How to optimise your Amazon ad campaigns to increase sales

Learn how to optimise your Amazon advertising campaigns and accelerate online sales with these practical tips from Online Seller UK.


Selling on Amazon has become the new norm for many e-commerce businesses, and over the last couple of months the amount of businesses selling on Amazon has accelerated. This is no wonder, given how many benefits selling with Amazon has to offer. The website already has loyal and trusting consumers, with a huge catalogue of products that ensures customers keep coming back to Amazon for everything they need.

One of the key drivers of increased sales on Amazon is their ‘Prime’ offering, where customers get free next day delivery. Sellers can also take advantage of the recently-launched ‘Seller Fulfilled Prime’ programme, where sellers can dispatch products from their own warehouse and offer ‘Prime’ to customers. Research suggests that 84% of UK Amazon Prime Members agree with the statement “I’m more likely to buy from Amazon Prime than I am to buy directly from a retailer’s online site.”

With these benefits on offer, it makes sense for any seller or brand to have a presence on Amazon. But it’s not as simple as just “selling on Amazon”.

To accelerate sales on Amazon, it is now key to advertise your products. The top of first page search results is now dominated by advertising, and if you are not appearing on the first page of sales, you may not grow as quickly as you would like to (see screenshot below).

amazon-workshop-blog-product-page

In this post, we will give you practical and actionable tips that you can use to optimise your advertising campaigns.

 


1. Create a better campaign structure

Structuring your campaigns will affect how many ads display at one time, and will also enable you to better manage your keywords (KWs), whilst gaining greater insight into consumer behaviour.

In the Advertising Console of your Amazon account, you can group your advertising into a Portfolio > Campaigns > Ad Groups.

What is a Portfolio? Portfolios make it easier to organise campaigns by product category, season, brand etc. You can then manage your total ad spend by using budget caps. For example, if you are launching a new product, it makes sense to assign a budget cap to those product campaigns, so you don’t over or under-spend.

Here are some examples of how you could use Portfolios…

  1. Portfolio by Product:
  • Portfolio 1: Baby Food Blender
  • Portfolio 2: First Stage Spoon

2) Portfolio by Season:

  • Portfolio 1: Mother’s Day
  • Portfolio 2: Halloween

What is a campaign? Campaigns sit under a portfolio and are typically named based on the product type or category, this helps to ensure they are easily identifiable.

Within campaigns, there are four types of Sponsored Product Ads (SPA):

  • Automatic: These campaigns are the easiest type of campaign to set up, as they require no keywords or targeting. Amazon reads the content and shows your product ad when a user makes a related search query.
  • Manual Keywords: These campaigns are created based on keywords you choose, whether based on research, general keywords or based on Amazon’s suggestions.
  • Product Targeting: These campaigns target products against other products in the sponsored-related products area.
  • Category Targeting: These campaigns display products in the sponsored related product areas of the products within a targeted category.

What is an Ad Group? These ad groups sit under Campaigns and allow you to break down campaigns into specific Ad Groups. Examples of how you could use them include:

  • Manual Keyword – Ad Group 1: Broad, Ad Group 2: Exact, Ad Group 3: Phrase
  • Product Target – Ad Group 1: Similar Product, Ad Group 2: Complementary Products 
  • Category Target – Ad Group 1: Subcategory, Ad Group 2: Root Category

Alongside Sponsored Product Ads, there are other advertising types available including Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display.


2. Carry out keyword research

Amazon keyword research is vital for successful advertising. There are several tools available including Sonar-Tool.com which can find and generate a list of highly effective keywords that you can use to create targeted manual keyword campaigns.

Keywords results (as seen below) are ranked by the relevancy and search frequency. The top results are the most relevant searched terms on Amazon that relate to the keyword searched. 

amazon-keyword-research-support

Frequent words are the most commonly used terms related to your search query. 

amazon-keyword-frequency

Relevant products shown are the highest-ranked products for the search query or your competing products. Click on these products to find out the keywords rankin for that product. 

relevant-products-shown-amazon

Search by ASIN (a unique product identifier code for all Amazon products) and you will get a list of keywords ranking for that product.

amazon-keyword-research-support

All these steps will help you find highly relevant keywords for your manual keyword campaigns. 


3. Create, explore and learn about campaigns

Setting up automatic campaigns is very quick and it allows you to find the keywords that generate sales for you. Once a campaign is up and running, allow it to run for a week or so and you will receive a list of customer search terms via search term reports. 

