Amazon PPC – Important Now, More Important in the Future

PPC is so critical to success on Amazon these days, that you essentially can’t stay competitive on the site without utilizing it.

If you’ve launched a few products on Amazon, you’ll know that having a strong start with PPC is the most effective way to gain rank for your newly launched products.

Since you should already know about Amazon PPC, and this isn’t a course for beginners, we’ve compiled some tips that can help you optimize your current PPC efforts to get a better cost per conversion.

Let’s take a look at them:

Tip 1: Update Your Listing As Much As Possible

An ad is only as effective as the product page it leads to.

If your listings are perfect, then your ads by extension will be more effective.

Make sure you’re hitting every point of a properly filled listing:

  1. Have a great, clean, and accurate main product image (show off box if it’s specially designed)
  2. Utilize every image slot available (and video if you are Brand Registered)
  3. Fill out every description bullet point and description section (A+ content if Brand Registered)
  4. Make sure images are optimized and the proper pixel dimensions
  5. Good reviews certainly help

If your images are great and your copy is on point, you will increase your conversion rates and the performance of your ads will improve.

screen shot of product listing on amazon
An attractive and informative listing does wonders for your conversion rate.

Tip 2: Utilize Negative Keywords

If you’re already doing this, then hats off to you.

But if you aren’t, then you need to start implementing negative keywords into your campaigns right now.

If you didn’t already know, a negative keyword is a search term you tell Amazon specifically that you don’t want your product showing up for.

For example, if you are selling a red pair of shoes, and don’t want your product showing up for different colors, you can start adding all the colors you don’t want your shoes showing up for within search results.

(picture of a negative list showing different colors)

There are 2 easy ways to get inspiration for negative keywords if you’re having trouble thinking of some.

Find negative keywords to use for your campaign in your Search Terms report.

screen shot of an amazon ad group
You can see the Search terms within any Ad Group

Find any campaign, and click through to an Ad Group. Within that Ad Group you’ll see menu items on the left where the Search Terms menu is.

This is what the Search term menu looks like:

screen shot of search terms report in amazon
Here you can see where your keywords are showing up for negative term inspiration

Inside the Search terms section, you’ll find all the search terms users are using to find your ad listings.

Check out the list and look for keywords that are incompatible with your products.

Once you find them, add them as a negative phrase or exact match term by clicking the column “Actions” for the keyword you have in mind, and Amazon will stop serving ad listings for those keywords.

Simple as that and your campaigns are now more effective!

Tip 3: Use Every Type of Ad Available

On Amazon, there’s 3 main types of ads you can run.

screen shot of the 3 campaign types on amazon
The 3 types of campaigns. There are sub-types within each type.

As you can see, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display are locked to accounts that aren’t Brand Registered.

Due to the barrier of entry to getting into Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display, there are fewer companies advertising these 2 types.

When there’s fewer accounts utilizing the other 2 campaign types, it means that there’s fewer accounts bidding for ad space, which lowers the cost of ads for those who do have access.

So what’s the lesson here?

Get Brand Registered.

Sponsored Brands have access to high-value spots on the Amazon that Sponsored Products will never have access to.

screen shot of sponsored brand section of an amazon search result page
Searching for “scoby” you can see this Sponsored Brand ad taking up the very top of the search result page.

The same can be said for Sponsored Display, although this campaign type works both on and off of Amazon.

Cheaper ads in better spots than Sponsored Products means a more optimal account profile.

Tip 4: Try Single Keyword Campaigns

If you’ve dabbled in Google Ads in the past, then you’ve probably heard of SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Groups).

You can do something similar in Amazon’s Campaign Manager, where you have a single keyword targeted for an entire campaign.

What are the benefits of doing this?

  • Accurate insights. You can see how often you are top-of-search, rest-of-search, and listed on product pages with complete accuracy on a keyword.
  • Win more. You can increase bids for where your ads show up and perform best. If your ads do well on product pages, increase bids there to show up more.
  • Optimize negatives. More effective use of negative keywords when it’s around a single keyword
screen shot of bid adjustments on amazon campaign manager
Adjust bids for Top of search or Product pages knowing it only impacts a single keyword

Single Keyword Campaigns can provide a lot of benefits, but watch out if you have a lot of products and a lot of campaigns, as things can get unorganized and messy fast.

You can mitigate a potential mess by not using Single Keyword Campaigns for every keyword. Sometimes it’s better to utilize them only for your best performers.

Tip 5: Always Utilize Auto-Campaigns

Auto campaigns are a great tool that you can utilize in your campaign toolset.

Here are some benefits of using Auto Campaigns:

Get started fast. Auto campaigns are ready to go at the press of a button. If you adjust your bids and budgets properly, they will consistently generate sales and revenue for your business.

Keyword discovery. Auto campaigns can sometimes squeeze out keywords you would have never thought of yourself. Using the Search term report, you can see which keywords perform well and turn them into dedicated campaigns.

Cheaper conversions. Auto campaigns tend to have a lower cost per conversion than manual campaigns. People speculate that this has to do with how auto-campaigns work in the Amazon PPC system, bidding on “leftover” keywords at a discounted rate.

You can keep automatic campaigns running indefinitely alongside Manual campaigns. Don’t think you have to use one over the other.

Remember, keep everything within budget while maintaining healthy margins!

Tip 6: Revisit Campaigns Every Few Days

Your advertising campaigns should be always evolving and getting more optimal as time goes on.

To make sure your account health and performance is always at the highest level, you should be checking on your campaigns every 3-5 days.

When checking your campaigns, look at:

  • Your bids. Do they need to be raised or can they be lowered a bit?
  • Negative keywords. Are there new keywords in your search term reports you can use to make your campaigns function more effectively?
  • New opportunities. Can you add a new campaign? Advertise against a specific product? Get started with video ads?

Campaigns need a bit of time to perform and gather new data to guide your actions, but if you ignore them for too long then you might have keywords being serviced too hard that kill your margins and drain your budget.

Summary: Optimize Your PPC Campaigns for More Sales and Lower Cost Conversions

  • Keep your listings updated and optimized, this will enable PPC to work more effectively.
  • Use and update Negative Keywords for all campaigns, this saves on costs over time.
  • If you’re brand registered, you can use all types of advertising available.
  • Try Single Keyword Campaigns for your strongest keywords
  • Use Auto Campaigns along with Manual Campaigns
  • Revisit Campaigns every few days to make sure things are going in the right direction. If you don’t check often enough things can go off the rails when you ignore campaigns for too long.