How To Drive Traffic To Your Amazon Listing
Chapter 6

Amazon AdWords – How to Run Google Ads for Amazon Products

It might surprise you to learn that 25% of Amazon sellers use Google Ads to promote their products.

This strategy, which we’ll call “Amazon AdWords” harnesses the internet’s largest search engine, and the largest digital ad platform in the US, to increase sales, rankings, BSR, and give additional benefits for your Amazon store.

At first look, the 25% figure may seem higher than expected. But once you realize that the average ROI (Return On Investment) for Google Ads is 200%, I wager your opinion may drift to the other side.

If the average marketer using Google Ads gets a $2 return for every $1 spent… what’s the reason for you not to use Google Ads for your business?

Indeed, 75% of Amazon sellers are missing a huge opportunity by not using Google Ads. This figure likely includes you, and your competition.

So, should you start running Google Ads to promote your products, you’re almost certainly going to get a leg up on your competition. This is the competitive advantage you need to dominate your niche.

Read on in this post, as we explore why Google Ads can be a game-changer for your business, and walk you through setting up your first campaign.

How Do Google Ads (AdWords) Work?

Google Ads are (largely) text and keyword-based, much like Amazon Sponsored Products ads (Amazon PPC).

There are several different campaign types with Google Ads (as there are with Amazon Ads). The one we’ll primarily focus on is Google Search Ads – formerly known as Google AdWords. These are the easiest to set up, and the most likely to provide a positive return for Amazon businesses.

Google AdWords (now Search Ads) show ads within Google search results, above the organic search results.

For example, when you search Google for “air purifiers”, you’ll see a page like this:

amazon adwords

This contains two sections. Ads, or sponsored results, and organic results.

google adwords for amazon

Using Google Search Ads, you’ll be able to target specific keywords or search terms, and bid for your ads to show on the search results page.

A larger bid may be necessary to win impressions for your ad, depending on the competition (other advertisers targeting the same keywords).

Several other factors determine whether your ad shows or not, alongside the amount of your bid. This includes relevance of your ad, your ad group and your landing page, as well as historical performance of your account.

The most common way to bid and pay for Google Ads is CPC – Cost Per Click. Meaning you’re charged $X for each time someone clicks on your ad.

(the average CPC for Google Ads in the US is between $1 and $2, depending on industry).

Different Types of Google Ads

As previously mentioned, there are a number of different ad types you can run with Google. These are:

  • Search
  • Display
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Smart
  • Discovery

The most common are Search and Display Ads. 

Search Ads we’ve already explained. Display Ads are shown across the Google Ads display network – for example, on websites using Google AdSense, or apps monetized on the Google display network.

We recommend you stick to Google Search Ads to start with. The reason being, when you add a visual element, such as with Display Ads, it gets a lot more complicated to make high-quality ads.

It’s also harder to reach people who are in buy-now mode, since your ads are put in front of people who are using apps, or browsing websites. It’s unlikely these people will stop and click an ad to buy a product (at least not enough to make your ads profitable).

Google Search Ads are much simpler, as the blueprint is similar to Amazon PPC, and you’re targeting people who show specific interest in buying a product like yours, since they’re typing in buying keywords.

Bottom line: stick to Google Search Ads (the ad platform formerly known as Google AdWords). Other ad types, like Display and Video Ads, are likely to be too expensive and not consistent enough to return a profit for physical products.

Why Amazon Sellers Should Use Google Ads

Let’s answer the burning question: why Google Ads?

The overall concept is simple – more sales channels means more people see your product, and more people buy your product.

So by advertising on Google Ads, you can increase your sales, which goes on to increase your organic rankings as well.

In addition, external traffic channels like Google are a valuable tool to help you build a customer list – which you can’t do on Amazon.

Here’s a deeper look at the advantages of the Amazon AdWords strategy:

Boost sales, rankings

The overall goal of any marketing campaign is generally to get more sales. Google Ads helps you do just this.

