The Full Question:
You mentioned that it is important to index keywords first to make sure the algorithm knows what your product is. Isn't there an argument to be made that you might be wrong about the search terms that your product will sell best for?
For example, what if you think your product is best suited as a collapsible trash bin but it sells more successfully as a laundry hamper (dramatic example but it's what I could come up with). In which case, don't you want to run auto campaigns and regularly negate or reduce bid on non-relevant keywords?
This way it would learn what your product isn't while still teaching you better search terms to target.
Yes sure, but it depends on what you are trying to do. At some point, you will have to start getting keywords from somewhere and that's usually when writing the product description/title. It can be that there is a secondary branch of keywords like in the following example, but at the beginning, you need to decide to go with one or the other.
I often see something like this:
"ABC Brand Hessian Shopping Bag - 100% Natural materials - Beach Bag, Weekender Bag, Tote Bag"
Here, the person is selling a shopping bag but hoping to grab some sales for beach bags etc. But the Amazon algorithm is a software program trying to determine what is being sold. It is not a person. So how does it know what is being sold? Does it show the item for beach bags, or weekender bags?
Do You Want 50 Shades of Grey?
If there are any grey areas in your listing and in the keywords that you target then you will likely create problems for yourself further down the line.
When you launch you need to be 100% clear about the keywords you are targeting. In the above example, there's enough of a market to succeed with one bag type. At the start, the algorithm can't know who your target shoppers are unless it is totally clear what you are selling.
When it understands what you are selling it will know all of the search terms that are used to buy it but it will only release a handful of them to your ASIN. It will release more as the product begins to prove that it can sell.
What I am saying, is that in the early stages of a launch 1-4 weeks (subject to how quickly it sells), forget about autos, broad, ASIN, and category target campaigns. Focus only on EXACT, and possibly Phrase match types.
Your Most Important Task at the Start...
Your most important job at the start is to get the right keywords aligned to your product. If you fail in this, your CPC will likely be higher, your organic rank lower, and you will struggle more to get your PPC rank higher.
Once you see that the algorithm is clear about what you sell, and is mapping the correct keywords to it, then you can branch out to these other ad types like auto and broad. If you do it in this order, you will suffer less from irrelevant search terms and your costs will be easier to control.
Then, you will get to expand your keywords as people who are searching for laundry hampers and see your product, will buy it. Or, ASINs that you are targeting that already rank for laundry hampers will begin to have those keywords mapped to your product when you take sales from them.
Begin by targeting the keywords that you think are right and that your competitors have in their titles. When you see that the algorithm is aligning the correct ones you will also likely see that it aligns some additional ones to your product. If they are relevant then target them with PPC too, if needed.
Once you have done this, then as you have said, Auto and Broad campaigns will help you to discover new search terms. This is part of the "alchemy" that I teach... going with the flow of what the algorithm is giving you and what your shoppers are telling you.
Growing Your Keyword Tree
Think of your ad campaigns and the launch of your product as planting a tree in your garden. When you target a keyword that could only be relevant to the type of product that you are selling then it is like nourishing the tree so that its roots grow stronger.
When its roots are strong it can take the weight of less relevant keywords that branch off in another direction.
Hope that helps.
Need help running your campaigns?
If you can't stand the stress of managing them anymore, or you simply wish you could get on and focus on what you love about your Amazon work, feel free to get in touch at heath AT amazonalchemist.com. I might be able to help.
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