Best practices for your Sponsored Products ads
Success tips to help you make the most of your campaigns
Here are the themes we’ll cover in this guide
– William Land, Founder, Empire CaseWhen you want to showcase a new product, you put it where consumers can easily see it. Sponsored Products is like being in the front of the store.
Your products need to be in the right place at the right time to be discovered by interested customers. Sponsored Products ads can connect you with customers looking for items like yours, delivering relevant ads right where they’re shopping on Amazon.
With Sponsored Products, you have control over your ads’ targeting, spend and more. In this guide, we walk you through the options available to help boost your ads’ performance based on your unique business needs.
This guide is best for beginner/intermediate level advertisers who have Sponsored Products campaigns running and want to optimize campaign performance.
First time creating your campaign?
If you haven’t started advertising, we recommend supplementing your studies with our new advertiser success guide.
What is Sponsored Products, and why use it?
Be seen where it matters with Sponsored Products.
Highly visible, contextually relevant
Help customers discover and purchase products that you sell on Amazon with ads that appear in shopping results and on product pages.
Sponsored Products ads take just minutes to create, and also offer you flexible targeting, bidding and budgeting options. No previous advertising experience is required.
- Start running ads in minutes with simple campaign creation
- Choose the products that you want to advertise
- Use automatic or manual targeting (keyword or product*)
- Set your own budget
- Pay only when customers click your ad
- Link shoppers directly to your product detail page
- Products and features may not be available in all marketplaces.
Optimize your products and detail pages
Eight easy improvements you can make to your product listing.
Products and detail pages
When shoppers click your ad, they see your product detail page.
That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that the quality of your product information, as detail pages can have a direct impact on your ad performance and sales.
Here’s a list of improvements you can make today to help get your ads in front of customers, engage them once they reach your product detail page, and ensure they have the right information to make a purchase decision.
- Check if your products display the featured offer
- Keep your products reasonably priced
- Make sure your products are in stock
- Create a strong product title
- Pick products with positive customer reviews
- Feature four or more high-quality, zoomable images
- Include at least three bullet points
- Enhance your product detail page with A+ content
The featured offer is the section of the product detail page where customers can add items to their cart or buy now. We recommend choosing products that regularly display the featured offer to help maximize your visibility and sales (use your business reports to see how often your products are the featured offer). Price products competitively to help boost their chances of displaying the featured offer.
Shoppers may be more motivated to click on your ad, and ultimately make a purchase, if you offer great prices for your products.
Your products need to be in stock in order to be the Featured Offer and eligible for advertising. We suggest having a plan for products that tend to sell out quickly.
An informative, easy-to-read title lets shoppers quickly know key facts about your product; we recommend making titles approximately 60 characters long.
We recommend advertising products with five or more customer reviews, plus a rating of 3.5 stars or higher.
Images can show your product from different angles and highlight important details. Make sure that your images are at least 1,000 pixels in height or width to enable the zoom function on Amazon, so that customers can get a closer look.
Bullet points can give shoppers a clear overview of your product’s key features; consider including contents, uses, dimensions, operational considerations, age rating, skill level and country of origin
Available to vendors as well as sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, A+ content lets you describe your product features using enhanced images, text placements and stories.
– David, AdvertiserWhen you’re creating a product listing, you’re creating a brand story, a product story. Because on Amazon, people shop with their eyes first. [They] look at pictures, look at your title and see if this is what [they] want to consider purchasing. On the detail page, this is the time for [sellers] to really let the customer know why they should purchase their product. Communicate a good story to customers.
Are you a vendor?
Start making improvements to your products in Vendor Central.
Start with automatic targeting
Let us do the work to target your campaigns.
Sponsored Products campaigns offer several targeting options: automatic, manual (keyword and product) and an optional targeting capability for both automatic and manual options – negative targeting.
We recommend running a variety of campaigns together to increase the opportunity for your ads to show to customers and to help you learn which features work best for your products.
Automatic targeting is the easiest and quickest way to get started. We’ll do the work of matching your ads to keywords and products, saving you time and providing you with important insights.
