A Quick Guide To Amazon PPC

Antonella Argenziano


Data is the key to success, and you will want to set up all the available types of campaigns to collect as much of it as you can. I have not added the Video Ads option as this guide is aimed at new/small sellers that would not have access to the right creative, nor the budget that this campaign type requires. We will cover this in future issues.


Sponsored Products

  • Auto Campaigns
  • Branded keyword targeting (create 3 ad groups for Broad match, Phrase match and Exact match)
  • Non-branded keyword targeting (create 3 ad groups for Broad match, Phrase match and Exact match)
  • Branded product targeting
  • Non-branded product targeting
  • Category targeting

Sponsored Brands

  • Branded keyword targeting (create 3 ad groups for Broad match, Phrase match and Exact match)
  • Non-branded keyword targeting (create 3 ad groups for Broad match, Phrase match and Exact match)
  • Branded product targeting
  • Non-branded ptoduct targeting
  • Category targeting

Sponsored Display

  • Branded product targeting
  • Non-branded ptoduct targeting
  • Category targeting
  • Remarketing
  • Audience targeting


As mentioned previously, the aim of the table above is to offer inspiration, a “checklist”, to ensure you have covered all your targeting options. I will provide an overview of the entries below, so you are clear on the reasons behind them.


  • Auto Campaigns these are extremely useful when set up with low bids, as you can use them to harvest new targets (Keywords or ASINs) to add to Manual Campaigns.
  • Branded keyword targeting – in this campaign, you will target keywords that are specific to your brand (e.g., Philips will target “Philips”, “Philips shaver” if the advertised ASIN is a shaver and so on). You will target these keywords to avoid competitors’ appearing before you on the search results page when the user looks for your brand.
  • Non-branded keyword targeting – in this campaign, you will target those keywords that are relevant to your product, but do not contain your brand or variations of your brand: if you are selling a bullet journal, you will target keywords such as “bullet journal”, “journals”, “a5 bujo” and similar. Use tools such as Helium10, Sonar or Keywordtool.io to find relevant search terms. With the paid version, you will get insights on search volume and competitiveness.

Always think outside the box when it comes to non-branded keyword targeting, as keywords with high search volume will require a higher bid due to market competitiveness. To clarify this concept, imagine selling women’s handbags and bidding on the keyword “handbag for women”: a competitor such as Michael Kors will invest a high budget on the search term, and a new seller might struggle to compete against such a big brand. What you can do instead – besides relying on other targeting options that we will tackle below – is target keywords based on your product’s uniqueness. Is your handbag black, made of vegan leather and spacious? Your customer might be on Amazon searching for “black vegan handbag big”, or “big vegan bag”, and your product is exactly what they are looking for.

  • Branded product targeting – Sponsored Product ads can appear on the product details page, and by targeting your own ASINS in your campaigns, you will make sure that the customer has no options but to buy your product. See below for a visual example:

The customer is looking for a bag for women and clicks on the product pictured above. Unfortunately, competitors are targeting this ASIN, and are now appearing in the “Products related to this item” section: the customer might really like yellow and decide to buy the yellow bag from your competitor. Or they might go for a lower priced item like the one on the right. They might also look for a full 5 stars rating instead of your 4.5. For these (and more) reasons, you might have paid for a click and lost the sale to your competitor. If, instead, you fill all those spaces with your products by targeting your ASINs with your own ASINs, the customer could click on one of the “Products related to this item”, but it would still be your sale!

  • Non-branded product targeting – based on the scenario above, by targeting your competitor’s ASINs you could “steal” a sale from your competitor’s product details page. What is particularly great about this option is that this allows you to overcome the high-search volume/high-spend keywords issue mentioned above. Let’s put it this way: why would you spend £3 for a click on the keyword “women’s handbag” if you can spend £0.4 for a click through your competitor’s product listing page? Let your competitor spend on high search volume keywords, while you get the sale by just being on their page with a great main image, great rating and/or a better price.

A great free tool to find new ASINs to target is the Google Chrome extension ASINFetcher: search for the products that are relevant to your product and capture the ASINs that appear on top of the search results.

