Amazon PPC Marketing and Management for Dummies

Amazon PPC Marketing

Last updated on June 5th, 2023

Written by Himanshi Raj

An Amazon PPC marketing or pay-per-click campaign is an inside advertising solution offered by Amazon to its sellers to gain visibility on their platform. Sellers like you bid for keywords you think customers will search for. Using the right keywords enables you to rank higher on the search engine results page, which, trust me, is something you’ll want since buyers don’t usually go beyond the first page. 

To participate, sellers must have a ready arsenal of keywords collected from proper keyword research and then bid for that keyword. The highest bidders are given the most increased visibility.

Why bother with an Amazon PPC campaign?

You’re merely one of the millions trying to get a big break on Amazon. As a result, any product you’re trying to sell probably has a similar listing somewhere. The catch is, not everyone is a marketing expert. While you may be offering a product that is both winning and relevant, if you don’t have a clue about getting it seen, you’ll never see any clicks on your store. 

Winning on Amazon essentially becomes a game of speed in reach and visibility, so if you’re passively managing your Amazon PPC strategy, you’ll miss out on a huge profit margin. Amazon PPC is very cost-effective since you’re only charged for every click on your listing. If you want to play it smart, you’ll use a combination of these three PPC marketing strategies that will be most profitable for your business.

Sponsored products

Sponsored products are the most utilized among the three. Sponsored product ads boost your product’s visibility on the search results, appearing on either the right or the bottom of search results or on the product information page. Amazon allows you to run a sponsored product PPC manually or automatically, the difference of which we’ll be discussing further down this article.

Sponsored brands

Sponsored brands, aka “headline ads,” appear on top of the search results page. In this banner, sellers can advertise three of their most prominent products. When buyers click on the ad, it will take them straight to your store page.

Sponsored display

Do you ever wonder how random ads about a certain sneaker you’ve been eyeing keep showing up on your Facebook feed? Well, Amazon uses cookies that allow it to track your digital footprint days after you’ve viewed a particular product or store on their platform. This tactic is called sponsor display advertising.

Amazon PPC’s must-know terms

Amazon PPC marketing is an ecosystem that comes with jargon novice sellers might find confusing or intimidating. Make it a point to understand these terms inside out so that it becomes easy to streamline and systematize your business. Here are the commonly used terms you might encounter.

  • Impressions

Impressions are the number of times a customer saw your ad. In other words, it counts the number of opportunities a customer had to click on your listing. Impressions give you a quick skim of how your ad is generally performing.

  • Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rates count the number of impressions that lead to clicks. A high CTR means your ad reaches the right audiences, while a low CTR could mean your keywords aren’t relevant enough to the market they’re reaching. CTR is a metric for how relevant your keywords are for a listing. 

  • Cost per click (CPC)

Cost-per-click or CPC is a term you’ll be seeing a lot when you monitor your costs. CPC refers to how much you’ll be paying every time a visitor clicks on your sponsored ad. Knowing your cost is essential as this has a significant impact on how fast you’ll be getting an ROI. 

Your Amazon PPC is an auction, meaning you’ll have to bid a penny more than the highest bidder to get a keyword. For example, if you placed a $3 bid for the keyword “air fryer” and the next highest bid was $2, then your cost would be $1.01 per click even though the highest bid was pegged at $3.

The average CPC on Amazon is $0.71, so if you’re bidding and winning a keyword below that amount, you’re probably maximizing your ROI.

  • Advertising cost of sale (ACoS)

Advertising cost of sales, or ACoS, monitors the efficiency of your ad spend. ACoS is computed by dividing the total ad spend by the total sales. When your ACoS is low, it means you’re getting more sales with a relatively low ad spend. Having a low ACoS is good for business.

  • Keyword & keyword matching

Keywords are words you think your ideal customer would use when searching on Amazon. You bid for higher ranking and visibility, hoping that your product listing will be the first one the buyer sees on the search result.

Keyword bidding is all about quality. Choosing the right keywords means more chances of running a successful PPC campaign. Below are the three different match types.

1. Broad match

Broad keyword matches usually cost less. Broad matches mean they’ll have expansive coverage in the searches even if the keywords used are only synonymous with your bid keywords. 

For example, if you’re bidding for the keyword “shoes,” you’ll probably also appear in searches for “sneakers” or “running footwear.” While the mentioned terms don’t contain the keyword “shoes,” setting a keyword for broad match means they are considered part of the category.

2. Phrase match

Phrase matches require the query to contain the exact keywords for your ad to appear. However, the way the keywords are arranged won’t matter.

For example, If you’re bidding for the keyword “huawei fitness watch pro,” your ad will still appear for a search containing the words, “pro fitness watch by huawei fitness black color.”