Around half of all customers use Amazon search when they want to buy something online. That leaves a large number of people starting their search somewhere else – most often on Google Ads.

These are customers you are missing out on if you don’t run Google Ads.

An example; let’s say your keyword gets 2000 searches per month on Amazon. 

Now let’s say the same keyword has 1000 searches per month on Google. If all these searches are unique searches, you’ll get in front of 50% more potential customers per month. Thus you can theoretically get 50% more sales by extending your reach to Google Ads.

You know what’s great about increasing your sales on Amazon? Not just the extra $$$ in your account (though that’s pretty nice). This boost in sales also directly correlates to a boost in Amazon search rankings – as sales velocity is a strong ranking factor.

This means, even if you only break even on your sales from Google Ads, you stand to profit long-term by the domino effect of your product increasing in organic Amazon rankings.

Evergreen traffic

AdWords is a powerful evergreen traffic source. You’re not going to need the same kind of constant upkeep as you will with, say Facebook ads for example.

Once your ads are optimized and your CPC is at a level you’re happy with, your ads can essentially run in the background, while you devote more time and energy to other tasks.

Similarities to Amazon PPC

AdWords are much easier to get right for Amazon sellers, because of the similarities to Amazon PPC, or Sponsored Products Ads.

There’s a copywriting element to get right with Google Ads, as well as optimizing your Quality Score (which mostly comes from your landing page). But outside of that, it comes down to finding the right keywords, and putting your money into keywords that pay off.

In this sense, if you’ve been doing Amazon PPC (which you probably should, before thinking about external traffic), there won’t be as big a learning curve with Google Ads as with other traffic sources (like Facebook).

Capture emails & build your audience

The underrated aspect of Google Ads (and any external traffic channel): the ability to build a list.

You’ll know that Amazon doesn’t give access to contact info from your customers, such as email, phone numbers etc. So the only way to build a customer list is to capture this info before they get to Amazon, when communication with the customer is fair game.

An email list gives you a raft of benefits, such as allowing you to reach out for product feedback and/or reviews, build retargeting audiences, and run product launches and promotions without needing to spend big on ads.

Bottom line: Google Ads give you an additional sales channel to work with, increasing your earning potential. This increase in sales will also result in higher search rankings on Amazon, and a further increase in sales long-term. AdWords or Search Ads are also accessible, low-maintenance, and give you a way to build a TOS-compliant email list.

Is it within Google/Amazon TOS to run Google Ads for Amazon products?

Yes.

There’s nothing in Amazon’s terms of service that forbids you from driving traffic with Google Ads. In fact, they encourage sellers to advertise on platforms like Google and Facebook. Some sellers say that Amazon even rewards sellers with 3x the ranking power for sales originating from off-Amazon sources.

Google’s terms allow you to run ads to Amazon too. There are some caveats for this, however.

To have your ads approved by Google, you need to provide a quality user experience. This means giving users sufficient navigation options, as well as a professional landing page that includes a privacy policy.

With this in mind, it may be hard to get your ads approved if your destination link goes directly to your Amazon page. Instead, you’ll want to use a landing page to have full control over your destination page.

Using a landing page, instead of a direct link to Amazon, will also give you additional benefits, such as the ability to track conversions, and capture emails from your customers.

You’ll want to check out Google’s policies on destination requirements, as well as their full ads policies when you set up your AdWords campaign.

Bottom line: running Google Ads to Amazon is allowed in both companies’ TOS. Just run your ads to a landing page to ensure you can comply with Google Ads’ user experience requirements, and have you ads approved.

How to Set Up A Google Ads Campaign

Let’s run through how to set up your first Google Ads campaign for your Amazon product.

Step One: Set Up Your Google Ads Account

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up your Google Ads account.

Go to ads.google.com to start creating your account.

