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    Amazon PPC Fundamentals and Best Practices

    Amazon PPC campaigns help increase traffic leading to your listing and improve your product’s visibility.
    Posted by James Hyatt on February 27, 2023

    Amazon PPC is the biggest advertising platform on Amazon. As the term suggests, you pay for clicks on your ads with the end goal of closing more sales. PPC campaigns help increase traffic leading to your listing and improve your product’s visibility in a wider range of audiences, potentially leading to more revenue.

    PPC ads is not only beneficial for new product launches in gaining traction. It can also help your boost your listing’s visibility during special selling seasons like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday Sale, and holiday seasons. As there are various strategies you can implement depending on your purpose, it is important to have a firm understanding of how PPC campaigns work.

    PPC Ads

    Amazon PPC Formats

    There are three types of PPC ads:

    • Sponsored Products: These are keyword-focused ads. Such ads allow you to promote a particular product based on ASINs and keywords. They appear on the search and product detail pages.
    • Sponsored Brands: These ads allow brands to leverage Amazon’s logo, headline, and three of their products. Such ads direct customers to the brand’s page when they click on them. They appear on the search results page in four placements, with one appearing on the top fold while the other three pop up below the fold.
    • Product Display Ads: These ads direct a prospective buyer to a product’s detail page. Such ads are ideal if you use interest and customer targeting to deliver relevant ads to prospects who are more likely to buy the item. They appear right below the “Add to Cart” button on the Amazon product detail page and on the right side or bottom of the search results page.

    Why Invest in Amazon PPC Campaigns

    The competition on Amazon has become steeper, and having an effective PPC advertising strategy is critical for businesses of all sizes to capture the most sales. With millions of products on Amazon, your listings can easily get lost in the noise without the help of ads.

    A major benefit to note is that advertising with Amazon gives you exclusive access to their search-query data, which can not only drive the success of your ad campaign through the roof, but also improve your organic visibility. Anyone with an active Amazon seller account is eligible to advertise products through Amazon PPC.

    Amazon PPC Costs

    You control your daily advertising budget. Amazon only charges for the number of clicks you receive on your ads. How much you spend for a click vs. the maximum amount you want to spend in a day is entirely up to you. The amount you pay will depend on how aggressively you want to market your products.

    Amazon PPC Costs

    Amazon will deduct the advertising fees from your seller account balance during the invoice period. In the event your account does not have enough balance, the fee will be deducted from the credit card associated with your seller account.

    Creating an Amazon PPC Strategy

    Here are the basic principles of building a solid Amazon PPC strategy:

    1. Test out each type of PPC ad campaign. Play around with automatic and manual keyword targeting to see what’s best for your offerings.
    2. Perform detailed keyword research, focusing on both related keywords and competitor products.
    3. When starting out, set daily budgets and default bids 50%–100% higher than what Amazon recommends.
    4. Let ad campaigns run for at least two weeks before running reports and making adjustments.
    5. Use ad reports from your automatic campaigns to discover keywords for your manual campaigns.
    6. Before adjusting or removing a keyword from a manual campaign, make sure the keyword gets at least 10 clicks.
    7. Review your ad reports once a week, subtracting, adding, and adjusting keywords as needed.

    Amazon PPC Best Practices

    Here are a few PPC optimization strategies and best practices to help improve your campaigns:

    Use Automatic Campaigns for Keyword Research

    Automatic campaigns are a great source of new keywords and data. In automatic campaigns, Amazon does most of the work for you. It needs little oversight as Amazon automatically bids on relevant keywords while often finding high-converting keywords, which are based on historical data and the content of your listings. These keywords should then be moved to your manual campaigns for further optimization.

    Bid on Long-Tail Keywords

    This is great for sellers launching a new product wherein there is not yet enough sales history and social proof. Instead of targeting high-volume keywords, bid on long-tail keywords so you won’t burn the advertising budget. Less competition means lower cost per click – you are sacrificing visibility for healthier margins. As you increase organic ranking and build social proof, you can start adding high-volume keywords to your campaigns.

    Bid on Long Tailed Keywords

    Group Product Variations

    If a product has multiple variations, list them under a parent ASIN. This will make it easier to advertise them, since you’ll be focused on advertising the entire bundle over individual products. This will help you save money and ensure that the products do not compete with each other for an advertising spot.

    Track and Adjust Your Spending Based on Performance

    Over time, you’ll be able to determine which products perform the best in an ad group. To generate the most sales for an ad group – and the best return for your Amazon PPC campaign – remove the products that do not perform well in an ad group. Adjust your bid price to control where on a page your ad will show, and how many clicks you should get. Continue to adjust this until your spending and sales reach an optimal level.

    Keep Watch on the Keywords Your Competitors Use

    If you can discover the keywords that perform best for your competitors, you can implement them into your own campaigns in a strategic effort to gain similar results. While you can determine these keywords manually, the process of doing so can be tedious and time-consuming. As an alternative, you may consider using a paid tool or service to do this work for you.

    Bid Higher When You Add New Keywords

    When you add new keywords to an existing PPC campaign, set a higher bid price at first. New keywords don’t have any history to show, so Amazon has nothing to take into consideration when determining the ad display. Start with a higher bid price to gain some impressions and clicks, then once you’ve gathered some history with this keyword, you can gradually lower your bid price into an optimal “sweet spot.”

    Utilize Negative Targeting

    Most sellers struggle to contain their ACoS because of keywords that don’t convert. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem – negative keyword targeting. When you mark a keyword as “negative,” your products will not be advertised for it. Look out for keywords that drive a lot of clicks but fail to convert as they will drain your ad budget. Also, before moving a keyword to a manual campaign, mark it as negative for the automatic campaign so your campaigns don’t compete against each other.

    Do Regular Keyword Research, Optimize Your Campaigns

    Like listing optimization, keyword research for PPC advertising is never something you should “set and forget.” Amazon search pages get updated several times a day, so make sure to frequently examine your keywords and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

    Bid on Long Tailed Keywords

    Give Your Campaigns Time to Succeed

    You won’t see results right away. That’s just how it works. Be patient and wait for some results to come in before making changes to your campaigns. Continuously optimize your campaigns and use budget caps to ensure you won’t overspend while waiting for results. Monitor impressions and keyword bid prices closely until you reach an optimal level of sales vs. spending.


    Bulletproofing your PPC campaigns so that they’re always profitable can be a challenging endeavor at first, but understanding the few vital fundamentals can help you devise reliable advertising strategies. Amazon PPC is an indispensable part of a seller’s arsenal, and a properly optimized PPC campaign can skyrocket sales and visibility.

    Don’t allow a poorly optimized campaign to cost you. Get in touch with the experts if you need help managing your campaigns. Here at Rank N Bank, we have a specialized team for Amazon PPC – jump on a call with us to discuss your business struggles and goals, and how we can help you achieve them!


    About the Author

    James Hyatt

    James Hyatt is the founder and CEO of Rank N Bank, an Amazon Advertising Agency that prides itself on quick, clear communication, transparent pricing, and industry-leading expertise. He graduated with a degree in Business Management at San Diego State University. A self-made entrepreneur, he has built Rank N Bank with no funding or debt, with the sole purpose to help clients grow their businesses profitably.

    Outside the business sphere, James is passionate about racing sports cars at the well-known Willow Springs Raceway, surfing the famous wave breaks on the East and West coast, and challenging himself out on the mountain trails around the U.S.

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