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Amazon PPC Strategy for 2023

Learn the best PPC strategies for Amazon Ad Campaigns in 2023!

What is Amazon PPC?

Amazon PPC Strategy for 2023
Julia Grant

December 6, 2022

If you are selling on Amazon, you need to be using some form of paid advertising cost to see your business thrive. There are so many strategies out there to choose from - we’re here to help cut through the noise and offer you just the solution you need.

PPC = Pay Per Click Advertising. In this form of advertising, you only pay for your ads when they are clicked.

PPC Advertising has become the go-to form of digital advertising both on social media and for major search engines.

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Amazon’s form of PPC is called “Sponsored Products,” but it functions the same way. You pay for your product to be sponsored as part of sponsored products campaign, or highlighted by Amazon as part of amazon PPC campaigns - but you only have to cash out if your ads are effective. This ensures you don’t pay for tons of digital space that actually accrues you no profit.

Shot of Amazon's Advertising page, showing it to include no upfront fees, that you control the budget, and that you don't have to spend a lot to see results.

Basic Amazon sellers are able to use sponsored product ads in a few ways. 

  • Search Displays: These advertisements show your product when someone searches for a given item. They are the most common and popular form of Amazon PPC and probably what you immediately think of.
  • Competitor Product Displays: These ads allow you to advertise your product on a competitor’s listing.
  • Ads Off Amazon: Through a process called redirecting, you can use your PPC ads to target those who have already visited your shop on other platforms that they may be using.

All of these ads are useful in some way, and we have found that a combination of all of them is the best way to get your name out there.

PPC Strategies for 2023

Amazon does have automatic campaign settings that will run your ads for you and utilize what they deem to be the best strategies for you. However, in our experience, you’re better off setting up your ad campaigns manually in order to get the most bang for your buck.

When working with Amazon, you always want to be thinking about how you can go the extra mile compared to the average seller. The average seller is going to take the easy way out, and opt for automatic campaigns.

Think of these as the “basic” option when it comes to advertising. If you want to beat out the competition - use the “advanced” option and customize your advertising campaigns to max out your profits.

GIF of a man signing "advanced' in ASL.

Know Your Keywords

The first step to a great PPC ad campaign on Amazon is to know your keywords. This sounds simple, but so many people forgo this step. Don’t assume you know which terms are most relevant for your product - you’d be surprised what you find when you commit to quality keyword research. 

You already should have performed professional keyword research in order to create your listing copy - so hopefully you have this data on hand. If for some reason you have not yet performed keyword research, start now! This will help you adjust your listing copy to be search engine optimized, and will also allow you to create sponsored ads that are actually targeting the correct people.

You’re obviously going to want to centermost of your advertisements around relevant, high-performance keywords - but that’s not the only thing that matters.

Keep Low Performing, Relevant Terms

There are many keywords that may be tempting to omit from your amazon PPC ads campaigns, simply because they don’t perform well generally. These words may be too generic or fit into multiple inches - but still be highly relevant to your listing. Many people will opt out of including these terms in their ad campaigns.

However, this is a mistake. These are easy terms for your competitors to utilize in their ad campaigns to steal traffic. While these terms can be expensive since they cover such a large range of listings, it doesn’t hurt to put a small bid on these terms just to cover your bases. 

GIF of a man sitting on a chair gesturing "mhmm."

Use Multiple Automatic Campaigns

While only using automatic campaigns can be detrimental to your advertising goals, they do have their place. Automatic campaigns can be used to supplement your advertising research and help you find exactly the right formula for your success on Amazon.

To do this, you can set up between 3-6 automatic campaigns with different bids on all of them. Monitor their performance, and use the information you collect to help inform how you should set bidding for your additional campaigns to manual campaigns.

The key to this strategy is to continually review and revise your bids. Keep adjusting until you find just the right setting!

GIF of a man looking in the rear view mirror and adjusting it.

Vary Your Match Types

There are a variety of match types you can use when setting up your advertisements. You can choose:

  • Phrase Match. A phrase match shows your advertisement for a phrase or set of words, even if that phrase is searched for along with other terms. 
  • Exact Match. An exact match shows your advertisements only for the phrasing you set - and that phrasing exactly. No additional terms.
  • Broad Match. A broad match will display your advertisement for your keywords and/or their variations. This means your ad will show up for related terms, different forms of the word, abbreviations, and plurals.
  • Modified Match. This option is only available if you have registered your brand with Amazon. Here you can designate terms that must be included within the search for your ad campaigns.

Each of these match types has a different cost and value. Exact match campaigns are the most expensive - and the most effective. Broad match campaigns are good for catching some of the less high-performing keywords and testing out new phrases, and phrase match campaigns are a great budget, high-performing option.

Use a combination of these different match types to ensure your campaign is reaching as many people as possible.

GIF of Adam Sandler saying "what a beautiful combo."

