Competing for customer sales on Amazon generally means setting up and running PPC campaigns. Unfortunately, for the busy online seller, running PPC advertising effectively--in addition to everything else in a seller's day that needs managed--can be overwhelming. Even after the campaigns are set up, the task requires weekly monitoring and adjustments, based on the data showing what is and isn't working. Helium 10's ADS tool is designed to help make the task more efficient, saving you time and money.
The following tutorial is a basic overview of how the ADS platform functions. It doesn't cover strategies for setting up or running ad campaigns on Amazon. If you are unfamiliar with PPC campaigns, we recommend that you watch the segments on PPC in our Freedom Ticket course, hosted by expert Amazon seller Kevin King (Week #8, specifically modules 62-65).
To use ADS, you will need to connect your Amazon PPC Token to your Helium 10 Account. While you do not need to have your Amazon MWS Token connected to your Helium 10 Account in order to use ADS, specific functions of the platform will not work without it.
For example, the Products window will not show your products, and the ADS will not be able to display your total sales, nor the corresponding TACoS, or Total Advertising Cost of Sale. This data and its calculations are drawn from Helium 10's Profits tool, which requires the MWS Token to collect this information for your account.
If you don't want to be able to see your products or TACoS in ADS, you can still set up and manage your campaigns without issue.
Let's take a tour of Helium 10's powerful PPC management tool.
You can tour the ADS platform by watching the PRO-Training Video, or reading through the written tutorial. Or you can do both.
PRO-Training Video: ADS Overview
Tutorial: ADS Overview
There are five sections in the ADS platform. To jump directly to a section, use the Table of Contents links below. If you are new to PPC, and/or Helium 10's tools, we recommend you take the full navigational tour from start to finish.
- Analytics - Campaign Level
- Analytics - Portfolio Level
- Analytics - Ad Group Level
- Analytics - Keyword Level
- Analytics - Search Terms Level
- Analytics - Product Level
1. Open ADS from the top menu link located on the main Helium 10 Dashboard. The ADS Dashboard displays an overview of all your current Amazon PPC data, including two sets of line graphs, which allow you to compare different types of data. You can access your account details and choose the accounts for which you want to see data by using the drop-down menus on the Dashboard.
Until you have your MWS Token linked to your Helium 10 account, you won't be able to see your Total Sales or your TACoS. To learn how to connect your MWS Token, read "How Do I Connect My Helium 10 Account to My Professional Amazon Seller Account."
Seller Accounts Window
2. In the top right corner of the Dashboard, you'll see a drop-down menu that shows all the accounts to which you've linked your Amazon PPC Token. You use this menu to filter the data shown on the page.
Using the drop-down menu, you can rename your individual Amazon accounts as they appear in ADS. ADS initially identifies each account by its Amazon merchant identification string, but you can edit the name via the menu as well.
Clicking the Edit button will open your Helium 10 Seller Account page inside ADS. There, you can review data graphs specific to each of your accounts, rename the accounts, disable accounts, and print or download data images, CSV or XLS files.
Some Sellers have a history of access to more than their current accounts. If accounts appear inside ADS that you don't want to see, you can disable them inside the Seller Accounts Page.
To return to the main ADS dashboard, use the left side menu.
Dashboard Tooltips and Filters
3. As we begin to tour through the various sections, tabs and data in ADS, note that the platform is embedded with helpful tooltips throughout. If you hover your cursor over one of the tooltips (look for the black circles with a question mark), a window will pop up with a brief explanation about the technical term, or about the type of data appearing in a field.
4. At the top of the Dashboard, you'll see a filter for changing the time frame, and five small boxes, displaying a set of totals relevant to your account: PPC (Pay Per Click) Spend, PPC Sales Totals, ACoS (Average Cost of Sales), Total Sales, and TACoS (Total Average Cost of Sales). ADS Learn PRO Training videos can be accessed by clicking on the video icon that appears at the top, on the left side.
PPC Spend is the total of money that has been spent in the selected time frame. The PPC Sales is the total of money collected from sales during the time period selected. The ACoS is the advertising cost percentage calculated against the amount of money collected for sales linked to PPC. The Total Sales reports all sales, regardless of whether they are directly a result of PPC or occur organically. And finally, TACoS is the percentage of advertising cost weighed against the total sales collected.
The Period drop-down menu on the top right side allows you to filter the data for the latest 7, 30 or 60 days of data, or for the previous month. You can also set a custom time by opening the drop-down menu and setting specific dates in the calendars.
