In what phase of your ad campaign creation process do you start thinking about keywords? When you get to that phase of ad creation, how do you decide how many keywords to use?

While it’s easy to add as many keywords that you think will help your product listing rank, not limiting your keywords can often cause more harm than good. 

Experienced Amazon sellers make it a rule to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to the keywords they use in their ads. They limit their keyword usage, concentrating only on:

  • keyword relevance
  • the campaign’s budget and objective
  • how it affects ad performance.


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Why should you structure your Amazon PPC campaigns before determining the number of keywords?

Before incorporating keywords into your PPC campaigns, you need to establish campaign structure names that work for specific types of ads. When creating Amazon PPC campaigns, Amazon sellers usually have unique ways of structuring their ads. But while their structures may vary, they have common elements that focus on similar benefits: control and order.

Both elements are crucial for determining their ad group’s placement and how and when its ads are being served. 

READ MORE: Amazon Backend Keywords: A Guide to Maximizing Visibility

What is Keyword Dumping?

It’s a common mistake for Amazon sellers to assume that using as many keywords as they can possibly use as long as it’s within the ad group’s limit of 1,000 allowable keywords. Doing this subjects your ad to keyword stuffing, also known as keyword dumping. 

Keyword dumping often occurs when Amazon sellers make use of SEO tools and keyword generators to create keyword lists which they then copy and paste into their ad groups, thinking it’s perfectly okay to stuff their ads with keywords. While these tools are doing their job of providing keywords that may be relevant to their products, that is not the original purpose they serve.

They are only meant to provide insight and ideas, making them more focused on quantity rather than quality. In the case of using the keyword results for optimizing listings, it depends heavily on the seller to decide which keywords are significant to your ad campaigns. 

But other than relevance, why should you avoid keyword dumping?

Having too many keywords can eat up your campaign budget

Using a multitude of keywords on your ad campaigns costs A LOT of money. This is because more keywords will mean more spend as you’re trying to reach more audiences.

Some sellers might have the budget for testing multiple keywords, but if they do it blindly, their budget can easily circle down the drain with fewer or no returns. There’s no knowing the number of conversions you’ll get for every keyword except for when you test them.

So, while it can be tempting to test them all together in one ad, doing that can mean more wasted ad spend than positive returns. What you want to do is to experiment with different keywords so that before your ad campaign ends, you’ll still have the budget left to test more keywords for other ad campaigns you want to test and launch. 


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Mixes different match types into one campaign

Aside from the different bidding approaches needed for every match type, having all the match types in an ad group isn’t a safe approach. Mixing exact, phrase, and broad keywords in one ad group can be easily overlooked based on ad group performance.

But whether it’s on the ad campaign level or ad group level, it’s important to create a separation between the match types. Each match type reacts differently to negative terms, so using all the keyword match types in one ad group will have consequences.

An example of this is when you use negative terms for an exact match ad group, which is a bit illogical given that they should instead be used for more open match types such as broad and auto. 

Makes it tricky to name ad groups

Imagine having thousands of products and hundreds of various keywords for every ad group in your ad campaign. How can you track or describe your ad group when there are too many products and keywords involved?

Having no order or system for naming your campaign structure will be detrimental not only for reminding you of what ads you’ll be running per ad group, but it can also affect the way you create your reports once you’ve launched your ad campaigns. 

Having too many keywords affects ad impressions and insights

It’s no surprise that having dozens of keywords in every ad group won’t guarantee fair treatment for all the keywords involved. Some of your keywords will gain more impressions than others, and most of the time, the underperforming keywords will make up the larger percentage.

The smaller percentage of keywords that do perform well will either be overlooked or removed as it won’t have enough budget to create conversions. There’s also the chance that you might invest in a low-performing keyword simply because it gained more impressions than the others.

Creates a disconnection between the keyword and the ad

While Amazon provides a wide variety of reports to track your PPC advertising progress, they don’t offer a report to show which specific ad within an ad group appears for which search terms. Amazon’s search term reports can only show search terms that are connected to organized ad groups as a whole, not by individual ads within the ad groups.

This limitation within the search term report doesn’t give you a finer detail of which ad shows up when a potential customer searches with a specific keyword.

