Articles on Amazon Advertising are a dime a dozen on the internet. Most articles usually focus on why sellers should place adverts on Amazon and how these are displayed. Some articles then go on to discuss the different campaign types – Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads & Sponsored Display Ads, but very few articles go into more detail.
One topic that receives no attention at all in Amazon PPC campaigns is the creation of an optimal campaign structure. This is partly because very few market commentators and sellers are aware of the benefits of an optimised campaign structure and partly because it is not really the most exciting topic. In addition, a standardised and well-thought-out campaign structure means a lot of preparatory work, which only pays off with a higher number of products. For this reason, today we are addressing the topic of structuring advertising campaigns on Amazon.
What advantages does a standardised & well-thought-out campaign structure offer?
The first and most obvious advantage of a standardised Amazon PPC campaign structure is the creation of transparency. Especially sellers with a heterogeneous product range and a double-digit number of products very quickly lose control over the different performance of the products and targeting options. By introducing a campaign structure, the analysability of the advertising campaigns created becomes “foolproof”.
However, the creation of additional transparency is not an end in itself, but serves to better regulate budget allocation and thus inevitably utilise the advertising budget more efficiently. Another advantage lies in the faster and simpler evaluation of advertising campaigns. This means that the real sales drivers and cost drivers can be identified more quickly and adjusted accordingly. The last advantage worth mentioning is the future time and labour savings compared to an ill-considered and chaotic campaign structuring. Through the preliminary work and the structuring of campaigns, orientations and products, the control and optimisation of campaigns become much easier in day-to-day business.
You can find out how to structure PPC campaigns on Amazon in the following 9 rules
1. Grouping of homogeneous products per campaign/ad group
One of the most common mistakes we see in practice when managing Amazon Advertising accounts is the grouping of different products in the same campaign or ad group.
Example: A seller of DIY products advertises its products (hammer drills, sandpaper and saws) with Sponsored Product campaigns and groups all products in an ad group.
Solution: Instead of clustering all products in one campaign and ad group, the seller should create a separate Sponsored Product campaign for each product group. This would result in three campaigns in the basic scenario:
- Sponsored product campaign for rotary hammers
- Sponsored product campaign for sandpaper
- Sponsored product campaign for saws
Grouping campaigns by product makes it much easier to analyse campaign performance and the salesperson can now allocate a separate daily budget to each product category.
Pro tip: If the seller of the DIY store items has several different product variants that have not been created as variations, it is advisable to create a separate ad group (possibly even a campaign) for each different product variant. This in turn leads to faster analysability of the results and also means that more than just one of the seller’s products can appear in the adverts when they are displayed.
2. Comprehensible & standardised campaign designation
Next, it is advisable to think about a comprehensible and standardised campaign name. The reason is obvious: this makes it quicker and easier to assign campaigns, especially for people who do not deal with Amazon campaigns on a daily basis. The larger the product range and the greater the number of people involved, the more important it is to keep the campaign name standardised. In the following, we present our way of labelling campaigns, which does not have to be adopted, but rather serves as a suggestion.
In the first step, we name the campaign type (sponsored product, sponsored brand, sponsored brand video or sponsored display).
Sponsored product campaigns = SP
Sponsored Brand Campaigns = SB
Sponsored brand video campaigns = SBV
Sponsored display campaigns = SD
Once the campaign type has been named, we next name the targeting option (automatic campaign (auto-targeting), brand keywords, product targeting, generic keywords, competitor targeting, retargeting, etc.), e.g:
SP: Generic keywords –
SP: Product focus –
SP: Car campaign –
SB: Own-brand keywords –
SBV: Competitor keywords –
SD: Retargeting –
SD: Product orientation –
Once the campaign type and the targeting option have been defined in the campaign name, we now come to the products to be advertised. The name can refer to a product category, product class, a variation or even just a single product (single ASIN campaign), e.g:
SP: Auto-targeting – rotary hammers
SP: Generic keywords – sandpaper
SD: Retargeting – Japan saw
Thanks to the campaign naming presented here, it is much easier for us as advertisers to recognise campaigns and assign the performance to the targeting & product type.
3. Clustering of search campaigns according to search intention
Now that we have grouped the campaigns by product, let’s go one step further and cluster the search campaigns by search intent.
On Amazon, search terms can generally be clustered into the following groups:
Generic keywords (e.g. hammer drill, hammer drill SDS Max, cordless hammer drill etc.)
Competitor keywords (e.g. Bosch hammer drill, Makita hammer drill, Einhell hammer drill etc.)