After you activate and begin using ADS, the platform will store up to two years worth of data. It's important to note that the data in ADS never includes the most recent three days of Amazon data, due to the way Amazon assigns sales to PPC events. (For more information about this, read the article: Why Does ADS Exclude the Previous 72 Hours of Amazon Data?)
Again, only after you attach your MWS Token to your Helium 10 account, will you be able to see your Total sales and your TACoS, or Total ACoS.
Dashboard Data Charts and Graphs
5. Below the small data boxes, on the right side, you will see two pie charts showing your top five products by spend and by sales. If you hover your cursor over the chart, pop-up boxes appear with additional product data.
6. The dark blue banded data on the left side of the dashboard displays a quick look at the current number of active products, ad groups, campaigns and keywords. When you click on one of the bands, ADS opens up the Analytics window, with the tab foregrounding that specific data. So if you click on Products, ADS will open up the screen in Analytics showing the Products Level data.
7. The third tier of data show the Highest ACoS campaigns and the Highest spend keywords. The types of campaigns (Auto, Manual) and (Broad, Phrase and Exact) are color-coded. If you hover your cursor over the boxed match types, you can view additional data. The Campaign data displays the status, daily budget, targeting type and campaign type. The Spend data displays the status, specific campaign, specific Ad Group, current bid amount and the match type.
If you click on a specific campaign or keyword link, ADS takes you to the Ad Manager page for it, so you can review its complete data.
The columns adjacent to each campaign or keyword display the amount of ad money that has been spent on the line item, the sales generated, and the calculation of ACoS.
8. Finally, the last set of data boxes let you quickly compare and contrast different types of data in bar graph formats. The drop-down menu choices are identical, allowing you to choose which data ADS places on the graph.
The data types available include spend, sales, CPC (Cost Per Click) , CR (Conversion Rate), CTR (Click Through Rate), clicks, impressions and conversions. Under the line graphs, ADS also reports the changes between the previous and current week, letting you quickly see if the data being displayed has been increasing or declining.
9. The second section in the left side menu displays the analytical data relevant to all your campaigns. When you click on Analytics, the window opens in the default setting for Campaign Level. The tabs at the top allow you to switch your display to also show your campaigns at the Portfolio Level, Ad Group Level, Keyword Level, Search Terms Level and Product Level. The platform lets you view your PPC data in a variety of ways.
Essentially, all the folder tabs, sliding buttons, and linked text allow you to dig into your data by setting filters to display increasingly specific levels of information. From each top tab, you can drill down into your PPC data by clicking the linked text within each list. The sliding buttons on the top left of most of the Analytics section window tabs function as filters, revealing or hiding related data for each item on the list. Additionally, ADS exposes more data when you place your cursor over icons with popup data boxes.
10. Choose the time frame in which you want the data displayed by filtering the date in the drop-down menu located in the center top of the window. As on the dashboard, you can choose to see data for the past seven days, the past 30 days, the past 60 days, the past month, or for a custom set of days. Click on the down arrow to the right of the Date displayed to activate the options.
11. View all, or only Enabled, Paused or Archived items by using the drop-down Status filter.
12. ADS lets you change the data displayed with a special filter. Check the box of the item you want to filter the data on, then bubble either the greater than or less than circle and type in the numerical value in the field on the right. Click the blue Apply button to enforce the filter.
13. Change which columns appear by using the drop-down menu in the top right corner to check the data points you want to see when you go to the Analytics window. Open the menu, then click the boxes next to the metrics you want displayed. Uncheck the boxes of items you don't want to see on-screen.
14. Several of the levels allow you to Copy to Clipboard a search term. Click on the clipboard icon to copy a Search Term, then paste it into a Suggestions list.
Since the default level is the Campaign Level, let's start the tour of the individual tabs here.
15. At the Campaign Level, the initial view is a list of all the campaigns active during the selected time period. They are tagged with a blue M box if they are manual, and with a purple A box if they are auto. The metrics for each campaign appear in columns right of the campaign title, and include the Ad Spend, Ad Sales, ACoS, Impressions, Clicks, CTR, CPC and Orders.
16. Which metrics appear on your screen can be managed using the funnel icon next to the Status drop-down filter. Click on the funnel, and select the individual data you want to appear when you login to view your campaigns. Click the blue Apply button to confirm the changes.
The filters across the top of the data allow you to easily change the time period and status of what is displayed. Clicking on a column header will sort the list specific to that metric.
17. If you click on the graph icon in the Sales column, a new window opens which allows you to see the Sales and ACoS in graph form for that campaign.
