Amazon Headline Search Ads Overview

Headline Search Ads allow sellers to create banner ads that showcase up to three products and direct shoppers to a custom landing page built from your brand’s products. Keyword-targeted, these ads display prominently at the top of Amazon search result pages on both desktop and mobile.

Note that Banner Search Ads are only available to sellers who’ve been approved through Amazon’s Brand Registry.

 

At a Glance:

Pros:

  • Guarantee of best real estate when ad shows
  • Ability to showcase brand
  • Ability to showcase multiple products on landing page

Cons:

  • Higher cost per click than other ad formats
  • Not suited for product-specific, long tail keywords
  • Added click between first click and conversion

 

Amazon Headline Search Ads offer sellers a great opportunity to increase brand awareness, something that’s been difficult in the past for Amazon.

Where traditional search ads will likely be more effective at matching search intent to a specific product, Headline Search Ads allows sellers to showcase their brand (or a subset of its products) in a way that wasn’t available before. n opportunity to get a brand in front of people earlier in the conversion funnel.

 

How to Use Headline Search Ads

As we see it, most Headline Search Ad campaigns fall into two general categories:

The first strategy involves directing shoppers to a broader brand page–showcasing all or nearly all of your products–with a primary goal of building brand awareness earlier in the conversion funnel. Assisted conversions, rather than “last click,”  are the success metric here as shoppers view your ad’s creative content and begin to associate it with concepts or product attributes.

The second strategy is to create a product landing page with a cohesive set of products that all match the same set of search terms. This is useful if you have similar products which are not listed as variations, allowing you to get eyeballs on multiple product options at once. In this scenario,the ad campaign still aims to drive direct conversions as with traditional sponsored product ads, with a secondary benefit of better brand awareness.

 

Amazon Headline Search Ad Setup:

Similar to it’s Sponsored Product ads, Amazon makes Headline Search Ads very easy to get up and running. Instead of a step by step, it’s more useful to consider the elements that are available to the average third party or brand page owner:

1) Landing Page Products: Amazon allows you to select the products which will display on your campaign’s landing page (minimum of 3). Regardless of whether you’re pursuing a broader branding strategy or a more direct conversion strategy, cohesion is key to both in order to build a landing page that’s more effective. However, if pursuing the latter strategy of last click-type conversions, similarity among your chosen products becomes more important as each one needs to be able to meet one set of keywords/search terms.

Amazon Headline search ads landing page product selection

Build a cohesive product section for your campaign’s landing page.

 

 

2) Displayed Product Images: Amazon allows you to display 3 products as well as  a “Main Image” which displays to the left of your ad copy. The three products’ main product images will display as thumbnails along with the first 18 characters of their Amazon product name.

The Main Image, slightly larger than the product thumbnails can display either:

– The thumbnail of one of your three chosen products

– The thumbnail of a 4th product belonging to the same brand

– A custom image – a great opportunity to escape Amazon’s restrictive image requirements and get creative!

Keep in mind that only the Main Image and your ad copy will display on mobile.

3) Headline / Ad Copy: Sellers are given 50 characters for their Headline Ad’s copy. Your style here depends on your goal, but it’s good practice to include the primary search terms that you’re using for your ad (just as we all work to get those relevant keywords into our product titles).

In addition, you also have the option to edit your brand’s display name.

Product image selection Amazon Headline Search Ads

Select your product’s headline and product image display

 

4) Targeted Keywords: Headline Search Ad’s keywords are set up using exactly the same interface as Sponsored Product ad campaigns. Aside from the additional consideration of branding benefits, keywords should follow the same best practices as any other ad campaign, namely relevance, relevance and relevance. Choosing one set of target keywords for multiple products means this is worth extra consideration, A/B testing, and monitoring in the case of Headline Search Ads.

