Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Amazon PPC Questions Responded

Olivia Gao / 11 min read

1. Do I need a lot of Amazon product reviews before starting my PPC ads?


It doesn’t make or break the PPC campaign, but it will certainly help. In our experience, when potential buyers click on your product, it takes at least six to eight positive reviews to convert people to buy.

If you want to launch your product aggressively (i.e. activate PPC from Day 1 of your Amazon product launch), even without reviews you’ll still achieve some organic search benefit- as your listing relevance will be boosted.

In general, however, your money will go further if you have some good reviews under your belt before you begin PPC.

2. How do I generate keywords for my PPC campaign?

There are two types of campaigns that you need to generate keywords for: automatic and manual.

When you’re running an automatic campaign, Amazon will generate your keywords based on your product listing and the commonly used search terms. So you don’t have to do anything!

When you’re running a manual campaign, you need to generate the keywords yourself. There are two main ways to find these keywords:

  1. If you had an automatic campaign running before, go through the past search term reports and use the keywords that resulted in sales.

  2. If not, then use a third-party keyword search tool to find relevant keywords for your product. We really like using: Helium 10, Sellics, Amz.One, MerchantWords and Sonar.

These tools will help you create the most effective targeted keyword list for your PPC campaign.

A common tactic is to run both an automatic and a manual campaign simultaneously.

This works well, as long as you don’t pay for the same keywords in both campaigns.

You can achieve this by setting the manual campaign's bids higher than the automatic campaign's bids, which means the most impressions for that search term will then be shown on the manual campaign.

Another way is to add negative keywords to the manual campaign. Negative keywords are keywords used to block your ad from appearing in certain search results.

If you want to just run either a manual or an automatic campaign, then we recommend going with manual. In the long run, manual campaigns will achieve better results because you have much more control in the manual campaign for each keyword.

To learn more about the best keyword research hacks, check out our recent webinar with Bradley from Helium 10, where we show you exactly how to find your most profitable keywords.

3. Should I use broad, phrase or exact match type keywords in my Amazon PPC campaigns?

There are three keyword match types you can include in your campaign: broad, phrase, and exact match.

  • Broad matches will include your ad in searches related to the keyword, even if the match is not exact. Useful for finding new keywords.

  • Phrase matches let your ad appear when someone searches for a relevant phrase, including slight variations or misspellings. Helps reduce your ad spend and lets you access variations in search terms.

  • Exact matches mean your ad will only appear if the shopper searches for the exact keyword or phrase you’ve chosen. Works well when you want to target specific keywords with a high bid.

It is important to test out all three match types for every keyword. In different contexts, different match types will perform better.

For example, if the Amazon algorithm thinks there’s a high chance the customer will buy your product, it’ll show them the exact match keyword.

If Amazon is less confident about the purchase, it’ll show the same keyword as a phrase match.

If Amazon think there’s a low possibility the customer will buy the product, it’ll show this keyword as a broad match.

That’s why it’s important to initially run the keywords in all different match types.

After some time, you can decide where the keyword performs best – it might perform best in one, two, or all three match types.

4. How much do I need to spend on Amazon PPC ads?

There’s no one answer to this question because it depends on your product, the competition in your category, your sales goals, and your profit margin.

Here are some steps you can take to determine what the right number is for you.

First, you’ll need to analyze your budget to determine your profit margin. Amazon has a helpful revenue calculator for this.

We recommend considering the competitiveness of the product and category, as well as how much of your sales are organic versus paid. This should give you a good number as a jumping-off point.

From there, you can decide to set your ad budget in a number of ways: 

  • a) Choose a predetermined amount and enter this into your campaign settings.

  • b) Spend a percentage of total sales. The optimal ratio is 8 to 12%.

  • c) Base your spend on your ACoS, starting with low daily budgets and bids, and then gradually increasing these until you reach the top of your profitable ACoS range.

