A 6-Step Guide to Auditing your Amazon PPC Account

A 6-Step Guide to Auditing your Amazon PPC Account

While there are many tools and software available for data analysis, only by manually auditing your Amazon account, will you gain a deeper understanding of your account performance. Regularly conducting an audit on your advertising account will provide you with insight into what is performing well and where there may be issues that need improvement. In addition, implementing an audit process as part of your PPC strategy will result in:

  • Increased sales velocity
  • Increased revenue
  • Decreased wasted ad spend
  • New keyword discovery
  • Improved RoAS and decreased ACoS

When auditing your account keep in mind your advertising goals and your advertising budget. Establishing targets for key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow you to gauge where your account is failing and where it is prospering. By creating a data log of your metrics, each time you perform an audit, you can compare future audits with previous time periods and assess how your optimizations are performing. With some advertising reports limited to time frames (65 days), it is important to set up a regular auditing schedule. How often you need to perform an audit depends on your sales volume and ad spend.

Creating an audit checklist and performing regular optimizations as described in my article Amazon PPC Campaign Optimization Workflow will help streamline the process.

Audit your Amazon account by the following steps:

1. Review your Listing and Product Detail Page

2. Evaluate your Account and Campaign Structure

3. Assess your Campaign Performance

4. Assess your Ad Group Structure

5. Evaluate your Keyword Targeting

6. Manage your Keyword and Product Target Bids

STEP 1: Review your Listing and Product Detail Page

Your unit session percentage, or your conversion rate, extracted from business reports, is a key indicator of the performance of your listing and your product detail page (PDP). If your conversion rate is low, it may be time for a review. Compare with competitor listings, update to include relevant keywords, and run experiments to split test images, titles, bullet points, and A+ content. Pay attention to your price, are you still competitive? Have you answered customer questions? How are your reviews? Aiming for seller badges and offering coupons can also improve conversion rates.

STEP 2: Evaluate your Account and Campaign Structure

A good structure and organized account allow you to be more granular when it comes to optimizations and data analysis. At the top of the campaign, the hierarchy is portfolios. As each product is promoted by multiple campaigns, ensure all your campaigns are housed within one portfolio per parent ASIN. Establishing portfolios as you launch new products will allow you to monitor performance at the product level. You will be able to effectively determine which products are performing well and which products require your attention.

Taking the time at the onset to ensure your campaigns are organized and structured will make future audits more streamlined. This begins with the correct campaign nomenclature. A clear and consistent campaign naming system should include: 

campaign naming system

When performing your audit verifies that both auto and manual campaigns are segregated based on match type.

Match types perform differently, therefore, separating each type into separate campaigns enables you to monitor and scale more effectively, both the budget and the bid by placement.

STEP 3: Assess Campaign Performance

Amazon campaign budgets play a pivotal role in the effectiveness of campaign performance. Exhausting a daily budget can have a negative impact on PPC performance and result in missed sales opportunities. As part of your audit process, ensure your campaign budgets are at a level high enough to meet the traffic demand. Asses campaign performance. If a campaign is performing well and is profitable with a good return on ad spend (RoAS), scaling up the budget will allow an increase in sessions and spending, driving more sales. For underperforming campaigns leave the budget at the set amount. I recommend a minimum of $100 per campaign.

Campaign profit chart

Determine if you are targeting the optimal ad placement by checking placements within the campaign manager or by downloading a placement report. For campaigns with existing bid adjustments, scale up for high RoAS, and low ACoS campaigns, or scale down if performance has decreased. For campaigns with no bid adjustment, determine if the campaign is performing better at the top of search or product pages and make a bid adjustment accordingly. 

ad placement chart

STEP 4: Assess Ad Group Structure

Do you have more than one ad group running per campaign? Part of your audit process should be to check each campaign is limited to one ad group. This will ensure that the campaign budget is being directed solely to that one ad group. With multiple ad groups, you cannot be certain the budget is being evenly distributed.

With the possibility of adding 1000 keywords per ad group, it can be tempting, however, the number of keywords within an ad group dramatically impacts the performance of the campaign. For example, an ad group with 15- 20 keywords results in the top 5 generating 80-100% of the sales. Confirm that you have limited each add group to a maximum of 5 keywords or product targets.

STEP 5: Evaluate Keyword Targeting

Ensure you have segregated high volume, low volume, and branded keywords. When dissimilar keywords are grouped together, the majority of the spend goes to the higher converting keyword, leaving keywords, that could convert, with low or no impressions.

The next part of keyword evaluation is to determine if you have wasted ad spend – spend and no sales. Within the search term tab or by downloading a search term report, identify any customer search terms that have a high spend and no sales. Add these as negative exact matches or product targets. Also, be on the look for irrelevant search terms and likewise add them as a negative exact match or product target, or for highly irrelevant as a negative phrase match. Performing this step in the audit process is also the opportune time to identify profitable customer search terms that you can launch in new campaigns.

STEP 6: Keyword/Product Target bid Management

The final step in your PPC audit is evaluating and optimizing your keyword and product target bids. Each keyword or product target within your campaign should have a bid based on performance. If keywords or product targets are performing well, with a low ACoS, raise the bid. For poor-performing keywords and product targets, with a high ACoS, decrease the bid. Identify keywords or product targets that are underperforming, low, or no impressions, and increase the bid to seeing if you can drive impressions and spending. As a tip, make bid adjustments incrementally, in small amounts at a time eg. $0.05

In Conclusion

Taking a proactive approach to performing regular Amazon account audits will see that you are not spending unnecessarily and you are availing opportunities to increase account performance. Selling on Amazon requires constant attention and optimization to continually improve performance with the goal of increasing sales, revenue, and profitability. If you require help with auditing your account, you can request Trivium Group Free Audit

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