How Do I Identify And Handle Search Term Duplicates In Amazon Advertising?


You might be wasting ad spend on duplicate search terms in Amazon advertising without even knowing it. Some duplicate search terms can cost you, but they aren’t all bad.

In this article, Michael Erickson Facchin and  Clément Hynaux from Ad Badger guide you through the process of identifying and managing search term duplicates.

Let’s catch all the duplicates!

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    What Is A Search Term Duplicate?

    Let’s go straight into the definitions. A search term duplicate means you have the same search term in more than one ad group across Amazon Sponsored Products, Brands, and Display ads.

    Duplicate search terms occur when the same keyword appears in multiple Amazon PPC campaigns or ad groups. 

    For example, if you have “mason jars for overnight oats” as a search term in both automatic sponsored products and manual sponsored brand campaigns, you have a duplicate search term.

    How Do I Find Search Term Duplicates in Amazon?

    It used to be that the only way to find search term duplicates was to log in to Amazon and download your report then just to look with your eyes. And then you’d have to be careful not to make the mistake of only looking for duplicates in some areas, like Sponsored Product Ads. 

    The new and more streamlined way to find search term duplicates in Amazon is with Ad Badger’s new tool, the Duplicate Hunter.

    The Duplicate Hunter identifies duplicate search terms by scanning your campaigns and highlighting what the duplicates are and where they appear. This scan takes 20-30 seconds, even for large accounts, so you won’t have to worry about twiddling your thumbs while waiting, or worse, spending hours doing it manually.

    And that’s not all.

    This tool also shows you the aggregate performance of each search term with clickable links to the ad groups and campaigns where these search term duplicates appear. You can then dig deeper to see where each search term was triggered, the ad group it was in, and the campaign.

    From there, you can see things like revenue per click to compare how the duplicate search terms perform in each campaign.

    The Duplicate Hunter offers increased efficiency and better results, but it is optional. All of the tips in this article are applicable regardless of how you get your duplicates!

    What Should I Do When I Identify Duplicates In Amazon's Search Term Report?

    You have a few options for handling search term duplicates you find, either in Amazon’s Search Term Report or with Ad Badger’s Duplicate Hunter.

    You could negate or pause them, or do nothing and let them continue running. This decision should depend on the performance of the particular duplicated search term.

    For example, if you have a high-performing duplicated search term, you’d want to keep it running. Similarly, if you have a low-performing duplicated search term, you wouldn’t want to use it.

    If another search term is crushing it, let’s say, in Sponsored Products, you’d want to duplicate that in other ad campaign types. This is called lateral search term graduation, where you’re taking a search term and duplicating it in other campaign types.

    How Does Search Term Graduation Work In Amazon Advertising?

    When you graduate a search term, you kickstart your campaign with a proven profitable search term which removes the guesswork from your campaign strategy. This lets you expand your impression share and profitability on other ad types.

    Search term graduation is an overlooked strategy, with most advertisers wanting to run fresh keywords and focus on Sponsored Products ads. To expand your impression share, you must let those creative juices flow and use other Amazon ad types. Combining the search term graduation strategy with other ad types lets you hit the ground running. 

    Look at the Sources column. See how some search terms are appearing 4-29 times? No bueno.

    Search term graduation utilizes search term duplicates so you can set up campaigns on other Amazon PPC types with tried and tested search terms already getting results in another ad type.

    Why Should I Utilize Duplicate Search Terms In Amazon PPC?

    Duplicate search terms aren’t a bad thing. We’ve already established their use in the search term graduation. The key to utilizing search term duplicates is to be intentional with it.

    Search term duplicates in your search term reports shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. If you’re looking at your search term report and are surprised that one search term is in five different campaigns, then your campaign structure isn’t great. You’re cruising by and relying more on luck than actual strategy.

    So, what are the other reasons for keeping search term duplicates? Let’s explore alternative reasons.

