Phrase-Match Keywords: AMS Advertising

AMS phrase match advertising

AMS Ads Phrase-Match Keywords

In our previous article on broad-match keywords for Amazon advertising, we laid out the advantages and pitfalls associated with casting a wide net in our marketing efforts. Today we examine Phrase-Match keywords, and why including them in your AMS ads will increase your profits.

Understanding how Amazon’s advertising platform works is crucial for authors looking to promote their books to the global marketplace. Among the key elements to grasp is the concept of ‘keyword match types’, a core functionality that helps Amazon’s algorithms decide when and where to show an ad.

Defining Keyword Match Types in Amazon Advertising

To maximize the effectiveness of their Amazon ad campaigns, authors should select the right keywords, and almost as importantly, the correct keyword match types. These are the parameters that tell Amazon’s advertising system how to match an ad with a customer’s search query.

Broad Match and Phrase Match are two such match types, each with unique characteristics and advantages. Broad Match is a general approach, while Phrase Match offers a targeted alternative. But what does this mean in practice?

The Scope of Broad-Match Keywords

Broad Match is the default match type on Amazon’s advertising platform. When an author selects this targeting option, their ad may show up in a customer’s search results even if the customer’s query only includes some of the keywords or their synonyms, in any order. Broad Match is designed to cast the widest possible net, reaching out to the maximum number of readers.

For example, if an author uses Broad Match for keywords like “historical fiction novel,” their ad could appear in the results for “novel based on history,” “fiction book about history,” or even “historical storytelling.”

The Precision of Phrase-Match Keywords

Let’s increase the accuracy of our keyword targeting. Phrase Match is a more specific match type. When using this targeting strategy, an author’s ad will only appear when a customer’s search includes the exact keyword phrase or close variations of it, and in the exact order.

For example, if an author of a crime thriller sets “crime thriller book” as a Phrase-Match keyword, the ad could appear for search terms like “best crime thriller book” or “crime thriller book by [author’s name]”, but not for “thriller book on crime” or “book about crime thriller”.

Phrase-Match keywords deliver more precise targeting, which often leads to a higher conversion rate and better ad spend efficiency (read: higher profits).

The choice isn’t binary. Both Broad Match and Phrase Match should be used in tandem to create a robust advertising strategy. For example, an author can use Broad Match to discover potential keywords based on customer search patterns and then switch to Phrase Match for those keywords that prove effective.

Keyword Reach vs. Relevance

The first step in crafting a successful ad campaign on Amazon is to understand your goals. Do you want to maximize your book’s exposure (reach), or are you more concerned about targeting a specific group of readers (relevance)?

Phrase-Match keywords help you hone in on a more specific audience by matching your ad to search queries that include the exact phrase or close variations of it, in the exact order. If you choose the Phrase-Match keyword “young adult fantasy novel,” your ad will only show for searches that include that exact phrase, like “best young adult fantasy novel” or “young adult fantasy novel with dragons”. This strategy is advantageous when you’re trying to target a specific subset of readers or if you have a niche book.

The trick to an effective ad campaign on Amazon is not to rely on either Broad Match or Phrase Match, but to strike a balance between the two.

Integrating Broad-Match and Phrase-Match Keywords

Broad-Match keywords can be a valuable tool in the initial stages of your campaign. This match type exposes your book to a large audience, allowing you to collect data on which keywords generate the most traffic and engagement.

Once you identify the keywords that are driving the most interest, you can incorporate Phrase-Match keywords into your campaign. This allows you to focus your ad spend on the most effective keywords, ensuring your ads are seen by readers who are most interested in your book.

To help you zero in on the most profitable strategy, Amazon provides a wealth of analytics data that authors can use to monitor the performance of their keywords. By reviewing this data, authors can identify which keywords and match types are delivering the best results and adjust their strategy accordingly.

Analytics and Profitable AMS Keywords

Analytics provide insights into how your ad campaign is performing. By analyzing the data, authors can see which keywords are driving the most traffic, which match types are generating the most clicks, and which keywords are leading to book sales. This data-driven approach allows authors to fine-tune their campaigns, maximizing their return on ad spend.