18. The sliding buttons, or toggles, on the upper left side allow you to activate additional data for each campaign. When the toggle is blue, it means the item is active. Clicking on Ad Groups causes each ad group for the campaign to be displayed.
19. The Ad Groups toggle can be on in combination with either the ASINs' toggle or the Keywords' toggle. To view the ASINs under a specific Ad Group, turn on the ASINs' toggle.
20. To view the specific keywords in your Ad Groups, turn on the Keywords toggle.
21. If you have created portfolios in Amazon's Seller Central to organize your campaigns, you can see them listed in the first tab in ADS' Analytics window at the Portfolio Level.
22. At the Portfolio Level, if you activate the blue campaign button, then you can click through the linked campaign title to drill down into the relevant data.
Ad Group Level
23. The Ad Group Level tab allows you to see one level deeper than the Campaign Level.
24. Activating either the ASINs or Keywords button in the top left corner under the Analytics title, causes the additional data to open under their respective group.
25. Use the sliding buttons in the top left side of the window to open sub levels of data.
26. The Keyword Level shows you the performance of all your keywords for the date selected, regardless of the campaigns to which they are associated. Here, you can quickly sort them, using the filters at the top, to see how they are doing relevant to spend, sales, ACoS, impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC, and orders.
27. If you click on the Search Term toggle button in the top left, ADS will display the related search terms for each keyword.
28. Activating Show Duplicates gives you a quick view of which campaigns are using a specific keyword.
Search Term Level
29. The Search Term Level in the Analytics tab lets you quickly scan and identify search terms that are not leading to sales, but might be costing your business too much. It also identifies those relevant search terms resulting in good sales and low ACoS that you will want to add as keywords in campaigns.
The Copy to Clipboard feature allows you to easily copy terms and then add them into your Keywords or Negative Keywords list for that ad campaign in the Ad Manager window.
30. Clicking on the button in the Negative column allows you to add a search term to the Negative Keywords in a campaign directly from this list.
31. If you're not sure which campaign or ad group the search term comes from, use the toggle buttons at the top left. If you click on the Campaign button, it displays the individual campaigns associated with that search term, along with the metrics. You can take your copied search term, click on the campaign title, which takes you inside the Ad Manager window, and add the term to your Negative Keyword list.
The toggle buttons also let you drill down to Ad Groups or Keywords.
32. The Product Level displays all of the products for which you have campaigns set up. This window also lets you see the total sales and TACoS associated with each product. The MWS Token must be connected to your Helium 10 account in order for this information to be included in ADS. This display helps you get a sense of how your PPC-related sales are also improving your organic sales.
33. To see the products' associated campaigns, activate the blue Campaign toggle button located in the top left of the data window.
34. To view which Ad Groups include each product as part of a Campaign, click on the blue toggle button next to Ad Groups in the top left corner.
III. Ad Manager
35. You can review data, change the status of existing campaigns, and create new campaigns in the Ad Manager window, the third section in ADS left side menu. When you open the Ad Manager window, by default, it sorts your Campaigns by Spend.
If you have many campaigns established, you'll generally use the Search field located in the top left corner to locate specific Campaign data. To filter what is displayed, you can also select the options you want in the drop-down menus across the top, the same options available on the Dashboard.
36. The first data column shows the status of the campaigns. You can change what you see using the drop-down menu. ADS categorizes the campaigns into three states, Enabled, Paused and Archived.
Enabled appears in green and is associated with a green arrow. To activate a Paused campaign, click on the green arrow in the status column, located next to the campaign listing you want to change.
The Paused status appears as yellow text and the double vertical line 'pause' symbol. To temporarily pause a campaign, but keep it for future activation, click on the Pause symbol.
Finally, Archived campaigns are represented by gray text. and the red trash bin. To archive a campaign, click on the status column trash bin next to the campaign name you want to change. Archived campaigns cannot be enabled again. If you think you'll want to activate a campaign again, just pause it.
37. The second data column shows the date a campaign was initiated. The third column shows the Daily Budget for a campaign. You can change the amount you are willing to spend by clicking the blue edit icon next to the current dollar limit. The currency field will open, and you can type in the new amount. Click the blue check button to save the change. If you decide that you don't want to change the amount, click the red X button to exit.
38. Like in the Analytics window, the Ad Manager window has the Trends Graph pop-up icon available in the Sales column. To view the sales progress associated with a campaign, click the blue Trends icon in the Sales column to activate the pop-up graph. Hover your cursor over the graph to see individual day's data.
39. You dig down into the individual data for a specific campaign by clicking on the title of the campaign in the first column.
