Amazon advertising optimizations to crush Q4

When it comes to online shopping, there’s an undisputed leader. 

Boasting a 37.8% share of the ecommerce market, Amazon is far and away the biggest online retailer in the U.S. – and poised to surpass Walmart as the number one retailer overall by 2024. 

With so many people shopping for everyday goods on Amazon, setting aside a chunk of your advertising budget to take advantage of the site’s commercial traffic is a smart business strategy.

What you sell isn’t terribly important. People buy everything from Legos and binoculars to jewelry, clothing, and kitchen appliances on Amazon. 

Focus instead on how to sell your products and you’ll end the fourth quarter on a high note. 

You shouldn’t place all your eggs in one basket. But if you have to, sponsored product campaigns are the way to go. 

Sponsored products are cost-per-click ads that show up on Amazon’s results page when a customer searches for something. 

If you’re selling cheese graters and want your brand to appear at or near the top of the page whenever a consumer searches for generic “cheese graters,” sponsored ads can get you that prime real estate. They’re still the bread and butter of Amazon’s most successful ad campaigns

Sponsored product campaigns are easy to create and allow you to control your costs by setting a price on how much you’ll spend per click. They work well with:

  • Sponsored brands that focus on your overall business rather than a single product.
  • Sponsored display campaigns – interactive ads that can reach shoppers not just on Amazon, but on other sites as well.  

Data offers a bigger payoff than blind luck

When creating a sponsored product campaign, don’t just rely on luck. Sales and performance metrics tell the true story.

Getting cozy with data will help you understand your advertising cost of sale (ACoS) – an important tool in formulating a successful ad strategy. 

To calculate your Amazon ACoS, divide your advertising expenditure by the total revenue earned.

If you spend $20 on advertising and sell $100 worth of products, then your ACoS is 20%. Breaking it down further, this means you spend $0.20 for every $1.00 you make.

Obviously, the lower your ACoS, the higher your profit. 

While ACoS is an important metric, it isn’t the end all, be all.

You should look at other factors such as impressions, click-through rates (CTR) and conversions to determine your target ACoS.

Ideally, you’ll want to find your break-even point in order to know how much to allocate toward spending without losing money.  

Keep in mind that advertising impacts the organic ranking of your product. This is because, like you, Amazon wants to sell products!

If your product converts well and has a high sales velocity because you are selling a lot through advertising, Amazon will want to show your product beyond what you are paying for with advertising. 

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Don’t miss out on opportunities

If you haven’t touched your ad campaigns in a while, you are due for optimization. This means taking steps to improve the performance of your campaigns.

We have found that many people only optimize if they think there is a problem, but that means you could be missing out on even better results and opportunities.

Ad campaign optimization ensures you are targeting the right audience and utilizing the right platforms and tools. It allows you to create personalized content and can go a long way toward reducing your customer acquisition costs.

There are several things you should look for when optimizing your ad campaigns. 

Underperforming SKUs

In most cases, underperforming SKUs should be paused. But the work doesn’t end there. Research the reasons why they were underperforming by asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Which SKUs are performing better and why? Is it the budget? 
  • Are the keywords in the campaign not as relevant? 
  • Is that SKU simply not as good compared to the products it’s competing against? 
  • Is the product detail page not optimized enough?


Since bidding on keywords is an auction-based format, you are never operating in a silo. 

Raising and lowering your keyword bids will make a big impact on your ACoS and overall results. The following tips can help: 

  • Look for keywords that aren’t relevant or are not converting.
  • Review the targeting. Are you using phrase/exact match for the high-converting gems? 
  • Don’t forget about automatic targeting types. Loose match, close match and product targeting are all areas of opportunity. 
  • Make sure your inventory levels are high and you are maintaining the buy box.
  • Use negative keywords to your advantage. This is great for all campaigns but especially effective in automatic and broad acquisition campaigns. 

Use coupons and promotions

Everyone loves a deal – especially in this economy and during this time of year. 

Even if you aren’t participating in Cyber Monday, you can still offer coupons and promotions to help boost conversion rates and sales. 

When used with sponsored product ads, this is a great way to bring in more sales. 

Study the search query performance dashboard

If you are a brand registered seller, this report gives you valuable insights into:

  • Your customer’s shopping journey in comparison to your competitors.
  • Each search term’s volume and rank. 

You’ll also learn how potential buyers are discovering your products both organically and through paid ads. 

This will alert you to potential issues with your product detail page optimization. For example, a low click rate could mean the headline or image isn’t resonating with searchers. 

Manage your budgets properly

Web traffic will increase in the next few months and advertisers will be raising their budgets. The downside? 

