Amazon PPC Troubleshooting Checklist (for Sponsored Ads)


1.1 Amazon PPC Troubleshooting Checklist (for Sponsored Ads)

Following are the most common issues facing sellers running Amazon Sponsored Ads (pay-per-click) advertising and some essential checks to make in the course of identifying the root cause of an issue with your sponsored advertising:

  • Prerequisite:
    • Download your most recent Search Term Report from Seller Central > Reports > Advertising Reports > Search Term Report
  • Definition: References are made to 'search term' and 'keyword' interchangeably:
    • 'search term' = the phrase shoppers search Amazon for;
    • 'keyword' = the phrase you bid upon in the Sponsored Ads platform.


  1. Zero impressions (as observed in Campaign Manager)
  • Entire Product (including Campaign or Ad Group):
    • Check if the product is currently eligible for the Buy Box.
    • Check if any errors display within the Ad Group.
  • Specific Search Term / Keyword:
    • Check if a duplicate instance of this keyword is listed in another campaign or ad group. In situations we refer to as 'cannibalism', competing keywords may be sharing ad impressions, consuming all ad impressions, or negating ad impressions for both sets of competing keywords.
    • Check if the target keyword is duplicated in another campaign or ad group. If so, determine if one campaign has taken all the impressions, part of the impressions, or none of the impressions.
    • Check if keyword phrase is in either product listing bullet points or description
  1. Low impressions (as observed in Search Term Report)
  • Entire Product (including Campaign or Ad Group):
    • Check for low average daily budget for campaign.
    • Check if backend Search Term fields include special characters, including commas and periods.
    • Check if target search term(s) return a different category/department (browse node) than what your product is within.
  • Specific Search Term / Keyword:
    • Check default bid in relation to Estimated Page 1 Bid suggested bid. *Note:  Est Page 1 Bid is category-specific.
    • Check if keyword phrase is in Title.
    • Check if keyword phrase is in either in product listing Bullet Points or Description.




High Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) %:

In most cases, a higher than expected or desired ACoS % is the result of one or more of the following issues…


  1. Non-relevant search terms with high impressions
  • Amazon showing unrelated search terms at a higher impression volume than the search terms you believe are relevant to your product suggests Amazon is confused by your product listing. Check the product Title and Search Term fields for unrelated- or too generic- search terms that may be misleading Amazon about the audience for the product.
  1. Impressions but zero- or very low- clicks
  • Shoppers that search Amazon using a specific search term are seeing your ad displayed but may not be convinced it is relevant to their search intent. Check how your main image and title looks when displayed as a Sponsored Ad.  For instance, since the "right rail" vertical column of ads only displays the first 33 characters, in most categories, check how the short title may be perceived by a shopper.
  • Default bid may be too low to show in the top half of a search result or product listing commonly visible by most shoppers.
  1. Clicks but no sales
  • Campaign was just created in the past couple of days.
  • Check if listing Title, Images, Bullets, or Description are confusing or contradictory - thus causing doubt or confusion by the shopper.
  • Check if selling price is in line with similar selling products.
  1. Ad not showing when keyword searched
  • Estimated Page 1 Bid suggestion applies to the most relevant category only. Check if default bid is too low to show on page 1 for your product’s category.
  • Competitor ads may display higher if
    • they have bid on an Exact Match Type search term that Amazon considers more targeted and relevant than your Phrase- or Broad- Match Type, or may be…
    • considered by Amazon to be more likely to convert based on established transaction history, or they've…
    • bid much higher than you have for a specific search term.
  • Check if ad contains error (within specific ad group) in Campaign Manager.


  1. Campaign "Out of Budget" without Daily Average Budget spent
  • Amazon does mid-day corrections, so while you may hit the "out of budget" trigger in the morning, Amazon may credit back an amount as an 'adjustment' (who knows), therefore, it looks to us as if we ran out of budget with only 50% spent, plus, reactivation of the campaign after the trigger may take up to 4 hours to occur. As this behavior is inconsistent, check with an advertising specialist within Seller Support for a more direct explanation. 
  1. High Ad Spend without Conversions
  • Check your Search Term report for customer search terms that appear to have a high ad spend with very low- or zero- conversions. Common culprits include:
    • very generic terms that have a high competition thus the potential for click fraud
    • competing ASINs displaying your ad on their listing



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