If you‘re just getting started with Amazon PPC, I want to be the first to welcome you! As an experienced seller, I know learning the ropes of Cost Per Click advertising can feel intimidating. But have no fear – with this comprehensive guide, you‘ll gain a solid understanding of CPC bidding and be equipped to launch successful campaigns.
So grab a warm cup of coffee, settle in, and let‘s unpack this step-by-step together!
What Exactly is Amazon CPC?
In simple terms, Amazon CPC refers to the amount you pay each time someone clicks on your sponsored ad on Amazon. It‘s the "cost per click" pricing model used for Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and other PPC formats on Amazon.
For example, if your CPC bid for the keyword "iPhone charger" is $1.00, you will be charged $1 each time a shopper sees your ad for that term and clicks through to your product page.
CPC is the core pricing structure behind Amazon‘s auction-style advertising system. Your CPC bid essentially determines the placement and visibility of your ads in search results.
Now let‘s look at how bidding works and what factors impact your Amazon CPC prices…
How CPC Bidding Works on Amazon
Amazon uses an auction-style platform where advertisers bid for ad placement on given keywords. It‘s similar to eBay – buyers (advertisers) place automated bids, and the highest bidder wins the auction.
But unlike eBay, not every bidder pays their maximum amount. You‘ll pay just slightly higher than the bidder below you. This helps your budget go further.
For example, if the top bid for "yoga mat" is $1.50 and I bid $1.00, Amazon may charge me $1.05 per click to outrank the $.98 bidder behind me.
Higher bids lead to better ad positions and more clicks. Lower bids trail down the page or off page 1 completely. Finding the right balance is key to success on Amazon‘s competitive PPC marketplace.
Now let‘s explore the factors that determine CPC prices…
What Impacts Your Amazon CPC Bid Prices?
Many variables influence how much you‘ll pay per click for a given keyword on Amazon:
More relevant keywords have higher demand from advertisers, which leads to increased competition and pricing.
For example, a generic term like "gifts" will have lower CPCs than a hyper-relevant keyword like "nintendo switch games".
High search volume keywords attract more advertisers, driving up pricing. For example, a term like "iphone 14 case" will have higher CPCs due to huge demand.
Tip: Sort your keyword list from high to low search volume to prioritize competitive terms.
Time of Year
Seasonal keywords see spikes in pricing during high-demand cycles. For instance, CPCs for "christmas ornaments" will peak in November-December.
Holiday keywords experience dramatic CPC increases
Popular categories like electronics, clothing and beauty have the most expensive keywords. Niche hobbies like coin collecting have lower competition.
Branded keywords drive lots of traffic but come at a premium. Bidding on "Apple watch" or "Hydro Flask" will cost more than generic versions.
Sponsored Product ads placed prominently in search results cost more than bottom placements or Product Display ads. Headline Search ads are most affordable.
As a general rule, the more popular and competitive a keyword is, the higher CPC it will command. Let‘s look at setting those initial bids…
How to Set Your Initial Amazon PPC Budgets and CPC Bids
When launching a new Sponsored Products campaign, you‘ll need to set an overall budget and initial CPC bid prices. Here are some smart strategies to determine starting points:
- Check Amazon‘s suggested bids – The keyword research tool provides bid estimate ranges based on current auction prices.
Base targets off profitable ACoS goals – Calculate the CPC needed to achieve your ACoS targets, factoring in margins.
Start conservative and increase – It‘s better to begin with lower CPCs and budgets, then ramp up as you gain performance data.
Consider seasonality – For Q4 holidays or Prime Day, start with higher bids to be competitive.
Review competitors‘ bids – Use tools like Sellics to gather intel on what top brands are bidding.
Prioritize goals – Higher bids for best-sellers, lower for testing new keywords.
Ongoing optimization over time based on performance data is key. When first starting out, focus on learning vs. pure profit to gain essential keyword intelligence.
Now let‘s explore your bidding options…
Manual vs. Automatic Bidding for Amazon Sponsored Products
Amazon offers advertisers two core bidding types:
With manual CPC bidding, you set the max CPC bid amount for each individual keyword. This approach takes more work but allows you to precisely manage bids at the keyword level based on profitability.
Automatic bidding uses Amazon‘s algorithms to adjust your CPCs dynamically within your overall budget and ACoS goals. This hands-off approach is easier to manage but gives you less control.
