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How to Find the Best Keywords for Your Products on Amazon

Clara Assin Sunyé

You might be selling the most in-demand product in the market. But without targeting the right keywords, you won’t go far when it comes to selling it on Amazon. The Amazon marketplace is a powerful search engine. The main difference between Amazon and typical search engines is that Amazon’s main goal is to sell as much as possible. For this reason, its search algorithm is focused on matching the most relevant and high-converting products with the phrase that a shopper has typed in the search bar. In order to have your offerings seen, it is then crucial to get your product Amazon listings to show up for the top search terms. Now the question is: how to identify the right keywords for your products?

1. Remember that Amazon isn't like other search engines.

Although you may already be a pro at SEO for search engines like Google and Bing, it is important to distinguish them from Amazon. Although the basic function of the Amazon search is the same, the goals are different. It comes down intent. People that search on Amazon are, generally speaking, looking to purchase. Whereas, people that search on Google or Bing might be looking to purchase, but are equally likely to be doing product research. And might not be product related at all. As a result, the type of keywords that may outperform on typical search engines will be different from the keywords you should keep in mind when selling your products on Amazon. Put yourself in the shoes of a shopper looking to buy one products in your category. What generic keywords will they use? What branded keywords will they use? Once you have a core list of generic keywords you will be able to expand on it and elaborate more complex ones to broaden the reach.

2. Use the Amazon search bar to look for keywords suggestions.

When a shopper types a search query in the Amazon search bar, a list of suggestions will pop up right below. These are related, frequent search terms typed by buyers. Although these won’t represent your final list of keywords, they are a good source of inspiration and insights on how consumers are searching for your products.

Amazon Search Bar

3. Focus on relevant keywords.

It can be tempting to want include in their keywords lists some irrelevant terms with high search volume. One could think that this could help boost product visibility and reach but that is actually not the case. The Amazon search algorithm in fact will penalize listings where relevance isn't reinforced by actual customer behavior. For example, if you are bidding for unrelated keywords, and your listings shows weak CTR and conversion rates, this will negatively impact your Amazon search result rankings, and make it harder to rank in the future.

4. Keep an eye on competitors’ products.

Of course you want to differentiate your products from the competition. But it can also be helpful to check to see how other brands are positioning their products and which keywords they are using in their Amazon listings. This can help you not only identify keywords for which you may be missing sales and potential leads to the advantage of other Amazon sellers, but also spot similar keywords that not many sellers are including yet. One easy way to do this is by entering one of your product’s ASIN in the Amazon search bar and look at the keywords in the titles and descriptions of the related products listed in the results.

5. Don’t forget complementary products.

Keeping in mind Amazon’s primary goal of selling as many products as possible, the company tries to facilitate buyers’ purchasing decisions by offering any type of useful products’ insights. The Frequently Bought Together section is one of them and has the objective of exposing buyers to products that are often bought together with the item they initially searched. Looking at what products are bundled with yours is a good practice to unveil keywords not directly related to your offerings but with a higher probability of converting. In fact, by targeting keywords on those complementary products, your listings will be visible to shoppers that are not directly looking for you but whose purchase behavior indicates that they may end up adding them to the shopping cart. Sometimes, complementary search terms can be even cheaper than keywords in your main category.

6. Make the most of backend keywords.

We know that including top search words and phrases in your titles and descriptions can help you rank higher. However, you also want to give your customers easy-to-read, informative titles and descriptions. So, there is sometimes a tradeoff between simplicity and stuffing every relevant keywords you found into your product listing titles. Luckily Amazon provides sellers with what it has called “backend keywords”. These are hidden search terms (shoppers cannot see them) that can be added to the product detail pages in order to increase visibility and boost product Amazon rankings. The only thing to keep in mind with backend keywords is that there is a limit of 250 bytes so it is important to weigh each keyword and determine which one could generate the most sales.

7. Decide which keywords you want to bid for.

Now that you have all the keywords you think are relevant for your product, it is time to decide what to bid for and how aggressively. Some very high volume generic keywords will be very expensive to bid for (ex. electric toothbrush). So you may find that the ROI isn't there, since you will eventually show up in those search results organically. Whereas, you may want to guarantee that you have high placement on a generic keyword that really highlights your special differentiator (ex. electric toothbrush for dogs). A similar case could be made for branded keywords that contain your brand name. If you're an underdog in a well-established market, you may want consider bidding on the keywords that contain category leader's brand name. This can be expensive, but can be an effective strategy for gaining share from a competitor, once you are confident with your customer response and ability to fulfill orders quickly.

Given the huge impact that relevant keywords have on sales, our team at Gradient has built a set of dashboards fully dedicated to search terms. Among others, these dashboards can make you easily identify the keywords for which top competitors are listed and visualize all of the search queries for which a specific product has ranked. Contact us today to fine-tune your keyword strategies!

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash


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