Own-brand keywords (e.g. hammer drill “own brand”)
What are the advantages of structuring keyword campaigns according to the suggested pattern?
Firstly, we as advertisers get a more precise idea of the actual campaign performance. The aim of structuring by generic, brand and competitor keywords is to create transparency, which allows us to quickly control campaign optimisation and budget allocation.
It is generally advisable to define a different daily budget for the different keyword clusters.
Note: In some categories, competitor keywords do not play a significant role, in which case they can of course be omitted. However, there are also categories in which generic keywords do not play a major role (nappies vs Pampers, water filters vs Brita). The clustering of search terms should therefore be adapted for each situation and category.
4. Clustering of campaigns according to product orientation
The same concept of clustering by search intention can be applied to campaigns with product targeting. With product targeting, entire categories, individual products and certain brands can be specifically addressed. Product targeting can therefore be clustered accordingly, so it can be advantageous to separate the product targeting of own brands from the targeting of competitors.
SP: Private label targeting – hammer drill
SP: Category targeting – Hammer drill
SD: Competitor targeting – hammer drill
5. Maximum one match type per ad group
The second most common mistake we see in practice is that several match types are used in one ad group. A clear separation of content is always recommended here. Only one match type (exact, phrase or broad) should ever be used per ad group. The same applies to product targeting! If individual product pages are booked as placements in an ad group, no targeting by category or brand should be added in the same ad group. An additional ad group or category should be selected for this purpose!
6. Only one ad group per campaign
Another common mistake to avoid is overloading ad groups in a campaign. Instead of mixing several ad groups with different match types in one campaign, it is advisable to maintain a clear separation in terms of content. Only one match type (exact, phrase or broad) should be used in each ad group in order to better control performance. The same principle applies to product targeting.
If individual product pages are used as placements in an ad group, no additional targeting by category or brand should be added here. Instead, it is recommended to choose a separate ad group or category for each type of targeting. This clear and structured approach enables efficient control over your Amazon-sponsored campaigns. It makes it easier to allocate budgets, define bidding strategies and adjust settings based on performance. This allows you to optimise your campaigns in a more targeted way and achieve better results.
7. Number of keywords in ad group & campaign
The second most common mistake we see in practice is that several match types are used in one ad group. A clear separation of content is always recommended here. Only one match type (exact, phrase or broad) should ever be used per ad group. The same applies to product targeting! If individual product pages are booked as placements in an ad group, no targeting by category or brand should be added in the same ad group. An additional campaign should be selected for this!
The optimal number of keywords per ad group is usually in the range of 1-20 keywords. For particularly important keywords that generate high sales figures and traffic, it can make sense to create “single keyword campaigns”. In such campaigns, the entire daily budget is allocated to this one keyword, which increases the chances of better performance.
8. Additional campaigns for event-related keywords
Another way to optimise your campaigns is to manage keywords related to specific occasions in separate campaigns instead of integrating them into generic keyword campaigns.
This approach enables a more targeted structure and a better focus on seasonal or event-related search queries, which can have a positive effect on performance.
This approach offers a number of advantages:
More precise campaign control and budget allocation: You can focus your budget on these specific keywords by creating stand-alone campaigns for events. This allows for more precise control over your spending and ensures that your occasion adverts are appropriately funded.
Avoid budget splitting: The integration of occasion keywords in general campaigns can lead to the budget being split between standard keywords and occasion keywords. This can impair the effectiveness of your campaigns. By running separate campaigns, you prevent this budget splitting and ensure that your occasion adverts receive the attention they deserve.
9. Use of portfolios
Last but not least, we now come to the use of portfolios when placing advertising campaigns on Amazon. We use portfolios to organise campaigns according to product categories, seasons or even orientations. The simplest use of portfolios is to create portfolios by product category, and this is actually always recommended. In this way, we can transfer all campaigns (SP; SB and SD) of a product category into a portfolio and then compare and optimise them there.
Example of portfolios for our DIY retailer:
- Hammer drill
- Tile cutter
An additional reason why it is advisable to use portfolios is that advertising budgets can be defined and managed at the portfolio level. For example, the hammer drill portfolio can be allocated a different budget than the sandpaper portfolio.
Conclusion – to create a standardised campaign structure
In this article, we have now presented 9 tips for creating a standardised campaign structure and their advantages. Structuring PPC campaigns is essential, especially for sellers with a large product range, and sooner or later leads to better campaign performance.
About the author
Tobias Dziuba is the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency AdsMasters GmbH.
AdsMasters GmbH supports brands & manufacturers in successfully selling on Amazon and other marketplaces – both nationally and internationally. Clients include DTC brands and FMCG groups.