You can also use any of the four automatic targeting match types to support your campaign objectives. Make your selection during or after campaign creation.
|Close match||We may show your ad to customers who use shopping terms closely related to your products.||If your product is “Doppler 400-count Cotton Sheets”, we’ll show an ad when customers use shopping terms like “cotton sheets” and “400-counts sheets”.|
|Loose match||We may show your ad to customers who use shopping terms loosely related to your products.||If your product is “Doppler 400-count Cotton Sheets”, we’ll show an ad when customers use shopping terms like “bed sheets” and “queen-sized cotton sheets”.|
|Substitutes||We may show your ad to shoppers who use the detail pages of products similar to your products.||If your product is “Doppler 400-count Cotton Sheets”, we will show an ad on detail pages that include “300-count Cotton sheets” and “queen 400-count Sheets”.|
|Complements||We may show your ad to shoppers who view the detail pages of products that complement your products.||If your product is “Doppler 400-count Cotton Sheets”, we’ll show an ad on detail pages that include “queen comforter” and “feather pillows”.|
– Sara Davis, Advertiser, NetrushWe like to always start with an automatic targeting campaign. It's a really awesome tool for harvesting keywords. Then you can pull out those keywords that are in line with your goals, place them in manual targeting campaigns and optimize at the keyword level.
Use manual targeting
Have more control to fine-tune your campaigns.
The other targeting option available for Sponsored Products is manual targeting. With manual targeting, you have greater control over your campaign settings.
So how does manual targeting help your advertising efforts?
Think of manual targeting as a great supplement to your automatic campaigns.
After your automatic campaign runs for a few weeks, your campaign starts to gain insights that give you an idea of which shopping queries are converting or not converting. Using these insights in your manual campaigns help fine-tune your targeting to drive more sales.
Manual targeting can be separated into two categories:
When you know which shopping terms customers are using to look for your products, use keyword targeting. We’ll use your keywords to match your ads with shopping terms your customers are using.
- Add at least 30 keywords to your campaign: This can increase the opportunity for your ads to show.
- Use the suggested keywords: Make use of our recommendations provided during campaign creation. You can also look to your automatic targeting campaign for more insights.
- Try starting with broad match: This can give your ads the widest exposure and help you gain insights into how shoppers are finding your products.
- Check your performance and optimize: After your campaign has been running for at least two weeks, check your “search term report” to find your top-performing shopping terms – those that generated the most clicks and sales. Add those keywords with phrase match or exact match to target those terms more precisely and to focus your investment on what you know is working.
To target your ads to specific products or entire categories that are similar or complementary to your products, use product targeting. This option gives you greater control over when and where your ads appear in shopping results and product detail pages.
- Target high-performing products to help drive more sales: Download your “search term report” to identify your best performing products and target those in a manual product targeting campaign.
- Use category targeting to help increase visibility of new products: Choose the category of the new product you want to promote; this allows you to target all products similar to yours.
- Target your own product pages to showcase your product range: Targeting your own products and bidding higher on them can help you increase visibility for your range on your product pages.
Include negative targeting
Help refine your audiences and improve your ROAS.
Adding negative products and brands to your campaigns prevents your ads from appearing on specific shopping results or detail pages that do not meet your performance goals. This can help refine your audiences and improve your return on ad spend (ROAS).
Not sure where to start? Try identifying the below:
- ASINs and brands with high clicks but no (or low) sales
- ASINs and brands that are not complementary to yours
You are running an ad for a camera lens. Your advertising objective is for your ad to appear near complementary products, but you find it appearing by a non-compatible camera. By adding this camera as a negative ASIN, you can stop your ad from appearing there and save paying for placements you don’t want.
Here are three steps to get started:
- Go to the campaign manager.
- Select a campaign and an ad group, and then go to the negative targeting section.
- Click “Add keyword” for negative keyword targets; “Exclude” for negative product/brand targets.
Manage budgets and bids
Learn how you can manage your spend.
With Sponsored Products, you always have control over your advertising costs by choosing your own budget and bids. Explore all of your options below.
Choose your daily budget
Our recommended minimum daily budget is $10, or the equivalent in other currencies. Selecting $10 or higher can help keep your ads live throughout the day, whenever customers might be shopping. You have the flexibility to adjust your budget at any time.
Set your budget
For automatic targeting campaigns, you can set one default bid or different bids for each targeting group (close match, loose match, substitutes and complements). We provide bid suggestions based on a group of recent winning bids for ads that are similar to yours to help you bid more effectively.