Makes it difficult to establish keyword strategies

Whether they’re branded or unbranded, when different types of keywords are used within the same ad group, they will all be treated similarly. It’s important to note that different keyword types require specific strategies to maximize their potential.

So, when different keywords are all grouped together within an ad group, it counts as keyword dumping. Your ad groups can greatly benefit from internally-organized keywords when the consequences are taken into consideration. 

How do keywords affect your Amazon PPC campaign budget?

Before creating a list of keywords for specific ad groups, you initially have to determine your budget. This is an important step as budgeting for your ad campaign’s keywords can make or break its performance.

Setting a big budget for your campaign that has too many keywords will have an uneven budget. Likely, 40% of the budget will be spent on keywords that have gathered impressions while 60% of the keywords will have none. 

On the contrary, if your budget is too low, your campaign’s budget will run out too quickly before your keywords even get a chance to obtain impressions. 

READ MORE: Ultimate Guide to Amazon PPC Budget Rules for Sponsored Brand, Sponsored Product, and More!

How many keywords should you use per ad group?

As we mentioned earlier, Amazon has made a rule that every ad group should have a limit of 1,000 keywords for every ad campaign. Thinking that it can increase your chances of getting more impressions and conversions, it can be tempting to max out on keywords.

Unfortunately, this only leads to keyword dumping, making it a far less productive strategy to implement. Not only will the number of keywords you use be a concern in every campaign you run, but your allocated time for running the campaign matters as well.

Amazon won’t allocate impressions for all the keywords you set for your campaign in one go. They will have to rotate your budget across all your keywords, taking a long time and a lot of money out of your budget before you can say that your campaign has been fully optimized. 

So what is the best amount of keywords per ad group to use in order to avoid keyword dumping and overspending? 

We would suggest a maximum of 20 keywords per ad group. 

It’s easy to get lost in the hopes of gaining more impressions from more keywords, but it’s better to focus on the best keywords and prioritize quality over quantity instead. Doing this can help you spend your Amazon budget wisely and discover keywords that actually convert. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder approach ad group keywords?

  • We limit our keyword usage

While Amazon limits the keywords in ad groups to up to 1,000, our team constantly opts to only focus on no more than 20 keywords per ad group. Our Account Managers try to reduce this number by limiting it to no more than 12 keywords per ad group. 

  • We allocate budgets as efficiently as possible

Our team understands that every account we manage has different budgetary requirements. For this reason, our Account Managers set strict budget plans for keywords to make sure more of the budget is spent on keywords that can actually create conversions and avoid non-conversion spend. 

  • We target KPI-established keywords

Before we begin creating ad campaigns, our team conducts accurate keyword research in advance. Doing this results in the generation of a short list of keywords that have already been established for the account.

When integrated into the ads, this shorter group of targeted keywords will allow for even more relevant impressions and traffic that can lead to successful campaigns. 

  • We select and group keywords that convert

To guarantee great returns, we only invest in KPI-established keywords for use with our clients’ ad campaigns. It’s common for many broad and phrase search terms to be irrelevant, so we only select a group of keywords that can help us gain control of the relevant data we want to collect.

It also allows us to apply negative keywords that we don’t want to use with the campaigns if the keyword turns out to be broad and phrase matches. 

  • We keep our keyword lists short and relevant

We like to keep things short and simple in the team. A short list of exact keywords can help improve CTR as we can manage them more efficiently.

Having a huge list of keywords often affects the relevance of data as well as the CTR’s performance, so keeping it short is very advantageous. It’s important for us to maintain CTR as improvements in that metric can greatly influence the ad’s quality score and the campaign’s results.

Looking for more tips and tricks in the world of Amazon selling? Check out AMZ Pathfinder’s wide variety of blogs today!

Soraya Dimayuga


Soraya Dimayuga
Soraya Danica Dimayuga is a Content Writer at AMZ Pathfinder who helps Amazon Sellers stay updated with the latest Amazon news. She has been in the international Digital Marketing sphere for over seven years and is presently sharing SEO and Content Writing expertise with her current role. You can read more of their team’s Amazon PPC blogs on the AMZ Pathfinder blog.


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