Sales cannot be made if a product isn’t noticed in the market. For that reason, product visibility is one of the highest concerns online sellers have. This is most prevalent on Amazon where endless sellers are in competition with you. This is why Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click advertising) is available.

Amazon PPC is an advertising tool that can boost your product visibility on Amazon’s website. You may know this popular feature as ‘Sponsored Products.’

What is Pay-Per-Click advertising?

It is a model Amazon uses where advertisers only have to pay a fee when a potential customer clicks on and views an ad. Hence, the name of this tool. With many sellers using this feature, strategy is the key to success.

While we will get into that, you must know the foundation of Amazon PPC first. It can help boost sales and brand recognition when executed.

There are 3 types of Amazon PPC advertisements you can run.

1. Sponsored Products

Sellers can target product ads at keyword matches. Sponsored product ads have a great click-to-sale rate. An example of this is if I sell phone cases on Amazon and list my keyword as ‘phone cases.’

If a shopper searches for that keyword on Amazon, my sponsored product ad can show up on the screen. This type of ad is on the right side of the search results page and on the product details page.

2. Product Display Ads

An example of a Product Display add. Different product being promoted.

Product display ads are on the search results page and on the right side of the product details page under the Buy Box. These Amazon PPC ads are a different option as they're paired with product ASINs.

It has its name because the ads show a display of pictures of the promoted product. Different from the other ad types, sellers can use this to target related products, categories, and interests - not a specific keyword.

3. Sponsored Brand Ads

These ads are on Amazon’s search results page. Advertisement locations include at the website headline as a banner ad, or in 3 different places under the fold in the search results. This option is the most customizable one as sellers can choose from brand or product pages, or from a custom URL.

You can edit the copy content. Seeing you promote a whole brand with these ads, you can show several types of products you sell, not one. The main reason sellers choose this type is strictly to increase visibility.

An example of this is if I sell golf gear on Amazon. Through Sponsored Brands, I can promote gloves, tees, and hats all in one ad placement.

Be prepared to compete through the Auctioning Method.

However, sellers can’t post advertisements whenever and however they want on Amazon. Just like low-price bidding is the competitive way to win the Buy Box, an auction takes place to win ad space. Except with Amazon PPC, it’s the highest price that wins.

The auction is based on cost-per-click (CPC). Through this, sellers submit a bid, which offers the maximum cost they are willing to pay for the ad. The highest bidder owns the ad space.

The winning CPC will end up paying only 1 cent more than the 2nd place bidding cost. Usually, the average CPC seller costs are from 5 cents to $3. Amazon PPC costs differ by product type, category, and demand. There is no CPC limit and supply and demand control the PPC rates.

There are also great alternatives to this selling tool if you think it’ll take up too much time and money. One tool is an Amazon repricer where it will allow you to be hands-off in building visibility and sales, while being just as effective. More details are at the bottom of this article.

Benefits of Amazon PPC

  • Boosts Awareness

This tool allows new sellers to compete with established sellers. If you’re reading this and have recently started selling, you can attest that high-selling products are always ranking the highest in the search results. So, investing in a PPC campaign will help your products be more noticed among them to your target market.

  • Improve Organic Rankings

Organic rankings are the product listings on Amazon that are below the paid advertisements. Organic rankings are natural, but Amazon PPC can help you improve in that sector. We know the higher up on the screen a product listing is, the increased rate of business. That's why it's recommended that you learn how to do listing optimization before running PPC campaigns.

So with this tool, the more sales you earn through Amazon PPC, the higher up your product is placed.

  • Increase Sales

This one is a given after the previous 2 points. It is a process to fully reap the benefits though, as you will not see high rankings to earn more sales overnight. But if you stay consistent, you’ll notice a positive correlation between ads and sales.

Who Amazon PPC is for & When to start using it

It is for Amazon business sellers. The sellers must have a Professional Plan account. This is sufficient if you just want to use Sponsored Products. If you want to use Sponsored Brands, it’s required you have Brand Registry. Amazon Brand Registry is for intellectual property purposes to be on headlines.

It’s also for a seller in any life stage of business. As a seller, you should start a specific PPC ad right upon a new product listing. An option for more established brands is to start a campaign once a new product listing gets several reviews first. This tells the target audience that your product and brand have credibility.

Sellers in both Vendor Central and Seller Central can use this tool.

Amazon PPC is also for first party and third party sellers. To clarify, vendors and sellers have separate meanings. First party sellers use Vendor Central. These sellers are larger businesses in size, like manufacturing distributors, and they sell products to Amazon, not Amazon’s customers.

If you are a vendor, you automatically have the professional plan, so you don’t have to worry about that. The main PPC ads these sellers promote are Headline Search Ads.

Third party sellers, the most common type of Amazon sellers, use Seller Central. They sell products directly to customers or shoppers on Amazon. Third party sellers have the choice to choose either the individual or professional plan. So be sure to choose professional to be eligible for PPC. The main ads these sellers use is the Sponsored Products method.

