2016-2017 Basic PPC Campaign Setup [START HERE]

Brian's 2016 & 2017 Basic PPC Campaign Setup Strategies  [START HERE]
NOTE: This overall and conservative strategy was designed to accommodate a wide range of products, categories, marketplaces and seller accounts. Each product and category may have faster or more effective tactics that can also be applied once a moderate level of campaign data has been collected. 

THE FOLLOWING STRATEGY IS A 4-8 WEEK INVESTMENT TO LEARN WHICH SEARCH TERMS YOUR AUDIENCE USES TO FIND AND CONVERT TO YOUR PRODUCT. If you need to reduce spending on an existing ad campaign with very high ACoS, start by controlling (reducing) your high ad costs by applying a relatively low default bid for all except the converting keywords (e.g. $0.30-$0.50).











  • 1. VALIDATION: Run an automatic "DISCOVERY" campaign for 5 days with a moderate (e.g. $1.00-2.00 bid, $10.00-20.00 budget) bid to validate that Amazon understands the product you're selling and that the top 10 customer search terms (by impressions; in the Search Terms Report) are directly relevant to your product or audience. Ignore ASINs (*FAQ document). If most of the search terms having the highest ad impressions are not related to your product, check if your product is in the most relevant categories for your target keywords by searching Amazon for each keyword and observing which categories are displayed at the top of the left-hand list of departments/categories.
  • 2. OBSERVE SHOPPER SEARCH TERMS: Continue the auto campaign for another week to collect data --- adding negative exact match keywords to eliminate search terms that continue to not convert yet consume the daily budget. [Caution: Negative exact match on a plural form search term will also eliminate a singular form search term... and vice versa.]
  • 3. TESTING CONVERTING TERMS: Copy customer search terms (from the Search Term Report) that are converting (have at least 1 order each), OR are directly relevant to the product you are selling, OR have a high CTR (above 0.7% after 1000 impressions) into a manual "RESEARCH" campaign having three(3) ad groups (Exact-, Phrase-, and Broad- match type ad groups) with a slightly higher default bid in each ad group than used in the Automatic campaign. The goal of the Research campaign is to identify keywords that perform better within different match types.
  • 4. Cut the default bid of the Auto campaign in half and let it continue to run. Each week, check for additional converting search terms (not previously identified) that may be copied from the Auto campaign (as done in #3) into the manual campaign. Once you've identified your best converting search term...
  • 5. EXPAND TRAFFIC: Bulk Keyword Research: Use the top converting search terms to conduct bulk keyword research using research tools such as MerchantWords, KeywordInspector’s ReversePPC, or Helium Magnet. Use the returned list to create a manual RESEARCH campaign with 2 ad groups, one for Broad match + one for Phrase match, starting with a bid higher than your Automatic campaign and lower than your Primary manual campaign. This research is used to identify new, related terms that may increase impressions and conversions to your ads while lowering the average cost per click.
  • 6. OPTIMIZE* 1: Using your weekly Search Term Reports (or PPCSCOPE), continually optimize* your campaigns to negative match (or reduce bid) expensive, non converting search terms.
  • 7. TROUBLESHOOT: Continue to optimize campaigns and use the PPC Troubleshooting Checklist [FILES, EVENTS pages] to troubleshoot specific situations. https://ppcscope.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/230085728-Amazon-PPC-Troubleshooting-Checklist-for-Sponsored-Ads-
  • 8. PROFITABLE/CONVERTING CAMPAIGN: From the Research and Automatic campaigns, copy the search terms / keywords, with it's corresponding match type that (a) converts profitably and (b) have a CTR above 0.20%, to a manual “CONVERTING” campaign having three ad groups (1 broad, 1 phrase, 1 match ad group) to support each match type. Default bids will be higher than your Research campaign default bids. You’ll end up with a full set of converting keywords in all three ad groups.
  • 9. OPTIMIZE* 2: Using your weekly Search Term Reports (or PPCSCOPE), continually optimize* your campaigns to negative match expensive, non converting search terms; reduce bid by 25% on expensive, non converting keywords (check for associated/matched search terms first); and move poor performing keywords (with very low CTR: below 0.10%) back to the Research campaign.
[Watch the other training videos found here on the PpcScope.com site in the HELP section and on most pages. For a more aggressive and thorough instruction on Amazon advertising, consider the full training course, SponsoredProductsAcademy.com]

*"Optimizing" is a process of trading out low converting terms for high converting terms. To improve PPC performance, focus on adding high-converting search terms to the listing's Bullets (features) or Description fields.  To improve organic search position performance, focus on adding high-converting search terms the backend Search Terms fields.  Once you locate the best combination of high conversions and limited competition in a search term, test adding to the front of the Title (APPLY WITH CAUTION AS TITLE CHANGES ARE CONSIDERED HIGH IMPACT - either positive or negative).

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    is there a way to start over with some sort of import tool so I dont need to enter all the keywords again? 

    Edited by stef
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    Brian Johnson

    $10-$20 is the recommended budget initially.

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    Brian Johnson

    Hi Stef,

    Please reply to the support ticket you filed. I can't help you if you ignore the assistance.


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    Jay Ef

    Thanks for this invaluable information.

    In step 3, the first manual campaign was created and it was a "research" campaign with 3 ad groups.
    In step 5, another "research" campaign is created with 2 ad groups and you mention to bid there lower than in the "primary" manual campaign.
    Is the "primary" campaign in step 5 the same as the "research" campaign from step 3?
    Is the "primary" campaign in step 8 a new campaign?