TCS – Trendle’s Comprehensive PPC Strategy & Automation (Step 6) -updated


This article is step 6 of our step-by-step guide to Amazon PPC Advertising


Important Foreword 1: Prepare your listing – Retail Readiness #

Before running PPC campaigns, make sure your product listing is the best it can be. Check your images, reviews, title and your description (summary points and description or EBC/A+ content).

This is critical because with PPC you’re paying for potential customers to view your product. But if you do not convince these buyers that your product is the best solution to their need then they won’t buy from you.

By using the keywords from Part 1 (see below), you can improve your listing to make sure it appeals both to the Amazon algorithm as well as human eyes.

Tip: For Amazon’s algorithm there’s no need to repeat a keyword. You should only repeat a keyword if it’s to convince/reassure a prospective customer.

Check out this webinar on creating great images that sell.

Also take a look at our photo-shooting, imaging and listing copywriting services.

If you need more reviews, install and activate our chrome extension and check out this webinar for tips on gaining more reviews.

Important Foreword 2: #

There is no magical solution to PPC that will guarantee you success on Amazon with no effort. If it existed, we wouldn’t be here writing about it, we’d rather be having a beer in the Caribbean!

What is Trendle’s Comprehensive Stragtegy (TCS)? #

Let’s be upfront about something: PPC is complex and requires you to understand each option made available by Amazon in order to improve your return on investment (ROI).

Trendle’s founders have spent over $600k of their own money advertising in 9 Amazon countries for over 10 years and are continuously improving their blueprint. The ‘Comprehensive PPC Strategy’ is the latest method used by other sellers who have taken part in Trendle’s one-on-one coaching programme.

Let’s break down the ‘Trendle Comprehensive PPC Strategy’ in a way that will enable you to learn and implement years of PPC knowledge and experience in minutes.

Disclaimer: There is no magical solution to PPC that will guarantee you success on Amazon with no effort. If it existed, we wouldn’t be here writing about it, we’d rather be having a beer in the Caribbean!

Trendle will create 5 Sponsored Products, 1 Sponsored Brand and 1 Sponsored Display campaigns. We’ll focus in this article on Sponsored Products as this the one used by every seller, it is also the most complex. In a future article we will expand into SB and SD.

SPM Harvesting and SPA Harvesting are your campaigns to discover new keywords and ASINs which are then automatically moved to the manual campaigns.

SPM KW Performance contains top keywords returned by Trendle’s keyword research tool and any additional keywords you’ve provided. It will keywords discovered in the Harvesting campaigns. All these keywords are split into different ad groups for greater control and monitoring.

SPM KW Protection will have keywords that are relevant but don’t perform as well as the top 10-20% of keywords. This allows to keep the Performance campaign focused on truly high performing keywords.

SPM PT (Product Targeting) contains all the competitor ASINs you are targeting.

TCS Step-by-Step #

TCS will create 5 Sponsored Products Campaigns and over 100 automation rules.

Step 1: Select Product to advertise

Select which product you want to advertise by choosing Country and SKU(s) and entering the product costs and a short name.

Product Costs: This is the landed cost (DDP) of the product and should include all costs in manufacturing, purchasing, shipping, importing the product. Do not include Amazon fees, Trendle will calculate these. The product cost is used to determine your margin and therefore Target ACoS.

Short Name: This will be used to name your campaigns and Ad Groups. We recommend keeping it as short as possible (less than 10 characters) so that the campaign names don’t get too long. For example, if you’re advertising a drinking bottle, you may use “BTL” or use the SKU, or ASIN of the product. The idea is to help you quickly identify later which campaigns refer to which product. See towards the end of this article more about the naming convention used.
You can only use a short name once.

Step 2: Keyword Research

In this step you can provide keywords and ASINs that you want the TCS to include or exclude form the start.

As a minimum requirement, you must provide at least 1 ASIN, ideally a competitor or your own if you have no true competitors. This will allow Trendle to identify the best keywords to use in the Manual campaigns from the start.

