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…submitting your questions via voicemail and you guys know I get so excited to answer these questions and just get to hang out with you guys because that’s really what it feels like, right? You guys submit your voicemails which is you recording your message and then me answering it. It really is a way for us to connect and I really, really love doing this so keep them coming. If you guys have a question that you want to ask or answered on the podcast, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask. Once again that’s theamazingseller.com/ask. All right.
I want to mention this too really quickly is that all of the show notes and the transcripts for this episode can be found at theamazingseller.com/172. This again is something that we’ve just recently added is the transcript so if you guys want to take advantage of those, you guys asked for them so we delivered them. Go over and check those out, you can read them right on the blog or you can download them there as well. Now, before we jump in to the live Q&A which I’m really excited to get started on, we’ve got some really good questions here and I’ve got a little treat for you. I wanted to highlight someone inside of the Facebook group, the TAS Facebook group that is and I’m calling this person an action taker because they’ve taken action and they’ve said it on the group and a ton of response came from that but I wanted to share it with you. This way here we can all celebrate it together.
His name is Grant Cox and here is what he said. He said, “A big thank you to this community and to Scott. I went live with my first product three days ago and yesterday made it to page one and sold 15 units. It’s time to get excited, thanks for helping me take action everyone.” Over 153 likes, a ton of comments and that was posted not that long ago. Grant, I want to say, that’s awesome man and thanks for posting that because again, if we can stay motivated, inspired and ask questions along the way, I mean, you guys can’t see this, I’ll link up this particular thread so this way here you guys can go directly to it in the show notes but what Grant was basically saying was that he was taking action and then a whole bunch of people come in and they start asking “What did you do? What was your launch strategy? Did you use pay-per-click?” All of that stuff starts to get asked and then he goes ahead and he answers it. It’s a great way to see the process and share with one another.
Again, if you guys are not connected to the Facebook group inside of the TAS community definitely, definitely going to want to do that. I think we got over 23,000, actually, I’m looking at it right now, 23,636 members in there currently, right now. If you want to be a part of that, all you have to do is head over to theamazingseller.com/fb and you will be directed to the page where you will request to join and within a few hours you should be approved. All right. Totally free and it’s there for you, the podcast listeners of the amazing seller so definitely head over and do that. All right, let’s go over and let’s dive in. I’m getting excited here, aren't I? Let’s go ahead and listen to the first question and then I’ll go ahead and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:03:33] Michael: Hi Scott, love what you’re doing. My name is Michael. I’m on the road like five hours a day listening to your podcast man. I travel a lot for work and long story short is I heard you quite a few times mention that supplements isn’t something that you would personally get into probably because the competition is fierce on there. Well, my question to you would be if somebody is selling supplements online, how would you go about entering into that market when there is a lot of competition? If I was to search for a certain supplement, there was 2000 reviews for the first one, 1000 for the next and maybe it drops off from there but the competition is big in that market. How would you answer that for somebody who does have a company that wants to get onto Amazon? Once again man thank you I appreciate everything that you’re doing, keep it up.
[00:04:24] SV: Hey Michael, thank you so much for the question. Yeah man, long road trips huh? Five hours, that’s a long time so I’m glad I was able to be in that car with you or the truck or whatever you’re driving and hopefully inspiring and motivating and teaching you a little something along the way. That’s really awesome and I appreciate you sharing that. You know what, if you’re selling supplements like if you’re a business right now and you’re not just looking to get into the supplement business and again I’m just talking from my own thought process, right. It’s not really that it’s a right or a wrong but if someone already right now has a supplement business or a supplement line that they’re selling somewhere else and then they want to bring it to Amazon, I think that’s perfect. I would be doing that. I would definitely be doing that. I won’t be doing it because the competition’s fierce. I’d be doing it because my product should be on Amazon, right.
