Amazon PPC Strategy Guide: The 3 Pillar Approach

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3 Not-So-Secret Ways The Machete Platform Automates Amazon PPC Strategy

 

PPC is the cat’s pajamas. It’s the only sure-fire way to get instant attention to your product or brand on Amazon. But it takes a lot of elbow grease to do PPC right. Even the most seasoned Amazon pros spend hours of their life inside Amazon PPC software every day. But were you born to jockey a keyboard? No! You’re a badass Amazon seller, and you’re better than this. You’ve got a business to run and don’t need to while away the hours knee-deep in spreadsheets. Amazon Ads automation is your get out of jail free card. Robots do the heavy lifting while you sit back, relax, and let the clicks roll in.

But you know what? Most Amazon PPC management software companies have a dirty secret.

They aren’t fully automated.

Sure, they might automate a few things here and there, but these platforms still rely on a lot of manual inputs from their users (AKA you). This speeds up Amazon Ads optimization, but it doesn’t do quite enough.

 

 

The 3 pillars of a fully automated platform with Amazon PPC software

 

In my humble opinion, The Machete Platform is the best Amazon PPC tool on the market. We created the first truly automated, end-to-end Amazon Ads platform. Our technology automates campaign structure, bid optimization, and search query mining in a mind-blowing and effective platform that not only saves you more time, but a ton of money.

Interested to see how it works? Let’s dive into how The Machete Platform is automating the PPC ecosystem with smarter Amazon PPC management software.

 

Pillar 1: Understanding the important of Campaign Structure for Amazon campaigns

 

The first pillar of a fully automated Amazon PPC is campaign structure. This is the skeleton of your entire PPC campaign, and it’s important to understand how these settings affect your options down the line. Follow these best practices to understand campaign structure—and rejoice that The Machete Platform can automate these tasks for you!

1.     Choose the type of campaign

Let’s talk shop for a sec. What do you want to get out of your Amazon PPC campaign?

  • Do you want to promote sales on a brand new product?
  • Do you crave brand awareness and general exposure?
  • Or do you need to re-engage with peeps who haven’t bought your product yet?

Amazon’s got a cure for whatever ails you. They offer 4 (but really 3) campaign types you can choose from.

 

Sponsored Products

Sponsored Product campaigns promote individual products. It’s a great way to promote products in a high-profile way, appearing natively in product search results. This is great for boosting traffic to one particular product.

 

amazon sponsored products

 

Sponsored Brands

Need more brand awareness? That’s what Sponsored Brands are for. This campaign creates ads with a headline, your logo, and a list of products.

 

amazon sponsored brands

 

Users can click on the ad to either see your Amazon store or a customized landing page. Sponsored Brands are better if you’re focused on growing your brand or if you’re an established brand that needs to protect your image on Amazon.

 

Sponsored Display

Sponsored Display campaigns reach audiences both on and off of Amazon. They’re perfect for retargeting customers that didn’t convert the first time they saw your product.

 

amazon sponsored display

 

Best of all, these display campaigns auto-generate ad creative, so you don’t have to hire a graphic designer to build display ads.

 

Lockscreen

I threw this campaign type in since it’s technically an option, but not many people use it. Lockscreen campaigns display ads on Kindle devices for eBooks. This is great if you’re selling eBooks, but for anything else, it’s “meh.” The best Amazon PPC management software starts with understanding the type of campaign you need. This depends on your goals.

 

2.     Auto versus manual campaigns

There are other considerations we have to keep in mind with campaign structure. Amazon PPC gives you a choice between manual or automatic campaigns. I wish I could tell you that one is better than the other, but the right choice comes down to—you guessed it—your goals.

For manual campaigns, you set your keywords and bids in a laborious process that can take a chunk of time. You choose your keywords, match type, and bids to set very specific parameters for your campaign. It’s the best way to control your audience targeting and budget. Manual campaigns are great if you’re a seasoned Amazon Ads wizard, but be careful: manual takes time and is more prone to human error.

Automated, or auto, campaigns are different. This is an automated offering from Amazon where the platform chooses your keywords. You put Amazon in the driver’s seat here, where it has free reign to pull keywords from your product listing page and set bids accordingly.You hand over a lot of control with this option, which means you could be sacrificing quality, but it’s good if you’re a beginner.

