If you’ve spent any significant time buying or selling products online, then we probably don’t need to tell you about Amazon.
Since launching back in the 1990s, the tech company has grown in unprecedented ways, transforming from an online book marketplace to a global enterprise offering ecommerce, cloud computing, advertising, streaming, and artificial intelligence (AI).
But with such an enormous platform and millions of products on offer, some may wonder if it’s worth the maintenance and fees. Should you bother selling on Amazon? The answer lies in the data.
Amazon holds a massive 43.5% share of total ecommerce business. Yes, you read that right – nearly half of all online products sales happen through the platform. Add to that an average return on ad spend (ROAS) of 5 to 1 and the fact that 9 out 10 consumers price check on Amazon, and it quickly becomes clear that, to reach your maximum audience of shoppers as an online retailer, Amazon is where you want to be.
And that part about standing out – that’s where Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) ads come in.
What is Amazon PPC?
Amazon PPC ads are a type of paid search ad ecommerce retailers and marketers can leverage on the Amazon marketplace. These campaigns surface in the form of Amazon sponsored product listings that show up in search results.
Because of the millions of products sold on Amazon, these ads can be a huge boon for your business. They can help your products get seen by significantly more shoppers than they otherwise would. These ads can be seen throughout Amazon: they surface at the top of search results, mixed into further search results as you scroll, and even within product detail pages under the “products related to this item” section.
Amazon PPC Campaigns and Google Ads: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between Amazon PPC and Google PPC is that Amazon is only for brands selling a product, while PPC ads can also be used to sell services and other intangible goods.
Of course, ecommerce brands can leverage both Amazon and Google – and, if they have the budget, they probably should. That’s because, while no one can doubt the popularity of Amazon for making purchases, Google remains the number-one destination where people go to find what they need online, whether that’s an answer to a question or a particular product.
What Are the Different Amazon PPC Ad Types?
The three campaign types for Amazon PPC ads are sponsored product ads, sponsored brand ads (also called headline ads), and sponsored display ads.
Sponsored Product Ads
These product ads are a type of PPC ads that allows you to promote an individual product on the Amazon platform. These campaigns are relatively easy to create since they can be generated from your existing product listing information and automated targeting tools. Simply choose the keywords and/or products you want to show up for, and Amazon can do the matchmaking for relevant keywords.
Just like paid search ads on Google, you only pay when someone actually clicks your ad. Amazon allows you to set your own budget and choose how much you want to bid. You can set your campaign timeline or opt for the always-on setting.
Sponsored brand ads, AKA headline ads, have the benefit of allowing ecommerce brands to include multiple visuals in a single ad. These ads feature your company logo, images of the product itself, and a headline of your choosing.
Once someone clicks the ad, they’re taken to either the ad group’s product page or to your Amazon storefront. Brand ads are a more holistic type of Amazon ad, meaning they don’t just focus on a single product and image. You can leverage videos and lifestyle imagery to let your brand’s aesthetic shine. As far as cost, these ads follow the same cost-per-click (CPC) model as product ads.
If there are target audiences who appear interested in particular product categories or who have viewed your products before (but not completed a purchase), ecommerce retailers can use Amazon’s sponsored display ads to engage these shoppers.
Display ads can also be used to target products or categories similar to what you offer. Often, these ads target more top-of-funnel shoppers, which means they can help drive awareness and consideration of your products.
Results From Our Clients
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60% / 7x
Real Health Products increased lead volume by 60% and gained more than 7x their previous click-through rate (CTR)
686 increased their year-over-year search engine marketing (SEM) revenue by a whopping 562% while cutting cost per conversion (CPC) by 67%
Eczema Honey saw monthly CPC decrease by 40% while conversion volume increased by 260%
Campaign Living increased online revenue 7.5x year over year while reducing overall digital costs by 68%
What is Amazon Advertising Cost of Sales (ACOS)?
You may have heard the phrase “ACOS” used in reference to selling on Amazon. Put simply, this is a metric to help measure the success of your PPC campaign management on Amazon. You can calculate it by dividing ad spend by revenue, then multiplying by 100.
Relatedly, you calculate ROAS by dividing ad revenue by ad spend. According to Amazon, if you’re spending more on ad campaigns than you’re earning back, then it’s time to work on reducing your Amazon ACOS or increase your sales. Your target ACOS will depend on factors like your goals and profit margins.
How Do I Get Started with Managing Amazon PPC?
Properly managing your Amazon PPC is all about starting off on the right foot. That means proper account setup in Seller Central, choosing the right plan, and adding your products.
