THE ULTIMATE AMAZON PPC GUIDE:
Create, Run & Optimize Your Amazon Ads in 6 Steps
Do you sell on Amazon? Here are the 6 steps for running perfect Amazon ads:

 (1) LISTING OPTIMIZATION
 (2) ACOS TARGETS
 (3) AUTO CAMPAIGNS
 (4) MANUAL CAMPAIGNS
 14 day wait
 (5) REPORTS
 (6) CAMPAIGN OPTIMIZATION
Amazon PPC Tutorial in 6 Steps
1 Trillion Dollars
What’s in it for you?
 
Amazon. The newest trillion-dollar company.
Amazon current stock price AsteroidX
Millions of shoppers searching for stuff like yours... every second. Sellers that appear on page 1 get very rich, very quickly.

The secret?

You can appear on page 1 instantly using Amazon PPC (pay per click), pitching your product to millions overnight. It’s like nationwide shelfspace at Walmart.
Amazon Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products Ad placements
Even better?
 
Great Thing #1: You ONLY pay when a shopper clicks your product (not just views it). Plus...
Great Thing #2: You ONLY appear when shoppers search words you choose.

Example:

You sell desktop japanese zen gardens.
Amazon ads example
Picture of Japanese zen garden a product
How many would you sell if you appeared on page 1 every time someone types “japanese zen garden”? Lots. Lots of zen gardens.
You’d be…
Example of an Amazon Sponsored Brands ad. They used to be called Headline Ads but Amazon has recently changed the name.
...raking it in.
The Fastest Ever
That’s the magic of Amazon Advertising.
CNBC reports that Amazon Advertising (PPC) is now a billion dollar business, right behind Google and Facebook
2 billion in revenue in 3 months and now Amazon’s #1 fastest-growing service.
Amazon ads are Amazon's fastest growing segment by revenue (yes, even faster than AWS apparently... yikes)
And now, the 3rd largest ad platform in America (after Google and Facebook).
Amazon is now the 3rd largest digital ad platform in the US
Do it right, and you can make millions.
Seller Central screenshot of a seller with more than a million dollars in revenue from Amazon PPC
Do it wrong, and you bleed cash.
 
We’re going to show you the right way (right now!) so you can…
 Send the kids to good schools.
 Help mom if she gets sick (knock on wood).
 Make enough money not to have to worry about money.
 From little listing to brawny best-seller.
 By reading this right now, THAT’S the transformation you’re starting.
Give yourself the gift of this time (essentially a $5000 Amazon ads course for FREE), bookmark it, finish it, and emerge the other side a champion.
You’re about to get years of Amazon ads experience in a few minutes.
Want to delegate your Amazon marketing to an Amazon expert? Try AsteroidX
More of a delegator? Want to skip the learning curve? AsteroidX delivers a 100% “done-for-you” Amazon PPC management service. We have the formula to make money, cut costs, and free your time so you can focus on adding new products. Want ads done right? AsteroidX.me.
 
Or, come this way to see how it’s done...
How Amazon Ads Work
Basics now; details to follow. Ads make you money in 3 steps:
List → Appear → Get the Sale
How Amazon ads work in 3 simple steps: put up a listing, use Sponsored Products, then get more sales
List → Appear → Get the Sale
 
Example:

You sell a vinyl record cleaning kit (ASIN B01MS1GLAT).
An example Amazon listing
It’s in stock; good product, good listing. But sales have been low since launch. So...
 
List → Appear → Get the Sale

You tell Amazon you want to show up in a highly-visible sponsored spot if a shopper types in “vinyl record cleaning kit”, and other hyper-targeted keywords.
Entering keywords under Broad Match Type in Seller Central
Amazon puts you up there.
Amazon customer sees and clicks on a sponsored product ad
You pay per click (PPC) when your listing appears and is clicked. You only pay when a shopper clicks your listing to see more. A real chance to sell.
 
The cost per click (CPC) for 1 click ranges from pennies to a few dollars depending on how many other sellers also want to appear for the keyword.

Who appears first is determined by bid price, relevance, sales history, sugar, spice, and everything nice (i.e. an Amazon algorithm).

List → Appear → Get the Sale

The shopper searches the keyword you chose, you appear up top, they click your ad and go to your listing. They buy.

And just like that, a $1.00 click = a $20.00 sale.

In Amazon terms, this makes the Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) $1 spent and $20.00 back, or 5%. ACoS = spend divided by sales; a “snapshot” metric of ad profitability.
After clicking on your Sponsored Products ad, the customer hits "Buy Now" and you make a sale
Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is.
 
Amazon PPC is simple but not easy. If it were easy, every seller would be on a beach somewhere.
A successful Amazon seller with their partner on a beach
But they’re not. They’re working 9-5 in Nebraska. Sorry, Nebraska, it’s not me, it’s the list.
Nebraska - the most boring state in the US?
Amazon PPC is comprised of countless details separating success from failure.
 
Our experts at AsteroidX have distilled everything into 6 simple steps. Follow and learn how to transform $1 into $3. Forever. This can change your life. A journey of a million dollars begins with a single step...
Step 1 of 6: LISTING OPTIMIZATION
Ultimate Amazon PPC Tutorial Step 1 is listing optimization, also called Amazon SEO
You buy a Sponsored Products ad placement.
 
Here’s what your ad looks like on Desktop (left) and on Mobile (right):
What Amazon Sponsored Products ads look like on Desktop versus Mobile
On Amazon, your ad is your listing; they’re one in the same. Better listing = more ad revenue.
 
And so, listing optimization is Step 1 of Amazon PPC. As they say in Kentucky: “Buying traffic for a bad listing is like pouring water into a leaky bucket.”
Buying traffic for a bad listing is like pouring water into a leaky bucket
Already optimized? Skip to Step 2 of 6. If not or want 100% assurance, optimize these 10 things to get “ad-ready”.
 
Consider: the 1st thing to do is get the ad clicked. The 2nd is get the sale. #1 Click → #2 Sale
#1 Click → #2 Sale
Welcome to “Who Wants to be a Main Photo?”
 
1. Main Photo

So clear, colorful, and alluring that you must click it.

Good: centered, well-lit, defined edges, and reflects exactly what the customer gets.
Example of a good Amazon listing main photo because it's clear, well lit, product takes up 85% of frame, and shows what the customer gets
Bad: off-center, ambiguous “infinity” edges, unclear what’s included.
Example of a bad Amazon listing main photo because it's unclear what the customer is buying
On a technical level: pure white background. No unnecessary props or badges. A 2000px by 2000px square image (so it can zoom once clicked). Cropped tight so 85%+ of the image is filled with product. Save as JPEG.
 
Bad (again): small image, grey background, product small in comparison to overall frame.
Bad example of an Amazon listing main photo because small image, grey background, product small in comparison to overall frame.
Oh, and hire a professional photographer. It pays for itself via additional clicks and conversions. Example: just 1 additional transaction yielding $20 in profit per week = $960.00 after 12 months.
Hire a professional photographer to do your Amazon product photography
Get multiple main photos at various angles to split test which has the highest Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – i.e. clicks divided by impressions.
 
2. Title

When someone sees your title, they should think: “that’s exactly what I’m looking for!”

To make sure this happens, start your title with the “main keyword”, defined as the keyword with the highest traffic and the highest-relevance to your particular product– what the average person on the street would call it. Discover this via Google Keyword Planner Tool and MerchantWords.
Definition of a good keyword for good Amazon SEO
Put your main keyword early in the title because title space is tight (150 bytes on desktop, 75 on mobile).
Desktop versus Mobile Amazon ads
Use this title format:
[BRAND NAME] + [MAIN KEYWORD] + [SECONDARY KEYWORDS]
The perfect Amazon title formula [BRAND NAME] + [MAIN KEYWORD] + [SECONDARY KEYWORDS]
Example of this title formula in the wild:
Example of a good Amazon listing title because it starts with the brand name and hits many main keywords with high search traffic
3. Price

Price so that you’re the best value for money. Price is what you pay, value is what you get.

