Artificial vs. Human IQ: Which Do You Want Running Your PPC Campaigns?
Updated 7/28/2023 — From large language models to generative art, AI is all the rage today. The question is, is it intelligent enough to outperform a human when it comes to Amazon PPC?
Artificial intelligence is all over the news. Most of us are used to seeing it in virtual reality (VR) gaming systems and in images of Elon Musk’s AI robots assembling his Tesla EV automobiles. But, how does it all work?
Is artificial intelligence . . . smart?
I’m asking that question because I was interested in whether the increased use of AI to help you with your Amazon business is a good thing. Or, is it like most things, good in some instances and very bad in others?
Let’s begin with a few definitions.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is most often considered to be any technology that demonstrates what’s considered to be human behavior. It could be represented by abilities such as learning, reasoning, or adaptation to circumstances. AI is composed of a number of derivative technologies such as machine learning, data modeling, and data mining.
As a subset of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, and data modeling all use (a lot of) data to make predictions or perform actions. It’s particularly effective in data-heavy situations such as engineering, digital marketing and e-commerce. In almost every case, more data equals better results.
How Does AI Help Amazon Sellers?
One thing that artificial intelligence does a great job of is parsing through a lot of data, then anticipating similar or representative results. That’s why it’s a good tool to use to write a series of very similar sales (or listing) copy for brands looking to speed up the process.
The problem with that is most Amazon sellers would gladly trade quantity for quality every day of the week. With the maturing of the Amazon marketplace and the increased sophistication of sellers, to succeed, you need to be good. Fast isn’t going to help you to stand out.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning tend to thrive best in periods of relative calm and when presented with regular and predictable data sets. I’m not sure about you, but that doesn’t sound like Amazon to me.
The Bumpy E-Commerce Road Can Throw AI for a Loop
If recent global conditions have taught us anything, it’s that Amazon sellers should always expect the unexpected. From catastrophic world events to supply chain disruptions,, the turbulent last few years have been particularly challenging (and more importantly, unpredictable).
Life’s bumpy road tends to throw algorithms for a loop. But, it’s more than that.
Using AI and machine learning to help optimize your Amazon product listings and automate your PPC campaign reminds me of what it’s like to get all your news from Facebook.
The ancient symbol, Ouroboros is often depicted as a snake eating its own tail. In much the same way, Facebook’s algorithm continually filters the news in your feed until there’s almost nothing that you find objectionable. Everything is very much alike.
Sorta like this Amazon product listing.
What’s the problem with that, you ask?
Avoid the Crowd with Long Tail Keywords
A little diversity of opinion is a good thing, period. But, when it comes to Amazon PPC, the ability to use their experience to anticipate diversity is what allows the best PPC professionals to stop following the tail lights of every other Amazon seller out there and do something unique with their marketing strategy.
What does that have to do with long tail keywords? It’s all about the fact that long tail keywords allow Amazon PPC management agencies (and Amazon sellers) to really drill down into a specific niche. More importantly, it’s MUCH LOWER in the marketing funnel.
Right down where shoppers become buyers!
Artificial intelligence and machine learning aren’t going away any time soon. The problem with using AI in e-commerce is that artificial intelligence is much more comfortable with shorter, seed keywords.
AI and machine learning programs use existing data to develop predictive models.
The more data, the more precise the modeling becomes. Unfortunately, more data also means that you’re probably following large crowds of Amazon sellers marketing similar products.
Long Tail Keywords and Amazon Listing Optimization
How do long tail keywords help Amazon sellers rank their listing higher?
After all, unlike Amazon PPC advertising, with listing optimization you’re not paying a cent for all of those popular, high search volume, short tail keywords. Why not use them in your listings? That’s because in two very important and related ways, they could be costing you significantly.
If you’re not specific enough about the product that you’re selling, sellers are not going to click on your listings AND your click-through-rate (CTR) is going to suffer.
That’s where long tail keywords come in.
