Optimize your Amazon PPC Campaigns

9 Tips To Optimize Your Amazon PPC Campaigns

Putting your message in front of high-intent shoppers is every marketer’s dream.

The good news is that anyone can advertise on Amazon to get the visibility of shoppers.

The bad news is that Amazon PPC optimization is not a one size fits all solution.

After serving more than 1 Billion + displays, it’s safe to say we learned how to create the highest-performing campaigns on Amazon. That’s why we created this list of the 9 best Amazon PPC tips to help drive your sales through the roof.

Table of contents

What Does An Amazon Ad Do?

  • Why You Should Advertise Your Products

9 Tactics To Optimize Your Amazon PPC Campaigns

  • Discover Long-tail Keywords
  • Mix Of Automatic And Manual Campaigns
  • Optimize Listings
  • Set Negative Keywords To Reduce Costs
  • Amazon Ad Groups
  • Structure All Of Your Campaigns Consistently
  • Define Your Average Cost Of Sale (ACOS)
  • ‘Search Term Report’ To Find New Keywords
  • Research Top Converting Keywords To Better Your Amazon PPC Optimization

What Does An Amazon Ad Do?

In a nutshell, Amazon ads are used by store owners to get more visibility on their product listings. This in return generates more sales and increases profits.

There are three main types of ads that Amazon sells:

Sponsored Products

These product advertisements are what show up in the main search results and on competitors’ product pages.

One of the many great things about them is that they look like organic search results.

If you create this kind of ad, you can choose between three different categories: Automatic, Manual, and Product Targeting.

At the end of the day, these are the most commonly used and effective ads on the Amazon Advertising platform.

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Sponsored Brands

These are the ads that show up at the top of Amazon search results. They give the searcher a view of a product collection of your choice and can highlight your Amazon Store.

Since they show up at the top of the search results, they have the opportunity to drive a lot of sales.

Some common names for these ads are Headline Search Ad, Store Ad, or Product Collection Ad.

A relatively new type of ad to Amazon is Video Ads. They are a part of the Sponsored Brands family of ad campaigns and create extremely high engagement (up to 80% more than static ads), with high click-through rates and sales.

Sponsored Display Ads

This ad type is great at converting ‘window shoppers’ to buyers.

One huge advantage of this ad type is that sellers can retarget shoppers who have already visited their product detail page but have not made a purchase — increasing the likelihood of them purchasing the product. Additionally, this type of ad can target shoppers who have visited your competitor’s pages, but have not made a purchase.

The reason these ads can be so effective is that we know the shopper is in the market to buy your product or a product like yours. So, retargeting them with ads keeps your product top of mind for the shopper, and increases the likelihood that they will purchase your product.

In other words, these super-targeted ads follow your target customers around the internet and increase the likelihood of making a sale.


We cover a more in-depth explanation of what Amazon ads are here.

Why You Should Advertise Your Products

You are probably well aware that Amazon is the biggest and best eCommerce site on the internet. This means it is the perfect place for you to get a piece of the pie!

There are many advantages to advertising on Amazon, and most people overlook them while selling their products.

Advantages of Advertising on Amazon: 

  • Ability to target specific audiences
  • Greater visibility leads to more sales
  • Outrank your competitors in the results
  • Access to a more diverse customer base
  • Build trust and reputation with your target audience

Regardless if you are a brand new or established brand on Amazon, it is in your best interest to run PPC campaigns.

9 Tactics To Optimize Your Amazon PPC Campaigns

Without further ado, let’s start improving your campaigns to sell more!

  1. Discover Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are keywords with multiple words that are very specific to one topic. These are often counter-intuitive and require research to uncover.

The more targeted a campaign is, the higher it will perform. The good news about long-tail keywords is that the intent to purchase is usually high.

They do have fewer impressions per month compared to shorter keywords, but if they generate sales at a better ACOS, it is best to focus on them.

Add the short keywords that you have identified into a tool like Helium10, and they will help to identify long-tail keywords that bid at a lower price.

Pro tip: Before you start running any PPC campaign, add the keyword throughout your product listing!

  1. Mix Of Automatic And Manual Campaigns

Automatic campaigns are great for sellers who are just starting on Amazon, and for sellers who want to discover additional keywords to target. In these campaigns, you only need to name your budget and Amazon will do the rest.

Once you have let your automatic campaign run for about a week (or you have identified keywords in other ways), it is time to take your highest converting keywords and put them into a manual campaign.

Manual campaigns have more customizability and can create for a very targeted campaign. They require sellers to select keywords they wish to bid on and allow anyone to set themselves aside from the rest of the pack.

Using both types is great for Amazon PPC optimization, and can lead to much higher returns.

But once you have a good understanding of keywords for a specific product listing, focus mostly on manual campaigns because they will have higher returns.

  1. Optimize Listings

Amazon likes to provide its searchers with the most accurate results. There are 3 main categories to optimize your listings around.

Keyword optimization:

Amazon shows the searchers’ products that have the keyword in the product listing and the PPC ad itself.

So, take your target keyword and make sure it is in your Title of the listing, followed by the Bullet Points, Description, and Back-End Search Terms. Don’t go overboard here, it is best to make sure that your listing sounds natural, and not overly stuffed with keywords.