For keyword and product targeting campaigns, you can set a different bid for each keyword, product and category. We give you a suggested bid and bid range for each to help you get started. Set the maximum bid you are willing to pay.
Refine your bidding strategy
For all of your campaigns, choose a campaign bidding strategy to control how you’ll pay for clicks on your ads. Use “dynamic bids – up and down” or “dynamic bids – down only” and we’ll adjust your bid in real time (by a maximum of 100%) when it’s more or less likely to lead to a sale. Or choose “fixed bids” to use the exact bid you chose.
For more control over where your ads appear, use placement bid adjustments. You can add bid adjustments up to 900% to stay competitive for top of search (first page) or product page placements.
– Gordie Murphy, Advertiser, FishoholicIf you’re new, [advertise] within your own budget. You’ve got to budget with what makes sense. We still do that. Our numbers are significant to our business and how we're growing.
Measure your impact
Familiarize yourself with reports to understand your performance.
Sponsored Products can help you reach a variety of goals, from generating new product awareness to promoting seasonal items to creating more demand for best sellers.
We set you up with a range of reports to help you understand your campaign performance and measure your success.
Search term report:
This is your resource for finding the actual shopping terms used by customers shopping on Amazon that resulted in at least one click on your ad. Add your top-converting shopping terms to your campaigns with keyword targeting.
See how well your targeting is working in this report, where you can find sales metrics for keywords and products in all of your campaigns with at least one impression. Use these insights to adjust your bids and expand your keyword or product targets.
Advertised product report:
For each of your advertised products, review sales and performance metrics to see how they’re performing over time. Look for sales dips or low returns on ad spend (ROAS) for opportunities to improve your strategy.
This report provides insight into the performance of your ads in the top-of-search placement compared to other placements on Amazon. Based on the results, you can then use placement bid adjustments to influence your placements.
Performance over time report:
Use this summary of clicks and spend to see your average cost-per-click and your total spend change over time.
Report spotlight: Search term report
How to use the search term report for campaign optimization
In the report, group keywords into three categories listed below and take the recommended action.
|A||Shopping terms with conversions above your target return on ad spend (ROAS)||Add these as keywords into your manual targeted campaigns.|
|B||Shopping terms without conversions and your spend is above your cost per action (CPA) target*||Remove these keywords from your campaign, or set as negative keywords to improve campaign performance.|
|C||Shopping terms without conversions but your spend is within your CPA target*||Leave them as is in your campaigns and continue to monitor the performance of the keywords.|
* CPA for each shopping term is your spend divided by the total number of units sold.
– Mason Thomas, Advertiser, Superior LabsWe’ll run reports at the end of the week and we’ll see what we converted on. We’ll see what was losing us money or keywords that we really don't need to have.
Your post-launch plan
Embark on your 30-day launch plan that helps you kick start your first month
This launch plan includes advertising basics to supplement our suggested actions, for you to take in the first month. This can help your long-term success with Amazon Ads.
Here are some advertising basics you will learn, to help you get started:
- Learn how to monitor performance
- Discover the three ways to help increase visibility
- Create extra-engaging product detail pages
Once you’ve covered the basics, help drive performance further by completing our suggested actions.
We use our insights to identify actions that you can take with a high likelihood of resulting in higher performance if implemented for the first time.
- Set no end date
- Advertise at least two suggested products
- Set dynamic bids – down only
- Set dynamic bids – up and down
- Adjust daily budget
- Adjust bids
- Create keyword-targeted campaigns
- Use broad match type
- Use exact match type
- Use phrase match type
- Add negative keywords
- Create product-targeted campaigns
- Add negative products
Advertising basics to get started
Learn how to monitor performance
In the first week, we recommend you monitor metrics – especially your impressions, clicks and sales – at least twice a week and find areas to improve. Learn more, here.
The impression metric is a count of how many times your ad has been displayed. As the first step, monitor impressions of your campaigns to make sure that your ads are visible for customers. Remember, you won’t be charged until your ad is clicked.
The clicks metric is a count of how many times your ad is clicked. Monitor clicks to observe how your ads are driving additional page views to the detail pages of your advertised products. You can also refer to the cost-per-click (CPC = spend / clicks) metric to adjust your bids.
