The 10 Most Common Amazon PPC Mistakes

amazon ppc mistakes

Managing your Amazon PPC is a difficult and complex task so it can be easy to make mistakes. Given how important advertising is to your business, however, you’ll want to do everything in your power to make sure you’re on the right path.

How do we know? We’ve been there ourselves! We are Amazon sellers, too. Before we started helping other sellers with their PPC we had to become PPC experts ourselves. We learned all of these mistakes the hard way so that, now, you don’t have to!

#1 Jumping In Without Learning the Basics

You probably already know this because you’re reading through this eLearning series but…

You wouldn’t perform surgery without first studying anatomy, right? Or try to fly to the moon without studying astrophysics?

Well, Amazon ads are not as complex as surgery or space travel but it’s still important to understand the fundamentals.

For example, maybe you don’t understand the difference between broad and exact match types in campaigns. You could potentially be wasting tons of money by spending on far more keywords than you actually need to if you don’t understand that “soap holder” and “holder soap” are the same thing.

#2 Not Defining Your Goals

Without clearly defined goals for your campaigns or products it’s going to be very difficult to execute correctly. Not to mention measure your progress.

It probably makes sense to start by mapping out your business goals and then figuring out where advertising fits into the bigger picture.

This is where your understanding of the different PPC metrics can come into play.

If your business goal is to increase brand awareness then maybe you want to try and increase impressions in Sponsored Products ads or even try a Sponsored Brands ad type.

Or if your goal is to save some money then you might want to focus on lowering your ACoS in order to make your campaigns more efficient.

#3 Not Keeping a Close Eye on Campaigns

Lots of sellers want a “set it and forget it” type of solution when it comes to managing their advertising. If you work with an agency, like PPC Farm *wink, you can absolutely achieve that. But if you’re managing your ads yourself then you need to be monitoring things every single day.

At the very least, each day you should be…

  • Downloading or checking your Search Term Report to identify any profitable keywords or keywords that are wasting money
  • Checking the bids across all of your keywords and make adjustments
  • Adding all the irrelevant keywords as negative keywords
  • Checking on the KPIs that pertain to your goals (e.g. CTR, CR, ACoS, etc.)

#4 Forgetting About Detail Page Quality

While PPC is super important it won’t make up for a crummy product detail page.

If your product page looks like this then you could spend all the money you wanted on ads but the likelihood anyone would click on this, let alone buy it, is gonna be super low.

You’ll want to make sure your detail page at least has the following.

  • Accurate and informative copy
  • 5 bullet points and a well-written description
  • High-quality images
  • Main image with a white background
  • Infographic/sizing images
  • Lifestyle images
  • At least 15+ verified reviews with a star rating of 3.5 or above
  • Available stock

Finally, consider adding A+ content or videos for an even higher quality detail page.

#5 Not Doing Adequate Keyword Research

Extensive keyword research is the foundation of any good PPC campaign strategy. Missing even one relevant keyword could mean that you’re leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

Here’s a few common things that new sellers do that cause them to miss out on profitable opportunities.

  • Missing relevant keywords
  • Targeting super broad keywords
  • Not researching negative keywords

Lots of sellers think they know their product’s top keywords but you’d be surprised. We’ve got a full blog article here about why it’s impossible to know what your customers are really searching for.

Not only is it a common mistake to not include enough keywords but lots of rookies also go too broad. For example, if you’re selling that egg separator above and you are bidding on “kitchen supplies” then you’re going to be paying a lot for your ads to show in front of shoppers who aren’t even vaguely interested in buying your product.

Finally, it’s just as important to identify negative keywords as it is to find relevant keywords. By finding keywords that aren’t accurate for your product from the start you’re going to reduce spending from the get-go.

#6 Poor Campaign Naming Structure

When you’re just starting out it can be tempting to go with names like “Campaign #1” or “My First Campaign” but your future self is going to be a lot happier if you name your campaign something like “SP  | Auto | Blue Dish Brush With Soap | 05/06/22 | B07VSYEFS8”

Ad Type | Campaign Type | Product Name | Last Updated Date | ASIN

That way, when it comes time to analyze your campaigns you’ll be able to quickly and easily see all of the information you need without clicking into each campaign.

#7 Not Measuring Performance

While it might be easy to just log into your campaign manager and check on the overall trends for your account you might not be getting the full picture.

Plus Amazon limits your look-back period to either 60 or 90 days depending on your report. That’s why we recommend downloading your Search Term report daily and pasting it into your own spreadsheet to track performance.

By doing this you’re able to see your ad performance over a longer period of time and therefore avoid making knee-jerk reactions to what might actually be short-term trends.

#8 Adjusting Campaigns Too Quickly

Your ad campaigns are a source of revenue but they’re also an amazing source of data.

In order to get the most out of this data you’ve gotta have a little patience and let your ads run long enough to gather accurate data. How long you need to wait is going to depend on how fast your product is selling but typically you’ll want to wait at least 2 weeks before making adjustments.

#9 Not Using Negative Keywords

We’ve got a full article on our blog all about negative keywords but essentially they’re a way to tell Amazon where you don’t want your ad to be displayed.

If you’re not using negative keywords then you’re probably wasting money by having your ad displayed to customers that aren’t interested in your product.

For example, if you’re selling a paper calendar then you might want to make the word “dry erase” negative because customers who are looking for a whiteboard style calendar are unlikely to buy your paper version.

#10 Not Using Both Automatic and Manual Campaigns

We already touched on this a bit in our PPC Fundamentals section but by taking advantage of both campaign types you’re able to get more comprehensive data.

Automatic campaigns allow you to leverage Amazon’s data to find profitable keywords to add to your manual campaigns. As well as identity low-performing keywords that you might want to add as negative keywords or adjust your bids for.

Did anything in this article spark your curiosity or bring up a question? Comment below or email us at We love talking about PPC!

Written by
Carly M.

Carly is an eCommerce expert and founder of PPC Farm, an agency that specializes in elevating Amazon sellers through strategic PPC management. With over 11 years in the industry, her and her team have successfully managed thousands of ASINs, boosting visibility, sales, and performance for their clients.

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