Every Amazon PPC manager has been there: pouring through your Amazon PPC campaign reports, trying to pull significant numbers and insights from a sea of metrics. Some Amazon PPC-ers feel like reporting is busy work without any real substance. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Your reports give you the opportunity to reflect and evaluate strategy and actions, confirm or disconfirm old ideas, synthesize new ideas to improve, and build business intelligence for what works in your account.
Your Amazon reports are only as good as your report analyzing skills or those of your PPC manager. Data without meaningful analysis and decision-making is just a bunch of numbers in a spreadsheet. To give every campaign and campaign report the same star treatment, use a standardized process for how you look at your campaigns.
How Not to Do Amazon Campaign Reporting
To illustrate the most popular style of Amazon “reporting,” let’s make up an Amazon seller and call him Lazy Larry. When Lazy Larry makes a data-driven decision on his campaigns, he opens up a report, looks at it, and makes a snap judgement call from there without any deeper analysis. This is not reporting. This is the absolute bare minimum you could do to understand your campaign performance.
Good, solid reporting is crucial to informed Amazon campaign optimization. You must have evidence that your campaign performance plan will work. By keeping your goal and most important metrics in focus, you can find this evidence in your campaigns.
Amazon Reporting for Your Strategic Mission
For effective reporting, go into your Amazon reports with your strategic mission in mind. Do you want to increase revenue? Are you focused on boosting awareness?
Whatever your goal is, write it out before you start analyzing your reports and then keep it in view the whole time. This helps you keep a consistent lens when looking at your metrics. Plus, this gives you a good gauge as to just how realistic your goals are.
Keeping your goal in mind also helps you pass solid judgment on your metrics. If you’re moving closer to your goal over time, you know the performance is good given what you aim to achieve.
Without a solid understanding of cycles and trends that have happened in the past, you can’t make informed optimization decisions for your campaigns moving forward. This is doubly true for products with seasonality in their data. With no context, a 3-month long drop in conversions might freak you out, but if it’s June and the campaign advertises snowblowers, that makes a lot of sense.
Reports are where you can do your trend analysis. See if you can find any patterns over time and anticipate how it might continue along that trend or change direction based on changes in input.
Trend analysis also gives you a better understanding of how different Amazon KPIs interact with one another in your campaigns. For example, lowering bids may lower ACOS in one campaign, but do just the opposite in another because of other variables at play, like ad placement or search term diversity.
Learning from Your Amazon Reports
If there’s one Amazon Advertising principle we stand by above all others, it’s that you should never stop learning and improving. The world of selling on Amazon is constantly shifting, and you need to keep expanding and updating your knowledge base to keep pace.
Your campaigns are no different, so your Amazon reports help you constantly learn about them. They help you determine what’s good, what’s bad, and why some things have changed.
Think of it almost like dating the campaign: with each new report, you get to know more and more about them and get a better feel for what they like and dislike. You learn how they react when you do certain things or make certain changes.
Improving Your Campaigns with Amazon Reporting
Now that you’ve analyzed your data with a goal-focused lens, compared your recent performance to historical trends and cycles, and hypothesized some reasons for changes in metrics, it’s time to brainstorm ways to improve your campaigns moving forward.
While you’re in your reports, you should start forming your strategy on how you plan to get closer to your goal or get your campaign back on the right track. This is made a lot easier by seeing what impact your previous actions had on your key metrics, both recently and historically. If a previous strategy didn’t produce the results you expected, you know not to use that strategy again.
Have clear expectations for the outcome of your Amazon PPC optimization tasks. These expectations allow you to gauge the degree of success of the overall strategy when you next analyze your reports.
To make informed, performance-driving Amazon PPC decisions, your optimization needs to be data-driven. To do that, you need to take a long, hard look at your campaign reports and analyze not just the data, but the connections between strategy and KPI changes.
Never be a Lazy Larry with your reporting. Getting real value from your Amazon reports takes much more than just skimming over the numbers without any deeper thought or analysis. Don’t be afraid to do a little spreadsheet spelunking.
Before anything else, make sure you have your key objective in mind and in view. This keeps you from falling down any metric rabbit holes that don’t actually affect your goal that much.
Look at historical trends and cycles for your campaign. Those who don’t learn their campaign’s history are doomed…in general. Be clear on what’s moving in what direction and look for patterns.
Once you’ve found what’s changed in your campaigns, look for the reasons why. Learn the unique properties of your campaign and apply that knowledge to campaign optimization in the future.
Once you have the what and the why, develop a plan with clearly-defined tasks designed to help improve your performance. Set clear and reasonable expectations on how you expect each task to affect your metrics.
Reporting on your or your client’s Amazon PPC campaigns might feel like pointless busy work once in a while, but with this four-step process to Amazon report analysis, you can confidently make strides towards your Amazon PPC goals.
Watch The PPC Den 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!
- 1:05 Intro
- 4:01 How Not to Report
- 7:53 Strategic Mission
- 10:37 Trend Analysis
- 13:25 Learning from your Amazon Reports
- 17:33 Campaign Improvement with Amazon Reports
- 18:05 Closing Thoughts