TAS 078 The 7 BIG Mistakes Sellers Make Using Amazon PPC

Amazon PPC is not all that hard

You just need to take the time to learn the platform and how to use the tools at your disposal to target the exact people you’re trying to reach with your ads. But most Amazon sellers don’t take the time to learn the platform well enough, so their PPC ads don’t have as much impact as they could. A ton of your sales can come through PPC if you will take the time to develop a strategy to use the tools for the powerful purpose they were created for. In this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott’s going to walk you through the top 7 mistakes Amazon Sellers make when using PPC and how you can avoid every one of them.

PPC on Amazon is about more than just the obvious keywords

That’s because it’s impossible to get into the mind of the people who are searching for what you have to sell. You don’t know how they think about the product, or how they formulate their search query. You’ll tend to pick the most obvious keywords, which is good, but the people searching for your product may search for it in ways that are not so obvious. There are very simple ways you can find a clearer picture of the other keywords and phrases buyers are using to search for your product and you’re going to hear about those methods in this episode.

If you’re going to make PPC work for you, you have to check your data regularly

When you first set up an Amazon PPC campaign, you won’t have everything dialed in to its maximum potential. You just won’t, it’s not possible to hit it just right the first time. You should view your first attempts at PPC as an experiment that will show you what you need to do to dial it in to its maximum potential. That means you check out how it’s working and make tweaks as you go along, refining your PPC effectiveness as you go. So don’t set your PPC campaign and leave it alone. Watch it, beginning 7 days after you set up your campaign. Once you reach that 7 day threshold, begin making minor adjustments. Find out the details about how to do that on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

The way PPC benefits your Amazon products

PPC is one of the things that pushes your product higher in the search rankings because it puts your product directly in front of the people who are searching for it. When they click through your PPC ad and eventually purchase your product, your product just got a boost in Amazon’s search algorithm because it is seen as a more legitimate product. That’s when you need to follow up with your email sequences to generate more reviews – which in turn moves your product up in the sales process. It all begins with a sale, which begins with driving traffic to your product through Pay Per Click (PPC).


Running an effective PPC campaign for your product on Amazon is great, but there’s a side benefit that most people don’t consider. As you monitor your PPC campaign you’ll come across other product ideas related to yours from the data that is shown through your PPC campaign. That data could be telling you how to add to your product line in a way that will set you apart from other vendors and give you an appearance of legitimacy that will establish your business rather than just sell individual products. Scott covers that concept in today’s episode, so make sure you listen in.


  • Scott’s introduction to this PPC focused episode!
  • iTunes reviews from The Amazing Seller listeners.
  • Scott’s recommendations for how to do PPC the right way (past episode).
  • MISTAKE #1: Using the wrong PPC strategy.
  • MISTAKE #2: Only focusing on the obvious keywords.
  • MISTAKE #3: Not doing enough testing regarding the keywords they’ve chosen.
  • MISTAKE #4: Not regularly checking the data and making adjustments.
  • MISTAKE #5: Hesitance to spend more money once you find keywords that work.
  • MISTAKE #6: They stop using PPC once sales begin.
  • MISTAKE #7: They don’t look at their data for possible product ideas.
  • How PPC benefits a product, and how Scott recommends you make it happen for your product.
  • Two strategies you can use to maximize your PPC campaigns.




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Join the discussion

  • Hey Scott. So if I understood you correctly, you are saying first campaign just stuff as much as possible keywords into the list and then see what you rank for and adjust accordingly.
    Question is – do you use all the methods (auto campaign, google planner, keyword inspector) and put them all in a one big list for your 1st campaign? Or do you make them separated campaign (and then also rank for many keywords in duplicate campaigns)?

  • Hi Scott, thank for bring in up ppc again, I’m having hard time optimizing my campaigns to improve ACOS. I have been running automatic ppc campaign for over a month now. When I look at my keyword report, a big portion of keywords led to no sales, and among those that did led to sales, most keywords just generated 1 sale, and few did 2 sales. When I moved these keywords that did generate sales to a manual campaign, the manual campaign is performing worse than my auto one, because most of these keywords no longer generate any sales. I think that’s because 1 or 2 sales per keyword is not statistically significant enough to identify good keywords vs bad keywords. I don’t know why my keywords are so scattered. What kind of keyword report data are you working with? How many impressions, clicks, and sales data do you see before you call it a good keyword?

    • Hey SZ you need to let it run for a minimum of a week, which from the sound of it…you have. The amount of data you have to work with is going to depend on how many impressions you’re getting. Have you tried changing your bids at all (inside the auto or manual campaigns)? this should raise your impressions a bit and let you know a little bit more of what you have to work with.