If you’re in the US, and this is your first time using Google Ads, you may be eligible for a $150 ad credit. See here for more.

When you first set up your account, you’ll be shown the Smart Campaign screen. This is a guided version of the campaign creation process. You can follow this to get your ad running quickly, or hit “Switch to Expert Mode” to take full control over your campaign.

If you want to create an account without launching a campaign just yet, switch to expert mode, then select “Create an account without a campaign”. Add your business information, and you’re ready to go.

Google Ads for Amazon: Google Ads Campaign Structure

One thing you should get familiar with if you’re new to Google Ads is the campaign hierarchy or structure.

There are three layers for Google Ads: campaigns, ad groups and ads.

Your campaign is the highest level. The average Amazon seller – especially if you’re just starting with the Amazon AdWords strategy – won’t have many campaigns. You might create a different campaign for different goals, or different products.

For example, if you’re running ads for three different products, you might create a different campaign for each. Or, you could have one campaign to generate sales for your product, while another is to collect email optins via a lead magnet.

Within each campaign, you can create multiple ad groups. Ad groups are organized by theme, and by groups of keywords.

You can create different ad groups if you want to test different combinations of keywords against each other, or if you have keywords that target different use cases/benefits. Another example is branded keywords – you generally want to separate these keywords as their own ad group.

Try not go over a maximum of 7-10 ad groups per campaign, and a maximum of 20 keywords per ad group.

Finally, within each ad group are your ads. You want to create 2-3 ads per ad group. We like to create two ads, which will let Google test them against each other, producing a clear winner.

Your ads will test different headlines/copy against each other, both focusing on the same set of keywords (from your ad group).

Step Two: Start a New Campaign

You can start creating your campaign from your Google Ads account dashboard. Just hit “New Campaign”.

The first thing you need to do is choose your goal. Goals include “Sales”, “Leads”, “Website traffic” and “Brand awareness and reach”.

It doesn’t matter too much what you choose here, as you’ll still be able to set up your campaign how you’d like.

To help you track and analyze your performance, though, it’s best to choose an appropriate goal. If your main aim is to grow sales/rankings, choose Sales as your goal. If your priority is to build a list, choose Leads.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll choose your campaign type. We’re going to choose Search ads.

Finally you’ll select the way your goal should be achieved. Choose Website visits. Paste your landing page link in the field below this.

Hit Continue to continue.

Step Three: Campaign Settings

Now let’s set up your basic campaign settings.

Start by naming your campaign something recognizable.

Turn off the “Search Network” and “Display Network” settings for now.

You can set a start and end date for your campaign if you wish (or leave it as is, to run until you turn it off).

When you’re getting started, you may want to leave these settings as they are.

Next, choose the location your products are sold in, and the language(s) of your target audience. For most people selling on Amazon.com, restrict this to United States and English.

The final step is your budget and bid settings.

For your budget, you may want to start small, with a moderate daily budget (though be ready to scale this eventually as $5 per day won’t bring significant results).

For your bidding settings, there are a few ways you can go. 

You can use Google’s AI to set your focus (i.e. conversions, clicks, impressions) and the amount you want to spend for each event – your target cost per action, or CPA.

For example, you’d choose Conversions, with a CPA of $5 (meaning you want to spend $5 for each conversion).

This makes sense if you’ve calculated that a given conversion is worth a certain amount to you – for example if you can afford to spend $5 for each sale while staying profitable.

It’s a little hard to optimize this for Amazon sellers though, as it’s tough to properly optimize for sales (since you can’t install Google tracking code on your Amazon store).

You can choose from a number of other automated bidding strategies, or set your target cost per click (CPC) manually.

For now, let’s choose Manual CPC.

Now, hit Save and Continue to move on.

Step Four: Ad Groups

Next comes your ad group setup.

Ad groups are sets of ads designed primarily for a group of related keywords. You may only have one ad group when you’re starting out, and this is fine.