There are several key performance metrics authors should monitor in their Amazon Advertising campaigns:

  • Impressions: The number of times your ad was displayed. High impressions for a keyword imply it is popular among Amazon readers.
  • Clicks: The number of times your ad was clicked. More clicks suggest that the keyword is drawing attention.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of impressions that led to clicks. A higher CTR indicates the keyword is relevant to the users who saw your ad.
  • Orders: The number of books sold as a result of your ad. This is the most important metric to evaluate the effectiveness of your keywords.
  • Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS): The ratio of ad spend to sales. A lower ACoS means a more cost-effective campaign.

Refining Keyword Selection Based on Analytics

If a Broad-Match keyword is generating a lot of impressions but not leading to sales, it might be worth switching to a Phrase-Match keyword to target a more specific audience. Expanding on this example, if “adventure novel” as a Broad-Match keyword isn’t generating sales, switching to a Phrase-Match keyword such as “adult adventure novel” or “fantasy adventure novel” can help target a more specific subset of readers who are more likely to purchase your book.

Similarly, if a Phrase-Match keyword is producing modest sales and impressions at a low ACoS, authors might want to increase their bid per click for that keyword to boost its visibility. Another option would be to try a Broad-Match version of the same keyword to boost impressions. Keep in mind that not all keywords have high-volume potential. “Horror novels” will yield a lot of traffic, but “ferret horror novels” won’t.

Note to self: write ferret horror novel

A static approach to advertising in today’s fast-paced digital landscape will fall short. Just as authors revise drafts of their books, so too must they revisit and revise their advertising strategies. By testing, analyzing, and refining their keyword selection and match types, authors will ensure they’re maximizing their campaign’s potential, remaining relevant to their audience, and getting the best return on their advertising investment.

Embrace an Experimental Mindset

Amazon Advertising is not a one-size-fits-all platform. What works for one book or genre might not work for another. Therefore, authors should be open to experimenting with different strategies, from choosing various Broad-Match and Phrase-Match keywords, to testing different budget allocations.

Authors might consider trying new keywords or phrases that are trending in their genre, or they may experiment with different keyword match types.

As in any industry, trends in the book market remain in constant flux, and readers’ preferences evolve. Authors need to stay informed of these changes and adapt their advertising strategies when hot authors emerge or genres catch fire.

Whether it’s a resurgence in the popularity of a certain book genre or a new trend in keyword usage among potential readers, being aware of and responding to changes will keep authors ahead of the competition.

Here is one strategy to consider: Use a popular Phrase-Match keyword like “romance novels” and allow Amazon to show your book for a wide range of search results. Then, after you gather data on which keywords do and don’t resonate with readers, add the poor performing words to your negative keywords list and refine your Phrase-Match keywords to better fit your profitable search terms.

For example, if the search term “young adult romance novels” fails to sell your book, consider adding “young adult” to your negative keywords list. If “historical romance novels” performs well, refine your phrase to “historical romance novels.” By doing this, you will open the door to sales from search terms like “historical romance novels on Kindle” and “best historical romance novels”.

Phrase-Match to Exact-Match Keywords

Because Phrase-Match keywords carry specificity, they transition perfectly to Exact-Match keywords. By monitoring your AMS Ads reports and the Search Term report inside your campaign, you can funnel the search a reader used to purchase your book into an Exact-Match keyword campaign.

Exact-Match keywords are the ultimate profit generators in Amazon advertising, but it takes a long time to build a list of money-producing candidates. This is where Phrase Match fits in. More specific than Broad Match and cheaper per click than Exact Match, Phrase-Match keywords strike the perfect balance.

If you remain patient, your Phrase-Match keyword campaign will produce a huge list of Exact-Match keywords. And that will help you sell more books at a fair cost.

In the final article in our three-part series on Amazon advertising keyword matching, we’ll examine Exact-Match keywords.

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