Sales is a total value of products sold attributed to your ads. When customers click your ads and make a purchase of the product you advertised, we attribute the sales to your campaign. You can also see your return on ad spend (ROAS = sales/spend) to measure the cost-effectiveness of your campaign.
three ways to help increase visibility
Increasing visibility of your ads will help more customers discover your products on Amazon. You’re investing in your ads, so learn ways to make your investment count.
#1 Adjust budgets
Consider increasing daily budgets on campaigns that frequently run out or are close to reaching their limit to keep your ads showing throughout the day. To balance out your overall budget, you can dial down your budget on campaigns that are underperforming or contributing less to your business goals. Learn more, here.
#2 Increase bids
Sponsored ads use an auction to determine which ads to show to customers, so bidding competitively may help you win auctions for high-traffic shopping queries. Try increasing the bids when your campaigns don’t get enough impressions. You can refer to our suggested bid to determine the amount. Learn more, here.
#3 Set dynamic bids
Ensure you spend your budget on campaigns efficiently. With dynamic bids, Amazon will change your bids in real time for auctions depending on how likely clicks are to convert to sales. Learn more, here.
Advertising basics to get started
Create extra-engaging product detail pages
As we explained in the “Optimize your products and detail pages” section of this guide, there are some characteristics in a listing that can help encourage customers to stop scrolling and click on a product, or information on the product detail page that helps them know if the product is right for them. In your first week, make sure that you've got these basics covered.
How to optimize your product detail page
Have a strong product title
It’s one of the first things your customers see. A clear and easy-to-read title helps them quickly learn key facts about your product and decide if it’s right for them. We recommend making titles about 60 characters long.
Get the Prime badge
With the Prime badge you’re showing your commitment to Two Day Delivery to over 150 million paid members across the globe. Consider using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) to be eligible for the badge and help make your products even more compelling.
Grab attention with high-quality, zoomable images
High-quality images can be both engaging and practical. Help customers understand instantly what your product offers by including four or more high-resolution, zoomable images. Make your images at least 100 pixels in height or width to enable the zoom function.
Product descriptions = your chance to tell more
Put simply, always create descriptions for your products. Not only is this a way to capture their features in detail, it’s a chance to capture your brand’s voice and personality and really connect with customers.
For an in-depth look at all 11 ways to improve your product detail page, read our guide to improving your products for advertising.
Your 30 day launch plan: suggested actions
Our suggested actions are insight-driven recommendations that may lead to higher results if implemented for the first time. Let’s delve deeper into each action.
Set no end date: Take an always-on approach with your campaigns by setting no end date, and help customers discover your products as they browse on Amazon.
Advertise two or more suggested products: Advertising high quality listings can have a meaningful impact on your advertising performance and sales. Learn more, here.
Set dynamic bids – down only: Amazon will automatically lower your bids in auctions where your ads may be less likely to convert. Learn more, here.
Adjust your daily budget:
- Increasing your budget: Monitor your daily budget and consider increasing any campaigns that frequently run out (or are close to reaching their limit) to help keep your ads showing throughout the day.
- Decreasing your budget: Try decreasing your daily budgets that do not require further investment or are over-funded. Reallocating that budget to other campaigns may help support your goals more efficiently. Learn more, here.
- Increasing your bids: Help drive interest in your products by increasing the bids on keywords that are relevant to your campaigns.
- Decreasing your bids: Monitor your campaigns and consider decreasing the bids on keywords or products that don't require as much investment or are not supporting your business goals. Learn more, here.
Set dynamic bids – up and down: Amazon will automatically adjust your bids up and down, depending on how likely your ads may be to convert. Learn more, here.
Create manual (keyword or product) targeting campaigns: Manually target your ads to specific keywords, products or categories based on your business goals. Learn more here.
Use broad match: Use broad match keywords in your campaigns to help increase the traffic exposure your ads may receive. Learn more here.
Use exact match: Use exact match keywords in your campaigns to help drive the most relevant traffic to your ads. Learn more here.
Use phrase match: Use phrase match keywords in your campaigns to help drive more relevant traffic to your ads. Learn more here.
Add negative keywords: Prevent your ads from appearing in specific shopping results or detail pages that are not aligned with your advertising goals. Learn more, here.
Create product-targeted campaigns: Choose product targeting with your manual campaigns to target specific products or categories based on your business goals. Learn more here.
