The complete guide to Amazon PPC ad placements

Where your ad shows up matters. Read this guide to make sure you’re placing your ads on Amazon to work toward your goals.

Erica Jordan

Amazon has three ad placements that meet consumers at different places on the path to purchase and cater to different shopping behaviors: Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads), Sponsored Products, and Product Display Ads. So which one or what combination is best for your campaign? Read on to find out.

Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads)

Sponsored Brands ads are a great way to reinforce your brand, grow sales, conquest competitive brands, defend your branded keywords, and encourage shoppers to add more items to their cart. They can also bring new customers into your brand’s shopping funnel by stepping slightly outside your particular category and showing consumers your brand’s messaging while they are in the shopping and purchasing mindset.


Sponsored Brands ads are located just below the search bar, and look like the result of a product search. They can also appear to the side of search results.


Your products naturally appear to be the top results for a product search, increasing the likelihood that someone will click on it.

The opportunity for brand and product awareness is particularly high for this ad placement. Sponsored Brands ads feature multiple products in your portfolio, alongside a graphical and compelling call to action. Unique to this ad placement, when a consumer clicks on the primary image and/or copy in the Sponsored Brands ad, they are directed to either a Search Results Page or an Amazon Brand Store. The Search Results Page drives sales, as it takes customers to a list of products within the familiar Amazon shopping experience and makes it easy to select products for purchase. Alternatively, Amazon Brand Stores are designed to emulate the look and feel of your brand, and drive brand awareness and messaging.

On average, cost per click (CPC) for Sponsored Brands ads can be lower for some categories, as they are primarily available to Vendors. Sellers can access them by completing a brand registry. However, it’s also important to note that there is less ad inventory, since only one ad is served for each search query unlike Sponsored Products which serves multiple.

Search Results Page (Single Column)

Search Results Page (Multiple Columns)

Amazon Brand Store


Depending on your goals, you can choose broad (matching terms or close variations), phrase (exact or other keywords before or after), or exact keyword matching. When setting up a campaign, start keyword bids low and gradually increase bids as your click through rate (CTR) increases, so you’re spending your marketing dollars efficiently.

Sponsored Products

Sponsored Product ads are the perfect way to get your products in front of consumers who are actively deciding which product(s) to ultimately purchase. By bidding competitively, you will have a better chance of having your product(s) listed near the top of the page. Since many consumers do not click past the first page of search, it’s vital to appear on the first page of search results as often as possible.


Sponsored Products are located in two primary places: 1) Within the search results, below Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads), and 2) on a brand’s product page under the “Sponsored Products Related to This Item” shoveler. While this second placement provides a lot of ad inventory, the ads in the shoveler do not garner as many conversions as the ads in search results. Recognizing ths, Amazon discounts CPC in the shoveler. In both placements, Sponsored Products ads click through to a Product Detail Page, providing a direct path to purchase for consumers.


The products appear to be organic results, which encourages high CTR and conversion rates.


In addition to the broad, phrase, and exact keyword matching, you can choose negative phrase and negative exact keyword targeting, increasing the relevancy of your ads to customer needs. When starting a Sponsored Products campaign, use the auto-campaign and auto-generated keyword suggestions. Once you’ve launched your campaign, switch to a manual campaign to optimize towards the best performing keywords to maximize your ROI. Amazon will continue to auto-suggest keywords to test in manual mode, but you’ll have more control over how your campaign changes.

Product Display Ads

Product Display Ads encourage consumers to look at relevant adjacent products to consumers who are already looking at a product within your brand or a competitor’s brand portfolio. Unlike the other ad options, coupons can also be promoted through Product Display Ads, and can function as one last push to close the sale.


Product Display Ads are located below the Buy Box on Product Detail Pages, and some additional pages like Read All Reviews, Offer Listings, and Amazon emails. Clicking on one takes the shopper to the corresponding Product Detail Page.


The Product Display Ads have no relevance requirements so it provides the most reach, allowing advertisers to advertise far out of category, nearly anywhere on Amazon. This is a great way to upsell and encourage consumers to basket build with your brand’s complimentary products, similar to HSA ads. Because of the location on the Product Detail Page and close proximity to the “Add to Cart” button and point of purchase, it’s also the ultimate placement for competitive conquesting.

The ability to promote coupons is also highly valuable, as they typically generate a higher CTR and conversion rate.


Product Display Ads can be targeted by what products a consumer is browsing (ASIN), what category they are shopping in (product category), and their interests (shopper interest category).

Choose your own adventure

Depending on your marketing goals and budget, these can be used alone, or in combination with each other. For example, take over the top of a search results page by combining the keywords from Headline Search Ads and Sponsored Products campaigns to reach the broadest targeted audience, and strategically bidding to win auctions for all ad placements.

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