As you grow, and get more comfortable with AdWords, you can look to experiment with different ad groups, targeting different sets of keywords (or different match types).

For your ad group, you’ll choose your default bid (assuming you went for Manual CPC earlier), and the keywords you want to target.

Keywords are the main thing to focus on here. Google will pull a list of suggested keywords based on your landing page. This is likely to be too broad, so you may want to delete these and start fresh.

You’ll want to spend a decent amount of time picking out the right keywords for your ad group. You should be focusing on keywords that are highly relevant to your product, have high buyer intent, and high search volume.

You can use Google’s keyword planner tool to get an idea of search volume for potential keywords, as well as paid tools like Ahrefs or Semrush.

Ensure the keywords you choose are not only relevant to your product, but relevant to each other, as your ads in this ad group will all show to the same group of keywords. If you have a wide range of keywords you want to target, it might be best to break them down into several smaller ad groups.

To start with, create two simple ad groups, which you can use to test a couple of different keyword/match type combinations.

Broad match, Phrase match, Exact match & Negative keywords

A final point, you can choose a few different match types for your keywords:

  • Broad match: the default match type. This will include related keywords, such as synonyms and misspellings. 
  • Phrase match: put “quotation marks” around your keyword to ensure this exact phrase is present in the search term. Other words may be added before or after your chosen phrase.
  • Exact match: put your keyword in [square brackets] to ensure you only include that exact term, with no other words included.
  • Negative keywords: put a minus sign ( – ) before your keyword if you want to exclude your ad from showing on search results for this search term.

Step Five: Ads

Now we’ll move on to the final step: creating your ads. You’ll want some basic knowledge of copywriting to create effective Google Search Ads (AdWords).

You have a limited space to communicate info about your product, your offer (if any) and give a reason for people to click through. So make sure you don’t waste any space on needless words.

Here are some more tips for writing effective ads:

  • Use your keyword in your ad. Ads that include your keywords will get more clicks, as Google highlights these words in bold.
  • Include a call to action, such as “Buy Now”, “Learn More”, or “Claim Your Coupon”.
  • Are you giving a big discount? Only limited units left? Mention this in your ad text.
  • Capitalize All Words. Extensive Testing Has Shown That Ads Where All Words Begin With A Capital Letter Have Higher Click-Through Rates.

This post has more tips on writing winning ads.

Pro tip: For best results, create 2 ads per ad group. Google will automatically split test your ads, and choose a winner. That’s what we did here:

Step Six: AdWords Conversion Tracking for Amazon products

With paid traffic, it’s vital you track conversions. Without proper conversion tracking, you’re flying blind, as you won’t know the real results you’re getting from your ad spend.

Using AdWords conversion tracking features, you’ll be able to identify:

  • Which keywords are working for you
  • What your cost per conversion is
  • What your conversion rate is

Event code – a code snippet that fires when a conversion takes place – is also super valuable, as it lets Google optimize your bids for your specific conversion event.

Unfortunately, adding Google Ads conversion tracking code to an Amazon listing is not possible, since you need access to the site’s backend code.

You can try asking Jeff Bezos to let you edit the code on Amazon.com, but I’m not sure you’ll have much luck.

Instead, the best way to track conversions with Google Ads for Amazon products is by installing code on your landing page. You have 2 options:

  • Track a conversion when someone clicks through to Amazon.
  • Track a conversion when someone claims a coupon in exchange for their email address.

The actual implementation of AdWords conversion tracking depends on your landing page tool. To get started, Google has a good tutorial on setting up conversion tracking.

If you use LandingCube, you can track AdWords conversions using our Google Analytics integration. Set up Google Analytics for your landing page with one click, and create a Google Analytics goal for the “ClickToAmazon” event LandingCube triggers. Then, import your Google Analytics goal into AdWords Conversion Tracking.

Once conversion tracking is set up, you’ll be able to track your ad campaign’s effectiveness.

