Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 100553 times)  

Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #625 on: April 15, 2018, 10:50:48 am »
In their guidance on the site they do say that your daily budget is an average for the month which is in line with that first response. But when they bill you you'll see that there's a section of the bill that includes credits for overdelivery of your ad. I assume there's some threshhold they use. So if your budget is $1 and one day it's $1.10 they're not going to refund that. But if they miscalculate on your ad and have a $2.50 day, then they'd refund the difference on that one. My last bill I had two ads that spent about $80 each that had refunds of approximately $5 credited back to them but another that spent $180 that only had 20 cents credited back to it.

Thanks Cassie. I don't know though. Like I said in the previous post I was charged $2.69 for a $1 dollar limit and I've had a lot of those types of over-charges and I've been doing this for over a year and I've never received a refund of any amount.

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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #626 on: April 15, 2018, 10:54:28 am »
    Is increasing a bid a Catch-22? You maybe get a sale on a keyword whose ACPC is only .08. Great, since it's costing me so little I up my bid. Then the ACPC jumps right up too. If I keep increasing the bid, the ACPC is suddenly .38. My spend is rapidly accumulating and the sales aren't keeping pace. My great opportunity is now a money drain.

    What's a sane way to increase bids?

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    Offline BigSlimJim

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #627 on: April 15, 2018, 12:38:19 pm »
    "Punishing the ad in general" implies that you think AMS evaluates the overall performance of a campaign - not just the individual performances of its component keywords.

    I don't see how this would work.  Is it not the individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history that AMS evaluates?
    AMS shutting down impressions on campaigns based on overall performance is not something I've experienced myself yet, because I just recently got my feet wet and then paused my ads which had low CTRs before this might have happened. I was going from what I thought I'd often heard here, most recently Cassie's Reply #701:

    If you read through the two main AMS threads on here you'll see a lot of discussion about ads that stop delivering. They get a lot of impressions but not enough clicks or sales and eventually they just stop running altogether. And I do know for a fact that AMS will shut down an ad that's getting too many impressions without clicks, because they did it to one of my early ads. (It was a 1 click to 18,000 impressions ratio on that one.)

    A couple of questions on your four-part equation, individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history: Does Amazon actually judge our ad copy other than to initially approve or reject it? And when you say history, are you referring to past CTR and sales?


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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #628 on: April 15, 2018, 02:31:33 pm »
    Is increasing a bid a Catch-22? You maybe get a sale on a keyword whose ACPC is only .08. Great, since it's costing me so little I up my bid. Then the ACPC jumps right up too. If I keep increasing the bid, the ACPC is suddenly .38. My spend is rapidly accumulating and the sales aren't keeping pace. My great opportunity is now a money drain.

    What's a sane way to increase bids?

    There's not a sane way.  Especially if the book is smallish. A KU borrow for me gains me 35 cents on pages read. A click costs me 25 cents.  I will run into a negative ROI in two clicks with no buy or borrow. Book is 99 cents - so a buy is 35 cents to me.  But the keyword that gets clicks seems to have a really high bid of 25 cents a click just to be there.

    The only solution is to increase the book size and price, which I can do easily - I have the second smallish book almost done - result is the book will be 3 times its size now. Really it is one book anyway; it will be about 250 pages.  Get some ROI wiggle room and set the price at $2.99.

    Plus to make matters worse, if you want to be on the front of the carousel, the bid has to be higher I bet to outbid others for that spot. 

    So, the best I can tell ... this is all a hobby just to get read.  For most people at KBoards that seems to me to be the case.  If your spend is $1 a day but you allow for $6 (to entice the AMS bot), you spend $30 a month to have a few people read your book (if that many). 

    That is a hobby folks, spend a little money to have some fun, if that gives you a thrill and some pleasure to do just that. Big deal on ROI if you can live with the cost.

    That may be the only way to keep it sane in the beginning.

    Down the road if you can rank into the top 100 the tide may turn.  Plus if you have some follow on books too, this may help some.

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #629 on: April 15, 2018, 03:09:10 pm »
    AMS shutting down impressions on campaigns based on overall performance is not something I've experienced myself yet, because I just recently got my feet wet and then paused my ads which had low CTRs before this might have happened. I was going from what I thought I'd often heard here, most recently Cassie's Reply #701:

    A couple of questions on your four-part equation, individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history: Does Amazon actually judge our ad copy other than to initially approve or reject it? And when you say history, are you referring to past CTR and sales?

