We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. But for many in the Amazon PPC world, the question isn’t whether or not consumers make mistakes but are those mistakes costing you?
With features like auto-correct and predictive text algorithms on everyone’s phone, we sometimes find that our spelling isn’t nearly as sharp as used to be.
Obviously Amazon’s search bar isn’t immune to these errors, and sellers have taken note of these frequent mistakes. To remedy this problem, misspelled search term generators are relied on by some companies and agencies, but are they really necessary?
How a Misspelled Word Affects Your Performance
To understand where your time is best spent when looking at Amazon’s advertising platform, it’s important to know how the platform works.
We all know that there are three types of terms in Amazon PPC
- Exact Match
- Phrase Match
- Broad Match
Just as these three types of terms have different functionalities, they also differ in how they treat misspelled words.
Exact Match or “Exact-ish” Match
When you think about a single word, let’s use “board” as an example, what is the easiest way to change that word so that it still refers to the same object but is different nonetheless? Adding an “s” and making it plural.
In the Amazon world, people fret over the smallest of details, and even making a noun plural will occupy the mind of some sellers because “board” isn’t the exact same thing as “boards.” It’s not technically the same, but this is where an exact match term would more aptly be described as exact-ish. Without putting a negative on “boards,” your product will still show up when either board or boards is searched, so don’t knit pick every little variation.
However, if you only want to show up for the singular “board” and you don’t want to show up for “boards,” can’t you put a negative on “boards?” Unfortunately, you can’t. In the past, when exact match was actually exact, this was possible. Now that exact match accounts for these variations in spelling, differentiating between “board” and “boards” isn’t possible.
When it comes to misspelled words, exact-ish matches are also deployed. That means that if you are selling shoes and someone types in “shoees” or “shoez” into the search bar, Amazon will do one of two things. The most common remedy is Amazon showing results for the correctly spelled word.
In rare cases, Amazon will give users an option with a prompt that reads: “Did you mean shoes?” As time has gone on, this prompt is seen less frequently, and Amazon is clearly trying to move away from this option and correct misspelled words automatically.
Another interesting thing Amazon does is allow for certain words to be inserted inside an exact match keyword. Let’s say you sell Lord of the Rings t-shirts and someone types in “the Lord of Rings t-shirt” your ad will still appear. Why? Because Amazon isn’t exact with words like “the” and “of” and essentially views them as inconsequential compared to “Lord” and “Rings.”
To remember where exactly misspelled words will trip you up and what you can and can’t get away with when it comes to exact match, check out our guide:
Broad and Phrase Match
Similar to exact match, Amazon accounts for misspelling when you’re using broad and phrase match. If you have “men’s running shoes” set as a phrase match keyword and someone enters “men running shoes” you will still show up even regardless of whether the possessive or normal version of the word is used.
Where Amazon Misses the Mark
Unfortunately, you cannot dictate which form of a keyword (plural or singular) gets impressions. This is possible in Google Ads, which Amazon has used as a blueprint in many areas, but not for Amazon PPC.
We tested this theory by creating two campaigns:
- Campaign 1: Containing only a singular keyword and using a negative on the plural form of the word.
- Campaign 2: Containing only a plural keyword and using a negative on the singular form of the word.
For both campaigns, the negative blocked all impressions. That means that Amazon will not let you distinguish between something like “cutting board” and “cutting boards.” With this system, there’s no reason to separate campaigns based on singular and plural versions of a word or misspellings of a word.
Brand Analytics: How it is Affected by User Mistakes
We’ve talked about Amazon’s ranking of search terms in the past and how it shows the frequency of searches. This list does not take into account misspelled words or singular/plural differentiation.
If you’re looking at the report and see a common misspelling, say “vitamin” versus “vitamine,” these will be ranked separately.
We’ve seen it countless times before. When sellers have us examine their campaigns we see campaigns filled with misspelled words from a keyword generator. This may have been useful five years ago, but Amazon has become quite a bit more sophisticated since then. Today, it’s not worth having campaigns filled with misspelled words because Amazon has you covered.
It is important to realize the shortcomings of this system. Using negatives for misspelled words or singular/plural versions of a word will block all of your impressions. Not great, but hopefully Amazon will add an option where exact match actually means exact.
Don’t waste your money on a random keyword generator for misspelled words and don’t waste your time worrying about the infinite number of ways a consumer can spell a word. Amazon PPC is confusing enough. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Discover Us on our PPC Den Podcast
If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with audio, we cover this topic on our podcast as well.
Listen to it in the episode below or find us on your favorite streaming platform, like Apple, Google, Spotify, and more!
