Optimize Your Amazon PPC Ad Campaigns! 10 Most Common Questions

Learn some basic PPC techniques to protect your advertising budget and improve sales
Seth Kniep
April 20, 2018
Grow your Amazon store
If you’re just starting out on Amazon, there’s a lot to learn about running ad campaigns. To get you started, I want to answer some of the most common questions about running pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns on Amazon, and also give you a few tips for troubleshooting when you run into issues.

1. How do I change my default bid?

In Seller Central, hover over “Advertising,” then click on “Campaign Manager.” Click on the campaign you want to change, then you can click on the default bid to change it.

So, how do you know how much to change your default bid to? If you click on the ad itself, then the “Keywords” tab, Amazon will give you a range of how much you should bid to get to the front page. You can start by using Amazon’s suggested bids, then adjust over time based on how well the ad does.

For example, if the suggested bid is $1.00, anything higher than that should get you to the front page on a search the majority of the time. I like to set my bids 15 to 20 cents higher than suggested.

Now, the keyword “coffee” here has a very high suggested bid of $5.00, but people searching that keyword are probably looking for coffee to drink, not the coffee mugs I’m selling. Every time those people click on my ad, I’ll be spending money, but not making a sale. I can select that keyword and hit “Pause” or “Archive” to stop running PPC ads, either temporarily or permanently.

2. How do I change my daily budget?

After clicking on the campaign for the product you’re advertising, click the “Campaign Settings” tab.

Once you have some reviews to make your product look desirable to customers, you can start running ads. Ads will help you figure out which keywords are most successful for your product. If you run an ad for just one week, you can look at your search term reports to see which keywords are actually making you money.

I recommend setting your daily budget at $45 or more at the beginning when you are collecting keyword data and then later you can drop it to $15/day. If you set your budget too low, it might get used up early in the day, which means fewer people seeing your ads. $15 per day is only $105 per week, and if your ads are successful, that’s a good investment.

3. What if people outbid me when I’m not watching and my ad doesn’t show up on Amazon anymore?

The solution to this problem couldn’t be simpler. If you don’t always have time to check your ads every day, just click on “Campaign Settings” again and turn on the option “Bid+.”

This option will raise your bid by 50% whenever someone starts to outbid you, so you can be sure your ad makes the front page.

4. How much should I spend on my ad?

This depends on your capital, your budget, and your profit margins, but as a general rule, I invest $800 on a new product for one week, split between an automatic ad campaign and a manual ad campaign. This should give you enough feedback and data on keywords to adjust and improve your ad campaigns in the future.

You should also keep in mind that your entire daily budget won’t always be used up. You might have a max of $15 per day, but only use $10 one day, and just $5 the next.

5. How do I set up an ad campaign for a product with variations?

Exactly the same way you do with any other product! You can’t actually run an ad campaign on a parent listing, only on the child listings. When you create your new campaign, fill out the basic information as you normally would. Then, when you choose the products to advertise, just select each child product. That’s it!

6. What if I get high clicks but low conversions?

This means a lot of people are clicking on your ad, but not many are buying your product. So, the problem isn’t the visibility of your listing, but the desirability. If this happens, there are two things you should look at: the price of your product and your main product photo. Is your price competitive? Is your main photo high quality and big enough to stand out?

Another thing that can help here is differentiation. Differentiating your product by offering different features or accessories will help you stand out from the competition.

7. What if I get zero impressions for a keyword?

This means no one is clicking on your ad! There are a few reasons this might be happening.

You might need to rearrange the keywords in your title, to put the most obvious keywords at the beginning of the title. Many people will just glance at the first few words and won’t click if they don’t see what they’re looking for.

This might also happen if the market is very saturated. You might be selling a white rubber ball – along with everyone else on Amazon. In this case, you picked the wrong product to sell, and need to find something with less competition.

Lastly, you might just need to contact Seller Central to see if there’s something wrong with your ad. This can happen, but luckily Amazon’s support is very helpful!

8. What if my advertising budget is drained very quickly?

One potential issue here is that your advertising budget is dependent on your product category. Products in the health category, for example, have more expensive keywords, with bids up to $6 to $8 per click. Fifty of those clicks, and your entire budget is gone in minutes. Make sure you have a good understanding of what your category demands when budgeting for ad campaigns.

There might be something else draining your advertising budget, though: click fraud. This means your competitors are finding your ads and clicking on them over and over to intentionally drain your budget. If you suspect click fraud, contact Amazon. If your competitors are caught doing this, their accounts will be suspended.

9. What if the ASIN is added as one of my keywords?

Sometimes, when you look at the keyword search term report, you’ll see an ASIN as a keyword. How does this happen? Well, if someone searches for a product, clicks on it, but then clicks on a recommended product on the same page, Amazon thinks they searched for the ASIN of that product, and adds it to the automatic ad campaign. If this happens, just pause that keyword, or put it in your negative keywords.

10. What if Amazon says my product is ineligible for ad campaigns?

There are a few different reasons this might happen. For example, if you’re out of inventory, you obviously can’t run an ad for that product.

Other reasons a product might be ineligible for ad campaigns depend on category. If you’re selling in the sexual wellness category, you can’t run ads. If you’re selling in the jewelry category, you need to be ungated to advertise, separately from being ungated to sell in the category.

Your product might also be ineligible for ad campaigns if you don’t have the buy box. If someone else is selling that same product, but they have the buy box, you can’t advertise for that product – and you wouldn’t want to, because even if you ran an ad for it, people would most likely end up buying it from the other seller with the buy box.

Hopefully, this clears up a few things about running PPC ad campaigns on Amazon. With the right knowledge and a little bit of troubleshooting, problems with ad campaigns can be easy to solve. By running smart ad campaigns and investing money in the right keywords, you’ll see your investment grow.

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Seth Kniep

Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.

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