    Why Keeping Search Term Duplicates Might Benefit Amazon Campaigns

    Dominate The Search Results Page

    When you enter a search term in the Amazon search box, you get the Sponsored Brand headline and four Sponsored Products spots.

    When you have ASINs that aren’t variated, you will want to get your products on as many placements as possible so you can utilize all that Amazon advertising real estate.

    You’ll need duplicate search terms to increase your real estate on search results pages.

    Product Variation Inevitability

    When you have different products that aren’t under the same parent product, you will want to get placings for each product. Product variations under the same parent product get one ad placement spot, but different products that aren’t variable need a spot for each.

    Since these products use the same search term yet aren’t variated, you’ll have to use duplicate search terms for each product’s ad campaigns.

    Backup Your Campaigns

    If you’re burning through your campaign budget with your main campaign, you may need to have a backup campaign for when your main campaign runs out of budget.

    A backup campaign will help you preserve some of your leads. If you run out of the budget without a backup campaign, your competitors will claim your keyword ranking.

    an infographic explaining when to use duplicate search terms on amazon and how to use them

    When Should I Negate Duplicate Search Terms In Amazon Advertising?

    Sometimes, having duplicate search terms in your Amazon PPC campaigns is counterproductive to your Amazon campaign efficiency. If this is the case, you need to negate the search term duplicates to optimize your campaigns and increase your campaign efficiency. 

    Let’s explore the crucial scenarios where you might need to negate search term duplicates in Amazon PPC.

    When to Negate Search Term Duplicates in Amazon PPC

    Disparity In The Duplicate Search Term’s Performance

    One instance where you’d need to pause the search term duplicates is when there’s a big difference in the performance of the same search term in different campaigns.

    For example, let’s say a search term gets a 45% conversion rate and 15% ACOS in one ad group and a 1% conversion and 50% ACOS in another ad group. In this scenario, it’s clear that the search term is more profitable in one product and a dud in another. You’d have to negate the duplicate search term in the ad group where it’s performing poorly.

    Improved Inventory Management

    Another reason to negate a duplicate search term is when you want to move more inventory in one product variation than the other variations. You’d need to negate the duplicate search terms in the other variations to funnel the traffic to the one variation you want to move.

    Alternatively, if you’re running low on inventory in one product variation, you’d want to negate the duplicate search terms for that product so you can slow the sales just enough to have time to restock.

    How Do Multiple Ad Groups Impact My CPC In Amazon Advertising?

    One major concern among Amazon PPC-ers is whether having search term duplicates on different ad groups drives up the CPC, or cost per click.

    You can’t drive your bids up by having the same search term in several ad groups. Amazon recognizes that all your ad groups are from the same entity, so it won’t pit them against each other. If, however, you’re using different advertising accounts, you will drive the bids up because Amazon sees the different advertising accounts as different entities.

    Another thing to consider is the Amazon advertising bid system needs you to pay just one penny more than the previous bid. So, even if, for some mysterious reason, it happened that you are driving your bids up, it wouldn’t be with a significant margin.

    Hunt for Search Term Duplicates

    In summary, managing search term duplicates in Amazon advertising is crucial to optimize your campaigns and save money. When identifying duplicates, it’s important to consider the performance of each term and decide whether to use, negate, or graduate it. Using duplicates can benefit your campaigns, but negating them in certain scenarios can improve ad relevance and reduce competition.

    Multiple ad groups can complicate duplicate management, so it’s important to stay organized and use tools like Ad Badger’s Duplicate Hunter to streamline the process. By following these guidelines and finding duplicates, you can improve your Amazon advertising and achieve better results. 

    Keep hunting for the best results, my friend! The optimization journey never ends. May your metrics be strong and your campaigns be profitable.

    Bernard Gatheru for Ad Badger

    Bernard Gatheru

    Contributing Writer

    B2B eCommerce content writer. Amazon listing expert. Likes hiking up hills and sweating at the gym.


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