can't keep up. And you're overspending. So, yeah, yes. It's just tough to do it internal right now. It just, it is and then, unless you have 10, skews or less? Yeah, it's hard to do. Yeah, for sure.

Ellie Edwards 40:36

Yeah, so those are really the main three points. So again, in summary, you want to look for products that are highly relevant to the search term you're targeting. They're very competitive. And they currently rank low organically. And that kind of concludes the content that Joe and I have today, but definitely want to, you know, open up the floor to more questions, we can dive into any of the topics we touched on in more detail as well.

Aaron Conant 41:03

You know, a great time if you want to drop any questions in the chat or the q&a, or you can email them to me, Aaron Aaron@bwgconnect.com? And we'll get those answered, If you want to drop them in. What are the what are the newest things that are popping up? That's what people want to be aware of. I don't know if there are things on the Amazon side that they need to be aware of. They're just around the corner. And then also, you know, a lot of times people think about questions that come in around the breakdown and marketing spend, and what that should look like. So I'll kind of throw those out there. But others if you have questions outside of those, feel free to shoot them and we'll get them answered.

Joe Rideout 41:44

Definitely, you know, in terms of new things, if you're interested in search, the search, the sqp, search, query performance reports are really powerful. Those are also within brand new brand analytics. And that, you know, they're similar in many ways to the search term reports that you get from running ads, except they look at organic traffic, and organic clicks your organic purchase. Sure. So definitely, definitely recommend those. Awesome.

Aaron Conant 42:12

What, what is the balance between like, PPC DSP, that you're seeing take place because, um, you know, if I go back a year and a half or so heavily into PVC, maybe it's 20, ad, PVC, or you know, 80%, PVC, 20%, DSP. And now those are getting closer to 5050. Do you see like the same trend? Or how should people be thinking about a paid media budget on on Amazon?

Joe Rideout 42:45

I think we certainly see more budget getting allocated to display and upper funnel, as brands mature, both in terms of you know, they they mature, so they have unlocked additional budget to put towards ad spend that's more experimental. And then also, I think, to measure the effectiveness of DSP, you have to be a little bit more sophisticated because there isn't, I mean, there is row as free DSP, but row as is like not the metric that you really want to want to be looking at, especially with like view based attribution. So I don't know, maybe LA has some ideas, if we've seen a shift to more budgets going to display what I would think probably what it is, is that just more of the industry is becoming more sophisticated. So more brands are reaching that point where they have educated themselves, they've figured out how to use some of these alternative metrics to measure incrementality and so they feel comfortable moving dollars over to DSP. Yeah,

Ellie Edwards 43:47

yeah, I think I mean definitely agree with everything Joe said here, I think especially now with with AMC audiences, which are unlocked through DSP, more and more, we have brands that really want full control over the entire shopper journey, and they're able to unlock that and action it through through these AMC audiences. So I think it's definitely not as much of a surprise these days to see a lot of customers shifting, you know, a large portion of their brand to DSP, but again, I think it is those more sophisticated brands that have basically sort of saturated their sponsored product investment, their you know, sponsored brands sponsored display, and they're looking for additional ways to to find new customers through those were upper upper funnel tactics on DSP. And then to sort of supplement that they'll also typically run you know, those like sort of retargeting remarketing campaigns on DSP to make sure that they're they're basically keeping their current customer base, a customer base. So I think there's kind of two components there. Awesome.

Aaron Conant 44:58

Question for smaller brands, what are your thoughts on casting a broad net to generate awareness via broader search keywords versus highly targeted, relevant keywords?

Joe Rideout 45:09

Yeah, so I, maybe we're a little biased here, I don't think we're bias. You know, certainly within Perpetua, you know, we have the concept of a goal, which is an automation, AI driven mechanism that goes out and finds targets for you to bid on. So, we do this in kind of the standard ways, we run auto campaigns which generate ideas, we run broad match keywords, and then we comb through the search reports and see, okay, what are people actually searching for, we can add those as exact match. And then we're setting bid based on a model that we have of how likely we think that that keyword is going to convert. So that's our version of, you know, the casting a broad net, you know, what I would recommend is do both, so have that, that broad net that's out there, that is, you know, more A cos or row as based, but where you've set different parameters for different classes of those broad keywords, so put all of your branded keywords into one broad bucket, because the incrementality dynamics of them are going to be different from your competitor keywords, and your category keywords, then, you know, look through, sort of comb through that broad net for the really standout keywords. And these may stand out because they're driving a lot of spend and sales. Again, if you have an ability to intersect that search term list with the search frequency rank, you can pull out the sort of highest volume keywords from that. And then take a more of a targeted approach on those where you'd have more of a deep understanding of incrementality and the value of topic search to you. So I think yeah, going back to what Ellie said earlier on, it's like, for those high volume, keywords, that's where incremental incrementality is going to matter the most.

