How to Avoid Costly Amazon PPC Mistakes and Save Money on Your Ads

Tips on how to maintain and scale your campaigns successfully.

Elise Jackson

Post details

  • AUTHOR: Elise Jackson
  • CATEGORY: Amazon Advertising
  • DATE: 14/10/2021

Despite our best efforts, mistakes can crop up in our lives daily. But when it comes to Amazon PPC advertising, these mistakes can unfortunately cost time and money.

If your budget isn’t optimised, your bidding is inefficient and you haven’t caught these mistakes early, then your money could be going to ads that are underperforming and not converting or even sending irrelevant traffic to your listings with the wrong keywords.

The good news is that they are easily fixed, as long as you check in regularly to your campaign performance! The even better news? In this blog, we’ve given you the most common Amazon PPC mistakes so you can avoid them altogether.


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Common Amazon PPC Mistakes and How to Fix Them

1. Not using a granular campaign structure

Often we see only one or two campaigns set up in Amazon Ads. These tend to be either the one-time automatic campaign or the one-time annual campaign, plus maybe one Sponsored Brand campaign. We also see multiple different products advertised in the same ad group.

Mixing all your products into the same campaign and ad group makes optimising your ads difficult, you’ll struggle to understand how your ads are performing at a granular level and you have no control over where the spend goes.


How to fix: organise your campaign structures with separate ad groups and campaigns!


At the minimum, each product should have an ad group, and each product range should have a campaign.

We also recommend employing multiple campaign types for each product that you advertise; use some campaigns specifically to discover new search terms, some to research which keywords perform for each advertised product, and others to enable you to scale up impressions quickly. This is how you achieve high-performance campaigns.


2. Not using the right keywords or negative keywords

Some accounts target only a small handful of keywords across a random, inconsistent mixture of match types, don’t use long-tail keywords or don’t use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms.

These can contribute to your PPC campaigns being shown to irrelevant audiences which can cost you money and precious data for your insights!


How to fix: conduct keyword research and create a negative keyword list for your campaigns


Our campaigns often target hundreds of keywords that we identify through an ongoing keyword research process, and we recommend you do this regularly to move the budget from underperforming keywords and assess if there are new opportunities.

Doing this will enable you to continuously identify new non-branded niches, test them, and scale them if they’re profitable and aligned with your strategy. To determine what performs best for each keyword, you can also test keywords against all match types: exact, phrase, and broad.

Also, adding a negative keyword list is a must-do to avoid wasted spend going to irrelevant or underperforming search terms.


3. Lack of ongoing optimisation

It’s easy to set a campaign up, but it certainly isn’t easy to optimise it. We’ll often see campaigns left to run on their own for weeks. Or, if a brand feels that a campaign isn’t working, or is running at too high an ACoS, they’ll simply turn it off.


How to fix this: set up regular Amazon PPC optimisation checks


Having a consistent optimisation process should be a part of your Amazon Ads foundation, and should include a regular search term, bid, and budget optimisation as part of your regular process. We recommend conducting an Amazon PPC audit to identify any issues within your Amazon PPC campaigns.

There is no correct one-size-fits-all to how many times you should work on optimisation and the time between optimisations depends on the size of your account. Ideally, you should optimise as soon as you have enough data to make a decision: not before and not after.

It’s also important to have a process for dealing with anomalies on your account. For instance, if something out of the ordinary happens, what’s next? We have a specific flow that first looks at your Ad account, then your product detail page, and then it looks at your market to determine why the anomalies have occurred and what action should be taken.


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4. Not setting competitive bids

Amazon resets the campaign budget caps every day at midnight and will spend during the day until the campaign budget is exhausted. If your budget is used by midday, then your campaigns won’t run until the budget cap is reset again. That’s half a day of missed potential sales!


How to fix: Set competitive bids based on your budget and goals


It’s important to have at minimum a daily-budget-check process in place, to ensure you’re maximising your spend and sales. Ideally, you should receive budget alerts if your budgets are close to exhaustion, so you can increase them as required.


