Amazon PPC – Sponsored Products Campaigns

Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click) is a form of advertising that has allowed sellers and vendors to run ads on Amazon for their products since 2012. Amazon PPC is also called Sponsored Products because the product ads appearing in search results are ‘sponsored’ (paid for) and not organically ranking in those positions. Amazon ads are a way for sellers to ‘buy’ a position at the top of Amazon’s search results.

Advertisers pay each time a customer clicks on their ads, hence the name Amazon Pay Per Click. This kind of Amazon advertising is based on keywords and auctions. A seller bids a certain amount on the keyword(s) for which she wants her product to appear.

In simple terms: The seller with the highest bid will appear in the first position in Amazon’s search results, the second-highest bid will appear in the second position, etc.

Sellers only pay when their ad is clicked on, just like Google’s advertising system, it’s a kind of ‘Amazon AdWords’. Amazon PPC ads can be placed by any seller with a professional selling plan. PPC ads aren’t available for all product categories, though.


What is Amazon Sponsored Products?

Before we dive into advanced seller strategies, let’s discuss the building blocks of Sponsored Products and how it impacts sellers. Sponsored Products is a PPC platform, which exists within the Amazon Marketplace and drives traffic to an Amazon detail page. These ads exist on the right rail of the Amazon SERP, at the top and bottom of the SERP, and on the carousel on product detail pages. Sponsored Products also impact a seller’s overall Marketplace presence by providing an acceleration program for newer or low-exposure ASINs, increasing Discoverability for your top Buy Box offers and acting as an incremental revenue driver. Depending on your goals, Amazon sellers can build out campaigns to launch a new product(s) or to feature product(s) that are seasonal or in demand. With Sponsored Products, sellers will have to determine how much they want to spend, what time period they want to advertise for and which products they want to feature.

Campaign structures

There are two ways to build & manage your campaigns within Sponsored Products: Automatic vs. Manual:


  • Automatic targeting located in the Sponsored Products Campaign Manager enables sellers to make changes more fluidly. With automatic targeting, Amazon targets ads to all relevant customer searches based on product information.
  • Manual Targeting is a process by which sellers manually set keyword options for Sponsored Products ad campaigns.


Start with Automatic campaigns


Once, you’ve registered for Sponsored Products, we recommend sellers build outAutomatic Campaigns first, to help better understand which ASINs you can and should run Sponsored Ads.

Automatic campaigns, also known as Automatic Campaign Targeting, are designed to drive more impressions and sales of your products. With Automatic campaigns, Amazon will target your ads to all relevant customer searches based on your product information.

Since Amazon customers tend to have a higher intent to purchase, selecting the best keyword for your products is a vital component of your marketing strategy. Bidding on the right keywords for your products can improve your page sales rank and organic listings, and will ultimately influence your product sales.

Amazon sellers should always analyze their customer search term data to make strategic decisions on which products and keywords to bid higher or lower on. This is why we recommend that advertisers utilize the Search Terms Report for Sponsored Products located in Seller Central as their main source of keyword harvesting.


Keyword Harvesting


In the past, the Amazon Search Terms Report provided sellers with data including how many impressions, clicks, sales, etc. each search term received. The report also indicated the exact product SKU associated with that search term, which was extremely valuable data for advertisers. Unfortunately, Amazon updated the report so it no longer identifies which product is associated with the search term.


Build your manual campaigns


Once you’ve identified your top keywords (high number of clicks, order numbers, product sales), the next step is to build out your Manual Campaigns by adding the SKU(s) to bid on each keyword. Even if your keyword fails, you can always trace it back to the data.

Keep in mind there is a possibility of shifts in the market, including seasonality or strange trends, but at one point that customer search term was popular. It’s important to remember that keyword harvesting is a continual process. It’s not a one and done. You want to continually run the search terms report to pick up new trends. Sometimes, you may discover search terms that you never thought would be popular for a certain product.


Select your Keyword Match Types


Keyword match types allow sellers to fine-tune which customer search terms their ads may be eligible to show against. Sellers can choose from broad, phrase, and exact match types. According to Amazon, broad match keywords will give the most traffic exposure, while phrase and exact match will restrict traffic to a more precise target audience.


Broad Match – This match type offers ads broad traffic exposure. A customer search term will match if it contains all the keyword terms or their synonyms. The customer search term can contain keywords or synonyms in any order.

Phrase Match – The customer search term must contain the exact phrase or sequence of words. It is more restrictive than a broad match and will generally result in more relevant placements for your ad.

Exact Match – The customer’s search term must exactly match the keyword in order for the ad to show, and will also match close variations of the exact term. Exact match is the most restrictive match type but can be more relevant to a customer’s search.


Bidding strategy


When it comes to your bidding strategy, another metric advertiser should follow closely is the Advertising Cost of Sale. Sellers should analyze which keywords are driving clicks, but not converting, those are the inefficient ones. Know what your cost of sale goals are, know what that acceptable threshold is, and use that as the benchmark for when you should start making decisions.


Advertising on Amazon is an easy way for you to promote your listings. Ads appear right where customers will see them, such as the first page of search results or product detail pages. You place bids on relevant keywords, and if your bid wins and your ad matches the search, your ad gets displayed to shoppers. These targeted ads can bring your products to a new audience and help you maximize your sales.

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