How to Set Realistic 30 Day Amazon PPC Expectations

Amazon PPC has blown up over the past seven years and with that comes some ridiculous, stories like “How I got 1% ACoS in three days” or “How I doubled profits with just this one trick.”

These over-hyped stories usually take an exceptional situation and try to pass it off as a one-step fix to all your problems. Unfortunately, often they’re exaggerated measures of the progress you should expect from your own Amazon Ads account. 

Luckily, the Badger is here to help you see through the clickbait and teach you what to realistically expect after running your Amazon PPC ads for 30 days.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  1. Expectations for a new PPC account
  2. Are you an uptrend or down trending account?
  3. The PPC Triangle
  4. Your typical 30 day cycle

Expectations for a New PPC Account

To predict the future, we have to look to the past. But what if you’re starting out and have no past?

If your account is brand new, then you’ve never run an ad. You haven’t established product market fit, so you don’t know how well your product will resonate with your target audience yet.

Before worrying about things like high ACoS, CPCs, and conversion rates, you’ve got to find out if your products are even viable. When it’s served amongst your competitors, do people prefer it?

Not every product will be a slam dunk immediately. It takes continuous tweaking over time of the title, the product images, and other listing aspects. You also need to get at least 15 reviews and earn an average 4-star rating to rank well on Amazon.

So in truth, the only realistic expectation for brand new accounts is to establish product market fit, get some sales going, and build up some account history. 

Are You an Up Trending or Down Trending Account?

After your account has some history and data behind it, you’ll likely be in one of two situations. Your account is either up trending or down trending. You should have different expectations depending on where you’re at.

Up Trending Accounts

Imagine a Richter sliding scale where 1 is an account that will collapse with no maintenance and 10 is an account that will double without you even touching it.

Based on where you fall on this scale, you should have different expectations. Upward trending accounts fall along the 5-10 area of the scale, meaning they naturally improve over time. 

Up Trend Richter Scale
If you account is up trending it has natural momentum

Over a 30 day period your ACoS could significantly drop or conversions could increase without you doing a thing. In fact, you could even have an extremely poor account structure and still see improvements.

So what gives? 

The Amazon PPC world is a wild jungle and sometimes the stars simply align for you. Your account can be naturally up trending due to certain factors like:

  • Market conditions
  • Weak competition
  • Easy, low CPCs

If this is the case for you, then you should have higher expectations on the improvements your account might make over a 30 day period.

However, it doesn’t mean your account is perfect. Regular keyword maintenance, bid optimizations, and negative keywords are still essential procedures to maximize the value from your account. 

Down Trending Accounts

If up trending accounts were like easy mode, down trending accounts can be like expert mode. These accounts fall on the 1-5 range our Richter scale and naturally get worse over time.

If your account is down trending, you have to put in extra work to see the same results.

You could be applying every PPC trick in the book, but your ACoS or sales volume still might not budge if your account is downward trending.

This doesn’t mean you should give up though! It just means competition is fierce, and you’ll really have to earn any improvements to your account.

Setting Expectations

The number one rule for setting expectations is knowing where you fall on this scale and adjusting your expectations to account for it.

Are you low on the scale? Then don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t see results right away. Are you high on the scale? Then look at your account structure and see if you can do even better.

An ideal goal over 30 days is to try to move up the scale by one number. You can move from 5 to 6,  9 to 10, or 1 to 2. Either way you slice it, this is a more realistic expectation of what you should try to accomplish rather than trying to jump straight from 1 to 10 instantly.  

The last tool for determining realistic expectations is the PPC Triangle.  

The PPC Triangle

The PPC Triangle follows the principle that you can only pick two corners of the triangle, and you must sacrifice the last. 

For Amazon advertising the three sides are Total Sales Volume, Ad Spend Efficiency (ACoS), and Speed.

The PPC Triangle
Pick 2, leave 1. What will you choose?

For instance, you could choose to get a ton of sales quickly but have a very high ACoS. You could get a low AcoS very quickly with few sales. Or you could get a high sales and a low AcoS but over a very long time. Unfortunately, you can’t have all three at once.

Knowing how the PPC Triangle works is fundamental for setting expectations. A lot of customers come to us and expect our software tool to multiply sales and lower ACoS overnight at the flip of a switch. That’s just not realistic.

