Advertising Results – Week 1 on AMS

After one week of running Amazon ads on my sci-fi novel Star Riders, here are the results:

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 4.34.06 PM.png

So Amazon showed my ad 10,929 times (impressions), and people clicked on my ad 10 times (1 in a thousand), and I got 1 sale ($3.99).  Not great results.

Although I am still in the black, since I’ve only paid $1.87 to sell that one book, for which I’ll receive 70% of the sale price ($2.80), so I’m still $0.93 ahead. Woo-hoo.

I think ten thousand impressions is probably typical, but I’m disappointed in the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of 0.1%.  That seems pretty low.  And while 1 sale out of 10 clicks feels low, it’s probably too soon to tell, and not enough data.

But I do think there’s enough there to say I’m not getting enough clicks.  It’s not clear whether Amazon counts an impression as whether a customer actually saw the ad, or if it was buried somewhere down below the scroll.  So it’s possible I’m not bidding enough to get high enough in the order.  It’s also possible my 150-character blurb isn’t appealing enough.

Let’s take a more detailed look at the data by keywords.  Here are the top keywords by impressions:

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 4.34.25 PM.png

Wow, Iain Banks is far and away the top impression-getter.  So that means of all my keywords, he’s the one most people are searching for. He is probably the most popular author in my list who’s still publishing. Although I did include some others who could be more popular, so I’m thinking maybe I just didn’t bid enough to get any impressions from more popular (i.e., expensive) searches.

Notice for the Peter Hamilton clicks, I averaged $0.18 per click (ACPC), even though my bid was $0.40.  The way Amazon works the bids, if you have the high bid, you only pay $0.01 more than the second-highest bidder. So if I win the #1 spot with my bid of $0.40, but the #2 bidder only bid $0.17, I only get charged $0.18 (reminds me of the way eBay works).

Now that I know that, I realize I wasted my time lowering my bids for less-popular searches.  I could have just left it at the default, and I would have been fine.

Here are all the keywords that resulted in clicks:

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 4.34.39 PM.png

With the exception of Stephen Baxter, all my actual click costs were much less than my bids.  Which makes me think I need to increase my bid price to get more clicks, especially from other, more expensive keywords.

OK, so for week 2, I’m going to up my bids by simply applying the bids recommended by Amazon, which is supposedly based on the range of actual bids.  Let’s see what happens.

Author: RickAAllenSF

Semi-retired engineer, now a SF author

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