Here’s How We Optimize Our Amazon PPC Strategy for Increased Sales

May 23, 2024

Helpful Summary

  • Overview: We give you an in-depth guide on how to efficiently and effectively optimize your Amazon PPC strategy for maximum sales.
  • Why listen to this advice: We offer Amazon sellers a suite of tools designed to help them maximize the effectiveness of their PPC campaign while automating much of their workloads.
  • Why it matters: Optimizing PPC strategies offers enhanced campaign insights, meets customer expectations, provides a competitive advantage, and captures larger market shares.
  • Action points: Understand Amazon PPC strategies, analyze data from Merch Jar, and make informed decisions to optimize your campaigns for maximum results.
  • Further research: Check out the Merch Jar blog for more information on successful Amazon PPC strategies and tips from industry experts.

Wondering How to Optimize Your Amazon PPC Strategy?

Success in the e-commerce industry depends on adapting strategies like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads to meet the ever-changing demands of consumers—and Amazon is no different. Studies show that Amazon PPC ads usually contribute to about 30% of an Amazon seller's total sales

For example, if organic sales reach $1,000 per day, sellers can anticipate approximately $100 to $300 per day in Amazon PPC sales. However, the effectiveness of Amazon PPC campaigns can vary greatly depending on how well they're optimized.

Merch Jar recognizes the importance of optimizing your Amazon PPC campaigns not only to boost sales but also to enhance brand visibility. In this guide, we’ll explore effective ways to optimize your Amazon PPC campaigns to maximize profits while minimizing headaches. 

Let’s get started.

Why Listen to Us?

Amazon PPC strategy is a complex topic. We've seen tons of businesses struggle to optimize their campaigns, leading to missed sales and wasted potential. 

At Merch Jar, we've helped thousands of businesses automate and optimize PPC campaigns, ensuring ads are effective and efficient year-round. Our approach has turned ad management from a time-consuming task to a growth driver, as demonstrated by the more than $100 million our users have generated​​​​.

By optimizing PPC campaigns, our clients save time and increase their sales and visibility on Amazon. This strategy allows for smarter spending and improved ROI, turning ads into profitable investments rather than just another project. 

And in this guide, we’re explaining how you can do the same.

What Is an Amazon PPC Strategy?

An Amazon PPC strategy is a systematic approach to advertising on Amazon's platform.

Rather than relying on guesswork, a PPC strategy allows you to make informed decisions about your ad spending. It combines data analysis, keyword research, and campaign optimization to create a targeted and effective advertising plan.

Let’s break down a few of those key elements:

Data Analysis

The best Amazon PPC strategy is the one that works best for your business. So, it makes sense to start by looking at your data. What products are performing well? Which ones could use a boost in sales? Which campaigns are driving the most clicks and conversions?

By analyzing your data, you can identify areas for improvement and develop a plan to optimize your campaigns. You also set yourself up for diligent monitoring—something that’s essential for making optimizations (more on that later).

Keyword Research

Keywords are the foundation of Amazon PPC. 

Good keywords connect you with motivated buyers who want your products, bad keywords waste your money on low-quality clicks. One goal of your Amazon PPC strategy is to target those good keywords while slowly weeding out the bad ones.

Campaign Optimization

Once your ads are up and running, it's important to continually monitor and optimize them. This involves managing your budget, making bid adjustments, testing different ad copy and images, and adding negative keywords to prevent your ads from showing up for irrelevant search terms.

There’s strategy behind each of these steps—and it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to have a clear plan in place (or an Amazon PPC automation tool like Merch Jar) to make sure your campaigns are always optimized for success.

What Types of Amazon PPC Ads Are There?

Before we dive into the strategy section, a quick refresher—what types of Amazon PPC ads are there, and what do they look like?

Here’s an overview:

  • Sponsored Products: These ads promote individual product listings on Amazon. They appear in search results and on product detail pages, helping to increase the visibility of specific items.
  • Sponsored Brands: Formerly known as Headline Search Ads, these ads showcase a brand and a selection of its products. They appear above, below, or alongside search results, directing users to the brand's landing page or a custom Amazon Store.
  • Sponsored Display Ads: These ads target customers based on their shopping behaviors and interests, appearing on Amazon as well as on third-party websites and apps.

The kinds of ads you focus on depend on your advertising goals, budget, and target audience. When setting up an Amazon Advertising campaign, you can choose which ad types you want to use. But how do you know which ad type is right for your business?

Here’s a table to help you understand the different ad types and their uses.

Why Should You Optimize Your Amazon PPC Strategy?

Increase Sales and Visibility

Every Amazon seller wants to increase their sales (and visibility). And with the growing competition on the platform, it has become more important than ever to have an optimized and effective PPC strategy in place.


