Are you looking to maximize your Amazon advertising efforts to boost overall sales and profitability?
With so many moving parts to consider – bidding strategies, keyword targeting, ad placement, and more – it can be challenging to take control of Amazon PPC.
But fear not – a good Amazon PPC campaign structure is a big part of the answer.
And, in this article, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to structure your Amazon PPC campaigns for maximum success.
From setting clear campaign objectives to refining your campaign flow, I’ll walk you through every step of the process.
So buckle up, and get ready to structure your campaigns like a pro!
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The importance of a good Amazon PPC campaign structure
Amazon PPC is like many aspects of life in that without structure it’s difficult to function at full capacity.
There are a number of benefits to taking the time to get campaign structure right, including:
Unfortunately, the days of launching one automatic campaign that blissfully achieves all of your marketing objectives on Amazon are over.
A successful Amazon PPC strategy today involves a variety of different campaigns each with its own purpose and objectives.
The challenge with this though is that as you start to add more campaign layers and add more products to your inventory the number of campaigns can escalate quickly.
Without some sort of organized campaign structuring it can be easy to get lost in detail and leave your Amazon advertising under-optimized.
Without a proper campaign structure, it’s difficult to make sure your budget is being allocated to where it is making the most impact on your overall business objectives.
Allowed too much freedom, Amazon will ensure your budgets are spread far and wide with little concern for your profitability.
By implementing a good structure you can take control and force your budget to be spent in areas you as the business owner know are the most important.
By taking control of the budget, you also take control of keyword testing.
For example, if all keywords are lumped into one giant campaign, the keywords with the highest search volume will often swallow up the majority of your budget.
This leaves little to no room for lower search volume keywords that may be far more relevant and convert to sales at a much better rate.
By implementing a good structure for your campaigns you can isolate your most important keywords and ensure they are getting the ad spend they need to thrive.
How to structure Amazon PPC campaigns
In our PPC Masters course, we teach a simple initial setup of five Sponsored Product campaigns that create the structure for organization, control, and testing.
(Note, the above video mentions 4 campaigns and is a slightly simplified version of this guide)
As Sponsored Products campaigns are the biggest needle mover with Amazon ads we focus most of our energy here in the early lifecycle of a product.
As a product matures, then we look to add more complexity with Sponsored Brand and Display campaigns.
This initial campaign structure we use includes both types of targeting:
- Keyword targeting – Giving Amazon a defined list of keywords that we want our products to be advertised on.
- Product targeting – Giving Amazon a defined list of ASINs or ASIN categories that we want our products to be advertised on.
It also includes both automatic campaigns and manual campaigns and creates a structure that allows for ‘keyword harvesting’ – the process of finding and promoting keywords to more focused campaigns.
Here is an overview of the campaign structure:
We introduce this structure 2-3 weeks after a product launch once we see some strong organic ranking. More on this topic in the next section.
Let’s dive into each campaign’s unique attributes and purpose within the structure.
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Campaign 1a: A ‘Discover’ automatic campaign
This first base campaign is an auto campaign that is like your research assistant.
The idea here is to set up an ad campaign that automatically targets keywords & ASINs that Amazon’s algorithm deems relevant based on your listing content and customer behavior.
It throws out the widest net so it can uncover some keywords and – more importantly – ASINs you may otherwise miss.
But with the wide net comes potential for wasted spent on irrelevant terms.
So I suggest setting this up with a bid amount that is around the bottom of the suggested bid for each keyword.
The actual bid amounts will vary greatly from category to category so use suggested bids as your reference point to set an initial bid, then adjust as needed when optimizing your PPC.
- Targeting: Automatic – keyword
- Negative keywords: Negative exact match keywords from ‘Expand’ campaign
- Bid amount: Suggested bid – lower range
- Budget allocation: 10-20%
Campaign 1b: An ‘Expand’ manual broad match campaign
The next layer to add on top of your Discover campaign is an Expand campaign that’s purpose is as its name suggests – to take the keywords that have been discovered and expand on them.
ASINs won’t go in this campaign as there is no ability to target ASINs with a broad match. They will instead go straight into the ASIN scale campaign.
This is a manual campaign that targets keywords on a broad match basis.
Start this campaign with keywords you’ve prioritized from your keyword research process, then as your Discover auto campaign continues to find new keywords, add them to this campaign too.
Whenever you ‘promote’ a keyword to the next layer up, be sure to add it as a negative keyword (exact match) to the campaign it has been found in to make sure you are isolating search terms and not bidding on them across multiple campaigns.
You can either set up rules within a PPC tool to manage this process for you (I currently use Adtomic by Helium 10) or manually when carrying out optimizations.
- Targeting: Manual – keyword – broad match
- Negative keywords: Negative exact match keywords from ‘Scale’ campaign
- Bid amount: Suggested bid – middle range
- Budget allocation: 20-30%
Campaign 1c: A ‘Scale’ manual exact match campaign
Finally, for your initial keyword targeting campaigns, set up a Scale campaign that is initially made up of your most relevant keywords.
The purpose of this campaign is to be able to increase the budget infinitely and only have its spending limited by the number of searches carried out on any given day.