That’s a different situation that we’re talking about there. That’s not like you just starting from scratch saying, “I want to launch a supplement company and I’m want to start on Amazon.” I think that still can be done but I don’t think that that’s the best plan of attack if you’re just starting and you want to build this business unless it’s something that you’ve created your own blend, your own proprietary formula and it does a certain thing or maybe it strips out some of these other ingredients that are technically harmful or maybe someone’s allergic to. If there’s some special spin that you were able to create and you know that there’s a huge market looking for this and you’re going to come into the market and be different, that right there is an opportunity, right.
Yeah, I would say that would even be okay. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I would do that because I do know that there’s going to be a lot of work getting that thing going but let’s kind of go back for a second. If you have a product or products, product line, whatever, a business it’s already selling like a brick and mortar let’s say and now you want to take those products and bring them to Amazon, well you have a little bit of an advantage because you probably have an email list, you should anyway. Even if you only have a brick and mortar, you should be collecting people’s email addresses inside your store or if you’re online, if you’re on Shopify or if you’re on another platform and you’re selling your supplements, you should be collecting an email address and if you are, then it’s going to be easier for you to start to get some reviews and some really good social proof about your products and that’s going to help boost your ranking, it’s going to help boost your conversions and all that stuff.
Yes, you’ll have a little bit more of an advantage but regardless, because the market is really saturated with supplements and it’s a very competitive, you are going to have to do probably promotions, probably monthly. You’re going to have to really crank up the pay-per-click and it’s going to be a battle in a sense. Right. It’s going to be a lot of extra work that you not necessarily would have to do if you weren’t in the supplement space. I’m not saying there’s not other markets that are as competitive or that are as tough, there are but this is the one that we’re talking about because well, you brought it up. That’s the one I always go to. There’s people out there in this space as well that are hiring people to leave negative reviews and voting down and voting up theirs and all of this stuff so there’s a lot of foul play happening. That’s my only concern but if you already currently have something established or something that you already have going right now, then yeah, the natural thing would be to then launch that on Amazon and then put everything you have behind it.
You’re not only relying on Amazon, you’re just tapping into that platform. My recommendation to you would be just that. If you already currently have a business then yes, bring it on Amazon. If you’re thinking about starting something and starting it with Amazon unless it’s something that is totally unique to you and to your brand and then to your market, then I would say do it but if it wasn’t, just be prepared if you’re going to go down this road to spend a lot of money because you’re going to have to spend a lot of money to get recognized and to get things rolling.
Like you said, 2000 reviews, that’s hard to compete against and you know that brand is probably actively doing promotions so you just got to be careful on that. Hopefully this has helped you, hopefully you do have an established brand and you’re just trying to bring it on to Amazon, that would be great and I would give the thumbs up on that for sure. Hopefully this has been helpful and good luck to you. Keep me posted and yeah, hopefully the long drives are a little bit easier with the podcast in your earbuds so awesome. All right man, take care. Let’s go ahead and listen to another question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:09:10] Dave: Hello Scott, this is Dave. I just wanted to ask you about private labeling as opposed to white labeling or more in particular the levels of private labeling. I mean like the top level, of course, would be manufacturing your own product, putting a trademark on that product and your own product name with perhaps the lowest level being sticking a card in the box with your name on it. But if you could just give me and the audience an idea of the levels of private labeling and how that might impact and affect the end business, I think that would be very helpful. Again, thanks for all of your help. Listening to all of your podcasts and I am also a member of the private labelers Facebook group in which I also get a whole lot of information and motivation out of. Thanks again, bye for now.
[00:10:37] SV: Hey Dave, thanks for the question. I wanted to answer this question because I do think that it’s important to understand that there are different levels in a sense, right. I mean if you are starting out from scratch, you may not want to go through the whole branding of the product. You may just want to do the Ali Express or something that you find almost like wholesale item and then it’s just kind of like you were saying, like a white label in a sense, it’s very similar to private labeling by the way but let’s just say that white labeling is like a generic brand or maybe it's an unmarked brand that doesn’t have anything on it and then you can put a card in there or even put your own sticker on a box that it comes in with your information. I’ve seen that done. I’ve seen that done on a poly bag.
