Introduction to Amazon’s Pay Per Click advertising
Miloš Ćulafić
by Miloš Ć.posted on 09.03.2018

Introduction to Amazon’s Pay Per Click advertising : Keyword Match types

One of the most important aspects regarding selling on Amazon is learning to properly manage and create your Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns. Especially if you are in the early stages of starting your Amazon FBA business. This is due to the fact that once you first launch your listing you will be starting from the bottom. Therefore the only way you will get any exposure will be via PPC. If you are not already familiar with what PPC ads are, they are the listings you can see at the top, middle or bottom of a page while searching for a products on Amazon. They all have “sponsored” above their product titles written in light grey letters. For example, below you can see what ads show up on the top of the page when you search for “blanket” :

PPC Intro 0

Keep in mind that PPC ads don’t only show up on the first page of a search, the adds can be displayed on any following page. Your position depends on your bid, the higher the bid the higher the position and visa versa.  You can actually strategically place your bids to find a nice balance between exposure and spending, more on that another time.

When you click on “ADVERTISING” and select “Campaign Manager” on Amazon seller central you will have the option on creating a new campaign. You will have the ability to choose between “Manual” and “Automatic” targeting. Choosing the first option allows you to start adding in keywords. Once you do you will come across the match types.

To best Illustrate what match types are, we are going to need a keyword. In order to get a keyword we have to have a product we are selling, let’s say we are selling a blue fuzzy blanket. To see what would be a good keyword to advertise for we can use AMZscout keyword explorer to first type in “Blue Blanket”:

PPC Intro 1

Also we will search for “fuzzy blanket”:

PPC Intro 2

After comparing the 2 main keywords for our example product, we can say that we would like to use “fuzzy blanket” because of a higher search volume. So let’s say that we manually put in this keyword with every match type, that would look like this:

PPC Intro 3

As you can see on the image above we have 3 match types : Exact, Phrase and Broad. They go from most specific to least specific and they each can be strategically used for different effects. Let’s start from the most specific one:

Exact match type

As the name suggests this match type will show your listing as a sponsored add only to people that type in that keyword exactly. There is only one permutation included, which is the plural. Using our example “fuzzy blanket” as an exact match type keyword, our listing would show when someone searches for:

Fuzzy blanket


Fuzzy blankets

You should use the exact match type only for when you have decided that this keyword is a good match for your listing. Using the exact match type in your PPC is also great for when you are hoping to get an “Amazon’s Choice “badge. The point is that you should use this match type once you have done some experiments with keywords and tested them out first.

Phrase match type

The next tier of ad targeting precision is the phrase match type. This match type includes everything exact does along with some additional permutations. It includes every possible long tailed keyword (multiple words keyword) that contains the original keyword from the campaign without changing the order of the words. Once again using our example of “fuzzy blanket” as a phrase match type keyword our PPC ads can show up if someone searches for the following:

Fuzzy Blanket

Fuzzy Blankets

Blue Fuzzy Blanket

Red Fuzzy Blanket

Large Fuzzy Blankets for kids

Fuzzy Blanket for Winter


In conclusion, it is possible to be displayed once someone searches for anything that keeps the 2 words in order. This includes anything that can be typed in the back or the front. The phrase match type doesn’t include- for example - “Fuzzy Blue Blanket” since there is the word “blue” separating the original keyword. The same can also be applied for a single word keyword like “blanket”. It would only allow for words to be in front and behind it, like: “blue blanket,” “blanket for picnics,” etc…

Broad match type

Finally, the broad match type, as the name suggests, is the most unspecific match type. It includes everything that both phrase and exact include, along with basically every permutation possible. As far as the broad match type is concerned your ad can be displayed wherever someone types in your keyword in any order and no matter how far apart. Using our example of “fuzzy blanket” for one last time we will see on what kind of keyword searches our ad can show up as a broad match:

Fuzzy Blanket

Fuzzy Blankets

Blue Fuzzy Blanket

Red Fuzzy Blanket

Large Fuzzy Blankets for kids

Fuzzy Blanket for Winter

Blanket for Kids Fuzzy

Red Fuzzy Throw Blanket

Yellow Blanket Made of Fuzzy Material


The broad match type is perfect for testing out new keywords as well as finding new long tailed keywords. One of the most common approaches people take is to put in some keywords with a Broad match type in their PPC and let it run for a while. What they do after that period of time is extract an advertising report and to see what the report shows. The report can show that a certain number of long tailed keywords are getting sales. Once you discover those you than run them with a phrase match type and narrow down the keywords even more. After all of it is done you will have a number of solid keywords you can run on exact. While discovering new keywords it’s always useful to know their search volume, you can see some examples from above using AMZscout’s keyword explorer:

PPC Intro 4

It is important to know as much information as you can while devising and maintaining your PPC campaigns. Your ability to use PPC and to research all the options can easily be the difference between the success and failure of your product. It is also very important to remember that PPC management is a continuous process. You cannot just find a keyword and hope it keeps working forever, you need to constantly pay attention to your campaigns and reevaluate your decisions. You must develop a habit of extracting advertising reports and analyzing them and to learn what kind of adjustments you should make based of what they indicate. Knowing what the match types are and how to use them is one of the basics of PPC. Understanding them should help you a lot if you are just starting out. Of course there is so much more to PPC than just this, you can expect that we will cover more PPC basics in the future. In the meantime, good luck sellers!

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