Low Bid Campaigns

Using an extremely low-bid automatic campaign on all your listings is one way that many sellers have found they can catch buyers who fall through the cracks. Basically, these low-bid campaigns are never going to be your primary conversion ads - but they help you to gain customers for a low price when Amazon can’t find a higher bidder for a given search term.

This may not be helpful, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Give it a shot, monitor its success, and then nix it if it doesn’t work out!

Negative Keywords

Another key aspect of your PPC ads on Amazon is negative terms. These especially come in handy if you have decided to go the automatic campaign route because sometimes Amazon will assign keywords to your campaigns that are actually not helpful.  

To avoid paying for keywords that aren’t actually going to get you more conversations, use negative phrases and negative exact matches to assist Amazon in choosing the right audience for your ads.

Obviously, for whichever negative keywords you choose, your product will not show up in searches for these terms.

GIF of a woman saying "That's a negative."

Be careful when using this strategy not to include too many negative keywords. You don’t want to accidentally rule out search terms that actually do apply to you.

Product Display Ads

These ads are perfect because they put your product on the page of your competitor’s products. You get to choose which competitor products to advertise your product on google ads and will help you gain sales from thrifty shoppers who are willing to research before they buy.

Because you’re aiming for shoppers who are willing to compare and contrast items before buying, you want to put your ad on listings that are inferior to yours. If you are advertising your product on a superior product page - well, a smart buyer won’t be picking your option (unless your option is significantly cheaper, perhaps).

You can also choose to list your ad on popular listings that aren’t necessarily competitors but are related. For example: if you are selling a unique pizza cutter, maybe you will choose to place your product display ad on a popular listing for a pizza stone. This way, you aren’t directly forcing customers to compare your item with its duplicate - but rather find your item while they are already shopping for something in the same category.

Example of product display ads related to a listing of an ear covering for women.
Example of product display ads related to a listing of an ear covering for women.

Test Everything

Whichever of these strategies you use, you always want to make sure you are testing everything. Don’t simply set up your ad campaigns and forget about them - be sure to evaluate which ad campaigns are effective, and which are not.

Adjust settings as you go. Constantly analyze which terms are working, whether you need to increase or decrease your bids, and don’t be afraid of using multiple campaigns to find the perfect setup.

Sites like Amazon change their settings constantly. If you want to come out on top, you have to be willing to test and adjust your campaigns.

Perks of Brand Registry

There are some additional advertising opportunities on Amazon that are only available to those who have registered their brand. Brand registry is a must-have option for any Amazon seller who is serious about their success. Whether you plan on using these options or not, it’s a good idea to start the process of registering your brand.

Sponsored Brands

Sponsored brand ads are effective because they take up a lot of space. These advertisements are displayed at the top of the search page and demand customer attention through ad spend, as they take up the entire width of the page. You are able to showcase multiple products on these sponsored display ads, and include a custom copy. You can also include these on the side of the page or on the bottom.

A sponsored brand result for the search "hiking gear."

If you do use these ads, be sure to choose your highlighted products carefully. Additionally, choose your keywords wisely - ensure they are relevant to all the products you are highlighting. Lastly, customize all your available fields.

As always - test everything! Perform A/B testing and figure out what works best for your sponsored product ads. 

Using Your Brand As A Keyword

If your brand has been around for enough time, you can actually include your brand name as one of your keywords.

This is something you definitely want to do. If you don’t, a competitor can (and probably will) bid on your brand keyword in an effort to steal your customers. Bid on your actual brand name, and bid on common misspellings as well.

You’ll want to do this on a separate campaign, so as not to muddy up your pre-existing campaigns. If you’re just getting started, it can’t hurt to create a campaign with some of your competitor brand names as keywords!

An example of 4 sponsored products for a search including a brand name.

Finding Your Audience Off Amazon

You can also advertise to your audience outside of the Amazon app - but only if a shopper has already visited your page. These are called “remarketing” or “retargeting” ads and are trying to get customers back onto Amazon’s platform. 

You don’t have a ton of customization options with these remarketing ads, but it can be useful. Shoppers are suckers for repetition - so if they keep seeing your product on Facebook after they decided they didn’t need it...they just might change their mind.

Give these ads a try, and as always, be sure to test them against traditional sponsored ads to avoid paying for something that doesn’t work.


Amazon PPC campaign is necessary if you want to grow your business and beat out the competition with your Amazon listing. If you are able to register your brand, this will bring your advertising capabilities up a notch and allow you to reach even more people. We highly suggest using Brand Registry to maximize your amazon PPC advertising and following our PPC tips to get the most out of your bids!

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Amazon PPC Strategy for 2023

Julia Grant

Julia Grant is a copywriter specializing in e-commerce and small business, helping businesses expand their reach with copy that clearly communicates their message and converts. She is a certified translator and interpreter and prides herself on providing culturally relevant content in both English and Spanish.

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