  • Category targeting – with this option, you can target your products’ category, and you can also filter relevant categories by price, reviews and brands, so you can rest assured your customers will see your product against competitors’ items that you have an advantage on. For instance, if your product’s price is £12.99, and you have a bunch of 5 stars reviews, you might want to target products that are either pricier, or that have lower rating: with this targeting option, you have the possibility to filter and create these segments and assign and control budgets easily.


  • Audiences Remarketing – “remarketing” is what allows you to target customers that have either visited your product detail page, or that have made a purchase. Thanks to Amazon Display Ads, you can reach potential or actual customers through ads that appear on Amazon or on relevant websites off Amazon. You can use this option to either encourage repeat sale or to cross-sell products. A customer that has purchased a bullet journal might be interested to know that you are now selling a new colour of that product with a 10% discount. In that case, you can take advantage of the customisable lookback window that Amazon offers, where you can decide to target customers that have purchased the product 14 days ago, or 30. As it is a bullet journal, the customer might want to purchase a new one before reaching the last pages of the current one, or they might want to wait until the last few days: the beauty of the Remarketing option is that you can bid differently on the different lookback windows and test what works best for you.
  • Audiences Interests – Amazon Audiences Interests allow you to target customers with shopping behaviours relevant to your products. For instance, if a customer has checked out a mountain bike in the past 90 days and you sell helmets, your product could appear in front of the customer as part of the “LS – Sports and Outdoors Fans” audience.


Now that we are clear on the structure of our campaigns and the reasons behind all the types of ads, I’d like to provide some tips on how to achieve and maintain efficiency:

  • Whether you have a large or a limited budget, I recommend starting your campaigns with conservative bids: this will avoid budget waste and will allow you to build up volume while maintaining a healthy performance.
  • Amazon has introduced a great option to optimise our ads: the “Targeting” tab. You can find this in the Ad Console initial page and on top of the key metrics’ graph. This view allows us to filter all of our targets by the metrics we are interested in. For instance:
  • Is your target ROAS £5? You can click on “filter by > ROAS” and select “less than 5” to get a list of all the inefficient targets. From there you can reduce the bid and reduce spend on inefficient targets;
  • I recommend that you split all your campaigns by Asin, to ensure granularity and give you control over optimisation, and to follow a naming convention that includes the following:
  • Campaign type – SP (Sponsored Products), SB (Sponsored Brands), SD (Sponsored Display)
  • Branded/Non-branded – NB, BR
  • Targeting option – KW (Keywords), PT (Product Targeting), CAT (Categories), AUD (Audience)
  • Advertised Asin – your product identifier
  • Match type (for Keyword targeting ad groups) – BROAD, PHRASE, EXACT


  1. Sponsored Products, Branded Keyword Targeting campaign for the Asin B005J60IPQ = SP_BR_KW_B005J60IPQ
  2. Sponsored Brands, Non-branded Product Targeting campaign for the Asin B005J60IPQ = SB_NB_PT_B005J60IPQ

By having the ASIN in the campaign name, you will be able to filter through them easily in case you need to edit PPC spend behind one particular product.

  • You will notice that there is a “budget” to be assigned to each campaign: make sure you don’t limit the reach of good performing campaigns by setting low budget and high bids. In other words, use low budgets only as a safety net for tests or launches, where you don’t have enough data to justify a larger budget: the key to success is efficient bidding, and not restrictive budgets.
  • Finally, efficiency means campaigns that only target relevant products or keywords: to achieve this, the “search term report” from the Reports section is your best friend: thanks to this tool, you will see what are the targets that overspent without driving conversions, so you can add them as “negative targets” to your live campaigns.

Optimisation is extremely important, and by following the suggestions above, you can achieve and maintain good performance.

As mentioned above, each product is unique and PPC strategy changes accordingly. This article is a great starting point to help your products reach potential customers, but it is important to adapt your strategy to different scenarios.

We will cover different topics in future publications, so stay tuned!


If you have questions, or you would like to suggest a topic, click below