    Yeah. Me too. 

    It would be odd to me to think the AMS bot has accumulative data slots to tally and collect to determine that an ad should be shut down for each and every ad the turns on and off and changes for each keyword.  That's a lot of data to collect and spin off of behind the scenes. 

    It could be there is some herd effect going on. After awhile the keywords that worked in the past naturally become less effective - readers see the same books appearing and they migrate to a different path if they don't pick any books.

    AMS really acts like a "Carnival Barker" trying to get someone's attention.  But the keywords should start working again after some time - days - weeks - whatever.

    Offline Philip Gibson

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #630 on: April 15, 2018, 07:29:57 pm »
    AMS shutting down impressions on campaigns based on overall performance is not something I've experienced myself yet, because I just recently got my feet wet and then paused my ads which had low CTRs before this might have happened. I was going from what I thought I'd often heard here, most recently Cassie's Reply #701:

    A couple of questions on your four-part equation, individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history: Does Amazon actually judge our ad copy other than to initially approve or reject it? And when you say history, are you referring to past CTR and sales?

    1.  If it is the case that AMS evaluates a campaign as a whole, then it would make sense for us to remove all non-performing keywords, leaving only the high performers.  That would greatly improve the performance of the ad as a whole and produce better results.  I just don't see it working that way.  I think it's down to the individual keywords and their associated components (ad copy + bid + history) being evaluated irrespective of the performance of the other keywords in the ad they happen to share and the overall performance of the ad in which they sit.

    I would like to be wrong about this.

    2.  I believe ad copy is where 'relevance' comes in.  It is certainly judged for relevance when being approved, but I would think its relevance would continue to be evaluated as time progresses.  But evaluated per associated keyword, not evaluated per ad overall.

    3.  Yes, 'history' being past CTR and sales.

    That said, I'm no less in the dark than most here.  My assumptions may all be wrong.  However, somebody, somewhere, does know exactly how the AMS algorithms work.

    But, so far, they're not talking.

    Philip
    « Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 08:11:25 pm by Philip Gibson »

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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #631 on: April 16, 2018, 10:05:16 am »
    There's not a sane way.  Especially if the book is smallish. A KU borrow for me gains me 35 cents on pages read. A click costs me 25 cents.  I will run into a negative ROI in two clicks with no buy or borrow. Book is 99 cents - so a buy is 35 cents to me.  But the keyword that gets clicks seems to have a really high bid of 25 cents a click just to be there.

    The only solution is to increase the book size and price, which I can do easily - I have the second smallish book almost done - result is the book will be 3 times its size now. Really it is one book anyway; it will be about 250 pages.  Get some ROI wiggle room and set the price at $2.99.

    Plus to make matters worse, if you want to be on the front of the carousel, the bid has to be higher I bet to outbid others for that spot. 

    So, the best I can tell ... this is all a hobby just to get read.  For most people at KBoards that seems to me to be the case.  If your spend is $1 a day but you allow for $6 (to entice the AMS bot), you spend $30 a month to have a few people read your book (if that many). 

    That is a hobby folks, spend a little money to have some fun, if that gives you a thrill and some pleasure to do just that. Big deal on ROI if you can live with the cost.

    That may be the only way to keep it sane in the beginning.

    Down the road if you can rank into the top 100 the tide may turn.  Plus if you have some follow on books too, this may help some.

    Thanks Max. Yeah, definitely a hobby for me at this point. Although some people invest big-time in it. And yeah, the 99 cents thing is just about impossible to even break even.

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #632 on: April 16, 2018, 10:19:06 am »
    Trying to figure this out.

    4/15/18


    4/16/18

    So 4/15/18 and before I was getting an average cost of .14/click. So I raised my bid and then my very next click cost me .72? Wow. Kind of surprised. Sure, I moved up in the carousel but (with all due respect to the author) this author was hardly Stephen King.

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #633 on: April 16, 2018, 10:22:34 am »
    So it seems to me, if you're content to be on the back pages you can have a maintain a modest bid, but if you increase your bid enough to move up to the front page, you're likely to get hit with a big cost for a click. (Even with smallish authors.) Would this be accurate?

