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August 27, 2020

Episode 3: Amazon Advertising Tips from Daniel Tejada

Amazon PPC expert Daniel Tejada shares his tips for Amazon Advertising

In this Episode

Daniel Tejada from Straight Up Growth sits down with Tommy Beringer to share Amazon PPC tips and strategies he has learned after managing over $10MM in Amazon Advertising.


Tommy Beringer:

What's up you data-hungry, Amazon sellers. This is your host, Tommy Beringer of the Sell, Rank, Win podcast for MerchantWords. And in this podcast, we give you the answers to your most burning questions, actionable insights that you can take away and implement in your business today. So let's go ahead and dive right into today's episode. What do you say? Let's go.

So on this episode, we have my friend Daniel Tejada from Straight Up Growth. He spent over $10 million in ad spend, sold half a billion dollars worth of products on Amazon, and now runs his own agency called Straight Up Growth, where they focus on helping brands scale their Amazon business.

We're going to talk about a lot of PPC strategies, beginner, and advanced as well. We're going to give you guys some tips and tricks in this specialty, something at the end that you can take away and implement in your business today as we always do on every episode.

So without further ado, let's go ahead and dive into the episode with Daniel Tejada from Straight Up Growth.

Daniel, how are you doing today, brother?

Daniel Tejada:

Tommy, doing well. I really appreciate coming on the show here today. MerchantWords is one of my OG software tools that I used back in the day when I was first getting started on the Amazon side of things.

Tommy Beringer:

That's awesome. That's really awesome to hear. Yeah. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. So, why don't we go ahead and dive in and give the listeners what they're here for. What do you think? What do you say?

Daniel Tejada:

Yeah, I'm ready for it. Let's go.

Tommy Beringer:

All right. All right. Well, first off, just tell us a bit about yourself and how and when did you get into the Amazon space? Everyone always has a story how they begin on Amazon, maybe they started off as a seller. Then he went into consulting. What's your story from the beginning of the Amazon journey?

Daniel Tejada:

Awesome. Yes. So I actually started in digital marketing, more on traditional digital marketing. So your Google Adwords, your SEO, your web design. And I actually stumbled upon Amazon through the first company I worked at called Quiver. So Quiver focused on helping brands to sell and scale on Amazon, as well as a big private label seller and sort of a top hundred seller on Amazon at the time.

Now, this was back in 2016, when volumes were way, way different. Amazon ads was sort of just getting started. And they basically asked if I wanted to figure out how ads worked when it first launched.

Amazon, I think the first year I started doing advertising, they did about $550 million in ad revenue. So it was super tiny. We were looking at 5, 10 cent cost per clicks verse last year, Amazon did 11.2 billion dollars in ad rev.

So it grew really, really quickly, but definitely, my experience at Quiver was instrumental and allowed me to test a lot of things, work with a lot of really cool brands. And the best part was, ads are cheap. So you could run experiments that didn't cost that much money to really, really understand how to leverage them effectively.

Tommy Beringer:

Yeah. The good old days, right. When that cost per click was way, way down.

Daniel Tejada:

The golden age of private labels, I call it.

Tommy Beringer:

That's right. Oh, that would be nice if that came back. It's only going to keep going up, but it'll be all right. Just stay the course, guys. Well, that's awesome. It's really good to hear that you've been in it this long. So, you really know your stuff here and that's why we have you on.

Daniel Tejada:

I like to think so.

Tommy Beringer:

Yeah, right. So over at Straight Up Growth, Daniel, what do you do there to help the brands increase their revenue in sales on Amazon? What are the main strategies that you implement there?

Daniel Tejada:

Awesome, great question. We focus on a lot of growth-related sort of items on our end. So things like managing your actual Amazon PPC, looking at your listings from a conversion rate optimization perspective. And you'll hear me say “conversion rate” a lot. Conversion rate is my golden metric. And so listing optimization from a conversion rate perspective is definitely something that we're looking at when we do take on clients on the ads front.

And another thing that's a little bit different about Straight Up Growth is we really focus on looking at the holistic picture of your Amazon efforts. And I think where sellers kind of make mistakes or agencies can make mistakes is, sort of like this, there's a one size fits all solution. My Amazon PPC strategy works for this client, so it should work for all the other clients there.

We definitely don't feel that way.

On our end, through my experience, I've found that different brands should have different goals. Before I even take on an account, I actually go ahead and I run an analysis of their advertising report, but I'm also looking at the business report. I'm looking at their social accounts. Do they have an audience? Sometimes you run into products where maybe it's a great product, great price point, and you've got no organic visibility on the catalog. So you're never going to be able to sell a product.