      P.s. Leave the auto campaign on if it’s close to break even or making a profit, I still have mine running!

  • Hi Scott, a buddy of mines introduced me to your podcasts and Ive been listening in for about a month now. I am in the due diligence period on one of my products that I hope to launch soon. I was told that there was a link to merchant words that gives a discount off of the $30 a month. Is there a way that I can get that so i can begin my keyword research? also, I bought your azon tools and have been using it for a couple weeks now. Outstanding tool! Great job on the podcasts, i look forward to continue learning from you. Thanks

  • Scott…
    I just added the three ppc campaigns you discussed. When I went to get the keywords via the Google Keyword planner way and ended up with about 300 keywords. When you first set up PPC, how many keywords will you put in initially?


    • Hey David, unlike with an adwords campaign, you want to start out with as many keywords as possible with Amazon (that are related to your product). I’ve started campaigns for products with everything from 200 to over 1000! Once you get rolling and see what’s working, you can start to tweak what’s working and prune what’s not!

  • Hi Scott

    What reports are you looking at to evaluate PPC campaigns? I can’t seem to find the ones that tell me the info you reference in your podcast. Where are they located? Thanks!

    • Click advertising, then campaign manager and you will see your spend versus your sales. Beyond that you can click into each campaign and see how the individual keywords are doing, hope that helps!

  • Hi Scott,

    Any suggestions for how to get PPC sales up again after running out of stock?

    We ran out of stock for about a bit over a week before our next shipment came in and turned PPC on again, but have not seen very favorable results. Our ACOS for an Auto campaign was 14%, getting 7-10 sales/day (spending about $30/day) before we ran out of stock and had to pause PPC.

    Once our restock arrived, we moved the top converting kws from that Auto campaign to a Manual campaign, and were not seeing nearly as good as results on those kws from when they were in the Auto campaign. We used the same bids in the Manual campaign that we had in the Auto campaign, and were seeing impressions, but just not nearly as many sales. So we decided to pause that campaign after about 7-8 days and start up the Auto campaign again and over the past few weeks since we’ve restocked, we’ve only been getting 1-2 sales/day.

    We also lowered our price by 10% compared to our competitors as well in hopes of giving sales a boost.

    Any suggestions on how we can improve our PPC results again so we can ultimately get more organic sales?


    • Hey Mike,

      I often see results change when keywords get shifted around from one campaign to another. First, i’d say make sure you’re leaving your Auto campaign on, even after starting your manual campaigns. Selling via ppc, you need to make sure that your listing is a good fit for what you’re showing up for, so double check that the keywords you’re getting impressions for are the ones that are the best fit for your product.

      Lastly, it’s August this is by far the slowest month of the year for ecommerce sales, so that may be having a MAJOR impact on what you’re seeing.

      Don’t give up, you’ll start to pick up soon, just make sure you keep working on your listing, gathering reviews and pushing hard on the PPC

  • A variation listing do I have to make of all variation a PPC or one is good,

    If one is ok how is that sometimes each variation have different BSR ?


    • Hey Jan,

      if you have multiple variations you have to create a variation listing, this would let you create individual listings for each variation and have them tied together.

      As far as ppc goes, you can either run the campaigns for each variation or run a single campaign to start, it’s up to you

      • My question is of doing a ppc for one variation of it will help for all other variations talking about the BSR

        • Hey Jan,

          in most cases BSR will change from variation to variation, so PPC would only help the variation that it’s driving sales for. That being said, when you drive PPC to a variation listing, you will often see sales of different units than you were driving traffic for, since your customer gets to see all their options up front.

  • Hi Jayson, I made PPC changes based on your podcast about an hour ago and just noticed 2 new sales in a row! I will keep an eye to see if this keeps happening 🙂

    This is after very very slow sales happening for me. I really think you are on to something here. Thanks for your valuable information. I really do enjoy your podcasts.

  • Hi,

    First Thanks for all your information its amazing

    1. When making the 3th campaign when do I need to run again the first two?

    2. What do you do in auto if there is keywords that don’t bring you sales and you pay for it?


    • Hey Jan,

      you can setup the other two campaigns (beyond the manual campaign) whenever you’d like. As far as keywords in the autocampaign…there are going to be keywords in most of your campaigns that don’t convert into sales (removing them is part of the optimization process, the beauty of the auto campaign is that Amazon will only show your ads fro keywords they think will lead to sales for you. Are there going to be some clicks that don’t lead to sales? Probably, but the main number to focus on there is the ACOS. If you’re making money on the campaign overall, let it rip!

    • Hey Jayson, the only way to tell the difference is by looking at the sales generated by your ppc and deducting it from your total sales. Amazon doesn’t show specific metrics for “organic” sales.

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