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Why Do You Need to Conduct Amazon Advertising Audits Regularly?

Amazon Advertising Audit Checklist
February 20, 2024 16 mins to read

Are you confused about how often you should audit your ad performance?

If you answered “once in a while” or “never,” you’re missing out on huge potential to grow your sales and profits. 

What is Amazon advertising audit, you ask? 

This is a systemic review process of your existing advertising strategy, goal, metrics, and results. 

It helps you identify what’s working well on your strategy, what’s not, and what you can do to improve the RoAS.

You can think of it as the tune-up for your car!

You wouldn’t drive your car for years without checking the oil, tires, and brakes, right? 

Well, you shouldn’t run your ads for months without auditing them, either.

In this blog post, we’ll explain why Amazon advertising audits are essential for your success as an Amazon seller and how you can conduct them effectively and efficiently. 

Read on!

A quick peek into the article:

  1. Why Do You Need an Ongoing Amazon Advertising Audit?
  2. Pre-requisite to Advertising Audit on Amazon
  3. Amazon Advertising Audit Checklist
  4. Final Thoughts

Why Do You Need an Ongoing Amazon Advertising Audit?

Amazon advertising audits are an essential part of managing a successful advertising campaign

Regular audits help you understand the performance of your advertising and make informed decisions to optimize your campaigns.

Here are a few other reasons to conduct ongoing Amazon advertising audits:

Discover New Opportunities

By analyzing your search term reports and product reports periodically, you can identify an untapped keyword or product opportunities to target in your advertising campaigns.

If you’re advertising an aluminum water bottle and notice the keyword “aluminum water bottle skinny” performing well in your automatic campaign, consider moving it to a manual targeting exact match type. 

This shift allows for increased control over the keyword, ultimately leading to improved advertising results.

Evaluate Campaign Results Against Goals

Setting clear goals is fundamental to any advertising strategy. 

Regular audits enable sellers to assess whether their campaigns are aligned with these objectives. 

By comparing key performance indicators (KPIs) against predetermined benchmarks, you can make informed decisions about the effectiveness of their advertising efforts and make adjustments as needed.

For example, if your goal is to generate brand awareness, then focus if your campaigns are generating enough impressions or not. If your goal is to get more profit margin, focus on reducing ACoS for your campaigns. 

Optimize Budget Allocation

Effective budget management is pivotal for a successful advertising campaign. An ongoing audit allows you to analyze the budget allocated across different campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. 

By identifying high-performing and cost-effective strategies, you can reallocate budget resources to maximize their impact, ensuring that every advertising dollar is spent wisely.

For example, while reviewing your campaign report, if you can see some of your campaigns are generating more conversions than others, you can reallocate your budget to high-performing campaigns to maximize your total ROI. 

Identify High-performing Products

Audits can help you identify your high-performing products and allocate your advertising budget accordingly. 

For example, if you sell clothing online, you can use an advertising audit to see which products are generating more conversions and profit. 

Shift the majority of your ad budget to these high-performing products, and keep a small budget to test different strategies on the low-performing ones to see which strategy works best for the products.

Perform Seasonal Adjustments

If you’ve been selling on Amazon for a while, you know that sales velocity doesn’t stay the same throughout the year. It fluctuates with seasons, holidays, and other external factors. 

Regular Amazon advertising audits help you with identifying these seasonal changes.

Armed with this knowledge, you can make necessary adjustments to capitalize on seasonal trends and tailor your advertising strategies to align with the specific needs and preferences of your target audience during different times of the year.

For example:

For instance, summer might see a surge in demand for outdoor and recreational products, while winter may witness increased interest in cold-weather essentials. 

Adjust your ad campaigns accordingly to take advantage of seasonal trends and improve your sales and ROI. 

Additionally, conducting periodic advertising audits can help you identify industry trends and plan promotional activities, which can further boost visibility and appeal.

Do These Before You Start Your Advertising Audits

When it comes to managing campaigns, ad groups, keywords, products, and budgets on Amazon, you have a lot of variables to control and change. This can be overwhelming at times. 

It’s not always clear where to start or what areas need improvement. 