You risk using up your budget allocation much faster than usual. This is true even on normal days, not just special events like Cyber Monday and Black Friday. 

If your budget won’t allow ads to run all day, make sure you are using dayparting. 

This strategy involves scheduling your ads for certain days of the week and certain times of the day when you get the most conversions. 

Now that you’ve learned how to optimize your ads for Amazon, it’s time to make some great impressions!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Evan Facinger is a digital marketer with 15 years of experience and is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Foremost Media, a full-service digital marketing and web development agency. Evan has a robust background that includes; Amazon optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), marketing automation, and pay-per-click management. He has helped hundreds of clients realize their business goals through digital marketing.


5 Amazon product listing optimization must-haves

What exactly does it mean to have your Amazon product listing be fully optimized? And why does it matter?

Every aspect of the product listing page can be seen as an opportunity for optimization:

  • Product titles.
  • Descriptions.
  • Bullet points.
  • Images.
  • Keywords.
  • Vital product information.
  • Additional manufacturer’s information.
  • Reviews.
  • And everything else on the page. 

It isn’t just about making sure the visitors have enough information to make a purchase decision or even being persuasive with these elements to increase your sales (although it matters). 

The content on these pages is also a big contributor to where your product list will rank on Amazon search based on their A10 algorithm.

Just like with Google, most Amazon shoppers aren’t going past the first results page. So a higher ranking means more visibility for your product with shoppers.

Amazon product listing optimization should be ongoing, but the following are the must-haves to get you started (or continued) in the right direction. 

1. Optimizing your product title on Amazon

An optimized title for your product helps both with text match relevancy and click-through rate (CTR). Considering both are significant factors in ranking, this makes it one of the most important elements to optimize. 

Shoppers will be reading your title on the results page to see if your product matches what they are looking for. You want to be accurate here in your description to ensure your product detail page has a high conversion rate for the A10 algorithm.

Here are some tips to make sure your title is optimized:

  • Include your keywords and keep them at the beginning.
  • Avoid all caps but capitalize the first letter of every word.
  • Review the category-specific guidelines for length. Keep in mind mobile breaks as well.
  • Don’t use symbols.

2. Using images on your product detail page

As important as the title is, your sales will be close to zero if you don’t have any images. But bad images can be just as hurtful to your sales.

The brain processes images exponentially faster than it does words. Attractive photos often make the difference between a buyer choosing your product over a competitor.

As advanced as smartphone cameras have become, professional photos still make a difference. It is often due to the capabilities of the person behind the camera more so than the hardware.

The most important image is your main image. This is what shoppers see on the search results. This should be your product against a white background, showing exactly what the product looks like. The right image here will lead to a higher relevant CTR.

Besides the main image, you will want a combination of infographic and lifestyle images:

  • Infographic images allow you to include text on your images that highlight the benefits or certain characteristics of your product. 
  • Lifestyle images show your product actually being used. This helps potential buyers imagine what it would be like if they had the product. 

Pay attention to demographics for both infographics and lifestyle photos. Shoppers will identify with people like them and it will make your product more relatable and appealing.

3. Optimizing your bullet points

Bullet points are there to highlight and provide quick information to shoppers. You should be descriptive and provide strategic information to help in purchase decisions and differentiating factors.

You want to keep your bullet points clear and concise. There is no need to stuff with keywords and provide fluff words here.

Many shoppers are in the skimming mindset and are looking for fast, easily digestible information. That is why we also recommend capitalizing the first letter of the word and keeping the overall character count less than 1,000 for all five of the bullet points.

Try to test using emojis at the beginning of the bullet points. This can help draw the eyes in even more and provide a visual to aid the text and comprehension.

4. Product description optimization

Here is where you can provide detailed information about your product and its features. This information can help reinforce the product’s features and uses. It also provides an area for product information not found in other areas. 

Any relevant details about the product should be mentioned here. This includes:

  • Brand names.
  • Sizes.
  • Materials.
  • Colors.
  • Quantity. 

While the product description is important, when having an A+ page, it can take a backseat to the enhanced brand content available.

5. A+ content

Registered brands on Amazon can take their product descriptions to the next level with A+ content. 

A+ content allows sellers to add additional images, text and videos to their product detail pages. This even includes comparison charts of competitors.

The content here instantly grabs the shopper’s attention and makes all of the product’s features easier to skim.

The additional content also helps to preemptively answer questions the buyer may have.

All of which will lead to an improved conversion rate. 

Putting it all together

All of the different elements on the product listing page work together on Amazon. Missing any of them will lead to your product listing looking incomplete and hurt your sales.

