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Amazon Ads: How to Setup Amazon Advertising in Seller Central


Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce platform and being able to advertise directly on Amazon is a no brainer for any Amazon seller. Understanding the different types of Amazon ads and their unique purposes is crucial for sellers looking to enhance their advertising efforts. Depending on their marketing goals and target audience, sellers can utilize a combination of these ad types to maximize product visibility, increase sales, and drive business growth on the Amazon platform. Due to changes in Amazon rules, Amazon advertising is now also the principal manner that sellers utilize in order to launch new products on the platform. You can access your amazon advertising control center inside of your seller central account, or you can use tools such as Adtomic or Pacvue in order to manage or even automate your PPC campaigns.

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What Are the Different Types of Amazon PPC Ads, and What Are They Used For?

Sponsored Products

Sponsored Product Ads are the most common and widely used type of Amazon ads. They appear within search results and at the bottom of a product detail page. These ads allow sellers to promote individual products and increase their visibility. A sponsored product ad can also be considered a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, which mean that sellers pay a certain advertising fee every time a potential customer clicks on their ad. Amazon sellers can choose how much they are willing to spend on certain keywords related to their product, as well as manage their ad spend. When shoppers search for relevant keywords, Sponsored Product Ads display targeted products, leading potential customers directly to the product’s listing. When a customer searches for a certain product, the sponsored product ads will display at the top of the search results as well as throughout each page. Sponsored Products ads are a great way to get product visibility. When someone clicks through a sponsored products ad, and purchases the product, this can have an effect on the products organic ranking for the keyword searched.

Amazon Sponsored Brands Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads (formerly known as headline search ads) are designed to boost brand visibility and awareness. These ads feature a custom headline, logo, and multiple product listings. They appear at the top of search results and help drive traffic to the seller’s brand store or a specific product page. Sponsored Brand Ads are an effective way to capture shoppers’ attention and promote a collection of products under the same brand umbrella. Another form of sponsored brand campaigns other than headline search ads are sponsored brand video ads which usually appear half way down the search results or at the very bottom.. These have a video that auto plays and a link to a product page. Many sellers use eye catching techniques in the video ads to “stop the scroll” and catch the buyer’s attention. If you want to run a sponsored brands ad, you will need to have Amazon brand registry. There is usually less competition for video ads.

Amazon Sponsored Display Ads

Amazon sponsored Display Ads enable sellers to reach audiences both on and off Amazon. These ads appear on Amazon and third-party websites and apps. They help sellers retarget shoppers who have previously viewed their products and attract potential customers who fit specific demographic or interest criteria. The most common placement of sponsored display ads is right underneath the buy box on a product detail page. There are now also the option for sponsored display video ads which also appear under the buy box.


As mentioned earlier, Amazon Stores are customizable multipage microsites where sellers and vendors can showcase their brand and product offerings. They act as a brand’s storefront on Amazon, allowing advertisers to create an immersive shopping experience for potential customers.

Amazon DSP

The Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP) allows advertisers to programmatically buy display and video ad inventory both on and off Amazon. Advertisers can use DSP to target specific audience segments and manage their advertising campaigns through a self-service platform.

Amazon Attribution

Amazon Attribution is a tool that allows advertisers to measure the impact of their non-Amazon marketing channels on driving sales on Amazon. It provides insights into how external marketing efforts, such as search ads or social media campaigns, contribute to Amazon sales. Amazon attribution is required if sellers want to take advantage of the “Brand Referal Bonus” where Amazon will give up to 10% of their 15% commission back to sellers who drive traffic to their stores and convert that traffic into sales. You can use the amazon advertising platform to create these links or tools such as Portals by Helium 10.

Amazon Posts

Amazon Posts are social media style images with captions that sellers can create that do not currently have costs related to clicks, but allows sellers to drive awareness and build a following that they can remarket to insid of the Amazon platform.

How Many Sellers Use Amazon Ads?