Customers follow the unspoken rule “expensive = good”, so price equal to or more than similar offers. Rule of thumb: $25+ allows enough margin for ad spend.

Don’t price under $10, or you might be sent to the “Add-on Item” shadow realm where shoppers need to spend a total of $25 to even buy your thing.
Amazon Add-on Item Status - how to avoid becoming an Amazon add on item
4. Fulfill by Amazon (FBA)

By sending inventory to an Amazon warehouse and letting them handle shipping, you get an Amazon Prime badge, alleviating concerns over shipping fees and wait times. Clicks and sales go up.

5. Keyword Density

More keywords = more shoppers are able to find you.

If your listing was a tourist attraction, every new keyword is a new road into town.
Want more traffic going to your Amazon listing? Add more keywords with good search traffic
If your listing has the keyword “collagen” in it, shoppers searching “collagen” can find you and buy from you. Road’s open.
Example of an Amazon listing with lots of keywords in it
If you don’t have the “collagen” in your listing text (even if the product physically does), Amazon won’t be able to tell, you’ll never show up in those 571,600 monthly customer searches, and the road is closed. Sad.
Example of bad Amazon SEO - why? This listing doesn't have any keywords in it and it makes me sad
MerchantWords search volume results for an example keyword
Find keywords using the Google Keyword Planner Tool, MerchantWords, and Amazon search bar suggestions, which will surface new ideas. Keywords appear in order of search volume.
Using the Amazon search bar to suggest and generate new keyword ideas
#1 Click → #2 Sale
6. Other Photos

Use the remaining 6 photo slots to show your product in use by real people. Show faces. This increases conversions because humans project themselves into images of others.

Good: product-only.
Example of good Amazon product photography
Better: product and person.
Example of good Amazon product photography because it has a picture of the product and a human model, which raises conversions
Best: product, people, positive lifestyle association.
Example of a great Amazon product photography because it shows the product's benefits using a lifestyle setting
Again...

Good: product.
Example of good Amazon product photography that increases conversions
Better: product and person.
Example of good Amazon product photography because it uses a human model to show the benefits of the product
Best: product, people, positive lifestyle association.
Amazon product photography that helps sell more units because it features human models and implies a deeper benefit
Also:
 
Photos show your product in context (size, color, use case, etc.) which sets expectations and avoids negative reviews.

7. Use Full Character Limits

It’s different for every category, but typically it’s:

150 title
250 per bullet point
2000 description, and
250 total backend search terms.

Don’t exceed limits or else Amazon may de-index you.

8. Persuasive Text

Start each bullet with 1-3 ALL CAPS words to illustrate the point. Because people read… but not really.
Begin Amazon bullet points with capitalized words to illustrate the primary benefit
Touch on core human needs, of which there are 8:

 Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
 Enjoyment of food and beverages
 Freedom from fear, pain, and danger
 Sexual companionship
 Comfortable living conditions
 To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses
 Care and protection of loved ones
 Social approval

1 sentence can shift the shopper’s perspective and convince them to buy. So, give it some effort.

9. Enhanced Brand Content (optional)

Register your brand via Amazon Brand Registry to enable the use of text and photos in your description, not just text. If you’re new, this can wait.
Here’s a default text description:
Example of a basic HTML formatted Amazon product description
Here’s an EBC description:
Example of an Amazon listing using an Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) description to get a higher conversion rate
10. Be in the Right Category
How you feel when your product is selling in the wrong category on Amazon
An AsteroidX customer was miscategorized by Amazon and it cost them $1000s a month. We caught it, they contacted Amazon Seller Support, and it was changed from Amazon’s end.
 
How to spot it? Look at similar products.

Example: vinyl record cleaning kits.

If you’re in “Media Storage & Organization”...
Check your Amazon category to make sure you're selling in the right subcategory
...and similar products are in different categories...
Troubleshooting your Amazon product category in the event of low sales or no sales
...and your sales are suffering, you may be miscategorized. If so, contact Seller Support to request a manual category change.

PS:

A rant about reviews. There’s an “idea virus” that says you need 10 reviews to run Amazon ads. False.
Do you need reviews before running Amazon ads?
Consider:
 
Will your conversion rate be higher with 1 (positive) review vs. 0? Yes. But...
Will your conversion rate with 0 reviews be 0%? Probably not. Not with good text and photos.

Besides, ads are a good way to get review #1: run ads, get a sale, follow up via Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Service, convert the purchase into review #1.

Now that your listing (i.e. ad) is ready, make sure you don’t lose money. It’s not what you think.
Step 2 of 6: ACOS TARGETS
Ultimate Amazon PPC tutorial step 2 is how to set ACoS targets and understand your real costs of selling on Amazon
Consider:
 
Most sellers use a “spray and pray” approach, losing money without even knowing it. But not you! Here’s the secret to doing it right.
Your True Costs
Example:
 
You sell ASIN B06X9H35QN. Nice bundling.
Example of an Amazon listing using a product bundling strategy
Collect these 4 pieces of info (Amazon definitions below):
 
 (1) ASIN =
 (2) Retail Price =
 (3) Cost per Unit to Ship to Amazon FBA =
 (4) Cost Per Unit from Supplier =

(2)
Amazon definition of Item Price
(3)
Amazon Seller Central definition of the cost of shipping items to an Amazon FBA warehouse
(4)
Amazon Seller Central definition of the Cost of Product, also called your COGS or Cost of Goods Sold
A few moments later…
A few moments later
 (1) ASIN = B06X9H35QN
 (2) Retail Price = $32.70
 (3) Cost per Unit to Ship to Amazon FBA = $1.25 (standard average; from your supplier)
 (4) Cost Per Unit from Supplier = $10.00 (standard average; from your supplier; aim to 3x your money)

Pop these 4 figures into the Oscar-nominated Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue Calculator.

The Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue Calculator
Enter your ASIN and hit “Search”.

Then, enter the other 3 figures (#2 is at your discretion; #3/4 were negotiated with your supplier):

 (2) Retail Price = $32.70
 (3) Cost per Unit to Ship to Amazon FBA = $1.25
 (4) Cost Per Unit from Supplier = $10.00
Amazon FBA revenue calculator cost breakdown on ASIN Item Price Cost per Unit to Ship to Amazon and COGS
Hit “Calculate”.
How to use and understand the Amazon FBA revenue calculator
And boom: Amazon forecasts its referral and FBA fees for this ASIN, and now you have all your costs.
Example of Amazon referral fee and FBA fees so that you understand your real costs of selling on Amazon and protect your margins
For the 1st time, here are your unit economics in 1 place: 

 + $32.70 in revenue
 - $2.62 Amazon referral fee
 - $3.25 Fulfillment by Amazon fee
 - $1.25 to ship to Amazon
 - $10.00 Cost of Goods Sold
 - $2.50 buffer (overhead, apps, etc.) - added for realism; this isn’t in the calculator
 = $13.08 Net Profit

You pocket $13.08 of each $32.70 sale. The light blue chunk is your profit.
The profit margins of selling on Amazon FBA - is it worth it?
$13.08/$32.70 = 40% Net Margin (i.e. for every $1.00 earned, you pocket $0.40).

Aim to keep $0.40+ on the dollar (40%+ net margins). Why?

The more profit per sale, the more you can spend to acquire a customer through ads, the more sales, the higher your Amazon ranking, the more sales, etc. It’s a loop.
How to make money on Amazon so you can invest in Amazon Advertising pay per click
Break-Even ACoS
At what point is a sale neither a profit nor a loss (break-even)? In our example above, it’s 40%.

i.e. we can spend up to $13.08 on Amazon PPC clicks to get 1 sale of $32.70 in revenue (40% margin). We don’t make money; we don’t lose money, either.

This point is our “break-even ACoS”.

Therefore, you know each sale is profitable as long as ACoS is below 40%.

