How to Turn $177 Into $4,400 with Profitable Amazon Keywords

By Cory Checketts | Amazon

May 08
[scope]_find_profitable_amazon_keywords

Since Amazon banned incentivized reviews in 2016, sellers have been scrambling to find ways to get exposure for their products and grow sales. Amazon Sponsored Products ads and SEO have become the tactics of choice to boost product discoverability. In this post, we’ll discuss how we were able to generate $4,400 in sales by spending just $177 on Sponsored Products ads.

Find Profitable Keywords

Instead of running an automatic-targeted campaign for weeks to collect keyword data, we did some digging on Amazon for profitable keywords. How? With Scope, Seller Labs’s Amazon keyword and product research tool. We used the Scope Google Chrome extension to research ranked ASINs that were similar to our product. We were able to find dozens of keywords that generate many sales and are also popular search terms.

Using the keyword data

Once we compiled a list of profitable keywords, we exported them to a .csv file. Here, we were able to remove any duplicates. This was also a great time to do some backend and frontend listing optimization. See how this process is done here.

More importantly, though, we used our keyword data to start running Amazon Sponsored Products ads.

How We Generated $4,400 In Sales by Spending $177 on Sponsored Products Ads

We began by running a manual targeted Sponsored Products campaign for 14 days using the keywords we discovered with Scope. We created our campaign to mimic an automatic campaign that we started more than 60 days before.

The results of our campaign

Within the first five days of running the manual-targeted campaign with Scope keywords, we did $4,418.30 in sales and spent just $177.16 on ads—with a 4.01% ACOS!

In five days, our manual-targeted campaign generated 3x the amount of sales our automatic campaign did in more than 60 days. How? We just plugged in the keyword data Scope provided us from our competitors and other similar, top-selling products.

Here’s the breakdown of our manual and automatic campaigns:

Campaign Type

Impressions

Clicks

CTR

Cost

CPC

Units Sold

Revenue

ACoS

Automatic

370,795

363

0.100%

$48.24

$0.13

12

$1,444.40

3.34%

Manual

65,973

292

0.440%

$177.16

$0.61

34

$4,418.30

4.01%

Our manual-targeted campaign generated $2973.90 more in sales with $128.92 more in ad spend in just 14 days than the automatic-targeted campaign did in 60+ days. By looking at the number of impressions to clicks the manual campaign received, it’s clear that our keyword targeting was the deciding factor in our success. The automatic campaign received 5x more impressions than the manual campaign but only had 363 clicks for 60 days. This means that the automatic ads were viewed about 6,180 times with 6 clicks per day. While the manual ads were viewed about 4,712 times with 21 clicks per day.

The manual-targeted ads were displayed in more relevant searches than the automatic campaigns.

Conclusion

We’re not saying automatic-target Sponsored Products campaigns are a bad thing. In fact, every seller should be running them as a catch-all strategy to make sales on obscure and long-tail keywords. But if a seller wants to do a calculated advertising push, then running a manually targeted campaign using profitable keywords is an absolute must. 

Best of all, sellers can also use the same keywords they run ads for to optimize their product listings.

Learn more about Scope!

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About the Author

Cory is the content manager at Seller Labs. He has five years of experience doing strategic communications and professional writing. When he’s not typing you can usually find him getting dropped off the back of amateur cycling pelotons on the roads of Georgia.

  • jonathan

    Hi,
    Is it just me that don’t believe these numbers? they sound to good to be true.
    We have run multiple automatic and manual sponsored campaign and I don’t see how you can get 3% and 4% ACos and have decent sales. Unless the competition is not present for the niche you are in?
    I believe in finding the right cheap keywords that bring sales, but 4% acos is very low!

    • Cory Checketts

      Jonathan,

      I understand your apprehension but these numbers are real. We were able to save money by not running automatic campaigns to find keywords. Instead, we did extensive research on competing ASINs and other similar products using Scope to find high-traffic keywords. You can get low ACoS percentages by running ads for specific keywords instead of experimenting with so-so keywords.

      • jonathan

        Hi Cory,
        what do you think of the Ignite web app? do you think we can get as low 4% acos and still have good sales?

        • kinto .

          hi johnathan. It is not easy for rookies but such Acos can be reached by ppc experts. I do Amazon SEO here in Italy and, as you mention, for some items with not so much competition, then the right kws makes the rest of the job to reach such good results with Acos. I beg to suggest everybody to keep into best consideration a clever use of negative kws which the automatic campaigns are showing. They are precious gems to include inside your manual campaign.

          • Laura McKenna

            Kinto, can you elaborate on the negative KW strategy?

          • kinto .