And so for us, we'll take a look at a tool like Brand Analytics to identify where your traffic's coming from, or leveraging a tool like MerchantWords, do a Reverse ASIN Lookup to see where your sales are coming from. And we tailor our solution based on client goals and needs there. And I think that distinction is really key there. And I think that's where a lot of sellers go wrong.

Tommy Beringer:

Yeah, absolutely. One thing, I've been looking another sellers and brands that I speak with is running outside traffic. So running Facebook ads or Google ads directly to an Amazon listing. What results have you seen from that?

Daniel Tejada:

So I have definitely seen some very, very, very strong results driving some off Amazon traffic to your listings, but really when you're deciding that, the real factors are, what are your goals? Why am I driving this sale from an AdWords campaign, or a Facebook messenger bot, or an Instagram ad to Amazon? Am I driving it for a sale? Am I driving it to try and increase my sales rank, maybe get some more reviews through that process?

The other thing to think about is, are you prospecting or do you have an existing audience? Because that distinction is going to really affect the way you use your off-Amazon traffic.

If you're prospecting, you're trying to acquire a new customer. It typically is a little bit more expensive and harder to acquire that new customer. And sometimes maybe your Facebook ad costs are too expensive to try and prospect from Facebook and drive them to Amazon where you're then paying, your margins are much lower than driving it to your .com. But it might make sense for certain brands. It's really looking at it from a sort of case by case basis.

But I can tell you firsthand, I've got a client in the pet space that really, when I started with them, they were essentially net new to the dog bed field. And their goal was, we want to be the number one dog bed on Amazon and so does everyone else.

But one of their big issues is the number one dog bed in the space had about 15,000 reviews. They've got 30 reviews. They've got no organic visibility, their product's selling for a higher price point and their listings look just like everyone else's.

And so for a brand like them, outside traffic, they actually had a massive existing client base because their .com was very, very strong. And so they leveraged, with some of their existing audience, we were able to essentially leverage some of that audience, drive to Amazon, build some brand awareness, generate reviews.

Then we focused on leveraging my ad strategy, which really focuses for them on improving organic rankings, improving our new customer acquisition and leveraging that existing audience to support our Amazon efforts to target new customers.

In 10 months that brand went from 30K a month on Amazon to $670,000 a month on Amazon. So it made sense. It's not always going to be that simple or that easy, but it definitely, definitely can improve some pretty ridiculous results.

Tommy Beringer:

Amazing. So would you highly recommend... Say a client, a big brand came to and said, "We have a strong .com. We have a big email list. Do you recommend us to go ahead and drive these sales directly to Amazon?" What would you recommend that brand to do in that case?

Daniel Tejada:

So in that case, especially if their .com is strong, but their Amazon is very weak, really, I would first take a look at why are their Amazon sales weak. Sometimes it could be that they have a really good product listing. They have really good reviews. They have what they need to convert, but they just don't have sessions. And that's where Amazon PPC probably makes a little bit more sense rather than driving that off Amazon traffic there. Because it's just going to be a little bit more expensive.

If you let's say are a big brand on .com or have decent sales there, but you've got minimal sales on Amazon, but you only have a few reviews, you don't have many sales happening, there's not much brand awareness on Amazon, then it might make sense to use part of your audience, your existing one.

I always suggest, start small because segmenting your audience can be a really good way to test things and you can test different types of campaigns. Whether it's brand awareness like, "Hey, we'd love to hear about your ordering experience on Amazon. We just launched here. Here's a 10% off coupon." And boom, you can increase your sales philosophy using your existing customers by offering them some sort of discount to drive to Amazon there.

Tommy Beringer:

It's always good to go ahead and give your existing customer base an incentive like a discount to drive them over to Amazon, so you can go ahead and boost those sales and boost that ranking. And it's a win, win for you in many ways.

So you're taking over that top spot above the fold and also driving those sales which Amazon wants you to do. And Daniel, so tell me what products, what tools do you use on MerchantWords to go ahead and fuel the growth for your clients?

Daniel Tejada:

Yeah. So I use a couple of features. One feature in particular really comes down to keyword research. And I think a lot of advertisers on Amazon do really just the basics.

If I'm selling a protein bar, I might search “protein bar” into Amazon. Maybe I'll take the autofill suggestions that show up and type “protein bar” in the results. And maybe I'll get a couple of variations there, but really a lot of those sellers are dependent on your broad, your research match types, your auto match types to try and find search terms for you. And they will, but it can take a very, very long time.

If you do very thorough keyword research and give yourself the ability to find some potential winners faster than waiting for your research match types, you can start converting faster. And so MerchantWords has always been a tool that I've leveraged on that front.

