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Amazon Listing Optimization
Amazon Keyword Research: How to Proceed in 2020
We bring you the practical Amazon keyword tips to achieve great results without buying premium subscriptions – all in plain English! You will also find a smart ranking method in this guide.
Keyword research is the first step of your Amazon product listing optimization.

After all, keyword optimization is how the engaged buyers will find your product listings.

If you target wrong keywords with low buyer intent, or simply irrelevant keywords, you are going to waste a lot of advertising money, as you attempt to grow and scale your business.

Target the right, appropriate keywords, and your products will appear in front of the interested people which gives you the best possible chance of being seen by everybody that they could appeal to.

Unfortunately, the majority of the existing online resources for Amazon keyword research are either simplistic and basic, or too technical and complicated for the average seller to understand.

That's why we bring you the practical Amazon keyword tips to achieve great results without buying premium subscriptions – all in plain English!

Let's start with why Amazon keyword research is so important.

How to Do Keyword Research for Amazon

The first thing to understand is the Amazon's A9 Algorithm and how it works.

Keep in mind that Amazon is essentially a search engine just like Google. It ranks products for each possible keyword based on a number of factors. And the most important factor is organic sales. Why is that?

Amazon always wants to provide potential customers with the product that has the highest chance of resulting in a sale. That's when Amazon gets paid.

Each time someone searches for a keyword and purchases your product, this tells Amazon that your product is highly relevant and useful to someone looking for that particular item.

When this happens, you can expect your product to show up higher for any shopper using that keyword.

When you do your Amazon keyword research, there are four main things to take into account. These are equally important factors to keep in mind when attempting to rank organically for a keyword:

  • Images
  • Reviews
  • Relevance
  • Pricing
Your product images should be just as attractive as competitors', or ideally, more so.

You should also have mostly positive reviews, ideally in a comparable number to the competition.

Your product needs to be as relevant to the keyword as possible. For example, if you're selling a mosquito repellent spray and you rank well for the keyword "mosquito spray", then you can expect people searching that keyword to be interested in your product. But if you rank it for "mosquito cream", you can expect less sales, because anybody typing that keyword is specifically looking for a cream.

Applying a little bit of logic to the intent behind keywords will go a long way.

Price matters, too. If your price is comparable or lower than the competition, you can expect many of the potential customers to go ahead and choose your product.

If all of the above is true, then once you've ranked for a keyword, you can expect to stay there and continually gain organic sales.

But if any of the above aren't the case, for example, if your price is considerably higher than the competition and your images aren't the best quality, then consumers may continue to choose the competition, leading to you losing ranks again over time.

The Key to Success on Amazon

  • Ensuring your product is high quality
  • Ensuring all of the above factors are accounted for
  • In-depth keyword research to prioritize the most relevant keywords for your product
  • Using keyword-focused ad campaigns to rank for these keywords

There are several different techniques you can use to find the most appropriate keywords, but the easiest and most efficient way is usually to use a software tool built for this purpose, such as Helium 10.

If you're a relatively new Amazon seller, you can use free options available (KeywordTool.io is one of the best free Amazon keyword research tools) but these unfortunately often have much less accurate data than the premium tools.

But wait....

There is one reliable and free way to get Amazon keyword ideas directly from Amazon's search engine, and while it doesn't provide search volumes, it's incredibly easy to do.

Use Amazon Search Engine for Free Keyword Research


You've likely noticed this already, but if you begin to type a search query into Amazon, it will provide ideas for what you might be looking for:

You can even go further in-depth by adding every letter of the alphabet after the search, for example "bug repellent for a", "bug repellent for b" etc.

But if you do want the best and most accurate results, then it's worth to explore paid options.

Helium10 is one of the most popular Amazon seller tools out there, and for good reason. It allows you to search any keyword you like, and will provide you with thousands of potentially related keywords, all with accurate search volume data.

This allows you to browse through the list, removing those that are inappropriate, and building out a perfect list of keywords to target.

It also allows you to track the organic ranks of products in these keywords, allowing you to learn which of your marketing efforts work and which don't.

Sonar is another powerful Amazon keyword research solution offered by Sellics, and it contains a comprehensive package of tools.

Now that you have some great options for getting keyword ideas, what exactly do you do with them, and how is this built out into a workable keyword strategy?

