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Bruce

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Registered: 06/15/15
AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 5:00 AM
 
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I'm doing one campaign of each type. I started with very low bids, all under 10 cents, and despite that I have gotten several thousand impressions in a fairly short time for almost nothing. That has to be good, right? However my click rate is a little over 2 per 1000 impressions, which seems low considering the specific niche I'm in, I guess? Is it low?

Just what does an "impression" really mean? Is it possible people are using ad-blockers and not seeing it, despite counting as an impression? If people don't scroll down the page to where your ad is, does that count??

I'm wondering if my low bids are somehow affecting visibility? Do higher bids give you better locations on the pages? If not, what are the benefits to using higher bids when you are already getting thousands of impressions for nearly free?

Thanks for any input here, or any pointers on material to learn more.

Have a nice day, thanks for reading this post! -
Donna St Felix

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 5:08 AM   in response to: Bruce in response to: Bruce
 
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This doesn't answer your question and it is just my opinion, but I think right now is a bad time to judge anything with sales.
I also think the reporting of sales may be somewhat messed up right now. I know my sales are about 50% down from normal for Sept.
Bruce

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 5:16 AM   in response to: Donna St Felix in response to: Donna St Felix
 
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I've had some problems with reporting about my ad campaigns, and Amazon admitted to me that they have had some software issues... Kind of surprising they were that forthright about problems on their end, but I can respect that.
writerbn

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Registered: 05/12/12
Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 5:18 AM   in response to: Bruce in response to: Bruce
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Bruce wrote:
I'm doing one campaign of each type. I started with very low bids, all under 10 cents, and despite that I have gotten several thousand impressions in a fairly short time for almost nothing. That has to be good, right? However my click rate is a little over 2 per 1000 impressions, which seems low considering the specific niche I'm in, I guess? Is it low?
That's right about average for a click-through rate, so you have nothing to worry about. However, since the reports are delayed so much, ignore all the data you see in the first week or two.

Just what does an "impression" really mean? Is it possible people are using ad-blockers and not seeing it, despite counting as an impression? If people don't scroll down the page to where your ad is, does that count??
An impression is counted when the ad is actually shown on screen. Ad-blockers will block the ad, and it doesn't count as an impression (however, I haven't tested this).

I'm wondering if my low bids are somehow affecting visibility? Do higher bids give you better locations on the pages? If not, what are the benefits to using higher bids when you are already getting thousands of impressions for nearly free?
Higher bids help you compete against other bidders. But, as I said, don't make any judgements based on the first week or two of a campaign.

Also, September is a bad month for most things connected with KDP, as Donna alluded to. At the moment, AMS is flooded with high bids due to advertiser credits, and there have ben glitches with reporting as well.
Bruce

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 5:22 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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I know that "higher bids help you compete" but the main thrust of my question is "Compete how?" Compete for better visibility? More precise search terms? More popular products?

See what I mean?
Joseph M Erhardt

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Registered: 12/21/15
Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 5:29 AM   in response to: Bruce in response to: Bruce
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Bruce wrote:
I know that "higher bids help you compete" but the main thrust of my question is "Compete how?" Compete for better visibility? More precise search terms? More popular products?

See what I mean?


You're asking if, in addition to helping you win ad spots, a higher bid will also get you better positioning in the "sponsored ads" carousel. At least I think that's what you're asking.

In other words, suppose your bid is .20, and the ad you beat for a spot is .13. That means that a click, if it happens, will cost you .14. Good so far. Now, does the .20 original bid put you in a better spot than some other winner for a carousel spot whose bid was, e.g., .18?

That's an unknown, but in the limited analysis of my own ads that I was able to do, I rather suspect not. (I too had wondered about this.)

I also wondered if, for display ads, using a higher budget would get me more impressions, so I doubled the budget on a couple of my ads. I couldn't detect any difference. Of course, with AMS and the delayed reporting, any change you make has to be evaluated two weeks later.
Bruce

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 5:59 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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So, in essence, one might as well just bid as low as possible, I guess? Hard to believe I can get impressions by bidding a few cents, but that appears to be the case! :)

What a deal...it just seems a bit too good to be true, especially compared to Google and other avenues. I've gotten (AFAIK) 7000 impressions for like 70 cents or something, and I think I can bid lower still.... just...wow.