Amazon’s guidelines for HSA keywords are as follows:

amazon keyword guidelines headline search ads

 

 

For more on what Amazon has to say about Headline Search Ads, check out the following links:

1) Headline Search Ads Optimization Tips (Amazon)

2) Headline Search Ads Overview (Amazon)

Configure Zabbix Alert Scripts

zabbix alert scripts banner

Steps:

 

  • Create Jabber Script
  • Test from terminal
  • Configure Zabbix to use Jabber script
  • Create Email Script
  • Test from terminal
  • Configure Zabbix to use phpmailer script
  • Tell Zabbix to notify
  • Flap a server to verify operation

jabber.sh is a replacement for the built-in Jabber/XMPP functionality within Zabbix.  You may need to install ‘sendxmpp’ prior to installation.  This is functional in an Ubuntu Xenial server installation, but the path may vary for CentOS/RHEL deployments.

Contents of /usr/lib/zabbix/alertscripts/jabber.sh:


#!/bin/bash
to=$1
body=$2


cat < $2
EOF

 

Adjust ‘user’, ‘server’ and ‘password’ accordingly for your particular setup.  The script should be owned by the zabbix user and have execute permissions set:

-rwxr-xr-x 1 zabbix root 288 Jun 16 05:11 jabber.sh

To test, simply execute the script like any other. Note the arguments passed into it:

# /usr/lib/zabbix/alertscripts/jabber.sh recipient@server message

If unable to send, try using sendxmpp outside the script and make sure it can send that way, then debug the script as required.

Your Zabbix should look like this:

 

zabbix setup 1

zabbix alert scripts screenshot 2

Note that the ‘Type’ of the media for the user corresponds to the name of the script we added earlier.

Email follows a similar procedure. Just make sure to have the necessary PHP modules installed. Below is the setup to use a gmail account:

Contents of /usr/lib/zabbix/alertscripts/phpmailer.php:


#!/usr/bin/php
require_once "Mail.php";


$from = "ZABBIX <user@domain>";
$to = $argv[1];
$subject = $argv[2];
$body = $argv[3];


$host = "ssl://smtp.gmail.com";
$port = "465";
$username = "username";
$password = "password";


$headers = array ('From' => $from,
'To' => $to,
'Subject' => $subject);
$smtp = Mail::factory('smtp',
array ('host' => $host,
'port' => $port,
'auth' => true,
'username' => $username,
'password' => $password));


$mail = $smtp->send($to, $headers, $body);


?>

Adjust ‘user’, ‘server’ and ‘password’ accordingly for your particular setup. The script should be owned by the zabbix user and have execute permissions set:

-rwxr-xr-x 1 zabbix root 572 Jun 16 12:26 phpmailer.php

To test, simply execute the script like any other. Note the arguments passed into it:

# /usr/lib/zabbix/alertscripts/phpmailer.php user@domain.tld subject body

Make Zabbix look like this:

zabbix-4

 

Note that the ‘Type’ of the media for the user corresponds to the name of the script we added earlier.

zabbix screenshot 5

Most important step!  This tells zabbix to actually use everything we just set up.  Once this is enabled, flap a server to give zabbix something to tell you about.  Check Pidgin and your email to see if it worked! :)

 

 

 

What does “Business Buyer” Mean in Seller Central Orders?

If you’re selling on Amazon, chances are that you may see the label “Business Buyer” next to an order number. This can appear in your Orders tab or in your Sales Reports.

business buyer order seller central

What does this label mean?

This label simply means that the buyer is registered with an “Amazon Business” Buyer account. From their end, this gives them access to extra features that aren’t included in normal Amazon accounts, including some extra flexibility, and analytics. Most importantly, business buyers have access to special pricing provided by sellers participating in the Amazon Business program.

What does this mean as a seller?

If you’re seeing multiple orders from Business Buyers, it’s a fair bet that you may benefit from being able to target this market with special pricing and several other advantageous features. If this is the case, you’ll need to apply as an “Amazon Business” Seller.

The business seller program has a higher bar for seller performance and asks that you be able to accommodate certain business purchasing needs (e.g. recognition of buyers’ tax status and provision of purchase orders).

However, the benefit of being able to offer lower prices to a higher tier of purchasers may well be worth the small hassle of application and qualification.

 

Registration and Qualification

To register as a business seller follow the below link (Note: Seller Central Accounts Only):

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/business/b2bregistration

The below Seller Central Link answers FAQ and includes the basic requirements for approval into the business seller program. As it requires logging in to Seller Central, the basic requirements are pasted below as well.

