Complexity in setting up effective strategies and analysing the results of Amazon PPC has become a nightmare for many sellers. Very often sellers look for quick fixes, for example working with automatic campaigns that don’t always work out well.

They also rely on external free platforms and tools that promise to make campaign management easy and efficient but (almost) never work. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no magic pill that can help them solve these problems.

  • Wrong Campaign Structure
One of the most common mistakes is not organising and structuring campaigns correctly. Examples of poor structuring include placing all products within the same ad group or campaign or grouping them incorrectly (i.e. separating variations). When creating campaigns, one option is to create one per ASIN, that is to say, for each of your products. If you have many products, you can create a campaign that groups similar products. If you have products with variations, keep them in the same campaign but in different ad groups. This will make it easier for you to manage and control your budget.
  • Poor campaign structure
One of the most common mistakes is not organising and structuring campaigns correctly. Examples of poor structuring include placing all products within the same ad group or campaign or grouping them incorrectly (i.e. separating variations). A good Amazon PPC strategy starts with a strong campaign structure and naming convention. A good structure is easier to analyse, easier to understand when it is adopted and is essential to manage campaigns efficiently. We, therefore, recommend breaking down campaigns according to the type of targeting:
  • Auto
  • Manual keyword
  • Manual ASIN
  • Branded campaigns
For the advertising groups, we recommend breaking this down per product. This enables efficient targeting and bid management.
  • Using only automatic campaigns

The use of automatic campaigns may seem like a quick fix for many sellers, but it is not always the best solution. It is important to understand the pros and cons of this type of campaign to assess what is right for you:

  • Automatic Campaigns

Requiring less effort, keywords are automatically determined by Amazon’s algorithm by extracting them from the title, description and other sections of your product listing.

On the other hand, the targeting of these campaigns is less accurate and you may be wasting a lot of money by showing ads to people to whom they are not relevant. You should not bid too high on automated campaigns as the budget can skyrocket with irrelevant impressions and clicks that don’t convert.

  • Creating either automatic campaigns or manual campaigns – not both
Both automatic and manual campaigns are essential for a successful PPC strategy. By combining automatic and manual campaigns, you can get comprehensive data and retain total control of your ad spend. Automatic campaigns let you leverage Amazon’s data. Pinpoint profitable keywords from your automatic campaigns and target them in your manual campaigns to maximize sales. Similarly, identify the non-converting keywords from your auto campaigns and remove them from your manual campaigns to increase profitability.
  • Frequent changes
As we mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of making too many changes too often. It is best to check the performance of your Amazon Sponsored Products frequently, but avoid changing campaigns every day. You should plan when you are going to make changes and what kind of changes you are going to make unless there is some emergency that requires immediate action. One rule is that bids can be changed more often than the campaign structure. If you change campaign keywords every two days, you won’t get enough information and data to make good decisions. This is a continuous learning process. Look at different periods and identify trends. Be patient in the beginning to get the best results.
  • Not Using Negative Keywords
Not using a strategy that includes negative keywords will result in your budget rising and your conversion rate dropping. Negative keywords help sellers exclude several unwanted terms from customer searches. Good use of negative keywords can help you target your campaigns very well, avoid clicks that don’t convert and help you better control budgets. There is no set rule on how to decide which negative keywords are most suitable for your products. Depending on the product’s lifecycle stage, your previous data, the type of keyword you could pause a keyword after 5 or after 20 clicks with no sale.

Negative keywords keep your ad from appearing in the SERPs. Not using negative keywords can be an expensive mistake.

Let’s say you are selling “mens hiking shoes.” You don’t want your ad to show when a customer searches for “mens formal shoes.” Customers may click on your ad just because they find your hiking shoes interesting to look at, but they lack purchase intent. Creating a list of negative keywords will ensure your ads are getting clicks from shoppers actually looking for your product.

Negative keywords can also include keywords in your ad campaign that aren’t converting. By weeding out those keywords, you can increase your campaign profitability without compromising on visibility.

  • No use of Keyword Harvesting
With Keyword Harvesting, you make sure that relevant keywords from automatic campaigns, feeds or other platforms are collected to add to your manual campaigns. This allows you to expand the reach of your ads and to offer more targeted bids.
  • No active bid management per product
Do you make the same bid for every product? Don’t do that! With this, you miss out on opportunities. Not every product has the same high conversion rate (CR) or the same average order value (AOV). It is, therefore, important to be able to predict the expected CR and AOV for each product to be able to set a specific bid for each product.
  • Limited daily budget
If you are only just starting with Amazon PPC, you may be a bit cautious when it comes to the budget. However, you should avoid reaching the set daily budget every day. This means that you could have had a lot more clicks, at a lower cost. The advice, in that case, is to increase the budget or reduce the CPC.
  • No ACOS target
If you have not set an ACOS (advertising cost of sales) target, it is difficult to optimise your campaigns. You need a certain direction, based on which you will manage your campaigns. Before you start, therefore, think about what your target should be, taking into account the margins you have.
  • Casting a wide net
Advertisers make the mistake of targeting only the broad, generic terms, which usually have insane search volume. The last thing you want to do is cast a wide net and target all the audience looking for “mens shoes” when you are selling “mens black hiking shoes.” By targeting only the broad terms, you are paying a premium for your ads to show in front of shoppers who aren’t even vaguely interested in buying your product. You can instead narrow in on niche keywords that relate to your product. The more specific your keywords are, the lower your ACOS will be.