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Developing an Effective Amazon Keyword Research Strategy

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

Developing your Amazon keyword research strategy

Optimizing your Amazon product listings isn't always a question of optimizing the right images. Customers need to find your listing first. And when it comes to product discovery, there's a fundamental difference between the right keywords and the wrong keywords on Amazon.

You may know the ins and outs of your product line. You know both its strengths as well as the promise it can deliver. But just how well do you know your own keyword research strategy on Amazon?

Developing Your Amazon Keyword Research Strategy

Developing new strategies for Amazon keywords

It's not that keyword research is particularly difficult. But it is time consuming. And developing an effective Amazon keyword research strategy can sometimes seem like an uphill battle if you haven't planned ahead.

Your customers demand more out of your product listings than traditional search engines can provide. And if you're hoping to develop maximum visibility, you need to know just where your customers are landing when they're searching for product features.

Unfortunately, this can be a fairly daunting task; particularly for new to launch brands who may not have a considerable following, be it on or off Amazon. A high search volume doesn't necessarily equal conversions.

Customers on Amazon aren't necessarily as fickle as you might think. Amazon's not only aware of this, but actively encourages their indecision. Impulse buys on Amazon are notoriously frequent, particularly on Prime Day—an uptick well vouched for by the popularity of the Buy Box.

Which is one reason why the use of both short and long tail phrases can be critical for your research strategies once you find relevant keywords. The broader your keyword pool, the greater opportunity you have to develop an effective strategy. But while it's always a good idea to narrow down your keyword pool through the use of negative and irrelevant keywords, there's more to consider about your research strategy than you might suspect.

That's largely because trends for Amazon keywords can change dramatically over a typical 30 day span. It's no longer enough to identify keywords that are specific to product categories. While a good rule of thumb used to be defining high search volume as any keyword suggestions which generate more than 500 searches per month, niche product lines can sometimes generate higher conversions through specific search terms with a much lower volume.

This is one reason why Amazon keyword research tools which boast of high conversion rates don't always deliver on their promises. They may give you a temporary boost in sales. But they're not always updated to include real time changes in keyword research and search results. They don't always include hidden keywords that can get overlooked. And for the most part, they're algorithm driven. They don't give you the sort of in-depth details and insight that seasoned Amazon optimization veterans can provide.

Keyword Ranking and Search Results on Amazon

High search volume for top ranking Amazon keywords

It's important to remember that Amazon's search bar is a search engine itself. It may not be as powerful as Google (or even Bing), but it still maintains ranking. And, much like standard search engine optimization, your performance on Amazon is largely dictated by keyword ranking.

However, unlike traditional search engine results, Amazon SEO doesn't have quite as many ranking factors; largely because of the fact that there's considerably less competition than you'll find with traditional SERP.

Instead, what Amazon relies on is their own proprietary algorithm called A9. And it's an algorithm that can frequently be just as frustrating as Google. However, A9 has one chief competitive advantage over Google. Its users search for one specific reason only: they're actively intending to purchase a product.

There's another advantage A9 has which you may not be aware of: it takes into account both paid and organic search results when ranking your product listing. This is one of the advantages of leveraging PPC as an advertising tool.

PPC isn't a question of rigging Amazon's system by "paying to play." It's a question of maximizing your visibility through investing in a solution which can result in a conversion rate increase of 200 percent—when used strategically.

Sadly, many brands assume PPC is a catch-all solution and wind up spending far beyond their budget with very little RoAS to show for it. Amazon places more stock in actual conversions, click-through rates and search frequency rank than they do about your ad spending. PPC can certainly boost all three, but most brands find they'll need an existing sales history to justify their spending.

PPC campaigns can maximize already high performance product listings. But not every product line is high performance, particularly in highly competitive categories where differentiated lines can matter more than consumer price advantage. And not knowing where to begin with PPC and listings can be the death of your business on Amazon.

What Is Amazon Indexing?