    And yet, sometimes, even with a high bid, the ACPC stays the same (with more clicks).
    « Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 10:43:03 am by Gregg Bell »

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    Offline BigSlimJim

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #634 on: April 16, 2018, 12:43:11 pm »
    2.  I believe ad copy is where 'relevance' comes in.  It is certainly judged for relevance when being approved, but I would think its relevance would continue to be evaluated as time progresses.  But evaluated per associated keyword, not evaluated per ad overall.
    I spoke with a KDP rep today who said that the auction algorithm does not consider the ad copy. If the ad copy is found to be compliant with the Book Ads Creative-acceptance Policy (a process that I think is about advertising rules, not relevance), and the ad is approved, then the individual keyword impressions are determined by keyword relevance to searches, bid price, CTR history (if there's a history), etc. Naturally, the ad copy always pays a huge part in every keyword's click-through rates. If shoppers aren't intrigued by an ad, they don't click, and the CTR falls. But the AMS algorithm doesn't directly look at the ad copy to match a search and provide a sponsored impression, according to this rep and my earlier suspicions.
    However, somebody, somewhere, does know exactly how the AMS algorithms work.
    But, so far, they're not talking.
    You're more confident than I am that such a somebody exists :-). The more I think I've learned about how the reactive (not thinking) robot operates, the harder it is to comprehensively retain and explain. And I know next to nothing, compared to what that somebody would have learned. There are probably many more than three or four factors that the robot is looking at to make the most profitable choice (For Amazon) between competing bidders. Other factors might include sales rank, trending, and sale price, just off the top of my head. To make us dreamers fully aware of all the nuances involved in the algo's choices might be like a casino teaching blackjack players how to count cards. Not a wise investment of the house's energies.

    Offline BigSlimJim

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #635 on: April 16, 2018, 01:00:25 pm »
    Cassie, I have a couple questions regarding how you pause keywords that don't fulfill your desired minimums of 1 to 2 clicks per thousand impressions and one or more sales per every ten clicks:

    1. Do you pause a click-less keyword as soon as it reaches a thousand impressions, or do you give the word a few thousands to show an average? If the latter, at how many thousands do you usually judge?

    2. Similarly, do you pause a no-sale keyword at the 10-click event? If otherwise, how many clicks do you allow to determine a more-averaged sales-to-click ratio?

    Bonus question to you or others: Can you give a no-click keyword all the time it needs to get a thousand impressions? How long is too long with slow-to-show words that might have promise over time?

    Offline "Serious" ... but not really

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #636 on: April 16, 2018, 01:01:00 pm »
    So it seems to me, if you're content to be on the back pages you can have a maintain a modest bid, but if you increase your bid enough to move up to the front page, you're likely to get hit with a big cost for a click. (Even with smallish authors.) Would this be accurate?

    And yet, sometimes, even with a high bid, the ACPC stays the same (with more clicks).

    It seems so to me too Greg. Depends on what the algo bot sees that it can do to place the ad - bid of 75 cents can turn up costing only 14 cents too CPC but likely 75 cents as you are bidding to be first on the carousel it seems to me at 75 cent bid. Depends on other bidders and the key word.

    Up front on the carousel is going to cost you. You are likely to get more clicks too I suspect. You have the first, "Wow! Let's see what this is about."  And they move on likely leaving you with the bill. 

    So for a new author like me and not so many other works, you are a hobbyist. This is going to cost you to get read. Really it is not a lot of money. But KU book coffers are full I suspect and they are super picky it seems.

    So if your work is not Hemmingway or King - stay with 15 cent top bid and appear on the back of the carousel and your costs are just hobby costs it seems to me. You may never hit a $6 a day budget at 15 cent bid.  I bet even at 75 cents you won't either - depends on the number of keywords and if they all have that high bid. But you may feel a lot more pain $ wise if you have a high bid and budget and lots of keywords that get impressions. Readers can click you to death and say, "Nah," as the look it over.

    If you write a good story, it seems you need to give it a lot of time, a lot more than I imagined when I tried this 8 years ago. The mass of books is the problem for those just now getting into the game (hobby). Unreal now it seems to me.

