If you want to stand out in a vast marketplace like Amazon, you have to use every tool at your disposal. Keeping up with Amazon Advertising updates and tools, whilst being aware of the latest features is necessary for every brand. A recent addition to Amazon Advertising is the Impression Share Report for Sponsored Products.
The Search Term Impression Share report can be downloaded from the Report Centre in the advertising console. The report gives an indication of your impression share for each search term compared to other advertisers. It also covers the overall percentage of ad impressions you receive in comparison to other advertisers over a selected time period. So, let's take a deeper look at what useful information it gives and how to use it.
Suggested reading: For a deeper understanding of how to demystify and leverage the Amazon analytics tools at your disposal, check out our eBook — Mastering Amazon Brand Analytics
What exactly is an impression share?
Granularly, this report prioritizes the tracking and dissemination of two metrics…
Metric 1: Search Term Impression Share
If you have experience with Google Ads, then ‘Impression Share’ should be familiar to you — luckily, Search Term Impression Share works on the same lines. As it sounds, it represents the percentage of impressions you've earned on a particular search term. Search Term Impression Share will show the proportion of shoppers who entered a given search term and then potentially saw your ad.
For example, if your Sponsored Products impression share is 40% for a search term on a given date range, it means that your Sponsored Products ad appeared 40% of the time for that search term on that date range.
Note: This doesn't necessarily mean that a shopper saw your ad — it was served on the page but may have appeared below the fold — something worth checking in your analysis (see later).
Metric 2: Search Term Impression Rank
The other metric in the Search Term Impression Share report is Search Term Impression Rank. If, for example, you have a search term impression rank of four, you will be the fourth-highest in Amazon Sponsored Products ad impressions for the exact search term on that date.
Note: This is an account-wide metric — if the search term pops up in several campaigns, the resulting impression share will amalgamate those impressions.
With Search Term Impression Rank, it isn't easy to draw conclusions unless your campaigns are highly segmented with a large ad spend. It should be used as a comparison to show where you stand against other advertisers.
Below is an example report, displaying these two key metrics for each customer search term:
Suggested reading: A surefire way to improve the performance of your search terms, comes from search term optimization. To learn more about this, check out our blog — How to Optimize Your Amazon Search Terms Backend?
What knowing your impression share lets you do
Basically, Sponsored Products Impression Share tells you how much share you have regarding customer search terms. When combined with data such as ‘sales’, it can help you understand what efforts are, and what efforts aren’t, driving conversions.
The primary outcome from this report is to see where you're already winning (high Search Term Impression Percentage and low Search Term Impression Rank) and where there is still room for growth.
So, should I spend more on advertising?
If your Search Term Impression Share is low, you have the opportunity to gain more impressions by upping your bid. Just keep an eye on your ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) — more impressions without sales may not be the best approach. Especially as we have mentioned already — more impressions doesn't necessarily equate to eyes-on-products, let alone buyer-consideration. However, there are areas that you should be looking to use Impression Share as a metric for increasing ad-budget. These include:
- Go for the low hanging fruit: Using Search Term Impression Rank, the aim is to sort so you can see which are your higher ranking search terms. If you have a critical keyword turning up in a search term with a high rank, that is a sign to consider pushing that keyword more.
- Maximize revenue from high-impression listings: The Impression Share metric is an excellent way to make your best search terms pull in even more sales. When your ACoS for a particular search term is lower than your target ACoS, it shows the potential of bidding more for that search term, making it even harder for your competitors to compete.
- Target competitors: If you are following the approach of "bid as much as possible to pressurize competitors," Search Term Impression Share will show whether or not you'll gain a worthwhile number of impressions from bidding extra on an already well-performing keyword.
- Use your CLV to your advantage: While CLV is notoriously difficult to quantify, trying to keep up with real-time indications of CLV associated with a search term will boost your understanding of whether your efforts are working well or not. You may want to take the long view and ensure your competitors stay out of your way by bidding higher for longer-term success.
- Chase more impressions: If you have a lower Impression Share and have low ACoS, you can bid higher to capture those untapped impressions. However, be careful when assigning “high” or “low” statuses to either of these metrics. What’s a good RoAS on Amazon is highly contextual, and so is Impression Share. For example, with certain low volume terms, you might want to see an Impression Share above 70%-80%. However, for high volume terms, you might rank number one with an Impression Share of 12%. By cross-referencing both Impression Share and Rank, you can make a more informed choice.
- Protect your branded keywords: Tracking the performance of branded vs generic search terms bears different meanings. Your impression share for your branded search terms should be near 100%. If it is low, it could indicate that competitors are targeting you. Keeping your share high on branded search terms is a must for maintaining your brand presence.
Note: The final metric above is about search terms, not keywords, so be careful not to draw conclusions about campaigns unless your campaigns are really segmented with an associated large amount of ad spend.
Should I back off on spending?
Impressions Share report can also indicate when you don't need to up your advertising spend to get results. It will show whether it is really worth going for a higher bid to gain more impressions.
- Use organic traffic to balance PPC spend: If you are already at your target ACoS and your Impression Share for a particular search term is close to 100%, you will not get much from bidding more. However, if you are doing well, look at your TACoS (total ACoS) as your impression success could be driving your organic sales.
- Change your matching strategy and negative keywords to control cost: When doing a broad campaign, your target keyword might be picking up multiple search terms. Some search terms might have a higher ACoS or don't really contribute to generating sales. In that case, it would seem worthwhile to put that particular search term as a negative exact match. This will help to increase the overall ad performance.
Integrating Impression Share into the bigger picture
The Impression Share report gives some more interesting data points to play with. In some ways, it provides insights into what is going on further up the buying funnel even when using your go-to conversion and ad type — Sponsored Products.
Even if this report is just for Sponsored Products Ads, the Search Term Impression Percentage should encourage you to investigate the impact on this metric of deploying other ad types. It would be best to analyze these reports weekly to identify changes and be prepared to invest time to research and test assumptions.
Data in Amazon is provided from various reports and sources, so you will need help to gather the correct data from these reports and compile it into meaningful actions. There are six Amazon PPC reports for a start — then there are Amazon Brand Analytics, the Amazon All Orders report, Amazon DSP, and many other data sources in Amazon Seller and Vendor Central portals. To get the complete picture of your Amazon business and not rely on just one source, such as Impression Share, you need to pull information from across Amazon and carefully analyze the results.
When Amazon data is combined in different ways, you can discover hidden treasures concerning your campaigns and performance. By combining and analysing the data provided by Amazon, you can stay ahead of the competition by seeing clear pointers to where your advertising is and isn't working and where it could be used better.
Remember: this data on its own doesn't provide value. At Nozzle, we use a combination of technology and Amazon data in a very deliberate and thoughtful way. It's only by analysis and taking data-informed actions that you transform data into business outcomes. With each new piece of the data jigsaw that Amazon releases, such as Impression Share, we use it to our best advantage to make your life easier and help you stay ahead. Book a free demo to find out how we can help your business grow.