In the other fields, type your own keywords or ASINs that you may have from your own research or from previous campaigns. Enter one keyword or ASIN per line.

Step 3: Campaigns and PPC Automation

In the final step you can review and edit the rules that will automate your campaigns.

Here are some important tips:

  1. Make sure the Conversion Rate (CR) is realistic. For example, if you only have a few sessions (ie people who’ve viewed your product) then you’re unlikely to have a reliable CR. In which case, you can adjust the CR to be what you would expect it to be. CR will impact the rules in terms of deciding when changes are taken. For example, after x clicks bids are changed. You can always edit the rules later after the launch.
  2. CR data is based on the Business Reports which are synchronised from Seller Central using Trendle’s free Chrome Extension. You will see a warning if Trendle doesn’t have any or recent data. In that case, you can either log in to Seller Central to sync your latest data (this can take a few minutes) or manually adjust the CR (which might be faster in that moment)
  3. We recommend that you double check the ad group default bids and rules settings to make sure you are comfortable and aware of what is being done. It is difficult to make one-size fits all system, so we have done our best to make it work for as many seller as possible.
  4. For each campaign and ad group we have provided some additional information to explain the objective of each.

Go to Step 7 “Strategies”

TCS in depth details #

Part 1: Research your keywords #

Buyers will find your products by typing in keywords in the Amazon search bar. Amazon will then show organic and sponsored results to the buyer. Where your product ranks organically will depend on how popular your product is, a large portion of this comes down to Conversion Rate (CR) within Amazon’s A10 algorithm.

Where your product ranks in Sponsored (PPC) results will depend on how much you are bidding on that keyword and your products popularity for that keyword, where again a large portion of this comes down to Conversion Rate (CR) within Amazon’s algorithms.

Therefore it’s critical that you have the relevant keywords in your listing and in your Amazon PPC advertising for buyers to find you.

Use Trendle’s Reverse ASIN feature to get 100-5000 keywords for your product. This will save you a lot of time and hassle in researching and thinking of keywords for your listing. You can always add your own keywords once you’ve seen what our Reverse ASIN has returned. We’ll also use PPC campaigns to discover new keywords (see Parts 3 and 4 below)

Part 2: Trendle’s Comprehensive PPC Strategy (TCS) – Details #

Let’s be upfront about something: PPC is complex and requires you to understand each option made available by Amazon in order to improve your return on investment (ROI).

Trendle’s founders have spent over $300k of their own money advertising in 9 Amazon countries for over 10 years and are continuously improving their blueprint. The ‘Comprehensive PPC Strategy’ is the latest method used by other sellers who have taken part in Trendle’s one-on-one coaching programme.

Let’s break down the ‘Trendle Comprehensive PPC Strategy’ in a way that will enable you to learn and implement years of PPC knowledge and experience in minutes.

Disclaimer: There is no magical solution to PPC that will guarantee you success on Amazon with no effort. If it existed, we wouldn’t be here writing about it, we’d rather be having a beer in the Caribbean!

We will create 5 Sponsored Products, 1 Sponsored Brand and 1 Sponsored Display campaigns. We’ll focus in this article on Sponsored Products as this the one used by every seller, it is also the most complex. In a future article we will expand into SB and SD.

Here’s a brief overview of each campaign setup and their objective:

Campaign #1: Keyword Manual Performance: SPM – KW Performance

Trendle will insert all your researched keywords from Reverse ASIN, Auto & Manual Campaign Harvesting, your own research. All these keywords are considered relevant to your products and therefore should generate sales. The goal is therefore to identify the bid level required to generate profitable sales for these relevant keywords.

Trendle will focus on the top 150 keywords with best positioning and most traffic from Reverse ASIN.