It is estimated that around 75% of Amazon sellers use Amazon advertising or sponsored products. Due to Amazon ads being seamlessly integrated into the Amazon platform, and sellers are able to easily create and assess their PPC advertising campaigns on Seller Central, it is not surprising that most sellers utilize Amazon ads.

While many sellers advertise on other platforms like social media, being able to advertise directly on Amazon where shoppers have the highest purchase intent, makes it a no brainer to utilize Amazon PPC.

How Do I Set up an Ad Campaign on Amazon Seller Central?

Knowing how to set up advertising campaigns on Amazon while effectively navigating Amazon seller central for beginners is an essential skill for any Amazon seller. Amazon’s advertising platform allows you to advertise your products to a huge number of potential customers.

Navigate to the Appropriate Area

You will first need to log into your Amazon Seller Central account, and then once on the homepage, go to the dropdown menu on the top left corner, scroll down to Advertising, and then choose Campaign Manager. You will come to the Amazon Ads homepage, which is where you can review your campaigns, ad budgets, products that you are advertising for, as well as keyword targeting metrics. From this campaign manager page you will be able to see any of your video ads, sponsored brands ads, sponsored display ads, sponsored products campaigns and more.

When you are ready to create an advertising campaign, you will select the blue button which says ‘Create campaign‘.

Once you click on that, you will be given the option as to what advertising campaign type you want to create. You can choose between Sponsored Product ad, Sponsored Brands ads, and Sponsored Display ads. The most common ad type will be Sponsored Products, so that is what we will use as an example for this article.

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Set Up Your Campaign Budget, Duration, and Targeting

Once you have selected your ad campaign type, you will be given a variety of options and campaign settings to choose from. To set up your campaign budget and advertising campaign duration, scroll down to the ‘Settings‘ section. In this section, you can enter in a Campaign name so you can easily identify the campaign later. Next, you can set a start and end date for the ad campaign you are creating. It is important to note that it is best for your campaign to run for at least 1 month so that you can assess how it is performing, and then make any necessary changes to it to improve your advertising metrics. Lastly, you will set a daily budget for the ad campaign. This is the amount that you are willing to spend daily on this specific ad campaign. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will spend that budget every day, but be wary of how much budget you have for advertising. Some sellers have a daily advertising budget of $5, and others may have $100+. Choose an amount that you are comfortable with, and be sensible as you don’t want to waste all your money on advertising if it isn’t bringing in sales. One of the main pitfalls for Amazon sellers it not having a good grasp on their advertising cost.

Name Ad Group

Naming your ad group is an easy step in the process, but it is an important one! During your seller journey you will create multiple ad groups, so naming them is a great way to stay organized and easily manage ads with your campaigns.

Select Your Products You’d Like to Run Ads For

Next you will select the product that you want to promote with this ad campaign.

It is typically most effective to run separate ad campaigns for each product you are selling. You could run an ad campaign for multiple products you are selling if they are in the same product category, are closely related to each other, and have a similar price point.

Set Your Campaign Bidding Strategy

The final step, which is an important one, is deciding what your campaign bidding strategy is going to be. There are a few options to choose from, and you can always change the strategy in the future.

The first option you will see is ‘Dynamic bids – up and down’.This means that Amazon will automatically raise your bids (by a maximum of 100%) in real time when your ad may be more likely to convert to a sale, and Amazon will automatically lower your bids when less likely to convert to a sale.

The second option is ‘Dynamic bids – down only’, which means that Amazon will only lower your bids in real time when your ad may be less likely to convert to a sale.

The final option is ‘Fixed bids’ which means that you will set the exact $ amount you want to bid on a keyword, and that is the only amount you will bid. Amazon will not automatically lower or raise your bid for you.