  • d) Use the 25/25 rule. With this model, you optimize for an ACoS around 25% and try to have 25% of your total sales come from PPC.

The goal is to maximize profit at the end of the day, so experiment with these approaches until you find one where the math makes the most sense for your business.

5. Why aren't my Amazon PPC ads appearing?

Before you make any changes, answer these questions first:

  • - Is the product actually relevant to the subcategory?

  • - How long have you been running the PPC ads? If less than seven days, give it time.

  • - Are the keywords relevant to your Amazon product listing?

  • - Do your manual campaigns have at least 300 keywords? Make sure to only phrase match in the beginning.

  • - Does your PPC campaign have zero impressions? Then it might be blocked by Amazon.

However, if you’ve checked off all the above or they’re not applicable to you, then here’s what we suggest.

First, check if every part of your listing is optimized.

Do you have:

  • √ High-quality photos that show the product and its features and benefits?

    √  Right keywords in the listing that match what you’re PPC campaign?

    √  Title that descriptive and packed with keywords?

    √  Descriptions with easy-to-read bullet points that clearly show the product’s value proposition?

    √  Back-end search terms?

    √  Translation of your listing that is high-quality? (Only for those who have products in multiple Amazon marketplaces).

    √  Competitive pricing?

Second, adjust your keywords to include more long-tail keywords.
You can also change your keyword match preferences to see if that gives you traction.

Third, increase your bids for specific keywords. Amazon is a highly competitive marketplace, and you may find that low bids won’t give your campaign the visibility it needs.

6. Why aren't my Amazon PPC ads getting any clicks?

If your ads are appearing, but you’re not getting any clicks, there’s a few things you can do.

You can increase your bid to get more impressions, which should increase your chances for more clicks.

However, the most effective action you can take is to check and further optimize your listing. We'll keep on coming back to this point, as an optimized product listing is actually the foundation of a good PPC campaign.

If you want to know how to optimize your product listing's conversion rates by 20%, here are 5 ways to do it.

7. My Amazon PPC ads are getting clicks, but no sales. What’s happening?

If you’re doing the proper keywords targeting and getting high click-through rates (also known as CTR) with little conversions, the issue is most likely your Amazon reviews… or your listing (surprise!).

This usually means your potential buyer is not impressed by your photos, videos, description, or the number of (positive) reviews on your page.

We realize we sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s well worth it to double-check your listing again. It could be that something is well off match.

 - Is the pricing too high?

 - Is the product title and description compelling enough? Is your copy really selling the benefits and features of your product? (One word of advice here: speak about the customer's needs).

 - Do you have high-quality product photos and videos of your product? This is the first thing they see and if it is not aesthetically pleasing enough, your potential buyers are out.

Next, assess your reviews. There are good business practices you can put into place that will increase your chances of getting plenty of 5-star reviews.

If you’ve gotten unlucky with bad reviews, there are still steps you can take to mitigate their effect. In fact, we wrote an entire post on this — you can read it here.

Our last piece of advice? Be patient. How much time has passed? It may take a while for listings to begin to convert, especially if your PPC campaign is less than seven days old.

8. I’ve got my Amazon PPC ads up and running. How do I optimize them to get a better ROI?

a) Cut wasteful ad spending by altering bids based on performance.

You can do this by monitoring the ACoS on your keywords. Reduce the bid on keywords with the highest ACoS and increase the bids on keywords with the lowest ACoS. Keep doing this until the ACoS improves and your traffic increases.

b) Keep an eye on conversions for your highest spend keywords.

If they’re not converting, consider increasing the bids on your highest converting keywords (don’t forget, all converting keywords should run in all three match types). Don’t forget to add negative keywords to prevent your ads showing for irrelevant search terms that you don’t want to pay for in clicks.

c) Try different ad placements

Placements is one of the newest improvements to the PPC platform.

It’s essentially having your ad placed in different locations based on the viewing device, which can open up new opportunities for conversions.