Occasionally, everything will be going so well that you don’t need to make significant changes. Remember that making too many changes too early can also be detrimental.

Before we jump into the audit framework, it’s essential to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

By getting into the mindset of understanding your goals and asking penetrating questions about how you can optimize performance, you will have a framework that can be replicated over and over again.

Understand Campaign Dynamics

Before you make any changes to the campaigns, you need to have a broad understanding of your campaign dynamic.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the campaign ACoS meeting your expectations? 
  • Can you generate consistent sales at the current ACoS?
  • Are sales growing over time? 

These questions will help you decide where to focus your effort when you start to analyze improvement opportunities. 

For example, if your campaigns are near your target ACoS, there’s no point trying to improve it. 

Instead, focus on expanding your reach to a broader audience to increase your revenue.

But if your ACoS is too high, then optimize your campaign to first reduce wasted ad spend and then increase your RoAS. 

By taking one problem at a time, you can make a clear and purposeful decision with your advertising campaigns.

Don’t Aim to Optimize Every KPI at a Time

After understanding your campaign dynamics and asking the penetrative questions, you’ll likely have multiple options to optimize your campaigns. 

However, it’s not effective to apply all the optimization options at a time. Instead, prioritize the optimization options based on your goals. 

Ask yourself which changes are going to get you closer to your goals quicker and which changes will rectify any significant problems.

Remember, you can not optimize all campaign KPIs at a time. 

For example, if you optimize for impression, then your ACoS will not stay low. Similarly, if you want to optimize your ACoS, then you may not get maximum impressions

Another reason why you shouldn’t optimize all the KPIs at once is that you won’t be able to identify what action caused the improvements in your campaigns. 

I understand the urge to improve your campaigns as fast as possible. But it’s better to take campaign audit as a logical exercise, where you make changes slowly, see how it affects the campaign, and then make further changes. 

Understand Metrics to Focus on Based on Your Goals

We’ve already discussed the importance of understanding campaign dynamics before optimizing your campaigns.

But how do you know which metrics to focus on based on your goal?

Here, we’ve listed all the metrics you should focus on based on your campaign goal:

Amazon Advertising GoalMetrics to Optimize
Product VisibilityImpressions, Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Product SalesReturn on Ad Spend (ROAS), Conversion Rate, ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales, Orders
Brand AwarenessImpressions, Clicks
New Product LaunchImpressions, Product Detail Page Views

Okay, now that you’ve learned why you need to conduct Amazon advertising audits on an ongoing basis, let’s talk about the checklists you should go through while auditing your advertising campaign. 

Amazon Advertising Audit Checklist

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself during the audit to analyze your campaign performance:

Is ACoS Above Target?

Depending on your campaign goal or the age of the campaign, see if your campaign ACoS is meeting the target or trending towards the target. 

If not, then pause the bid on the keyword/product or ad group that has high ACoS. 

Note: Don’t pause any ad group without seeing whether keywords or products within the ad group are trending toward the ACoS target or not. 

If the campaign performance is on track, then you might want to give the campaigns more time to become more effective.

Is Your Campaign Structure Easy to Navigate?

Most sellers struggle with organizing advertising campaigns, but it’s one of the essential elements of an audit. 

The more organized your campaigns are, the easier it is to optimize them. 

For example, you can easily apply different bids, budgets, or strategies for different products if they are appropriately segregated in different campaigns. 

Apart from that, organizing your campaigns helps you group keywords, schedule dayparting effectively, A/B test multiple ad variations, allocate budgets, and more. 

So, while auditing the campaign structure, check if it follows the hierarchy. 

amazon campaign structure

Portfolio: Create separate campaigns for different products under different portfolios. For example, if you have two different products, such as “Sunglasses” and “Photochromic specs,” they should be in separate portfolios. 

Campaign: A consistent naming convention for campaigns helps you stay organized. For example, Consider combining products with similar goals into one campaign. Provide as much detail as possible in the campaign names. 