40. Clicking on the linked text for a campaign takes you to a Campaign Level view and its relevant data.
41. Clicking on the campaign title again takes you to the Ad Group Level for it.
42. Along with all the other general filters, the Ad Manager window lets you choose what data appears in the columns. The default column options are set to fit on a laptop view, but you can add others, or change the ones you want displayed using the column sorting drop-down menu in the top right corner.
43. Once you're managing your campaigns through ADS, you'll want to create all your new ad campaigns from the Ad Manager window. Click on the blue + Add Campaign link in the top right corner of the window.
44. Essentially, the Campaign Setup window is divided into two areas with different purposes. The top left and middle right are the areas where you enter information to create the campaign. In the Campaign Setup area, you will:
- Choose whether to create a Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands Campaign
- Name the Campaign
- Add SKUs (of the products you're building the campaign for)
- Add Keywords (From your Magnet and Cerebro research results)
- Chose the Match Type (Broad or Phrase)
- Create a Budget, Target ACoS and Default Bid
- Create the Rules for Keyword Suggestions
- The required number of sales required to make a search term a keyword
- Whether to make a search term into a Negative Target (Search Term Isolation)
- The required number of clicks with no sales before creating a Negative Keyword
- The threshold cost before clicks with no sales suggest creating a Negative Keyword
The other areas of the window are Previews of the parameters you've created. ADS shows the bid amount, the daily budget, the targeted ACoS, and the rules for the campaign in light blue bands in the upper and bottom right side of the window.
More detail about each field and the steps to create a Campaign can be found in the Knowledge Base article, "How Do I Create a PPC Campaign Using ADS."
45. ADS makes continuous suggestions for Bids for all your PPC campaigns, and it will make Keyword and Negative Keyword Suggestions in the campaigns you've created using ADS.
When you click on the Suggestions section, the Bids tab is foregrounded showing all of your active keywords. The default view is set to Campaign Type: "Sponsored Products - Keywords." You must click on the three different campaign types in order to see bid suggestions for each of your campaigns.
From this section, you can review the Suggestions, their reasons, compare them to the data, and then take action, either changing the bid or pausing a keyword. You can sort the keywords' data using the column headings. ADS displays the reasons for Suggestions in the last column. You can also check the time the Suggestion was updated. The more recent timestamp is posted in the top right corner of the screen in the gray band above the data columns.
46. If you want to see only the keywords from a specific Portfolio, Campaign, Ad Group, or type, you can use the filters located across the top of the data. In the Suggestions window, the Status filter refers to Suggestions, not Keywords in Campaigns. It distinguishes between Active Suggestions and Ignored Suggestions. When you choose to ignore a Suggestion, it is filed under the Status as Ignored. It is not deleted, so you can always go back and review previously Ignored Suggestions.
If you are running a lot of campaigns with a hundreds of keywords, the list may become unmanageable, which is why the filters are in place to help you sort the data into limited lists that are easier to review and manage.
You can update a Keyword using the refresh button in the Last Update column, change the amount of a bid using the blue pen button in the Bid column, and accept a suggested change on a keyword or pause a keyword, using the blue check or yellow pause buttons in the Suggestions column.
47. Once you've created Campaigns in ADS, you'll also have data in the New Keywords and Negative Keywords tabs. In the New Keyword column, you can copy all or individual New Keywords to your clipboard, or you can add keywords to a campaign.
48. When you click on the Negative Keywords tab, ADS displays the nonperforming search terms in all your campaigns.
49. Finally, as mentioned at the beginning of this section of the tutorial. The Status drop-down menu filters between Suggestions that are Active and ones that you have previously Ignored.
To make an Ignored Keyword Active again, simply filter the page to show the previously Ignored Keywords and click the bell button for that Keyword again. Ignored keywords that are set to Active again will not immediately appear in your Active suggestions. They must process through ADS algorithm again to collect new data for a potential new suggestion.
50. In order to see data in the Products section of ADS, you must have your MWS Token connected to your Helium 10 account. The advantages of seeing this section are that it allows you to review your data at the product level. If you are also using Profits, ADS pulls in additional data like the cost of a product and its related Amazon fees. It also gives you a quick count on how many products you have in stock, which can influence whether you want to create or suspend a campaign.
51. To view the various PPC campaigns for a specific product, click on the ASIN number to open a new window with more details. Remember that there are generally additional columns that you can activate under the column organizer icon in the top right corner.
Be sure to check out the PRO Training Videos located under the LEARN Video icon link at the top of the window for further training on ADS.