Zooming in on our profit...
How much money can you make selling on Amazon?
Think of this blue 40% chunk as our ammo; the fuel to run Amazon ads that reliably get customers every single day, increase ranking, and get reviews.
Ideal ACoS
“Isn’t the ideal ACoS 1%? Like… as low as possible?” you ask.
 
Not always. Some sellers want a higher ACoS.

It’s 2 different strategies:
AsteroidX Amazon PPC Management Service Approach to running Amazon ads - Aggressivo or Prudente
Aggressivo sellers want an ACoS of break-even or above (50%+) to get ranking and reviews. Increased ranking = more organic sales, which pay for the PPC spend later. Delay profit to grow the company. Used to launch new products and break into competitive markets. 

This brings you a larger total number of sales, but sometimes the cost of getting each sale is more expensive because not only are you bidding for longtail keywords (“japanese zen garden” for selling japanese zen gardens), but also broader, general keywords like “meditation” or “office decor”. These general terms still get sales, but fewer people in 10 will buy because it’s less specific.

Prudente sellers want a lower ACoS (35% or less) to get profitable sales from Day 1. Profitable unit economics over high sales volume; slow and steady. Used if the current ACoS is too high (100%+), or if the company is on a budget.

This brings you a smaller total number of sales, with each sale having a higher profit margin because you’re bidding for keywords you know will work (“japanese zen garden” for selling japanese zen gardens), bidding lower, and intentionally leaving out or limiting broader keywords like “meditation” or “office decor”, which can bring more sales but at a higher ACoS.
Amazon PPC strategy - new product launches, competitive niches, cutting wasted ad spend
Back to your 40% profit.
Estimated profit of selling a product on Amazon FBA
Now that you know your number, you can play with it to reach your goals.

On one side of the spectrum:

A1: Very Aggressivo: $15.00 spent to get a sale, -$1.92 in profit. $32.70 in revenue and $15.00 in ad spend = 46% ACoS. You lost a couple bucks, maximizing for sales, ranking, and reviews.
Aggressive Amazon pay per click ad spend
A2: Aggressivo: $12.95 spent to get a sale, $0.15 in net profit. $32.70 in revenue and $12.95 in ad spend = 40% ACoS. You broke even, increasing your sales, ranking, and reviews.
Reinvesting your Amazon profit margins into Amazon PPC advertising to increase rank and BSR and reviews
P2: Prudente: $6.54 spent to get a sale, $6.54 in net profit. $32.70 in revenue and $6.54 in ad spend = 20% ACoS. You pocketed $6.54. Cash now, and perhaps a lower overall number of sales.
Mixed Amazon PPC strategy using some profit margins to get ranking, and some is kept as profit
P1: Very Prudente: $1.30 to get the sale, $11.78 in profit. $32.70 in revenue and $1.30 spent to get a sale = 4% ACoS. You pocketed $11.78. Lots of cash now, and a lower overall number of sales.
Very Prudente Amazon Advertising strategy with a high profit margin per unit
The story of a new ASIN is usually like this...

Start Aggressivo, get the sales required to rank on page 1 organically, see organic sales, lift foot off the gas, prune ad spend, enjoy long-term profitability.

Over time, ad spend decreases and profit increases. But, not overnight. AsteroidX produces quick wins in 30 days, but sees profit at scale in about 90 days.
Strategic progression from high Amazon PPC ad spend to less ad spend and more profit
Recap:

Step 1 of 6: your ad (listing) is optimized.
Step 2 of 6: break-even ACoS and strategy confirmed.

Let’s run some flippin’ ads.
Step 3 of 6: AUTO CAMPAIGNS
Ultimate Amazon PPC Walkthrough Step 3 is running good Auto Automatic Campaigns
Recall: our vinyl record cleaning kit.
 
Shopper types a keyword, your ad appears.
Example of how your Sponsored Products ads will appear at the top of page 1 of Amazon.com search results
This structure is called “Sponsored Products”. There are 2 types of ads under this SP umbrella: Automatic and Manual (there’s also Sponsored Brands, but more on that in Step 6).
There are 2 types of Amazon ads - Amazon Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands (formerly headline ads)
So:
 
Auto: Amazon chooses the keywords you appear for. 
Manual: you choose the keywords you appear for.

Automatic campaigns discover new, longtail, profitable keywords you may not have thought of (since Amazon picks the keywords).

Manual campaigns use handpicked keywords you know make sales. 100% control over bids and match types.
It’s a funnel. A 1-2 step. Auto finds ideas, Manual thoroughly cashes in on those ideas.
The difference between Auto and Manual Amazon ad campaigns
To use a diamond metaphor: “Auto mines, Manual shines”.
Automatic Campaigns are for discovering new keyword ideas which get moved to Manual campaigns
More on this relationship:
Amazon Automatic Campaigns versus Manual Campaigns all differences and uses explained
AUTOMATIC:

 - Pro: discover new, longtail, profitable keywords you may not have thought of. Test with low effort.
 - Con: bids equally on all keywords (good, bad, and ugly). Spray and pray.
 - Spend: 50% of your daily spend on Day 1, 20% by Days 60-90.
 - Setup: easy - 2 minutes each. Keywords picked by Amazon.
 - Maintenance: check Search Term reports weekly to add negatives, move winners to Manual.
 - Bidding: 1 bid for all keywords
 - Negative Keywords: yes
 - Pausing Keywords: no
 - Fun Fact: can also show up in competitor ASINs, whereas Manual ads can’t.

MANUAL:

 - Pro: create high-profit, low ACoS campaigns at scale. Lots of sales volume. Test specific ideas.
 - Con: more complex and higher maintenance. Lose money if left unattended.
 - Spend: 50% of daily spend on Day 1, 80% by Days 60-90.
 - Setup: moderate - 10 minutes each. Keywords picked by seller.
 - Maintenance: check Seller Central weekly to add negatives, adjust bids, and pause.
 - Bidding: 1 controllable bid for each individual keyword (along with suggested bids).
 - Negative Keywords: yes
 - Pausing Keywords: yes
 - Fun Fact: Manual campaigns are not fun. They are serious.

We’ll run both from Day 1. We’ll create Autos first.
Amazon PPC Automatic targeting uses the top relevant customer searches based on your product information
Amazon says that Auto campaigns use “your product information” (i.e. your listing text) and Amazon’s historical sales data to guess which keywords will make sales.

That’s why you researched and added keywords to your listing in Step 1 of 6... right?
Example MerchantWords estimated Amazon search volume for a keyword
Without keyword density, your Auto won’t work properly.

What? You skipped it? Jump back to Step 1, point #5. It’s cool...
Optimized? OK.

Let’s run our Autos.

Before hopping in, let’s clarify terms. It’s like Russian nesting dolls– one element is housed inside another.
Amazon ad campaign structure is like Russian nesting dolls
Your ASIN is your listing– your product; what you sell.
Amazon PPC Campaign Structure Explained ASIN Auto Manual Ad Group and Keywords
Your ASIN is promoted via Campaigns (Auto and Manual).

Inside Campaigns are Ad Groups, a group of ads sharing the same set of keywords and products.

And inside Ad Groups are keywords, the particular searches for which ASINs appear.
Set Up Your 1st Auto Campaign
Go to Amazon Seller Central and hit:
 
Advertising > Campaign Manager > Create Campaign > Sponsored Products

Which brings us here:
How to create a Sponsored Products campaign in Amazon Seller Central
You’ll see...

 Campaign name = [ASIN or Product Line]_[Automatic]
 End date = 14 days from now
 Daily budget = $25/day or more
 Targeting = Automatic targeting
In Seller Central picking an end date and a daily budget for our Amazon PPC campaigns
End date: why 14 days?

Amazon reports PPC sales 48 hours after the fact. Sales can be attributed up to 7 days after the initial click (e.g. shopper clicks, leaves, comes back later, buys). Welcome to Lag City, population: you. And 2 million other sellers.
How many 3P third party sellers are there on Amazon? Millions
And growing.
Percentage of paid units sold by third party sellers on Amazon platform is over half
Daily budget: why $25/day?