Well, for starters, your competitors already do. But beyond that, an optimized PPC strategy can help you reach a larger audience and increase your chances of getting sales.

Cost Efficiency

Saving money is another major reason to optimize your Amazon PPC campaigns. Unoptimized campaigns waste money in all kinds of ways—targeting the wrong keywords, bidding too high or too low, and so on.

By optimizing your campaigns, you can make sure that every dollar spent is going towards reaching your target audience and generating sales. You can then decide whether you want to reinvest the savings into other areas of your business, or simply increase your profits.

Targeted Advertising

On a related note, optimization also leads to better targeting. This is partially the result of targeting the right keywords, as mentioned above. But it also involves narrowing down your target audience based on other factors like geographic location, age, gender, and interests.

By targeting specific audiences, you can better tailor your ads to their preferences and needs. This ultimately leads to higher click-through rates and conversions, as the ad is more relevant and appealing to the viewer.

Strategic Campaign Goals

Want to increase brand awareness? Generate more leads? Drive sales? Whatever your ultimate goal is, Amazon PPC optimization can help you achieve it. It’s all about knowing which levers to pull and how to adjust your campaigns accordingly.

For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you can focus on keywords with a high search volume and use more broad match types. On the other hand, if your goal is to drive sales, you may want to target specific long-tail keywords and use phrase or exact match types.

Continuous Improvement

Finally, one of the key benefits of Amazon PPC optimization is its ability to constantly improve and evolve your campaigns. With access to real-time data and metrics, you can make ongoing adjustments to optimize your ads for better performance.

This could include adjusting bids for certain keywords, testing different ad copy and images, or even adding new products to your campaigns. By continuously monitoring and optimizing your PPC campaigns, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your advertising budget.

How to Optimize Your Amazon PPC Strategy

Time for the practical steps.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your Amazon PPC strategy and get the best results for your business:

1. Use Peak Conversion Times

Your products (probably) convert differently at different points in time.

Sometimes this is fairly obvious—a “World’s Best Dad” mug is going to sell best in the run-up to Father’s Day. But sometimes it’s less clear. For example, when do people buy the most fitness equipment?

It turns out there are tons of peaks throughout the year—just before New Years, in early spring, and the Super Bowl (weirdly enough). And this isn’t just fitness equipment. Most products will have specific times throughout the year when they sell best.

So, how does this help with your Amazon PPC strategy? The idea is to monitor your campaigns to identify when your products are converting the best, and then increase your bids during those peak times. This will help you get more visibility and potentially more sales during those periods.

How to Identify Conversion Peaks for Your Products

  1. Analyze Sales Data: Open up your Amazon Seller Central account and go to the Reports tab. From there, select “Business Reports” and then “Sales and Traffic.” This will bring up a report that shows your sales data over a specific time period. Look for patterns or spikes in sales that repeat yearly.
  1. Analyze Advertising Data: Next, open up whatever tool you use to analyze Amazon PPC data, like Merch Jar. Look at the data for your campaigns and ad groups to see which ones are performing the best in terms of conversions.
  1. Cross-Reference Data: Now that you have both sales and advertising data, cross-reference them to identify any correlations. For example, if you notice a spike in sales on a specific day or week, check your advertising data to see if there was also an increase in clicks or conversions during that period.
  2. Identify Peak Times: After analyzing the data, you should be able to determine when your products are converting the best based on both sales and advertising performance. This could be specific days of the week, times of day, or even certain months throughout the year.

Merch Jar makes it easy to spot these conversion peaks. Our customizable dashboards give you access to tons of real-time charts on metrics that help you understand when your products are selling the most and when your ads are most profitable, including:

  • Sales
  • ACoS
  • Conversion Rate

…and much more.

2. Look for Keyword Alternatives

Amazon is packed with high-volume, high-conversion keywords that every seller in a niche is constantly fighting over. 

A great example is the keyword “water bottle” in the sports and outdoor category. It gets around 650,000 searches per month, and you can bet that there are thousands of sellers out there competing for it. That drives up its cost-per-click (CPC) and makes it harder for smaller sellers to rank.

But don’t be discouraged—there are plenty of alternative keywords that can still attract a large audience, but with less competition. Part of optimizing your Amazon PPC strategy involves actively finding and prioritizing alternatives that generate a better ROAS.

How to Find Alternative Keywords

  1. Find a Keyword Research Tool: There are various keyword research tools available that can help you identify alternative keywords. Some popular options include Ahrefs and SEMrush—both offer Amazon-specific keyword research tools.
  2. Set Search Parameters: When using a keyword research tool, make sure to set the search parameters around things like CPC and set the country to the one you’re planning the ads for.
  1. Look for Opportunities: Once you’ve entered in your main keyword, look for opportunities that appear to have a lower CPC or less competition. These keywords can be used as alternatives to drive traffic to your product.