So, what’s the right option for your biz? Again, it comes down to your situation. If you have a huge inventory on Amazon, manual might get better results, but it will take you forever and a day to set everything up. If you have a simpler store, you can get away with manual. The good news is that Amazon PPC management software like The Machete Platform will automate this for you, so don’t feel down.

 

amazon ppc management software

 

3.     Ad groups

After you choose your campaign settings, you’ve got more decisions to make. Chug some coffee, because this next part is important.

Amazon tells you to create ad groups for your ads. If you’re used to, say, Google Ads, you might start lumping similar products together under one ad group. That’s totally fine, provided the products are similar. Many sellers do this for Amazon PPC and see great results. However, there’s a reason you might want to rethink clustering products together in one ad group. When we want to do bid optimization or query mining later, we’re going to need clean data.

Because of how Amazon sets up its reports, you won’t be able to see which keyword led to each, individual ASIN. You’ll only be able to see the ad group that the keyword led to.

That’s a recipe for confusion, especially if you’re mixing products together willy-nilly in ad groups. I can’t tell you what to do, but if you want to take a data-driven approach to Amazon PPC, I usually recommend advertisers break products out into individual ad groups per product. The guys over at Portent agree with us.  You’ll get more granular data that means better control and campaign performance. But is that possible if you have 2,000 SKUs? No, probably not. In that case, it makes more sense to group multiple products in an ad group.

However, understand the tradeoff here. When you put multiple products in one ad group, it’s easier to manage, but it can muddy your data.

amazon search ads

 

4.     Product versus keyword targeting for Amazon PPC

Keyword targeting is what most of us are accustomed to in the PPC world. You assign keywords to each ad group based on queries that you think customers will search for.

When they search for that term, Amazon will (hopefully) show your ad and convince that user to buy. Amazon PPC gives you another option, too: product attribute targeting. You can specify a certain product category for your campaign.You can also specify certain products or brands that you want your ads to show up around. Amazon lets you refine this by brand, price, average customer rating, and Prime status to get even more granular.

Keyword targeting is more “traditional” in that you’ll have to do research to determine the best keywords. Even with Amazon PPC software, it can be hard to compete with keyword targeting. That means it’ll be harder to get your ads to show up.

Product targeting has a lot of potential to show up around competing products. However, it’s a time-consuming option. Every time you add a product to your inventory, you have to add it to your ad group. That’s hard to do at scale, so it’s a better option for smaller shops.

 

Automating Amazon PPC campaign structure with The Machete Platform

But wait—you don’t have to do this manually. There’s a way to automate campaign structure without the angst. The Machete Platform is the best Amazon PPC tool for automating campaign structure. Simply connect The Machete Platform to your Amazon Ads account to get started. We’ll pull your products out and you get to select which ones you want to advertise.

Set your goal aCos and The Machete Platform’s Amazon PPC management software will automatically structure your campaigns by product. We’ll create one manual campaign and one auto campaign to mirror each other, optimizing campaign structure for the most results possible.

 

Yup, it’s that easy.

 

Pillar 2: Amazon PPC Bid Optimzation

Now it’s time for pillar 2 of automated Amazon PPC software: bid optimization. Bid optimization matters because it helps you keep your costs low. Unless you like overpaying, frequent bid optimizations keep campaigns ROI-positive.

 

1.     Managing aCos

Bid optimization starts with aCos, or advertising cost of spend. aCos is a percentage that measures how much you spend on ads versus how much revenue sales from those ads generated. In plain English, it’s a number that shows whether your ads are generating enough sales to make up for the cost of ads.

 

Let me break it down: the formula for aCos is Total ad spend / Total ad sales X 100.

 

If you spent $50 on ads that brought in $100 of sales, your aCos would be 50%. Generally speaking, you should shoot for an aCos of 20% or lower to be profitable. A low aCos means you’re spending less than you’re earning; that’s a good thing!

At this point, you might be wondering, “What does aCos have to do with bids?” aCos is important because it shows PPC ROI. The bids you set affect ad spend, which in turn affects aCos. To improve your aCos, we have to go back to the source: bidding.

