Are you getting the most out of your Amazon Ads? Here’s how to perform your own campaign audit and find out.

As an Amazon advertiser, it is a critical practice to actively manage your campaigns and audit them frequently for inconsistencies, information regarding which of your products are performing best, and clues surrounding areas of improvement or optimization.

Without this high-touch approach to advertising, your PPC campaigns could be sitting stagnant, using up your budget with little return. If you have Amazon PPC campaigns that have been running for a while without much review, it may be time to take a look at how they are performing.

Follow this simple checklist and assess where your own PPC campaigns may have room to improve.

The Basic Audit: ACoS, Budget and CTS

1. ACoS

Start with ACoS, or Advertising Cost of Sales. The formula for this is ACoS = ad spend / sales. Is your ACoS under the threshold? In order to decide what is a reasonable ACoS for your unique campaign, you first need to calculate your profit margin. Make sure to include every cost to your business such as manufacturing costs, Amazon fees, and even yours and your employees’ salaries if applicable. Unless you are new to the market and using PPC advertising for branding purposes, your ACoS should always be lower than your profit margin.

2. Budget

Next, move on to your budget. Is your campaign exhausting its daily budget? Select three days of the last week to see if the campaign has exceeded its budget in any of those three days.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

From this example, we can see that our first campaign is running smoothly, but the second campaign has been having some budget issues. When this happens, it means the ads in your campaign are missing out their potential views and clicks because once you’ve exceeded your budget for the day, your campaigns are paused.

Your next step would be to check data for the previous 30 days. If your ACoS for this campaign is under its threshold, then it is advisable to increase your daily budget by 20%. If the ACoS is over the threshold, then it is time to dig a little deeper to determine why your budget is being exhausted.

3. Click Through Rate:

Now is the time to check your CTR or Click Through Rate. CTR indicates how relevant your keywords are to the product at hand. If the CTR of any one product is less than 0.1%, you might want to double check how relevant your chosen keywords are to your product. It is also recommended to check the competitiveness of your bidding to ensure your product is visible in prominent placement. If you are in Seller Central, check out your Placement Report to gain better insight about your campaign’s CTR.

More in Depth: Search Term Report

Once you’ve completed a basic audit of your campaigns and have gained some insight into their performance, you can now move into a more in-depth audit by taking a look at your Search Term Report.

Organize the report in descending order, by Clicks. Look for keywords and search terms that generated the most clicks but did not generate sales. Determine if that search term is actually related to your product. If not, then move that term into the negative keyword list.

If the term is relevant, then review the product description in detail to see if the keyword is being properly showcased throughout your product listing.

Going Even Deeper: The Competition

After you have performed an audit of your own PPC campaigns, the next step is to check out the competition. How are your competitors performing and what could you be doing to improve your own results?

  1. Determine who your biggest competitor is and go through their product listings to collect ideas on how to optimize your own product description page.
  2. Perform a reverse ASIN search to see what keywords are driving sales to your competitor’s listing. There are various tools available like Sellics and Keyword Inspector that will allow you to find this information.
  3. Look at their reviews to determine what customers like or dislike about the competitive product and bring those important insights back to your own offering.

Auditing your competitors’ listings brings great insight to your own and helps you understand why customers may be purchasing comparable products from different companies.

It can be challenging and often time consuming to actively manage your own PPC efforts on Amazon. Third-party SEM Managers that perform regular audits and lead your campaigns for you are often more accurate and of higher value to your business.

geekspeak Hosts Second Annual ‘Hack for Good’ Hackathon

Coders, marketers and environmental enthusiasts united this past weekend, March 9-10, at the geekspeak Commerce head office in Whitby, Ontario to compete in a 36-hour hackathon. Hack for Good: <CODE/GREEN> saw 10 teams develop working apps that focused on a range of environmental topics including recycling, carpooling and food waste to name a few.