This campaign will have the following Ad Groups:

  • Exact (n)
    • Keywords as Exact Match.
    • Up to 150 keywords per ad group. Additional ad groups are created as necessary (e.g. Exact (1), Exact (2)…)
  • Exact from Phrase
    • Keywords will be added here using automation from the Manual Harvesting campaign.
  • Exact from Broad
    • Keywords will be added here using automation from the Manual Harvesting campaign.
  • Exact from Auto
    • Keywords will be added here using automation from the Automatic Harvesting campaign.

Campaign #2: Keyword Manual Protection: SPM Keyword Protection

In this campaign, you will place all the keywords that are not getting much exposure but are relevant and have converted for you in the past. Trendle Automation will also move keywords from the Performance campaign to this campaign. 

The idea is to move and monitor the keywords that are getting low to no exposure from the Performance to the Protection campaign. This would enable you to monitor and optimise these listings using a different strategy that would not affect the Performance campaign.

These are long tail keywords that may drive some low level of traffic and sales.

You want to separate these from the Performance campaign to ensure the Performance campaigns only contain the best keywords that Amazon will display.

Tip: it’s been widely reported that having too many keywords in an ad group and in a campaign will result in many keywords to never receive impressions and clicks).

This campaign will have the following Ad Group:

  • Exact Protection

Campaign #3: Manual Product Targeting (PT) (ASINs): SPM – PT

This campaign is similar to the KW Performance campaign except it focuses only on Product Targets (ASINs and Categories).

This campaign will have the following ad groups:

  • PT Performance
    • These are the ASINs discovered before (in case you had a prior set up and would like to move to the new structure). These ASINs have had a history of performance overtime and were discovered before using Automatic targetings or manually.
  • PT from Auto
    • Trendle Automation will move newly discovered ASINs from the Automatic Harvesting campaign to this ad group
  • PT from CT
    • These are ASINs that will come from the Manual Harvesting campaign using Category targetings.
  • PT n
    • Take the top 1-5 keywords for your product. Then search on Amazon and see the top 10-100 relevant ASINs that are returned and paste these into this ad group. This will allow you to advertise on your competitors listing and to assess the right bid level per competitor.
    • This is something you can do in a second step after launching the other campaigns and ad groups

Campaign #4: Manual Harvesting: SPM – Harvesting

In this campaign you’ll use the keywords and ASINs from the Performance and PT campaigns to discover related targets (keywords & ASINs).

This campaign will have the following Ad Groups:

  • Broad
    • Here you’ll insert keywords suggested by Amazon when setting up the campaign in Seller Central, or any other keywords you want to try out. Add these as Broad Match. Also add these keywords as Negative Exact in the SPA Harvesting campaign.
  • Phrase
    • Here you’ll insert keywords suggested by Amazon when setting up the campaign in Seller Central, or any other keywords you want to try out. Add these as Phrase Match. Also add these keywords as Negative Exact in the SPA Harvesting campaign.
  • Broad from Exact
    • Here you’ll insert your keywords from Reverse ASIN as Broad match type and as Negative Exact at the campaign level. This will allow you to find new related keywords.
  • Phrase from Exact
    • Here you’ll insert your keywords from Reverse ASIN as Phrase match type. This will allow you to find new related keywords.
  • CT Relevant
    • Category Targeting can be used to harvest relevant and performing product targeting ASINs that could help you boost your sales.
    • When you set up Category Targeting (CT) Ad Group in Seller Central, select the Categories recommended to you by Amazon or check the breadcrumb/ categorization path for when you uploaded the ASIN. Ensure that the targeted category is closely related and relevant to your product/ ASIN
  • CT Broad
    • CT Broad has the same principle as CT Relevant. However, it would be suggested to have a separate targeting for broader categories.
      Eg: Health and Beauty-> Beauty-> Face-> Eyes-> Mascara
      Eyes and Mascara would be highly relevant; however targeting face, beauty or health and beauty would be a broader context. That means, someone browsing through ASINs and products on Face/ Beauty may be a potential buyer you could advertise to. This helps you identify not just the parallel ASINs but also enables you to test out disruption with categories.

