How to Conduct an Amazon PPC Audit: 7-Step Amazon PPC Audit Guide

While free tools for auditing your Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) performance can help you get started, these tools can’t provide the in-depth insight that you need to improve your Amazon PPC performance significantly.

That’s why we’ve created this seven-step guide, which explains how to audit your Amazon PPC campaigns.

Keep reading to get started on your Amazon PPC audit!

Or, if you’re looking for professional help with auditing your campaigns, contact us online or call us at 888-601-5359 to take advantage of our free PPC audits. These audits are available to businesses that employ at least five people and invest $1000 or more per month into Amazon PPC ads.

1. Check your performance metrics

Start your Amazon PPC audit by logging each campaign’s performance metrics, like your:

You’ll want to look at these metrics from a decent-sized timeframe.

For example, don’t look at your ACoS from the past week. Look at your ACoS from the past month or quarter. This broader view will provide you with a more accurate idea of how your campaigns have performed.

Per best practice, you should analyze all your metrics using the same timeframe.

Time is a popular topic when discussing how to audit Amazon PPC campaigns. What is a decent-sized timeframe, for example, for auditing your PPC campaigns and making changes to their settings?

Amazon recommends looking at your campaigns with at least two weeks of data — if you’re using automatic targeting. If your campaigns use manual targeting, you’ll want to consider your search terms’ monthly search volume when deciding on a timeframe.

Search terms with a monthly search volume of 1000 or more, for instance, will likely generate enough data within two weeks for you to conduct an early assessment of your Amazon PPC performance.

Depending on the timeframe you choose, you’ll want to keep in mind the potential impact of seasonal sales or holiday sales too. If your business sells pool accessories, for instance, your campaigns will likely perform better in the summer versus the winter.

If that’s the case, you may want to set separate benchmarks or performance goals for those seasons.

Either way, you can streamline this step of our Amazon PPC audit guide by downloading the appropriate report in Amazon Seller Central. For instance, the performance over time report will display your clicks, CPC, and spend for all Sponsored Products campaigns.

2. Evaluate your campaign structure

Once you finish compiling your performance data for your Amazon PPC audit, you can move onto evaluating your campaign structure. It’s valuable to look over your campaign structure because a disorganized campaign can lead to expensive, underperforming ads.

When it comes to how to audit your Amazon PPC campaign’s structure, ask the following questions:

  • What is the goal of this campaign — what products does it want to advertise and to whom?
  • Does the campaign follow a naming structure that everyone can follow?
  • What type of targeting does the campaign use, automatic or manual?

For example, if your business creates a campaign called “Sneakers – Women – Automatic Targeting,” it’s easy for anyone logging into your account to understand that the campaign advertises women’s sneakers using automatic targeting.

If that ad campaign features an ad group called “Men’s Running Sneakers,” though, that’s a red flag.

Based on your campaign name (and hopefully the other ad groups in your campaign), the “Men’s Running Sneakers” ad group should belong in another campaign, like “Sneakers – Men – Automatic Targeting,” which leads into the next step of your Amazon PPC audit.

3. Audit your ad groups

Once you finish looking over your ad campaigns, move onto your ad groups.

Ad groups are like subfolders in ad campaigns. They’re related to each other and your overall campaign, which is why it’s important to evaluate your ad groups. If they aren’t related to one another, you’ll want to think about moving them to different campaigns or creating new campaigns for them.

For instance, here is an example of a best practice ad campaign and its ad groups:

  • Sneakers – Women – Automatic Targeting
    • Ad group: Running Sneakers – Women
    • Ad group: Fashion Sneakers – Women
    • Ad group: Walking Sneakers – Women
  • Boots – Women – Manual Targeting
    • Ad group: Ankle Boots – Women
    • Ad group: Knee-High Boots – Women
    • Ad group: Mid-Calf Boots – Women

Notice that each campaign sticks to its area of focus. The “Sneakers – Women – Automatic Targeting” campaign, for example, doesn’t leave the sneakers realm and into other footwear territories, like hiking shoes, sandals, or boots.

When you look at your ad groups, think about the following questions:

  • Do the ad groups follow a naming structure that everyone can follow?
  • Do the ad groups match their campaign’s goal?

If you answer no to any of the above questions, you’ll need to edit your ad groups.

For instance, you may move an ad group to a new campaign or rename some ad groups to match your naming structure. While renaming your ad groups is easy, you may want to wait until you finish your Amazon PPC audit before re-locating ad groups or creating new campaigns for existing ad groups.

That way, you can make all your changes at once, like to your campaigns, targeting, and more.

4. Assess your ad targeting

Next, start looking at your ad targeting.

Based on your ad campaign evaluation, you’ll already know what type of targeting your campaign uses:

  • Automatic targeting: Allows Amazon to oversee and manage your keyword targeting, based on your product’s listing information.
  • Manual targeting: Allows you to oversee and manage your keyword targeting, based on keywords you upload.

While Amazon recommends automatic targeting for brand-new campaigns, a good Amazon PPC audit will investigate the potential return of switching from automatic targeting to manual targeting. That’s because manual targeting offers more control and the ability to hone your keyword targeting.

For instance, with manual targeting, you can upload negative keywords.

These keywords prevent your product ads from appearing in searches that don’t matter to your business. “Free” is a common negative keyword, for example, that companies use when advertising on ad networks like Google Ads.