Edited by: Bruce on Sep 24, 2017 6:01 AM
writerbn

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 6:05 AM   in response to: Bruce in response to: Bruce
 
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Bruce wrote:
So, in essence, one might as well just bid as low as possible, I guess? Hard to believe I can get impressions by bidding a few cents, but that appears to be the case! :)
Up to a point; yes. However, below a certain bid amount, you simply won't get any impressions, even if there are no other competitors for those keywords or subgenres. I've seen this with several of my campaigns.

What a deal...it just seems a bit too good to be true, especially compared to Google and other avenues. I've gotten (AFAIK) 7000 impressions for like 70 cents or something, and I think I can bid lower still.... just...wow.
Impressions and clicks are meaningless without sales. The only statistic that matters to me, in terms of judging the success of a campaign, is the ACoS. Give it some time before making a decision either way.
Bruce

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 6:14 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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Right, but if I'm getting impressions, people might remember me later, right? When Budweiser or Geico plasters it logo on baseball outfield walls it isn't getting any clicks or direct sales either..and they pay millions for those kind of spots. Isn't marketing all about exposure? I am more than happy to get thousands of impressions from people studying Korean, because people study languages for years and years.... Well, anyways, I'm excited... so sue me!! lol...
writerbn

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 8:55 AM   in response to: Bruce in response to: Bruce
 
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Bruce wrote:
Right, but if I'm getting impressions, people might remember me later, right? When Budweiser or Geico plasters it logo on baseball outfield walls it isn't getting any clicks or direct sales either..and they pay millions for those kind of spots. Isn't marketing all about exposure? I am more than happy to get thousands of impressions from people studying Korean, because people study languages for years and years.... Well, anyways, I'm excited... so sue me!! lol...
I worked in marketing for many years, and I used the same arguments in favor of exposure when I had to justify the cost of a marketing campaign to my boss. His response was always, "Exposure doesn't pay the bills."

It was only after I left the corporate world that I realized he was right. Unless a healthy number of those clicks are converting to sales, the exposure isn't doing you a bit of good.
Moshe Ben-Or

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Registered: 12/28/15
Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 11:24 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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In other words, suppose your bid is .20, and the ad you beat for a spot is .13. That means that a click, if it happens, will cost you .14. Good so far. Now, does the .20 original bid put you in a better spot than some other winner for a carousel spot whose bid was, e.g., .18?

That's an unknown, but in the limited analysis of my own ads that I was able to do, I rather suspect not. (I too had wondered about this.)

Based on my experience with AMS, I have no doubt whatsoever that ads on the carousel are arranged in winning bid order, from left to right. Obviously, ads on the left are more likely to be clicked than ads further right, and ads on the first page are much more likely to be clicked than ads on the latter pages. Thanks to bid inflation, the leftmost slot on a bestseller's carousel is often priced not in cents, but in dollars. For product display campaigns, likewise, higher bids will place an ad onto pages for books with higher ranking. When given the option, the underlying algorithm always prefers to maximize the CPC and minimize impressions. Thus, increasing bids past a certain threshold is always counterproductive from the seller's point of view. That $1 bid on a product display campaign will not get you 10 slots for $0.1 each. It will get you 1 slot for $0.85. AMS will laugh all the way to the bank, and you'll go home crying.

AMS, coupled with KDP, is the most awesome cash cow Jeff Bezos' crew has ever devised.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,322
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 11:43 AM   in response to: Moshe Ben-Or in response to: Moshe Ben-Or
 
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Moshe Ben-Or wrote:

Based on my experience with AMS, I have no doubt whatsoever that ads on the carousel are arranged in winning bid order, from left to right. Obviously, ads on the left are more likely to be clicked than ads further right, and ads on the first page are much more likely to be clicked than ads on the latter pages. Thanks to bid inflation, the leftmost slot on a bestseller's carousel is often priced not in cents, but in dollars. For product display campaigns, likewise, higher bids will place an ad onto pages for books with higher ranking. When given the option, the underlying algorithm always prefers to maximize the CPC and minimize impressions. Thus, increasing bids past a certain threshold is always counterproductive from the seller's point of view. That $1 bid on a product display campaign will not get you 10 slots for $0.1 each. It will get you 1 slot for $0.85. AMS will laugh all the way to the bank, and you'll go home crying.

