Amazon PPC

How to Use the New Amazon Search Term Impression Rank Report

In a recent update, the Amazon Advertising platform has introduced a very useful new report for Sponsored Products called ‘Search Term Impression Rank Report’ (the report has been introduced first for Sponsored Brands in October 2020).

In this article we’ll cover:

  • What does the report contain?
  • Where can you access it?
  • And how can you use it?

What does the report contain?

Next to two new important metrics, ‘Search Term Impression Rank’ and Search Term Impression Share’, the Search Term Impression Share report contains existing metrics you have seen in previous reports, such as Cost Per Click (CTR), Conversion Rate (CvR) and Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – on a search term level.

Here is a screenshot of the new report (the image below shows a Sponsored Brands report – the Sponsored Products equivalent looks very similar, and can be utilised the same way too).

The new metrics

  • Search Term Impression Rank
  • Search Term Impression Share

offer additional insights enabling sellers to understand how their campaigns compare to other advertisers.

Here’s what they mean:

Search Term Impression Share

The search term impression share is your account-wide share (in %) of the total impressions across all advertisers.

Example: Your search impression share is 40% for the search term ‘running shoes’ on February 15. That means that across all your campaigns you got 40% of all the ad impressions for ‘running shoes’ on that day. All other advertisers got the remaining 60%.

Search Term Impression Rank

Your search term impression rank is the numeric rank of your account-wide impression share in relation to all the other advertisers generating impressions on the same specific search term. A numerical rank of 1 here would indicate that your account has the highest search term impression share for a specific search term.

Example: Your search term impression rank is 3 for the search term ‘running shoes’ on February 15. That means that 2 other advertisers generated more impressions than your account on that day.

Where can you access the report?

From the Amazon Seller Central console, select ‘Reports’ in the horizontal list, and in the drop-down menu select ‘Advertising Reports’. From the advertising reports page, click on the ‘Create report’ button in the upper left-hand corner.

From this new page, select the campaign type you would like to analyse and the report type you want. Here, you will find the new Search Term Impression Share column added:

Why is the Search Term Impression Share useful?

The new metrics in this report allow you to understand in more detail how your results are driven by 3 different components or questions:

  • How much impression potential does a search term have? (Get a search volume estimate)
  • How competitive is the niche for a search term?
  • How competitive are my ads for a search term? (Get a share of voice estimate)

The first question is about the potential of a search term and the other two are about your ability to achieve that potential depending on your competition and your own activities.

How much impression potential does a certain search term have? (Get a search volume estimate)

The search term impression share report is noteworthy because it allows to get an estimate of relative search volume for search terms.

To get this estimate we first need to calculate the total number of ad impressions across all advertisers:

Please note: Impression share is account-wide, however, search terms and impressions appear separate for each ad group/campaign in the report. That means, if a search term appears in multiple ad groups/campaigns on a given date, then the number of impressions has to be summed across ad groups/campaigns.

The total number of ad impressions across all advertisers is not equal to the absolute search volume (i.e. the number of customer searches for a given search term over a given time period. This is because:

  • The number of impressions contains impressions of many different advertisers during the same customer visit on Amazon
  • The same ad can appear multiple times during a customer visit on Amazon (e.g. on search results and different product pages)
  • There are multiple ads from the same advertiser (e.g. for different ASINs) that can appear during a customer visit
  • The total number of impressions also depends level of advertising activity (e.g. the more advertisers the more ad placements are occupied and the more impressions are generated)

However, the total number of ad impressions across all advertisers allows to get a relative search volume, i.e. allows to infer that search term X has a higher search volume than search term Y. This is because the total number of ad impressions across all advertisers will be closely correlated with the absolute search volume.

Example: Because search term A has 500 total impressions and B 300 total impressions, the search volume of A will probably be higher than of B.

Looking at the relative search volume allows you to evaluate the impression, click and conversion potential of a search term and prioritize the budget that you are dedicating to it.

How competitive is the niche for a search term?

Looking at impression share and bid together allows you to get an idea of how competitive a search term is.

Bid lowBid high
Impression share lowMedium competitionHigh competition
Impression share highLow competitionMedium competition

How competitive are my ads for a search term? (Get a share of voice estimate)

The search term impression share data offers you the ability to measure the audience penetration of your ads, i.e. the so-called share of voice. This functions as a gauge of your brand campaigns’ visibility and how much you dominate the ad space in your industry.

Share of voice can be useful for any ad type, however it is especially useful for running Sponsored Brands campaigns, which are often mid-to-upper funnel ads to drive brand awareness, i.e. this report introduces a new benchmark to measure the success of SB campaigns in addition to the existing new-to-brand-metrics.

The impression share also allows to measure the success of measures to increase the share of voice, especially

  • Increasing bids
  • Adding further ads

However keep in mind that there are many ad placements on Amazon. Depending on how many advertisers are running ads for a certain search term it might be more or less challenging or even realistic to achieve a high impression share.

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