By making sure to optimize your titles, bullet points, descriptions, and listing backend with long tail keywords, the right shoppers will click on your listings. That will lead to higher CTR, a higher ranking on Amazon, and more sales.
Just showing up at the top of Amazon’s search results isn’t enough.
Yes, you want to show up high in the search results, but FOR the shoppers who are looking for a product exactly like yours. Otherwise, all that optimization work is wasted.
Long Tail Keywords and Amazon PPC Strategy
Amazon sellers taking advantage of pay per click advertising put a lot of effort into creating long tail keyword strategies targeting search terms that they (and their competition) are converting for.
They do so for three main reasons:
- Relatively low competition
- A correspondingly lower bid price
- Higher PPC conversion rates
Let’s consider the short tail keyword, “standing desk.” I’m going to open Helium 10’s keyword research tool, Magnet and take a closer look at it.
With a search volume of 370,751, it’s clear that if you choose to sell a standing desk on Amazon, you won’t be the only one. The word frequency (on the right side of the screenshot) gives us a pretty good idea of the words that most often make up the longer keyword phrases.
Magnet also gives you the full list of all the keyword phrases that are closely associated with “standing desk.” As you can see, if I was the Amazon seller trying to sell an “electric height adjustable desk,” I wouldn’t have nearly as much competition.
More to the point, the chances that an Amazon customer looking for exactly that, would be more likely to purchase. That makes both Amazon AND the customer happy.
Ultimately, that’s Amazon’s goal.
Strangely enough, this list of ranked keyword phrases demonstrates another tactic that many skilled Amazon sellers take advantage of. I’ll admit it. Sometimes if I’m moving too quickly, I’ll accidentally misspell a word.
Amazon shoppers do too!
That’s why many experienced Amazon sellers will place misspelled versions of important keyword phrases (both long and short tail) in their listing’s back end.
For example, including the keyword phrase, “shapred desk,” a misspelling of “shaped desk” could get you competition-free access to 348 Amazon shoppers.
Why You Might Want a Human at the Controls
Using AI automation for your Amazon PPC ad can be a powerful tool for optimizing bids for short tail keywords with high search volume. Because all that keyword data is the result of repetitive sales, machine-learning algorithms are able to make sense of the information.
These shorter tail keywords are most often used to increase brand awareness, making your product known to a very large number of prospective buyers at the top of the advertising funnel. The top of the funnel is also home to an enormous amount of competition and poor conversion rates.
Spending a lot of PPC dollars simply to advertise your product with Amazon ads is a good way to waste a lot of money. You want to be spending your PPC marketing dollars on an ad campaign that converts.
Amazon sellers really want to be taking advantage of the higher conversion rates and lower ad spend that occupies the bottom of the funnel.
That kind of high-level PPC optimization strategy is where an Amazon PPC agency like Canopy Management comes in.
Amazon Agency Skills + AI Offers the Best of Both Worlds
When ChatGPT first exploded onto the scene, there was a lot of interest from pretty much everyone looking to supercharge their ability to get stuff done. Then, they quickly realized that to get the most from AI, it’s important to input the correct, industry-specific prompts.
Canopy Management isn’t technology adverse. The difference is this: Canopy uses software to free up the bandwidth of our Amazon-selling experts. We love a good piece of technology as much as the next person. But, it’s a tool, nothing more.
Our most extraordinary resources are our teams of e-commerce experts that are producing amazing creative assets, fully optimizing listings, and closely monitoring custom PPC and Amazon DSP advertising campaigns.
Canopy Management is a full-service marketing agency for Walmart and Amazon sellers. Our team consists of former Amazonians, multi-million dollar sellers, and award-winning experts. When you consider the many ways that Canopy Management can help you grow your business, you’ll see why selling on Amazon is much easier “under the Canopy”:
- Strategic Growth Planning
- Listing Copywriting Optimization
- Listing Photography
- Product Videography
- Advertising Management
- Customer Service
- Demand Side Platform (Amazon DSP)
- Amazon Posts
- Full Service Management
- Amazon Review Aggregation
Thinking About Hiring an Amazon Management Agency?
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