5. Lack of quality product pages

So much focus can be on the Amazon PPC campaign set-up, ads, keywords, budgets etc but sometimes there is no thought about the product pages themselves. When a user clicks on an ad there is still work to convert them into paying customers. Advertisers make mistakes by not optimising their listings effectively.


How to fix: add high-quality imagery and copy that converts


Amazon product listing optimisation is imperative since it has a direct impact on how products rank in the marketplace as well as converting customers when they land on your product from an ad. An optimised listing should improve the user experience (UX) by providing clear, concise, and relevant information to potential buyers, easing their purchasing decisions.

There are four key areas to address when looking to perfect a listing:

  • Product Title – the first bit of information that a user will see and it should clearly say what the product is and the brand name.
  • Bullet points – this should consist of your product USPs which are easy to read so the potential customer understands exactly what to expect.
  • Description – where you can go into all the little details about your product. Speak about the brand behind the product and further your brand’s message, mission, or purpose. For sellers that have completed Brand Registry, A+ content and Premium A+ content are fantastic opportunities to showcase your product in stylish, engaging, and easy-to-digest ways.
  • Images – this is the only visual a customer has of the product so, an image should clearly show the product against a white background and, if applicable, in a lifestyle setting. Always have high-quality images that are not blurry.


5. Not using automatic and manual campaigns effectively

We often see some advertisers favouring one of the two campaigns, rather than both. If you only use automatic campaigns, you cannot refine bids by keywords and product targets. Amazon does not have extensive smart bidding options like Google Ads, so you lose revenue on high-performing keywords and ASINs as not every keyword or ASIN performs equally.


How to fix: set up automatic and manual campaigns


Having both automatic and manual campaigns is essential for successful PPC strategies as they give you comprehensive data and also ensure you retain control of your ad spend.

You can utilise Amazon’s data with automatic campaigns, pinpoint profitable keywords and then target them in manual campaigns to maximise sales.


6. Not checking PPC performance regularly

Once you have clicked live on all your campaigns, you can sit back and relax, right? Nope! Not that we expect you to have the Amazon PPC dashboard up for you to be checking all day, but advertisers that don’t regularly check in once a day can miss issues that arise which can cost money!


How to fix: Use Amazon PPC reports to track your performance and identify areas for improvement


Amazon has robust reporting and campaign insight features for you to use to make data-driven decisions on your campaigns. We recommend checking your PPC campaigns once a day so you can effectively manage your keywords and budgeting.

Here’s a daily checklist for you to use when monitoring your Amazon PPC performance:

1. View or download the search term report to identify profitable and non-profitable keywords.
2. Check your campaign budgets.
3. Take a look at key insights like ad spend, cost-per-click, clicks, click-through-rate, sales and ACOS.
4. If keywords have been consistently underperforming, consider adding these (plus any irrelevant keywords) to your negative keywords list.
5. Increase bids to the high-performing keywords.
6. Look for any major spikes in cost or any ads that are severely underperforming and compile a report into why this could be so you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Doing this every day will keep your Amazon PPC campaigns on track, avoiding any mistakes that would incur a cost.

Reminder: don’t make quick decisions! We also see mistakes made by advertisers when they quickly remove an underperforming ad without allowing enough time for fluctuations or without trying to optimise that ad differently.


Our thoughts

The first rule of Amazon PPC Advertising – leave some room for trial and error! Mistakes are how we learn and improve, so it’s okay if you have made one in your PPC campaign, as we said at the start, everything is easily fixed.

That being said – if you can avoid making them in the first place, great! The above are common mistakes we have seen when working with several clients over the years, so bookmark this article and set up your campaigns right from the start.


Need our help?

Want an audit of your Amazon Ads to help you scale your account and increase sales? You’ve come to the right place! Our team of Amazon experts will review your current ads strategy and deliver a 10-page assessment report packed with actionable insights.

Want more info? Give us a call or send us a message.


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