Your next action is to use the converting keywords in a manual keywords campaigns, and add non converting keywords as negative keywords, to avoid recurring wastage. 

filter search term chart by no sales key words

filter search terms amazon and non converting keywords


4. Use different match types

For manual keyword targeting campaigns, there are three match types available: Broad, Phrase and Exact match. The screenshot below shows three different match types and their result.

amazon ad chart exact phrase broad

Using Broad Match can result in synonyms, misspellings and variations of the keyword which are related. 

Using a Targeting Broad Match keyword, such as ‘mens boots’, will surface your ads if the queries are searched, and will also include additional keywords the user inputted before and after, as well as plurals and common misspellings. For example:

    • Men timberland boots
    • Dress boots mens
    • Mens garden boots
    • Caterpillar boots for men
    • Mens leather hunting boots

Using Phrase match allows more control over word order and targets search terms which include words before or after your keyword phrase. Variations may include misspellings, singulars and plurals.

Using Targeting Phrase Match keyword ‘mens boots’ will include additional keywords before and after, plurals and common misspellings (see below):

    • European leather mens boots
    • Men boots real leather

Using Exact Match allows you to rank for the exact keyword (KW) you are bidding on along with misspellings, singulars and plurals. Targeting Exact-Match ‘KW Mens boots’ will surface your ads if the queries are as below and include additional keywords before and after, plurals and common misspellings:

    • Black chelsea boots men
    • Black chelsea boots for men

Whilst we may assume one is better than the other, it is a best practice to trial all match types in three different groups. 


5. Analyse your search terms report

You can download search term reports via your advertising reports. From these reports, you will find the terms your customers are using to find your products, and if they are converting or not.

different match types amazon advert

For keywords that aren’t working for you, you can add them as non-converting keywords, to prevent further spend and wastage. 

filter keywords that are not converting and add them amazon

Add converting keywords onto your manual targeted campaigns to ensure your ads are surfaced when searched for. 

Use converting keywords in your manual keywords targeted campaigns


6. Create focused campaigns for the best-performing products

Your products will have a greater chance of increased sales if they can consistently appear on the 1st page of Amazon search results. Increasing your sales history for top-selling items will ultimately lead to greater sales. Advertise aggressively for these products with separate “top sellers campaigns”, so you can apply a different budget and drive further sales of best-selling products.

create campaigns for products that are top sellers. Amazon.


7. Use bidding strategies

Amazon’s bidding strategies help you to compete better in auctions where they are likely to win and avoid spending where they are less likely to win.

  • Dynamic bids – down only – reduce your bids automatically if they are less likely to convert. 
  • Dynamic bids – up and down – increases your bids up to 100% higher than current bid if there is a chance of a conversion
  • Fixed bids – bids exact and doesn’t adjust based on the chance of a conversion.

Start with down only, optimise & change to up & down/fixed or create a copy of the same campaign with multiple strategies from the start to test.

The screenshot below shows better Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) with the Fixed price strategy.

up down vs fixed higher ACoS, Higher CPC, Less sales


8. Leverage Product and Category Targeting Ads

Product and Category Targeting allows us to target shoppers whilst they are on another Amazon’s product detail page. In these types of ads, you can target:

  • Competing products
  • Complimentary products
  • Complimentary categories 

The screenshot below shows targeted ads contributed to 30% of the total ad sales. 

product target ads helped to generate 30% of incremental sales


9. Start testing Sponsored Brands

Sponsored Brands feature your brand logo, tagline and 3 of your products. They help with brand awareness and also generate sales which otherwise would have been lost to competitors.

These ads have a prominent position in Amazon search (see screenshot below) and one of the key metrics it reports is New To Brand (NTB%) – this tells you the proportion of customers that have not bought from you in the last 12 months.

You can use these ads strategically to gain new customers.

new to brand using ads to gain customers


10. Create defensive campaigns

A defensive campaign targets your own products or brand name. With these campaigns, you are defending your products from competitors bidding against your own product or keywords. 

Defend your brand’s position by creating two manual campaigns:

  • A Manual Keywords targeted campaign with your own brand name(s) 
  • A Product target campaign that targets your own ASINs. 

This screenshot shows campaigns results when searched for brand keywords.

kind product search

This screenshot shows campaigns resulting in the sponsored products area when landed on their own products.

sponsored products area kind amazon


Conclusion 

These tips are practical and we hope you fund them useful.

And remember:

  • Use the Trial and Error Method. What works? What doesn’t work?
  • Allow enough time for your campaigns to work
  • Test all types of advertising campaign

Amazon is fast becoming the main driver of sales for many small and large businesses.

With the right advertising strategies in place, you can generate sales faster and grow quicker. 


Prabhat Shah

Ecommerce and Digital Marketing Consultant, Online Seller UK
+44 (0) 161 327 2923 | Email >


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