Auditing your advertising campaigns (in other words, conducting a critical examination of your campaign structures and settings) can help determine if they’re aligned with your business strategies and your goals for advertising on Amazon. It may seem daunting at first, but having a proper campaign structure in place will prove invaluable to your success in advertising on Amazon. Here are the most common issues to look for when performing a self-audit on your account.
1. Create a balanced automatic and manual campaign mix
First, ask yourself if you’re employing a mix of both automatic and manual Sponsored Products campaigns. While it’s a popular belief that manual campaigns are more important (because of the clarity and control these campaigns give advertisers), each campaign type serves a different purpose, and it’s best to use both automatic and manual campaigns to have full advertising coverage.
Automatic campaigns provide broad coverage, and manual campaigns are more targeted and typically produce a higher return. It’s ideal to include all products you’d like to advertise in an automatic campaign — with similar products in the same ad groups — to ensure at least some advertising coverage for them. Since manual campaigns are more targeted, most of your spend should be flowing through them, but employing both ad formats in unison will maximize the amount of traffic to your products.
2. Check for structure around the three traffic types
Ask yourself if your campaign is structured in a way that separates the three traffic types: brand, category and competitor. Creating campaigns that feature keywords specific to one traffic type is essential for clearly understanding the performance of your account. Because brand keywords usually produce a better return, if they’re grouped in a campaign with category or competitor keywords, they could artificially drive up the overall revenue of the campaign. Meanwhile, the category keywords may not receive nearly as many impressions. Separating these traffic types is imperative for allocating your ad spend correctly. It also allows you to more easily see how each traffic type is performing.
3. Use all three keyword match types
Using all three keyword match types (broad, phrase, and exact) for each keyword in your account is another opportunity to maximize your advertising reach. By implementing broad and phrase match keywords, you could potentially uncover top-converting search queries as keyword opportunities. Most of your spend should ideally flow through exact match keywords since these should be the most relevant keywords with a higher conversion rate. You can achieve this through a tiered bidding structure for each term, with the exact match keyword having the highest bid, followed by phrase match and then broad match.
4. Use ad formats that make sense for your advertising strategy
The number of ad formats available to you will depend on whether you’re a seller or a vendor. It’s important to take advantage of all the ad formats that align with your overall goal for advertising on Amazon.
Sponsored products for traffic and flexibility
Sponsored Products ads typically produce the most traffic, given the number of placements they receive and the fact that they have the highest sales per click compared with the other ad formats. I recommend always running Sponsored Products ads, as they can be tailored to any of these strategies: brand promotion, rapid growth, and achieving a target ad cost of sale.
Sponsored brands campaigns for “top of funnel” growth or branding
Sponsored Brands campaigns can be a great “top of funnel” or branding opportunity if you’re focused on promoting your brand or even growing incremental sales by extending brand reach to new consumers. The prominent banner placement, in addition to having the option of driving traffic to your Amazon Store, is a great brand-awareness opportunity to tell shoppers more about your brand or products. However, since CPC is typically higher than that of Sponsored Products campaigns, due to the limited (but prominent) placements, and since there is a much higher clickthrough rate, Sponsored Brands ads aren’t as beneficial for achieving a low ACoS metric.
Product display ads for targeting interests and product pages
Similarly, Product Display ads can be another opportunity to inform shoppers about your brand by targeting interests and product pages, including those of your competitors. However, Product Display campaigns should be reserved for strong brand promoters since these are generally the most expensive ad format and typically produce lower attributed sales.
5. Limit keyword duplication
Duplicate keywords throughout the same ad format can lead to inefficiencies in account management and make it difficult to know which products are receiving traffic for a specific keyword. Since keywords across the account will have varying bids, duplicate keywords compete for the same placements, and it’s likely that one instance of the keyword will receive more traffic than the others.
Analyze Amazon’s Targeting Report for duplicate keywords and consider eliminating the lower-performing ones. In the ideal Sponsored Products campaign structure, a keyword is only featured in one ad group within one campaign. A select group of high-priority products that are closely related to the keyword would then be featured in this ad group.
The same is true for Sponsored Brands campaigns. A specific keyword with the same match type should only be included in one campaign. The top related products can then be featured in the banner and on the landing page.