For even better tracking and analytics, brand registered sellers and vendors can use an Amazon Attribution link from their landing page to Amazon, to track actions like final sales and add-to-carts.

You can’t use Amazon Attribution to send conversion events to your Google Ads dashboard, but you can use this info to analyze the performance of your ads.

Google Ads for Amazon Products: Setting Up Your Landing Page

We’ve talked extensively about landing pages here. That’s because a landing page (not your Amazon listing) is essential if you want to run Google Ads, and have your ads approved.

Using a landing page as an intermediate step between your ad and your product listing affords you several advantages:

  • Warming up your traffic/filtering low-intent traffic (which helps you maintain a higher Amazon conversion rate)
  • Allowing you to put in an email opt-in to capture emails and build your list
  • Allowing you to add conversion tracking code

Your landing page is also important for complying with Google Ads’ policies – basically, you need to direct your ads to a page that is relevant to the copy in your ad, and the keywords you’re targeting.

If you were pointing your ad to Amazon, this might interfere with your keyword/copywriting strategy for your listing. A landing page, however, gives you full control, which will allow you to hit a higher quality score.

Here’s another trick with your landing page. You can create multiple landing pages for your product, each one for a different ad group.

Let’s say you have several keyword clusters, and thus several ad groups (one for each group of keywords). You’ll create a unique landing page for each ad group, with the headline and copy focused towards that ad group’s keywords.

Doing this, your landing pages will score higher with Google, resulting in more clicks for less spend. Plus, since you’re catering the landing page specifically to the keywords you’re targeting, you’re more likely to get conversions from people who click through.
Follow this guide to set up your landing page effectively, and use a landing page tool like LandingCube to make setup as easy as possible.

Google Ads for Amazon FAQs

Can You Run Google Ads to Amazon Products?

Yes! Nothing in the terms of service for either Google or Amazon prohibits using Google Ads for Amazon products. Google search ads and display ads can be a great way to add another traffic source and potential revenue stream to your Amazon sales funnel.

Can You Use Google Shopping With Amazon Products?

It’s not possible to run Google Shopping Ads directly to Amazon products. Google Shopping requires ownership of the domain you are running to, which you don’t have with Amazon. You can still however run Google Shopping ads to your own site, then direct the traffic from your site to Amazon.

How Can You Track Conversions For Amazon Google Ads?

In order to track conversions, you need a Google Analytics code snippet installed. Since you can’t edit the base code of your Amazon listing, tracking conversions on your listing is not possible. The best way is to run your ads to a landing page, where you can install GA and track people who click through to your Amazon listing.

How Can You Do Google Ads Remarketing With Amazon Products?

You can enable remarketing for your Amazon products by driving traffic to a landing page with Google Analytics installed. This way you can track who viewed your page and retarget them with Google Ads – even if you originally targeted them somewhere like Facebook or Pinterest.

Google AdWords for Amazon Products – In Summary

This guide is a simplified version of how to run Google Ads for Amazon products, designed for beginners, first dipping their feet in advertising with Google.

As you get more comfortable with Google Ads and our Amazon AdWords strategy, you can begin to experiment more with different bidding options and campaign types.

But to get started, you’ll want to use Google Search Ads, taking what you already know from Amazon PPC, and using it to add another powerful sales channel to your arsenal.

Additional Google Ads Resources

For an excellent online guide to Google PPC, check out this article from Ignite Visibility on How Pay-Per-Click Works.

For an in depth book, we highly recommend Perry Marshall’s “AdWords bible”: “Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords” by Perry Marshall.

Finally, check out this blog post for a broader view on Amazon Google Ads, including looking into different campaign types: Google Ads For Amazon Sellers.

 
 

Chapter 7: Pinterest for Amazon Sellers12 minPinterest is a powerful and underutilized channel for Amazon sellers. Learn how to drive organic and paid traffic and get sales from Pinterest.

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