Amazon PPC Ads: Why Yours Isn’t Making Money & How to Fix It

I get a lot of questions from readers and I love helping people out when I can. Renee is concerned about her PPC ads. She doesn’t think they’re doing as well as they should and wanted my opinion. I think this will be helpful for a lot of folks out there, so here goes!

“My listing with 3 variations went live and an auto PPC campaign started a few days later. I think my listings and photos are generally good. So far, the stats are 13,000 impressions (it’s been seen by 13,000 people searching for the keywords Renee has bid on). 61 people have clicked on it and I‘ve made 4 sales. I think that’s low, what do you think?”

Let’s start with a little maths (super easy, I promise) and work out Renee’s conversion rate. That’s the number of sales divided by the number of visitors to your listing, so 4/61= 0.066 or 6.6%.

Is this high or low? I don’t like being wishy-washy but it depends – some categories have higher conversion rates than others. But I’d say on average, most products have a CR of between 5 and 15%.

So, how can Renee improve her conversion rate?

When you’re running a PPC campaign, Amazon will show your product where people are searching for products similar and related to yours. Take an espresso machine. 

Amazon will show ads for your espresso machine to people looking for coffee machines as well as test them with coffee paraphernalia too, cups etc. They’ll show your ad in front of lots of different people to see what sticks. And remember you’re not paying for the ads by impression, only per clicks.

The quality of visitors

We’ve established with these kinds of ads, your going to have lots of different places where your ad might show up. This means the quality of the visitor is going to be vastly different each time too. 

What do I mean by quality? Imagine someone is looking for a stove-top espresso maker. When they’re searching they’re surely going to see espresso machines too, and they may be curious and click on one or two, but their mind is set on the stove-top and that’s what they’ll ultimately buy. This will decrease your CR. Not all searchers are created equally, some will have much greater intention to buy than others.

Here’s an example of me being a high-quality visitor. Last week I was looking to buy a food processor (and was oddly excited about it… welcome to adulthood!) I searched Google for ‘the best food processor’, I watched reviews on YouTube, I asked friends and family. Notice, I didn’t use Amazon for research. Once I found the one I wanted,  The Breville Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor, THEN I headed over to Amazon, entered the exact model name and bought it. 

Visitor quality matters. 

How can I target higher-quality visitors with my ads?

Setting up PPC ads is easy. Optimising them is where you make the money. Now Renee has some data, she can go back into her ads and optimise them based on what she’s learnt. Where have her sales come from? Who are the customers, their demographics, location etc? Which keywords did they search for? 

This is a step so few people do – they simply set up their ads and just let them run. But the real results come when the ads are continually optimised as the data comes in. That’s what makes the difference to your conversion rates and your sales.

I hope you’ve taken something from this today or it’s inspired you to go back to your PPC ads and see what can be done to get them to perform better for you!




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