Step-By-Step Tutorial For Amazon PPC Optimization

October 17, 2017

At my last blog post I have talked about some methods to sort out the best keywords.  For this blog post I will focus on optimizating the PPC campaign, with the goal to achieve the best ROI for your product.


There are a lot of marketing jargons in the PPC field that may sounds confusing. Let’s start off with the difference between search term and keywords. The simplest explanation is that search terms are the words that customers typed on Amazon to search for a product, and keywords are the terms that sellers bid to show sponsored ads on when customer do the search. Keywords and search terms are interrelated: as shown in the diagram, Search term and keywords will overlap each other, and these overlapped terms are the ones that customers searched as well as what sellers bid on. These types of terms at the region are “Exact”, Phrase” and “Broad’.


When you create your ad campaign on Amazon, you can choose the Keyword type as “Exact”, “Phrase”, and “Broad’. To illustrate the meaning of these, we will continue to use the GoPro shoulder mount case that we used in the last post. Let’s say you have used the keyword “GoPro Shoulder Mount” as the keyword for the campaign, and you have opened three ad groups namely ‘Exact”, “Phrase” and “Broad”, the effect of these three ad groups will be as follow. For “Exact”, customers will only see your sponsored ad when they type the exact search term “GoPro Shoulder Mount”; For “Phrase”, your ad will also be shown to customers typing relevant search term that contains all of your keywords, examples are “GoPro Shoulder Mount for Hero 3” . For Broad keyword type, your ad will appear in relevant search term results that may contain none of your keywords, examples are “Camera holder” or “Hero 3 Cam holder” in this case. The relevance between the search and your broad keyword is decided by Amazon’s Algorithm.


So here comes a problem. Since phrase and broad keywords will match search terms with different combination and relevant terms, what if a customer searched for “white GoPro shoulder mount”, and my black shoulder mount appears at the search page? This is something you would want to avoid because the keywords have matched the wrong customers that won’t buy your product, and you have been wasting adspend matching the wrong guy.


To manage this, we will use a great tool named PPC Scope. PPC Scope is a very useful software to manage your campaigns’ search terms and also PPC campaign bid. By simply synchronizing the software with your Amazon Seller Central account, you can make changes on your PPC campaign in bulk using this software. 


We will try to manage the search term now using PPC scope. After login, click the “Advance (Search Terms)” and you can choose the product and dates. We recommend choosing 60 days option because this date range will be more accurate and will give us a bigger picture. You will see the button “Zero Net Search Terms” and “Zero Sales Search Terms”. “Zero Net Search Terms” means the search terms that are costing us a loss, and “Zero Sales Search Terms”, as the name tells, shows the search terms that generate zero sales.


Again, let’s take the GoPro Shoulder Mount as an example to illustrate. When I clicked for “Zero Sales Search Terms” of this product, two search terms appear. Since I am selling a shoulder mount, the search term “wrist strap mount for GoPro” will be not so relevant. However, should we put the search term as negative search term right away? Although the wrist mount is not totally related to our shoulder mount, customers searching for wrist strap may sometimes change their mind of buying a shoulder mount instead. Also, for now the search term cost us not too much at $2.83 only. Therefore, personally I think that we should hold on and observe the change in the coming weeks. Managing PPC campaigns implies making hundreds of decisions like this every day, and this will require experience to make to best decision.



If you have really made up your mind to get rid of a search term. You can push the search term to negative keyword. By putting the keyword as a negative keyword in your ad group, you will no longer be bidding on this keyword at all



Apart from Search Term, keyword management is also crucial for creating a good ROI. You can manage the keywords by clicking the “Keyword Performance’. Similar to the search term, you can choose the date and product to make change with, and the buttons are self-explanatory. There are a few criteria that we will use to make bid adjustment, and one important factor is break-even bid. For zero sale keywords, we will try to lower the current bid to the break-even bid so that we can test if the keywords can possibly convert sales in future, with the minimal amount of cost.



For unprofitable keywords, we will make the judgment call by looking at the ACOS and number of orders to decide if we really want to truly down bid it to the break-even bid.


For profitable keywords, we will increase the bid on some high converting keywords, often higher than the cost per click (CPC) so that we can have a higher chance of winning the bid of the more t profitable keywords. The reason of doing so is that PPC strategy is not only for increasing the sales via sponsored ads, but to drive organic sales for the future. Amazon ranks your product on a search result page based on your product’s sales, and the high product sales volume generated via clicking into these keywords tells Amazon that your product is highly relevant to these profitable keywords. In turn, Amazon rewards you by ranking your product higher Therefore, despite of having a high ACOS for some keywords, we will increase the bid in hopes of having even more organic sales in the future. After making changes on the bid, you can again push the change to the change manager, and submit the change to Amazon from the change manager. 


So that’s a brief summary of monitoring a PPC Campaign! Managing PPC campaign is a continuous process that requires week to week effort. I have to stress the importance of having a good PPC campaign management, as even a subtle change in the budget bid can create great difference in sales. PPC management needs experience learnt by practice, and the best way to manage great PPC campaign is to ask someone who is experienced in this field to work for you. At RWN SOLUTIONS we have an experienced team that have worked in the field for years, and we are assured that we can help you monitoring your sponsored ads  campaign in a professional and responsive manner. 


Happy Amazon Selling!


Antony Lam, PPC Lead




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