Amazon PPC Campaign Optimisation – The Multi Facet Approach

This is part the second part of a series where I bring in my partner in crime Dr Ellis Whitehead whom heads up the team at DATAbrill. Ellis is a Data Scientist and Algorithm expert. We get into the details of account optimisation to give you an inside look at what we do and how you can apply the same process on your business.


  • There are several targets for optimisation:
    • increase in sales
    • decreasing ACOS
    • Increasing profits
  • Negating terms is an example of reducing ACOS
    • Looking at negative keywords are in term of conversion and placement.
    • Consider your bid level in order to get into this placements: middle or bottom. of page.
  • Conversion rate: when you spend too much but your conversion rate is low, then do not spend money for that top of search.
  • PROCESS: Conversion rate: if it is below where you need it to be in terms of campaign then you negate it.

Picking Out Keywords: Where do you start?

  • Use probabilities based on past data.
  • Manual Optimisation:
    • Brand analytics reports to get a sense of the popularity of keywords
    • Past PPC date
    • Competitor’s data and listings
      • A lot of manual inspection
    • You can get lists of words that have higher volume
      • go after long tail keywords for sole niches
      • build up your ranking on long tail and medium tail keywords.
      • Once you get established you can bid on your main keywords DEPENDING ON YOUR PRODUCT TYPE.
  • Amazon: strong preferences for high volume keywords.
    • You need to go more aggressively by bidding higher.
  • Algorithm point of view:
    • go after broad matches for the keywords that work well.
    •  find the long tail and medium tail
    • gather data 
    • we don’t use statistical significance.

Where should the brand owner or seller archive and start over?

  •  Bad campaign history: no disadvantage to archiving and starting over.

How to investigate good keywords turning bad?

  • Look at trends in impression. clicks and conversion rate
  • The impressions may have dived:
    • Competitors may be bidding highers than you.
    • Amazon may have flagged your listing for advertising on these keywords.
    • Lower conversion rates on these keywords for a period of time
      • Most likely happening to high volume keywords.
    • A load of one stars and up votes on those — look at these when your conversion rate drops.
    • Look at your competitors 
    • Do a search and find out what is going on: cheaper prices, bad images or good images overwritten by hacks. 

Where does discovery end and you move on to maintenance?

  • No difference between discovery and long term keywords advertising from algorithmic side.
  • Business side: how much of your budget are you willing to spend?
  • What are your ACOS targets?
  • Practical campaign manager side: it ends once you see fewer keywords and you do not see new keywords to move into your campaigns.
  • If a keyword is having one sale a week – you won’t be able to get good data for measuring your conversion rate. 
  • For all long tail keywords: you aggregate them to get good data and get control over it.

Maintenance Mode

  • When things are running smoothly, it is all about keeping up with the negative keywords and adapting your bids.
  • When you see ACOS is increasing, you will reach this threshold where you will not bid enough to have top if bid placement, then you have to decide if you want to spend more on this area.
  •  ACOS increased in October because of:
    • changes in Amazon advertising.
    • People are waiting for Black Friday so conversion dropped.
    • More competitors and higher bids.
    • Things constantly changing.
  •  Part of maintenance is deciding if you want to keep up with these changes.
    • Once a week or once a month is a good frequency of looking into making these decisions.

How should you handle increasing cost per clicks?

  • Increase your price – it can be fewer sales but you can advertise much better when you get good reviews and that is a good place.
    • If your cost per click increases, good thing is your competition will have higher cost per click too.
  • Think about not going for top of search — as long as you don’t lose much if you don’t go for it. Or lose nothing. DO a cost analysis.
  • Advertise on competitors products which are better ranked or they are getting higher impressions but your product compares more favorably compared to your competition.
  • Accept increasing cost and just go along with it, as long as it is still within your margin.


  • Go aggressively during discovery so you get more data.
  • Be aggressive in negating – both remove and add
  • Set your budget on discovery.
  • Depending in your product, long tail campaigns can be very profitable.
  • In maintenance, market conditions are constantly changing. 
  • Look at your competitors. 

Check out the First installment of our series HERE:

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