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/201750810

In Amazon’s own words:

Who is eligible for the Amazon Business Seller program?

Sellers who have the capability to fulfill the following requirements of business customers.

  • High bar for performance. 
    Selling on Amazon Amazon Business Seller program
    • An Order-Defect Rate (ODR) of 1% or less. 
    • Pre-shipment Cancellation Rate of 2.5% or less. 
    • Late Shipment Rate of 4% or less. 
    • An Order-Defect Rate (ODR) of 0.5% or less. 
    • Pre-shipment Cancellation Rate of less than 1%.
    • Late Shipment Rate of less than 1%.
    • Few chargebacks, A-to-z Guarantee claims, and negative feedback.
  • If the seller participates in Amazon’s tax calculation services, the seller must honor the customer’s tax exemption through the Amazon Tax Exemption Program. 
  • There must be a tracking number on every business order package.
  • There must be a packing slip with every business order package.
  • There must be a purchase order number with every business order package.

Have any questions or feedback about this post or the Amazon Business program? Let us know below!

Differences between Facebook Subdomains in Google Analytics

When visiting Google Analytics and looking at Source / Medium -> search for: Facebook -> you’ll see Facebook referral traffic listed in up to four different types:

google analytics Facebook referral types

By typing Facebook in the filter search bar you can see the total facebook referral traffic. However, understanding what each link type is can give more detailed insight into referral traffic.

The four types of Facebook referral traffic will be displayed as follows in Analytics:

1) m.facebook.com – Referral traffic coming from a click in facebook mobile app.

2) facebook.com – Referral traffic coming from normal web link click in facebook.com

3) l.facebook.com – Referral traffic coming from a link shim link click. A link shim link is facebook’s internal system checking this URLs against internal and external blacklists of malicious or spammy sites.

4) lm.facebook.com – Referral traffic from link shim link on mobile browser.

Why do I care?

  1. Knowing whether your facebook referral traffic comes from desktop or mobile app is an advantage that it allows you to tailor your landing pages & content to the appropriate device(s).
  2. If you’re not seeing l.facebook, or lm.facebook referral links but you have good reason to expect them, check whether your site’s been blacklisted by Facebook..

Increase Your Email Open Rates *TIP*

email marketing open rates

Even with the ever-increasing number of online platforms to use for marketing campaigns, our experience is that email campaigns still provide a significant ROI for many of our clients.

Of course, the ultimate goal of an email campaign is to increase conversions, and that all starts with the open rate. There are a number of reasons that open rates can be low, but we’d guess that a significant percentage of unopened emails were not consciously ignored. Rather, they were received or seen at the wrong time of day, in the wrong place, or on the wrong device (and so on).

Here’s a (really) simple method to increase your open rates:

1) Compose your email and send it out to all of your users.

2) Wait 5 to 7 days and send out the same email with a new subject line only to your subscribers who did not open the initial email (easily segmented with any newsletter delivery system)

When sending or scheduling your second email, experiment with using a different time of day or day of the week (e.g. if initial email was sent during lunchtime on a weekday, try sending the second in the evening, if sent on a weekday, try sending on a weekend, and so on). This increases the chances that you’ll be getting your email in front of people who didn’t see or open the first one due to their schedule and circumstances.

As simple as this sounds, the potential increase in subscribers is well worth the extra couple of minutes it takes to segment, compose a new subject line, and send.

As always, let us know how this works for you!

Download Your Product Inventory File from Amazon Seller Central

One of the most useful things that an Amazon vendor can have is a file containing all of their products’ listing information (i.e. SKU, description, bullets, and all product detail fields). In addition to being a database of essential information that can be used for analysis, comparisons, and records, it can also be really helpful to someone who’s looking for a template for csv product uploads. Seller Central doesn’t make it simple to download or even view this information in one place. At least it doesn’t anymore.

Here’s a quick tip on how to get this information:

  • Open a ticket with Seller Support and request that they enable your account’s Category Listings Report
  • Once you’ve received an email confirming that they’ve enabled your report (be sure to check email to see if there is a time limit on your ungated reports):
    • Go to the Inventory dropdown and select Inventory Reports > Select report type > Category Listings Report

This is the simplest way to get a comprehensive file that includes all of your details about your products listings.