    So give it time and a fair bid and budget I can live with. Flesh out the book to 250 pages from 78 and get some AMS wiggle room. But after awhile, even with a fair number of clicks, and a few buys or borrows, I drop this hobby. It was fun, but not worth the money and time I am putting into it. I have as much fun reading and leaving reviews.  I pick up plenty of free books, more than I can read, and I am not even KU. 

    If you like reading and commenting on the book, Amazon has a ton of free stuff.
    « Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 01:30:41 pm by Max 007 »

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #637 on: April 16, 2018, 01:23:10 pm »
    I spoke with a KDP rep today who said that the auction algorithm does not consider the ad copy. If the ad copy is found to be compliant with the Book Ads Creative-acceptance Policy (a process that I think is about advertising rules, not relevance), and the ad is approved, then the individual keyword impressions are determined by keyword relevance to searches, bid price, CTR history (if there's a history), etc. Naturally, the ad copy always pays a huge part in every keyword's click-through rates. If shoppers aren't intrigued by an ad, they don't click, and the CTR falls. But the AMS algorithm doesn't directly look at the ad copy to match a search and provide a sponsored impression, according to this rep and my earlier suspicions.You're more confident than I am that such a somebody exists :-). The more I think I've learned about how the reactive (not thinking) robot operates, the harder it is to comprehensively retain and explain. And I know next to nothing, compared to what that somebody would have learned. There are probably many more than three or four factors that the robot is looking at to make the most profitable choice (For Amazon) between competing bidders. Other factors might include sales rank, trending, and sale price, just off the top of my head. To make us dreamers fully aware of all the nuances involved in the algo's choices might be like a casino teaching blackjack players how to count cards. Not a wise investment of the house's energies.

    I don't think this is like gambling.  But as you point out, let's say push-come- to-shove you have a bid equal to another ad, algo bot I bet does look at the ASIN rank, history, reviews, etc (info that is already available to the bot and in the system) and bumps you or the other deeper into the carousel.

    The best answer you will get from Zon is it is a proprietary algo. But we know it does and may have to do some considering beyond what we initially think on the surface. I just don't think it keeps a history on the ads performance WRT keywords (that is a lot of frivolous and erratic data to me). But it may rank the bid differently than what we hope against other close bids to ours and bump the other or ours further down the carousel so to speak.

    There is a lot of info the bot does have access to, to make a determination, and you brought it up. And it will always likely default to what is likely to make Zon money --- if there is a choice of choices that appear equal at first glance to the algo bot.

    If it can place your ad, I think it always will.  That is the AMS promise sort of, in a way, ... to you, ... maybe ...  :)

    I've turned my ad off for now. I will flesh out the book to 250 pages for more wiggle room to mess with AMS better.

    I will know soon enough if I am spinning my wheels. 
    « Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 01:25:35 pm by Max 007 »

    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #638 on: April 16, 2018, 02:51:59 pm »
    Edited to say: Sorry guys. Based on new ownership at this site and their response to legitimate author concerns I've chosen to withdraw from participation here.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:41:58 am by Cassie Leigh »

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    Offline BigSlimJim

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #639 on: April 16, 2018, 07:26:36 pm »
    Thanks a heap for that help. I admire your discipline regarding fluke-sales keywords. Now its on to acquiring as well as admiring it.

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #640 on: April 16, 2018, 08:36:13 pm »
    Quote
    I tend to focus in on the 20-30 keywords that are generating sales for me and the 10-15 that are sucking up impressions

    Is there a general consensus, or evidence, that keywords with many impressions, but no clicks, "suck up" impressions that would otherwise go to other keywords within a particular ad?

    Because, if it is the case, then we should be removing those keywords.  If it is not the case, then we might as well just leave them.

    I'd really like to know.

    Philip


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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #641 on: April 16, 2018, 08:36:44 pm »
    Can I up or lower an ad's daily spend limit whenever I want? I mean, just for the sake of illustration: can I up a limit and then ten minutes later lower it back down? That sort of thing. Are there any quantitative time limits? Are there any downsides to frequent changes?

    P.S. Still wondering about my Reply #79 too if anybody gets a chance.

