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Amazon PPC Guide: Leverage Auto Campaigns to Find New Keywords

In this new series on Amazon PPC, we share our findings on Amazon PPC optimization so you can increase conversion, lower ACoS and increase your profit.

Amazon PPC Strategy Tip 1 Overview

Run an Amazon PPC auto campaign & manual campaign simultaneously

One very successful strategy when selecting keywords for your campaigns is to run an automatic and manual campaign with the same exact products in each.

Run both campaigns simultaneously. In the automatic campaign Amazon will do the keyword research by automatically and constantly testing new keywords. On a regular basis, take well-performing keywords from the automatic campaign and copy-paste them into your manual campaign. So over time, you’ll gather the best-performing keywords in your manual campaign where you’ll have the ability to adjust each keyword bid individually – in contrast to an automatic campaign. Automatic campaigns, for this very reason, aren’t very well-suited for in-depth Amazon PPC optimization.

Run a PPC auto campaign to find new keywords:

  1. Select the automatic PPC campaign you’ll take search terms from
  2. Select the tab containing search terms
  3. Set a time frame for analysis
  4. Set criteria for determining keyword quality, i.e. whether a keyword is good enough to be used for the manual Amazon PPC campaign, by sorting CTR
  5. Further define good keywords by filtering by number of clicks
  6. Enter the chosen keywords into the manual campaign by copying them and pasting them into Seller Central

Find new customer search terms for your PPC Campaign

You can now manage your Sponsored Product campaigns directly in Sellics. Use the Sellics PPC Manager to analyze search terms from your automatic and manual PPC campaigns. In the screenshot below you’ll see two different kids of small icons to the left of the campaign names. The little magic wand represents an automatic campaign, and the little green man a manual one. To see the search terms, just select your automatic campaign and go to the search term tab.

Step 1: Select an auto campaign in the PPC Manager

Amazon PPC Strategy Tip1 Step 1

Step 2: Select the tab ‘Searchterms’

Amazon PPC Tip 1 Step 2: Select Search Terms

Step 3: Select a time frame for keyword analysis

We recommend a period of two weeks for accurate analysis of search terms used in Amazon PPC campaigns. Any time period shorter than 14 days doesn’t allow enough clicks and purchases to be generated to represent performance accurately.

Keep in mind that the last 7 days should not be considered in your analysis. Amazon has a standard time frame of one week for tallying purchases from clicks on PPC ads. That means a purchase will be considered to come from your PPC ad if a customer:

  1. Sees your PPC ad and clicks on it
  2. Clicks away from your ad
  3. (Maybe even buys a competitor product)
  4. Returns to the listing you ran your ad for after 6 days and makes a purchase

Amazon PPC Tip 1 Step 3 Select Time Frame

This means that for accurate analysis of your Amazon PPC data, you should wait a total of 3 weeks after starting your campaigns, then analyze search terms from the first 2 weeks.

In the screenshot above, you can either manually select the first two weeks of the campaign, or click on ‘set optimization time-frame’ to the right, which will select that same amount of time for you.

Note: This is obviously much easier than using Seller Central, which only has fixed time frames in their PPC manager – such as ‘last 7 days’ or ‘last 30 days’ – and if you log in a couple days late because you were on vacation, then you have to deal with inaccurate date ranges and subsequent errors in data comparison.

Which Amazon customer search terms should you use as keywords?

In PPC auto campaigns, Amazon simply tests the ad with many different keywords. If the PPC ad is shown for a certain keyword, clicked on, then purchased – Amazon interprets this as a suitable keyword and pushes more ads in this direction. On the other hand, if an ad is never clicked on for a certain keyword, Amazon will stop showing ads for this keyword in the automatic campaign.

What does this mean for you as a seller? Not all keywords from automatic campaigns should be transferred over into your manual campaigns – because Amazon itself is still figuring out which keywords fit well and perform best.

You have basically two approaches to selecting relevant keywords from an auto campaign:

1.Keywords with a high conversion rate

These search terms are  valuable because they are already converting for you. If these keywords performed well in the auto campaign, we can assume it will perform well in your manual campaign too.

To find these, sort the conversion rate column from highest to lowest. This can be seen in the screenshot of Step 4 below.

In order to avoid outliers (for example, a keyword with one click and one conversion), set a minimum number of clicks. For a period of two weeks, we recommend a minimum number of 5 clicks. (See the screenshot in Step 5 below.)

2. Keywords that are highly relevant for your product

The other approach is to simply scan the list for customer search terms that fit your product listing well. This isn’t the most time-efficient method, as you obviously cannot filter for ‘relevant keywords.’

Step 4: Sort Search Terms By Click Through Rate (CTR)

See the screenshot below.

Step 5: Filter Out Weak Search Terms (with low CTR)

Amazon PPC Tip 1 Step 4 & 5 Sort and Filter Keywords

Transfer Keywords From Auto Campaign to Manual Campaign

In order to transfer high performing keywords from your auto campaign to your manual campaign, use the clipboard function in the PPC Manager. The screenshot below shows how you can simply click on the ‘copy’ icon on the right-hand side of the keyword and it’s automatically added to the clipboard.

Next, click once on the clipboard’s ‘copy’ icon to copy the entire clipboard contents. Then, paste them into the manual Amazon PPC campaign in your Seller Central account.

After you’ve entered in the new keywords into your manual campaign, you can adjust each keyword’s bid price automatically.

Need some help with your Amazon advertising strategy?

Take a look at our Complete Overview of Advertising On & Off Amazon to give you an idea of what kinds of marketing would work well for your business. And remember – keep checking our blog for more advanced tips, because as your business expands, your Amazon advertising strategy should too!

Featured image credited to Freepik

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Sellics is the leading Amazon analytics platform for brands and sellers. It is used by large multinational brands as well as small Amazon-only merchants to optimize rankings, manage product reviews, observe prices and monitor competitors to increase sales on Amazon.

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