- 1:10 Intro
- 2:55 How you should think about misspellings
- 5:05 How exact match has become exact-ish
- 12:10 Misspellings with broad and phrase match
- 12:40 How negatives affect your exact matches
- 15:35 Search term rankings and misspelled words
- 17:20 What you should actually do about misspelled words
- 21:15 Closing thoughts
- Following Amazon’s Suggestions? The Mysterious “Suggested Bid”
- Negative ASIN in Amazon PPC Auto Campaigns: Is it Possible (Part 2)
- Negative ASIN in Amazon PPC Auto Campaigns: Is it Possible (Part 1)
- When You Should DIY Your PPC (and When You Shouldn’t)
- An Introduction to Targeting Options on the Amazon DSP
- Optimizing on a Hunch
- 5 Things You Don’t Know About Product Targeting
- Amazon PPC Stats During COVID-19| April 2020
- Sponsored Brand Ads Update: Now You Can Edit Creatives
- Amazon PPC Stats During COVID-19
- Seller Central Campaign Manager is Moving to Amazon Ad Console in 2020
- Taking Your Amazon Products & Campaigns Global: A Primer
- Best Practices for Selling on Amazon During COVID-19
- Principles and Mindset for Amazon Marketers During Coronavirus
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Your Amazon PPC Campaigns
- Incorporate “Adjust Bids by Placement” into Your Keyword Bids (Part 2): Multi-Keyword Campaigns
- Incorporate “Adjust Bids by Placement” into Your Keyword Bids (Part 1): Single Keyword Campaigns
- Grow Your Amazon Campaigns with Demographics Data
- What Consumer Behavior Says About You: Amazon Brand Analytics
- How to Raise Lifetime Value with Market Basket Report
- Search Frequency Rank: How to Identify Most Important Keywords
- Long Tail Search Terms: Amazon PPC Silent Killer
- 7 Tips to Get More Clicks on Amazon Ads
- LIVE Amazon PPC Campaign Audit
- Amazon PPC Keyword Research in 2020: RPSB Revisited
- Our Top Predictions for Amazon PPC in 2020
- 7 Bad PPC Habits to Kick in 2020 (And 3 Good Ones to Start)
- The PPC Tasks We Put on Our Project Management Tools
- A Data- Oriented Approach to Advertising in December
- The Wait is Over… Search Term Reports for Sponsored Brand Ads are Here
- What to Do When It’s Time to Sell Your Amazon Business with Coran Woodmass
- Ramping Up for Cyber Monday and Black Friday with Data-Driven PPC Strategies
- Amazon PPC Campaign Structure: 6 Layers of Complexity
- Amazon PPC Today vs. Yesterday: What’s Changed, What Hasn’t
- Make Your Best Keywords Better with Single Keyword Campaigns
- 6 Levels of Amazon PPC Mastery
- How to Advertise Commodity and Unique Products with Lukas Matthews
- Amazon SEO – Bridging the Gap with PPC
- Amazon’s New Sponsored Display Ads (Beta)
- Listener Q&A: Optimizing Placement Settings
- The Problem With Optimizing Low-Converting Products (And How to Solve It)
- 4 Reasons Why Lowering Your Bids Won’t Always Lower your ACOS
- What to Expect From 30 Days of Running Amazon Ads
- Should You Segment Your Branded Keywords in Amazon Ads?
- Promoting your Products with Amazon Coupons
- Three Effective Ways to Optimize Amazon PPC Bids
- 4 Things Amazon Does Better than Google and Facebook
- Amazon DSP with Kiri Masters
- Increase Conversion Rates for Sponsored Brand Ads
- Clickfraud, Who to Hire, and More Common Amazon PPC Questions
- A Data-Driven Approach to Prime Day PPC
- Improving Your Account With Amazon Reports
- The Complete Guide to Self-Auditing Your Campaigns
- A Round-Table Discussion About Placement Settings
- My 5 Predictions for the Future of Amazon PPC
- The Importance of Indexation for Amazon PPC
- Click Through Rate (CTR) Rundown
- An Introduction To Bulk File Operations
- The Latest Sponsored Brand Ad Updates
- Defining Your PPC Goals & Setting ACOS Targets
- Making Sense of New to Brand Metrics
- Should You Bid on Competitors’ Branded Keywords
- Our Gripes About Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads
- Amazon Advertising Launch Strategy for New Products
- The Ultimate Amazon PPC Roadmap
- How to Scale Using PPC – A Case Study
- The Star-Crossed Lovers (Organic & Paid Traffic)
- Cranking Up Conversion Rates
- All Things Negative Keywords
- The Dreaded Amazon Data Reporting Delay
- What We Love About Amazon PPC
- First Look on New Bid Options in Amazon
- Dissenting Thoughts on PPC Budgets
- The Strangest, Most Popular PPC Strategy: The Keyword Dump
- Product Targeting – Into the Great Unknown
- Campaign Naming Systems
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to Sponsored Products (Part 2)
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to Sponsored Products (Part 1)
- Amazon PPC Advertising Stats
- The Advanced Basics of Amazon PPC
- Amazon’s New Product Targeting Features
- The Bid+ Conundrum
- Why We’re Living In The Golden Age of Amazon PPC
Watch Mike & Stephen on YouTube
If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with video, well, hot diggity dog, you’re in luck! We cover this topic on our YouTube channel too.
Watch it below and please don’t forget to ‘like’ and subscribe.