When it comes to choosing a selling plan, you likely want to start with a Professional plan, which costs about $40 per month, vs. the Individual plan, which charges you $.99 for each item sold. You can opt for the latter, but the Professional plan is better set up to help you scale and gain the visibility you’re probably looking for.
Next, make sure you’ve chosen the right selling strategy. Amazon approached brand owners and resellers differently, so make sure you’ve opted for the right strategy to ensure you get access to all the features and benefits at your disposal. (For example, brand-registered owners can enroll in Amazon Brand Registry, which offers access to enhanced product descriptions and other factors that can increase engagement.)
From there, it’s time to get those paid search campaigns locked and loaded. As the marketplace itself explains, the first 90 days are critical for your Amazon business success. To help, they offer a five-point playbook dubbed Perfect Launch. Its steps are:
- 1. Enroll in Brand Registry
- 2. Enhance your product detail pages with top-notch content
- 3. Join and get set up with Fulfillment by Amazon
- 4. Automate pricing
- 5. Create Sponsored Products ad campaigns, Coupons, and/or Deals
On average, sellers achieving Perfect Launch generate more than 6x more first-year revenue than other sellers, according to Amazon.
After you’ve gotten thoroughly set up on the platform and added in your products, you can start exploring the PPC ad options at your disposal. (For what it’s worth, brand ads, videos, and display ads can only be unlocked if a seller is a brand-registered owner.)
Next, follow the best practices below to keep your PPC campaigns fresh, competitive, and high-achieving.
Managing Amazon PPC Ads: Best Practices
Having an Amazon advertising agency partner to walk you through creating the best-possible Amazon ads can be a game-changer. But whether you opt for an agency or go it alone, here are five best practices that’ll help ensure your efforts are on the right track.
Make sure to optimize product pages
What good is a stellar ad if it goes to a lackluster product page? Keep listing optimization in mind to ensure your product pages are fully built-out before launching your campaigns. Elements like product title, images, key features, and product description should all be complete and follow the proper parameters and guidelines. For example, image sizes should be 1,600 pixels or larger in height or width, and product titles shouldn’t exceed 200 characters.
Understand the Buy Box Algorithm
We’re gonna be real with you: competition on Amazon is fierce. Enter: the Buy Box. This box sits on the right side of the product page where shoppers can click “Buy now” or “Add to cart.” This provides a seamless buying experience, since those without the box get a “See Other Options” button instead – but there’s no guarantee your product page will get this box, even if your competition is nonexistent. Only those with top-notch seller metrics get this option. Up your chances by having a professional seller account, using Fulfillment by Amazon, offering quick shipping, and garnering positive reviews.
Research your keywords
Once you’ve spent time working on any kind of PPC campaign, you understand just how crucial the right keywords can be to your ad’s success. Managing Amazon PPC is no different. The platform offers tools for marketers that include starter keyword recommendations to test out, but you can also start by typing in relevant terms into the search bar and seeing if products similar to yours pop up. And don’t forget negative keywords (Amazon lets sellers negate certain keywords so you don’t end up paying for irrelevant clicks) or long-tail keywords (these will target a more high-intent shopper).
Don’t forget the backend search-term field
The ‘zon uses its own algorithm to match searchers with listings. That means, if you want those people to find your products, you’ve got to include keywords in your product listing’s backend field. Best practices for the search-term field include entering multiple unique keywords (aka no repeated words), using up as many characters as you can, including synonyms and alternate product names, and excluding your brand name (since it’s redundant and uses up space).
When it comes to trust, credibility, and beating out the competition, one thing is clear: reviews matter. Not only that, but more than three-fourths of consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision. Even if you only have a few reviews, you can use them to your advantage. One way is by adding your best review to your product’s description – consider it as a way of “showing” rather than “telling” when it comes to your product’s value.
The Benefits of Having an Agency Manage Your Amazon PPC
Amazon Prime, bid optimization, ad performance, brands vs. product ads – there’s a lot that goes into creating, managing, and optimizing an Amazon PPC advertising strategy. And with all the other elements that go into ecommerce marketing, it can feel overwhelming to even try keeping up.
That’s where a digital marketing agency comes in handy – particularly, one with Amazon chops. These ad agencies know the ins and outs of this nuanced platform: from the ad types that might be most successful for you t o the best keyword bidding strategies for your budget and all the available features worth exploring. Rather than wasting time on trial and error, these ecomm PPC experts can help you hit the ground running so you can start seeing a healthy ROAS in no time.
