Amazon PPC: A Complete Beginner’s Guide in 2023

Rick Wong 9 November 2020

Amazon Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an advertising feature that can help you reach buyers, boost your sales, promote brand awareness, and measure your success in Amazon. If you’re a new seller on this e-commerce platform, or if you’ve just decided to start your own Amazon PPC campaign, this article can serve as your Amazon PPC guide as it will help you navigate your way through your first PPC campaign – from choosing your campaign type and keywords to reviewing your results.

Note: You may also use an Amazon advertising software that can help you navigate Amazon PPC without experiencing information overload, and to also limit potential mistakes.

What is PPC on Amazon?

Amazon PPC allows vendors, sellers, agencies, and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) authors to advertise their products at the top of Amazon’s product detail pages and search engine results pages (SERP). Just like any other PPC ad, you will only pay for your Amazon PPC ads whenever users click them.

Can Amazon PPC Help Improve My Organic Rankings?

The good news is, yes. Your sales from Amazon PPC can directly influence your product’s organic ranking on Amazon’s search results. This is highly beneficial for new products since they don’t have a sales history or they may have lesser page views. Amazon PPC campaign can help drive traffic to these new products to boost visibility and launch sales.

Amazon PPC Ads Used for Launching a Product to 4,815 Reviews

3 Types of Amazon PPC Ads

You may create your Amazon PPC campaign in three different forms:

1. Sponsored Products

Sponsored Products look like organic product listings. When a shopper sees your ad while browsing the search results of his/her product inquiry, the shopper wouldn’t feel that your products are sponsored. This is also why experts say that Sponsored Products usually take up about 70% of your advertising sales. When shoppers click this type of ad campaign, most of the time they will be directed to the product detail page.

Sponsored Products allow you to advertise individual products using specific keywords. It allows you to set-up your campaign in two ways:


With an automatic campaign, you let Amazon do the job for you. You don’t have a lot of control with the settings of this ad campaign. Amazon will automatically choose which keywords to incorporate on your ad. These will be based on specific search terms that it deems relevant to your product. This type of campaign is advisable for new PPC advertisers. This way you can also test which keywords would work for you.


With manual campaigns, you can manually select and upload the keywords and products you will target. You can do this based on your own keyword research or using your automatic campaigns. Essentially, using whichever keywords became successful on your previous automatic campaign. In this type of campaign, you have direct control on where your ads are showing. You can also customize the ad placements, each keyword bid, and the categories you will target.

This type of targeting is ideal for sellers that is a bit more comfortable with the Amazon PPC platform. It also offers more room for you to strategize. Manual campaigns are more complex! Be sure to be delicate when it comes to your keyword research, and bidding to prevent losing tons of money.

Read this article to learn more about the difference between automatic and manual Amazon PPC campaigns.

Where Do Sponsored Products Appear?

Sponsored Products ads usually appear on the first page of the search results pages. You will see them at the top, middle, and bottom part of search results. This type of ad may also appear in product detail pages.

Sponsored Product on the search results
Sponsored Product on the product details page

Who Can Access Sponsored Products?

Sponsored Products ads are available to Amazon vendors (1P) through the Amazon Advertising Console. Meanwhile sellers (3P) are required to have a professional selling plan to access this Amazon PPC option.

Read this article to learn how to structure your first Sponsored Products Amazon PPC campaign.

2. Sponsored Brands

This type of ad allows you to be more creative with your ads. It is ideal for brand awareness campaigns! It gives you the ability to advertise your logo, and upload custom images. You can also add custom headlines or copy, and include multiple products on your ad at the same time. It also gives you the ability to run video ads.

Sponsored Brands allow you to direct shoppers at your store page, or a custom Amazon landing page. It gives you the liberty to do product and keyword targeting, but you can only do them manually. For a complete guide on Sponsored Brands, you can check out our Sponsored Brands Tutorial.

Where Do Sponsored Brands Appear?

You can spot Sponsored Brands ads in four ad placements in Amazon’s search results pages. The first placement is on top of the fold (Top of Search), and the three other placements are below the fold. Sponsored Brands also appears on the product details page under the set of bullets. While the Sponsored Brand video ads will appear in the middle of the page

Sponsored Brands on search page

Sponsored Brands on product details page
Sponsored Brand Videos Ads

Who Can Access Sponsored Brands?

This type of ad is available to vendors, agencies, book vendors, and professional sellers who have Amazon Brand Registry.

3. Sponsored Display

This type of ad is on a cost per impression model (CPM) and a cost-per-click (CPC) model. Proper bid management and targeting the right products are the best ways to ace Sponsored Display ads. Formerly called product display ads, this type of ad is the most versatile kind of Amazon PPC ad because it provides three targeting options:


For this targeting option, your ad will be shown to customers who haven’t made a purchase yet but previously viewed your product detail pages or similar products within the last 30 days. The cost will be on a CPM model


This places ads on product detail pages and other Amazon pages and allows you to place your ads on your competitor’s product pages, and other relevant product categories. It is a manual type of targeting on product targeting.


The option allows you to show your ads to shoppers based on their search history or purchases in the last 90 days.


