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  • Writer's pictureHeath Thompson

Broad Campaign with Out of Control ACoS. How to Control Spend?

The Full Question:

Hi Heath, I find that for one of my products, the Broad campaign cost is really hard to control (80% ACOS) because it is showing up on hundreds of search terms with few impressions and 1 click.

Every now and then, one of these search terms will convert. These search terms are usually relevant but are too low search volume and random to be targeted in its own campaign. e.g. if I sell a dog brush, the keywords would be a descriptor + dog brush, like blue dog brush.

After running this for one month, I just decided to turn off the campaign as it doesn't make sense to run the broad campaign in hope of a few sales for such a high ACOS. Do you think there's something I could've done to better control the ACOS without turning off the campaign? I felt that if the purpose of the campaign was just to farm keywords to target, my Broad campaign was not doing that as the converting search terms that show up are so specific that people would rarely use that to search for my product. I would love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks.

The Answer:

If all of your keywords have a high ACoS I would pause them unless they are starting to improve. 


I would target any search term that has converted to the ACoS you want but do so as an exact match, either in the same ad group or added to a current exact campaign if it performs well. I would expect that some search terms have good ACoS, so target those. If they convert well try and improve their visibility by using dynamic bids in their own campaigns. 


The low search volume doesn't help but should not be a factor in whether or not you target them. If people are searching for that and buying your product at a good cost then it is still a good keyword to target. 


I would also target any high-click search terms with zero sales but at around 40% of cpc. As exact, and phrase. I would look for Longtail versions of them and target those in all match types. 


For a keyword driving lots of relevant search terms with low clicks but only getting an occasional order... well, it is doing the job you asked of it. It is farming data for good search terms. Once it has done that turn it off. 


If your conversion rate is poor for those search terms this is likely a listing optimisation issue. Check out who is targeting your product for that keyword. Look at a page of results and see who you compete against. 


Ultimately, a keyword must contribute in some way. Either it gets orders to your benchmark or it helps organically. You can determine its value against all other keywords for that month.


For keywords that drive too much irrelevant traffic or non-converting clicks you need to control at bid level and negative phrase any irrelevant words if they haven't led to orders.

Further Question:

Thanks for your reply Heath! Your advice is very helpful. I wanted to clarify, if a search term had 30 impressions, 2 clicks and 1 order, I should still move it into its own exact campaign right? I'm just getting very mixed advice as to when to move a search term into its own exact campaign. 


Also, another thing I wanted to clarify for a very long time, when I move the keyword into its own exact campaign, do I negative exact the same keyword in the broad campaign? I got mixed advice on this point so I would love to hear your opinion.


Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response!

Further Answer:

Broad, Phrase, and Exact campaigns do not compete with one another as they are shown to different shoppers based on how the search term matches the keyword and buying intent, so you can duplicate them.  


The reason you want to quickly convert a search term to an Exact keyword is when it gets an order the algorithm has to give you a rank for that, to see if whether you will get more sales with increased visibility.


Therefore, this new keyword is boosted. If you don't get more sales it will quickly fall in rank. This is why you need to target it in Exact before it drops in position. You are trying to invest money in the organic ranking, and you can only do that with exact.


If you move it to a new campaign the key metrics will have a different quality score, so it may not perform as well, but your structure will be clean. 


If you add it to the current Broad campaign it will be active in the campaign where it already had success. Yes, you will have mixed match types in a single ad group but this is the reason for this ad campaign... To use Broad to farm for converting terms to then target as keywords.


When you already know the keywords you want to target, you add them all in their different campaign match types separately.


I care more about sales than clean structure. When a Broad 'farming' campaign has enough exact keywords in it, you can decide to pause the broad words and start the process again with a new campaign or, you can keep them happily as they are if doing well.

Need help running your campaigns?

If you can't stand the stress of managing them anymore, or you wish you could get on and focus on what you love about your Amazon work, feel free to get in touch at heath AT I might be able to help.

Tags - Amazon PPC Bid Management - Amazon Broad Campaigns - Amazon High ACoS - How to Control Amazon PPC Spend?

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