Once you have finalized those campaign settings, you will next want to work on the ‘Targeting‘ section. You can choose ‘Automatic’ or ‘Manual’ targeting. If you select ‘Automatic’, Amazon will target keywords and products that are similar the product you are advertising. If it is your first time creating an ad campaign, and you don’t have a good selection of keywords that you want to target, it may be best to try automatic targeting first. However, the better strategy would be making sure to find all of your most relevant keywords that your competitors are getting sales from by using tools such as Helium 10 Cerebro, and then starting with an exact match campaign. After a few weeks of running an automatic targeting ad campaign, you can assess how all the keywords are performing, and then create a manual targeting campaign that only uses the keywords that performed best.

If you select ‘Manual’ targeting, you will have to manually choose keywords you want to target to help your product appear in search results. Alternatively, you can select specific products, categories, brands, or other product features to target your ads.

The screenshot above shows what you will first see if you select manual targeting. As you can see, Amazon provides a list of suggested keywords which you can select from. Under each keyword you will see ‘IS’ and/or ‘IR’. IS stands for Impression Share, which is the % of impressions you are getting for that specific term, relative to the total # of impressions it is generating. The higher IS, the better! IR stands for Impression Rank, which is where your Impression Share ranks against other sellers who are also bidding on that same term. The lower IR, the better!

To the right of each keyword, you will see ‘Match Type‘, broken down into Broad, Phrase, Exact.

Broad match keywords mean that your keyword will be matched to search terms that not only match your keyword, but are also related to the keyword. This can include variations, synonyms and related terms. In this example, we have candle as a keyword. A broad match could include ‘candles’, ‘3 wick candle’ ‘lighters’, ‘home decor’, and ‘aesthetic decor’. Broad matches can be a great way to target keywords that you may not have thought of, but you must be wary that these keywords are also being bid on by other sellers who may be selling a product which is more relevant to that keyword. If you choose a broad match on a phrase such as coffin shelf, keywords such as coffin decor or black shelf might come up.

Phrase match keywords are a bit more restrictive that broad match keywords. Sticking with ‘candle’ as our keyword, examples of phrase match keywords would be ‘scented candle’, ‘soy wax candles’, ‘candle with wood wick’. As you can see, each keyword still has ‘candle’ in the phrase. In phrases such as egg tray, you can see longer tail keywords such as big egg tray, or egg tray

An ideal structure that we teach in PPC Academy for sponsored product ads for your amazon store is starting for each of your product:

  1. Sponsored Product Exact Match Keyword Campaign
  2. Sponsored Product Broad Match Keyword Campaign
  3. Sponsored Product Auto Campaign
  4. Sponsored Product ASIN Targeting Campaign
  5. Sponsored Display ASIN Targeting Campaign

You would then have the auto and broad campaigns “feed” newly discovered keywords into your exact match and ASIN campaigns. For example, you could set up a rule where if your auto campaign converts at least twice for the same search term, that you then move that search term to your exact match campaign so that you can hopefully get more consistent impressions on it, and build your sales history for that keyword.

If you have multiple ASINs, you can create sponsored brands campaigns to also be part of the above flow, and use the “broad” and “auto” discovery campaigns to find keywords that you can run video ads or headline search ads to.

Lastly, before adding a keyword to the list of keywords you want to target, you will see ‘Suggested Bid‘. This $ amount is calculated daily (so it is subject to change) and it is based on past bidding activity for ads similar to yours to predict bids that are more likely to win. You can choose to bid more or less, depending on how important that keyword is to you, and how much advertising budget you have to spend. These are notorious for not always being accurate, so take them with a grain of salt.

Amazon Ad campaign - manual keyword targeting

If you have added all the suggested keywords you want to bid on, or if you have already done some keyword research and know which keywords you want to bid on, then click on ‘Enter List‘. In the text box, you can manually enter in those keywords. If you have already compiled a list of keywords, you can choose to upload that list instead of having to type them out one by one. To do this, go to ‘Upload file‘, next to ‘Enter list‘. Be aware that the only accepted file formats are CSV, TSV, and XLSX.