Not only does the loss of sales hurt your bottom line, it also hurts your ranking on Amazon. Well-optimized products sell more and Amazon rewards those high converting sellers with higher rankings. 

By putting it all together you can capitalize on the A10 algorithm and increase your sales and visibility on Amazon.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Evan Facinger is a digital marketer with 15 years of experience and is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Foremost Media, a full-service digital marketing and web development agency. Evan has a robust background that includes; Amazon optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), marketing automation, and pay-per-click management. He has helped hundreds of clients realize their business goals through digital marketing.


6 Amazon marketing strategies to implement in 2022

Amazon’s reign as the king of ecommerce won’t end any time soon.

More than 2 billion people visit Amazon each month, according to Statista.

So, how do you stand out and generate more sales? 

The core belief behind Amazon’s algorithm is straightforward. They want customers to continue buying. They are interested in sales just as much (if not more) than you are as a seller.

The difference? Amazon doesn’t have any loyalty toward any brand other than their own.

More sales lead to higher rankings, which in turn, leads to more sales.

But how can you get past the chicken vs. egg scenario to start seeing improvements?

Here are the six marketing strategies you can use to grow your Amazon sales.

1. Cover the basics 

Tips and tricks don’t replace solid marketing fundamentals. In general, you should be thinking in terms of strategy, not just tactics. 

Do you have high-quality photos and strong copy? How are you positioning your brand/product? Are your prices competitive or is your product differentiated? 

These matter on every channel —  especially Amazon. You can’t start optimizing until your basics are covered.

2. Reanalyze your keywords and focus on keyword relevancy

Amazon’s algorithm may be focused on customers buying products, but that is similar to saying Google’s algorithm is focused on providing the best answer. While it may be true, a lot of variables and nuances go into rankings. This includes:

  • Ratings.
  • Sales fulfillment.
  • Sales velocity.
  • Inventory.
  • Pricing.
  • CTR.

With the A10 Algorithm update (which seems to be based on several updates throughout the years instead of one major update), matching the shopper’s interest/intent has taken center stage. Amazon is attempting to show products based more on searchers vs. their own profitability. 

While you may have done keyword research when you first set up your product detail page, shopping behaviors may have changed. You should regularly conduct keyword research and make sure you have the terms placed throughout the product detail page. This includes important areas like title, description, and bullet points.

This isn’t simply stuffing keywords in your copy. You still have to write for shoppers in a way that drives conversions. The algorithm may rank your product, but it doesn’t buy it. 

Shoppers are the ones reading and making the decision whether to purchase. Your copy must help convince them that your product is the right choice.

3. Invest more in advertising

As expected, Amazon Advertising continues to grow and be an essential part of the company’s revenue.

Amazon’s ad revenue was more than $31 billion in 2021. That’s more than triple its 2018 ad revenue of $10 billion.

If you want to be successful on Amazon, an ad campaign is a must.

Amazon rewards sales and running Amazon ads allows you to get those sales. Unlike Google Ads, where paid ads have no impact on organic placement, Amazon does. You can stimulate sales velocity and improve your rankings by investing more in Amazon Ads. 

As the competition continues to grow, so does the cost.

The good news is that Amazon also continues to refine its ads platform to give you more options and data to improve your Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS). ACoS is calculated by dividing your ad spend by your ad revenue and multiplying it by 100.

4. Bring in more off-Amazon traffic

Amazon is dominant online and they want to remain that way. A good way to do that is to get traffic from other sites. That is why Amazon does take into account traffic that leads to sales from off-Amazon channels like Google and Facebook. 

Take advantage of the Brand Referral Bonus program and create an external traffic campaign for your product listings. Whether it is Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or any other type of campaign to drive traffic, you can set yourself up to receive a commission from Amazon and higher organic listings for your products when done properly.

5. Use a coupon with Amazon advertising

Everyone loves a discount and a good deal. You can play off both psychological triggers by running a coupon for your sponsored product ads. 

Sponsored product ads allow your product to be shown within the search results for specific terms.

When you run a coupon at the same time searchers can see your product with a discount. This not only helps the CTR from the search results but also leads to a higher conversion rate – both crucial metrics for successful Amazon marketing strategies.

In many cases, it isn’t even the amount of the coupon that makes the difference, but simply having one is enough.

Even if you can’t offer a coupon with advertising and turn a sustainable profit on your sales, you should still consider it for a period of time. The improvements in your rankings could lead to higher sales well past the full advertising blitz.

Keep your guard up, however, because you are never operating in a silo. Competitors will always be after your market share. 

6. Invest in high-quality videos

Photos still get most of the attention (rightfully so), but videos have earned their place among the must-haves when it comes to listing quality.