First, simply dropping seed keywords in and spitting out those search volumes is really pretty fruitful for me to understand what search terms to go after, as well as the volumes associated with those search terms. Because sometimes if you're doing, let's say, a more aggressive ad strategy and you're focusing on improving SEO against a search term. And so you're probably going to have a higher A cost. You're probably focusing more on conversion rate as a metric instead of A cost there.

And because of that, you want to know that you're trying to rank on a term that actually has volume. If I'm spending a lot on a search term to rank better, but there's only so many searches per month, it's probably not the best use of an aggressive ad strategy rather than going after a search term with higher volume.

And so MerchantWords has always been really great for me on that front to be able to test various seed keywords, try and expand my reach, try and get as many... Like even the related terms. I think what you guys have is really interesting, because it kind of shoots out that little word cloud and I can find some maybe new seed keywords I hadn't thought of originally on that front.

And then Reverse ASIN Lookups have been one of my favorite things for years at this point. And so being able to target both your own ASIN's, just to see where your traffic's coming from or where you rank.

Page One is very fruitful. Because it can definitely find some words to add to your ad campaigns as well as leveraging Reverse ASIN Lookup against competitors. It gives me a good opportunity to find search terms or even seed keywords that I would have never thought of had I not gone through the motions of actually looking into what my competitor is doing.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely. Yeah. That initial research is key and also to touch on what you were saying with the related terms. If you dig into our Keyword Multiplier, the same algorithm, our proprietary algorithm there is doing the same thing, it's pulling back keywords. For example, if you type in a seed keyword. It may have that seed keyword in there, but also give you different synonyms of words that are like that same seed term that you put in, giving you other ideas for how people search for things.

So for example, a pacifier, if you typed in “pacifier,” it's also people in the UK, they also call it a dummy. So you would see the word “dummy” in the keyword multiplier search as well. So you get all those other ways that people are using those search terms as well without having that seed in the keyword phrase.

Daniel Tejada:

Yeah. And just to piggyback off that too, I think being able to get volumes off a seed keyword is important, but I think the biggest goal you should set when you are doing keyword research is identifying as many seed keywords as possible. The more seed keywords you have, that's going to give you greater variety in the search terms that you're actually going after.

So versus going after a bunch of variations on a term like “protein bar, if I can go after “protein bar” and “sports snacks” and “healthy snacks” and “workout foods.” Now I've just expanded to a lot more variety in my search terms and a much higher chance of finding search terms that are not competitive, but still drive new to brand buyers.

Tommy Beringer:

And that's going to allow you to... The analogy I like to use is how many roads do you have leading back to your product? These keywords are roads that are leading back to your product. The more roads you have, the more eyeballs you're going to see on your product and you're going to have a better chance of getting sales and getting clicks and conversions and all that fun stuff that all of us want.

Daniel Tejada:

That's a really good analogy. I have an analogy. It's a bucket analogy. And essentially if you have a seed keyword, if I'm selling a protein bar, every other advertiser, there's one giant bucket for “protein bar.” Because there's tons of volume in that bucket, but there's the most fishermen in that bucket because it's the easiest one to go after.

Where I've seen a lot of success, especially in competitive markets, is putting out tons and tons of small little buckets because most other fishermen aren't going for those little buckets. They're going for the big bucket. And that's why there's not that much fish left in there. And so going after those small ones can be a way to grow profitably even potentially sometimes. And you do it with less competition, so lower CPCs, which is always the goal there.

Tommy Beringer:

Always. Yeah. Those longer tail keywords too. If you find a golden few long tail keywords there, that's going to always going to help you win on that front.

And then also something I wanted to ask you, Daniel is, I've been implementing single keyword ad groups into my, or key keyword campaigns, but for the high-volume, high-traffic, high-impression, high-click keywords so they don't eat up the rest of my ad budget from those other keywords I have in the same campaign. I wanted to see what your thoughts were on that. Do you have any strategies there that you can give our listeners?

Daniel Tejada:

I think that the way you're doing it, breaking out some of those high-spending search terms, I literally call it like break them out into either, Sometimes they call it a ranking campaign. If I'm really breaking out that ad budget just for trying to rank organically. But sometimes I'll do it.

For example, I've got one client who, across a couple small search terms, they have tremendous, tremendous volume and they own those terms. They convert really well against those terms. Brand analytics they're the number one click conversion share against those search terms, but there's so much volume and I'm so relevant to that search term that Amazon wants to spend all my money on those search terms.

And so to be able to control it, I'll break some of those select search terms into their own campaign so that I can allocate a specific daily budget just for those search terms. And then I allow more of my, some of my other manual performance campaigns to focus on some of the, I'm trying to find more and more converting terms.

And that way my ad budget doesn't get sucked up across three, four search terms, which is something that happens a lot in campaigns, especially if you're going after search terms with heavy volumes.

