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What is Keyword Collision?

Best Practices / August 15, 2018

When setting up your Amazon PPC campaigns, it’s important for Amazon Sellers to avoid what’s called keyword collision. Essentially, keyword collision is when two of your ads are able to generate an ad impression for the same search. This often occurs with more complicated campaign structuring, or when running lots of campaigns simultaneously. But there are ways to prevent keyword collision and keep it from negatively impacting your ad performance.

There are three common instances that cause keyword collision:

  • Multiple Targeting Types
  • Duplicate Keywords
  • Using Multiple Match Types

Multiple Targeting Types

When running both manual and automatic campaigns, the automatic campaign can target the same keywords you put into a corresponding manual campaign which will cause keyword collision. To avoid this kind of keyword collision, you should always exact match negative target any keywords that are pulled from an automatic campaign into a manual campaign. This will keep the two campaigns from colliding for ad impressions.

Duplicate Keywords

Advertising the same product with the same keywords in more than one campaign will produce duplicate keywords. This usually occurs when sellers create brand and product-oriented campaigns at the same time. To keep this from happening, keep your campaign structure simple. Sellers should create a single manual and a single automatic campaign. Then add one ad group per SKU to each of those campaigns. When you decide to add new keywords or adjust the bids for keywords, you can do so by selecting the respective ad group.

Using Multiple Match Types

Many sellers use all of the match types (exact, phrase, and broad) at the same time, assuming incorrectly that it will lower their ACoS. Adding the same keyword with all three match types will result in keyword collision because a single user’s search can lead to an ad impression for any of the three keywords. It’s easy to avoid this kind of collision by only using one match type. Using broad match will increase the expected reach of your ad, but there is a higher chance that non-relevant searches will generate impressions for your ad. Checking your search term report routinely and marking non-relevant search terms as negative exact keywords at the ad group will help reduce the likelihood of this happening. This will optimize your ROI and maximize your campaign’s expected reach.

Can Keyword Collision be a Good Thing?

There are some instances where you may want to induce keyword collision. It sounds counterintuitive given the examples given above. But in certain situations, keyword collision can actually help you analyze your customers’ preferences by advertising different product variations (i.e. color) with the same keywords. This can give you data that shows you what variations of your product customers are searching for an prefer to buy. Once enough data can be collected, you can increase bids for preferred product variations for more reach, while reducing bids for less desirable product variations.

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