Here’s the structure of a campaign:

Campaign goal | Product / Category | Campaign type | Campaign Targeting

Ad Groups: Create different ad groups for different products based on targeting or keyword type. To make your campaign structure easier to navigate, we recommend keeping one ad group per campaign.

Quick Tip: A consistent Amazon PPC campaign structure will determine the efficiency of your future audits. So, take time and standardize your campaign structure to ensure your future audits go smoother.

Are You Targeting the Right Keywords in Your Campaigns?

At the start of your advertising journey, audit your automatic campaign periodically and see if the automatic campaign is targeting your expected keyword. 

If not, then you might have to optimize your product listing and backend with better relevant keywords. 

It will help Amazon understand the product better and target better keywords. 

If you see the automatic campaigns are targeting the right keywords, then filter the keywords based on sales and move the high-converting keywords to your manual campaign for better control and performance. 

amazon advertising  keyword targeting

How Competitive are Brand and Product Ad Spaces?

There are two reasons why you must spend money on ads:

  1. Because it helps you to get sales,
  2. To stop other brands from hijacking your sales from brand keywords

This happens when other brands are bidding on your brand or product search term. Or there are other sellers who run ads on the same product but a different ASIN

In this case, you need to analyze how many other sellers are bidding on your brand keywords. 

If there are none, you can pause ads on your own brand keywords. 

If there are other sellers, then you need to defend your brand by bidding on your brand keywords.

The bid amount will depend on the competitiveness of the keyword, but your aim should be to win the top placement for the keyword. 

Note: However, if you see the traffic volume for the brand keyword is low, then bidding on your own keyword might not be as beneficial as you think.

Are High-converting Keywords for Your Products Increasing Year on Year?

Auditing your high-performing keyword growth shows that the product is on trend. 

Not only that, it allows you to allocate your advertising budget better. When auditing, for example, you can see new high-performing keywords that are not ranking organically at the top but are performing well. 

You can allocate more budget to these keywords to get these keywords to the top of search results and improve their organic ranking

Is The Ad Budget Wasted on Irrelevant Keywords?

Audit your search term report for the past 30-60 days and find keywords that are generating clicks but not any sales. 

Add these keywords as negative keywords in your ad group/campaigns. 

amazon advertising audits guide

We’ve helped one of our client, Even Windscreen Supply Co., to reduce their Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) by 65% by adding low-performing keywords as negative targets in their campaigns.

Is Advertising Running on Duplicate Keywords?

In the search term report, find duplicate search terms in your campaigns that exist in different targeting options like phrase match, broad match, or exact match ad groups. 

From your search term report, analyze the performance of the keywords for each targeting option.

Keep the highest converting targeting running, and pause bids on the rest. 

Usually, the exact match keyword gets the highest clicks, so keep that in mind. 

Are You Under-Spending on Your Campaign or Ad Groups?

Review if your campaign or ad group spending is constantly below your daily budget. If so, there are a few actions you can take:

  • First, check if there are any deliverability issues, such as losing the buy box or running out of inventory. If you lose your buy box due to price competition, you need to give a coupon, discount, or reduce the price to win the buy box again from competitors. If the inventory goes out of stock, Amazon automatically stops running ads on the product.
  • Secondly, see if you’re bidding defensively on keywords. It might not lead to better placement for your ads and could reduce your potential for sales.
  • We suggest that if your ACoS is lower than the target or near the target ACoS, then increase your bids aggressively and monitor the increase in sales.
  • Lastly, check if your daily budget is too high for the traffic potential for your search volume. This can often happen with brand keywords because of low demand, and you may have to reduce the budget for these campaigns and reallocate your budget to high-performing campaigns.

Are You Optimizing Your Bids for Better Ad Placement?

Amazon Sponsored Product ads generally have three ad spaces

If you are optimizing your ad for maximum conversion and visibility, increase your bids to capture the top of the search placement. 

If your product is already ranking organically on the top of the search results, then you can reduce the bid to capture the rest of the search placement so that you get product visibility even if the shopper scrolls down the page or goes to 2nd page. 

Note: Now, how much to increase or decrease your bids will depend on the competitiveness of the keyword you’re targeting. 

Are all Products or Search Terms Delivering Results?

