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Top 8 Amazon PPC Questions Answered

If you’ve been managing Amazon PPC campaigns for a while now, and you think you’ve got all the basics, read on – because in this post I’ll be giving you tips on how to supercharge those campaigns and make them even more profitable.

Let’s move on to the top eight Amazon PPC questions that I get asked most often.

#1 What should I do if my Amazon PPC campaigns are running out of budget too fast?

First of all, let’s talk new campaigns.

Before you raise your budgets based on Amazon’s recommendations, you should monitor your campaigns, especially if they’re brand new.

Don’t raise the budgets at all; wait at least two weeks to see how that campaign is performing.

If the ACOS is good, then raise the budget to whatever you’re comfortable with – based on your own budget requirements. And if it’s within Amazon’s recommendation, then raise your budget to whatever they recommend. Then go ahead and see what your results are for another two weeks.

If your results are still profitable and still doing good, then you can continually raise your budget every two weeks, or however often you feel comfortable so that you can get more market share.

But here comes the catch.

It’s important to know that just because you’re raising the budget based on Amazon’s recommendation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be getting more sales.

All it means is you’re going to be paying for more clicks, which is why we recommend that before you raise your budget, you should monitor the results first for two weeks based on what your current budget is. Then go ahead and incrementally raise it. 

Amazon’s just going to continually ask you to raise your budget no matter what, because that’s how they’re making money. This means that there is a point where you’ll start to see a decline in sales if you raise the budget too much, and you’ll just be paying for a lot of clicks.

So go ahead and monitor your results taking a slow and steady approach.

Eventually, you’ll get to a point where your Amazon PPC campaigns are producing phenomenal results at a budget that you’re comfortable spending on a monthly basis. 

#2 How often should I add negative keywords to my campaigns?

You should add negative keywords at least once every 30 days. And the fastest way to get negative keywords is through an auto campaign.

You can also add negative keywords based on keywords that are underperforming. So if you have some keywords in your campaigns that you start to see an extremely high ACOS for, you can actually add that whole phrase into your campaigns as a negative keyword. This way they don’t show up on that keyword anymore.

#3 How often should I add keywords to my campaigns?

Ideally, you’ll want to add new keywords to your campaigns every 30 days.

What you’ll want to do is have a master list ready with at least 200 keywords. You don’t want to add all 200 keywords at once, but have a master list that you can pull from. Every 30 days  you can add 30 of those keywords to your campaigns.

Why 30 days?

If you have too many keywords at once, it gets messy when you’re trying to analyze the data.

So keep the data separate, and have a master list of keywords instead of just having them all at once. If you do have them all at once, it is too many things you’re going to be optimizing for.

And every 30 days, add new keywords to the master list for potential profitability.

#4 How many keywords should I have in my campaigns?

As said before, the optimal number of keywords you should have in your campaigns is about 30 – that’s because your budget is going to be limited based on the amount of keywords you have.

If you have too many keywords in your campaigns (let’s say 200 keywords), then your budget is going to run out before you have a chance to give all of your keywords impressions.

So it’s best to have 30 keywords. This way you can give the keywords time to get a budget allocated towards them. And it’ll also give you enough data to make profitable decisions for your account based on keyword performance.

However, if you have too many keywords in those campaigns, there are too many variables, meaning that the budget’s not going to be allocated efficiently to your top performers. So it could potentially lead to a high ACOS. 

If you have no more than 30 keywords at a time, you can see which keywords are performing well, and which ones are not. This will help you get straight to the point with the performance. 

Also, you’ll already be on track to having an even better ACOS, because you’re not convoluting your strategy. Instead, you have a very specific strategy of 300 keywords, you can monitor the performance, and make your budget optimization based off of that.

All in all, 30 keywords is an ideal place to start.

#5 Which Amazon PPC bid strategy works best?

Basically, there’s three different types of bid strategies that you can use.

The first strategy is for high search volume keywords, which are generally going to be the most competitive.

Cost per click is going to be much higher on your most competitive keywords, so you should have a bid strategy in place where you’re reducing your bid for the most competitive keywords with the highest search volume.

You don’t want to necessarily be at Amazon’s suggested bid, because that’s probably going to be very high. Instead, it’s best to have your bids about 30% below Amazon’s suggested bid for the high search volume, highly competitive keywords. 

The second strategy is for long tail keywords.

These keywords that have a high search volume and low competition. This means that you should consider doing Amazon’s suggested bid, the median point average, which will allow you to test the waters to see which long tail keywords are going to be profitable for your account.

We also always recommend that you use short or long tail keywords that have low search volume. They’re still relevant.

However, since there’s not a whole lot of search volume, you usually want to have a bid strategy in place where you can maximize your impressions for those keywords.

Not a lot of sellers are going to target keywords that have a low search volume, so you want to be a little bit more ‘aggressive’ with your bids on those keywords. This will allow you to show up as much as possible, because the search volume is much lower.

And if the search volume is much lower, odds are that the bids are also low. So you can be a little more generous with your bid strategy based on the search volume.

So usually, we will recommend that you do 30% above Amazon’s suggested bid for low search volume keywords.

So those three strategies work really well if you can go ahead and apply those specific strategies to your account today. And we’re sure your ACOS are going to start to improve right away. 

#6 What’s a good starting monthly budget for Amazon PPC?

A starting monthly budget for Amazon PPC depends on how much you’re willing to pay to get sales.

In other words, it’s going to be dependent on your financial position right now.

If you have more capital to allocate towards Amazon PPC, then be more generous: you can invest at least $1,000 a month in Amazon PPC, because you’ll be able to get more data right away.

On the other hand, if you’re a little bit more restricted on budget right now, a minimum starting budget would be around $250 to $500 for the month.

