Amazon Paid Ads Management: How to Use Report Data to Improve Campaigns

November 18, 2020
Written by Jayce Broda

Your work doesn’t stop after you click the “Submit” button. To master Amazon paid ads management, you have to learn how to analyze report data. It all starts with an in-depth understanding of standard digital advertising metrics and e-commerce marketing metrics that Amazon provides. This variety of metrics could help you properly conduct Amazon PPC optimization for your campaigns.

In this article, we will identify which sponsored ads you can utilize as a seller. Moreover, we will help you establish a basic understanding of Amazon’s different metrics, the different ways to view report data, and how to use metrics to make your ads more relevant to customers.

First-party vs. third-party 

Which party are you allowed to join? Nope, not that kind of party. We’re talking about the two types of sellers on Amazon, as defined below:

  • First-party sellers are big-time entrepreneurs. Sometimes, these are manufacturers or distributors who sell directly to customers on Amazon’s website. 
  • Third-party sellers are small business owners who sell their products directly to customers through the Amazon marketplace.

First-party and third-party sellers have their respective platforms: Vendor Central for the former, and Seller Central for the latter.

It’s important to distinguish between the two to understand which type of Amazon paid ad you should manage.

First-Party SellerThird-Party Seller
Invite-only registration.Anyone can join.
Automatically receives Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) Prime Badge.You have an option to have an Amazon FBA Prime Badge.
Amazon controls the standard pricing.You have full control over the pricing of your product.
You have the privilege to create ads using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS).You can create ads inside Seller Central.
Paid ad types: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Product Display AdsPaid ad types: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands
Paid ad targeting methods: keyword levelPaid ad targeting methods: keyword level, interest level, product level

While it’s difficult to get a Vendor Central membership, consider being a third-party seller as a stepping stone to become a big-shot merchant in the Amazon marketplace in the future.

Moving forward, we will use the term “seller” to avoid confusion between the two parties.

Before we proceed to explain how to use the report data from Amazon, let’s define each metric that will help you optimize paid ads and develop the best Amazon PPC strategy.

Standard digital advertising and e-commerce marketing metrics

The only way to check how your Amazon PPC campaign is performing is through various metrics that Amazon generates. Let’s identify each one:

Standard digital advertising metrics

  • Clicks - the total number of times customers clicked an ad.
  • Impressions - the total number of times customers spotted an ad.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) - average amount spent per click.
  • Click-through-rate (CTC) - the ratio between how many times customers clicked on an ad and the number of times it was displayed.
  • Spend - total amount spent on advertising budget.
  • Return on ad spend (RoAS) - total product sales divided by total ad spend. 

E-commerce marketing metrics

  • Conversion rate - the percentage of the customers who clicked on an ad and have made a purchase.
  • Detail page views - the total number of times customers viewed your product detail page.
  • Units sold - total number of units sold by your brand.
  • Total orders - total number of orders under your brand.
  • Attributed sales - the total dollar amount of products sold by your brand.
  • Advertising cost of sales (ACoS) - total amount spent on a campaign divided by total sales on the entire duration of the campaign.

As we proceed, we will explain to you how to use these metrics to improve your Amazon paid ads management.

How to access the metrics

Where can you find these valuable metrics? There are three ways to access and retrieve them:

Advertising console

Last year, Amazon redesigned its advertising console to be more flexible and user-friendly, as shown below:

amazon advertising console

 The advertising console has several functions:

  • You can analyze your campaigns, for example, by sorting the ACoS from highest to lowest to determine which needs optimization.
  • You can also export a report from the console to review it offline.

Downloadable reports

The advertising console provides account-level data for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. You can access it by clicking the Reports menu on the dashboard. 

This feature is available to both types of sellers, as mentioned above. The only difference is the type of report and paid ad each seller can view. You can access the complete list here.

Overall, there are eight downloadable reports you can use to manage your Amazon paid ads, as listed below:

  • Targeting report provides insights into performance and sales metrics for keywords, ASINs, and categories in all campaigns that must have at least one impression.

Available for: Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands

  • Campaign report provides a summary of your sponsored ad’s performance per campaign. You can specify a date range.

  Available for: Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands

  • Keyword placement report provides a breakdown of keyword performance by ad placement (top of the search, rest of search, product pages).

Available for: Sponsored Brands only

  • Campaign placement report provides a breakdown of campaign performance by ad placement. 

Available for: Sponsored Brands only

  • Placement report provides visibility regarding the performance of a campaign on top of search compared to rest of search and product pages placements.

Available for: Sponsored Products only

  • Search term report provides visibility based on the actual keywords the customer entered while shopping on the site, before they clicked on your ad.

Available for: Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands

  • Advertised product report provides insights into performance and sales metrics for advertised ASINs in all campaigns that have at least one impression.

  Available for: Sponsored Products only

  • Performance over time report provides the summary of clicks, spend, and average CPC for all your campaigns over a specific period.

  Available for: Sponsored Products only

API

According to InfoWorld, the Application Programming Interface (API) is a way to interact with a separate software component or resource programmatically. In this case, it is the Amazon Advertising API, a way to automate, scale, and optimize Amazon paid ads.

