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How To Set Up Your First Amazon PPC Sponsored Ads Manual Campaign

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Once you have validated your product listing by running and analysing your auto campaign, it is time to set up a manual campaign, giving you better control over keywords to bid on.

So from the data analysis of your auto campaign, you can select the most appropriate keywords to put into your manual campaign, but first let’s start the mechanics of set up.

The set up for an Amazon Sponsored Ads Manual Campaign is exactly the same as for an Auto campaign up to a certain point.

Go check out my previous blog post Setting up Your First Auto PPC Campaign and read to the point where you are choosing the targeting option then come back to this post where we will continue the process of setting up the manual campaign.

You have got to this point and here you will select manual targeting:-

manual campaign

Once you have manual targeting selected, and you have named your ad group, and chosen your product, as in the previous post, you will be at this point:-

ad group

Select your bid and again you can start off at $1

Now here you will need to select a match type.

But take care when selecting this. It is usually set to broad but if you forget to change this you cannot change it later once you have created the ad group.

In a manual campaign you will also need to select your keywords and more on that later.

Once your keywords are selected then click save and finish, and your manual campaign is all ready to go.

So that is the fairly simple process of setting up your campaign, but of course you need to know the keywords to use, the bids to make and the ad type to use so lets go back to the search term report.

The purpose of a manual campaign is to make sure that Amazon show our ads to as relevant an audience as possible, so we want directly related search terms.

In your search term you have already sorted by impressions. If you haven’t already done so go through and highlight the search terms that are very directly relevant to the product.

Identify the top 10, or 20 (depends on how much data you’ve collected) search terms you have that have produced sales, from these directly relevant terms.

So ideally we will now have orders placed from directly relevant keywords – these are our ideal keywords and phrases.

These should be in our title if they are highly relevant, because remember that the title carries the most weight in Amazon’s algorithm.

You can now look at the ACoS for these terms. I have another post which demonstrates how to Calculate your True Amazon ACoS which is different to the ACoS shown on the reports so check that out.

We want the ACoS on our search term reports to be lower than this break even ACoS.

You should also consider the volume of impressions.

Remember that these reports return data based on the dates in the date column – so for example check how long this date period is – obviously data that has been running for 60 days which is the maximum term of the report, will have more impressions than one that has only been running for a few days so bear that in mind when analysing your reports.

You can compare the number of impressions to the click through rates.

Impressions of more than 1000 should have a click through rate of 0.4 – 0.8% ideally

If you find the click through rate is lower it could be that the ad isn’t resonating with that shopper – they may be looking for something that is related to our product.

Then check out conversion rate – a good rate would be 10-20%

So the ideal scenario would be as follows:

  1. Directly relevant keyword
  2. More than 1000 impressions
  3. CTR 0.4-0.8%
  4. CPC less than $1
  5. Conversion rate more than 10%
  6. ACoS below our previously calculated break even ACoS

So if you have keywords which match the above scenario then these are your ideal keywords to move forward into your manual campaign.

These keywords should be used in a manual campaign in 3 separate ad groups – one for broad match, one for phrase match, and one for exact match.

For the bids it is good to start a broad match with a $1 bid, phrase match a little higher than broad at $1.25 and exact a little higher than phrase at $1.50

So maybe you have some ideal keywords now to put into your 3 ad groups within your manual campaign

I advise naming this manual campaign “(product name) Manual Converting Terms” and within this campaign you will have broad match converting terms, phrase match converting terms, and exact match converting terms.

If you have not found many keywords within the ideal scenario as listed above, then use your judgement to go over the search term report and maybe identify some terms that come close to the ideal that you would like to use.

Now you also need more keywords.  Hopefully we now have some highly relevant converting keywords and have put them into the 3 ad groups within the converting terms campaign, but we still need more for research purposes.

To get more keywords heres what we can do:-

Use one of these highly converting keywords as a seed keyword and enter it into a keyword tool such as:-

Merchant Words

Helium 10

Scientific Seller

You will then get lists of keywords related to your converting ones and you can enter these into a separate campaign.

Name this campaign “(product name) Manual Research Terms” indicating that the keywords in here have not yet been proven to convert but we are just testing to see if they will convert

Again you want to set up 3 ad groups for each match typebroad, phrase and exact and bid at $1 for broad, $1.25 for phrase and $1.50 for exact.

Campaign management moving forward…

Management of PPC campaigns is a continuing process of looking for the best performing keywords and the badly performing keywords and adjusting accordingly.

When looking at your campaigns in seller central you will probably look at the ACoS %

Here is a brief list of actions to consider when you feel your ACoS is too high:-

  1. Click on the campaign for which you are seeing a high ACoS
  2. Click on the ad group for which the ACoS is high
  3. Click on the keywords for that ad group
  4. Sort the keywords by clicks – this will show you where your money is being spent
  5. If you are seeing more than 7 clicks but no sales then you should cut your keyword bid in half and look at that keyword
  6. Is it a keyword that is directly relevant to your product – if so then leave it at a reduced bid.
  7. Is it not so relevant or is it performing better in another match type?  If so you can consider reducing the bid right down to 0.02 cents or making it a negative keyword. Do not pause the keyword because this has been shown to have a detrimental effect.
  8. Repeat this process every time you monitor your ad spend

Amazon PPC is not an easy thing to get right and needs a continuous monitoring process.

You will need to be vigilant in your monitoring because it is very easy to spend too much!

However try to stick with it because it is proven that spending money on Amazon PPC results in improved organic rankings.

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