Campaign #5: Automatic Harvesting: SPA – Harvesting

In this campaign you’ll let Amazon discover new keywords and ASINs that you have not yet identified in your Performance campaign.

This campaign will have the following ad groups:

  • Close
    • Pause all Automatic targeting types except for ‘Close’ at a higher bid than the other ad groups
    • Place all the keywords from the Manual Performance Campaign as Negative Exact. The goal is to discover NEW keywords that were not discovered during your keyword research. 
    • Place all the product targetings (ASINs) as Negative match
    • When a relevant keyword is discovered, automation will move it to the ad group “EXACT keywords from AUTO”
    • When a relevant ASIN is discovered, automation will move it to the ad group “PT from Auto”
  • Loose
    • Pause all Automatic targeting types except for ‘Loose’ at a higher bid than the other ad groups. Repeat the other steps as in the ‘Close’ ad group’
  • Substitute
    • Pause all Automatic targeting types except for ‘Substitute’ at a higher bid than the other ad groups. Repeat the other steps as in the ‘Close’ ad group’
  • Complements
    • Pause all Automatic targeting types except for ‘Complements’ at a higher bid than the other ad groups. Repeat the other steps as in the ‘Close’ ad group’

Trendle Automation will then move relevant targets (keywords and ASINs) to the manual Performance campaign so that it can manage bid levels individually.


Naming Convention: 

For your information, Trendle uses the following naming convention:

Structure For Campaign

[1. Campaign Type]-[2. Country]-[3. SKU or short name]-[4. Ad type]: [5. Purpose of the campaign]
  1. Campaign Type:
  • SPM: Sponsored Products Manual Ads (Keyword or Product Targeting)
  • SPA: Sponsored Products Automatic campaign (Loose, close etc) 
  • SB: Sponsored Brands
  • SD: Sponsored Display Ads (Alternative and simplified version of Amazon DSP).
  1. Country

For example: US; CA; MX; DE etc

  1. SKU or short name

Here enter the SKU or ASIN of your product or short name that is easy for you to read.

  1. Ad Type:
  • KW: Keywords
  • PT: Product Page Targeting
  • CT: Category Targeting
  1. Purpose of the campaign:
  • Performance: High performing campaigns/ keywords discovered/
  • Harvesting: You want to discover new keywords
  • Protection: Manage relevant but low performance keywords differently rather than placing them as Negative.

Structure for Ad Group:

[1. Campaign Type]-[2. Country]-[3. SKU]-[4. Ad type]-[5. Purpose of the campaign]: [6. Ad Group Purpose]

1-5 as above

  1. Ad Group Purpose

For example, “Exact”, “Phrase”, “Exact Performance”, “Exact Protection”

Part 3: Review and maintain your campaigns #

After launch we recommend you wait until you have at least 7 full days of data (ie wait 10 days) before you look at the performance.

But don’t start making changes yet. After 2 weeks you can start to consider making changes to the following metrics:

  1. Out of budget campaigns. It’s really important that your KW Performance campaign does not run out of budget. So if it’s running out of budget, make sure to increase every couple of days until it can sustain the whole day. It may seem that you spend more, but in fact letting your campaigns run out of budget is worse as you’ll drag out the time it will take to gather data on each keyword, which could end up costing you more.
  2. Placement performance: Watch our webinar on how to train your eye in adjusting this metric
  3. Track your metrics:
    1. You can compare how metrics such as CR are different from when you created the campaign compared to now. If there are significant differences then you may want to consider changing some of the rules metrics. To do this, download the current list of Rules from Trendle > Ads Automation and make your changes directly in the excel and then upload the sheet back to Trendle for the changes to be processed.
    2. You can do the same for Placement Performance to assess how your each of your campaigns is performing per placement and make any adjustment. Watch our webinars on Placement Performance for more details.
Coming soon: This step will be fully integrated in Trendle, making it even more convenient and saving you even more time.

We welcome all your questions, comments and feedback to help us improve the application. Please chat to us or email us info@trendle.io

Go to Step 7 “Strategies”

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