If anyone has any suggestions about better or more comprehensive methods for the average vendor to get this information please share them with us!

 

Get Started With Amazon PPC -Auto Targeting Campaigns

amazon auto targeting ppc banner

With small margins due to the competitive nature of the marketplace and a search algorithm that might not be as intuitive as Google’s, it can be difficult to figure out where to start with Amazon’s PPC advertising campaigns. A simple but effective strategy to start by using an Automatic Targeting ad campaign.

Auto Targeting is a great way to begin to collect information on what search terms are associated with your products or, more specifically, what search terms Amazon thinks should be associated with your product – essential information. A good way to look at it is as an investment in data for future campaigns – as well as a paid boost to a product’s sales rank.

Setting up an auto targeting campaign is incredibly easy. Start by mapping out a daily budget that you can afford. Unless you’re under serious time pressure, it’s best to start with a low daily budget in your campaign settings and then increase it incrementally until you’re getting the amount of sales and/or data that you need.

The actual setup of a campaign is straightforward. If you have a Seller Central account you can begin here.

Note that auto targeting is chosen at campaign level as seen below:
amazon automatic targeting ad campaign

 

On the next page, it’s as simple as selecting the products you’d like within one adgroup. Be sure to set up individual ad groups for variations of a single product to get the most accurate data possible.

A quick not for anyone new to Pay Per Click Advertising, the Default Click field what you’ll pay when an Amazon user clicks on your product ad. Your costs consist only of clicks, not impressions (display of the ad)

amazon auto targeting ad group

 

Search Terms Report

As your campaign runs, you can view the number of impressions and clicks that your product is getting in the Campaign Manager of your Seller Central account. Once your campaign has been running for a couple of days, you can start to download more detailed information on search terms. You can get to this page either by clicking into your ad group and following the link (below) or going to Reports > Advertising Reports > Search Terms Report.

Ad Group Overview:

ad group overview seller central

 

Search Terms Report Download:

download search terms report amazon seller central

Once you’ve downloaded this report you have some concrete information with which to start assessing your ad strategy. Not only do you have a list of the search terms that are actually being used by shoppers to help hone a manual keyword list, but you’ve also got an idea of how Amazon identifies your product which can be useful for improving the product detail page itself.

The Report itself includes:

  • Search Terms
  • Ad Impressions
  • Ad Clicks
  • Total Spend
  • Avg. Cost Per Click
  • Click thru Rate
  • Product Sales
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cost per Sale

 

Negative Keywords:

Because we’re using the auto-targeting as an information gathering tool in this example, it’s best to let your campaign run until you have a significant amount of information (a “significant amount” will vary from product to product, and seller to seller). However, after running for a short period, you can begin to add negative keywords. In the beginning, you can identify the obvious mistaken keywords (“Chicago Bears” turns up for your Teddy Bear). As your campaign runs for a longer period, you can begin to get more serious about weeding out negative search terms and try to get a positive return from the auto targeting campaign (This is not always the best strategy, or even possible, but if it’s making you money it’s making you money).

Adding negative search terms is another simple process in Seller Central. After identifying search terms that don’t relate to your product with the search term report, you simply click into the auto ad campaign > campaign settings >negative keywords > add keywords. Note that Amazon has an Exact Match and Phrase Match option for negative keywords. Be sure to choose the correct match type – in most cases you’ll want to choose Exact Match to avoid losing relevant search terms.

amazon negative keywords auto campaign

 

Adding negative keywords on a regular basis is good practice if you’re trying to hone a keyword list but still want to collect Amazon Auto Campaign data or, of course, if you’re running an auto ad campaign with the expectation of a ROI.

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, Amazon’s auto-targeting campaigns have the potential to be profitable to sellers. However, they can also be a worthwhile investment in data for broader use in optimizing manual PPC campaigns and creating product detail pages that rank for the correct search terms.