You can review your results in Campaign Manager and in your advertising reports. You don’t need to make any changes to your campaigns to take advantage of ad placements.

However, new placements may lead to increased impressions and clicks for your ads, which can result in increased spend and impact your budget.

d) Compare how each match type performs for every keyword

Look at which match types has the best metrics for each keywords. The keywords in badly performing match types should be optimized so they no longer burn through your budget.

e) Continue to implement new keywords

Find keywords that convert by filtering your data reports to see what your customers are searching for and which keywords have good click-through rates (1% or more).

In our experience, anything over 0.7% CTR is above average and less than 0.2% is bad.

9. Once my product is selling, can I turn off the PPC ads?

It’s best to always run PPC ads – even if you’re breaking even or running them at a slight loss – because those extra sales will boost your organic rankings.

10. Can I launch a new product on Amazon without PPC ads?

Of course. However, you're going to get much better conversions and long-term ranking benefits by coordinating your launch with a PPC campaign.

Since we know that this can be both time-consuming and complicated for sellers, we designed a new tool called Kaizen PPC.



It allows you to build, track and optimize your PPC ads to ensure ROI specific to your Amazon goals.

We’re offering you a free 14-day for Kaizen PPC by Judolaunch. Just go to our homepage and sign up.

Kaizen PPC is the first-ever goal-focused, Amazon PPC ad automation software. It allows a merchant to select a goal, then uses artificial intelligence to achieve that goal through Amazon PPC advertising.

Merchants have different goals when they advertise on Amazon. These can be:

  • 1. Maximizing profit for a product that's already been launched.

    2. Launch a new product.

    3. Ranking a product, and getting more visibility (without concern for profit).

    4. Liquidating inventory that's costing them warehousing and long-term storage fees.

Our PPC platform allows merchants to select whatever their goal is, then it optimizes their ad strategy to accomplish that goal.

 For instance, if you choose the maximized profit goal, it's going to show you: how much profit you're making; how much revenue you made; what your costs have been over time; your return on ad spend; your total profit; your profit per unit; and every metric that's important to you when you're trying to maximize profit.

Now, if you have a rank goal, it's going to show you the metrics that matter for you being a merchant that's trying to rank a product. When you log into the rank goal that's actively optimizing your campaigns to achieve a certain rank, it's going to show you how you're ranking has been over time, and how much you spent in order to achieve that ranking.

The same applies if you set a liquidate inventory goal. Kaizen PPC shows you how much you've saved on long-term storage fees or warehousing fees over time; how much you spent to get that savings; and what the difference is, which is your net savings.

For the launch a product goal, the process is pretty unique because it's a specific sequence that takes exactly 30 days, and you go from a brand new product to a launched product. The output from our software is a list of the keywords that we've tested that ended up being most profitable, and have the most impressions across Amazon's platform.

Not only do you see your sales per day through paid, and how you're ranking for keywords; but you're also going to get an output at the end of the launch sequence with your most profitable keywords, and also the top keywords that you should implement into the design of your listing - and that you should focus on for ranking.

As soon as you're done with the launch goal, our software prompts you to start a ranking goal for some of the top keywords.

Why the name Kaizen?

Over the past year at Judolaunch, our mission was to create an Amazon PPC tool that saves time and money.

The Japanese “Kaizen” approach inspires just that. A belief that positive changes over time will result in overall growth and success.

Got more questions about the tool and how it works? Book your live one-on-one demo with one of our Amazon consultants. The session will be 100% personalized to you and your business.


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Picture of Olivia Gao

Olivia Gao

A member of the remote Judolaunch marketing team, Olivia recently swapped the murky Thames in London for the blue Bosphorus in Istanbul. She knows first-hand how tricky it can be to navigate the Amazon world, thanks to her past roles in global FMCG marketing. Olivia looks forward to helping other vendors find their feet in the ever-changing Amazon marketplace.