The Main Differences Between Product Targeting and Keyword Targeting

Advertising on Amazon is one of the best ways to increase traffic and sales for your products. Without it, customers may not find you, and your brand won’t go anywhere. Amazon provides many ways for you to advertise your products, so you can create the perfect situation for new customers to find your items.

 Knowing how to target your campaigns can help you increase the effectiveness of your ads and boost your overall sales. There are many ways in which you can control where and how your ads appear on the platform. Two of these include product targeting and keyword targeting.

While both give you control over how your products appear, there are essential differences between the two types of campaigns.

Product Targeting

Product targeting is when you target specific competitor products on Amazon and put your product as an ad on their page. You will be running a Sponsored Product ad when you run product targeting campaigns.

Product targeting lets you choose specific brands, categories, or products that have similar features to what you are advertising. Shoppers will find your ad when they are looking through Amazon categories or reading through product detail pages.

Through product targeting, you can target individual products and categories or target a group of brands and products in one campaign. Sometimes, you have products or categories you don’t want compared to your product. You can always specify brands, ASINs, and other things you don’t want your ad near.

When you do product targeting, you want to target an offer that’s not as good as yours. When you do this, it makes your product look superior and entices people to come and see your product.

Product targeting makes it easier to reach shoppers on product detail pages. It also comes with more control over what categories your ads will show up in. You can target groups of ASINs, specific brands, prices, and more.

Another benefit of product targeting is the reports that come with category and ASINs. These reports will help you identify what’s working in your campaigns and what’s falling short. That way, you can continue to create campaigns that make the most of your advertising spend. You can target only products that perform well based on ratings or target mid-range performers.

Targeting categories allows you to get suggested categories that Amazon deems relevant to your product. You can manually search categories or browse those listed below the search bar. Refining categories further is an option for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands.

Refining options include:

  • Brand
  • Price range
  • Prime shipping eligibility
  • Review star ratings

Best Practices for Choosing Product Campaigns

There’s a fine line you have to tread when choosing which products to target. On the one hand, you don’t want to run campaigns near high-performing products, because audiences likely won’t pay attention to your ad. However, you don’t want to run your ad on low-performing products, because those ads won’t convert.

You don’t want to run a campaign against a product with more reviews, or that has a better price. You want your ads to be more enticing, not seem like a worse deal. Target mid-level products, or ones you beat in value or ratings.

Keyword Targeting

If you’ve done any work in advertising outside of Amazon, you’re likely already familiar with keyword targeting.

Keyword targeting and product targeting are just different situations in which your ad will influence people to check out your products.

Keyword targeting lets you choose shopper keywords where your products will show up. When you know what terms your customers will use to find products like yours, this is a great strategy.

Users type in keywords when they’re searching for specific items on the platform. When you are doing keyword targeting, you can choose to target exact terms or broad matches. You can also have Amazon suggest words for you that it thinks are relevant to your product listing.

When bidding for keyword targeting, you can use Amazon’s suggested bid or create your own. You can also choose if your keyword campaigns will be broad, phrase, or an exact match.

Keyword targeting is available in both Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products. Keyword targeting could be called Amazon-specific pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

For instance, when searching for long hair dog brush, these sponsored results are examples of keyword targeting. These brands have chosen to bid on the keyword phrase “long hair dog brush.”

Different match types will change how keywords match searches.

Broad matches are the least restrictive and match to wider ranges of search terms. Using this setting reaches a larger audience, but that audience may not be as engaged in your specific product.

Phrase matches are connected to the shopper’s search term when they’re typing in the same order.

Exact matches are relatively simple. They reach the narrowest audience, but those people are searching for precisely what you have.

For example, if you sell exercise weights, you could target the keywords “exercise weights” or “dumbbells.” When shoppers search for the term “exercise weights” or “dumbbells,” your ad may show in search results and product detail pages. With broad matches, it could also come up when users search for exercise equipment or home gym supplies.

Auto vs. Manual Targeting

If you aren’t sure what situations you want your ads to show up in, you can use automatic campaigns to allow Amazon to choose where your ad appears. 

Depending on whether you use auto or manual targeting, there are a couple of new targeting capabilities. These include Enhanced Auto-targeting, and Product Attributes Targeting, which is only available in manual Sponsored Products campaigns.

Auto campaigns provide four default targeting options.

Loose or Close Match shows your ad in search results if your ad matches shopper search results. One matches search results loosely while the other is more specific.

Substitutes or Complements show your ad on product detail pages that substitute or complement the product in your ad.

Auto-targeting also has many adjustments available, so you can ensure your campaigns meet your advertising goals. In some ways, auto-targeting can be more effective than manual targeting. You don’t have to guess what’s performing well and what isn’t.

Both product targeting and keyword targeting can help you drive traffic to your products. It’s up to you to decide which one suits your advertising goals best.

If you’re looking at these differences and find that you don’t want to touch Amazon advertising, that’s okay. Charmac helps growing brands and startups just like you conquer advertising, including product and keyword targeting. We’ve helped dozens of other clients master the techniques and grow their brands so they can worry about other things. We offer free consultations so you can see if our services are the right fit for your needs.

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