The Basics: What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is a marathon-like coding challenge, typically lasting anywhere from 24 hours to several days, in which technical developers, designers and marketers work together in teams to develop unique apps that solve a need or issue related to the event’s topic of choice. Hackathons generally end in a pitching session, in which each team presents their app to a panel of judges.

Why Hack for Good: <CODE/GREEN>?

In keeping with geekspeak’s Corporate Responsibility initiatives and the belief that being a good business partner also means being a good corporate citizen, it was clear that an environmental focus was important for the 2018 Hackathon. By inspiring participants to develop through an environmental lens, teams were able to create apps that could bring real value and lasting impact to the world and its citizens.

The Event

Teams started filing into the geekspeak office at 9am on Friday, eager to get started on their app development. With a sponsored breakfast from Tim Horton’s, participants settled into their working pods and enjoyed some relaxation before the challenge began. Opening Ceremonies included an address from geekspeak’s Tricia Williams and Isaac Wanzama, as well as Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell, and Keynote Speaker Ahmed El Ganzouri, Senior Environmental Officer at General Motors.

When the Opening Ceremonies came to a close at 11am, the hacking began! Teams worked tirelessly until 4pm on Saturday, taking short breaks throughout the event to enjoy meals and treats from sponsors and community partners including Tap and Tankard, Mancini’s, Signature Indian Cuisine, iThai, The Corner Restaurant, Healthy Meats and Subway.

Event sponsors also included Town of Whitby, 360insights, General Motors Canada, The Regional Municipality of Durham Planning and Economic Development, Durham College, UOIT, SourcePoint Business Group, and BMO. Community partners included QJS, Spark Centre, Whitby Chamber of Commerce, and Matrix Photography & Design.

Laptops were closed promptly at 4pm, and the presentations began. One by one, each team presented their functional apps to their peers and four judges; Christine Ball, Executive Director of EcoBusiness Network, Brian Olynyk, Lead Developer for 360insights, Jeffery Potvin, Founder and CEO of Hardboot Communications, and Isaac Wanzama, Founder and Chief Strategist of geekspeak Commerce.

After close to two hours of presentations, teams enjoyed a sponsored dinner from Tap and Tankard while the judges’ scores were tabulated. In the end, the following teams came out on top:

Third Place: Team Mountain Goat with their app “Urban Grocery” that addresses the issue of food waste

Second Place: Watt Team with their app “What the Watt” that helps users determine off-peak times to use energy and save on hydro bills

First Place and Winner of the $2,000 Grand Prize: Team Terra with their app “Terra: Trained Environment Recognition Recycling Assistant,” that incorporates artificial intelligence and image recognition to determine whether or not a piece of trash can be recycled, including geographically-specific tips around recycling categories.

See You Next Year!

With the success of Hack for Good both in 2017 and now 2018, the geekspeak team is already planning on hosting the event again in 2019. Stay tuned for information and your opportunity to register by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Selling Products on Amazon? 5 Reasons Why Your Brand Needs an Amazon Advertising Strategy

With more and more online shoppers turning to Amazon to search for and purchase products every day, there is a higher expectation for quality content and more competition than ever before. If you are a brand that is currently selling on Amazon, then you know first-hand that this is true. Last week, we wrote about a new update to Amazon PPC ad placement that changes the way advertisers leverage Amazon as a strategy, and can lead to massive returns.

If you are not already advertising on Amazon, it is now more important than ever to get started. Here are the top five reasons you should be taking advantage of Amazon ads.

1. There are over 300 million customers on Amazon

Not only that, but the number keeps growing. The people who own these 300 million active Amazon accounts are shopping regularly in every category, meaning you don’t necessarily want to reach every single one of them, but the odds of your target audience being represented within that 300 million is extremely high. Leveraging Amazon PPC, you can target by keyword to ensure you’re zoning in on those users that matter the most to your brand.

2. Over 50% of American consumers use Amazon as the first step in a product search

Google is still a search powerhouse but when it comes to products specifically, Amazon is the resource most often used as a first step in research. As online shoppers compare products in their early searches, your own products could be showing up through high quality, targeted Amazon ads. If you need help gauging what high quality Amazon advertising looks like, learn more about our Amazon PPC services or schedule a call with us to find out.

