Common Amazon Advertising mistakes and how to avoid them

Tim Schweig
Marketplace Specialist
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Did you know that there are 9.7 million sellers on Amazon globally of which over 2 million sellers are actively competing? In such a crowded marketplace, Amazon Advertising becomes not just a tool, but a necessity for standing out. Yet, many brands stumble in the dark, draining budgets on ineffective strategies. VNDR. is here to illuminate the path, helping you steer clear of common pitfalls and transform Amazon Advertising into a powerful ally for your brand’s growth.

In short: what is Amazon advertising?
Amazon Advertising is a powerful platform enabling sellers to boost their product visibility with targeted ads. These ads are strategically placed in Amazon’s search results and product pages, allowing sellers to reach potential customers effectively. This tool is crucial in a crowded marketplace, helping your products stand out among millions by ensuring they are seen by the right audience at the right time.

1. Poor selection of keywords and the importance of negative keywords

One of the most significant errors in Amazon Advertising is the poor selection of keywords, particularly the underutilization of negative keywords. Negative keywords are vital in refining your ad campaigns and avoiding irrelevant traffic, which can waste your ad spend and skew performance metrics. The effective use of negative phrases can further enhance this process, actively excluding search terms that are unrelated or irrelevant to your products. This approach helps in preventing your ads from appearing in searches that are not likely to convert, thereby conserving your budget and improving the accuracy of your performance data.

Tip: Invest time in comprehensive keyword research, focusing on both positive and negative keywords. Utilize negative keywords to filter out unrelated search queries, improving the relevance and efficiency of your ad spend.

2. Missing a full-funnel structure for automatic and manual targeting

Many sellers on Amazon either rely solely on automatic targeting, which limits their control over ad placements, or exclusively on manual targeting, which can be time-consuming and misses out on potential automatic discoveries. This one-sided approach often leads to missed opportunities and less optimized ad campaigns.

Tip: Implement a dual-targeting strategy. Start with an automatic campaign to identify effective keywords and product targets, then use these insights to inform your manual campaign for more precise targeting. This balanced approach leverages the strengths of both methods, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your Amazon Advertising efforts.


3. Ensuring ad group relevance to targeted keywords

A common mistake in Amazon advertising is clustering too many product detail pages into a single ad group. This hampers the ability to identify which specific products resonate with certain keywords, making it difficult to optimize ad campaigns effectively.

Tip: To address this, create ad groups that are more aligned with your specific keyword strategy. For instance, if targeting keywords around “outdoor gear,” separate your products into distinct ad groups such as ‘hiking boots’ and ‘camping equipment’. This targeted structure allows for precise tracking and optimization based on the performance of each keyword set.


4. Applying insights across different ad types

Another oversight is not leveraging successful targets from one ad type (like Manual campaigns) across others (such as Sponsored Brands and Display campaigns). Without this cross-utilization, there’s a missed opportunity for broader reach and effectiveness.

Tip: Extract performing search terms from your Sponsored Products campaigns and apply them to your Sponsored Brands campaigns, including video ads. This approach ensures the insights and successes from one ad type are harnessed to bolster the performance of others. For example, if a particular search term is driving significant sales in a Sponsored Product ad, incorporate this term into your Sponsored Brands strategy to amplify reach and conversion potential.


5. Unproductive spend

It’s normal to have some unproductive spend in Amazon Advertising, where certain ad Euros don’t lead to conversions. However, harmful unproductive spend in Amazon Advertising occurs when a significant part of your budget is used on targets that don’t convert, leading to stagnant sales. 

Tip: Periodically reassess and reallocate your ad budget towards more effective targets. Broaden your strategy to attract not just current customers but also new prospects, aiding in your brand’s growth and boosting sales over time.


6. Not knowing which bidding strategies to use

Choosing the right bidding strategy is crucial for Amazon sellers, impacting both spending efficiency and campaign performance. Bidding on your brand’s keywords is especially important for retaining customers and securing conversions from those already familiar with your brand.

Understanding Amazon’s bidding options, including Dynamic Bidding (Up and Down), Dynamic Bidding (Down Only), and Fixed Bids, is key to making the most of your ad budget. Each strategy serves different needs and can greatly affect your campaign’s success.

Tip: Familiarize yourself with the different bidding strategies offered by Amazon. For newer advertisers, starting with safer options like Dynamic Bidding (Down Only) or Fixed Bids might be more beneficial. As you gain experience, explore other strategies like Dynamic Bidding (Up and Down) for more volatile market conditions. This tailored approach to bidding will help optimize your ad spend and enhance campaign performance.


7. Making changes too quickly

Many Amazon sellers don’t work with an effective bidding strategy and alter their PPC campaigns or slash budgets too quickly, expecting immediate results. This rush to change does not allow enough time for campaigns to gather the necessary performance data, leading to poorly informed decisions and potentially less effective advertising.

Tip: Patience is key in Amazon Advertising. Allow your campaigns at least 7-14 days to run before making significant changes. Remember, Amazon’s reporting often has a 48-hour delay. Avoid frequent and hasty adjustments; instead, make well-planned, strategic changes based on accumulated data for more effective campaign management. For bidding, start low and then adjust. Begin with conservative bids and watch how many people see your ads. If you’re not getting enough views, gradually raise your bids. This careful approach helps you find the right balance, ensuring your ads get noticed without overspending.


8. Tracking the wrong metrics

One of the more subtle yet significant challenges in Amazon PPC advertising is the misalignment of tracked metrics with actual business objectives. Advertisers often find themselves overwhelmed by the variety of metrics available — from impressions and clicks to conversions, ACoS, TACOS, CTR, RoAS, and CPC. The danger lies in focusing on metrics that don’t directly contribute to the advertiser’s specific goals. This misdirection can lead to inefficient campaign optimizations and decisions that don’t effectively drive the desired outcomes.

Tip: Identify and monitor metrics that closely align with your specific business goals. For example, if your objective is to boost sales, focus on metrics like total sales, revenue, and ACoS. For increasing visibility, track impressions and clicks. To enhance ad efficiency and ROI, pay attention to conversion rates, CPC, and RoAS. Regularly reviewing these relevant metrics helps in understanding your campaign’s performance and directing your efforts more effectively for better results.


Mastering Amazon Advertising
Remember, it’s not just about being visible but being seen by the right audience. Focus on precise keyword selection, balance your targeting methods, and allocate your ad spend wisely. Choose your bidding strategies carefully, be patient with changes, and track metrics that align with your goals. Understand your goals, choose the right tools and tactics, and partner with experts like VNDR. to optimize your campaigns. By applying these strategies, you can stand out in the crowded Amazon marketplace and drive meaningful growth for your brand. 

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