How to Automate Keyword Management

As your keyword strategy expands to include more alternative keywords, keeping it optimized will require a system for automatically promoting and demoting keywords so that the most profitable ones are always being used.

Merch Jar’s Smart Campaigns feature does just that.

It automates the structuring of your campaigns by managing keywords and product targets based on performance metrics. This involves setting up rules that automatically create keywords from high-performing search terms or negate underperforming ones. The feature enables individual management of one or more ad groups across your campaigns, focusing on optimizing performance efficiently​​.

There are all kinds of use cases for this, including:

  • Keyword experimentation: Tests out different keyword combinations to find the most profitable ones for your products.
  • Negating Irrelevant Terms: Automatically adds negative keywords for search terms that don't meet performance criteria, streamlining the process.
  • Scaling Campaigns: Facilitates the management of keywords across multiple campaigns as your advertising efforts grow.
  • Keyword Isolation: Allows for the evaluation of individual keyword performance across ad groups and campaigns​​.

3. Experiment With Product Listings

Advertising on Amazon might not be as creative as other platforms, but there is still room for experimentation and optimization. And yes, your product listings may well be the reason your PPC campaigns are not performing as well as you'd like.

So, how do you figure out what resonates with your market? By running experiments—specifically, A/B tests.

In case you're not familiar, Manage Your Experiments is a tool available in Seller Central to registered Amazon brands. It allows you to compare the performance of different versions of product listing attributes, like: 

  • Product title
  • Images
  • Pricing
  • Description
  • A+ content

And since all five of these attributes play such an important role in your PPC campaigns, experimenting with them can potentially have a massive impact on the cost-effectiveness of your ads. Better listings convert at a higher rate, which means ACoS goes down and ROI goes up.

How to Run Product Listing Experiments

  1. Pick a Product: Start by picking a product you want to investigate. In the context of Amazon PPC optimization, it might make sense to look for a product with high ACoS or low conversion rates.
  2. Pick an Attribute: This is the variable you want to test. To choose one, start with a working hypothesis about why you think the listing is performing poorly, and use the experiment as a way to either validate or disprove that theory.
  3. Create a Variation: Next, create a variation of the attribute. For titles, descriptions, and pricing this is fairly simple—just change the text or numbers. For images, you may need to work with a designer.
  4. Start the Experiment: Hover over “Brands” in Seller Central and then click “Manage Experiments”. Click Create a “New Experiment” and then choose the kind of experiment you want to run, the product, and the attribute you want to test. Then click “Schedule Experiment”.
  5. Analyze the Results: After your experiment has run for a sufficient amount of time (usually at least 2 weeks), go back to Manage Your Experiments and click on your experiment. You'll be able to see the results and compare them against the control group.

4. Automate Bid Management

When you’re dealing with a massive product catalog on Amazon, manually adjusting bids for each item can be time-consuming and overwhelming. To stay competitive, consider automatically adjusting your PPC budgets and bids with a tool like Merch Jar.

At Merch Jar, we offer all kinds of tools that help sellers succeed on Amazon. One of those tools is Recipes—our automated bid optimization system.

Recipes works using a system of:

  • Triggers: Conditions that trigger the rule to execute.
  • Actions: What happens when the rule is executed.
  • Targets: What the action is applied to.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of each.


Triggers consist of clauses—for example, “If X…”. The “X” is usually a combination of a metric and a value (e.g., “If ACoS is greater than 20%”). Triggers can also include multiple clauses, allowing for more specific and complex rules. Additionally, users can set up triggers based on different time frames, such as daily, weekly, or monthly.

When Merch Jar registers the trigger has been met, it will execute the corresponding action.


Actions are the steps that take place when a trigger is activated. It’s the other half of the clause we started with the trigger—for example, “increase bid by 10%”. These actions can also be set to apply only to certain targets.


Targets determine where the actions will be applied. This could be at an ad group level, campaign level, or even at a product level. By having control over targets, sellers can fine-tune their bids and make sure they're optimized for maximum profitability.

Putting all of this together, Merch Jar's automation feature allows sellers to create customized and efficient bidding strategies. By setting triggers, actions, and targets, sellers can automate the process of adjusting bids based on performance data. This saves time and ensures that bids are constantly optimized for success.

5. Use Bulk Operations

When you manage hundreds (or thousands) of campaigns, the management process itself also needs to be optimized. Your time is a valuable resource, and that makes repetitive, time-consuming tasks a major waste of resources.