Essentials To Know Before You Go

You have to understand the basics of Amazon PPC, or else you will be lost. You must know the terminology and actions to take early on. To me, the 5 essential parts of this tool you should know are: targeting, keywords, search terms, bidding, and campaigns.

While it may seem contrary, negative keywords can be used to discount certain search terms for keywords. This can save sellers money in ad costs because it lowers the amount of non buyers clicking on ads, wasting your money.

1. Targeting

There are different options when planning where to target advertising campaigns. Ads target a keyword, product category, or ASIN. You decide this before launching the campaign.

2. Keyword

While we’ve been touching on this, I should explain what a keyword really is. First, it is not a search term. A keyword is what a seller thinks resembles a word that the target market would search to find a product. This is how a seller places an ad on the target’s screen.

3. Search Terms

This is the word-by-word searches shoppers type in the query box. It’s just like what anyone types into Google. Keywords connect to the broad search terms.

4. Bidding

There are 2 types of bids that sellers can use for auctions - fixed bids and dynamic bids. The fixed are consistent cost amounts, whereas Amazon automatically changes dynamic bids through current data analysis. Advertisers can also adjust bids themselves to target locations, like Amazon’s product details page or search results page.

5. Campaigns

There are automatic and manual campaigns. Automatic campaigns allow Amazon to run and match ads for you. You have to trust Amazon to smartly match keywords to search terms. With manual campaigns, you can personally choose and match keywords to run. Though it does take a little more time to construct, the manual way tends to be more precise.

What are the different Match Types?

Manual campaigns let Amazon choose the PPC keyword match type. Once you decide on a keyword, you can choose when to display the advertisement. But the 3 match types are broad, phrase, and exact.

Broad Keyword Match Type

Regardless of synonyms misspellings, or order, an ad can still match and display. Like the picture above, a golf umbrella seller targeted a golf club shopper. This type matches search terms that not only match keywords, but it matches any component related to the keyword.

Words from the search can be in any order, so this creates a large funnel to distribute ads. While this can heavily boost visibility, it can be expensive from generating many clicks to pay for and it may not be as effective.

Phase Match Type

The phrase match type is a similar idea, but the search term has to be in the same order as the keyword components. But it can still be a match even if more words are written before or after the keyword in the search term.

This way, you can still generate a lot of clicks, and they’ll be a little more effective because the matches are more concentrated.

Exact Match Type

This type only matches search terms to keywords when the exact components and word order is entered into the search query. While exact match doesn’t make your product or brand as visible as the other types do, it most accurately targets the intended audience.

This is because ads will display to shoppers who search specifically for the advertiser’s product.

Optimizing an Amazon PPC Campaign

Now you have all the base background knowledge on what Amazon PPC is and how it works. Next, you have to put it into action with an online advertising campaign. Here are the steps to effectively getting started to do so:

  • Optimize Keywords and Listings.

All keywords should be relevant in the product listing content. The listing must contain great quality pictures and influential text.

  • Utilize the Automation Campaign to get Keywords and Search Terms.

Don’t waste time personally finding the optimal keywords and search terms. Let the automation determine that for you. This’ll also be more accurate.

  • Switch effective search terms to a Manual Campaign.

Yes, you can use both campaigns for Amazon PPC! For the reasons I explained earlier, a manual campaign is best to work with after research is completed.

  • Name the Campaign.

This can be any name relevant and related to the brand or product or deal.

  • Create a PPC budget.

On average, sellers set a $20 per day budget for 3-5 days and bid for around $5.

  • Analyze Campaign after it’s released.

See the effectiveness of the ACoS of keywords, their impressions, and conversion rate. ACoS stands for Advertising Cost of Sales, meaning how much money it costs to generate a sale from Amazon Pay Per Click.

ACoS for Campaign Analysis

The formula to figure out your ACoS is = Total Advertising Cost / Total Sales. This is vital to analyzing the effectiveness of a seller’s campaign. To rank yourself compared to other sellers, note that the average Amazon ACoS is between 29 and 31%. Utilizing Amazon PPC can help regulate that percent for you.

If you want to figure out your personal target percentage, you have to use the break-even ACoS formula. Traditionally on Amazon, it will be ‘Sale Price – Amazon Fees – Cost of Good = Total Cost’. Then, divide Total Cost by Sale Price to get your percentage. As long as you continue to fulfill sales under the break-even percentage, your business will be profitable.

Doing this can let you know what’s working and what is not.

*For more details on PPC campaigns, click here.

An Alternative Selling Tool for Your Business

Amazon PPC is a lot to get used to, as you can probably notice. There are a lot of ways to mess up if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. It can be difficult for sellers to know exactly how much to budget, what keywords to use, and when to transfer the campaign. That’s why there are alternatives for those who are not inclined to use Amazon PPC.

A tool that is just as and can be even more effective is an Amazon repricer. An example of this is our Aura Repricer. This selling software will boost your visibility and sales differently, and it’ll take a lot more pressure off you.

Instead of bidding and paying for each ad, an Aura subscription can optimally reprice your listings. This will help you repeatedly own the Buy Box where over 80% of Amazon sales occur.