3. Exact match

Ranking for an exact match is the most difficult because it is the most specific. For your product to rank for an exact match, your product listing should have the same exact keywords as those you’re bidding on.

Amazon PPC strategies you can use

  1. Use keywords to drive traffic.
  • Long-tail keywords

Amazon houses some giant players with long-established brands. You can bet your bottom dollar these top dogs are running their PPC campaigns, too. 

Whether you’re a new seller or looking to launch a new product, competing with these companies for top-level keywords can downright burn through your pockets. First of all, they have massive advertising budgets, so you better think twice before trying to outbid them. Secondly, the scales are tipped in their favor because they have greater brand recognition and reach.

For example, you’re selling “men’s shirts.” Attempting to use those exact keywords will meet fierce competition because many companies are also vying for it. Try a different approach using unique keywords to your product, such as “bamboo rayon environment-friendly men’s shirts.” Your chances of ranking for this will be much higher.

As a general rule, once you’ve had a measure of success with niche long-tail keywords, it’s safe to go up a notch in the keyword ladder by using more general keywords such as “environment-friendly men’s shirts.” Doing so will allow you to compete for the keyword “men’s shirts” once you’ve gained solid brand footing.

  • Indirect keywords

Not all buyers go on Amazon looking for a specific item or a product. Some of them are looking for solutions. You want to cover your bases with as many target markets as possible, which is why your keywords should also target solution-type customers. 

For example, a customer is looking for a skincare routine solution, and you’re selling loose leaf tea. Besides targeting all the popular and long-tail keywords, you could also aim for alternative keywords such as “natural pore remedy” or “natural anti-oxidant and anti-aging.” Doing so allows your listing to target not only tea enthusiasts but also those who are looking for healthier skin.

  • Negative keywords

Negative keywords prevent your sponsored ad from showing in unwanted search queries. You want to avoid buyers who mistakenly search or click on your listing, racking up your cost per click without any actual purchases. Below are the two types of negative keywords.

Negative phrase match keywords

Negative phrase match keywords will exclude your ad from showing if a search query contains the keywords in exact order, regardless of any additional, unrelated phrases.

Negative exact match keywords

Negative exacts will only prevent your ad from showing up if the customer query contains exactly all your negative keywords to a T.

Keywords are not only useful in driving traffic to your store, but they also filter unproductive attention away from it. Knowing and combining the usage of these keywords allow you to pay significantly lower for your ad campaign.

  1. Let Amazon do the work for you.

Amazon allows you to run automatic and manual campaigns. Sellers can launch their ad campaigns without doing the legwork of outlining the campaign tactics, doing proper keyword research, and bidding against competitors. Auto campaigns help show the ropes to beginners who have little to no idea about how marketing works.

It’s helpful to remember not to lean on auto campaigns too much. While it is a convenient feature, it’s more of a one-size-fits-all solution that doesn’t necessarily generate the best keywords, racking up your CPC for non- or low-converting terms.  

  1. Adjust your campaign based on performance.

Amazon PPC optimization should always follow the performance. Objective decision-making allows you to assess whether your business is doing well or not. Doing this is essential because you need to be flexible in Amazon’s ever-changing environment.

  • Focus on performing keywords.

If your listing is on page 5 and beyond, you need to identify the keywords converting the most and concentrate on them. Following this decision pattern allows you to maximize your campaign’s chances of success and survive longer by cutting costs on low-performing keywords. 

However, you should bid more aggressively as your ranking creeps closer to the first page. It’s justifiable to pay a higher CPC since your product is getting closer to higher visibility and more sales. You want to support your product’s traction with customers by getting it seen further and more exponentially. 

  • Focus on performing products.

In an ad campaign with a set of keywords, the underlying group of products may not be performing equally. Some products will require more clicks to produce a sale, while others need a mere click. The poor performers will only increase the ACoS without contributing much profit.

For example, you have two products under one ad group. One has an ACoS of 25%, while the other has an ACoS of 75%. The latter is dragging your campaign and would drain your ad budget faster. The best solution would be to cut out that product or place it in another ad group.

  1. Amazon PPC management

Not everybody wants to do the grunt work, and we understand that. Marketing takes time and effort away from innovating and growing your product and other aspects of your business. When advertisements aren’t done right, they can cost you a fortune and your store’s overall longevity. 

An Amazon PPC expert can assist you in the following areas:

  • Keyword analysis
  • Product photography and branding
  • Search engine optimization
  • Ads management


Let our Amazon PPC experts take your business from surviving to thriving. Running a campaign goes far beyond launching. When you leverage our experience, you can communicate and engage customers by an exponential margin. 

To know more about what our team can do, don’t hesitate to contact us today at [email protected]

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