How to do an Amazon PPC Audit in 5 steps

Elise Jackson

Post details

  • AUTHOR: Elise Jackson
  • CATEGORY: Amazon Advertising
  • DATE: 13/11/2023

Are you looking to boost your Amazon PPC campaign results but don’t know where to start? Sometimes you need to strip back to basics and conduct an audit.


An Amazon PPC Audit can help you identify key limitations and opportunities of high potential within your Amazon PPC Campaigns. So, how do you conduct an effective Amazon PPC Audit? Let’s find out.


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Understanding the Amazon Marketplace

An Amazon PPC audit involves an evaluation of your Amazon campaigns. You should examine everything from your keywords, ad copies, landing pages and campaign performance to help determine which ads and keywords you should continue to allocate budget to!


Why is an Amazon PPC audit important?

If ad sets are underperforming then you will want to discontinue these, and so this is why conducting an audit is important. They are a great way to evaluate performance, budget, spend optimisation and highlight anything going wrong in your PPC campaigns.


How often should you conduct an Amazon PPC audit?

Firstly, you should be checking on your active campaigns regularly and monitoring progress via reports with data-driven insights.
An Amazon PPC audit is a more in-depth look at how your Amazon PPC campaigns are doing overall, packed with key observations, a closer look at each campaign and overall account health. So, we recommend doing these every 60 days.


Benefits of conducting an Amazon PPC audit

Aside from the ultimate goal of wanting to improve campaign performance, there are many other benefits to conducting an Amazon PPC Audit:

1. Improved ROI: By identifying and optimising underperforming campaigns, keywords, and ad groups, you can increase the return on your advertising investment, leading to better profitability.

2. Budget optimisation: Understanding what is performing and what’s not means you can allocate your budget effectively, taking it away from underperforming ads and placing more budget behind the higher-performing ads.

3. Increase Sales: By auditing your PPC campaigns you can weed out anything that’s not working for you and optimise your campaigns, meaning that you can attract more potential customers and increase sales. Fine-tuning your ad campaigns can also lead to visibility on Amazon search results page which increases awareness! Win!

4. Seasonal adaptation: Audits can help you adjust your PPC strategy to accommodate seasonal trends and fluctuations in demand, maximising your sales during peak periods.

5. Customer insights: Through data analysis, you can gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, helping you tailor your advertising and product offerings accordingly.

6. Risk Mitigation: If you identify issues early like low-quality scores or policy violations, you can mitigate the risks that can harm your account’s health.

7. Protect your brand space from competitors with a defensive strategy: Identifying which brands are targeting your branded keywords means you can come up with a defensive strategy and prevent advertising spaces based on your brand.


Common mistakes found in Amazon PPC audits

We conduct many Amazon PPC Audits for clients at This is Unicorn either when we take on someone new or when we want to check PPC performance – and there are common issues that arise from these audits that you can learn from.

1. Underdeveloped campaign structure: You are advertising multiple ASINs per ad group, which leaves advertisers with no control over where the ad spend is going. We also see advertisers targeting more than one ad type in the same ad group. We recommend creating three separate ad groups for each board, phrase, and exact match type to have better control of the spending and test more effectively the performance of each type.

2. Lack of campaign/targeting types: No key SP and SB campaigns nor advanced strategies (SD or/and SBV campaigns) are being used. There is strong potential to maximise sales by expanding campaign types and reach new audiences

3. Lack of campaign optimisation: Your bid and budget optimisation might not be consistent. We recommend optimising campaigns at bid, budget and placement levels consistently to scale up revenue and not generate wasted spend.

4. Lack of defensive strategy: What we can find is competitors are showing on the brand’s listing and/or branded keywords and there is no strategy in place to counteract this. Here we would like to cross-sell and take up ad space so no competitor can show.

5. Non-converting Search terms: There are non-converting or unrelated search terms receiving a lot of spend that should be added as negative keywords.


How to conduct an Amazon PPC audit

Start by gathering the data from the last 60 days of your Amazon PPC campaigns, you will want to create your checklist to mark against each type of ad campaign you have been running.

Here’s roughly how you can conduct your audit:


1. Check your Key Performance Metrics

Create a list of key performance metrics that you want to check overall for all your Amazon PPC ads:

  • ACOS (Advertising cost of sale)
  • ROAS (Return on ad spend)
  • Impressions
  • CTR (Click-through-rate)
  • CPC (Cost-per-click)
  • CR% (conversion rate)
  • Sales
  • Clicks
  • TACoS (Total advertising cost of sales)
  • PPC Share (% of total revenue coming from ads)


You’ll want to make sure you have a decent snapshot of these metrics so look at the last 30 days at least. Compile this information for each of your campaigns like Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands etc using the same time frame so you have a consistent snapshot across all campaigns for high-level detailed insights.

You can look at performance reports via Seller Central.


2. Review your campaign structure

This is an important step as you don’t want to lose time and money with disorganised ads.

This involves checking if the campaign naming structure is correct and easy to follow, checking if you have the right goals set up for your campaigns, and what types of targeting the ads have.

Here are some things to look for when reviewing your campaign structure:

  • Are your campaigns organised by product type, brand, or another logical category?
  • Are your ad groups relevant to your campaigns?
  • Are your keywords relevant to your ad groups?
  • Are you using negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms?
  • Are you differentiating branded vs. non-branded campaigns?


3. Evaluate your keyword targeting

Your keyword targeting is how you choose which keywords to trigger your ads. It’s important to choose the right keywords so that you’re targeting the right people with your ads.

