How To Find Keywords For Amazon Ads

Keyword research for Amazon’s PPC platform can be a tricky thing. Unlike Google Ads, there’s no handy keyword research tool you can turn to for inspiration.

But never fear. We have 3 techniques to assist you with your Amazon Ads keyword research:

  1. Amazon’s search bar
  2. Review Amazon’s suggestions
  3. Keyword mining via automated targeting (← this is our secret sauce)

Amazon’s search bar

As a starting point, you can type your most obvious keywords into the Amazon search bar. The auto-complete suggestions might provide you with some further keyword ideas to try.

For example, let’s imagine you’re advertising an air conditioning unit…

Amazon's Search Bar predictive text example

This gives you an indication of the most popular keywords people search for that contain the phrase “air conditioning”.

Right away, this should give you not only new keywords to target, but also irrelevant phrases to block via negative keywords. 

For example, if your air conditioning unit isn’t wall mounted, you’re going to want to add “wall mounted” as a negative keyword.

Review Amazon’s suggestions

When you set up a new ad group using manual targeting, Amazon will provide you with a handy list of suggested keywords to start with.

These will be based on the specific products you’ve added to that ad group.

Let’s imagine you’re selling paint…

Amazon Ads keyword suggestion list example

It’s important you don’t blindly accept all of Amazon’s suggestions, as they won’t always be relevant. 

For example, if your paint isn’t meant for concrete, you wouldn’t want to add it as a keyword just because Amazon suggested it!

Keyword mining via automated targeting

This is a three-step process that will help you not only identify the best keywords for your Amazon Ads campaign, but it’ll also ensure you’re bidding competitively on them.

Step one: Set Up

For every Sponsored Products campaign you set up, we recommend actually setting up two versions of it:

  • One should use manual targeting
  • The other, automated targeting

The manual campaign will feature all of the keywords you’ve uncovered so far.

You’ll then need to add them as exact-match negative keywords to the automated campaign.

Step two: Identify

The automated campaign will automatically match your product ads to a wide range of search terms based on Amazon’s machine learning.

What you’ll want to do is review the search terms this campaign is showing for on a regular basis.

  • For search terms that convert = add them as keywords to the manual campaign (and as negative keywords to the automated campaign)
  • For irrelevant keywords = add them as negative keywords to both campaigns

Step three: Optimise

For both versions of the campaign, make sure you’re reviewing your performance metrics on a regular basis.

In particular, keep a close eye on either the ROAS or ACOS metric, as it’ll tell you whether your advertising activity is profitable based on your profit-margins.

(Note: Both ROAS and ACOS give you the same data, just presented differently.)

In the manual campaign, bid up on keywords that are exceeding your ROAS/ACOS targets. This means you’ll pay more per click, but your ads will show more often.

And conversely, lower your bids on keywords that are falling short of profitability; this will lower your cost per click and so improve your profitability.

For automated campaigns, Amazon gives you 4 targeting groups:

Amazon Ads targeting groups example

You should adjust bids for each based on the ROAS/ACOS metric, using the same logic you used with the manual campaign.

The end result: As you continue to optimise your campaigns, you’ll find you naturally bid higher in the manual campaign. 

This’ll be because it holds a growing list of the most profitable keywords, and your higher bids will ensure you can squeeze the most possible sales out of them.

Meanwhile, the automated campaign will have lower bids — but it’ll continue to mine for new high-performing keywords, which you can then migrate over to the manual campaign and bid up on.

Bonus step: Product targeting

The automated campaign won’t only match your ads to new keywords — it’ll also identify competitor products your ads can show against.

This means your ad appeared as an alternative option on your competitor’s product page.

When your ads appear on a product’s page, that product will appear in your search term report.

If any of these convert, you can add that product to your manual campaign alongside your keywords.

Just note that you’ll need to create a new ad group in the manual campaign, as you can’t mix keyword targeting and product targeting in a single ad group.

Next step

So you now have three techniques to help you research new keywords for your Amazon Ads. Using them will help you grow your reach — and more importantly, sales — on Amazon.

But if you’re looking for further help with your Amazon Ads, why not get in touch with us? As a PPC specialist agency, there’s nothing we love more than talking PPC!

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