How to Choose an Amazon PPC Agency
No matter how many glowing online reviews an agency has, it can still feel scary to hand over the keys to your marketing program – and budget. That’s why it’s crucial to partner with an Amazon PPC agency you can trust.
On top of that, searching for agencies to consider can be an overwhelming task at the outset. But there are ways to prepare for this process while getting clear on what exactly you want to get out of it.
When seeking out a PPC agency, it helps to:
- Clearly define your goals for this partnership
- Determine your budget
- Fully understand what marketing services each agency offers
- Know what pricing structures you prefer
- Have an idea of your ideal communication style and frequency
- Research them online to learn about their experience and what past clients have to say
From there, you can start setting up exploratory chats and consultations to narrow down which agencies might be a good fit. This is also a stage that will be most beneficial if you’ve prepared in advance. Having some questions at the ready will keep the conversation on track and actionable.
Consider asking questions like:
- How much Amazon PPC experience does your team have?
- How do you measure success?
- Which key metrics do you use to make PPC strategy decisions?
- What are some high-level ways you help brands stand out in the Amazon marketplace?
- What are some of the biggest challenges for Amazon sellers, and how does your team work to overcome them?
- Can you share any Amazon-related case studies or past client testimonials with me?
- How does your team generally communicate progress and report results?
- What does the partnership process look like? How hands-on is your team?
This list isn’t exhaustive, and you can modify it depending on your needs, of course.
The ConversionIQ™ Difference
Picking an agency that prioritizes conversion rate optimization can be especially beneficial when selling on Amazon. Enter: ConversionIQ, HawkSEM’s own technology tool that syncs all of your helpful PPC data into one centralized hub. But that’s not all — not even close. This platform can also power-up your scaling, multi-touch attribution, budget pacing, forecasting, and help prevent low AOVs (aka unprofitable conversions).
HawkSEM’s Amazon PPC Management Services
There’s no shortage of reasons to partner with an Amazon PPC management agency. From reading the above, you can see all the steps, nuances, and resources that go into these accounts.
Each agency will have their own approach to ads management – here’s how HawkSEM does it:
For this first basic tier, we’ll work with you to restructure and launch two new ad campaigns a month or as needed. Along with that, we’ll conduct ad builds, optimizations, and keyword research to make sure campaigns are efficient and targeted. Once we’ve gathered enough data, we’ll also share monthly reporting progress and recommendations for your Amazon account. Lastly, we’ll help you launch promotions each month as needed.
Advertising + Organic Product Listing Assistance (Non-Brand Owners)
For this second tier, you get all of the Paid Advertising perks, plus some help with your organic listings. We’ll review and optimize your top 20 products (if applicable), not counting variations. We’ll also conduct weekly product feed/store optimizations and continue with our regular reporting and recommendations.
Advertising + Organic Product Listing Assistance (Brand Owners)
This tier applies to brand owners who have trademarked and registered their brand with Amazon. Doing this opens your access to A+ content, display and brand ads, and a storefront on the platform. Along with the above deliverables, this tier also gets you the following:
- Inventory sync, listings, and item upkeep
- Improved titles, descriptions, bullets
- Setup and research backend SEO keywords
- Setup and update Amazon Store site
- Brand expansions updates
- A+ Content setup and updates
- SEO and keyword optimizations
- Account health monitoring and consulting
Prefer to be here for a good time, not a long time? Then maybe a short-term contract is more your speed. Our short-term contract options for Amazon pack a punch in just 1-2 month’s time. Here’s what you’ll get:
1-Month Optimization for PPC
Just like the first paid ad tier above, this plan offers the restructuring and launching of two new ad campaigns, plus ad builds, optimizations, and keyword research. The month’s data will be turned into an easy-to-understand report with helpful recommendations for further improvements, and we’ll throw in a promotion launch, too.
2-Month Build & Support
Want to partner up for two months? You get all of the above, along with additional campaigns set up for up to 50 products, learnings and optimizations implementation, 2 extra meetings, and more reporting (30- and 60-day).
What’s more, if you decide you need more help after the one or two months are up, you can always reconnect with us – we’ll be happy to help.
The Bottom Line
Amazon PPC is one of the most effective tools ecommerce companies have at their disposal when it comes to selling on the platform. By leveraging these tools and ad types, you can create an optimized marketing strategy and see sizable increases in your Amazon sales.
Looking for a partner to help you get there? You’re in just the right place. Our clients see an average of 4.5x ROI, and our dedicated Amazon marketing agency account managers have years of experience and are ready and waiting to take your sales to the next level.
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- Dramatically improve ROI
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