Mastering the Art of Amazon PPC

Amazon PPC

You just started off as an Amazon seller. The whole new dashboard. That amazing feeling of starting a new business (or an online branch of your old business). Aspirations. Everything feels good.

But next to your excitement, stands a sea of challenges.

How to make your first sale? After you’ve made your first sale, how to get a better CTR for your Amazon products?

And when you’ve improved the CTR, how to optimise your Amazon PPC campaign to perform better than ever and deliver the best results?

If you have questions around how Amazon PPC works and how to optimise it then check out the tips below.

PPC Advertising on Amazon: Why it is better than conventional PPC platforms?

Ever since the concept of PPC was first introduced, the web has seen many advertising platforms rise and fall.

The first ever PPC was included in a web directory called Planet Oasis in 1996. By the end of 1997, they managed to get 400 brands to pay between $0.05 – $0.25 for one click along with an additional ad placement fee.

But is it functional now?

Well, their functionality is certainly uncertain.

With the emergence of ad platforms like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and Bing Ads, quality and research for improvement became crucial. Neglecting that can result in failure of the product. And when you talk of competition, newer additions to the line-up, too can ‘steal the deal’.

For those who are wondering, I am talking about Amazon PPC.

After existing as an ever-growing ecommerce giant for 18 years, Amazon introduced their PPC platform in 2012.

That was when Amazon PPC started off as a baby. The aim was to enable sellers to promote their products on a larger scale. And after seeing Amazon’s progress with that in the past six years, it won’t be wrong to say that Amazon PPC can be an upcoming threat to other conventional PPC platforms.

Don’t believe me? Stay with me here.

When we are talking about product search, Amazon is the way to go.

In 2016, a survey of 1,000 US online shoppers was conducted, concluding that consumers use Amazon for three key factors.

  • 64% consumers agreed they liked using Amazon because it offers free shipping.
  • 79% of those surveyed were attracted by the variety of products.
  • 62% of the consumers surveyed were attracted by the provision of better deals on Amazon.

And that is not it. Coming back to how Amazon PPC can be a threat to other platforms, the same study concluded that 55% of potential buyers start their shopping journey from Amazon.


Well, if Google (or any other search engine) is the road to your favourite supermarket, guess what is Amazon?

It is ‘THE SUPERMARKET’, that you were travelling to.

This just means that visiting, instead of searching a product on a search engine makes a buyer’s journey easier. Less clicks = less time elapsed = better user experience.

Also, the fact that Amazon PPC presents customers with ads of products that they are most likely to buy, while Google AdWords focuses on ads which have a higher click-through-rate instigates more sellers to invest in Amazon PPC.

But how does it work? And how to optimise for the best?

Okay! First things first. How does an Amazon PPC campaign work?

It is as simple as it gets. A user searches Amazon for a product. Search results show up with organic and paid results. These paid results are the PPC ads.

Talking of placements? Well, these can be visible either on the top or in the right sidebar or even be blended up in the search results.

And where do these ads come from?

As mentioned in the sections above, Amazon PPC is a platform which allows sellers to show-off their products on Amazon.

This basically means that they design a PPC campaign on Amazon, targeting specific keywords and other factors depending on their buyers’ interests.

Later on, after the campaign is launched, it goes through Amazon’s PPC and search algorithms.

These algorithms decide the positions/rankings of these PPC ads in the search results and present ads to the users.

So, you know, in order to get the best ROI against your Amazon PPC campaign, you need to partner with Amazon algorithms. And how can you do that?

6 Tips for Running a Successful Amazon PPC Campaign

1. Start with your listing

Your listing is the first thing that will get any user’s attention.

Provided that your listing is good, you’ll be good to go. But if it fails, you’ll just be throwing money for nothing.

Also, a good listing will be more prone to rank better. And then if it receives a good CTR and rate of sale, Amazon algorithms will start working for you by boosting the search rankings of that particular product page.

So, how to do it?

In order to write a great Amazon listing, the first thing you need to understand is that

 “Amazon cares about buyers and selling stuff to those buyers”.

That’s all.

And after that is understood, the tips below will help you create an amazing Amazon listing.

Optimise your listing’s title: Listing’s title is the most valuable asset of your Amazon listing.

If there is something that can make or break your campaign in the first go, it’s just the listing title. So pay close attention while you work it up.

First things first, while moving towards optimising your listing’s title, you need to make sure that it contains the following.

  • Product line.
  • Material or key feature.
  • Product type.
  • Packaging/Quantity.

And what is the best order to place these in?

Well, that is what changes the game along with another ranking factor: focus keyword.

Considering Amazon’s search algorithms, title words are more heavily weighted than the words used in your product description. This is good for search rankings.

For that reason, I’d suggest you make a list of your most important keywords and strategically place them before each character breakpoint in your listing’s title.

This will help you come up with more actionable and better-optimised listing titles.

Optimise product bullets: The next thing which will help you boost your Amazon search rankings and user experience at the same time is how you structure your product bullets.

To start with, make sure that your product bullets include the keywords which couldn’t be included in the title.

These are the additional/related keywords for your main focus keyword.

Making use of more related or relevant keywords will enable your listing to occur in Amazon SERPs for a wider range of keywords.

Your product descriptions are better when they tell a story: Coming up with a good description might seem challenging. For better visibility and conversion rates, it is really important.

To make it easy, you can start with telling about your brand or your product. Talking about how you came up with the idea might help too.

It might take you by surprise, users would really want to know about your brand before they invest in your product.

And when you reach the end, drop a crisp and actionable CTA there. After all, at the end of the day, it is about making a sale,

Creating an actionable and rankable listing is really essential when you are talking Amazon PPC. While the tips that we mentioned will help you, the listing structure has to be really thought-through.

