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Amazon PPC Campaign

How to Optimize Amazon PPC Campaigns Profitably

  1. Phase 1: Build a Solid Foundation with Exact Match Keywords
  2. Phase 2: Identify New Profitable Keywords to Scale
  3. Phase 3: Leverage External Data Sources for Ongoing Expansion
  4. Bringing It All Together: A Recap of the 3 Phases

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Launching a new product on Amazon can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor. A core part of any new product launch is setting up. How to Optimize Amazon PPC Campaigns to drive early sales and reviews. However, the real work begins after the initial launch when it’s time to scale campaigns profitably.

In the first 1-2 months after launch, the focus is on identifying a core set of highly relevant keywords, creating tightly themed ad groups, and bidding aggressively to gain initial rankings and sales velocity. Useful tools like Helium10 and SellerApp are leveraged to build a robust negative keyword list. Daily checks are made to kill off any unprofitable keywords or search terms.

Once the initial heavy lifting is done, it’s tempting to sit back and let the campaigns coast. However, successful vendors know that real profitability comes from continuous optimization and expansion of PPC efforts. The goal is to double or triple sales volumes while keeping profit margins consistent.

In this guide, we’ll walk through a 3-phase approach to methodically scale Amazon PPC campaigns while maintaining profitability. The key is taking a gradual and data-driven approach. We’ll start by solidifying our foundation with relevant keyword groups and aggressive bids. Next, we’ll leverage Amazon’s internal data to identify new opportunities. And finally, we’ll proactively seek new keywords and traffic sources outside of our original keyword universe.

Executed properly over a 3-6 month timeframe, this scaling methodology can 2X-3X your sales volumes while keeping your PPC costs in line. Profit margins are preserved as new high-converting keywords are identified. Scaling PPC is a marathon, not a sprint – but with the right approach, exciting growth is within reach.

Let’s jump in and explore the specifics of each phase in detail!

Phase 1: Build a Solid Foundation with Exact Match Keywords

The first phase of scaling PPC profitably is all about nailing down the basics – building a solid foundation of highly relevant, high-converting keywords and campaigns.

In this initial phase, focus solely on exact match keyword targeting. Identify 2-3 major keyword groups related to your product by analyzing keyword research tools like Helium10. For example, a garlic press product would focus on “garlic press” and “garlic crusher” as the two core keyword groups.

How to Optimize Amazon PPC Campaigns

Do a deep dive on each keyword group to identify 10-20+ related long-tail keywords. For our garlic press, we could target “garlic press for home”, “stainless steel garlic press”, “garlic press and peeler set”, etc. Avoid keyword stuffing – keep the ad groups clean and semantically related.

Set up an individual ad group for each keyword, containing just that single keyword. Why so granular? This allows you to maximize relevance between the keyword, ad copy, and landing page. The ideal is a 100% match. With a tightly themed ad group, it’s easier to write targeted ad copy and create a focused landing experience.

For each ad group, set aggressive bids aimed at securing page 1 placement, ideally in the top 3 organic results. Accept that this aggressive bidding will lose money initially – the focus is on sales velocity and securing rankings. Use bid automation tools if needed to bid up incrementally.

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Rounding out Phase 1 is setting up supporting campaigns like phrase and broad match, compartmentalized similarly to the exact match groups. The goal is not conversions here but rather gathering additional keyword data. Do keep a tight leash on bidding and spend for these supplementary campaigns.

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In total for Phase 1 you want to be tracking 50-100+ keywords across all match types, with the majority being tightly focused exact match terms. This establishes a baseline of relevant keywords and traffic sources to build on. Patience and focus are required at this early stage.

Once all campaigns are live, monitor frequently. Kill off any keywords or ad groups not meeting a minimum ROAS threshold you set. Use negative keywords aggressively as you find irrelevant search queries. The goal of Phase 1 is establishing a hyper-relevant foundation of keywords optimized for profitability.