It’s a limit; a ceiling. You won’t spend more than this each day in this Auto. The average Amazon-wide cost per click (CPC) is currently ~$0.80, so $25/day = ~30 people to your listing. A healthy Amazon conversion rate = 10%, so expect 1-3 sales a day from a $25/day budget.

Recall:

Auto = 50% of your total daily ad spend. If you spend $25/day here on Auto, prepare to spend another $25/day on Manual for a daily total of $50.
Spend more if possible. Less, and ads aren’t served all day. 

Amazon says:
Most Amazon PPC campaigns with a budget over $30 run throughout the day
“Don’t ask a barber if you need a haircut” – of course Amazon wants more spend.

 
But, in this case, we find it to be true. You need data on which keywords work, anyway, so why not expedite? It can take 2 weeks or 2 months for the same result. Up to you!

Next:

Select which products you want this Auto Campaign to promote.
How to create an ad group for an Amazon PPC campaign
If you have 1 ASIN, “Add” that. 1 Ad Group per ASIN is best because you’ll understand sales results on a product-by-product basis.

If this 1 ASIN has multiple SKUs (color, size, etc.) make 1 Ad Group per SKU to understand sales among variations.

If you have 100s of ASINs and making separate Autos is impractical, run 1 Auto per group of closely related products.

Name your Ad group after any of the above. Example: you’re auto company “Atlantic British”.
Example Amazon brand storefront
1 ASIN = B07FNGNJQP. It would be best if it had its own Auto campaign.
Example Amazon listing page
But, you have multiple wiper ASINs with keyword overlap, so throw all in 1 Automatic.
Grouping similar ASINs into the same Amazon ad group
Finishing up this Auto:
In Seller Central setting a Default bid and negative keywords for an Amazon PPC campaign
Default bid = you won’t spend more than this per click. You’ll probably spend less. The current Amazon-wide average is $0.80. Benchmarks:

$0.50 for a non-competitive niches: arthritis silverware, lizard hammocks, beekeeping supplies
$1.50 for average niches: Sports & Outdoors, Home & Kitchen, Tools & Home Improvement
$3.00 for competitive niches: supplements, health, Beauty & Personal Care, phone cases

Negative keywords = leave blank. This specifies keywords you don’t want to appear for. Since this initial Auto is for discovery, anything goes.
Amazon Advertising Yellow Launch Campaign Button
Hit “Launch Campaign” and your Automatic is up. Leave it for 14 days.

What to expect from your Autos:

 A higher ACoS (because Auto bids on high, mid, and low relevance keywords alike)
 A maximum total ad spend of $350 (14 days x $25/day)
 1-3 sales per day assuming a $25/day budget and a 10% conversion rate

Next: Manual.
Step 4 of 6: MANUAL CAMPAIGNS
Amazon PPC guide step 4 is how to run Manual campaigns
Recall:
 
 Auto finds new keyword ideas; it plants seeds.
 Manual grows seeds into full, profitable campaign trees.
Find new keyword ideas with Automatic campaigns and then grow them using Manual campaigns
Start with a 50/50 daily budget distribution: 50% Auto, 50% Manual (i.e. $25/$25, $50/$50, $100/$100, etc.). Over time, shift spend from 50% Auto/50% Manual to 20% Auto/80% Manual. Or more.
 
PS:

Already a pro? Got keyword themes to test? Allot more to Manual off the bat (e.g. 60/40, 80/20).
Set Up Your 1st Manual Campaign
Seller Central > Advertising > Campaign Manager > Create Campaign > Sponsored Products > Manual Targeting
In Seller Central setting up a Manual campaign giving it a Campaign name start date end date and daily budget as well as Automatic or Manual targeting
 Campaign name = [ASIN or Product Line]_[Manual]
 End date = No end date
 Daily budget = $25/day or more
 Targeting = Manual targeting

As in Auto, choose the ASINs this Ad Group will promote.
Creating an ad group for our Amazon ads and picking which products to add
 Ad group name = Broad
 Products = the ASIN or group of related ASINs.

If your ASIN has different SKUs (e.g. color or size variants) add only 1 right now. Always advertise SKUs separately to understand sales performance among variants.

What Manual has that Auto doesn’t? Keywords and bids.
How to pick a default keyword bid in Campaign Manager in Seller Central and Bid+ bid plus
In Auto, you can’t choose which keywords you appear for (it’s... Amazon’s choice) and you have 1 default bid for all keywords.
 
In Manual, you handpick every keyword you appear for and how much you pay for each click.
Select a default bid in Seller Central and not using Amazon feature bid+ bid plus
 Default keyword bid = $0.75 is fine. It’s unimportant because we’ll soon set bids on a keyword-basis, overriding this default bid.
 Bid+ = leave unchecked - Amazon raising your bids beyond suggested? No thanks.

 Select “Enter keywords” instead of “Suggested”.

“Enter keywords” gives you this…
How to enter keywords into an Amazon ad campaign
A crystal clear canvas.
Which keywords do you enter?
 
Simple: if a shopper types this keyword, they buy. This initial Manual campaign will represent our “best guess” at these keywords. A hypothesis.

Example:

Let’s make a Manual campaign for your world-famous lizard hammocks. Think of Manuals in 3 steps:
Doing keyword research for an example Amazon product your world-famous lizard hammocks
1. Get Ideas → 2. MerchantWords → 3. Enter into Campaign
1. Get Ideas

4 places to source fresh keyword ideas:
 
 (1) Google Keyword Planner Tool
 (2) Visuwords
 (3) Other Amazon listings
 (4) Amazon autocomplete

(1) Google Keyword Planner Tool. Punch in a main keyword (e.g. “lizard hammocks”).
using Google Keyword Planner Tool to get keyword ideas and suggestions
This generates suggestions.
Google Keyword Planner Tool results
Write down relevant ones…
getting new keyword ideas for Amazon SEO using the Google Keyword Planner Tool
 lizard hammock
 bearded dragon hammock
 reptile hammock
 reptile hammock bearded dragon

Search related terms. Look around. Then, once the Planner is dry, use other sources to keep building the list.

(2) Visuwords.com delivers a keyword map for “lizard” (which moves like jello, so that’s 10 points for Gryffindor).
using Visuwords to get keyword ideas for good Amazon SEO
Our list has:

 lizard hammock
 bearded dragon hammock
 reptile hammock
 reptile hammock bearded dragon

via Visuwords:

 gecko hammock
 lounge lizard
 night lizard

(3) Other Amazon listings. Search related keywords and comb listings for ideas (title and text).
manual reverse ASIN lookup for keyword ideas from competitor Amazon listings title bullets description and search terms
Our list has:

 lizard hammock
 bearded dragon hammock
 reptile hammock
 reptile hammock bearded dragon
 gecko hammock
 lounge lizard
 night lizard
via other listings:
 lizard lounger
 bearded dragon
 iguanas
 hermit crabs
 mesh

(4) Amazon autocomplete shows keywords based on what you type (keywords with the highest search volume appear first).
using Amazon autocomplete to generate new keyword ideas for building manual Amazon PPC campaigns
Honorable mention: Thesaurus.com. Sometimes helpful. But also... sometimes not.
using other websites like Thesaurus.com to get Amazon keyword ideas
2. MerchantWords

Plug your list into MerchantWords, which estimates monthly search volume. Thanks to MW, you know which keywords are best (i.e. searched most).
How to use MerchantWords the Amazon keyword research tool
3. Enter into Campaign

Compile a list of 10-100 keywords you really think will generate sales.

For lizard hammocks, your keyword list may look like this.

 (main variants)

lizard hammock
xl lizard hammock
large lizard hammock
reptile hammock
xl reptile hammock
small reptile hammock
lizard lounger
lizard lounger chair
reptile lounger

 (specific kinds of lizards)

gecko hammock
bearded dragon hammock
iguana hammock

 (similar but not exactly the same)

lizard terrarium
lizard terrarium supplies
lizard furniture
reptile terrarium
reptile furniture

Enter these keywords with the Match Type “Broad” selected:
Entering keywords into a Manual Amazon PPC campaign under the Broad match type
Then hit “Add keywords”.

