Here’s 4 Amazon Ad optimizations I use each week that can be done in minutes.
Use these optimizations to zero in on your target ACOS, get rid of poor performers, and get more impressions. Build weekly ad campaign maintenance into your routine with these optimizations and you’re 90% of the way to running well optimized campaigns and hitting your ACOS goals
Last 30 days
Orders > 1
ACOS < Target ACOS
Increase bid 10%
The first optimization we make is boosting the winners. It’s anything that’s below our target ACOS and has at least a couple orders. Since they’re below our target ACOS we have some room in the cost per click to raise bids and win more auctions – getting better ad placements, more impressions, clicks, and ultimately orders.
I use a 30 day range most often for this optimization, ideally not including today or yesterday’s data for the most accuracy. Use longer date ranges if you need more data. Shorter ranges if there’s a lot of variance happening or sudden changes in sales, spend, or ACOS – such as coming out of the holiday buying period.
Anything that is close to my target ACOS I leave alone, no sense messing with a good thing. I like to add in a 3-5% buffer to my target ACOS when filtering my winners. For example if my target ACOS is 25%, I’ll subtract a 3% buffer to give me 22% as my target ACOS threshold I’ll use for my filter.
For well performing targets, slow and steady is the name of the game. A big increase in bid could make your average cpc surge and throw the ACOS out of whack. I generally like a flat 10% bid increase across all of the targets no matter how low the ACOS, but will occasionally go above 10% for really well performing targets with many orders.
This optimization does have the possibility of run away bids if they continue to stay below your target ACOS but not increase in the cost per click with your raised bids. You can set a max bid as a filter to counteract this or compare your bids to their average cpc from time to time.
Lower bids on high ACOS targets
Last 30 days
Orders > 1
ACOS > Target ACOS
Decrease bid 10-20%
Next we want to lower bids on anything that has at least a couple orders but not performing well. You can use a similar target ACOS buffer as the low ACOS targets by add 3-5% to your target ACOS, as well as the same date range.
If you want to get fancy you can stagger how much the decrease is based on how far off of your target ACOS the targets are. For example if your target ACOS is 25% you would:
Decrease 10% – targets with ACOS 30% to 40%
Decrease 15% – targets with ACOS 40% to 50%
Decrease 20% – targets with ACOS > 50%
This optimization has two parts: targets with zero orders, and targets with one order
Orders = 0
Clicks > 20-40
In order to get the most data points, as well as ensure you’re not turning off a winning target that’s in a temporary slump, you want to use a longer date range like 90 days, which is Amazon’s max in the Ad Console.
20-40 clicks is a good rule of thumb for any targets without a sale to be placed on the chopping block. The more clicks you get before turning off a target, the more confident you can be you’re not turning off a potential winner.
Targets that have lower conversion rates or targeting many search terms like broad match you’ll want to lean towards having more clicks before you turn them off.
An advanced strategy you can take before turning off poor performers is lowering their bids with each additional click once you get close to your threshold. For example a keyword has 30 clicks and no sales. Instead of turning the target off you lower the bid 10%. On click 31 you lower another 10%, then at 32 another 10%, etc.
Orders = 1
Clicks > 50-80
This works just like zero order targets, but with a higher click threshold before you turn them off. You should at least double the number of clicks from from zero order target optimization for your single order target.
You can use the same advanced strategy from zero order targets of lowering bids with each new click once it’s close to your click threshold.
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Get more impressions
Impressions = 0
Increase bid 10%
This last step is optional each week. I’ll often skip it for 1-3 weeks at a time if I don’t want to increase my ad spend on untested targets. In this step, we want to get any targets that aren’t being showing to start winning auctions, which we do by increasing bids.
I typically use 0 impressions as my threshold, I just want to make adjustments on targets that aren’t being shown at all. You can change this filter to a higher impressions number (e.g. impressions < 25) if you want to get more impressions and clicks faster for targets that are being shown.
Again slow and steady is the name of the game here. You’re trying to slowly increase bids to find where you start getting enough impressions.
Runaway bids are a possibility again with this type of optimization. You can set a max bid as a filter to prevent never ending bid increases similar to the Low ACOS optimization. Another strategy is to check your zero impression targets with a longer date range, such as 90 days. If a target has zero impressions after 90 days of weekly bid increases, it’s likely there’s another issue going on than too low of bid. Creating a new campaign or ad group with that target and starting over is one solution to targets that aren’t being show.
Here’s a few methods you can use to make your weekly optimizations and their pros and cons.
You can use Amazon’s own Ad Console to navigate and make changes to all of your bids and budgets.
To make adjustments in the Ad Console, select a campaign and then click on one of it’s ad groups. Navigate to the Targeting section and you can filter and apply adjustments to your bids.
If you only have a handful of campaigns this can work fine, but quickly becomes too time consuming to properly optimize your campaigns as you scale. Within the Ad Console interface there’s no way to adjust bids in bulk, or at the same time – you have to go into each campaign separately and click through several screens to get to the targeting.
If you have more than a few campaigns, I recommend one of the other methods.
The bulk operations tool is Amazon’s own method of making changes to your campaign in bulk.
To use bulk operations, navigate to the bulk operations tab in Ad Console. Here’s you’ll select a date range for the data and a few other options to generate your data. Once your data is generated you can download it as a spreadsheet. Once you make changes to the downloaded spreadsheet, you reupload it to the bulk operations tool and your changes are applied to your campaigns.
The bulk operations sheets work great for updating hundreds and even thousands of campaigns at a time. If you’re pretty comfortable with excel and can create your own macros, it can be a great tool for you.
There are some downsides and annoyances with it though.
If you’re not great with excel, it’s going to be a chore to use. It’s also missing some useful metrics that would be nice to have for analysis at times, like click through rate. You can add your own columns in the spreadsheet for this data, but that’s a pain.
There’s also some annoying aspects like how long they can sometimes take to generate or the errors you get when you reupload it. You also have to set up your sheet every time you download a new one – Number fields are downloaded as text, meaning you can’t use a filter like ACOS < 25% without converting the column to numbers, and filters need to be added and applied to get to the data you need to work with.
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However you optimize your campaigns, make it a routine. Amazon Ads aren’t set it and forget it, and with these four simple optimizations you can keep your ads in check and on target.