This will become natural in time with experience, but in the first instance we recommend using the following steps:

Step 1: Get a Selection of "Seed" Keywords

First, you should decide on a small selection of keywords to represent the sort of product you're trying to sell. The list should be relatively short but highly descriptive of your product.

For example, if you're trying to sell grain free, high protein dry dog food, a great starting point would be "grain free dog food", "high protein dog food" and "dry dog food".

Now that you have these, it's time to generate as many relevant keywords as possible related to these topics.

Step 2: Generate Related Keyword Ideas
It's time to use real data to get as many keywords as possible so that you know exactly what your potential buyers are searching.

The best way to get these is to use one of the premium keyword research tools discussed above, as they will provide a full breakdown of all the possible keywords related to your niche, with associated search volumes.

If you're just starting out and can't afford such a tool, then use the Amazon search bar technique listed above. This will put you at a disadvantage without knowing how often these terms are searched, but at least you'll be able to get a bunch of relevant ideas.

All you need to do, is type in your seed keyword to get a huge list of keywords that are potentially related.

Step 3: Weed Out Irrelevant Keywords

So the next stage is to go through the entire list and think: Would somebody typing this keyword be interested in my product?

For many, the answer will be no. For example, "wet dog food purina". Somebody typing this is both looking for wet food, which our product is not, and also looking for a specific brand that isn't ours.

As a result, there is no point using this keyword to optimize our listing. Even if we manage to get a good rank, people who type it will continue to buy Purina's wet offerings in the majority of cases, and we will rapidly lose ranks again.

As you go through the list and cut down all of the irrelevant keywords, you will eventually get a much smaller list of keywords you can genuinely use.

Step 4: Weave These Keywords into Your Listing

Now you want to get as many of these keywords into your listing as possible. Make use of the title, bullet points, product description, backend search terms, and everywhere you possibly can.

Even when optimized for keywords, your listing still needs to be well-written copy that helps convert real humans into customers, so don't jam pack it so full of keywords that it reads awkwardly.

But as long as you can find the balance between persuasive writing and keyword optimization, you'll begin to rank for these keywords and show up in the search results when people type them.

If you have completed all of the above steps correctly, you will now be ranking for several relevant keywords giving customers a better chance to find your product.

The problem is, if you're a new seller in an established niche, chances are that the first page is already full of attractive products, and you're somewhere on page 7.

You won't be winning any sales no matter how many keywords you're ranked for, since nobody will see your product.

How do you get your product to show up higher?

Remember earlier when we said Amazon orders these products by how likely they are to sell under this specific keyword?

That's your answer – the only way to get your product to show up higher in a given keyword is to generate genuine sales for the product under that exact keyword.

For example, let's say your dog food is showing up 150th for "dry dog food". This is on the 3rd page and won't be benefiting you.

If you can get 50 people to search that keyword and purchase your product, the rank will gradually increase each and every time.

If you can get all 50 to do it in a short period of time (say, 6-7 days), you could propel your product to a top 10 rank, showing at the top of the first page, or potentially even 1st place.

From there, as long as your product is relevant to the keyword and attractive to the people who search it, it will begin to generate genuine organic sales, and therefore maintain it's rank.

If done correctly, this method has a higher ROI than PPC, external advertising, or any other form of Amazon marketing.

Of course, to rank in a keyword with 100,000 searches per month, you'll need many more sales than one with 1,000. As a result, it's often a good idea to target the smallest keywords first in order to achieve rapid rank increases.

The extra sales generated by this can then be used to fund attacks on larger keywords which can transform your business forever.

The cheapest and easiest way to do this is to simply ask friends and family to help you out by buying your product and reimbursing them.

If you do the above correctly, you'll stay in a high rank for the keyword and constantly generate sales. However, there is a chance you'll slowly begin to lose your ranking again.

This is a sign that other products within this keyword are still doing better than you so Amazon is slowly pushing them up again.

What to Do if Your Ranking Goes Down

Here are the most common reasons:

  • The keyword you targeted isn't quite relevant enough
  • The benefits of your product aren't obvious from the image or title, whereas the benefits of other products are, leading potential customers to click them first
  • Your reviews are too negative or too low in number to be considered trustworthy
  • Your enhanced brand content, product images, or listing copy are not effective enough

Usually, by keeping these reasons in mind, and scanning the other results within the keyword, you can figure out why Amazon users are choosing other products over your own.

If so, it may simply be a case of optimizing your listing, then running another set of sales.

As long as you have a great quality product that is in demand, this strategy should work for you.
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