Over 60% of retail consumers begin their product search via the Amazon search engine. So if you’re an aspiring Amazon seller, or want to boost the visibility of your existing product listings, you have to understand what it is that can drive Amazon’s ranking algo in your favor.
This guide will uncover how to harness the power of keyword research to create a successful keyword strategy for your Amazon listing.
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Amazon SEO: Why Keywords?
Now, you may wonder why we wanted to draw attention to keyword strategy.
Initially, let’s start with understanding the ins and outs of Amazon’s A9 product search algorithm that determines which listings dominate Amazon’s results page:
This post takes a deep dive into the algo. However, let’s briefly go through the key factors that affect Amazon’s rankings:
- Keywords are one of the most crucial elements of your listing and help Amazon decide whether your product deserves a notable spot on its results page.
- Conversions - essentially product clicks and sales (influenced by other factors like fulfillment type and pricing) - are also an important factor.
- Product reviews can boost your worthiness in the eyes of the search engine, given that your product’s feedback is superior to that of your competitors’.
While you have limited leverage over product reviews and conversions, you can optimize your keywords for maximum performance.
This is why we will be focusing on keyword strategy, which you can control, implement, and perfect.
How to Go About Keyword Strategy Implementation on Amazon
If you know a thing or two about traditional Google-related SEO, you probably have an idea of where keywords typically go. Many Amazon sellers, however, have a very vague understanding of Amazon keyword placement.
Here are the key spots where keywords can be a make-or-break factor for your listing’s visibility:
- Product titles
Of course, product titles are the first spot that comes to mind when thinking about Amazon keyword placement. Often, Amazon titles are strikingly keyword-stuffed, but the marketplace doesn’t object to this strategy. So go ahead and place all the main keywords right within the title.
This listing, for instance, features a lot of keywords and synonyms: coffee maker, coffee brewer, brew sizes, etc.
- Product pages
The “About this item” space and product description are other good spots for keyword placement. While these listing elements can actually be more important in regard to conversions, they also offer a great opportunity to indicate to Amazon one more time what it is that you’re selling.
Moreover, you’ll have enough space here to add keyword variations that can also attract customers who run more original searches.
- Search Terms in Seller Central (or, Amazon Hidden Keywords)
One of the most underlooked spots for keyword placement is the Search Terms within your Seller Central account. While these keywords won’t be visible to Amazon surfers, they actually do affect Amazon’s ranking decisions.
With a 250-character limit, make sure to use this space as another chance for keyword placement.
4 Steps For Running Data-Driven Amazon Keyword Research
Now that you have a clear understanding of why keywords can really make a difference to your Amazon performance - as well as where you should place them - it’s time to uncover the ins and outs of Amazon keyword research.
While Amazon’s take on keywords is less sophisticated than that of Google, you can only build a successful keyword strategy across the marketplace if you take into account the following factors:
- a high range of keyword variations and combinations used by Amazon surfers;
- high levels of competition for very similar products and, hence, keywords;
- strict Amazon guidelines.
Hence, the more you manage to automate, simplify, and data-leverage your keyword strategy, the more likely you are to see impressive results.
This post reveals some hacks that can help you get away without using a specific tool, but if you want to be smart about your keyword strategy and utilize data for one of the most crucial elements of Amazon SEO, we suggest that you follow this workflow that involves keyword insights from Semrush’s Keyword Wizard tool.
Keyword Wizard is a tool specifically designed for Amazon keyword research, helping sellers to:
- boost search rankings on Amazon by showing the most relevant high-volume keywords around any Amazon product;
- suggest new ideas around your key target search term by offering a list of long-tail keywords;
- explore new growth avenues and beat your rivals by discovering high-impact keywords with the lowest competition.
Determine your seed keyword
The very first thing to do is to define which search term you’re building your keyword list around. Try to be basic about this - if you’re essentially targeting people who are searching for a coffee maker, enter this term as your seed keyword.
Discover similar/related keywords
The Keyword Wizard tool offers three types of keyword grouping: broad match, phrase match, and exact match.
Often, you will want to go with a broad match. However, you can choose other options:
- Broad match implies any variation of your seed keyword or keyword phrase in any order. This match type can reflect the widest range of possible search requests.
- Phrase match shows search requests that contain the exact keyword or keyword phrase in any order.
- Exact match includes all variations around your seed keyword that include the exact keyword or keyword phrase in the exact order.
In our case, “best coffee maker” is an exact match, “coffee cappuccino maker” is a phrase match, while “maker of iced coffee” is a broad match.
Find the low-hanging keywords that can bring the highest impact and have the lowest competition
Once you have your list of keywords, it’s time to explore.
There are three key criteria you want to follow when using the keyword filtering options within the tool:
Use search volume filters
Search volume is the average number of times people enter a given keyword into Amazon’s search bar each month.
- Make sure to exclude search terms that have the highest search volumes (>100,000). If the numbers are too high, this would imply that this keyword potentially has the fiercest competition, so you’re unlikely to successfully target it.
- Also, exclude keywords that have the lowest search volumes. You don’t want to invest your efforts into keywords that will bring minimal impact and users.
Leverage competition filters
Make sure to define how many Amazon listings target the same keyword you’re ready to compete against.
Start with the lowest competitors’ count. If the list shows too few keywords, move up a range.
Exclude brand names
In most cases, you will want to get rid of keywords that feature a brand name, or at least a brand name your product has nothing to do with.
Amazon rules clearly state that it’s prohibited to use brand names other than yours in any texts of your Amazon listing.
Voila! Now you have a beautiful clean list of keywords that have the highest performance potential.
You can use it straight away, or download this keyword list (up to 1000 search terms) in a convenient .csv file.
Go smart about your Hidden Search Terms
All the keywords you uncover at the previous step are perfectly fine for using throughout your product title and the descriptions. Yet when it comes to picking keywords that you should enter into the Search Terms within Seller Central, there’s one more step.
Since Seller Central limits you to 250 characters, you can use Keyword Wizard’s convenient feature: word frequency counter.
- Go back to steps one and two and run a broad match for your seed keyword.
- This time, though, don’t use any additional filters. Since Search Terms aren’t visible to Amazon users, you don’t have to use search terms that...well, make sense. Amazon will use your search terms and group them randomly, creating multiple combinations that include plurals and typos.
- Select up to 1000 keywords from the top results and click “Search Terms”.
This way, you will only select keywords with the highest search volume and lowest competition.
- Make sure to exclude keywords you will use for your title and bullet point optimization. Also, deselect brand names one more time.
- The tool will take care of the rest: it will automatically get rid of numbers, single letters, and plurals in accordance with Amazon Guidelines. On top of this, you will be able to see the word count, and the tool will automatically select keywords that fit the character limit.
Once you have your 250-character keyword list, simply press “Copy words” and paste it into the “Search Term” field.
If keywords looked intimidating before, then with four simple steps, keyword research becomes a no-brainer.
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91% of bestseller listings contain A+ content, while, for non-bestseller listing, the number is just 70%. With access to high-quality data, we've discovered which are the best success tactics when it comes to listing optimization: The Anatomy of a Bestselling Amazon Listing