Has Amazon Broad Match Become Too Broad? Part 2

As 2023 began, we noticed across most Amazon ad accounts running broad match keywords for Sponsored Product campaigns that there was a surge in advertising spend, a need to audit those campaigns more closely, and many more negative keywords to add.

Part one of “Has Amazon Broad Match Become Too Broad?” was more anecdotal, looking at the actual shopper search terms that were being mapped to our keywords. However, we continued to monitor our account with active broad match keywords to get a data trend for broad match searches compared to phrase and exact match.

We have continued to track this trend throughout the year, and with Q2 data complete, we are noticing a pattern in how ad spend and ad sales are rounding out quarter to quarter for advertisers using Sponsored Product campaigns with all match types active.

It seems that there is a consistent 20%, 40%, and 30% average split between broad, phrase, and exact match keywords in both ad spend investment, and in the ad sales those match types generate. You can see this shown below.

As we have progressed through the year, we have seen broad match’s prioritization shift. In Q1, more emphasis was placed on Amazon broad match searches and increased ad spend compared to what was invested in Q2.

While some of this is accounted for by our guided management of the campaigns, there is also the element of seasonality and Amazon’s algorithm at play. Much more ad spend was invested in broad match in Q1, with increased ad sales compared to Q2. However, Q2 saw this shift with an increased investment in both phrase and exact match, with exact match specifically earning a much more significant portion of the ad sales.

This leads us to interpret that Q2 ads were serving a more targeted audience than what was being served in Q1. Since Q1 was impacted by holiday shopping and a wide array of searches that may have been out of the norm for typical consumers’ behaviors, this may have resulted in a spike in broad match emphasis in Q1 compared to Q2.

When we look at the cost per click (CPC) of each match type through this year’s first and second quarters so far, we see that Q2 had higher CPCs than Q1 and were greater than the average of CPCs year to date.

With the seasonal shift in match types, it still remains critical for advertisers to audit their campaigns and review their search term reports routinely. This allows us to build a list of negative keywords to help direct the campaigns towards searches that we want and away from what the Amazon algorithm ‘thinks’ is a good match. We are continuing to see search terms pop up that are irrelevant to the keyword that Amazon maps in Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand campaigns. 

The negative keyword list is an advertiser’s last line of defense in directing the Amazon algorithm toward their target market and weeding out irrelevant searches. As we continue to track how Amazon’s broad match is performing, it’s become increasingly important to have a regular search term schedule and add new negatives routinely. This will help your ads avoid some of the trends we’re seeing with the recent volatility of broad match.

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