Yeah, there is less work I think that can be done into private labeling but it is going to be a little bit more risky as far as you protecting the brand okay, because what you’re doing here is you’re really doing the minimal amounts of work to ensure that it’s protected but also that its branded your product, right. Yes, in the beginning if you wanted to do this just to get product launched and get it to validate that it’s going to sell then I think that’s an easy way to do it and I think you can definitely do that. Now, it’s not that much harder to have your manufacturer label on the product or your packaging, okay. It’s not much more work to do that but in some cases you may get maybe 100 units of something that you can get in a week that aren’t branded with your stuff but then you could have them shipped to your place, you can label them yourself. You can put them in a bag, you can put them in a box, whatever you want to do and then you can brand it in a sense and I’ve seen that done as well and that works.
The bottom line is here there are different levels of private labeling and to me in the beginning, whatever is going to help you validate and get product to market so you can see if it’s going to stick then I would do that. That’s me personally and then from there we can always enhance the branding, we can enhance the packaging and the materials and all of that stuff and the user experience and everything but the bottom-line is to get that momentum going. As far as you said like trademarking, that’s a whole other process. To trademark something that’s going to be an eight month to a year process if not longer, same thing with like brand registry.
That doesn’t take much time, all you need really is a little mini website but even in the beginning, if you’re trying to validate, you don’t necessarily have to do that unless you’re validating the brand, right? If you’re going to go out there and put three different products in three different markets up there to see which one sticks or then you don’t really know which one you want to do a brand registry for, right, make sense? I think that would be the smart thing to consider is when you’re starting unless you are sure that this is going to be the brand that you’re going to do your product brand that is and it’s going to be in this market, then that’s when you would really take those extra measures to do that.
I know some people might argue this but this is my thought process, doesn’t mean it’s right, it just means that it’s my thought process and kind of like my way of doing it for my own internal business, all right, and other future businesses. All right. Hopefully that’s helped you. Thanks for the question, thanks for being a listener and yeah, keep me posted on that. All right, let’s go ahead and listen to another question, I’ll give you my answer.
[00:14:11] Tim: Hi Scott, my name is Tim and I’m contacting you from over here in Thailand. I love listening to your show every week and I’ve learned a tremendous amount during the process of listening to you so I really thank you for that. My question is in regards to hijacking. I loved the show that you did recently with the ex-Amazon employee on the show and was very useful. My product is brand registered and it is also trademarked. However, when I did the brand registry, I did not put a catalogue number and so after contacting Amazon, they said what I need to do now is to delete my current listing, relist it with a catalogue number and then contact Amazon brand registry and they will then register the brand and lock down the description and all the product content which is what I want to do to avoid any hijacking as per the recommendation from your show. But I’m very nervous about deleting my current listing and then relisting it. Amazon is saying that all of your reviews are relevant to the ASIN so there’ll be no problem in deleting your current listing and then relisting it using the ASIN.
Just with all the potential for loss or the potential for some heartbreak there, I’m wondering, do you think I should go ahead with all that trouble of deleting my current listing then relisting it with a catalog number and re-submitting to Amazon? Do you think I should go ahead and do that? Would love your advice on this matter, thanks very much Scott and keep up the great work.
[00:15:54] SV: Hey Tim, thank you so much for the question and congratulations on having a product that is brand registered and trademarked. That’s pretty awesome to be able to have that done. Now, to answer your question, number one, I’m not 100% sure on that whole product catalog, number and all that stuff and I’m not sure that you got the right answer from the support at seller central. I’m not sure about that. Now, I would not delete that listing, me personally. I would contact another rep and then maybe even another rep and I would get someone on the phone and I’d have them explain it to me thoroughly. I have heard of people being told to delete their listing but it’s also through a process that they are guided through with someone at seller central and then when they bring the product listing back, everything should come back with it.