Amazon indexing

On Amazon, keyword indexing indicates the number of times relevant keywords rank in A9 search results. Even more specifically, it helps you monitor and review how your listing is displayed as the result of a search.

Developing a relevant Amazon keyword index strategy means refining your product description more effectively. It means streamlining your product details to be more precise, sharper and more focused.

It doesn't mean unnecessary verbiage but summarizing your product more concisely and clearly. Don't mislead or confuse customers by describing in fifteen words what five could achieve.

Your strategy should be focused on relevant keywords that drive proven results—not necessarily a high search volume. Indexing keywords that don't result in direct conversions is one of the easiest ways to ultimately damage your organic Amazon traffic.

Amazon Keyword Tips to Maintain Keyword Indexing

Backend Keywords

Avoid repetitive keywords and unnecessary punctuation. While spelling variables can (and often do) occur, ensure that their use in backend keywords are minimal and only incorporate misspellings with a high search volume. Amazon only allows 250 characters for backend keywords. The aim should be for clarity and simplicity, not sheer volume.

Bulleted product descriptions

This is where reviewing top sellers in your competition can be positively vital to driving conversions. Are they more thorough in their bullet points? Briefer? More concise? The more effective their performance, the more effective a model they can provide.

Structured sub-category data

There's likely a whole set of data points you're overlooking in both your title and your bullet points. The “more details” section of your listing gives you the perfect opportunity to showcase them. Be as comprehensive and appropriate to your subcategory as you possibly can, but avoid subjective keywords.

Product listings

Include your brand name, a brief description, bullet points listing up to five key features, available quantity, color, size and material. Always ensure that your product titles match exactly what is mentioned on your package, with no more than 200 characters. Avoid unnecessary elaborations where possible.

Keep in mind that a periodic keyword audit can help discover what search terms are working for you, and what isn't. The A9 algorithm is anything but static, and trending Amazon keywords can change virtually overnight.

How do I review keyword indexing in my Amazon listing?

Simply type the ASIN of the product you're reviewing into the Amazon search bar along with all the relevant keywords. Amazon will index the product if it finds an informed match. If it doesn't, you may want to think of clarifying the keywords in your general strategy.

Search Frequency Rank

Search frequency rank and Amazon keywords

Search frequency rank is the rank of any given search term's popularity compared to other terms during a period of approximately 30 - 90 days. Brand owners can obtain their search frequency rank, including search volume, click share and conversion shares, in their search terms report.

It may sound like a simple analytic report. But it's a tool that can prove invaluable for keyword research and conversions.

That's because your search frequency rank helps you understand how customers are finding both your product as well as your competitors. With some 61 percent of US consumers using Amazon's search bar to begin their product journey both on and off the platform, real estate on Amazon is one of the more valuable commodities any brand can hope to have when it comes to exposure.

That exposure can come with a cost, however. Shoppers frequently conduct searches using as broad a term as possible. That means utilizing your search frequency rank can often require sifting through high volume results, with Amazon's brand analytics being capable of offering up to 1.1 million rows of data.

It may be powerful, but it's not always efficient. You may be able to obtain traffic by creating a single keyword campaign based on search frequency rank. But you'll also be competing with other, frequently more established, competitors using the same keyword strategy. And those competitors will often have the time and resources to review their search term report on a weekly basis—time and resources you may not simply have.

Making the Most of Your Amazon Keyword Research

Amazon keyword research data

Clicks lead to conversions. And those clicks are largely informed by search volume. There is no shortage of solutions available to develop a robust Amazon keyword research strategy. But making sense of those solutions and learning how to optimize that strategy effectively depends as much on your time as it does the search habits of your target audience.

Neither search volume nor search terms are never set in stone. Your keyword research strategy shouldn't be, either.

The average Amazon shopper in 2022 is entirely different from the average Amazon shopper of 2019. Flexibility and adaptation to their needs means paying attention to those needs. Because those needs aren't necessarily defined by their spending habits.

They're defined by their words.


Strategy demands experience. But our keyword ad campaigns aren't just based on experience. They're based on results. Find out more at Color More Lines

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