The Biggest Mistakes Made with Amazon Advertising


Amazon Advertising is one of the largest advertising platforms in the world – and growing fast. This will come as no surprise to seasoned digital marketers, thanks to the sheer wealth of tools which are placed at the fingertips of advertisers using the platform.

However, despite all of the positive things which can be accomplished, using Amazon Advertising is also fraught with potential pitfalls. These are a few of the most common mistakes which businesses opting to use Amazon Advertising to increase their sales make…and what you can do to avoid them.

1.) Using only one strategy

The advertising capabilities of Amazon are vast, and so should your strategies be. There’s really no need to stick to just one strategy for each campaign you run.

Instead, don’t limit yourself. Outline the goals you have in mind at the outset of every new campaign and how you will measure your effectiveness. Not all strategies are purely about profit – you may instead want to focus on boosting your profile or prompting more interest in a new product.

In addition, other key reasons to switch up your strategy range from increasing brand awareness to selling stock when you are discontinuing a particular range. Instead of being distracted by your familiarity with one strategy, don’t be afraid to switch things up a little and look at your campaigns in a new way.

2.) Avoiding automation

Automation might seem a little daunting at first, but it can be your best friend when creating new and effective campaigns. The use of automation and AI is a growing industry within the marketing world, and there are many practical reasons why this is happening.

However, many marketers continue to step away from all sources of automated assistance, despite the growing weight of evidence which shows how important it is to let new systems take on some of the marketing. Amazon has long been a forerunner in the business of championing automation across their advertising platforms.

Dynamic bidding is one of the best examples of this, ensuring that users can keep on top of their CPC bids and focus on search terms which are the most likely to result in conversions whilst staying away from terms which are less likely to result in a sale.

If you really want to improve the performance of your adverts, then it’s time to let the machines lend a helping hand.

3.) Overusing automation

Just as avoiding automation altogether is a bad idea for your Amazon Advertising account, likewise relying on it too much can have a negative impact. It’s vital to find that all-important balance between automated campaigns and those you have more input into.

Automatic campaigns can be particularly helpful when it comes to gathering crucial data and information on keywords, which can then be utilised in manual campaigns to great effect. We strongly recommend using both automated and manual campaigns in tandem, as a means to boost your keyword harvesting and also make sure you have the most efficient system for identifying and utilising search terms.

Just be sure you don’t become too reliant on automation, and be sure to keep a grasp on the manual processes behind each campaign.

3.) Ignoring your negative keywords

Don’t rush your keyword research, as this is one of the most important parts of any marketing activity. Adverts which don’t perform well in PPC will often be down to the sheer poor choice of keywords, so avoid terms which give you little in return and focus on those which offer real value. Sellers must remember how important keywords are, and in particular keep them as specific as possible.

Specific keywords can help to influence customers with greater purchase intent, as they come towards the end of the funnel. Someone in the early stages of a purchase decision may search for a generic item name such as ‘headphones’ for example, while someone who has done their research and is ready to buy would be more likely to search for a particular brand or product such as “Bose QuietComfort noise cancelling wireless headphones”.

One of the most important aspects of your keyword refinement, however, lies in harvesting your negative keywords and using them to build better strategies. Users who have harvested their negative keywords are able to see a significant decrease in the cost of their advertising, yet this is all possible without negatively impacting their presence on the platform or their ability to sell to relevant customers.

Negative keywords help to further whittle down search terms to those which are the most relevant and give advertisers a valuable means of ensuring this relevancy (thus decreasing ad spend and wasted searches).

4.) Ignoring metrics

Metrics are another crucially important part of the marketing mix on Amazon. Yet their presence alone isn’t all you should be aware of. You need to be sure you’re looking at the right metrics at the right time and utilising them to the best of your ability.

Looking at the wrong metrics can be every bit as damaging as ignoring them altogether, and failure to analyse them in any way will only lead to lost revenue and wasteful spending. Metrics are your gateway to greater understanding both of Amazon as a platform for advertising and the effect that prior activities have already had.

Therefore, take the time to get to know what your campaign metrics really mean. If you don’t understand, seek out assistance. Pay particular attention to metrics relating to conversions and search terms, as these are both areas where many campaigns stumble at the first hurdle. Key areas to look out for include:

  • CTR (Click-through rate) – this will tell you how your campaign is performing and will vary depending on the keyword which is being analysed. CTR is calculated by looking at the number of clicks divided by impressions.
  • CPC (Cost-per-click) – a metric which shows how much was paid for clicks prompted by an advert. Your goal is to beat competing brands in this respect.
  • Impressions – an important metric which shows how many times ads were seen in connection with various search terms. An impression alone is not enough to discern whether your campaign is a success, particularly as it does not signify a sale or even suggest that an Amazon user found the ad to be relevant or appealing. What it does serve to suggest is that overall exposure of the brand is healthy (if impressions are also high).
  • AcoS (Advertising cost of sale) – advertising cost of sale is primarily used to assess whether advertising is efficient. As such, it can be very important. It indicates how much ad spend is corresponding with actual sales, and can give brands important information which is later useful for amendments and improvements.
  • CR (Conversion rate) – this metric focuses on the number of customers who made a purchase of the product which is being advertised. It is an important metric to keep a close watch over, because conversions are often the ultimate goal of Amazon marketing activities.

5.) Failure to structure PPC campaigns

It can be tempting to assume that once a campaign is set up and live, it will glean results. However, getting digital marketing right is much more complex than this. Instead of simply setting your PPC campaigns in a random style, try to be a little more structured with your approach.

Segment and structure them by important factors such as targeting, the type of campaign and the product which is being advertised. It is very easy for your advertising activities to get out of alignment if you don’t act quickly to gain more control over them. This is particularly true of accounts which see a tremendous amount of activity – so for this reason, we recommend keeping a clear understanding of not only what you are doing, but why. Then, be sure that this is reflected in the structure of your ads.

While it may seem like an obvious matter to ensure that your advertising has a purpose, this purpose needs to be evident or you will quickly lose track of what you were doing and why.

6.) Never adjusting

Your campaigns will need continuous monitoring and adjustment, no matter how effective they were or are at any given time. You need to keep a close check on your data, but beyond this, the data must then be used to adjust in a positive way.

We recommend you wait until you have enough information to make an informed decision but never stick with a strategy which is causing you to actively lose revenue or simply doesn’t seem to be getting any positive results.

In the earliest days of your marketing activities on Amazon, it may take a little while to find out how your campaigns work and whether they are producing the right results. If they aren’t, make the changes before a poor strategy has too much time to take hold.


While there are many potential mistakes to be made with Amazon Advertising, there are also lots of opportunities to get it right. Sometimes mistakes can be overcome through learning more about the platform and its many capabilities or simply through a trial and error process.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you can begin building the results you truly want and need from this vast and impressive advertising console.

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