Then, under the ‘keyword targeting’ tab in your PPC campaign, make sure you add the same keyword as the one you included in your product listing.


Not an easy thing to get when starting. But there are 2 good ways to get more reviews on your product listings.

Facebook review groups are when a group of consumers who will write you product reviews, in exchange for free products. You can either create your own group or join groups that already have established members.

The other way to get more reviews on your products is to have an email autoresponder that encourages your customers to leave a review. Helium10 has a tool that integrates directly into your seller account that can make this super easy for you.

Professional photos:

The shoppers will only be able to look at the photos and never will be able to hold the product in their hand before they buy it.

This means your photo needs to be REALLY good.

We find the best way to get high-quality photos is to hire a professional photographer who can speak your language and who is in the same country. Communication, timeliness, and transparency are worth more than a frustrating experience with a budget freelancer who doesn’t understand your project goals.

  1. Set Negative Keywords To Reduce Costs

The main goal of setting negative keywords is to stop two campaigns from competing against each other. If two of your campaigns are competing, then your ad spend will increase unnecessarily.

There are two types of negative keywords, negative phrase and negative exact.

Negative phrase: Your ad will not be shown if the searcher’s query has any part of your keyword in it.

Negative exact: Your ad will not be shown if the searcher’s query matches your negative keyword exactly.

If you find a keyword has a substantially lower performance than the related keywords, then add it to whichever negative keyword type you see fit.

If you are running multiple campaigns to the same product listing, make sure to add the keyword under negative exact, so you do not compete against yourself.

  1. Amazon Ad Groups

If you have a ton of SKUs within one store, then you are going to have a large number of keywords with varying levels of specificity within your PPC campaigns.

This means your campaigns need to be organized. 

Let me explain.

Let’s say you sell hats of all kinds.

  • For every hat, the keyword ‘hat’ is relevant
  • But for a few of the hats, the keyword ‘baseball hats’ is relevant
  • And for an even smaller amount of hats, the keyword ‘A’s baseball snapback’ is relevant

If you were to place the word ‘baseball hats’ throughout all of your ad groups for hats, it would be easy to lose track of which ads are shown for which bids.

For each campaign, create an individual ad group for specific categories. So, for your campaign #1, you could have 3 different ad groups – ‘baseball hats’, ‘baseball beanies’, ‘baseball caps’.

Keeping each ad group separate will make it easier to manage your overall ad strategy, helping you to increase your conversion rate while making your ad spend more efficient.

  1. Structure All Of Your Campaigns Consistently

There are 3 main ways to structure your campaigns. If you run campaigns with different structures, overlap is likely to happen and you will have repeated ads. This causes wasted ad spend. 

Needless to say, we recommend you select an organizational structure and stick with it.

These are the characteristics a campaign can be structured around:

  • By brand (Dell, Toshiba, AOC, ASUS)
  • By product category (hats, shoes, pencils)
  • By top sellers (whichever products pull in the most amount of sales, EX: top 5 sellers)

Any one of these structures will work fine for you, as long as you use 1 and only 1 campaign structure consistently across each product or product set……

  1. Define Your Target BACOS (Blended ACOS)

Even when you are just starting a new campaign, it is best to have a general idea of your target ACOS.

This will allow you to understand how much you are paying for a sale and how to maximize your profit margin. Studying your ACOS will be the primary factor that allows you to understand if you are targeting a profitable keyword.

However, if your goal is to advertise a product to improve its organic ranking, then taking a small loss with every sale is acceptable. But never pay more for a sale than the total cost of the product itself.

  1. ‘Search Term Report’ To Find New Keywords

After you have optimized your product listing, you can set up an automatic campaign to have Amazon create relevant keywords for you to shape your PPC campaigns around. Amazon does this by taking the keywords from your title, bullet points, description, back end, and the category your product is in.

This is great to start because it gives you insights into some of the keywords that you are advertising for, but it is limited.

It is best to evaluate the search terms from the automatic campaign. Do this by going under the ‘search term report’ in the ‘seller central’ tab.

Next, you’ll want to take your highest converting keywords from inside your automatic campaign and put them into a manual campaign.

  1. Research Top Converting Keywords To Better Your Amazon PPC Optimization

When searching for the highest converting keywords, there are a handful of tactics to use to find them. We covered these tactics above.

But knowing how to tell which keywords are more likely to be high converting is another strategy in itself.

There needs to be a healthy balance of volume and CPC. If the volume is high but the CPC is very high, then the keyword is unlikely to be profitable. If the volume is low but the CPC is fair, then it could be an excellent keyword for you.

We find the best way to research this is to use Helium10’s magnet tool.

Not only that, but you can study your competitor’s product listings to understand what keywords they focus their campaigns around. If their store has traction, odds are they already know some great keywords that you could also bid on.

Or, you can pick the highest converting from your automatic campaigns.

And That Is It!

We hope this post helped you to increase your Amazon PPC optimization!

But here’s the thing, this stuff is not easy. Even with great posts full of advice like this one, sellers still run into problems and waste money unintentionally.

The good news is that we are here to help you, so feel free to reach out to our team if you have any questions.

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