Compare that to someone who understands the PPC Triangle and knows their primary goal. For example, if you wanted to increase total sales fast, we’d recommend increasing the total number of bids. This leads to higher ACoS, but this is expected based on the PPC Triangle. 

Select 2 from the PPC Triangle
Sales volume and Speed were maximized but ACoS will rise.

You can comfortably implement your strategy, knowing the consequences. It’s not about fixing all of your problems at once. It’s about knowing your goals and setting reasonable expectations for your strategies.

Your Typical 30 Day Cycle

During the beginning of the 30 day period, we recommend exploring new strategies. Try out new keywords, different ad types, different campaign types, etc. Don’t be afraid to go a little wild and try to increase total sales as much as you can.

As a consequence of all this exploration, your ACoS will probably significantly rise. Once you’ve let these new ideas run for a bit, the next phase is to bring your ACoS back down.

Go back into your account and see what worked and what didn’t. Cut out what didn’t work and slowly optimize your ACoS back down to an average level, usually around 10%.

Repeat this cycle of expansion and optimization over the 30 day period, and your account will slowly become the envy of the Amazon jungle.

Key Takeaways

Although it would be awesome to lower ACoS to 1% with the snap of our fingers, real PPC success takes hard work and diligence.

We recommend thoroughly analyzing your account history to determine if your account is up or down trending and using the PPC Triangle to guide your decisions.

Follow these steps and you’ll know exactly what to expect from your Amazon Ads account over the next 30 days.

Discover Us on our PPC Den Podcast

If you prefer learning via audio, we cover this same info in the podcast episode below. You can also find us on your favorite streaming platforms like Apple, Google, Spotify, and more!

  • 2:15 Evolution of Amazon PPC
  • 4:04 Avoiding over-hyped clickbait
  • 5:35 Account history significance
  • 8:30 Expectations for a brand new product
  • 11:10 Accounts on an upward trend
  • 12:45 Downward trend accounts
  • 15:35 Shoot to move 1 number
  • 16:15 The PPC Triangle
  • 19:00 Know your primary goal
  • 22:50 The typical 30 day cycle
  • 25:55 Questions to ask yourself 
  1. Why We’re Living In The Golden Age of Amazon PPC
  2. The Bid+ Conundrum
  3. Amazon’s New Product Targeting Features
  4. The Advanced Basics of Amazon PPC
  5. Amazon PPC Advertising Stats
  6. Hitchhiker’s Guide to Sponsored Products (Part 1)
  7. Hitchhiker’s Guide to Sponsored Products (Part 2)
  8. Campaign Naming Systems
  9. Product Targeting – Into the Great Unknown
  10. The Strangest, Most Popular PPC Strategy: The Keyword Dump
  11. Dissenting Thoughts on PPC Budgets
  12. First Look on New Bid Options in Amazon
  13. What We Love About Amazon PPC
  14. The Dreaded Amazon Data Reporting Delay
  15. All Things Negative Keywords
  16. Cranking Up Conversion Rates
  17. The Star-Crossed Lovers (Organic & Paid Traffic)
  18. How to Scale Using PPC – A Case Study
  19. The Ultimate Amazon PPC Roadmap
  20. Amazon Advertising Launch Strategy for New Products
  21. Our Gripes About Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads
  22. Should You Bid on Competitors’ Branded Keywords
  23. Making Sense of New to Brand Metrics
  24. Defining Your PPC Goals & Setting ACOS Targets
  25. The Latest Sponsored Brand Ad Updates
  26. An Introduction To Bulk File Operations
  27. Click Through Rate (CTR) Rundown
  28. The Importance of Indexation for Amazon PPC
  29. My 5 Predictions for the Future of Amazon PPC
  30. A Round-Table Discussion About Placement Settings
  31. The Complete Guide to Self-Auditing Your Campaigns
  32. Improving Your Account With Amazon Reports
  33. A Data-Driven Approach to Prime Day PPC 
  34. Clickfraud, Who to Hire, and More Common Amazon PPC Questions
  35. Increase Conversion Rates for Sponsored Brand Ads
  36. Amazon DSP with Kiri Masters
  37. 4 Things Amazon Does Better than Google and Facebook
  38. Three Effective Ways to Optimize Amazon PPC Bids
  39. Promoting your Products with Amazon Coupons
  40.  Should You Segment Your Branded Keywords in Amazon Ads?
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