Magento Paypal Rounding Error – Quick Fix

Recently we came across an issue of a paypal window not functioning on a Magento 1.7 site after a site-wide 40% Off promotion began. There are likely coding /extension fixes to this issue, but we thought we’d share the simplest way to address this issue when it’s preventing users from checking out.

The Issue: The item values do not add up to the subtotal given to Paypal. The individual item prices displayed did not match the real subtotal. Magento rounds each items price to two decimal points (for USD, EUR, and others).

So, two items discounted at 40% will look like this:

Original price: 2.99 x .6 = 1.794 Price Displayed: $1.79

Original price 3.99 x .6 = 2.394 Price Displayed: $2.39

This is fine, but the Subtotal displayed is $4.19

The problem is that Magento is adding the actual values (1.794 + 2.394) to get the subtotal. When Paypal receives an order like this, it rejects the request because it does not believe 1.79 + 1.39 = 4.19. It’s receiving each item rounded to two decimal points and a subtotal that’s been calculated with up to four decimal points. These are not always the same value.

 

The Quick Fix: Although this solution leaves you with the problem of inconsistent numbers, it’s a quick solution to getting Paypal to accept these transactions. All you need to do is stop feeding the individual item prices to Paypal.

This is done through System > Configuration > Payment Methods > Paypal Express Checkout. Select Configure and then select No on the “Transfer Cart Line Items” dropdown:

magento line items checkout

Disabling this causes only the total to be read and displayed in Paypal. Users will still finalize their transaction on the Magento checkout page, enabling them to view a price breakdown before actually paying anything.

Ultimately, this still leaves you with prices that add up to more than the individual product sums, so it’s worth finding a more comprehensive solution. However, we should just reiterate that the subtotal is actually a correct sum, it’s just more precise than a sum of rounded sums.

 

Magento URLs With Numbers

Are you seeing some product URLs that look like this – www.mymagentostore.com/mycoolproduct-1435?

Below is a brief explanation of this issue and how to fix it using only the admin panel of Magento. Please note, if you have a large number of products with this issue, you’ll want to look for a coding solution. This is for those who’re experiencing the issue with a relatively small number of products that have likely been uploaded manually.

Why:  Magento (rightly) won’t accept multiple products with identical URLs. This is true regardless of whether or not your simple products are visible individually.

How: This issue may show up for different reasons, but the most common–and most simply addressed– for an administrator is when Simple and Configurable products are created with the same URL key. For example, if you create a three simple products in three different sizes but do not give each one a unique URL key (e.g. productX-small), Magento will add a numeric suffix to each product that is subsequently added with the same root URL. So, in this case your configurable product can end up looking something like /productX-1458.

Remember that magento will auto generate a URL key from the product title. So if you’re simple product title is the same as your configurable product title leaving the URL key field blank will have the same result as entering duplicate URL keys.

What to do? (Again, this is simplest solution without coding or spreadsheets necessary)  To address this issue there are three steps to take:

1) Give each of your products a unique URL key

Simply identify the configurable product and all associated simple products. Starting with the simple products, save each one with a URL that is unique (include reference to size, color, etc). After doing so, make sure that your configurable URL key is correct.

Magento Simple Product URL Key field

 

2) Get rid of URL rewrites

URL rewrite management tabWhen multiple products and variations are created with a single URL key, Magento will create a rewrite to direct links to what it thinks is the correct URL. After you’ve saved your product and it’s variations with unique URLs, you need to delete these rewrites.

To do so, go to Catalog > URL Rewrite Management. Here you should be able to identify all associated rewrites by searching for the base URL key (e.g. productX). Once you’ve identified all associated rewrites, delete them.

Note: this is assuming that the products have URL issues because they are recently added and no significant URL rewrites have been created by the administrator.

3) Reindex Data

The final simple step is to reindex your site so that Magento recognizes the new URLs you’ve created. This is done by going to System > Index Management, Select “Catalog URL Rewrites” (or simply select all, and select the action “Reindex Data.”

reindex data action in magento admin panel

After having completed these steps, you should be able to view www.mymagentostore.com/mycoolproduct without any suffixes being added.

In the near future we’ll try to provide a slightly more complex, but more comprehensive solution for those who are encountering this issue on a larger scale or with a different root cause.

