How to Improve Your Amazon Ads to Increase Sales

Amazon is the first place people go to when they shop online.

According to BloomReach’s State of Amazon report, customers begin their search on Amazon 2X as frequently as on Google and this number is only going to increase. Eventually your potential customers will start all their searches on Amazon even if you’re not selling a product on the e-commerce site.

9 out of 10 shoppers still look for a product on Amazon even after they’ve found it in another retail location. Click To Tweet      image2 5


But buyers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the Amazon wave – sellers are also experiencing amazing financial success on this platform. We Retailer reported that 4X as many sellers make a million dollars in sales on Amazon as compared to eBay and over $88,000 is spent on Amazon every minute across the globe.

With numbers like these, we thought it would be helpful to share concrete tips to help you increase your sales on Amazon, specifically through Amazon Ads.

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How Much Does It Cost to Run an Amazon Campaign?

Rob Sieracki of Practical Ecommerce reports that Amazon’s regular cost per click is usually about $0.35. That cost makes using Amazon Ads a better deal than the average CPC of Bing ($1.54), Google AdWords’ Search Network ($2.69) and Display Network ($0.63), or the low end of Facebook Ads ($0.45).

Not only does it cost less generally, but Amazon searches get a lot of businesses discovered. (We’ll go over some actionable tips you can use later on in this article to help decrease your advertising costs as a whole.)

Types of Amazon Ads

We’ll start by going over the different types of Amazon Ads, how to quickly optimize each of them, and then share some advanced tactics to maximize your conversions.

Sponsored Product Ads

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads are similar to the ads you see running in Google’s Shopping Network. The Sponsored Product Ads use the PPC (pay per click) method, enabling you to advertise your products in the search results and drive Amazon customers right to the specific products you're promoting on their platform.

If your customers are checking out your sponsored product and decide to click on it, they’ll be taken to the ad’s product detail page. Sponsored Product Ads are usually below or above the results of an Amazon search and other product detail pages.

Ad types are keyword based and give marketers the ability to decide between broad, phrase or exact match they want for their campaign. Then marketers can set a daily budget that works for the length of that campaign. If needed, you do have the ability to stop or pause a Sponsored Product Ad whenever you want, but it must be active for 24 hours.
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Here is a Sponsored Product Ad showing up within Amazon search results (they can also appear above or below the search results and on product detail pages):

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads


There are a few simple steps to help you start optimizing your Sponsored Product Ads.

Step 1: Automatic targeting is your best bet when you’re starting out as it enables Amazon’s search algorithms to recommend potential keywords for your niche products. You’ll have to choose a flat default bid on all keywords, but the idea is to get data you need to find out how the different keywords perform.

Step 2: After a couple of weeks’ worth of keyword data is at your fingertips, start looking over your automatic targeting campaigns to find out which keywords performed the best. You’ll want to add those specific keywords to your manual campaign and ignore the rest of the results. This is important because a manual campaign enables you to adjust bids by keywords.

Step 3: Keep testing your results and try different bid amounts.

Headline Search Ads

Amazon’s Headline Search Ads show above the search results with keyword targeting and 1-3 products can be promoted on a headline at one time. These ads lead potential customers to specific pages on Amazon. Here is an example:image6 5

These ads can be customized to your needs and are optimized using links and captivating headlines that lead to specific landing pages like this one for Casper Sleep:

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Both of these factors will help your products get discovered and lead customers to buy your products. To get started with Headline Search Ads, the minimum bid per keyword is $0.10. Unlike other Amazon ad types, only two keyword support match types are allowed on headline search ads: phrase and exact match. The budget required for the most basic campaign is $100, limited to the cost of a $1 daily.

Here’s a quick step-by-step process to start optimizing your headline ads.

Step 1: Nail Down Communication With your Audience. What’s your unique selling proposition? Are you conveying that effectively to your audience? Your ad copy is only as good as that USP and how it best addresses your customer’s needs. Use a formula if possible and don’t forget to use the words that your customers are using to describe your business or products.

Step 2: Target Your Keywords –  Headline Search Ads show up on the listing of the product that your customers are actively searching for. Though the location is fantastic, double check that you are getting the best keywords in your niche. The Search Term Report is a great resource to help you get to know the words of your customers so that you can use them to your advantage.image4 5


Step 3: The More Relevant, The Better. Your conversions depend on creating specific ad groups that are not relying on generalities. Your unique selling proposition will again help you here and establish in the minds of your customers what makes you different from your competitors.

Further Reading:

Product Display Ads

Last but not least are Product Display Ads. This ad type operates differently than the other two as it is not keyword targeted but rather product or interest targeted. These pay-per-click ads drive customers to the product's detail page and are paid for by cost per click.  