What I suggest is keep the points above in mind and indulge in A/B testing.

Hits and trials can take you to some really useful results.

Tip: If you are brand registered, adding an explainer video to your product listing will help improve the user experience.

Related: Amazon SEO: How to Rank Products Highly on Amazon Searches

2. Know your ACOS and work towards your goals

If you don’t know, ACOS stands for ‘Advertising cost of sale’.

Putting it in simple terms, it is a metric that you get by dividing the total ad spend by the number of attributed sales.

For a better understanding, look at the example below,

‘Let us say, you sell a product at a margin of $5 (cost of manufacturing is $5 and you sell it for $10). Now, if you start spending $5 on marketing and keep selling the product for $10, it’ll mean that your ACOS is 50%.

Here as we see, the margin and ACOS percentages are equal. Turns out, in a case like this, you will be selling your product without making a cut, i.e., no profit.’

A strong target ACOS for products which are either trending or have had a good sales history in the past weeks is between 20-25%. A sweet balance of sales and profit.

How can you achieve that?

First, keep the ideal situations aside.

Second, before you start off with your paid campaign on Amazon, know your spend and the ROIs that you are expecting against it.

Discuss with your team (if you work like that) and come up with a budget for your campaign.

The best thing about a PPC campaign is that you can set a budget.

As a result of which, your ad campaign will run as long and as aggressively as you determine based on your budget.

To end this, I have one small tip that will help you.

While you determine your budget, always consider your marketing’s impact on your product margins. Be aware and decisive about how much you can spend per unit on marketing, keeping your profits intact.

3. Select the right keywords

If you ever tried creating a PPC campaign, you would know that it requires you to bid on keywords.

Moving further, it is about doing two things.

First of all, you need to find profitable keywords.

After that is done, you have to increase the bids for high converting keywords.

Looking at the first things first, it is recommendable to run an automatic campaign. This will help you choose the right keywords.

How it commences?

You as an admin to your account allow Amazon to start with an automatic ad campaign for your listings.

What happens after that is Amazon picks appropriate keywords in and around your specific product’s niche according to Amazon’s algorithms.

Now, the next thing that you need to do is observe. Closely.

For help, you can go through the steps that follow.

  • Look at the keywords that Amazon is showing your listings for.
  • Go through the keywords’ list to find out keywords which are most searched for and which convert most to sales.
  • Also, look at your ACOS. This will tell you about the search volumes for keywords and how many people searching with those terms are buying your product.
  • Filter keywords by spend. The results will disclose the keywords which you are spending the most money for.

Now, you might find some high-spend keywords which are not high-converting keywords.

In that case, turning those keywords into negative keywords will be your best bet.

After you are done analysing and observing for a few weeks (or maybe days), you will most probably be able to run a manual campaign.

If in case you don’t feel confident, I’d suggest, you take your time before moving to manually run a PPC campaign on Amazon.

Don’t forget to optimise your keyword bids.

PPC networks allow you to specify an amount beyond which, you won’t be willing to spend for a keyword. Make use of this provision.

If competition for your main keywords is too high, consider dwelling into some keyword research. Try to find some long-tail keywords with low competition and optimise your campaign for those.

4. Be sure of your negative keywords

Once in the previous section, I talked about turning high-spend and low-conversion keywords to negative keywords.

Well, the meaning is obvious.

You monitor your campaign’s progress. By observing and analysing, you can find out keywords which are getting you conversions (i.e., sales).

But do all keywords perform the same way? Of course not!

And what do you do with the keywords which are not getting you enough sales?

It’s simple. Mark them as ‘negative keywords’. And the next time a user searches with any of those keywords, your listings will not occur in the SERPs.

Amazon takes care of it :)

5. Optimise your daily budget

The best and the worst privilege that a PPC platform provides is the freedom to set a daily budget.

You might be wondering, ‘how can that be bad?’

Well, the bummer here is for the advertisers running ad campaigns with a low budget.

And how is that so? Running an ad campaign with a low budget throughout the whole day will drain you out of your entire budget by evening or the night at the latest.

How will it hurt? Considering the fact that night is that time of the day when most users access the web, it will hurt a great deal. It is simply letting go of an opportunity to making a mint.

To prevent this, you can set a higher daily budget for a short span of time. This works especially great during ‘flash sales’.

And if you are not willing to do that, set a daily budget of $0 in the morning. Then login around mid-day and set your daily budget.

This way your budget will last noon, evening and night.

And if it doesn’t, either shift the time that you set the budget at to later in the noon or simply add a few more $$ to your daily budget.

6. Be specifically aware of when to start investing in Amazon PPC

Above everything else, this is really important.

When you launch a product, your aspirations are on a hike. Don’t let this get to your head.

It might look like a good time to kick-start your Amazon PPC journey as a seller, turns out, it’s better to wait for a while.

First, let some organic sales take place. Let some reviews flow in. The number of sales that you’ve made and the reviews (both quantity and quality wise) can change fortunes dramatically.

It’s like even if you are on the top of the search results, enough customers won’t trust you with their money until you get some sales and reviews under your belt.

So, wait until it’s time and when it comes, hit the nail sly for great impact and best results.

Final words

Amazon PPC is a great tool for increasing visibility, boosting the number of sales and at the end of the day, serving your buyers and making good money. But while it might sound simple, it takes efforts to commence and carry. Every step that you drop needs to be thought-through, after all, there’s money at stake.

And whether you just started off as a beginner or have been researching and creating results, PPC keeps changing so keep an eye out for updates.


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