Next: negative keywords.
The option to add negative keywords to your Manual Amazon PPC campaign
Leave blank. This specifies keywords you don’t want to appear for. But, since this initial Manual is for discovery (and sales, but mostly discovery), anything goes.

 
Got your Manual keywords entered as Broad Match Type? Hit “Launch campaign”.
Launching an Amazon PPC campaign by pressing this yellow "Launch campaign" button
You should now have 2 campaigns running: 1 Auto, 1 Manual. Each at $25+/day.
Running both Auto and Manual Amazon PPC campaigns at the same time
Now, return to your existing Manual campaign by clicking its name:
How to view the Ad Groups and Keywords of an Amazon PPC campaign by clicking the name in Seller Central
Hit “Create ad group”.
Click Create ad group in Amazon
Then, enter your same “lizard hammock” Manual keyword list again. Twice. Once for each of the 2 other Match Types:
 
 Phrase
 Exact
 (we’ve already done Broad)

Entering the same keyword in triplicate guarantees you’ll know which Match Type gets best results.

To wax philosophical for a sec… why do this? If a keyword falls in the forest, does it get the click? What are Match Types?
If a keyword falls in the forest, does it get the click? What are Match Types?
“Keyword match types determine how relevant a shopper’s search has to be to trigger your ad.” - Abraham Lincoln
For Amazon Sponsored Products, what is the keyword match type and how does it work?
Example:
Amazon PPC Match Types Explained by an Amazon PPC expert Broad Phrase and Exact
Broad Match: most reach, least precision. You enter “lizard hammock”. You show up for...

 “lizard hammock” (exact)
 “hammock lizard” (keywords in any order)
 “best lizard hammock”, “lizard hammock gecko” (additional words before or after)
 “hammock for lizards” (different word order)
 “coolest hammock for pets”, “reptile hammock” (other terms Amazon thinks relevant)

Phrase Match: mid reach, mid precision. You enter “lizard hammock”. You show up for…

 “lizard hammock” (exact)
 “best lizard hammock”, “lizard hammock gecko” (additional words before or after)

Exact Match: least reach, most precision. You enter “lizard hammock”. You show up for…

 “lizard hammock” (exact). And that’s it.
Bid Adjustments
The final step of Manual setup: tell Amazon how much you want to pay for each click.
Click on your Manual campaign, then Ad group > Keywords
How to do Amazon PPC bid adjustments
Some background:
What is the maximum default bid in Amazon PPC campaigns?
Set all keyword bids to Amazon’s “Suggested bid” by hitting “Apply” next to each CPC.
How to apply the suggested bid in Amazon PPC campaigns
Most sellers stop here. But not you. You’ve got... the AsteroidX factor!
  
You see...

Most sellers pick “Suggested bid”, making this CPC the “LA traffic” of Amazon advertising.

You can enjoy more clicks without spending (much) more by adding 3% to each suggested bid. You bid a fraction more, but win exposure because you win the bid auction more often.

3% usually means a 5 to 10 cent raise (and if you’ve got hustler’s ambition... 50 Cents).
Increasing your bids higher than Amazon's suggested bids so that you get more ad impressions clicks and sales
Consider:
  
You won’t always pay your max bid. This number tells Amazon: “I’ll pay up to $2.12 for someone to click my ad.” In our experience, the CPC will be under your max.

You might be thinking of working with AsteroidX. Well… we’ll monitor your bids 24/7 to maximize clicks while maintaining your ACoS numbers from Step 2 of 6. Let’s chat.

Another reason for bidding higher? Not all campaigns are created equal. In general...

 New campaigns = worse visibility.
 Old campaigns = better visibility.

Amazon is less likely to display keywords from new campaigns because they lack traffic and sales history. To overcome this, bid higher to “force” visibility initially, then scale down over time.

We’ll lower bids in Step 6 of 6 once we have sufficient data.
14 DAY WAIT
Step 5 of 6: REPORTS
Complete Amazon PPC Tutorial Step 5 is how to analyze Amazon Search Term Reports from Seller Central
If you’re reading this and your ads haven’t run for 14 days yet, keep going so you know what to expect. In entreneurship, “the best surprise is no surprise”. Good for your blood pressure, too.
  
Amazon PPC Troubleshoot

Have your Auto and Manual ads run for 14 days? Cool.

Let’s see if they worked.

First, we’ll get a top-level, “Macro” view using Campaign Manager, then see “Micro” details via Search Term Report.
How to analyze Amazon PPC results using Amazon Campaign Manager and downloading the search term report
Campaign Manager (“Macro” Ad Analysis)
Big picture time.
Campaign Manager is like one of those trendy gender reveals. One glance and you know the gender; but for specifics like eyes, hair color, and if they got your pointy eyebrows, you’ll need your Search Term report.
  
But enough stalling.

Click Advertising > Campaign Manager. Brace yourself.

You’ll see 1 of 4 possible outcomes, here: 1 good, 2 moderate, and 1 bad. The matrix looks like this:

 Outcome #1: Good - HIGH SALES, LOW SPEND
 Outcome #2: Moderate - HIGH SALES, HIGH SPEND
 Outcome #3: Moderate - LOW SALES, LOW SPEND
 Outcome #4: Bad - LOW SALES, HIGH SPEND
Troubleshoot Amazon PPC results for sales spend and ACoS advertising cost of sale
Let’s chat about each.
 
Outcome #1: Good - HIGH SALES, LOW SPEND

If you got Outcome #1, your ad account looks something like this:
Amazon Seller Central screenshot example of a seller with high sales and low spend and low ACoS of 11%
Your Sales far exceed your Spend.

Which means, dividing Spend by Sales, your ACoS is beautifully low. When Amazon Advertising serves your product as an ad, it sells.
 
The listing’s categorized correctly, bids are high enough to serve ads, you get clicks, you convert. In Step 6 of 6, you’ll leverage this out-of-the-gate success to scale sales and cut what little spend you have, Mr. 10% ACoS (when I say “Mr.”, I’m just playing the odds). Here's my YouTube gender distribution:
Asteroid Aim YouTube channel gender distribution
Wait… what do you mean your Campaign Manager doesn’t look like this?

Just kidding. Welcome to the club.

If you achieve Outcome #1, congratulations. Jump to Step 6 of 6.

If this isn’t you, that’s “orl korrect” (Old English for “OK”).
Outcome #1 is unusual off-the-bat. Here’s how to deal with other outcomes...
 
Outcome #2: Moderate - HIGH SALES, HIGH SPEND
Amazon Seller Central screenshot case study of a seller with high sales high spend and high ACoS (advertising cost of sale)
You got sales, but your spend is higher than desired, resulting in a high, unprofitable ACoS.
 
Outcome #2 is the most common outcome for the first 14 days and is still cause for celebration because it means that your ads are served, get sales, and all you need to do is trim the fat (i.e. reduce ad spend on keywords that don’t get results). We’ll do this in detail in Step 6 of 6.

Consider:

We just ran ads for a bunch of Amazon-algo-generated keywords plus a list of our best-guesses. We threw an open-invitation house party and woke up to a few broken vases. Or is it pronounced “vases”? Leave a comment. It’s normal.
Of course some keywords didn’t get sales. By definition, your ads are the worst they’ll ever be.
 
The good news? A subset of keywords did get sales. We’ll grow winners, cut losers, and the ACoS will drop over time.

That’s why AsteroidX conceptualizes Amazon PPC as 90-day process:

 Month 1 is about buying data (high sales, high spend).
 Month 2 is about scaling what worked (higher sales, lower spend).
 Month 3+ is about ongoing optimization (highest sales, lowest spend).

