How Many Keywords Should You Have Per Amazon Ad Group?

When creating and structuring your campaigns, determining how many keywords should be in your ad group may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, the number of keywords or product ads you choose to put in an ad group could make or break its performance.

You may feel tempted to push all of your keywords and products into one campaign, assuming that the most successful will naturally rise to the top. We call this keyword dumping.

a Google search for
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

We covered this a long time ago, and still, people are using this strategy. If anything, it’s gotten worse. 

That’s why we’re here once again to show you the dangers of too many keywords.

What is Keyword Dumping?

Keyword dumping and product dumping is when you have an ad group with a TON of keywords and products just jammed in there.

We’ve seen ad groups with seven hundred keywords in them. Seven. Hundred.  

We stared into the Amazon PPC abyss, and the abyss stared back.

Us when we see people still using keyword dumping in 2020.

People fall into the trap of keyword dumping by using tools designed for SEO or keyword research then copying and pasting all their results into ad groups. This is not at all the purpose of these tools. They’re meant to be used for idea generation, so they prioritize quantity over quality. The onus is on you as the human to filter through the results and decide which ones are worth putting into your campaigns.

Some people end up keyword dumping because they put tons of keywords into a research ad group. While testing your keywords is good, testing too many keywords at the same time doesn’t give you actionable results.

Why Too Many Keywords per Ad Group is a Bad Thing

Before we talk about why having too many keywords per ad group is bad, let’s look at some reasons why it’s good. Drumroll, please…

There aren’t any.

The final star in the final galaxy could quietly burn out, ushering in the heat death of the universe, and we still wouldn’t be done talking about everything wrong with keyword dumping.

1. It shoves different match types into the same campaign.

Having broad, phrase, and exact in the same ad group might not look like a problem if that ad group’s performance is good, but there needs to be some level of separation between match types, be that on the ad group level or campaign level. 

You need this separation because of how these different match types react to negatives (which, by the way, you definitely need to be using). You don’t use negatives for exact match ad groups, but you need them for more open match types like auto or broad. Deploying negatives in ad groups with multiple match types could have some unexpected consequences.

Plus, your approach to bidding needs to be different with different match types. If you treat bidding the same way for all of your match types, you won’t get as much out of them as you could.

2. Keyword dumping mixes your keyword strategies.

Different types of keywords require different strategies, but they’re all treated the same if they’re in the same ad group. Branded keywords and unbranded keywords, keywords from various points in the funnel, and weak converters next to strong converters can all be lumped together under keyword dumping. When implementing your keyword strategy, everything should be where it is for a reason.

3. Keyword dumping starves your keywords and products.

 Ad groups with too many keywords don’t give all of them equal treatment. When you have too many keywords and products in an ad group, only a small percentage of keywords and products will get enough impressions that give you insight into their effectiveness. You could abandon a super-converting keyword just because it didn’t have the budget it needed to deliver results. On the flip side, you could end up investing in a low-converting keyword that only performed well because it happened to get impressions.

an Amazon ad group with many keywords. Only a small number of keywords are getting impressions.

4. Having too many keywords drains your budget.

Testing keywords takes money, and the more keywords you test, the higher the price tag. Imagine you want to allocate $20 in ad spend to each of the keywords you’re testing to gauge how they perform. If you’re testing 700 keywords at the same time, that’s $14,000 in ad spend! By the time you have results, you don’t have enough ad spend left over to take care of the keywords that are proven converters.

5. It causes a disconnect between ad and keyword.

Amazon doesn’t have a single report that shows you which ad appears for which search term. 

a screenshot with arrows pointing at and explaining the different Amazon Advertising reports. None of them connect search term with ad.
We double-checked, just to be sure.

With organized ad groups, you at least have some idea of what products connect to what terms. When you have too many keywords or products, on the other hand, you have no way of knowing what people are searching when they see a given ad.

6. It prevents you from properly naming your ad group.

How are you supposed to give a meaningful, descriptive name to your ad group when it has 100 different products and 500 different keywords? There’s no sense of organization in your campaign structure, leading to sloppy and unorganized reports.

 a large ad group named

How to Give Your Ad Groups the Right Number of Keywords

Of course, the main way to get the best number of keywords per ad group is to organize your keywords into different ad groups. The best number of keywords per ad group is usually between 35 and 60 keywords, depending on the match type. Beyond that, you start to run into those same issues with keyword starving and limited budget.

If you yourself have fallen victim to keyword and product dumping, don’t panic: there is still hope for your campaign. Here’s how to deal with too many keywords in an ad group: 

  1. Remove the lowest-performing keywords.
  2. Put them into a new ad group.
  3. Use that ad group for keyword research.

By doing this, you’re entering these keywords into an RPSB keyword research strategy.

Stop downloading big keyword lists and shoving them into your campaigns. That will get you nowhere fast. Take the time to look through your keyword research results and determine which ones are actually relevant to your products.

Be more intentional about which product ads are grouped with which keywords. Again, Amazon doesn’t have any reports that match up your product with the search term that triggered it. By ensuring that the keywords you allocate to your ads are relevant to your products, you could be saving yourself a ton in ad spend. It’s an extra 25 or so minutes that can make a world of difference in your campaigns.

Lastly, don’t bite off more than you can chew when adding targets. If you have a small budget, you need a small number of products and keywords, plain and simple.

In closing, having too many keywords and products per ad group can lead to a world of problems for your PPC. From budget drain to murky research, keyword dumping puts your ad groups in a chokehold.

It’s super important to keep your ad groups well-organized and give each the appropriate number of keywords. 

Make sure that every product or keyword in every ad group is there for a reason. This ensures every ad group has the budget to reach its full potential and allows you to better understand what keywords are driving results.

Want more information on how your ad groups are doing? The new Bids By Badger dashboard has all kinds of information on your ad groups, bid health, and more! 


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