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Phase 2: Identify New Profitable Keywords to Scale

In Phase 1, we established our core foundation of keywords. Now it’s time to scale through expansion. The goals of Phase 2 are:

  • Identify new relevant, high-converting keywords and ad groups
  • Organize keywords based on profitability potential
  • Leverage Amazon’s data to expand keyword universe

Populate Scale and Buy Campaigns

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  • Create 2 new exact match campaigns: “Scale” and “Buy”
  • Populate Scale with new keywords from Phase 1 discovery campaigns that had great conversion rates and low costs
  • Example Scale keyword: “garlic press professional”
  • Populate Buy with competitive keywords from Phase 1 with good conversions but high costs
  • Example Buy keyword: “garlic press best rated”

Manage Scale vs Buy Approaches

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  • For Scale keywords, uncap budgets and bids and let them spend. Goal is maximum rank improvements.
  • For Buy keywords, tightly control bids and budgets. Goal is to maintain profitability.
  • Once Scale keywords start ranking well organically, add as negatives to discovery campaigns
  • Example: “garlic press professional” is now ranking well. Negative it out of broad and phrase match to focus efforts.

Graduate Top Performers

  • Analyze phrase and broad match campaigns to identify 2-3 top performing keywords
  • Move these into their own exact match campaigns in Phase 2
  • Uncap budgets to drive more conversions and search term data
  • Example: “garlic press crusher” had 50% of phrase match campaign’s conversions. Move to its own exact campaign.

Amazon Data Fuels Expansion

  • Phase 2 leverages Amazon’s data to expand keyword universe and growth
  • New Scale and Buy campaigns populated with top converting keywords and search terms
  • Continuously optimize and grow PPC efforts using Amazon’s insights
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Phase 3: Leverage External Data Sources for Ongoing Expansion

In the first two phases, we focused on optimizing for keywords and search terms we already knew about. In Phase 3, the goal is discovering new opportunities by tapping into external keyword data sources.

Target Competitor Brand Keywords

Start by building out campaigns that target your competitors’ brand names. For example, a garlic press company would target “OXO garlic press”, “Kuhn Rikon garlic press”, etc.

– Leverage suggested bid data to determine reasonable CPCs

– Maintain a reasonable budget for competitor terms – this is supplemental, not core to strategy

Auto Campaigns Provide New Keyword Ideas

Revisit the auto campaign from Phase 1, which has now had time to accumulate data.

– Mine auto campaign search terms report and performance metrics

– Identify new keywords and ad groups based on profitability

– Example: [kitchen gadgets for vegetables] emerges as a new profitable keyword

– Create new exact-match campaigns around these emergent opportunities

Expand Further with Category Campaigns

To uncover more new keywords, create campaigns focused on your core product category.

– For our garlic press example, we would target “kitchen gadgets”, “cooking tools”, etc.

– Category campaigns use broad match to catch a wide range of searches

– Use negatives aggressively to weed out irrelevant terms

– New keyword ideas are added as exact match campaigns and monitored for performance

The goal of Phase 3 is to identify new, profitable keywords and traffic sources outside of our original core keyword set. This requires tapping into external data resources. Combined with Phases 1 and 2, this three-phase approach forms a data-driven, scalable model for PPC growth.

Bringing It All Together: A Recap of the 3 Phases

We’ve covered a lot of ground detailing a methodology for scaling PPC campaigns profitably. Let’s recap the high points:

Phase 1 focuses on nailing the basics. Identify core keyword groups and build out tightly themed ad groups with relevant landing pages. Bid aggressively with exact match campaigns to secure initial rankings. Use supporting campaigns like phrase and broad match to gather data, not conversions.

Once Phase 1 is established after 1-2 months, Phase 2 kicks off expansion. Mine data from discovery campaigns to find proven new keywords. Create Scale and Buy campaigns, with the former unlocked for growth and the latter tightly managed. Gradually promote top performers to their own exact match campaigns. Amazon’s data fuels ongoing growth.

After another 1-2 months, Phase 3 brings external data into play. Target competitor brand names to attract their shoppers. Revisit the untapped potential of your auto campaign. Create category campaigns to unlock more new opportunities.

Why take such a phased approach instead of bidding aggressively on anything and everything immediately? The key is managing risk and maximizing return. 

Phase 1 sets a baseline, Phase 2 expands tactically, and Phase 3 enhances with external insights.

Moving too fast by blanketing all keywords without optimizing is likely to bleed money. Scaling back campaigns without methodical expansion stifles possible growth. The 3-phase approach strikes the right balance.

Over 3-6 months, a successful PPC account transitions from Phase 1 foundation to Phase 3 diversity. But it’s important to master each step and scale thoughtfully. Patience and commitment to the process are required.

The payoff for getting scaling right is tremendous. Each phase builds on the last to drive greater conversions and sales at consistent or growing margins. Contact Us for 3X growth in 6 months is achievable with the right strategy.

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