Outcome #3: Moderate - LOW SALES, LOW SPEND

Outcome #3 is the sound of silence. Minimal. Almost poetic, in a way. But also, in a real, more accurate sort-of-way… it sucks.
Seller Central case study of a seller with low sales low spend and high bad ACoS advertising cost of sale
Sales are low. Spend equals or exceeds Sales.
 
At least Outcome #2 had heavy sales volume, letting you chisel your block of ad spend marble into a profit statue.
So...

What does it mean?

Your ads lack exposure. Troubleshooting…

Do your campaigns spend their daily budget? If not, simply increase your bids (e.g. 10%-20% above Suggested), resume running ads for another 7 days, then check back.

But assuming you did spend all (or close to) budget, try this...

 In your Campaign Manager dashboard, hit “Add Metric”:
Amazon Seller Central Campaign Manager Add Metric button
Check your CTR (click through rate). On Amazon, a great CTR is 1.0%. Like, this 0.71% is fine.
Amazon Seller Central Campaign Manager Clickthrough Rate CTR
This is… less fine but still fine.
Example CTR on Amazon in Seller Central
0.065% is “fine” with quotation marks. Take a minute to scream into a pillow. See you.
If your CTR is substandard (e.g. 0.01-0.25%), improve the 3 main on-page Amazon SEO inputs, run ads for another 7 days, and check again.

These 3 inputs are what shoppers see when your ad appears: image, price, reviews.
Example:

2 Amazon Sponsored Products ads, both served on page 1 for keyword “vacation accessories”.
Example Amazon Sponsored Products ads from Amazon.com with good high CTR clickthrough rate
The 1st ad has a higher CTR because:
 
 Photo: bright, punchy main image.
 Price: accessible, competitive.
 Reviews: 10+ 5-star reviews boosting social proof.
 Prime 2-Day Shipping (the seller uses FBA).
 
And a coupon added by the seller. It “pops”. You can do this, too, in Seller Central. For free. Right now.

 Advertising > Coupons > Create a new coupon
How to create a coupon in Amazon Seller Central - Advertising, Coupons, then Create a new coupon
Photo: test a different main photo for the next 7 days to see if it gets more clicks. As suggested in Step 1 of 6, make your photographer take multiple main images for split-testing.

Price: make your price more “approachable” (read: lower). Here’s the Amazon FBA Revenue Calculator (again) to check your margins.

Reviews: send a follow-up sequence of at least 3 messages via Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Service. In these messages:

EMAIL 1: SERVICE - Day of Delivery - Provide service to preempt negative feedback

Good news: your package is out for delivery! Once it arrives, let us know if you have any questions about your order. We love our customers and want to make sure you're 100% happy with your purchase.

EMAIL 2: VALUE - 2 Days Later - Share how to get the most from your product

Find below a special bonus: the Top 10 things you can do to get the most out of the product. And again, if anything seems out of place, let us make it right. Send us a message here on Amazon and we'll do whatever it takes to make you happy. We're here for you!

EMAIL 3: REVIEW - 2 Days Later - Request a review

Can you do us a small favor? As a small business, we thrive on customer reviews. We'd appreciate it if you could leave us one. Your honest opinion! Here's the link to leave yours: [LINK]. Takes 10 seconds. Thank you so much!
How to get more Amazon reviews using a follow up sequence to ask for an honest review
Your review rate (number of customers vs. customers reviewing) can climb from the default 1% to 3-5%.

Other:

- Make sure you’re in the right category (i.e. that Amazon understands your listing)
- Make sure your title starts with the most common name for your product (main keyword)

And again...

If you hear this and think “but Pat, my Amazon SEO fundamentals are sound!” and your CTR is in the 0.5-1%+ range, don’t change a thing on-page.

Instead:

Increase bids. In Step 4 of 6, we set Manual campaign bids to Suggested +3%. Crank to Suggested +10-20% to increase exposure. Run all ads again for 7 days, then check again.

Outcome #4: Bad - LOW SALES, HIGH SPEND

Your ads get clicks, but the clicks don’t convert to sales. Maybe 0 sales; maybe low sales; maybe a 401%+ ACoS (i.e. $4.01 on clicks earns $1 in ad revenue).

Outcome #4 is utterly delinquent; the kids that shoved school papers into their backpacks without a binder.
Amazon Seller Central screenshot of a seller with low sales high spend and a bad high ACoS and what to do if your ACoS is too high
Guidance counselor time. There are 3 possible reasons for Outcome #4...

Reason 1: your ads display in the right places, but your listing is still unoptimized (confusing photos, unappealing price, non-descriptive, reviews are 4-stars or less, etc.) so ad traffic doesn’t buy. If this is the case, don’t be “delusional American Idol contestant”. Admit your listing can’t sing so you can fix it.

Fix: my FREE 30-minute Amazon SEO guide (200k views and seen in Entrepreneur).

Or...

Reason 2: aliens landed in Roswell, New Mexico in June 1947 and the Air Force covered it up.

Or...

Reason 3: your listing is optimized, but Amazon hasn’t correctly classified it (hasn’t “read” your content correctly) and uses low-relevance Sponsored Ad placements.

Fix: ask yourself “is my product in the right category?” If closely comparable products are in a different category, your listing is optimized, and sales are bad… reassess. Contact Amazon Seller Support to request manual category changes. And if you need to escalate, email the office of Jeff Bezos at jeff@amazon.com and get a thorough, well-researched response.

You now know your to fix your Amazon Advertising performance on a “Macro” level.

You know broadly. Next, you will now know specifically...
Search Term Report (“Micro” Ad Analysis)
Download your Search Term report via:

Reports > Advertising Reports > Report Type: Search term > Create report
How to download Search Term Report from Amazon Seller Central and use Advertising Reports to optimize Amazon ads
Make sure “Report period” = the 2 weeks we ran ads, then click “Create report”.

May take a sec.
Open the spreadsheet in your program of choice. Moi, j’utilise Google Drive.
You’ll see lots of data. Don’t let it phase you.

Consider:

The sole purpose of this report is to divide good keywords from bad. Then, to act accordingly.

Even if you got Outcome #2, 3, or 4, you’ve “bought” 2 weeks of PPC data. We can now analyze and act on this data to run better ads.

Opening the report…
Screenshot of a real example Amazon PPC Search Term Report spreadsheet
Aside: like Roswell 1947, this report is a slight cover up. This seller works with us at AsteroidX, so I’ve redacted Campaign Name, Ad Group Name, Keywords, and Search Terms for privacy. But the data’s accurate, which is what we need. If anything, less clutter to look at.

Let’s meet the 4 main characters of the Amazon Search Term Report:
Campaign Name: the internal name you gave the campaign. AsteroidX uses the naming convention “[ASIN or Product Line]_[Manual/Automatic]”.

Ad Group Name (inside Campaigns): groups of keywords advertised under Broad, Phrase, or Exact match type umbrellas.

Keyword (inside Ad Groups): the specific word you put in an Ad Group to try and get sales (e.g. “lizard hammock”). In Auto, Amazon picks the keywords. In Manual, you pick the keywords.
New thing! Search Term Report exclusive...

Customer Search Term: if the Keyword is what you told Amazon to run ads for, the Customer Search Term is what the customer actually searched and clicked.

Note:

The Customer Search Term may be different from the keyword you picked. This is true of keywords entered as Broad/Phrase match types (but not Exact, where you appear only for the, uh, exact keyword you pick).

Example:
You entered keyword “lizard hammock” with Broad match, so Amazon serves your ad when a customer types “reptile tent”. So, Keyword (what you entered) = “lizard hammock” and Customer Search Term (what the customer actually searched) = “reptile tent”.
Let’s make sense of this report.

Seeing Your Sales Results

Sort the doc by Column N “7 Day Total Sales” from highest to lowest. Use “Z → A” so your best-sellers appear first.
Sorting your Amazon Search Term Report by 7 Day Total Sales
Scroll down. Find the row in Column N where “7 Day Total Sales” starts to equal = $0.00.
Sorting an Amazon PPC Search Term Report by Highest Sales
In our example Search Term Report, this point is between rows 135 and 136.
Finding which keywords got sales in your Amazon PPC Search Term Report
Insert a new row. Split the Search Term report into 2 parts with a black line.