By the way, I recommend optimizing aCos every 7 days at a minimum to stay competitive. This is easier if you have Amazon PPC management software, but if not, it means a lot of manual work for you, buddy.

 

best amazon ppc tool

 

2.     Pulling your bid data

Fortunately, you don’t have to calculate aCos yourself. You can pull this, as well as other bid data, from Amazon.

Download your Targeting Report to see:

  • Target keywords
  • Spend
  • Total sales
  • aCos

 

The most basic way to do bid optimization is to compare your keywords aCos against your goal aCos. If your target aCos is 20% and your actual aCos is 50%, you know you’ve got work to do. Thanks to this report, you can take action on your campaign, lowering the aCos and becoming more profitable.

 

P.S. Remember how I said you should group individual products by ad group? This report will be easier if you structured your campaign that way.

 

Automating bid optimization with The Machete Platform

Bid optimization is a critical way to keep your Amazon PPC campaign profitable. Unfortunately, if you’re doing this without Amazon PPC software, it’s tedious. After all, who’s got the time to fiddle with reports and bids?

Not you.

The Machete Platform is the best Amazon PPC tool for bid optimization. Since The Machete Platform sets up product-specific ad groups that align with your campaign goal, we automatically tweak your bids to fluctuate based on performance.

Our reports usually look at a 30-day window, but you can customize the window to tailor the report to your account. The Machete Platform is an Amazon PPC management software that optimizes on a daily basis, protecting your budget. We’ve got guardrails in the software that make sure you don’t over- or underbid.

 

 

Nifty, huh?

 

Pillar 3: Mining the Amazon Search Terms Report

 

The final way The Machete Platform automates Amazon PPC is through search query mining. Keywords are the lifeblood of a good PPC campaign, but keyword-hunting is a tedious process that nobody enjoys.

 

Thanks to search query mining, Amazon PPC software like The Machete Platform connects Amazon sellers with better keywords that move the needle. Let’s dive into how it works.

1.     Understand what search query mining is

“Search query mining” is a fancy way of saying “find new keywords.”

 

While some people dump keywords into their Amazon PPC account in the hope that something sticks, that’s a recipe for wasted money. We care about keywords because they affect how profitable our Amazon campaigns can be. By choosing the right keywords, you can make your ads more relevant, get more sales, and improve aCos.

amazon search ads

 

2.     How to pull a search query report from Amazon PPC

Many Amazon sellers generate keyword ideas manually, using Amazon auto-complete to brainstorm new keywords. And sure, you can do this. I’ve found plenty of great keyword ideas with auto-complete. But you’re managing a growing business. You don’t have time for auto-complete, especially if you have a lot of SKUs.

The best way to start query mining is to look at your Amazon Search Term Report. You can access this in Seller Central under Advertising Reports.

In the report, you want to look at:

  • The keyword: So you can see the performance of the keywords you’ve already chosen. If one is particularly successful, see if you can try a longtail version to get more traction.
  • The term the customer used to search: This data point will tell you what customers searched for to land at your product. This is a goldmine for keyword ideas!

 

Again, this report will look different depending on how you structured the campaign.

 

If you followed my advice and created one ad group per product, you can see which customer queries led to each product. This is how you harvest better keyword ideas, which is why campaign structure is so important.

 Automating search query mining with The Machete Platform

Search query mining is a more advanced way to find keyword ideas. Some of the best Amazon PPC tools, like The Machete Platform, take the manual component out of keyword research.

The Machete Platform’s Amazon PPC software automates researching keywords for each ASIN. Our system does this at scale, too, so you can get the same results as manual search query mining without the headaches.

The platform can add these new keywords and test them out, optimizing at every turn for improved ad spend, relevance, and aCos.

amazon ppc optimization

Conclusion

Amazon is a multi-billion dollar platform. Claim your piece of that pie with a truly automated solution for Amazon Ads. The Machete Platform puts your Amazon PPC on autopilot with intelligent campaign structure, bid optimization, and search query mining that keep your brand top of mind.

 

Ready to save more time and sell more stuff? Sign up for the The Machete Platform platform.

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