The more information you can give to potential buyers to make them understand and trust your product the higher your sales and the better your reviews will be. 

These four video tips may help you produce more sales from your Amazon listing:

  • Shoot a video describing and using your products.
  • Make sure you have a plan to address the pain points your product solves and highlight other important differentiating factors.
  • Highlight how your product compares to others and show it being used with a lifestyle video to determine what resonates most with your buyers.
  • Keep it focused on sales.

Remember, Amazon wants happy customers and more sales — just like you. 

Even though it may feel like it, it isn’t you vs. Amazon. It is you vs. the other products someone would buy instead of yours on Amazon.

Keep strategy focused on awareness and conversion. If you implement the right strategy, Amazon should reward you with higher rankings. 

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Evan Facinger is a digital marketer with 15 years of experience and is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Foremost Media, a full-service digital marketing and web development agency. Evan has a robust background that includes; Amazon optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), marketing automation, and pay-per-click management. He has helped hundreds of clients realize their business goals through digital marketing.


Amazon Advertising tips from Bai and LEGO

At our Transformation of Search Summit earlier this month, we heard a fan-favorite session on Amazon Advertising. 

In this session, John Denny (formerly of Bai, currently Cavu Venture Partners) and Luis Navarrate Gomez (LEGO) gave real strategies for how they leveraged both paid and organic search on Amazon to grow their companies.

Bai grew from a small niche brand to the number one beverage on Amazon. They were named “Vendor of the Year” by Amazon in 2015, and they were later sold to Dr Pepper Snapple Bottling Group for $1.7 billion.

Why Amazon Advertising?

In 2012, Amazon surpassed Google as the top destination for US online shoppers, and 55% of consumers turn to Amazon first when searching for products online.

Despite its popularity among consumers, Amazon Advertising is still in its early stages. As John and Luis mention, many buyers liken AMS these days to what it was like running Google search campaigns in 2005.

While there are certain hiccups, Amazon is increasingly being recognized as a viable competitor to Google search. Particularly for ecommerce, many marketers are moving budget from Google to Amazon.

And it seems those investments can pay off: In the spring of 2015, awareness of Bai was around 7%. A year later, it had tripled to 24%. At the beginning of 2018, it had passed 60%. Quite rapid growth for a beverage brand, not typically famed for skyrocket successes.

Bai is a quintessential example of a CPG company diving into digital and search marketing, finding that traditional top dogs in those categories haven’t yet done so, and being able to claim those high-ranking spots.

In this session, John and Luis divulge seven strategies they used on Amazon to get their brands to the top.

Tip #1 Go all in on Amazon Ad programs versus organic search

The paid positions are multiplying. All the “fair organic listings” are not as viewable to consumers as they seem. Many are drowned out — especially on mobile — by new categories like “Top-rated from our brands,” which features private label brands from Amazon.

They quoted an observation that “While [Amazon’s] digital shelf was originally a shelf democracy, it’s becoming more and more an advertocracy where you have to pay to exist and survive.”

Most advertisers are focused on Amazon search. Moving budget to Amazon search from Google. But Amazon’s key ad programs include both search and display (Amazon DSP).

#2: Winning brands on Amazon know organic brand impressions drive success

“Customers who bought this item also bought X” — this spot is a huge deal. Bai was able to appear organically in that position even when consumers searched for their competitors.

A study on earned brand impressions found that layering in display on top of search increased organic brand impressions by 90%.

At this point, they move past the “basic course” and into the expert.

#3: The Pulsing strategy

By using a strategy called pulsing, Bai was able to generate revenue that looked like this:

Essentially, they chose specific days and times of year to increase / pulse their ad spend, and found that the ROI on those days was significantly higher.

They continue with four more expert insights — but we’ll leave those for the full-length video.

Other highlights:

  • “A lot of executives hear about ads on Amazon and say, “great, let’s rock and roll! But the reality on Amazon is you can’t rock and roll anywhere if your product is out of stock.”
  • Amazon works very differently in different markets. For instance in France, Amazon provides detailed guidelines for how to write product names and descriptions, and restricts their results accordingly
  • People trying to game reviews on Amazon, and how Amazon is reacting
  • Pros and cons of using vendor vs seller relationships on Amazon

They also were able to get 50% of their subscription revenue to be monthly auto-replenishment orders.

Watch the full session

Whether you currently use Amazon Advertising or are thinking of adding it to your search game, these are some excellent and practical growth tips.

Here’s the link to their session, “Tips from insurgent brands: How to success hack Amazon Advertising.”

John Denny is VP Ecommerce & Digital Marketing at Cavu Venture Partners, and Luis Navarrete Gomez is Head of Global Search Marketing at LEGO.