 To the North: terms that made sales (rows 1 - 134).
 To the South: terms that didn’t (rows 135 and below).

Which means:

 > 134/4562 (3%) made sales
 > 4428/4562 (97%) didn’t. Sad!
What to do with Amazon Customer Search Terms that did not make sales
You’ll have more or fewer terms depending on spend, number of ASINs, and keywords.
To give you a sense of scale:
Amazon Seller Central PPC Results Screenshot
This particular seller has ~$4000/month in ad spend and gets a 9x return. Good sales volume and a tight ACoS. Visit AsteroidX.me for results like this!

*ahem*

You’ve got “have’s” and “have not’s”.

But also, “super-have’s”. The 1%.

Find the 1%

Of the keywords that made sales (north of the black line), isolate those with more than 1 sale. Sort Column Q “7 Day Total Orders” from highest to lowest.
Sort Amazon Search Term Report based on 7 Day Total Orders
Make another black line separating keywords with 1 sale and >1 sale:
Finding which keywords made the most sales in Amazon PPC
 > 29/4562 (0.64%) of keywords made more than 1 sale.

Of our top 29 superstars, sales are evenly distributed.
How to find your best keywords in an Amazon PPC search term report from Seller Central
You now have 2 black lines in your Search Term Report, denoting 3 tiers:
 
 1. Keywords with 0 sales (no good so far)
 2. Keywords with 1 sale (promising)
 3. Keywords with >1 sale (they’re good; no fluke)

Time to use this data to scale, cut costs, and begin your rightful reign at the top.

It’s time for the most important step: Step 6.
Step 6 of 6: CAMPAIGN OPTIMIZATION
The Ultimate Amazon PPC Guide step 6 is Campaign optimization and bid adjustments
We sliced our Search Term report in 3:

 1. Keywords with 0 sales
 2. Keywords with 1 sale
 3. Keywords with >1 sale
The 3 kinds of Customer Search Terms in an Amazon Search Term Report Good Average and Bad
First, let’s clean up keywords with 0 sales:

 1. Keywords with 0 sales
 2. Keywords with 1 sale
 3. Keywords with >1 sale
PPC Optimization 1: Cut Wasted Ad Spend
Recall: 

Exact/Broad/Phrase match let you specify which keywords you want to appear for.

Similarly:

“Negative keywords” let you specify which keywords you DON’T want to appear for.
How to add negative keywords to Amazon PPC campaigns to optimize them and lower the ACoS
We’ll now make a list of Customer Search Terms we don’t want to appear for going forward. A keyword “blacklist”.

Our Search Term Report is blank for privacy, but Column H in your Search Term Report south of the final black line is full of keywords that didn’t make any sales. The “sad” group.
“No prob” you say, “I pay pennies per click!”
Yes, prob.

Ad spend adds up. Total cost of every Customer Search Term with a click but 0 sales? $1,515.84.

Drilling down...

Sort your “0 sale” section by Spend (Column M) from highest to lowest.
How to calculate all wasted ad spend by downloading an Amazon Customer Search Term Report and filtering the Spend column
The 2 most wasteful terms? $60.48 and $53.59 respectively, which both made $0.00. Prime candidates for free 2-Day Shipping straight out of your campaign, if you know what I mean.
Which other Customer Search Terms should you negate?

Like ACoS in Step 2, it’s up to you.
When should you add negative keywords to Amazon PPC campaigns?
On the one hand:

 - your budget is tight
 - you look at your “0 sale” Customer Search Terms and don’t feel they’re relevant
 - you could negate the entire “0 sale” section

On the other hand:

 - you’ve got a budget to experiment
 - you look at your Customer Search Terms and you feel they’re relevant, but just haven’t paid off yet
 - you could negate nothing, or negate only in part

That said, draw the line somewhere. Don’t leave wasted spend unchecked indefinitely.

Here are 3 criteria you can use to negate keywords despite the allure of future payoff:
Add a term as a Negative Keyword to Amazon PPC campaigns if they have no sales but 10 clicks $10 in ad spend or 1000 impressions
If a Customer Search Term gets 0 sales but...
 
> 10+ clicks, or
> $10+ in ad spend, or
> 1000+ impressions

...then, turn it off by adding it as a Negative keyword. These are approximate, but the ideas are right.

How to negate keywords:

Copy/paste the underperforming Customer Search Terms (NOT the Keywords), then do this:

Advertising > Campaign Manager > (click into a campaign) > Negative keywords > Add negative keywords > Match type = “Negative exact”
A crystal-clear canvas:
Adding keywords as Negative Exact match types in Amazon Advertising menu in Seller Central
Add your blacklist to the Auto and Manual campaigns where the “0 sale” terms originated.

This ensures you won’t advertise for these terms in these campaigns again; daily budget flows to remaining, stronger keywords, “natural selection style”. Amazon regards your campaigns as more relevant over time.

“Negative Keywords”, a haiku:
How to reduce CPC cost per click by adding negative keywords to Amazon Advertising campaigns
PPC Optimization 2: Bid Adjustments (Manual Campaigns)
We’ve now stopped some bleeding (defence). Time to leverage keywords that made sales in our 2-week run (offence).
 
 1. Keywords with 0 sales
 2. Keywords with 1 sale
 3. Keywords with >1 sale

Focusing first on a specific subset of keywords with sales: keywords with higher-than-desired ACoS.

Alright, they made sales, but like… current ACoS exceeds your desired limit from Step 2 of 6.

In our report, ACoS = Column O.
Sorting Customer Search Terms by ACoS in an Amazon Search Term Report from Seller Central
They’ve got potential, so don’t negate them. It’s the “3 Second Rule”: eat the donut (“keyword”) even though it fell on the floor (“high ACoS”).
Don't add a keyword as a negative exact if it has a high ACoS
What to do?

Keep calm and bid lower.

Keep these Customer Search Terms in their current Manual campaigns (they’re not negated like “0 sale” terms). Simply lower their bids inside their current campaigns.

Recall:

Up to now, we bid at “Suggested” or “Suggested +3%”.

Now:

Cut bids by 15% per week to see if you can appear, but at a cheaper cost per click.

Recall:

Amazon determines Sponsored Products placement via dynamic, real-time auction. Bid price is only 1 factor. Others include: campaign age and success, perceived product relevance, listing optimization, product sales history for the keyword, etc.
The Amazon auction algorithm that decides which Sponsored Products ads appear first on Amazon.com US
Even if you bid below “Suggested” CPC, you may still appear if...
 
 - Amazon serves your ad on page 2, 3, 4, etc.
 - Amazon considers your product highly relevant to the search (i.e. likely to convert)
 - others have spent their daily budgets and you appear off-hours (e.g. at night)

2 warnings vis-à-vis decreasing bids:
How to do Amazon PPC bid adjustments properly without losing search volume and sales
Bid Adjustment Warning 1: Don’t de-escalate bids too fast.

Example:

A Customer Search Term has a 200% ACoS and an average $1.50 CPC. That ACoS is too high, so bid at $1.25 this week, then check performance again in 7 days. Don’t “2008 stock market” to a $0.05 bid immediately, or you’ll freefall past your ideal bid, pricing yourself out of the auction.

Bid Adjustment Warning 2: Don’t de-escalate bids without sufficient data.

Just as you set minimum criteria for negating a “0 sales” term, set criteria for bid reduction. Get enough data before making a decision that will limit the scope of your ads.

Example:

Collect at least 1000 impressions (more, like 5000, is better) prior to bid adjustment, as your CPC may self-correct over time. The more data, the more credible the results.