For new advertisers, we recommend:
- Start with auto-bidding to ramp up quickly
- Once you have data, switch to manual bidding for optimization
Now let‘s get into tactics for reducing those CPCs…
10 Proven Strategies to Lower Your Amazon CPCs
Managing Amazon PPC well means gaining sales and clicks at the lowest possible CPC. Here are tips to drive down costs:
1. Write Compelling Ad Copy
Benefit-focused ads with emotional hooks improve clickthrough rates and lower your average CPC.
2. Tighten Match Types Over Time
Move broad and phrase matches to more relevant exact match versions based on search term data.
3. Prune Underperforming Keywords
Regularly check search term reports and remove keywords that aren‘t converting.
4. Add Negative Keywords
Proactively block irrelevant queries that trigger your ads but don‘t convert.
5. Adjust Keyword Bids Based on Performance
Decrease bids on low-performing terms and increase ones with positive ROI.
6. Improve Landing Page Quality
Ensure your product pages compel shoppers to buy after clicking your ads.
7. Monitor Ad Placement
See if Display ads or lower Search placements yield better CPCs.
8. Leverage Bid Optimization Tools
Software can automatically adjust bids based on profitability signals.
9. Stay on Top of External Factors
Monitor for competitor, seasonal and trend changes impacting your keywords.
10. Don‘t Make Reactionary Changes
CPC optimization takes patience and is based on data patterns, not emotions.
With consistent use of these CPC optimization levers, you can gain an edge in Amazon‘s competitive marketplace.
Now, let‘s look at some examples of average CPC costs for top Amazon categories…
What Are Typical Amazon CPCs by Product Category?
Average CPCs can vary widely depending on which vertical you are selling in. Some rough estimates:
|Category||Avg. CPC Range|
|Electronics||$1.00 – $2.00|
|Home & Kitchen||$0.75 – $1.25|
|Sports & Outdoors||$0.80 – $1.50|
|Toys & Games||$0.25 – $0.75|
|Books||$0.15 – $0.35|
|Grocery & Gourmet||$0.30 – $0.60|
Of course, your actual CPCs will depend on the factors we already discussed. But this table provides an overview of relative pricing across major Amazon categories. Electronics sees intense competition, while Books are on the affordable end.
Now let‘s discuss mistakes to avoid…
5 Common Amazon CPC Mistakes That Are Easy to Avoid
When starting out with Amazon PPC, it‘s easy to make some rookie mistakes with your bidding approaches. Be sure to sidestep these errors:
- Setting your max CPC bids too high – Start conservative and increase selectively.
Using only broad match keywords – Broad matches lead to irrelevant clicks and inflated CPCs.
Not digging into your search terms – You need visibility into the queries triggering your ads and converting.
Overpaying on brand name terms – Don‘t fall into the trap of overbidding on your own brand name.
Keeping consistently low CTR keywords – Prune terms that just aren‘t attracting clicks.
CPC optimization takes patience, discipline and letting the data guide your decisions. Avoid reactionary changes or bidding blindly without keyword insights.
Now let‘s look at helpful tools…
Software to Monitor, Manage and Optimize Your Amazon PPC Campaigns
Using the right software tools provides invaluable support for diving deep into your advertising metrics and acting on opportunities:
- Jungle Scout – For keyword research and gathering competitor intelligence.
Teikametrics – All-in-one PPC management platform with automation capabilities.
Seller Interactive – We manage campaigns end-to-end and provide strategic insights.
SellerApp – Offers real-time PPC analytics and campaign management.
Keyword Inspector – Profitability metrics for your search terms to guide bid management.
Amazon Reports – Leverage Campaigns and Search Terms reports within Seller Central.
Investing in tools (or an agency like Seller Interactive) gives you the PPC analytics you need to optimize performance and CPC.
Let‘s Get Your Amazon PPC CPC Strategy Started!
Well, that wraps up this comprehensive beginner‘s guide to understanding Amazon advertising CPCs!
The key takeaways:
- CPC is what you pay each time someone clicks your ad.
Auction-based bidding determines placement and CPC prices.
Many factors impact your keyword costs like seasonality, category, etc.
Automatic bidding to start, manual later for optimization.
Focus on improving CTR, relevance, and conversions to decrease CPC.
Use tools for insights and outsource to an agency like Seller Interactive to offload heavy lifting.
I hope this overview gives you confidence to dive into Amazon PPC. Feel free to reach out if you need any help getting started or optimizing your first campaigns!