So the advertisers chucking out $1 per click are expecting to make it all back on volume? I think for a $4 e-book the bid break-even point (ad cost = revenue) is right around .15 or .16, unless you have a really great click-to-purchase ratio. Good grief.
Moshe Ben-Or

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Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 3:10 PM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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So the advertisers chucking out $1 per click are expecting to make it all back on volume? I think for a $4 e-book the bid break-even point (ad cost = revenue) is right around .15 or .16, unless you have a really great click-to-purchase ratio. Good grief

They are not expecting anything, the poor dears. At best, they comfort themselves with vague hopes of building a readership for the long term. Mostly, they are simply struggling to salve their bruised egos. All that time and effort! All those hopes and dreams! Surely, it cannot all be in vain!

This is what makes the system such a great cash cow. Reason flies out the window when dreams and egos are in play. If all advertisers were reasonable people, average CPC would never rise above $0.08. Instead, based on Zon suggestions and simple experiment, it hovers somewhere between $0.25 and $0.52, depending on genre and category. Simple experiment will also quickly confirm that $0.85 slots are plentiful, and $1 slots are not uncommon.

The Zon, of course, would never set up this tulip bulb mania in the hopes of getting all those fine folks to click agreement without thinking! Perish the thought!

I bet they make more from AMS than from book sales.
aerki

Posts: 368
Registered: 02/25/12
Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 3:23 PM   in response to: Bruce in response to: Bruce
 
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I spend about $50 a day on AMS, so let me put to bed some of the misconceptions.

Each keyword has different volume, because people are searching for it more or less. For example, Andrew Mayne is the highest rated scifi author right now. When I tried advertising on him, I got hundreds of thousands of impressions. I got just as many from his alone than I did from all the other 300+ keywords I was using. I got more, because more were available. Unfortunately, my click rate on his name is extremely low. I only got 30 clicks for about 300,000 impressions. But they were 30 clicks.

So why pay $1 or more for a click? If it's a keyword that does really well for you(and others) you get in a bidding war for it. I have a series of 43 books out, so if I get a reader that likes it, I end up with 43 sales over the course of time for that one click. That's how I, and others, can make money on the higher bids. We don't just get one sale, we get a series of sales.

Also note, Kindle Unlimited borrows ARE NOT RECORDED on your AMS stats. So you can have ZERO SALES and still be making money off KU. I pay attention to the sales rank on the first book in my series that I'm advertising to let me know if I'm being successful or not, and the sales recorded on AMS are a bonus. I do not measure success by them or the ACOS. It's all about the sales rank, and I check it multiple times per day to make sure I'm getting what I need out of my ads. For me, that's #10,000 on average in the overall kindle store and I've got probably 800-1000 keywords running on 10 different ads to attain that.

I made $9700 last month, so the investment of $50 a day on AMS is paying off.

Unfortunately, AMS DOES NOT advertise in foreign Amazon stores, so for the UK, Canada, etc I'm still using Bookbub ads. AMS only advertises to the US store, but 90% of my income comes from the US store anyway, so it's a good deal if you can make it work.

Best way to get clicks is to target similar authors as keywords, plus genre stuff. If you can bid low and get impressions and clicks, KEEP BIDDING LOW. I need a certain number of new readers per day to maintain my income, about 20 to hit the #10,000 mark, so I pay more to get the higher volume.

If you aren't doing this for a job, keep the low bids that work and keep trying new keywords. Whenever you find one that is working well, keep it as is and keep trying others. Over time you'll accumulate the ones that work and that list will build. Be patient. The system works if you can figure out which keywords work for your book cover and which don't.

If you write a series, use 'series' as a keyword. I was surprised, but it's been one of my better ones despite being rather vague. The point is, try EVERYTHING and see what works. You only pay for clicks, thus the successes, and you don't pay for the failures.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,322
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: AMS Question: How does adjusting bid amounts affect ad placement, etc...
Posted: Sep 24, 2017 4:06 PM   in response to: aerki in response to: aerki
 
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Thanks for the insight; that was very interesting.
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