PPC Campaigns

Amazon Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising has developed into a powerful marketing channel on Amazon. These campaigns are essentially the “sponsored content” advertisements you’ve probably seen when browsing products on Amazon. Running Amazon PPC ads enables sellers and vendors to ‘buy’ visibility for their products at the top of Amazon’s search results page. However, the number of sellers leveraging Amazon PPC potential continues to grow significantly year over year. So, if you don’t have a defined PPC strategy in place, it may become difficult to achieve your advertising goals on Amazon. PPC advertising can be incredibly effective at helping you get more sales, but it’s very important to follow up a PPC strategy with a way to convert your buyers into reviewers.

Amazon PPC is an advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee to Amazon when a shopper clicks on their ad (pay-per-click). There are 3 formats available: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Product Display Ads (PDAs)

  • Sponsored Products – keyword-targeted ads that enable advertisers to promote individual products
  • Sponsored Brands – ads that allow brands to promote a custom headline, brand logo, and up to 3 products in their ad, with the ability to send shoppers to their Stores page or a custom landing page on Amazon.
  • Product Display Ads – ads that send shoppers to Amazon product detail pages. PDAs are available for vendors only and use product or interest targeting to deliver relevant ads to shoppers with certain interests, or to shoppers who are actively viewing specific products.

If you’re just getting started on Amazon, PPC is even more important. Organic traffic is always best, but it often takes a long time to gain traction. So in order to start ranking your product and getting in front of potential customers, you’ll need to invest in PPC at first. As you gain more and more sales, reviews, and climb the listings, you’ll be able to scale back your dollars and ride the wave of organic traffic.

Sponsored Product ads appear in two locations on Amazon: the search results page and on Amazon product detail pages. Your Sponsored Product ads can also appear on external websites using the Sponsored Products ‘Extended Ad Network Beta’, and retarget visitors (off Amazon) who viewed your product detail pages but did not make a purchase.

Sponsored Brand ads are displayed in the Amazon search results page. There are four ad placements available for Sponsored Brands; one placement displayed above the fold (‘Top of Search’), and three placements below the fold in search results.

Product Display Ads typically appear below the “Add to Cart” button on Amazon product detail pages, and can also appear on the right rail of search results, at the bottom of search results.

Amazon vendors (1P) have access to Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Product Display Ads in their Amazon Advertising Console. Amazon sellers (3P) are required to have a professional selling plan to use Sponsored Products. Only sellers with Brand Registry are eligible to use Sponsored Brands. (A first-party relationship (1P) means the marketplace acts as the retailer, and the brand is the wholesale supplier. A third-party relationship (3P) is when the brand is the retailer, and sells directly to buyers via the marketplace.)

How Does PPC work?

PPC (pay per click) platform exists within the Amazon Marketplace and drives traffic to an Amazon detail page when a shopper is searching for a product. It is placed according to a kind of automated bidding war. It will always depend on the highest bidder: each advertiser submits a default bid (the maximum they are willing to pay) for their ad. The highest bidder wins the highest ad position (ad rank #1) and will also pay the highest CPC but only $0.01 more than the next highest bid.

It is worth mentioning, however, that quality also plays a role: a well-designed ad that is relevant to its target keywords will have an easier time winning bids than a poorly designed or irrelevant ad. Regardless of how high or low your bid may be, however, you will not pay unless your ad is clicked (thus the name, Pay per Click advertising.)

Creating your Amazon PPC campaign
There are two types of campaigns : Auto campaigns and Manual campaigns.

  • Auto campaigns
    Automatic campaigns are easy to create. All you need to do is name your campaign (or ad group) and define a budget and a CPC bid. You just have to control over four areas that impact the campaign (daily budget, campaign duration time, products advertised, and default bid). As soon as your campaign kicks off, Amazon examines the advertised products and automatically starts displaying your ads for selected search terms. You can export these search terms as a .csv file in Seller Central or conduct an easy, in-depth analysis of them using Sellics. You do not have control over which keywords Amazon choose for your campaign. However, a seller does have the ability to optimize and expand the campaign on a search term level.

    Once an auto campaign starts, Amazon will guess which keywords are relevant to the products in the campaign. Starting with an Auto campaign will help validate that Amazon understands your listing. It will also help to reveal profitable keywords. When a shopper searches using one of those keywords, your ad will enter the ad auction with the bid you specified and if you win Amazon will show your ad.
  • Manual campaigns
    Manual campaigns give the seller complete control. It allows you to add your own choice of keywords, set the match type, and bid for each keyword. They take more effort to set up and optimize, but are where the majority of your profits will come from over the long haul. You can start Manual campaigns once your product is validated.
    • Begin with one ad group.
    • Add additional ad groups.
    • Set the default bid in each ad group.
    • Set up the keywords.
    • Seed each ad group in the Manual campaigns with keywords from the auto campaign.
    • Add more from your own keyword list.
    • Monitor and adjust bids as your campaign collects data (adjust bids to hit your objectives).
    • Test new keywords over time (new search terms start performing in the Auto campaign, or you think of new keywords).

When you setup your Amazon PPC campaign manually, you can choose to target your ads based on keywords, product ASINs, or product categories on Amazon. In order to run successful Amazon PPC ads, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic building blocks of Amazon PPC. Keyword match types play an important role in your PPC campaigns. They allow Amazon sellers to fine-tune which shopper search terms their ads may be eligible to be shown against. Within a manual campaign, advertisers can further refine their ad targeting using the three keyword match types are available:

  • Broad match type
    This match type offers PPC ads broad traffic exposure. A shopper’s search term will match if it contains any keyword terms or their synonyms. These are the search terms that contain all components of your keyword in any order.
  • Phrase match type
    The shopper’s search term must contain the exact phrase or sequence of words. These are the search terms that contain all components of your keyword in the same order. It is more restrictive than broad match and will generally result in more relevant placements for your PPC ad. 
  • Exact match type 
    The shopper’s search term must exactly match the keyword in order for the ad to show, and will also match close variations of the exact term. These are the search terms that match your keyword word by word (same word order + same components). Exact match is