Join my next workshop – Introduction to Selling on Amazon >

If you’ve ever tried Amazon Sponsored Products advertising campaigns before, then you may have found them to be a bit hit-and-miss.

Some campaigns will perform well, while others won’t. There are lots of targeting and display options and lots you can tweak.

This post is intended for anyone who has campaigns running now, that perhaps need some optimisation to perform better.

I’m not going to go into the details of all the different campaign types, ad-groups, match-types, etc.  If you need to get started with ads, you can book some time with me to get set up.

My number one piece of advise when it comes to Amazon Sponsored Products

My main advice when using Sponsored Products ads to sell your products on Amazon is not to set them and forget them!

By checking and tweaking your campaigns every few days you can keep on top of spend, gradually improve your ACOS / ROAS (I’m using both, as not everyone looks at the same measure) and improve their performance.

Especially when your products and / or campaigns are new, you really need to spend time nurturing them in order to see a good return. (Or hire someone to do that for you!)

Daily tasks

If your campaigns are new, these are things I’d suggest you do daily, for the first few weeks at least.

Once your ACOS / ROAS and sales are consistently where you’d like them to be you can move to doing them weekly or bi-weekly.

Check your bids

If you’ve set up a manual campaign you may have seen that the suggested bid will move up and down.

If you’re bidding lower than the suggested amount it may mean that your ads just aren’t shown (depending on how many other sellers are targeting the same keyword or ASIN).

If you’re bidding higher this isn’t really a problem – unless your ACOS / ROAS for that keyword / ASIN is high, so you can either adjust to the higher end of the suggested range, or leave as is.

As a general rule I wouldn’t bid more than 10% of my product price.  So if my product sells at £15, I wouldn’t bid higher than £1.50 on any single target.  Depending on your product price and margins you might be able to go higher or lower than this – but it is worth thinking about – especially as you’re paying per click – not per sale.  If you’re bidding £3 on one keyword, for a £15 product, you could easily spend your entire budget very quickly, without making any sales.

This leads me to…

Check your budget

Does your daily advertising budget often run out by midday?  If so, you might want to consider pausing your campaign(s) in the morning and resuming them later in the day to see if it makes a difference.  (i.e. do more people buy, rather than browse, later on.) 

It might not affect things at all, but if you’re blowing through your budget, and sales and / or ROAS aren’t where you’d like them to be, it could be worth a try.

Check your spend per target

Another regular check I do is to sort my keyword targets by spend and see if there are any that have high spend and no / few sales.  If so, I pause them.

You might also like to add them to your negative targeting.

The great thing is this can be done within Campaign Manager, by going into the ad group, rather than having to download reports to check on this,

Check ROAS / ACOS

The final daily check I do is to sort my targets by ROAS and pause any where both ROAS and sales are low.  (As if ROAS is low, but sales are high it might be worth trying other things such as decreasing your bid, or trying a different match type.)

Weekly tasks

Check search terms

Every week I like to go into the search terms for each ad group and see what people have been searching for, that’s triggered a match.

I look for anything that’s cost a lot, but hasn’t generated many / any sales (which I then add to negative targeting.)

I also look for any customer search terms that have generated sales and aren’t in my campaign as an exact match and add those in.

This can be a useful way of generating new keywords if you’re using broad or phrase match types.

If you have any auto campaigns –  run reports

If I’m running any auto campaigns then every week I generate a report. (Doing this daily feels a bit much – unless perhaps ad spend is getting silly – but it’s really important to stay on top of it.)

This doesn’t need to take long.  Apply a filter and look at the following:

  • Spend (descending). I look at how much I’ve spent on a search term (and a keyword, as you can see which one it triggered) and how much revenue it’s generated. If you’ve spent a lot and not generated any (or many) sales, you can consider adding it to your campaign as a ‘negative exact’. This will stop you wasting any more money on an unprofitable keyword.  It will often show you if it’s a search term that’s triggering your keyword – and you can add that in too.  I often do this to ‘cull’ unprofitable keywords!
  • By 7 Day Total Sales (descending).  This can be a good way of identifying search terms that you can add to your campaigns as keywords – either to add to an existing campaign, or to set up a manual campaign if you’ve been doing automatic targeting so far.  It’s particularly good for identifying long-tail keywords – as these often cost you less per click.  (Make sure you enter them as phrase or exact match in your campaign though.)  

You may find that the longer an automatic campaign is running, the less useful this exercise becomes, as hopefully either your campaign will be performing well, or you’ll have switched to a manual one.

Hopefully these small tips help you with managing your campaigns. It shouldn’t be time consuming, but doing all of these, as regularly as you can, should help to get both sales and ROAS up.