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    Offline Jacob Stanley

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #642 on: April 16, 2018, 09:21:11 pm »
    That's a great question, but how would we discover the answer? I just paused a bunch more keywords that had a few thousand impressions in the past two weeks and under 10 clicks and no sales. I really don't know how much time to give a keyword, but I suspect that waiting another two weeks wouldn't have gotten me a sale on any of them. That's the problem with the "collect a thousand 'out there' keywords" paradigm, IMO. You can waste a lot of time and spend a lot of cash on keywords that aren't closely targeted to your book and so never produce a sale. A hundred keywords that cost only 50 cents each before you pause or kill them still add up to $50. One of the insidious issues with AMS ads is how much they can cost through the sheer preponderance of nonproducing keywords.

    My latest ads are down to 115 known sellers,. They move less volume but are much more profitable. Still, if I hadn't done a long term fishing expedition with  500+ keywords, I would never have found a lot of these. My books are slow sellers so it took a long time to gather enough data to be useful. At one point I had 700+ keywords and was bleeding money like crazy.

    I'll probably start an experimental ad soon for testing out small numbers of new keywords.
    « Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 09:23:19 pm by Jacob Stanley »

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #643 on: April 17, 2018, 11:58:02 am »
    Yes, you can. But don't try it on a BB CPC ad. BB wouldn't let me reduce the daily budget at all, or the keyword bids.

    Thanks Lily

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #644 on: April 17, 2018, 12:02:12 pm »
    Still wondering about this one. Is this sort of thing an aberration or does it happen regularly? (It doesn't seem to happen that much on most of my other keywords but this just kind of freaked me out.)


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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #645 on: April 17, 2018, 12:58:27 pm »
    Edited to say: Sorry guys. Based on new ownership at this site and their response to legitimate author concerns I've chosen to withdraw from participation here.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:42:17 am by Cassie Leigh »

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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #646 on: April 17, 2018, 01:08:58 pm »
    Edited to say: Sorry guys. Based on new ownership at this site and their response to legitimate author concerns I've chosen to withdraw from participation here.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:42:30 am by Cassie Leigh »

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    Offline Rising Sun

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #647 on: April 18, 2018, 08:59:24 am »
    There are definitely high bidders and low bidders. One instance of proof was when my poor keyboarding led me to create a bid of $27.00 instead of $0.27...I noticed it simply when I saw an accepted bid of over $2.50.... Similar instsnces have occurred several times. I have started experimenting with duplicate keywords at differing price band in seperate campaigns.

    Impression volume is related to system capacity to use the keywords and to relevancy of keywords at any time and changes rapidly. When the Fire and Fury (Trump expose book) was released early I had 3 keywords in 3 campaigns each that cumulatively hit well over 5 million impressions in 4 days. prior to that  they were running just hundreds per day.  CTR rates were quite low and winning bids were in both lower and upper tier for me, but Amazon probably had a tremendous amount of space to sell.

    I am doing a lot of keyword review right now and observe (not empirically proven) that many cumulative CPC tend to center around half the bid rate. If this is true it becomes dangerous as we psychologically feel we can raise bids thinking they won't be accepted. Comments anyone/
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    Offline Philip Gibson

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #648 on: April 18, 2018, 09:37:34 am »
    Now that I have a list of over 100 'effective' keywords, I'm wondering if I should put them all in one ad or split them between, say, three ads.

    Would it make any difference?

    Philip
    « Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 09:39:16 am by Philip Gibson »

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #649 on: April 18, 2018, 09:54:30 am »
    I laid out my reasoning in post 700. Some may agree, some may not. That's the interesting thing with AMS. A lot of different approaches and strategies seem to work for different people. What I know is that I'm still generally pleased with the results I'm seeing, so as long as that's the case I'll keep taking the approach I have which includes pausing keywords that aren't getting clicks, keywords that don't get enough clicks per impression, and keywords that get clicks but don't convert to sales.

    Thanks Cassie. Do you have quantitative ballpark benchmarks for what I'm calling "Cassie's Three Rules"?

    1) Pause keywords not getting enough clicks (how many is not enough clicks over what length of time?)

    2) Pause keywords that don't get enough clicks per impression (Let's use 1000 as the base for impressions. So how many clicks is not enough for 1,000 impressions?)

    3) Pause keywords that get clicks but don't convert to sales. (How many sale-less clicks before bailing?)

    I'm sure there are variables that come in to play via genre, advertising, etc but ballpark benchmarks (no matter how fuzzy) would be good.

    "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
    Gregg Bell | Website | Amazon author page | Blog | Twitter | Google+ | Facebook

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