Automated bidding and keyword management are a start, but what about task like:

  • Pausing and resuming campaigns
  • Updating bids across multiple campaigns at once
  • Creating new ad sets or ads in bulk

Bulk operations allow you to perform these tasks quickly and efficiently, freeing up your time to focus on more important aspects of campaign management. Amazon’s bulk operations feature may be enough for smaller sellers, but it caps at 1,000 items at a time.

Merch Jar's Bulk Actions feature simplifies the process of managing Amazon PPC campaigns by allowing you to apply changes across multiple campaigns, ads, keywords, or targets simultaneously—with no limits on the number of items. 

6. Target Your Own Products

Amazon’s product targeting feature is a powerful tool for optimizing your PPC campaigns. Of course, you can use it to target competing products—but have you considered targeting your own products?

Upselling and cross-selling are widely used in e-commerce, and Amazon does offer a few tools that help you raise interest for your other products (e.g., “Usually bought together”). But with product targeting, you have much more control over what products are shown to potential customers.

Here are two potential use cases for targeting your own ASINs:

Upselling and Cross-Selling

  • Upselling: Upselling means encouraging customers to upgrade or purchase a more expensive version of the same product they're already interested in. So, if you sell skincare products on Amazon, you could use this PPC strategy to target customers looking for a standalone product (e.g., a moisturizer) and show them an ad for a more expensive bundle.
  • Cross-Selling: Cross-selling means suggesting related products that complement what the customer is already purchasing. For example, you could target your coffee machine listing with ads for your coffee grinder to encourage people to buy both.

Both of these tactics tend to work well because customers are more likely to be swayed by an ad from a brand they’re familiar with. And the fact that they’re on your listing means you’ve got an edge in terms of familiarity over 99.9% of other ads.

Competitive Edge

This second use case is more defensive.

If your listings are frequently targeted by your competitors, it can sometimes be profitable to invest some advertising budget into your own listings. The only way to know for sure is to test the theory—find a listing that your competitors are targeting and run ads against it for a week or two. 

If you see an increase in sales that outweighs the cost of the campaign, then it’s worth continuing.

7. Focus on Top-Performing Child ASINs

A quick refresher before we dive in (feel free to skip this if you’re familiar)—“child ASINs” are variations of a “parent ASIN”. If you sell a t-shirt in four different colors, the parent ASIN would be the generic t-shirt and the four child ASINs would be each specific color.

Now, let’s get into the strategy. 

Lots of sellers set up Amazon PPC campaigns that target all the child ASINs of a parent ASIN. But this often leads to product cannibalization because your listing may be competing for ad space. A more optimized approach is to focus your PPC efforts on the top-performing child ASIN.

Here are a few reasons why this works so well:

  • Trickle-Down Sales: Amazon makes it very easy to tell whether a product has variations—both from the ad and the listing page. Buyers are used to self-selecting from options on the product page, so you can leave this to them.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Your most popular child ASINs will almost always be your most cost-effective PPC targets. They have strong conversion rates and will help you keep your ACoS down.
  • Simplified Campaign Management: Finally, this strategy means way fewer campaigns and ad groups to optimize. CPCs and ad rank are also much less of a concern.

8. Look at the Big Picture

Within the context of Amazon PPC, there are two levels of optimization. 

The first is campaign-level optimization—this is largely what we’ve focused on in this guide. The second is account-level optimization, which involves looking at the overall performance of all your campaigns and making adjustments accordingly.

What should you look for? What adjustments should you make? Let’s discuss.

Start by looking at account-level metrics for your Amazon PPC campaigns, like overall ACoS, overall ROAS, total spend, and total sales. Then dive deeper to see which campaigns are contributing outsized amounts to each of these metrics.

The goal is to identify which campaigns are performing well and which ones may need some tweaking. 

For example, if you have a campaign with a high ROAS but low ACoS, it may be worth increasing the budget or bids to drive even more sales. On the other hand, if you have a campaign with a low ROAS and high ACoS, you may want to consider pausing that campaign to improve account-level metrics.


Optimizing your Amazon PPC strategy is a strategic approach to enhancing your online presence and boosting sales. By understanding the nuances of consumer behavior, conducting meticulous keyword research, and crafting engaging ad copies, you can position your products for success.

Regular monitoring and adaptation are key to staying ahead in the competitive e-commerce landscape, ensuring that your Amazon PPC strategy remains a dynamic and effective tool for increased sales.

Merch Jar is designed to simplify and automate the complexities of Amazon PPC campaign management. Its features, particularly Recipes and Smart Campaigns, offer a robust solution for optimizing your advertising strategy, automating bid adjustments, keyword management, and providing insightful analytics for continuous optimization.

By leveraging these tools, you can make sure your campaigns are optimized for peak performance, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business. Get started with Merch Jar for free and see for yourself.