Create an Amazon Product Keyword Campaign

Business Benefits

Create Keyword Campaigns to make it easier to target customers.


Log into your seller central and proceed to enter your campaign manager.

Access the Campaign Manager by hovering over Advertising and clicking on Campaign Manager.

Create your first Sponsored Product Campaign.

For your first time setting up an ad campaign, you’ll see this screen. We want to go ahead and press Continue under Sponsored Products.

Adjust your campaign settings.

The campaign name is all up to you, however, a good practice is labeling your campaigns so you can keep them organized.
For example, a good name for this campaign, Product Name - KW - Manual.

If this were a Product Targeting campaign it could instead be labelled using PT. Manual which indicates that it is a campaign that uses manual targeting, and Auto would indicate if it is using automatic targeting.

Your Start and End is an easy way to make holiday specific campaigns, but if you are just wanting to make a campaign that is ongoing, you shouldn’t set an end date.

Choosing targeting is dependent on if you want to choose keywords or product targets, or have Amazon select those for you. Selecting an Automatic Campaign will make this campaign automatically target keywords and products that Amazon thinks are relevant. Automatic campaigns are usually used for research to see which keywords are doing well, and taking them and making a Manual targeting campaign with them. In most cases, you’ll want an auto campaign and manual campaign for each product.

Select the bidding strategy.

Here you’ll see multiple bidding strategy settings to choose from. These give Amazon a certain amount of flexibility to adjust your bids, based on the chance of a conversion rate that they foresee for any given search.

  • Down only: Allows Amazon to lower your bid for you when they deem a chance of a conversion less likely. This is the best option for most ad campaigns.
  • Up and Down: Will allow Amazon to both lower your bids when they consider the chance of a conversion for a given search to be unlikely, and to raise the bid when they deem the chance of a conversion to be high.
  • Fixed Bids: Doesn’t allow Amazon to change the bids in the background for you.

When to use each bidding strategy option:

Down Only: This is the best option in most situations. This will typically lead to the most manageable ACoS and the best results. The most common exception is when you are launching a new product or are trying to promote a product that historically has not sold well on Amazon. In those cases, Amazon may lower your bids for you and you will get few impressions.

Up and Down: This is to be used rarely. Amazon claims that this historically has delivered more sales for the same ad spend, however, almost all experts in the industry agree that is not true. This will usually lead to a very high ACoS. For brands that are selling products that have sold on Amazon for a long time and don’t want to check their ads regularly, this may be a good option. If you try it, consider switching to Up and Down and testing it out for a few weeks, and evaluate whether it improved or hurt performance in that specific campaign.

Fixed Bids: Fixed bids tend to be useful when you are launching a new product or if you are trying to up spend on a product that hasn’t done well in the past. This prevents Amazon from lowering your bids, even though the chance of a conversion may be relatively low. This will lead to a higher ACoS, but in situations where that is acceptable, fixed bids are a great option for making that happen. Even with product launches, it may be better to start with Down Only and then switch to fixed bids if you’re not getting very many impressions and clicks.

You are able to change bidding strategies at any time, not just when you are creating a campaign.

Organize your ad groups.

In most cases, you’ll likely want just one ad group per campaign. If you have just one ad group in the campaign, you could name it after the product you’re advertising. If you ever have multiple ad groups in one campaign, you would want to use a name that differentiates from the other ad groups.

For example, if you had match types split up into different ad groups, no longer recommended in 2021, you could name the ad groups PRODUCT NAME - broad, PRODUCT NAME - phrase, and PRODUCT NAME - exact.

Choose the product you want to advertise.

You will only see the products that you are selling in this menu.

  • Which products to advertise:

Most sellers will advertise all their products. For sellers with large catalogs, you may just choose to advertise some of the best selling products. If a product has strong sales without advertising, the advertising for the product will likely be quite effective. Products that have few or no reviews, are significantly higher priced than similar competing products, or don’t have customers actively searching for that type of product, will perform less effectively in the ads. For new products, sellers will typically still want to advertise them, even with few reviews, in order to gain traction, grow sales, and earn additional reviews.

  • How to group products into ad groups and campaigns:

Typically, you’ll just advertise one product in each campaign. This allows you to select bids and budget specific to that individual product. In some cases, such as when you have close variations, you’ll want to group multiple SKUs in the same campaign. For example, if you were selling shirts and you had several sizes, you would include all the sizes in the campaign and ad group for that campaign. Typically, if the products are connected as a variation in Amazon, where a customer can view the product detail page and select the different options, you’ll want to include all the variations in the same campaigns and ad groups. If the products use different keywords or are at different price points, you’ll typically want to group those into separate campaigns.

When you have more than one SKU in a sponsored product campaign, Amazon will make the call on which product to show to each customer any time an ad is triggered.