The option allows you to show your ads to shoppers based on their purchase history in the last 90 days.

Where Do Sponsored Display Ads Appear?

Sponsored Display Ads are the most purchase-intended ads. You will find them at the bottom of the “Add to Cart” button on Amazon product detail pages, and on the right side and below the search results pages. These ads may also be seen off Amazon.

Sponsored Display on Products

Who Can Access Sponsored Display Ads?

This type of ad is also accessible to vendors. However, it is only available to sellers who are enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry.

Why Do You Need Targeting on Your Campaign?

Targeting with your PPC campaigns can help you generate better quality leads, increase your conversion rates, and also help you achieve your target sales. There are different types of targeting in Amazon PPC, but the most used and most effective so far are:

Keyword Targeting

Keywords are what sellers bid on, while search terms are the exact search queries of shoppers. Keyword targeting works for both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brand ads. For automatic campaigns, keyword targeting allow Amazon to choose the most searched terms that it thinks are relevant to your product. Similarly, for manual campaigns, it allows you to choose, formulate, and collect keywords that you can use in your campaign to match the search queries of Amazon shoppers.

For example, if you’re starting a manual Sponsored Products Campaign for the furniture you offer, some of the keywords you may bid on include “home furniture,” “Scandinavian furniture,” “modern home furniture,” etc.

Product Targeting

This targeting type allows you to target certain brands, products (ASIN), categories, and/or product features that are related to the products you’d like to advertise. This feature puts your products in front of shoppers as they search for items to buy or browse through product detail pages on Amazon.

For example, if you’re planning to advertise a medical supply, you may opt to target the category “Health & Personal Care” so that your ad may be placed in search results and product detail pages that fall under this category. You may also target a brand that offers something similar to your products. This targeting type is available for all 3 different Amazon advertising types.

What are the Different Match Types?

When targeting keywords, Amazon will ask you to choose a specific “match type” to determine the degree of match between your chosen keywords versus the customer search terms. You can find three match types on Amazon. These three come with various degrees of monitoring and ad targeting precision requirements.

Broad Match

This match type includes search terms that are related to your keywords. For example, if your keyword is “modern home furniture,” the broad match would include search terms that contain this keyword ( home furnishing, etc.). Although this type would have the poorest performance of all the 3 types, it gives you a lot of potential customer search query data based on your keyword.

Phrase Match

This match type includes search terms that also contain the words in your chosen keyword, but in the exact order. For example, if your keyword is “modern home furniture,” the match phrases can be “modern home furniture for sale,” “discounted modern home furniture,” “buy modern home furniture,” and the like.

Exact Match

This match type includes search terms that mirrors the words in your chosen keyword – word per word. For example, if your keyword is “modern home furniture,” the exact match keyword would also be “modern home furniture.”

How Much Will Amazon PPC Cost?

Now let’s talk about money. If you’re wondering how much Amazon PPC will cost you, the answer is – it depends. Amazon gives advertisers the opportunity to submit bids for their ads. These bids are the maximum amount advertisers are willing to pay for the keyword or overall campaign.

The truth is, Amazon often favors the highest bidder. The average CPC usually ranges from $0.02 to $3.00, but it still depends on the product category or the subcategory you sell, in as well as the level of competition on your specific niche. Since the highest bidders also pay the highest CPC (although only $0.01 more than the next highest bid), they often get the highest ad position (ad rank 1).

How to Set the Right Goals for Your Amazon PPC Campaign?

It’s easy to lose money when you’re not tracking the performance and costs of your PPC campaigns. But in order to do this, you must first clearly set your goals. Some of the goals that you may set for your campaigns include increasing your sales and/or impressions, reaching your target profit margin, and maximizing your net profit.

You may be able to measure your success based on the goals you set by calculating certain target values such as your Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS), and more. We’ll discuss formulas to calculate specific target values in a separate article, just so you can familiarize yourself with the terms first.

How Can You Structure Your First Campaign?

To be able to choose the best structure for your first Amazon PPC campaign, you must first determine which type of ad is right for you (Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands or Sponsored Display). From there, you can continue with determining your mode of targeting, etc.

If you’re planning to create a Sponsored Products campaign, you may check out our article entitled “How to Structure Amazon PPC Campaigns” for a detailed, step by step guide.

Final Thoughts

When done correctly, creating Amazon PPC campaigns can be one of the easiest ways to boost sales and reach your target profits in Amazon. If you’re new to this kind of advertising, don’t worry. It may appear complex because of the jargon and technicalities, but when you get used to it, you may reach your target goals sooner than you thought. But to make advertising easier for you, we offer an Amazon advertising software that can help you easily set up campaigns, research keywords and manually bid on them, export data, and measure your success.

If you have questions or insights to share, please feel free to post them via the comments section. Please also consider joining our Facebook Group where we discuss any questions you may have about running an Amazon business.

We are SellerMetrics, our Amazon PPC Software helps Amazon sellers, brands, KDP Authors and agencies navigate Amazon Advertising PPC via bid automation, bulk manual bid changes, and analytics.




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