3 opportunities to improve your sponsored ads performance

FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Our advertisers often ask about how to get the best performance out of their sponsored ads campaigns (formerly Amazon Marketing Services). In addition to following optimization tips, we have compiled a short list of commonly missed opportunities that we advise our advertisers to target when building sponsored ads campaigns.

Opportunity #1: Avoid underbidding

Sometimes we see underperforming campaigns with low cost-per-click (CPC) bids (normally below $0.25, but this varies by product category). Starting your campaign with low bids can limit the opportunity to have your ads shown to shoppers. Specifically, the lower your bid, the less likely you are to win an auction, meaning your ad won’t be served in an impression. Plus, a competitive bid can help secure an ad placement, which should lead to more impressions, clicks, and in the end, sales of your product.

Setting a high bid doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay that price for every click. How much you pay is based on your bid and how relevant your ads and keywords are compared to your competitors. Although setting a higher bid may give you a competitive advantage over other bidders, never bid a price you’re not willing to pay for a click.

Opportunity #2: Clean up your keywords

When creating sponsored ads campaigns, deciding which keywords to target can impact campaign performance. As you select keywords for your Sponsored Product and Headline Search campaigns, we recommend you avoid:

  • Too few keywords. If you have a small number of keywords, your campaign will be limited to only those searches. Add all relevant keywords to your products to target your ads. Then, review keyword reporting metrics to find out which perform best and optimize keyword performance over time. We recommend starting with between 20 and 30 keywords.
  • Irrelevant keywords. At Amazon, we start with the customer and work backwards, meaning we prioritize a relevant and helpful shopping experience for our customers. We want to ensure that when a customer searches for something on Amazon.com, their search results meet their expectations and ensure that any advertising shown will improve their shopping experience.
  • Copying or uploading keywords from other pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Although we are a pay-per-click tool, shoppers come to Amazon to search for products and make purchases, which is different from how they use traditional search engines. Amazon searches differently, focused on product categories (e.g., “bluetooth speakers”), brands (e.g., “Bose”), or product characteristics (e.g., “wooden building blocks”). Add keywords to your campaign based on what you might type into Amazon.com to find the product you are looking for.

Opportunity #3: Don’t be limited by daily budget

Using the minimum daily budget may limit your campaign’s performance. A low daily budget could be spent within a few hours, and you could miss out on customers searching for your brand later in the day. You can prevent this down time by checking on your campaigns toward the end of the day to ensure the daily budget you set has lasted through the day. Also, take a look at your average CPC and calculate how many clicks your ad may generate on a given day based on your daily budget. For example, if your ad’s average CPC is close to $0.50 and you set an $8 daily budget, you should expect your ad to get close to 16 clicks (8/0.50) on a given day.

For more tips and best practices for Sponsored Ads, download our Getting Started Guide or visit our YouTube channel to view recorded webinars. If you haven’t started with Sponsored Ads yet, you can get started here.