Now, the episode that you were talking about for people that want to know, there was two episodes recently, actually, that I talked about hijacking and some of the best practices and there was one with one with ex-Amazon employee James Thompson and that was episode 147, again, I’ll leave these in the show notes for you guys and he gave a lot of great insight and tips on that as well. If you guys want to check that out, go ahead and listen to that episode, it’s a really good episode. The other one is with Ted Limus and he is an attorney and he specializes in Amazon businesses and getting hijackers off their listing and also he knows a thing or two about brand registry and all that stuff and that was episode 152.
What I would probably recommend doing is contacting Ted, okay. He’s got a number there that you can contact him. Again, I’ll leave it in the show notes, it’s also on episode 152. I would contact him and ask him his advice, what you should do in this case. He’s definitely more than happy to answer questions. You can either shoot him an email or you can call him on the phone. I would definitely, definitely reach out to Ted and ask him what he would do or what he suggests that you do. Again, that is Ted Limus and it is 152 and he’s an attorney. I would definitely make that phone call.
I don’t really have an exact answer for you but I do have some advice and that would be I would not delete my listing unless I was 100% sure that it was not going to be wiped out and it was going to be brought back okay. That would be kind of scary and I could hear the fear in your voice so I can definitely relate to that. I would reach out to seller support once again, try to get someone on the phone. I would also reach out to Ted and I would ask his opinion on that as well. Sorry I couldn’t give you an exact answer. I feel for you, I do but I think we can definitely get to the bottom of this if you just take those two recommendations and follow up with that, I think you’ll be fine. Keep me posted on what happens though, I’d love to maybe even on another Ask Scott I could bring this back up again and let people know what happened, I think that would be interesting so we know in the future.
All right. Thanks for the question. All right, let’s go ahead and listen to one more question. I’ll give you my answer. Actually, for this next one, I’m going to invite on Chris Shaffer who, before I recorded this I did a hot seat session with him and I said, “Hey, you know what, I just got a question about pay-per-click. I would love you to come on with me and give me your take and I’ll give my take and I think it’d be pretty awesome to be able to do that for the listeners, for you guys. That’s what you’re going to hear. You’re going to hear myself and Chris Shaffer talking about this question about pay-per-click but first off, I’ll let the person ask the question and then we’ll go ahead and answer it for you.
[00:19:49] Lauren: Hi Scott, this is Lauren from Brisbane, Australia and I’m a huge fan of your podcast. It’s really helped me to accelerate my FBA and private label business. My question today is about the best practice of tweaking PPC keywords. What I currently do is review my campaigns and my keywords at least once a week and when I do that there’s three things that I do. The first one is to go through and increase my bid so that it matches the suggested page one bid as long as it’s not too high. The second thing I do is to try and pick out some winning keywords and transfer them into an exact match campaign so they can have their own budget as per your trainings. The third thing I do is to go through and pause keywords that either have a high spend with no sales or a high average cost of sale like greater than 200%.
My question is really on the pausing of keywords and how I should make that decision to pause because at different periods you can filter by when you’re looking at keywords. The question is how do you choose which period to filter by? Do I look at last week or month to date to look at last month, a year to date, lifetime? For example the average cost of sale could be really high throughout a period that was last week on month to date but then when I go and look at its lifetime average cost of sale, it’s not that bad, it could be quite low. What would be your best practice on this and do you have any other suggestions on the tweaking of keywords? Thanks very much and I hope you get to answer this on the show. Thanks, bye.
[00:21:45] SV: Hey Lauren, thank you so much for the question and I’ve got to say it sounds like you’re doing a lot of things right but there is some things that you could probably be doing differently and I also have a guest on with me right here. Well, let me just kind of explain what happened here. Chris and I, Chris Shaffer that is, were just doing a hot seat session and I knew I had this question because I was listening to it this morning and I said, “You know what, let’s have Chris on and let’s listen to his opinion or his advice because he does know a thing or two about this Amazon pay-per-click thing. Chris, thank you so much for coming on and help me to answer this question today.