Here are the advantages of using the Amazon Advertising API:

  • It lets you automate repeated tasks by schedule, such as downloading daily performance data.
  • It allows you to customize reporting dashboards.
  • It removes friction by letting you program campaign creation, modification, and optimization.
  • It gives you the freedom to integrate third-party Amazon PPC optimization tools, or even develop your custom tools.

Amazon PPC optimization hacks

Since it is not enough that you know how to set up PPC on Amazon, you should learn to master a few tricks to tweak poor-performing Amazon PPC campaigns or improve ads with high conversion rates. 

First, determine your campaign objective. Why is this important? It helps you measure the performance of your campaigns. If your goal is to improve sales efficiency, look closely at metrics like ACoS, RoAS, sales, CTR, and conversion rate. On the other hand, if you want to increase  brand awareness, the only metric you should monitor is impressions.

Have you decided what your objective is? Good! Now, you may start applying the Amazon PPC optimization tips below:

Budget

There are two scenarios you may face when it comes to budget. It is either you use your entire budget, or underspend. 

When you use your entire budget, it only means you don’t allocate an adequate amount for that day. The downside is you may lose sales. Luckily, you can adjust your budget any time, and changes will take effect immediately. How will you know if you’re running out of budget? Amazon sends an out of budget notification via email and advertising console. Alternatively, you can decrease bids/budgets of low-performing campaigns, and instead use the budget for higher-performing campaigns.

If you’re underspending, you have an opportunity to increase the visibility of your existing campaigns and keywords that are performing well. Besides, you can create a new campaign for products that don’t have a sponsored ad yet. 

Advertised ASINs

Boost your sales by removing underperforming ASINs. Yes, you must learn to let go to reach satisfactory sales performance. How can you trace this? Review your Advertised Product report and look for metrics that have the:

  • Highest ACoS
  • Lowest RoAS
  • High CTR but low sales

Moreover, you can also track best-selling ASINs by doing the opposite. Advertise those ASINs with the lowest ACoS and highest RoAS.

But if your objective is to maximize brand awareness, make sure your advertised ASINs have passed the retail readiness test. A retail-ready ASIN has the following characteristics:

  • Accurate and descriptive product titles
  • High res and accurate product images
  • More than a 3.5-star review rating
  • More than 15 reviews
  • Enhanced content
  • Has adequate stock in the inventory

Keywords

Amazon has high regard for relevant keywords. If you have an understanding of the digital marketing strategies of Amazon, one of which is to focus on customer experience, relentlessly. The online shopping titan’s mission is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Take note that it isn’t seller-centric, but customer-centric. Hence, when a customer enters a keyword on the search box, Amazon only displays relevant information related to the customer’s search term. Amazon serves to please their customers. And you should, too.

If you notice some of your keywords are not performing well, you must optimize right away. Here are the tips you should consider doing:

  • Delete underperforming keywords by identifying keywords with the highest ACoS and lowest RoAS in the Target reports. 
  • Add negative match keywords if you want to prevent yourself from paying unwanted clicks. These keywords are those with low sales and high ACoS and/or low RoAS.
  • Run automated Sponsored Product campaigns to gather high-performing customer searches. Add these newfound keywords to your manual campaigns.

Bids

Amazon operates in a real-time auction environment to decide which ads to display based on their bid price. The general rule is the seller with the highest bid grabs the top spot in the search results, followed by the second highest, and so forth. Other than the bid price, the product’s relevance or keyword matters as well.

  • Decrease bids on low-performing keywords with low conversion rates. Lower the bid to just below the average CPC. 
  • If you want to improve awareness or impressions, increase bids on keywords with high conversion rates, low average CPC, and low ACoS.
  • You can appear in more placements by increasing bids. Identify Sponsored Brand campaigns with low ACoS and/or high RoAS to maximize your ad placements.

In a nutshell, once you have mastered reading and interpreting the report data, the possibilities to optimize and manage your Amazon paid ads are endless. However, keep in mind that optimization is a continuous process and not just a one-time thing. Make it a habit to review and analyze your performance data regularly. In this way, you can build a successful and thriving Amazon business.

Are you not getting enough conversions from your Amazon PPC campaigns? Seller Interactive has a team of expert Amazon consultants willing to help you with Amazon paid ads management. For inquiries, email [email protected] 

Go from surviving to thriving on Amazon.

Use the power and influence of advertising to increase sales. Learn more about how you can benefit from our management expertise.
Talk to us

Read More

Top 5 Effective Amazon Online Marketing Strategies Every Seller Should Know

There are a lot of Amazon online marketing strategies that you can employ as part of your plan of action. However, it's important to take note of the current strategies that are already working. This is so you're guaranteed that you're putting all your efforts into something that you know will translate into sales. With […]

4 Amazon Sponsored Ads Management Tricks To Maximize Your Adverts

To sell on Amazon, you need to be familiar with the technicalities. Amazon PPC and Amazon sponsored ads management are some of the things that you should definitely invest some time in so that you can come up with an advertising strategy. However, not every seller on the platform is willing to learn more about […]

5 Main Advantages of Getting into Amazon FBA Wholesale

Amazon is a large e-commerce platform that caters to millions of businesses. Along with it comes a set of rules that the sellers have to follow. You might not even think that it's possible to sell on Amazon FBA wholesale due to its strict implementation of rules, but it can be possible. The thing is, […]

crossmenuchevron-down