3. Shoppers see your ad when their purchase intent is high

Reiterating our last point, more people in the United States use Amazon to search for products over Google. When these shoppers are viewing your Amazon ads, they are doing so while they are already in the mindset to make a purchase and are one step closer to adding a product to their shopping cart. With engaging copy and visuals, your product ads on Amazon have the power to lead shoppers to click on your product over that of a competitor.

4. You can choose the type of ad that works for your brand

There are currently three different Amazon PPC ad options that you can choose from, depending on your account type, unique brand and products, business objectives, and of course budget. Sponsored Product Ads show up above search results and have recently begun appearing within organic search results based on the keywords you choose to rank for. Headline Ads now appear in Amazon’s header area, sidebar area, or below search results, and are typically more generic based on relevant keywords. Finally, Product Display Ads – available only to Amazon Vendors – are located on the sidebar of related product listing pages. The types of Amazon ads you choose, as well as their landing pages, are strategic in nature and based on your unique brand.

5. There are experts available to help you

Whether you are completely new to Amazon advertising, or don’t have the bandwidth to manage your campaigns internally, the geekspeak team is available to help. With 15 years of industry experience, our team of SEM Experts live and breathe Amazon. From an audit of your Amazon Marketing Service or Seller Central account,  to ongoing PPC management, geekspeak can work alongside you every step of the way. We are up-to-date on Amazon’s changing trends and will ensure you know about the important updates that are relevant to you like new ad placements or upcoming changes to your dashboard.

Is Amazon Changing Its Ad Placement? What This Means for Amazon Advertising and Advertisers

Anyone selling on Amazon knows that it is not only a great marketplace to showcase your products, but it’s also very competitive. Sellers on the platform, especially those leveraging Amazon advertising management services, have often taken advantage of Amazon’s Sponsored Product and Headline Ad features to grow sales. These features have seen some changes through the years and it seems new updates may be on the way.

Amazon has changed its ad placement for both Sponsored Product Ads and Headline Ads.

A quick view on Amazon today will reveal some of these changes. For one, Sponsored Product Ads have traditionally appeared at the top and bottom of a search results page, making it obvious and recognizable for the consumer that what they are seeing is an Amazon Ad. Now it seems however, an online shopper can search for a term and be presented with a results page that appears to show Sponsored Ads both at the top of the list AND displayed amongst the organic results.

Additionally, Amazon advertisers who are interested in purchasing real estate in the form of Headline Ads can do so with up to five placement options. Prior to today, Headline Ads were placed in only one available position – the traditional headline position (at the top of the landing page) all advertisers know.


This update is great news for Seller Central brands advertising on Amazon. For Sponsored Product Ads in particular, advertisers could see higher click through rates because middle placement ads blend into organic search results, making the “Sponsored” notice less glaring to the shopper. Consumers tend to skip over Headline Ads and top-level Sponsored Product Ads so this update allows brands to catch the eye of a consumer who may have previously missed out on their sponsored product.

In addition, this update could lead to fewer bidding wars for top positions, which will positively impact cost per conversion and present more opportunities for Amazon sellers with limited advertising budgets.

When it comes to the news surrounding Headline Ads, more placement options mean a lower cost per click and Amazon estimated cost per click. That being said, advertisers who want to ensure their ads are hitting that traditional headline position at top-of-page should bid aggressively and exceed Amazon’s recommended bid.


In summary, the key takeaways in this very important Amazon update are;

• Advertisers can expect higher click through rates on their Sponsored Product Ads that show up in a position between organic results

• Consumers tend to skip top-level ads, so this update allows brands to catch the eye of shoppers they may not have accessed previously

• Ads mixed between organic results could mean fewer bidding wars for top positions, positively impacting cost per conversion and helping brands with low advertising budgets

• More placement options for Headline Ads mean a lower cost per click for advertisers