[00:22:19] CS: Any time brother.
[00:22:19] SV: I’m really excited to hear about your answer and then I’m going to give your answer so why don’t we hear yours first and then I’ll go ahead and give you mine?
[00:22:28] CS: Like you said, she is doing a lot of things. She is doing I’d say 90% more than most people are doing which is good. It sounds like she’s got the basics down. The thing that I got out of what she said is she’s saying basically every seven days, she’s going in, she’s matching the page one bid, she’s moving keywords to exact, she’s pausing high spend and high ACOS keywords which is a lot of the stuff that you want to do. But there is one thing that kind of stuck out to mean and that was increasing bid to match page one bid.
The only place where you really see that I think is the back end of Amazon and I don’t do any of my optimization out of that back end. I do it all off of the customer search term report and the reason that I do that is because the keywords that you see in the backend of Amazon in that advertising section are not necessarily the keywords that are driving the clicks, the sales and the spending, right. All of those are shown to you in the customer search term report, especially with those broad match, Scott, the automatic campaign that you talk about and the suggested keyword campaign especially on broad match.
If you see a keyword, let’s just go with garlic press and you’re running that on broad match, garlic press itself might show that it’s got that 200% ACOS and so you go in and you pause it but what’s actually happening is, if you look at the customer search term report, you’ll see keyword garlic press and then you’ll see what the customer actually searched for.
That’s where you find the gold because somebody may be typing in stainless steel long handled garlic press and well, the keyword, garlic press, says that it’s a 200% ACOS. Maybe every time somebody’s typing in stainless steel long handled garlic press and they click on your ad, they’re buying it. By posing garlic press in broad, you stop running for that phrase that you want to rank for or that you actually do want to show up in your advertising. Lauren, if you’re not already, please download and use that customer search term report and it is a CSV so you can open with Excel or Google Sheets and you can create all kinds of filters and look at it however you want to look at it and use the same strategies that you’re using now but it gives you a much more granular look.
I think the other thing that I noticed that she said she’s moving them directly to exact if they’re working and you don’t ever, there may be cases but generally speaking, you don’t ever want to move from broad to exact. You want to move those to phrase and I wouldn’t even move what you’re using as a keyword, I would move those customer search terms to phrase because you know that that’s what’s driving sales. You can tie it down at a search level as opposed to at the higher keyword level, does that make sense Scott?
[00:25:09] SV: Yeah, it does. I mean, to kind of even damp it down even more, it would be like if you’re pulling broad term, okay. If you’re looking on the surface level on the top part of that and you’re looking at this one broad term and then you’re seeing that the ACOS is a certain number, you don’t really know a month from now, that same keyword might be triggering four different other keywords that aren’t converting as well so because of that, that’s what made your ACOS change and for the worse. If you were to see that in the back end you can see that well, the keyword that really converted was the one that was being searched for, not necessarily the broad.
The broad was just triggering the related part of that keyword and then from there, you can take that and move it to a phrase versus just taking it all the way from a broad to an exact. I think you and I both talked about it. Really, the only time that you’ll ever want to put something into an exact is if it’s been proven over and over again that people click on that. They find your listing and they click on it to find your listing and then from there, they convert to a sale over and over and over again, then, that’s when you’re going to want to move that.
Other than that, if you just want to take that keyword that has been searched for on the back end that you can see in that data report and then you can see that that one there is really the golden nugget, you’ll pull that and put it into a phrase match and then from there you’ll run ads against that and see how that performs and then now we'll also give you some extenders or some prefixes where you can see also maybe some other gold that surfaces from that. That’s I think what you’re saying Chris, right? I mean you’re not just looking at the broad as the main keyword, you’re looking at that as kind of like the discovery keyword that’s helping you be discovered by all of these other random keywords that we can see the data from.