5. Analyze your keyword targeting

Whether you use automatic targeting or manual targeting, your Amazon PPC audit will evaluate your keyword targeting. You can access your keyword targeting data by opening your Search term report in Seller Central.

In this PPC report, look at the following metrics:

  • Match type
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • CTR
  • CPC
  • Spend
  • Sales

When you first open this report, look for any unusual patterns between metrics.

For example, do you have a search term that earns a significant amount of impressions, but zero clicks? Or, do you have a term that gets tons of clicks but almost no sales? These keywords may need added to your negative keyword list — or may reveal that your product listing needs some work.

Ideally, you want search terms with high sales and low CPCs.

Those search terms will almost always provide your business with a return on investment.

You can still look for ways to improve the performance of these search terms, though, like by optimizing your product listing’s title to increase your CTR or expanding your keyword targeting to increase impressions and clicks.

Within your Search term report, you’ll also want to check for duplicate search terms.

Companies often get duplicate search terms when having the same keyword, but with different match types. For example, you may have “red women’s running sneakers” three times because it’s targeted once under phrase match, a second time under broad match, and a third time under exact match.

If you find any duplicated search terms, remove them.

6. Review your product listings

In coordination with your keyword targeting assessment, you’ll want to evaluate your product listings.

In some cases, you may have keywords that drive clicks and traffic to your product listings, but don’t result in sales. If these keywords (and their search intent) match your product and what it offers, think about revising your product features, description, images, or title to improve conversion rates.

Maybe your product listing, for example, doesn’t feature high-quality images. Or, its product features fail to highlight the real value of your product or answer the questions that shoppers frequently ask. Look at your product page and competitor pages and find where your listing falls short.

What’s great about this step in our Amazon PPC audit guide is that it can improve your PPC and search engine optimization (SEO) performance. If you’re able to increase product sales, that can send a positive signal to Amazon about your product and its relevance to specific searches.

If you do decide to update your product listing, keep in mind your keyword targeting for Amazon SEO. You’ll want to continue targeting those keywords (if they’re still relevant and valuable) while making changes that will improve the chances of shoppers buying your product.

7. Optimize your bids

Finally, your Amazon PPC audit will evaluate and optimize your bids.

While campaigns with automatic targeting feature one bid for each ad group, campaigns with manual targeting feature one bid for each keyword. Again, if you’re auditing your Amazon PPC campaigns, you’ll want to think about switching from automatic to manual targeting.

When looking at your bids, think about the following questions:

  • Which keywords generate the most cost-effective sales?
  • Which keywords generate the most cost-prohibitive sales?

Your business wants to focus on the keywords that offer the most profitability. You don’t want to overpay for a sale because it hurts your ACoS. If you have a cost-prohibitive keyword that you don’t want to give up, though, consider step six with optimizing your product listings for sales.

Generally, your company will want to optimize your bids and direct more funding to the most profitable keywords. That’s because these keywords offer your business a better return on its investment, which you can use to upgrade your ad campaigns even more.

The first step to increasing your SMB’s Amazon sales is getting a FREE proposal.

One of our experts will be in touch within 24 hours!

FAQs about Amazon PPC audits

Do you have additional questions about how to conduct an Amazon PPC audit? Check out our FAQ:

Why conduct an Amazon PPC audit?

Taking the time to audit your Amazon PPC campaigns offers a few benefits, including:

  • Improve the ACoS and ROAS of your ad campaigns
  • Invest your ad spend into the most profitable campaigns, ad groups, and keywords
  • Prevent wasteful ad spend
  • Discover new keywords to target
  • Uncover ways to optimize product listings for paid and organic traffic
  • And more

Setting aside time for an Amazon PPC audit is like taking your car for regular maintenance. With regular maintenance, you can prevent costly issues and maximize the performance of your vehicle — and your investment into it.

When should I audit my Amazon PPC campaigns?

Businesses should take a proactive approach to Amazon PPC audits.

With a proactive approach, you can spot problems, like a must-add negative keyword, before they become a costly issue. You can also discover lucrative opportunities, like a high-performing keyword, sooner.

For the best results, plan to audit your Amazon PPC campaigns every quarter. If you’re launching a brand-new campaign, follow Amazon’s advice and check in on the campaign two weeks after launching it.

How do I audit my Amazon PPC campaign?

Audit your Amazon PPC campaign by following these steps:

  1. Check your performance metrics
  2. Evaluate your campaign structure
  3. Audit your ad groups
  4. Assess your ad targeting
  5. Analyze your keyword targeting
  6. Review your product listings
  7. Optimize your bids

If you’re struggling to audit your Amazon PPC campaign yourself, feel free to contact us online or call us at 888-601-5359 for help. We feature a dedicated team of Amazon experts that can help your business audit its campaign and gear it for success.

Get a free PPC audit for Amazon today

Learning how to audit your Amazon PPC is essential. When you audit your Amazon PPC campaigns, you discover ways to improve your strategy, like by modifying your keyword targeting, updating your product listing, or optimizing your keyword bids.

PPC on Amazon, however, requires constant attention and dedication.

If you’re looking for help with managing (and improving) your Amazon PPC campaigns, WebFX can help. In the past five years, we’ve used our expertise to help our clients manage more than 12.9 million transactions — and we can help your company earn more sales on Amazon too.

Just contact us online or call us at 888-601-5359 to learn more about our PPC services for Amazon today!