Aaron Conant 47:06

Awesome. Next question, how effective has Amazon related SEO? Has Amazon related SEO Ben on driving products to top of search when compared with a typical Google SEO optimization. So better SEO should improve incrementality and opportunities?

Joe Rideout 47:21

Correct. So I'm I'm, and I'd be the first to admit, I'm not really an expert on Google SEO, or really, Amazon SEO as it pertains to, let's say, you know, content, optimization or title up up optimization, you know, we do know that organic rank is tied to a combination of sales and a click through rate. And that the a 10 algorithm takes into account clicks and sales, both on organic rank as our organic results and sponsored results. So you can pay, I don't think Amazon would ever say this officially. But you can pay to drive sales and clicks through your ads, which will have will then feed back into the a 10 algorithm and influence your organic rank. Of course, you know, to do that you have to have a product that is competitive, and that people want to click through on and purchase. Yeah, I don't know if I answered the question, Elliot, anything to add on there? Um, no, I'm

Ellie Edwards 48:33

not super familiar with Google SEO as well.

Aaron Conant 48:38

Yeah, I mean, I just from my conversations, I mean, the tough thing is with Amazon, it's it's pay to play. And so part of getting to top of search is conversion, right? It's detail page views, and it's conversion. And because of all the advertising that's going on, you can do all you want to your product detail page, you knew all you want. And, you know, nobody will ever find it until you have actually traffic detail page views and conversion. And that'll help drive it. So there's, you know, you know, brands out there that just go all in on trying to do that and get organic search rank up. Where as opposed to Google, you can do a lot of things where it's gonna flag. But that is even slowly waning because of the updates Google has been making to everything being a personalized search result. Everything's a personalized search result now, and therefore, the SEO side is an ongoing, ever changing animal even on the Google side. So but yes, better SEO should improve incrementality. For sure, from the standpoint of, you know, people will convert at a faster pace when you're driving traffic to those pages. So there's a paid element Next question says, seems like Perpetua is leading the way on mirroring. How are you making it easier for brands to understand where mirroring Mirroring is happening? And how to action when it's happening? Yeah,

Ellie Edwards 50:15

that's a great question. So we're currently working on I mean, product capabilities, I'll just say for now, to directly support this, this pain point. And so we've done a lot of investigation and work over the past while on being able to identify when this is happening, and then again, how to, to eliminate some of that manual work involved with identifying maybe what's the more incremental products that you could target instead of of the product that's being mirrored? So yeah, definitely. In terms of mirroring, we're actively looking for we're actively working on right now, product capabilities to support finding instances of that. And then on the flip side, we're also working on helping our users identify those search terms with a large opportunity, and then finding the products that best supplement those search terms and yield the most potential incremental sales. So yes, definitely, it's in the works. I will say that for now. Stay tuned.

Joe Rideout 51:26

And Aaron, if a software company wanted to detect them hearing, you know, what they might do is look at all of the search terms, or keywords that you're advertising on. And then scrape the page and see, is there an asin that appears in the top six, organic and also appears on one of those top four sponsored slots and then raise an alarm? or raise a little flag? Which is probably valuable? If you have six 700? ASINs?

Aaron Conant 51:52

Yeah. Which is, do you want to continue with this ad or not? And then we get into testing and learning? Well, maybe I turn it off, maybe and 10 of them, I turn it off, and 10 of them, I leave it on? And then I see is there incrementality or not? I see we're pretty much I always like to end a few minutes early. You know, Ali, I'll go to you first key takeaways. And I'll take it over to Joe and we'll kind of wrap it up here. Sounds good? Yeah,

Ellie Edwards 52:16

yeah, for sure. So I think I mean, the the key takeaways here today is just number one, you know, be be very aware of incrementality and how that plays into your ad Strategy. I think you know, from Perpetua is foundational approach, we do a really good job of guiding our customers to thinking this way through some of our like more advanced strategies, separating out branded versus unbranded keywords. But even further, especially when you're going after, you know, some of those more expensive placements that typically we find that top of search, it's a good idea to think strategically about what products you're pushing to those placements, and whether or not that's actually going to improve your top line sales. Because again, they are expensive. Um, aside from that, I would just say, stay tuned for some exciting updates on our end very soon. And some exciting content as well, that's going to be released around this same topic in the near future.

Joe Rideout 53:18

I'll hand it off to Joe. Dig always my friend. Yeah, two key takeaways. If you don't use the Amazon top search, term report and brand analytics, make sure you check it out. And then to just again, to remind everyone, you know, top search is most effective placement, but also can be at the most expensive. So that's really where you want to sort of put the magnifying glass or the lens most on incrementality.

Aaron Conant 53:46

Awesome. Well, Ellie, Joe, thanks so much for your time today. Everybody look for a follow up email for us. Thanks for the great questions that came through. I'd love to have a conversation with anybody that's on the line today and more than happy to connect you with anybody over at Perpetua with that, we're going to wrap up, wrap up the webinar today. Everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you on a future event. Thanks again, Ellie. Thanks, Joe. Already. We'll see you next time

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