Select your keyword targeting method.

Selecting keyword targets.

For any product, before creating campaigns, you should have already done some keyword research and designed the listing to include the keywords you’re planning to now target in your ad campaigns. If a word is not included in the title, bullets, description, or backend search terms of your listing, you typically will not get impressions of your ads on that word, even if you add it as a keyword target in your campaigns. Make sure to design your listings and ad campaigns to target the same words.

You’ll notice three different tabs, Suggested, Enter list, and Upload file.

  • Suggested is used for when you’re not sure what kind of keywords you want to use and Amazon will generate some for you. If the listing uses the right keywords in the listing text, these are often great suggestions, and you can select any of the keywords that are applicable.
  • By selecting Enter list you can input keywords you want to target.
  • Upload file, to use a file to upload a large number of keywords at once.

It will ask you for your starting bids. The suggested bid tells you what other sellers are having to bid to show on the first page for those keywords. That can give you a general idea of the regular bidding range. If you’re advertising a newer product, you’ll probably have to bid higher than the suggested bid to get shown, a product with a long sales history could potentially pay much less. If you’re unsure on how much to bid, using the suggested bids may be a good starting point. You’ll consistently change these bids as you are optimizing the ads.

Match types allow you to fine-tune which customer search terms trigger your ads. You can choose how specific you want a bid for keywords to be using the different match types. You can create any keyword as a broad match, phrase match, and exact match keyword.

  • Broad Match: This could trigger the ad anytime a customer uses a search term that is close or related to the keyword. For example, if the keyword was flower pot and the customer typed in small flower pot or flower pots gifts, the ad could potentially be triggered. If the customer typed in flower wall paper that could also potentially trigger the ad if there was a broad match keyword for flower pot. In most cases, Amazon will actually be smart enough to not show your ad to someone who typed in flower wall paper, even if you had a keyword that overlapped with that since it would be able to tell that it isn’t a relevant search for the product.
  • Phrase Match: A phrase match keyword will only trigger searches that include each of the words in the keyword. The order that a customer uses in their search doesn’t matter. For example, if the keyword was flower pot, that could trigger an ad for customers who search flower pot, flower pot small, and pot for flowers and decorations outdoors. Those will trigger the ad because they have both the words flower and pot in the keyword. A phrase match keyword of flower pot would NOT trigger an ad if someone searches flower wall paper because the word pot is not included in that customers search.
  • Exact Match: An exact match keyword is very specific. A customers search has to be exactly matching the keyword for it to activate. The exception is for misspellings and plurals. For example, an exact match keyword for flower pot would trigger if a customer were to search flower pot, flower pots, or flwer pots, but NOT if they typed in flower pots for garden, pot flower or small flower pot, since those include extra words or the words are in different orders.

In most cases, you’ll want to select almost all of the keywords that people might use to search for your product. Once you get to optimizing the campaigns, you’ll adjust the bids according to the conversion rates, but at this point, use your best judgment and assign higher bids to more relevant keywords and lower bids for less relevant keywords. After you’ve selected or uploaded your keywords, they will appear on the right-hand side for you to review and submit.

Negative keywords are optional but can be used to optimize campaigns.

Think about your product, analyze search patterns, and see if there are any searches for other types of products that you should immediately rule out using negative keywords. Amazon is pretty good at not showing totally irrelevant searches, but in some cases, negative keywords may be necessary. One example would be if you were selling a shirt for kids, so you might want to create a negative keyword for adult in order to eliminate anyone looking for clothing for adults.

A negative exact keyword will only negate a search that exactly matches the negative keyword. With a negative phrase, it will negate out any searches that have all the words in the negative keyword in the search.

For example, a negative phrase match for adult would cause the ads not to appear for anyone typing in shirts for adults, adult sized shirts, or adult. A negative exact match for adult would cause the ad not to appear for anyone who typed in adult, but would have no effect on customers who typed in shirts for adults, or adult sized shirts.

Review your campaign and set it live!

After you’ve launched your campaign make sure to monitor it and make sure is going according to plan. Campaigns may overspend quite a bit when they are first made so watch those closely. Be patient! You’ll notice your campaigns spending a lot with little return, to begin with, this is okay. Your campaign is just taking off so let it establish itself and begin adjusting bids.

Older campaigns with more history will almost always perform better than an equivalent brand new campaign. Optimize and improve campaigns, don’t pause them and replace them with new campaigns. There’s also no need for duplicate campaigns, just have one campaign, of each campaign type, for each product. For example, if you have two campaigns for the same product, that both use manual targeting and use keyword targets, the search traffic will be split up between the two, and it makes it much harder to understand the trends and how to optimize your campaigns later on.

After you’ve launched your campaign it will take you back to the campaign manager, or the main page for Amazon Advertising, where you will monitor your brand new ad.