As such it’s important to only put keywords into this campaign that are either highly relevant or have been proven to convert.
Once keywords start to convert at a healthy ACOS in your other campaigns, move them into this campaign so you can really ramp up the budget.
You might have noticed we aren’t using the phrase keyword match type in this structure.
Opinions will differ on this topic, but in my experience, I’ve found a combination of exact and broad match to make phrase match somewhat redundant.
You’ll find most PPC tools are set up to function with this structure these days too, so you’ll be in good company.
- Targeting: Manual – keyword – exact match
- Negative keywords: None
- Bid amount: Suggested bid – higher range
- Budget allocation: 40-50%
Campaign 2a: A ‘Discover’ category ASIN campaign
If you are short on budget or want to build up slowly, start with the keyword-targeting campaigns only.
It’s important these campaigns get the budget they need as they will have the most impact on keyword ranking.
But, as budget allows, you can add product targeting campaigns into the mix too.
You can start with a manual campaign that targets product categories that acts in a similar way to your auto campaign.
This may be seen as a little redundant and is probably the least important campaign overall, but can still help find extra ASINs to target.
- Targeting: Manual – product – category
- Negative ASINs: All ASINs in ‘Scale’ campaign
- Bid amount: Suggested bid
- Budget allocation: 5-10%
Campaign 2b: A ‘Scale’ ASIN campaign
Finally, add your Scale ASIN campaign for targeting competitor products that convert at a healthy ACOS.
- Targeting: Manual – product – ASIN
- Negative ASINs: None
- Bid amount: Suggested bid
- Budget allocation: 10-20%
Structuring Amazon PPC campaigns for product launches
For a new product launch, we use exact-match campaigns containing only the most relevant keywords to ensure we are giving the Amazon algorithm strong relevancy signals.
An easy implementation of this would be to set up the Scale campaign first using a list of the top 5-10 most relevant keywords, then add the other campaigns once you’re seeing strong ranking signals – usually around 2-3 weeks in.
Using naming conventions to stay organized
A naming convention – with regard to advertising campaigns – is a set of rules or guidelines used to define how campaigns should be named on a consistent basis.
This helps create a structured naming system that makes it easier to identify, classify, and manage different campaigns and becomes essential as you grow the number of ad campaigns in your account over time.
We use a simple base convention that follows the suggested campaign structure:
CAMPAIGN CODE – CAMPAIGN TYPE – SKU/ASIN/PRODUCT NAME – MATCH TYPE
For example, campaigns for a blue yoga mat might look like this:
- 1a – Discover – Yoga Mat-Blue – Auto
- 1b – Expand – Yoga Mat-Blue – Broad
- 1c – Scale – Yoga Mat-Blue – Exact
- 2a – Discover – Yoga Mat-Blue – Category
- 2b – Scale – Yoga Mat-Blue – ASIN
It might seem a bit redundant to have the campaign code, type, and match types all in the name given the campaign code really defines the rest of the information.
But I’ve found in managing a lot of PPC campaigns when you start looking at reports it’s helpful to have a good amount of information in the campaign name to quickly have clarity on what you’re looking at.
How do single-keyword campaigns fit in?
Single-keyword campaigns, as the name suggests, are campaigns that only have a singular keyword within them.
Using single keyword ad campaigns gives you the highest form of control you can get with Amazon PPC and can be used to great effect.
As you might imagine though, they can become a lot more work to manage so my advice would be to only use them in the following scenarios:
- Product launches. Target 5-10 highly relevant search terms each in their own campaign.
- Ranking campaigns. Similar to a product launch, but adding single keyword campaigns on top of your existing campaign structure.
- Account-wide granular control. When looking to move your entire strategy over to single-keyword campaigns, be prepared to either invest in a tool set up to manage this efficiently – Quartile is the best at this – or learn how to use bulk edit spreadsheets.
Adding Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display campaigns
Sponsored Brand ads can be a powerful weapon in your Amazon PPC arsenal, and can easily be layered on top of your existing structure.
As they target different placements – top of search, video ads, etc – they won’t interfere with your Sponsored Products campaign structure.
Similarly, Sponsored Display campaigns will run in different placements both on and off Amazon so won’t interfere either.
Both formats are well worth exploring each with their own benefits, but the first priority for any product’s advertising strategy is getting Sponsored Products nailed.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The key to effective Amazon PPC campaign structure
Ultimately there is no one right or wrong way to structure Amazon advertising campaigns with the right structure being the one that serves the overall objectives of your business best.
A good structure helps first with organization by creating a clear layer of objectives.
It also gives far greater budget control by dividing keywords and ASINs into purposeful campaigns.
Finally, structuring Amazon PPC campaigns effectively allows you to best target and isolate those keywords that are driving the most growth for your business.
Amazon PPC trends show that is an increasingly important part of selling on Amazon, and as such it’s well worth the investment of your time to get as proficient as possible.
If you’re looking to level up and take your learning further, you can:
- Ask any questions in the comments section below
- Check out our PPC Masters course
- Explore a BBU Pro membership
Inside BBU Pro we host weekly Q&A calls on topics like Amazon PPC and have the time to break down strategy into far greater detail, troubleshoot campaigns, and provide more contextualized support.
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