Amazon Advertising is different in that adverts on Amazon are often ‘in disguise.’  It works on a pay per click (PPC) basis – which is exactly how it sounds in that you pay only when somebody clicks on your advert. Advertising is bought auction style – say you’re selling a digital camera; you would pick a keyword or words to be used in searches and, then, you would decide how much to bid on each word.

1. Amazon PPC Restricted Categories

Before beginning to advertise on Amazon, you will need an Amazon or vendor account.  These are quick and easy to set up and instructions can be found on the menu at the bottom of the Amazon page.

PPC Advertising is not available for all products and, excluded products/services include:

  • Alcohol
  • Free offers or sweepstakes
  • Gambling products or services
  • Medical or pharmaceutical products
  • Aerosols
  • Knives
  • Illegal drugs
  • UV or self tanning equipment

Always make sure that you’re aware of what can and can’t be sold on Amazon before you start as trying to sell or advertise illegal or prohibited items will result in the ad being pulled and, even, in some cases, legal action.

 

2. 10 Tips for optimizing Amazon PPC ads

For a beginner, product ad optimization can be a little confusing and, most will make the odd rookie mistake which can be frustrating and, occasionally, costly.  Below are our Amazon sponsored product tips for optimizing your ad effectively.

(1) Keywords are key

Although it may sound obvious, the secret to success in Amazon selling and Amazon advertising always comes down to the keywords.  In the case of Amazon Advertising, which, essentially, revolves solely around keywords, it is absolutely essential to get this part right.  Serious sellers should invest in a keyword harvesting tool, however, when it comes to advertising, its best to use the ‘search terms report for sponsored products’ which you can find in your Seller Central.  This is a great way of harvesting keywords and making sure that you’re using the right ones to optimize your Amazon PPC.

 

(2) Compare and contrast

For those just starting out with an Amazon PPC strategy, it may not be immediately clear as to whether you should use a manual or automatic campaign.  If budget allows, it’s a good idea to run both a manual targeted campaign and an automatic targeted campaign at the same time when starting out.  Although this may cost a little more initially, it’s a really good way of helping you decide which campaign will work for you as, after a couple of weeks, you can review to see which ad set performed better and then adjust accordingly.

 

(3) Cost and effect

Keep costs down by choosing only specific keywords – when setting up your ad, you will be given the option of Broad, Phrase or Specific when it comes to your keywords.  By choosing ‘Specific’, Amazon will then filter out any searches that do not contain your specific keyword(s).  This can be very helpful with matching in order to make sure that your search is correct – for example, if you are selling champagne flutes, you don’t want your search to contain the musical instrument of the same name!

 

(4) ACoS effective sale

Average Cost Of Sales (ACOS) is the balance between how much you are paying for advertising and how much money you are making from sales.  Although there are no real set rules – this is very much an individual decision depending on whether you’re looking for profit or for increased profile – For those looking to make profit on sales, the ACOS should generally be between 5% and 15%.

 

(5) Keep it specific

Keep campaigns separate and clearly defined for optimum sales. Although you may sell several items of a similar description, specific always works best.  For instance, rather than ‘women’s shoes’, use ‘women’s sandals’ or ‘women’s sneakers’ – remember that this is targeted searching and, people rarely search for ‘women’s shoes’ or ‘women’s footwear’ as they will usually be looking for a specific item.  To give you an idea of how important this is, a search for women’s shoes will net over 200,000 results, whereas a search for women’s sandals gives just 10,000 – both huge figures but filtering results certainly helps.

 

(6) Check out the competition

For an idea of how to advertise on Amazon effectively, take a look at ads for similar products to yours to get an idea of what works.  Well-known brands will tend to employ experienced marketing professionals and so it’s worth taking a leaf out of their book – although it’s not a good idea to simply copy their wording, you can at least get a good idea of what you should be doing.

 

(7) Piggybacking

Staying with the competition, use well-known brands to your advantage by using brand names in your keywords – for example, if you are selling a digital camera, you can use ‘Canon digital camera’ and the search will then automatically link your product to Canon’s, giving your product more kudos.

 

(8) Making a negative-positive

Use negative keywords for greater optimization.  Negative keywords are the words that you wish Amazon to omit from the search.  For example, you may wish to omit the word ‘free’, therefore this would be a negative keyword.

 

(9) Cross link your words

If you’re selling an extra or accessory for a larger product, try linking to that actual product – for example, if you’re selling a laptop case, link your keywords to a popular brand of laptop – this can be really effective as often, somebody looking to buy a brand new laptop will be interested in also buying a case to keep it safe.

 

(10) Keep it professional

It may be stating the obvious but, misspelled words and bad grammar in your ad can quickly turn people off.  Make sure your ad is compelling, professional and correct. If this isn’t your strong point, ask somebody to check the ad for you before going live.

 

3. Does Amazon PPC influence organic rankings?

Yes, because Amazon PPC improves the sales – and therefore the sales history – of a product, it can very much be said to influence ordinary organic rankings.  Although there are no statistics regarding the correlation between Amazon advertising and organic ranking, most sellers say that they saw their organic ranking improve after using Amazon advertising.

 

4. How much should I spend on Amazon PPC?

As mentioned earlier in this article, how much you spend on advertising very much depends on the Advertising Cost of Sales (ACOS).  To think of this in simple terms, it’s like placing a bet – think about how much you can afford to spend and, what the possible return might be in relation to that expenditure.  To find out your ACOS, divide your total ad spend by attributed sales – for example, an $8 dollar ad expenditure which results in attributed sales of $40 would make an ACOS of 20%.

In terms of how much to spend on your advertising, there are no hard, fast rules.  It is, however, a good idea to start low and then measure your results regularly.  This way, you can keep an eye on performance and increase your spend accordingly.

 

5. How to calculate your ideal ACOS

Amazon uses the following to calculate your ACOS – Selling price, Cost of goods sold, FBA fees and miscellaneous variable costs.  You can check your ACOS at any time in the keywords tab on your advert but, essentially, this is worked out by subtracting the COGS, fees and miscellaneous from the selling price.

Perfecting your Amazon advertising strategy takes some practice and patience but is considered to be well worth the effort. Although it can be a little trial and error at first, the good news is that the low costs mean that you shouldn’t lose out too much as you get to grips with the process and,  in time, you’ll find your own tricks and tips to help you keep costs down and sales high!