[00:27:01] CS: Right, I don’t even look at those keywords. I basically hide the keyword column when I download that customer search term report because I don’t care. The only thing I care about is what the customers are searching. It doesn’t matter to me what triggered that.
[00:27:15] SV: Moving forward Chris, let’s try to give her an answer here, moving forward and everything else that you’re doing, to me is spot on. It’s just looking at the data so really, it’s not necessarily going in- I guess the question was this, if she has a keyword in a broad and it was doing good and she looks at it and she looks a month ago, the last month it did really good and then this current month, she’s three weeks into this month and it’s doing really bad, what does she do at that point?
[00:27:47] CS: Again, that’s where the customer search term report comes in handy, right because it’s a rolling 90 days so I generally look at that 90 day period but she can still look and see in that report, she can filter by that keyword so let’s just go with garlic press, right. Using some basic Excel, you can filter and just pull up all of the customer search terms that were triggered by garlic press and you’ll be able to do exactly what you and I just described and say, “This one's working, this one’s not.” If they’re all not working, that’s when you would go in and pause that broad match keyword. Chances are there’s going to be at least one golden one in there, you can move that to a phrase and then pause it but you still want to filter down and look. Does that make sense?
[00:28:31] SV: Yeah, that makes total sense and again I wouldn’t over-complicate things either. It sounds like you got a pretty good handle on it. I think it’s just the tweaking on the backend and then looking at that 90-day report and then making the decision based off of that. I kind of look at it again like finding the keywords that are performing even if they’re not performing like under 15% ACOS, like something crazy right? As long as they are bringing sales and they’re not losing money at that stage then it’s almost worth to keep it. If you know that if you get ranked for that or if you’re getting ranked for that, that’s going to help you stay there. Again, a little off topic there but I wouldn’t go too crazy and too deep but I would start looking at a lot more of that report on a 90 day and yeah, you can look at your one month and if that all of a sudden goes the other way, yeah, you want to dig in and see what just happened, which you can but I wouldn’t go too crazy with needing to pause unless you see something going really going crazy.
[00:29:38] CS: That’s really why that report is so nice, right because you can log into the backend every seven days and you say, “Oh well, my ACOS went way up on this broad keyword.” You can then download that report and look at what happened.
You’ll know exactly what happened at the search level. Everything that was searched and clicked on is shown to you in that report so you will say, “Oh wow!, it started showing up for this. It wasn’t showing up for this the last time that I looked at it, maybe I need to make that a negative or maybe I need to pause it.” then you can make a much more informed decision than you can based off the information that’s just in the back end.
[00:30:13] SV: Exactly. Okay, so that’s pretty much it. Chris thanks for hanging out with me a little bit longer here so we can go ahead and get that answered. Anyone that wants to know more about pay-per-click stuff, I’ll give you the episodes. There’s episode 119, so theamazingseller.com/119. There’s also episode 129 which is “Big mistakes to look out for.” and then also 164 which was “How to improve your pay-per-click campaigns to perform better.” and that one there was with Ty Rooney so check those out. I’ll leave them in the show notes as well. Chris, thanks again for stopping by again and yeah, I’ll talk to you soon buddy.
That’s it guys, that’s going to wrap up this session of Ask Scott. As always, keep the questions coming. If you guys have questions that you want me to answer on the show, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask, once again, that’s theamazingseller.com/ask. If you don’t submit questions, I can’t answer them so go ahead and submit your questions. I want to hear from you, in your own voice. Leave your name and your question and I’ll do my best to get it aired here on the show and answer the question live on a podcast, all right. Would love to be able to do that for you. Once again, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do just that, ask your question. All right, that’s it guys, that’s going to wrap it up. Remember, I'm here for you, I believe in you, I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to … Come on say it with me, say it loud, you know the drill, come on, let’s say it, take action. Have an awesome, amazing day and I will see you in the next episode.
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