Tommy Beringer:

Oh yeah, absolutely. I see that happening a lot. So that always definitely works on my end. I just wanted to see your thoughts on that. So thank you. Thank you for that.

Daniel Tejada:

Oh yeah. And then also make sure you add a negative keyword in the other campaign if you're breaking out search terms.

Tommy Beringer:

So you're saying to add that keyword, that you're running a single keyword campaign for, to add that as a negative in the other campaigns. Is that what you mean?

Daniel Tejada:

Exactly, exactly. So that way, let's say you have a broad match, and it's not spending on the same exact search term that you've broken out in this exact match campaign, specifically to control how much you're spending, because then without following up with that keyword negation, you're kind of lessening your effectiveness using that method there.

Tommy Beringer:

Got it. Yeah. And that's something, I'm glad you brought that up. I think that's something that some sellers out there or brands they overlook is the negative keywords and how powerful that is. So you can trim that down. You can show Amazon, you can be more relevant and show Amazon, "Hey, I don't want to show up for this."

So you're doing some of the work for Amazon and they love you for that because that's what the algorithm is doing is trying to find out, you're auditioning your listing basically and, okay, Amazon, this is what I think I'm relevant for based on my, hopefully you had a perfectly optimized listing. You put that out there and then Amazon's, "Okay. Let's see how you do here on this page one. How do you do here on this page?"

And then the more that you're able to refine down and help Amazon telling them that you're not going to be relevant for this keyword, the better. The quicker you're going to rank, the quicker you're going to index, and the better you're going to do.

Daniel Tejada:


Tommy Beringer:

Awesome. So I think we're going to wrap this up pretty soon here, Daniel. I don't like to give a huge, long, long, long podcast, but what we always like to do at the end is give our listeners something they can actually take away today and implement it in their Amazon business right after listening to this podcast.

We want them to be able to go ahead and take a tip from a professional, such as yourself, and be able to just implement it today and take action on it.

I wanted to see if you can give the users or excuse me, the listeners out there, a tip or a recommendation that they can go ahead and take, whether it be in PPC or conversions or help their conversions, whatever it may be. What tip can you, what actionable item can you give them today?

Daniel Tejada:

Awesome. So this is probably one of the issues that I think affects the most Amazon sellers and especially those that are advertising, is your percentage of wasted ad spend. So it's really, really easy to see what your wasted ad spend is if you download a search term report.

If you're looking from the campaign interface, it could be very difficult to do so, especially if you're using research match types. Because you could have, let's say a broad match type that might be sitting at a 10% A cost, but maybe three search terms in that campaign are converting and then nothing else is converting within that campaign. But those campaigns, or those three search terms that are converting have good enough sales that you think you're doing a great job from an optimization standpoint.

But when you download your search term report, you can very quickly filter from sales, from sort of high to low in your Excel doc, and then literally just sum up your spend on what's converted and minus that from your actual total spend. I think most of the time I find sellers are very, very mind blown to see how much spend they're actually wasting within their campaigns.

And then just moving yourself away from research match types, really going through the search term, being diligent about harvesting those converting terms, moving them over to an exact match type so you stop spending more on wasted ad spend and you can spend more on terms that are actually converting and actually going to drive more sales for your business.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely. Daniel, couldn't agree more. You have to download those search term reports. A rule of thumb for me is, if I'm not getting any sales between 10 and 15 clicks, I go ahead and pause that keyword or lower the bid on that to like 3 cents and yeah, make sure you guys move those converting keywords over to an exact match type.

Thank you for that tip, Daniel. Now, where can everyone get ahold of you guys at yourself or Straight Up Growth if they wanted to reach out to you guys and contact you for your services?

Daniel Tejada:

Awesome. Yeah, so, reach out to us on our website, We can definitely set up a time to chat. Always happy to talk Amazon. You can also reach out to me on LinkedIn if you ever have questions or you can email me at [email protected].

Tommy Beringer:

Awesome. Thank you again so much, Daniel for taking your time out of your day and coming on with us over here at MerchantWords. I'm sure we'll have you on again in the future. I would love to have you on again in the future, but yeah, we'll just go ahead and wrap this one up, but thank you again for coming on. Much appreciated.

Daniel Tejada:

I appreciate that, Tommy. Always fun talking shop and yeah, go use MerchantWords. It's fun.

Tommy Beringer:

Thanks, man.

All right. Thank you guys so much for listening. And if you got any value out of this podcast at all, please let us know at the place that you listen to it at, whether it be iTunes, Stitcher, or whatever it is. Give us some love. Give us an awesome review and let us know maybe some things you want us to talk about on the next podcast. Until next time guys, stay awesome and be awesome.