Here are some things to look for when evaluating your keyword targeting:

  • Are you targeting the right mix of broad, match phrase, and exact match keywords?
  • Are you using long-tail keywords?
  • Are you using negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms?


You can use the Amazon Search Term Report to see which keywords are triggering your ads and how they’re performing. Use this information to refine your keyword targeting.


4. Analyse your bidding and ad groups

Your bidding strategy and ad groups are both important factors in the success of your Amazon PPC campaigns.

Here are some things to look for when analysing your bidding and ad groups:

  • Are you using the right bidding strategy for your goals?
  • Are your bids competitive?
  • Are your ad groups relevant to your keywords?
  • Are your ad groups well-organised?
  • Are the keywords you are targeting appearing at the top-of-search placement?


You can use the Amazon Seller Central Reports to track your bidding performance and ad group performance. Use this information to optimise your bidding and ad groups.


5. Optimise your campaigns for performance

Once you’ve reviewed your key performance metrics, campaign structure, keyword targeting, and bidding, it’s time to optimise your campaigns for performance.

Here are some things you can do to optimise your campaigns:

  • Remove keywords that are irrelevant or not performing well.
  • Add new keywords that are relevant and have a high search volume.
  • Adjust your bids to make sure you’re competitive.
  • Write a compelling ad copy that encourages people to click on your ads for SB campaigns
  • Test different ad formats to see what works best for your products.


You should monitor your campaign performance and optimise them regularly and make adjustments as needed.

By following these steps, you can conduct a thorough Amazon PPC audit and identify areas where you can improve your campaigns.


Bonus tip: We recommend consulting with an Amazon Agency who have a team of experts to conduct a thorough audit with detailed and expert advice on how to improve your PPC Campaign health and performance.


Amazon PPC audit checklist

Here is a cheat sheet for you to help you conduct your Amazon PPC Audit:

  • Campaign set-up and structure
    • Are the campaign names correct?
    • Are your campaigns organised by product type, brand, or another logical category?
    • Are you using different targeting options?
    • Are you advertising each ASIN in a separate ad group?
    • Are your ad groups relevant to your campaigns?
    • Are your keywords relevant to your ad groups?
    • Are you targeting branded keywords and products?
    • Are you using negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms?
    • Are you using match types effectively?
    • Are you having enough budget for campaigns throughout the day?
    • Are you using ad rotation to ensure that all of your ads are getting seen?


  • Performance metrics
    Check your KPIs across all PPC campaigns including:

    • CTR rate
    • CPC
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Sales
    • ACOS
    • ROAS
    • CR%
    • PPC Share
    • TACoS


In addition to the KPIs you listed, you can also track metrics such as conversion rate, cost per conversion, and profitability.

Segment your performance metrics by campaign, ad group, keyword, and match type to identify areas for improvement.

Compare your performance metrics to industry benchmarks to see how you’re stacking up.


  • Keyword Targeting
    • Are you using the right keywords?
    • Are you targeting enough keywords in your campaigns?
    • Should you be changing them up for seasonal campaigns?
    • Are there keywords that are not performing?
    • Are you using a variety of keyword match types, including broad, phrase, and exact match?
    • Are you using long-tail keywords?
    • Are you using negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms?
    • Are you using the Amazon Search Term Report to identify new keywords to target?
    • Are you regularly reviewing your keywords and making changes as needed?


  • Bidding and ad groups
    • Are bids optimised at the target level?
    • Is there ongoing optimisation, and optimisation at the placement level?
    • Are you using the right bidding strategy for your goals?
    • Are your bids competitive?
    • Are you using ad groups to organise your keywords and set different bids for each group?
    • Are you using ad extensions to make your ads more informative and appealing?


  • Use of negative match types
    • Are there any relevant keywords targeted negatively and therefore limiting traffic?
    • Are you adding irrelevant keywords/ products as negative targets?


In addition to the negative keywords you mentioned, you may also want to consider negative keyword matching at the ad group and campaign levels.

Regularly review your negative keywords to make sure that you’re not excluding any relevant search terms.


  • Check opportunities at the ASIN level
    • Are all ASINs being advertised?
    • Are any ASINs generating organic sales but not being advertised?
    • Are you separating ASINS by ad group?
    • Are you targeting competitor ASINs? Branded ASINs?
    • Are you allocating your budget wisely across your ASINs?
    • Are there any ASINS overspending?
    • Are you using ad extensions to make your ASIN ads more informative and appealing?


Additional Considerations for Your Amazon PPC Audit

  • Account health: Check for any account health issues, such as suspended keywords or campaigns.
  • Product listings: Make sure that your product listings are well-optimised and persuasive.
  • Pricing: Make sure that your prices are competitive and profitable.
  • Customer reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews for your products.
  • Brand awareness: Build brand awareness through social media marketing, email marketing, and other channels.


Our thoughts

Conducting an Amazon PPC Audit is fundamental to your optimisation and monitoring strategy for your Amazon PPC campaigns. This is when you can catch any mistakes within your campaigns, stop any wasted ad spend, weed out underperforming ads and optimise your campaigns.

But, don’t waste your time doing a bad audit! Follow the checklist outlined above, creating an Amazon PPC Audit template that you follow and fill out each time you conduct an audit. Every time you do one you can refine this process further to suit your needs.

Amazon PPC Audit Service

Looking for feedback on your Amazon PPC Campaigns and quality recommendations with actionable next steps? Book your Amazon ads audit consultation.

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