Check back weekly.
The worst Amazon PPC mistake ever
The cardinal sin of Amazon PPC isn’t poor ad performance; it’s not doing anything about poor ad performance.
PPC Optimization 3: Graduating Keywords
We finish with how to treat high-sale, low-ACoS terms:

 1. Keywords with 0 sales
 2. Keywords with 1 sale
 3. Keywords with >1 sale

But before that: a recap.

Here’s what to do with every type of keyword you see in your Search Term Report:
Troubleshooting the 4 different types keywords in Amazon Search Term report based on sales clicks and acos
1. No sales, no clicks, no ACoS = Nothing. Harmless. Ghosts that don’t show in reports.

2. No sales, yes clicks, yes ACoS = Negate some, keep some. Depends on budget.

3. Yes sales, yes clicks, yes ACoS = Bid adjust. If from Manual, keep in their original Manual. If from Auto, graduate to a new Manual to control bids.

4. Yes sales, yes clicks, low ACoS = Graduate to their own manual to control their bids.

In this 4th happy quadrant: your “A Players”.

They have sales; good ACoS; graduated with honors; your heart aches with joy.

These keywords will now start their own “solo careers”.

Consider:
Beyoncé Knowles started her career in girl group Destiny’s Child, overshadowed her peers, then broke into a successful solo career. Same with keywords. 2 weeks in, high-sales, low-ACoS “Beyoncés” emerge and get solo campaigns with more budget, more sales, more visibility.

Here’s how to “graduate” winning terms.

Example:

We sell arthritis silverware.
Great Amazon niche idea using Asteroid Index
Good niche! Rather smart of you... did you use Asteroid Index?

After 2 weeks of ads, slice your Search Term Report in 3 (0 sales, 1 sale, >1 sale). The following 5 Customer Search Terms had >1 sale and ACoS under desired limits:

 arthritis silverware
 arthritis silverware set
 adaptive utensils
 grip cutlery
 senior silverware

Look at them.

Spot themes in the form of common words and concepts.

 Keywords “arthritis” and “silverware” appear multiple times, so we can pull that thread.
 Keyword “adaptive”. Rehabilitation. Assisted living. Ergonomics.
 Keyword “senior” or “seniors”. Older people. Care.

Themes may include namesakes for your customers (e.g. rock climbers, cyclists, new moms) or product use cases (e.g. surveillance, dark room photography, barbecuing). And if you’ve got some brand recognition, Manual campaigns built around brand names often see high sales and low ACoS.

Got your themes? Now, simply replicate your keyword research process for Step 4 of 6, and build out 2-5 new Manual campaigns around concepts proven by this 2-week run.

To jog your memory, the flow is:

1. Get Ideas → 2. MerchantWords → 3. Enter into Campaign

Tools to generate similar, related keywords:

 (1) Google Keyword Planner Tool
 (2) Visuwords
 (3) Other Amazon listings
 (4) Amazon autocomplete

MerchantWords:

 Quantify and prioritize your keyword ideas using MerchantWords.

Make a New Manual Campaign:

Seller Central > Advertising > Campaign Manager > Create Campaign > Sponsored Products > Manual Targeting
Create a Manual campaign in Amazon Seller Central
Enter these keywords with the same Match Type as they had in their campaign of origin (pre-Beyoncé).

Next, add these same Customer Search Terms as Negative Exact Match to the older Automatic and Manual campaigns that birthed them.

Why? To avoid bidding on them both there and here, in your new campaigns. A keyword shouldn’t exist in 2 places at once. This effectively “moves over” keywords from their old home to a new one.
Now, run your new Manuals for another 14 days, add and negate more keywords based on the data, check in another 14 days, etc.

It’s an exodus of keywords from Automatic to Manual. From guessing to knowing. From testing to control. As keywords move from Auto to Manual, shift a corresponding amount of your daily ad spend.

Example:

Auto: $25/day, Manual: $75/day. You graduate keywords spending $5/day from Auto to Manual. Therefore, your new daily budget distribution is Auto: $20/day, Manual: $80/day.

With enough time and knowledge (knowledge you now have!), Amazon PPC trends to perfection. Not all things in life can be perfect, but your PPC can be.
Ongoing Maintenance
That said, it’s not “set it and forget it”, because customer search volume and bid prices change.
5 things:
Top 5 ongoing things to do to optimize your Amazon ads over time like adjusting bids, sponsored brands, and listing optimization
1. Optimization

Download your Search Term Report 1x/week, check results on a keyword level, and act accordingly. Identify new themes and build dedicated Manual campaigns around them.

2. Bid Adjustments

No exposure on an important keyword? Increase bids. Spending too much on keywords? De-escalate bids by 15% a week.

3. Special Events

New product launches require running Steps 1-6 for the new ASINs. Also, selling hammocks in July? Masks in October? Raise budgets and bids to ride waves of seasonal demand.

4. Sponsored Brands
Amazon Sponsored Products vs Amazon Sponsored Brands ads
With a strong Sponsored Products foundation, experiment with Sponsored Brands. They work like Auto and Manuals, but allow you to advertise multiple products in 1 banner.

Example:

Here are Amazon search results for keyword “gender reveal”:
Amazon Sponsored Brands example from Amazon.com
 Sponsored Brands = multiple products, 1 top banner above results.
 Sponsored Products = 1 product, 1 spot in results.

To be honest, we’ve found these to be a secondary source of revenue (20%), even in cases where they’re effective. Amazon will continue to evolve this ad offering as it continues its move to “brand-centricity”. But for now, Sponsored Brands are an advertising footnote. Once your Sponsored Products ads have stable revenues and you’re looking to expand, give this a try. Works particularly well for products that share a strong common brand or character, form a cohesive set, or are otherwise complimentary.

5. Listing Re-optimization

1 last killer tip, then you get the Amazon PPC Cheat Sheet to summarize everything.

We started with Amazon SEO in Step 1 of 6, and we’re coming full circle.

New idea: put top PPC keywords into your listing.

Amazon PPC data is the best keyword data you have (way better than Google or Amazon estimates) because it’s real sales data that applies specifically to your product.

Any keyword that’s a top performer and not in your listing… add it! You’ll rank for this keyword organically more often, get sales for it, rank more, make more sales, etc.
Amazon listing optimization using Amazon PPC keyword data
At AsteroidX, we call this “listing re-optimization”.

Example:

Imagine that this is your listing:
Main keyword: “silicone baking mat”.

An Auto campaign reveals high sales/low ACoS for keyword “silicone baking pan”, a related item:
Using Amazon PPC data to optimize your Amazon listing SEO and get new product ideas
Update a bullet point to mention that your mat is an “excellent substitute for silicone baking pans”. Consider expanding your product portfolio to include silicone pans. Ask your supplier. Demand verified.

So, PPC data generates:

 - keyword ranking
 - money in the bank
 - and even product development
The Future of Amazon Advertising
As long as people need physical stuff, Amazon (and Amazon Ads) will flourish.

When it comes to high-purchase-intent searches for all physical things, over 50% of searches now start on Amazon, not Google.
Amazon vs Google for online product searches
Because customers want pricing. They want reviews. And of course, they want to buy now with free 2-day shipping.
But, there’s currently a mismatch:

Amazon ads serve a deep need. Remember, it’s Amazon’s fastest-growing segment by revenue.
Amazon Advertising is the fastest growing Amazon service
And yet…

They’re rudimentary. It’s Google AdWords 10 years ago. Facebook 5 years ago. So, start advertising now. Get on top and stay on top.

Want to implement everything you just saw instantly? Hire AsteroidX.

We’re a done-for-you solution that takes care of all of your Amazon ads, delivering great sales and ranking results to 1-person shops to the Inc. 500 alike. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad spend under management every month. And we price based on how much money you actually make, like a partner should.

Check it out now at https://www.asteroidx.me/.

And, to top it all off…
BONUS
The AsteroidX Amazon PPC Cheat Sheet
Want everything in 1 place? Screenshot this now!
AsteroidX Amazon PPC Cheat Sheet - Ultimate Amazon Advertising Guide Free
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