            Ciao Laura……Each of us follows his own strategy, done by things made properly, mistakes and tweaks to improve mistakes. So please do not take my fllwing words like a “dogma”. i may be wrong or other systems can be much more efficient than mine 😉

            My personal strategy in PPC campaigns is the following, but please note it is not the “guru byble”….
            I am just a person who lost his job 18 months ago, and studied 15/h a day and then started up his own seo agency…

            Let’s start.
            ——————————————————————————————————————–
            0. Decide your daily budget
            1. Start an AUTOMATIC CAMPAIGN
            2. Let it run at lease 20-30 days.
            4. AMZ is giving you report with delay, so do not get crazy after 24 hours…
            5. After 7 days, collect AMZ report on an excel sheet
            6. Check everything: visits, clicks, CTR. Most important index: ACoS
            7. Take the best converting KWs and use them to improve the listing i.e. :
            8. Spread best KW all around your item page
            9. Start a MANUAL CAMPAIGN
            10.Take the list of NEGATIVE KWs you got thanks tthe automatic campaign
            11. Put this list into the manual campaign
            12 DO NOT stop for any reason the automatic campaign
            13 This last is essential to collect more and more Best kws and Negative Kws
            14. Over the days, keep on spreading the new best Kws you found in the automatic
            15. You also keep on including new Negative Kws into the manual campaign
            16. Final results: More Sales–> More Reviews–> Higher CTR—> Lower ACoS
            ———————————————————————————————————————-

            I wrote it now as Seller Labs are fantastic guys and, even if I live far away, they share very useful articles and I learned a lot from them in my never-ending night of the learing-curve.
            You shared knowledge…thank you a lotttttttt.

            Now I have 5 people working for my SEO agency, we optimize poor listings like a crazy and, of course I started a wonderful and profitable job…

            Here in Italy, Amazon is still quite small but, above all, most sellers have a LQS-Listing Quality Score of 24/100 😉
            Can you imagine how easy can be for me if I decide to sell the same item BUT I optimize my page at 85, 90 or even 100%…. Unbelievable…but true.

            If you are consistent and believe in yourself, everybody can “win” on Amazon.
            The “secret” is just to study hard and ONLY from people better experience than us…

            I do hope it can be useful to community.

            A great “ciao and never give up” from Italy !

        • Cory Checketts

          Jonathan,
          Yes, I believe Ignite can help you lower your ACoS. Ignite will give you keyword suggestions to start bidding on based on your ASIN. You can try it free for 30 days. That should give you plenty of time to start lowering your ACoS.

  • kinto .

    Cory: Thank you for your detailed and informative case study. There is always something to learn from people better than myself 😉 Keep on sharing knowledge….and clever people will be always grateful. Cheers from Italy 😉

    • Cory Checketts

      Kinto, thanks for reading and reaching out to me. I’m doing my best to inform people about how to sell better on Amazon.

  • Rudy Morell

    What’s the suggested manual campaign match: broad, phrase or exact? , Thanks for your great information.

    • Cory Checketts

      If you’re using Ignite, I suggest you start with exact match keyword types since the program gives you a list of profitable keyword suggestions. Check out this video we did about keyword match types: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKAZUHwSg00

  • Meg

    Hi Cory, what is the recommended daily budget for such a campaign? Did you have to aim high to get the impressions up?

    • Cory Checketts

      Meg, basically, the more money you can invest up front, the more data you’ll have. You can spend less up front to find the sweet spot but it will take you longer. $10 a day is a conservative daily budget.

  • das gov

    Hi Cory
    Thank you for the valuable information. Just a little clarity on the following:
    1.What did you bid on you keywords for the automatic and manual 2. campaign? Your manual campaign was exact match?

    • Cory Checketts

      Das, thanks for checking out the article.
      1. My daily budget for this campaign was $25/day for the automatic and $50/day for the manual.
      2. The manual campaign had a mix of broad, phrase and exact match keywords.

      • das gov

        Hi Cory
        Thanks for the reply.
        1. what was your bid per keyword and how did you determine the bid price?
        2. How did you determine which keywords where broad, phrase and exact?

        • Cory Checketts

          1. My average CPC per keyword was $1.47
          2. Ignite recommended which keywords should be broad, phrase and exact. But any high-profit keyword I find in Scope will usually become an exact match type keyword.

          • das gov

            Hi Cory

            Just to clarify your bid per keyword was on average $1,47? How was this calculated?

  • Pete

    Hi Cory, I’m using Scope and Ignite, which is suggesting I start a campaign of 77 keywords, mostly on broad match. 77 seems like a lot. Would you suggest reducing the amount of keywords initially? Or start wide and narrow over time. I would have thought using the top keywords, bidding exact, from the best seller using Scope would be a more effective strategy than the 77 broad that Ignite suggests? Any thoughts? And thanks in advance.

    • Cory Checketts

      II would do what Ignite suggests and see what data it gives you after two weeks. But I would take the top keywords and make them exact match keyword targeting with a competitive bid. You should keep broad match campaigns running just to catch shoppers looking broadly for a product like yours.