Negative keyword targeting is optional and can seem confusing to new sellers, but it can be a powerful tool for reducing ad costs. Negative keywords are keywords you select to prevent your ads from appearing on search queries that are not relevant to your product, or are low priority. You can choose to have ‘negative exact’ or ‘negative phrase’ keywords, although negative exact is probably the best choice as you can add negative keywords without excluding you from other keywords you may not want to be excluded from.

Negative product targeting is very similar to negative keyword targeting. Instead of preventing your ads from appearing on search queries based on keywords, your ads won’t appear when shoppers are looking at products that you have determined to be irrelevant to your own product.

Save and Finish

You have now successfully created an ad campaign on Amazon seller central, congratulations! Once you have launched your campaign it is important to review how it is performing, and make changes when necessary. Assessing how your ad campaign performs will help you make decisions like targeting new keywords and/or changing your bidding strategy which can help you save a lot of money and maximize your advertising budget.

An important thing to do is monitor your sponsored products ads to make sure you are not wasting money. The most common loss that sellers have is by allowing Amazon to continue to spend on targets and ad groups that are not performing well. One potential rule you should set up is to negative match a keyword that does not seem likely to convert for a sale. For example, you could decide that if a search term gets 30 clicks without a sale, you will negative match that keyword so that Amazon will not spend your budget anymore on that keyword.

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In conclusion, understanding how to set up Amazon Seller Central ads is crucial for any Amazon seller looking to enhance their advertising efforts and drive business growth on the platform. With various ad types available, including Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, and more, sellers can choose the most suitable options based on their marketing goals and target audience.

Amazon’s advertising platform provides valuable insights and tools to manage ad campaigns effectively. From budget allocation and targeting options to keyword selection and performance metrics, sellers can make data-driven decisions to optimize their advertising strategy and maximize product visibility.

As an estimated 75% of Amazon sellers use Amazon ads, the platform’s seamless integration and high purchase intent of shoppers make it a compelling choice for advertising. By mastering the art of setting up campaigns in Amazon Seller Central, sellers can capitalize on this advertising opportunity, expand their brand reach, increase sales, and ultimately achieve e-commerce success on the world’s largest online marketplace.

Amazon PPC is one of the most difficult things to mater in the entire journey. Its important to keep educating yourself on the ever changing landscape of Amazon advertising. Make sure to subscribe to the Serious Sellers Podcast where guests are interviewed frequently who are Amazon PPC experts.


Frequently Asked Questions

In seller central, you are not able to run automations for your ads. You will need to manually optimize your ad spend and campaign targets by first analyzing data you download in reports. Tools such as Adtomic allow you to automate your campaigns based on rules.

No, you cannot advertise on Amazon without a Seller Account. To access Amazon’s advertising features, you must be a registered seller on the platform. Whether you’re an individual seller or a brand owner, having an active Amazon seller account is a prerequisite for leveraging Amazon’s advertising platform to reach your target customers and grow your business.

Yes, Amazon charges for advertising through its pay-per-click (PPC) model. When you create an ad campaign on Amazon Seller Central, you set a budget for how much you are willing to spend on advertising. The actual cost of your ads depends on how many clicks your ads receive (cost-per-click or CPC).

With Amazon’s PPC advertising, you only pay when a shopper clicks on your ad, not when the ad is displayed. This cost-effective approach allows you to control your ad spending and ensures that you are only charged when potential customers engage with your ads. Keep in mind that the cost of advertising on Amazon can vary based on factors such as bid amounts, keyword competitiveness, and the performance of your amazon advertising campaigns.

The Advertising tab in Amazon Seller Central provides sellers with valuable insights and tools to manage their ad campaigns effectively. When you navigate to the Advertising Tab, you can access your Campaign manager, view Ad Groups, performance metrics, keyword targeting, ad placement, and advertising reports.

The Advertising tab in Amazon Seller Central is essential for sellers to effectively manage their Amazon advertising, track performance metrics, and make data-driven decisions to enhance ad effectiveness and drive sales on the platform.

Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

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