Setting up a Product Display Ad begins with choosing from a ton of products that are similar to your products. This step enables your ad to target customers who are already interested in your type of product, though each campaign can only have one targeted customer type at a time.

These ads show up at the bottom or the right of Amazon search results, the top offer listing page, email sequences or a customer review page.

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Here are a couple of scenarios that are ideal for Product Display Ads.

  • Andrew Maffettone at Seller’s Choice says: “When we do Product Display Ads for our Amazon sellers we like to take one ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) and create a campaign targeting competitors’ ASINs (Advertising Cost of Sale). As we optimize and get the ACoS within our target, we add more and more competitors. After a while, we’ll create more campaigns based on complementary products. So, if we’re selling belts, I may create a Product Display Ad campaign directed at jeans.”
  • The Ad Badger argues that Product Display Ads are at their best when you know that your product will sell – you have new product offerings or products that you’re desperate to sell.
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Advanced Conversion Tactics

The competition is fierce on Amazon. Even with everything you’ve learned so far, a part of you might doubt that your business can turn a profit. However, these advanced tactics can help you separate yourself from the crowded marketplace on Amazon.

Here are six tips to help you get the conversion ball rolling faster.

1) Create Campaigns by Product Category

If you have any experience in AdWord campaigns, you’ll feel right at home with this tip. Your experience with AdWords will help you put together your ad groups on Amazon. The idea is to have a campaign for each of your main product categories and then put together more specific ad groups.

For instance, if you sell athletic wear for women you may decide to begin with your three best sellers, such as women’s workout shirts, women’s workout pants, and women’s sports bras. Split each ad group into specific categories: women’s workout shirts could be ad group 1, workout bras ad group 2, and workout pants ad group 3. Make a list of 15-30 relevant keywords for each ad group and write relevant ad copy with the keywords.

This process will not only keep your ads relevant but also increase your ROI and prevent you from wasting money. If this process is new to you, here is a quick visual guide to help you get a leg up.

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2) Write Urgent and Captivating Ad Copy

Make sure your ad copy describes what you’re selling, but add humor and creativity when appropriate. Standing out in the eyes of your customers is crucial in the massive Amazon search results, and a little urgency in the text never hurt.

Here’s a great example of an ad that uses the element of urgency:



3) Specificity Is King

It's crucial that your ad copy is as specific about your product as possible.

For instance, if your product is a water container, customers should be informed of how much it will hold, whether the container is BPA free, how long the water stays cold in it, etc. It can be challenging to put all that info in the ad, so here is an example of a product using the basic criteria such as height, weight and the features of the product in the ad copy.

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4) Bid on Similar Products of Popular Brands

While discovering which keywords will benefit your campaigns the most, look to your competition for inspiration.

For example, if your business sells backpacks, you should be looking into keywords such as “North Face backpacks” and “Eddie Bauer backpacks” as these are prolific brand-name products that are frequently purchased in your niche and placing your backpack in those search results can get your lesser-known backpack more exposure in your target market.

To uncover your top competition, do a regular search for your products on Amazon and discover which brands dominate the search results.

Further Reading:

5) Match Types and Negative Keywords

Similar to promoting your products on Google, negative keywords are the best way to reduce wasteful spending from random clicks.

If your product is musical flutes and the keyword “flutes” gives you a phrase match (your ad appears when a customer accesses your key phrase using the exact keywords) and broad match (your ad appears when certain keywords are searched), then a potential customer could type “champagne flute” and access your Amazon ad. That means that if someone accidentally clicks on your ad while searching for a drinking glass, you’ll be paying for a person who is completely uninterested in purchasing your musical flutes.

So it's a good idea to be cautious with your matches, staying away from broad search and pouring more into exact and phrase match. Exact and phrase match will keep your ads specific whereas the potential for random clicks increases with broad match. Be sure to do keyword research to make sure you’re using the best words and phrases that you should be targeting.

6) Experimentation Is the Name of the Game

Sponsored Product Ads might appear to give you the quickest and most apparent ROI, but it's worth testing out to see which of the three ad types – Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Product Ads, Product Display Ads – gives you the most bang for your buck. Then once your numbers give you a more holistic understanding of what’s converting best, you can distribute your budget according to your campaign results.

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Get Going!

Nearly 40% of Internet spending occurs on Amazon, so if you’re committed to boosting your e-commerce company’s bottom line, you should definitely consider using Amazon’s own advertising tools to help improve your Amazon ads and increase sales.

Need help with Amazon advertising? We have a team of specialists that live and breath Amazon advertising who can custom design your ad campaigns and maximize your conversion rate. Get a free consultation here!

Main blog image source: emevil / 123RF Stock Photo

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