Add negative products: Prevent your ads from appearing in specific shopping results or on detail pages that are not aligned with your advertising goals. Learn more, here.
Sponsored Products questions answered
See if any of the commonly asked questions can help improve your ads.
How can I help drive demand for my products all year-round?
Take an always-on approach with your campaigns by setting no end date, and help customers discover your products any time they shop on Amazon.
How do I make edits on a scaled level?
Use bulk operations to edit, optimize and even create multiple campaigns at once, saving you time when you want to make many changes.
How should I advertise different product categories?
Use separate campaigns or ad groups for each product group to focus your advertising strategy and organize your keywords and budgets.
I’m not ready to launch my campaign yet.
Save your campaign as a draft and come back to finish it later.
How can I organize my campaigns?
Start creating portfolios to organize your campaigns by brand, category, season or any way you choose.
How should I group my ASINs?
Only include ASINs from the same category in one campaign. Each of the products that you select will be displayed as an ad.
- Keyword or product targeting, and bids apply to all products within an ad group, so we recommend choosing products that are closely related to each other. When creating an ad group with manual targeting, we recommend you add as many similar products to the ad group as you can.
- You can add new products to an existing ad group at any time. To add products, select the ad group and go to the Products page. Click Add products, and you will see your list of eligible products to add to the ad group. You can add 1,000 products to an ad group at a time.
- Group ASINs based on price range and conversions within the same category, so not to mix products that have different performance on ROAS. For products with a higher price, you could bid higher and still see a high ROAS while for a very low price product you might want to bid lower.
What can I do to help increase ROAS of my campaigns?
The ROAS is calculated by dividing the total sales by the total spend on the advertising campaign. To make sure advertising is helping drive your sales, you want this number to be high.
First, check the search term report to identify keywords and products that are resulting in higher sales and conversion rate. Then increase the bid on those and add them as exact match type to optimize.
Also, identify the keywords and products with low sales and conversion rates and decrease your bids on them.
And again, this is another opportunity for you to consider adding negative targeting to exclude keywords and products that are not relevant for your campaign, which can mean you’ll spend less budget on placements that are not relevant to your brand.
Make sure you also check the ASINs you’re advertising to confirm they’re aligned to your campaign’s goals and have good product detail pages. Once you understand how they’re performing, consider deleting or pausing ASINs that are not driving your goals and dialling up on the ones that are performing best.
What should I do when I have zero or low sales?
Make sure you’re utilizing your strongest products – ones that display the featured offer and have great detail pages. These should be front and centre of your Sponsored Products strategy.
Start by doing an audit of your products, checking them against the guidance you see in the Success tip 1: Optimize your products and detail pages section. Are your products frequently displaying the featured offer? Are they well-reviewed and rated? Do their product detail pages have the qualities that help engage customers – multiple images, bullet points, a product description? If your advertised products are lacking in any of these areas, take the steps to improve them. Or, you can remove these products from your campaigns and add products that do meet this criteria.
What should I do when I have zero or low impressions?
If you’re only using automatic targeting, consider increasing your campaign budget and adjust your default bids using dynamic bids- up and down, to help generate additional impressions, clicks and sales.
You can also try using manual targeting. This method gives you increased control over your targeting and allows you to split campaigns based on objectives, as well as to better control your spend–helping you bid more competitively on targets that perform well for you.
Extend your opportunities
Leverage other self-service solutions.
What’s next? This guide may focus on Sponsored Products, but that’s just one solution available to you. Think holistically about your advertising. How can you drive the most impact and see the most returns? By using all ad types, you have the chance to reach more shoppers, amplify your message and generate more sales.
Sponsored Brands are customizable ads that feature your brand logo, a custom headline and multiple products. These ads appear in prominent places within shopping results and on product detail pages, which help drive discovery of your brand among customers shopping for products like yours.
With Sponsored Display, you can create display campaigns in minutes that will run both on and off Amazon. These ads can help you increase product awareness and consideration, as well as reengage past shoppers of your brand.
Products and features may not be available in all marketplaces.
– Daniel Tejeda, Advertiser, QuiverrCombining Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands is a huge asset, just because you’re getting dual ad impressions so it becomes a lot of opportunities for your product to be purchases.
Ready to get started? Here’s how:
Thank you for reading
Best practices for your Sponsored Products ads