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Amazon PPC Strategy: Top 3 Amazon Tactics to Increase Traffic, Get Noticed, and Reduce Wasted Ad Spend

Jessica Wright
Jessica Wright Author

You’re probably using Amazon Sponsored Ads (ad placements upon which you bid against other sellers and brands, often referred to as Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click) or CPC (Cost Per Click) advertising), but do you have goals set and a concrete Amazon PPC strategy in place to help you achieve those goals?

Whether your advertising goal is to lower ACoS, increase volume and velocity, boost your organic ranking by getting more paid traction, launch a new product with a bang, or to achieve something else via advertising, here are three Amazon PPC strategies that will help you run more successful, more cost-effective campaigns.

1. Own Your Branded Keywords — If You Don’t, Your Competitors Will.

First off, what are branded keywords and where should they fit in your Amazon PPC strategy? As the name suggests, branded keywords are those which contain your brand’s name. Shoppers who search using branded keywords are more likely to be familiar with your brand and they’re seeking out your products instead of a competitor’s based upon their past experiences with your brand or based on your brand’s reputation. To some extent, these shoppers are past the awareness stage of the buying journey and they already have some idea of what they want and where to find it. This is why branded keywords are up to four times more likely to convert when compared to their generic counterparts

While Amazon Brand Registry can help you protect your trademark and intellectual property, it can’t stop other brand owners from bidding on your brand name. If your brand is Slice-T Knives and Cutlery, your competitors have every reason to bid on keywords and variations that include “Slice-T.” When other brands win bids on your branded keywords, they undermine your advantage by getting their products in front of shoppers originally looking for your products. Shoppers may have begun their search knowing what they are looking for, but your competitors have now delivered alternatives that those shoppers may prefer.

Is this fair? It doesn’t matter, that’s how PPC advertising works. That said, you need to make sure that you own your branded keywords lest competitors poach shoppers seeking out your brand. Amazon understands the value and importance of branded keywords and that the competition can be fierce. It’s not in Amazon’s best interest for someone shopping for Slice-T products to be shown a selection of items from other brands. That creates an unpleasant shopping experience that frustrates users and hinders sales. To avoid this user-unfriendly scenario, Amazon gives brand owners an undisclosed discount on their own branded keywords. This means you can deter competitors from making sales off of your branded keywords by setting the bids for your branded keywords higher than normal, ensuring that your competition will get charged more per click. Owning your brand name as a keyword will cost you, but it’s an essential part of a solid Amazon PPC strategy.

2. Make Your Daily Budget Work Harder (and Longer).

One of the variables that you set in your Amazon PPC ad campaigns is daily spend. If you run out of ad spend early in the day, you’re losing potential sales.

You’ll likely need to increase your advertising budget for the day, but that doesn’t address the entire issue. You need to examine your daily spend so that you can see which keywords are bringing clicks and which keywords are actually converting. This is especially true if you’re using adjusted bidding.

When you’re working on your Amazon PPC strategy, always keep in mind that:

  • Impressions are free but they’re just the first step of the buying process.
  • Clicks cost you money (what you’ve successfully bid to win the keyword) and you take a loss when they don’t convert.
  • Conversions bring you revenue, they boost ranking, and they lower your CPC (cost per click) and ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales). Focus here.

With that (and your goals) in mind, check the Search Term Report to see where clicks are coming from. Once you’ve identified where and how your budget was spent and which keywords give you the most bang for your advertising, you’ll be able to make adjustments that reduce wasted ad spend and allow you to bid more on high-converting keywords. 

You can add further efficiency to your Amazon PPC tactics by checking your sales report to find out what times and days see the most conversions. For days and hours that aren’t converting, consider turning off your ads in order to save your spend for better sales windows. You can also use ad scheduling in the Seller Labs Pro Advertising Center to automatically handle this so that you only display your ads when they’re more likely to convert.

3. Achieve Positive Results by Using Negative Keywords.

Think of negative keywords as anti-keywords. If a keyword is a term that will get your product discovered because shoppers are searching using that term, then a negative keyword is a term that will block your ad from appearing as a keyword match. Setting a negative keyword is your way of saying to Amazon, “Do not show my ad when a shopper inputs [x] as a search term.” 

Why would you want to set negative keywords? To reduce the number of impressions and costly clicks that do not lead to conversions because, while the keyword and the product may be related, it’s not the relationship for which you want to match. One example would be if you sold apple slicers and you wanted to be sure that your ad didn’t appear when shoppers searched for “apple iphone.” In that case, making “iphone” a negative keyword would be beneficial to you and to shoppers seeking apple slicers or Apple iPhone cases.

As for knowing which keywords to make negative, some of that is intuitive (like the iPhone example), and some of it relies on data collection. In your reports, look for keywords that get lots of impressions and/or clicks but few or no conversions. These performers are good candidates for being moved from an ad group into negative keywords. Doing so can help significantly lower your ACoS, so definitely make setting (and updating) negative keywords a part of your Amazon PPC strategy.

Final Words and Next Steps

Becoming an expert advertiser takes time, patience, and testing. Brands should be, by definition, unique. In the case of creating and optimizing your Amazon PPC strategy, you’ll find that what works for one brand or product may not elicit the same results for another brand or product. While PPC optimization techniques will vary by brand in terms of their efficacy, you can count on the three tactics explained above to be an integral part of your larger Amazon PPC strategy and to deliver marked results for just about every ad campaign. 

Ready to put the power of superior Amazon advertising in your hands? Sign up for your free 30-day trial of Seller Labs Pro, a comprehensive solution for Amazon sellers looking to grow their businesses. 

And if you need help managing your ad campaigns, contact the Seller Labs Amazon PPC Managed Services team. This squad of experts will handle your Amazon advertising so you can focus on other areas of your business.

Jessica Wright
Jessica Wright Senior Brand Strategist, Seller Labs Managed Services

Jessica Wright is the in-house "Amazon Genius" for the Seller Labs Managed Services team. Her focus is working with our team members and clients to educate and answer tough Amazon questions in areas outside of PPC advertising. With 15 years of manufacturing and eCommerce experience on both the brand and agency sides of the business, Jessica is knowledgeable in all things Amazon and is constantly seeking out the latest updates to help Seller Labs clients stay ahead.


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