Again, there’s no specific amount that I can recommend, but it’s going to be based off of what you are willing to pay and what you can afford to pay on a monthly basis.

So if you’re just a beginner Amazon seller, why not start on the lower end? And then as you begin to see sales, gradually increase your budget – starting with 15 to 20% on a monthly basis.

#7 How do you rank products using Amazon PPC?

Ranking products using Amazon PPC is fairly simple, but it is a bit of a loaded question. 

The first thing you’re going to want to do is create an exact match campaign. In that exact match campaign, make sure you have all the keywords that you want to rank for. And, as for bids, optimize them by raising them 50% above Amazon’s suggested bid.

At this point, you’ll have all the keywords you want to rank for in an exact match only campaign. Make sure the bids are 50% above that, because in that instance, you’re maximizing your impressions for each and every keyword.

The point of this is to show up as often as possible for these keywords. This way you can convert, and the more sales you get with those keywords, the faster you’ll rank on page one.

Now the next part is actually raising the placement percentage for those keywords. As for your keywords, go to the placements on a Per keyword basis, and raise the placement percentage for top of search results anywhere between 10 to 100%.

This way you can maximize not only your impressions for these keywords, but also the area in which you’re converting for those keywords.

Obviously, if you want to rank on top of page one, you want your product to show up as close to the top of page one as possible. That way, you can start converting those sales.

If you’re trying to rank your product on top of page one, what a lot of our clients did is use the ZonRush launch service coupled with the PPC strategy to rank for keywords.

By using and leveraging Facebook traffic, you’re not 100% dependent on the bids that Amazon has.

If you’re in a really competitive category, sometimes the bids are extremely high – so it’s really hard to rank for keywords. And it’s gonna be extremely expensive if you’re just relying on Amazon PPC ads alone.

But if you have a second strategy to that, and you use external traffic with our launch service, you can go ahead and rank for keywords much faster, because you’re actually taking traffic into your own hands now.

We also have a promotion going on:

If this is your first launch, if you use coupon code ZON50, you’ll save $50 off our launch service. Again, using both those strategies together are extremely powerful for ranking products on top of page one.

The last thing about ranking products using Amazon PPC is that it does take time. It’s not going to happen in seven days; it’s going to be more between three to five months before you start seeing ranking results.

That is because when you’re looking at the Amazon PPC exact match keywords, there’s only so much search volume on a monthly basis that you can advertise for if you’re just relying on Amazon PPC alone.

And if you’re just relying on Amazon PPC alone, you can only expect that much traffic.

What if you’re trying to keep up with some of the top players in your category?

Well, it’s gonna take a while for you to catch up to their monthly sales if you’re just relying on the search volume for those exact match keywords.

In addition, you’re also sharing bids with those keywords, and odds are that other sellers are going to be ranking for the very same keywords. So the bids are going to be a little bit higher than for broader phrases. So that’s just one thing to keep in mind.

It does take time, not necessarily a long time, but it does take some long term commitment and long term thinking when you’re looking to rank products using Amazon PPC. It’s also a methodical process.

Lastly, if you use other methods that help you like our launch service, you will be able to get your products at the top of page one much faster.

#8 How do I optimize auto campaigns?

Optimizing auto campaigns is pretty simple.

In general, an auto campaign is going to be used to find new keyword opportunities and new product targeting opportunities for you to use and build manual campaigns. So it’s basically going to be the engine.

If you don’t know how to do keyword research, you can use an auto campaign right away to find opportunities to then make manual campaigns.

After 30 days of running an auto campaign, download your ad report, and then add negative keywords from that ad report into your auto campaign. That way, you can continually refine your auto campaign’s performance.

Based on the auto campaign, you can also optimize the placements. So if you can see that your placements are doing better on e.g. top of search results or on product pages, then you can optimize your percentages really easily. Just click on Auto campaign – Optimize placements, and you can adjust the percentages.

Now I know I said I’d only do eight of the most common Amazon PPC questions. But here’s an extra one for you:

Bonus: What’s the fastest way to lower my ACOS?

That’s a loaded question.

But the fastest way to lower your ACOS is: Look at your campaigns, and immediately pause all keywords that you see are underperforming.

Go into your keyword data, and add new keywords to those campaigns – that’ll be the fastest way to stop the bleeding.

And if you want to take a step further than that, you can just begin lowering the bids for all of your keywords.

After you’ve paused and archived keywords that are underperforming, immediately start lowering the bids 30 to 50% on all of your keywords. It doesn’t matter what the ACOS is, because the lower the bids are, you’re still going to get clicks – and much cheaper clicks at that.

So the absolute fastest way to lower your ACOS is just to completely lower the bids on all your keywords, and immediately pause and archive any keywords that are underperforming. 

After that, give it about 30 days, and you should start to see your ACOS come down, because you’re not paying what you used to pay on an average cost per click basis.

So lowering your average cost per click by 30 to 50% will have an immediate effect on your ACOS.

However, this doesn’t mean you’re gonna get more sales – it just means you’ll immediately see an improvement on ACOS.

And once it gets down to manageable levels, then you can start adding new keywords and new product targeting ads to begin again, trying to raise your sales price while keeping your ACOS low.

If there are any other questions that I didn’t answer (which I’m sure there are), go ahead and leave your questions in the comments, or you can ask the questions in the ZonRush Facebook group. It’s a close knit tribe of Amazon sellers, where we discuss all these new opportunities to improve your Amazon FBA business.

Now go and start experimenting, and take your Amazon PPC campaigns to the next level with our tips! 🙂

If you need a little extra help bringing your Amazon PPC campaigns to profitable levels and accelerating your sales, consider partnering with ZonRush. The best Amazon PPC Management Service that combines the power of artificial intelligence and human optimizations for off the charts sales growth.