Amazon’s algorithm is trained to generate maximum sales. That means it always spends more money on profitable ad groups, search terms, and products – which is a good thing.

However, when you’re just starting out with advertising on Amazon or launching a new product, you don’t have enough data to optimize your ad performance for conversions. 

In that case, you can analyze the search term reports, find the under-performing search terms, separate them into a new ad group, and experiment with them with increased bids.

Run these ad groups for 2-3 weeks. If they still don’t perform well, pause running ads on the ad groups.

On the other hand, if some of the keywords get results, keep running them and add the rest to the negative keyword list to reduce ad wastage. 

Which Products Perform Best in a Campaign or Ad Group?

Audit your advertised products report to identify products that are giving maximum return and find those that are not generating much in your campaigns.

If you see a few products are under-performing, see the following:

  • If you’re targeting relevant keywords for these products
  • If the click-through rate (CTR) of your product is down – it can be addressed by optimizing your listings with high-quality product photography, A+ content, and product videos. 
  • Look at your competitors as well, and see if you are competitively priced for similar products.

Additionally, split the low-performing products into a new campaign/ad group. This way, you can easily manage ad budgets for high and low-performing products without wasting anything. 

Are you Targeting Competitors’ Branded Keywords with Your Brand Ads?

Targeting your competitors’ brand keywords with your brand ads can be a smart move for several reasons. 

First, it can help you steal traffic from your competitors and attract customers who are searching for their products. 

Second, it can help you target a specific audience that is already interested in your competitors’ products and bring awareness to your product. 

So, if you’re still not exploring this option, consider targeting your branded keywords for better brand visibility

Are You Using Bid Modifiers Correctly?

Amazon offers three types of bid modifiers: 

  • Dynamic Bids – Down Only, 
  • Dynamic Bids – Up and Down, 
  • Fixed Bids. 

All these modifiers have their pros and cons, but what’s right for you always depends on your advertising goals.

If your focus is to reduce ACoS and increase profitability, use the ‘Dynamic bids – down only’ modifier.

If you’re in the product launch stage and your main focus is to bring awareness and visibility, use the “Dynamic bids – up and down” strategy.

Avoid using fixed bids on your campaigns, as they can consume a large chunk of your ad budget. However, you can use this strategy to increase your brand visibility.

If you want to learn more about Amazon advertising audit, here’s a comprehensive guide for you:

How to Conduct Amazon PPC Advertising Audit : 6 Easy Steps

Final Thoughts

Asking yourself each of these questions can lead to optimization opportunities. 

Most of the time, these opportunities bring good results. But there are times when the connection between action and results is not very clear. 

These times, you need to test these opportunities and see which one brings better results. 

Let’s say your sales have dropped for a week. What actions should you take?

Should you increase bids? Reduce price, or completely turn off running ads on the product and focus on some other product?

You have to pick each of the optimization opportunities one by one and test them for some time to see campaign performance improvements. 

The best part is that SellerApp offers an advanced advertising analytics dashboard, where you can easily find high-performing and low-performing keywords/products with a few clicks and take action based on them.

Not just that, SellerApp also has expert PPC advertisers who can help you conduct advertising audits and create profitable advertising strategies based on your advertising goal. 

We have already helped big brands like Philips and Coca-Cola with creating their advertising strategies, and we can do the same for you.

Schedule a call with us and start your advertising optimization journey now!

Additional read:

How to Join Amazon’s Small Business Academy

How does AmazonBasics impact Amazon Seller?

What was Amazon Smile?

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3 Comments on “Why Do You Need to Conduct Amazon Advertising Audits Regularly?”

  1. Sandra
    November 27, 2023

    Spot-on advice! This post succinctly communicates the vital importance of consistent Amazon advertising audits for businesses aiming to stay ahead in the e-commerce game

  2. Chris Matt
    November 27, 2023

    Invaluable insights! This blog succinctly underscores the necessity of regular Amazon advertising audits, offering practical steps for optimal campaign performance.

  3. Stewart Brown
    November 28, 2023

    Thanks for sharing this informative post. Looking forward to reading more from you!

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