As always, please feel free to add your suggestions!

 

Spend More Save More Magento Coupon Creation

Spend more save more magento coupon tutorial banner

In this article, we’ll briefly go over the method and concept of setting up a multi-tiered promotion using Magento’s Shopping Cart Price Rules promotion creation. In this case, the desired promotion is:

  • Spend $100, get 10% Off
  • Spend $200, get 20% Off
  • Spend $300, get 30% Off

For this set up, we will only go over the necessary fields. Please see our Overview of Shopping Cart Price Rules, for a more detailed explanation of all the available fields and their functions.

Unfortunately, Magento doesn’t offer a simple option for such a multi-tiered discount, so we need to create three separate coupons. Using the rules available to us we will set up three, exclusive shopping cart rules that apply 10% off orders over $100, 20% off  $200+, and 30% off $300+ orders. Theoretically you could also also apply non exclusive rules that add a fixed discount percentage each time someone reaches another amount (i.e. 10% off $100, $200, and $300 NON-exclusive), but this complicates the promotion unnecessarily in our case. Our method assumes that this is the sitewide promotion for the moment and that it cannot be combined with further promotions or coupons.

The actual set up for this promotion is relatively simple. The three rules we’ll create for this promotion are:

  1. 10% Off $100
  2. 20% Off $200
  3. 30% Off $300

Each rule will be set up nearly identically, with the obvious differences in spend / discount and a difference in priorities to prevent all three rules from applying at the same time.

To begin, go to Promotions > Shopping Cart Price Rules > Add New Rule

Rule Information Tab:

The screenshot below shows how we set up the Rule Information tab for the first rule. Most fields here are self explanatory. As this is a site-wide sale, we’re assuming that we have banners, emails, and/or other marketing that’s alerted our site users to the promotion, making a coupon unnecessary.

Note- the Priority Field. For our promotion it is important that we create a higher priority (lower number) for each successive amount of money spent. In our example we choose an arbitrarily high number (low priority)  to begin with and assign decreasing numbers to each tier:

  • Spend 100 get 10% off: Priority- 33
  • Spend 200 get 20% off: Priority- 32
  • Spend 300 get 30% off: Priority- 31

 

magento promotions rule information tab 10% off

Priority is the only field that will vary in this tab between our three rules.

Conditions Tab:

In this tab we specify what conditions are necessary for each price reduction to go into effect. The three rules will be as follows on individual promotion rules:

If ALL of these conditions are TRUE

  1. Subtotal equals or greater than 100
  2. Subtotal equals or greater than 200
  3. Subtotal equals or greater than 300

Magento Promotions Rule - Conditions tab

Actions Tab:

This tab defines what will occur if the conditions in the previous tab are met in the shopping cart. All three rules will be set up as Percent of Product Price discount under the Apply dropdown menu. After that we will fill out the Amount tab according to each tier (10, 20, and 30).

NOTE- in order to have the Priorities that we’ve set have any effect we need to set Stop Further Rules Processing to YES. If this were not done, a purchase of over $300 would have %10, %20, and %30 discounts all applied

Magento Promotions - Actions Tab Demonstration

 

Labels Tab:

This tab allows you to name your promotion as it will appear on the front end. Note that exactly where and how this displays (or doesn’t) is dependent on the unique construction of each site. In our case we can give each rule a label describing it’s discount because the rules will not be applied simultaneously.

 

Magento Promotions Demostration - Labels Tab

 

Finally, the Manage Coupon Codes tab is unnecessary as we did not choose the coupon option under Rule Information.

 

Once you’ve set up these three rules you should have the desired promotion ready to go and advertise. As a recap, we’ve set up three separate rules with identical logic, but each with a marginally higher discount according to higher amounts spent. The key factors for this promotion are the Priority numbers assigned to each of the three rules and that Stop Rule Processing is set to YES in all three instances.

A final note: always be sure to test any promotions in the most safe manner possible. If you don’t have access to a test site, try out promotions with insignificant (but test-able) percentages or amounts, and test them at times when you know that your site traffic is lowest.

See more about Price Cart Shopping Rules Fields Here.