The most important aspect of increasing traffic to your Amazon listings is properly implemented Keyword Research & for a seller on Amazon, it’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of search terms. There are lots of ways to drive targeted traffic to your listings including off-site promotions and internal sponsored product campaigns, but the best way to garner a #1 Best Seller is to leverage organic traffic based on relevant researched keywords strategically placed in your listing. The most fundamental thing to know about shopping on Amazon is that customers don’t visit the site to ‘browse’ during their lunch hour or journey home from work. Customers visit Amazon in order to check out a specific item – and to do that, they use the Amazon search bar to find it.
What is an Amazon Search Term and why it is important
Amazon search terms are made up of the keyword or multiple keywords which you choose to make sure that your product is displayed when a customer searches for an item like yours. Although search terms work in a very similar way to regular keywords, Amazon has a few unique features which you must be aware of in order to be successful.
Amazon’s system includes five separate fields for search terms. Within each field, you can enter multiple keywords and, each search term can be up to 250 characters in length.
Taking advantage of your full Amazon search term space is vital to your product’s sales. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, or how competitive – if potential customers don’t get to see it, they don’t get to buy it. Without Amazon search terms, it’s possible that a customer may eventually be led to your product but Amazon’s search engine relies heavily on search terms so you’re missing out on vital sales without them.
How Are Amazon Search Terms Used in Seller Central?
Products on Amazon can only be found via search if they contain all of the search terms a user enters in a search query. Keyword optimization for Amazon is much different than for other search engines. To make sure your products are listed for as many keyword combinations as possible, you need to equip them with a lot of relevant search terms.
This is where Amazon’s backend search fields come in handy: Use them to include all the keywords that are relevant, but didn’t quite fit in the title or bullet points. This is also a good place to put keyword variations that aren’t suitable for visible integration, like colloquial synonyms or common misspellings of certain keywords.
Strategies to use when optimizing Amazon search terms
Although you are always encouraged to optimize your search terms for best results, Amazon has seven golden commandments which must be obeyed if you don’t want to find yourself being penalized.
Rule #1: Choose Your Keywords Wisely.
Amazon is very much aware of the practice of using brand names and other relevant keywords in search terms as a way of getting more hits. Doing this is a good way of getting yourself a warning or even having your account suspended in some cases.
When Amazon says 250 characters, it means 250 characters and it’s unlikely that you’ll get away with trying to get around this rule. Take the time to research your keywords carefully in order to make sure that you are able to keep within Amazon’s parameters.
Rule #2: No Repeated Keywords
Apart from the fact that repeating keywords over and over is simply wasting your allotted character allowance, Amazon’s official rules prohibit the duplication of content in product pages and ads.
Rule #3: Not Exceed 250 Characters
As mentioned previously, Amazon is a bit of a stickler for this one. Amazon’s official statement warns that anybody exceeding the limit will have their entire entry rejected so don’t waste your hard work only to have to start again. To reiterate, you may use 250 characters separated by spaces but without punctuation.
Rule #4: Compare and Contrast
It is advised that you take a look at five of your competitors at least before committing to your keywords. Although it’s fine to get a little inspiration from your competition, direct copying of keywords is likely to be noticed by Amazon and your keywords may be deleted.
Rule #5: Not Use Punctuation Search Terms.
Although it’s a good idea to use spaces to separate your keywords, punctuation is unnecessary and just uses up your precious character allowance.
And, finally, the most important commandment of all:
Rule #6: Always Follow Amazon’s Rules.
Amazon is committed to providing a fair playing field for all of its sellers and doesn’t take kindly to those trying to buck the system for their own gains. Those trying to do so will often find that they are penalized with the removal of keywords or suspension of an account. In summary, Amazon’s search term guidelines are:
Do not include brand names or any other deceptive or misleading words compa
Keep to the search term length allowed
Do not repeat content
Keep search terms sensible and logical
Use spaces but not punctuation to separate keywords
Never include false or untrue claims about the product
Never include abusive or offensive language
There are a few key principles you will need to implement to execute an effective Amazon SEO strategy. It starts with keyword research. You have to know what Amazon customers are searching for and use relevant terms in your product listing in order to get in front of them. The key here is relevant. It doesn’t matter how high the search volume is if a customer clicks away prior to making a purchase. Once you have relevant keyword terms, your goal is to strategically place them in the product title, features, description and the search terms in the back end.
The Cycle of Optimizing, Analyzing and Repeating
Note: just because you have optimized your listings once doesn’t mean the work is finished. Optimization is an ongoing process and will require going through the cycle of optimizing, analyzing and repeating. To be successful, you will need to pay attention to what keywords are successful in converting sales and enhance those in the listing. You can always add more keywords to the listing, or edit the listing to be more relevant for specific keywords.
Understanding Amazon’s A9 Search Algorithm
A9 is Amazon’s proprietary search algorithm software implemented to help Amazon customers find the best products, at the best price to allow them to make more purchases, thereby increasing Amazons revenue. The most important thing to remember about A9 is that Amazon rewards listings that convert, not listings that have the densest keyword use.
Keyword Research Using Amazon Auto-Fill
One of the easiest ways to get additional suggestions is by going to Amazon.com (be sure to log out of your account first and clear your cache to avoid any suggestions based on previous search history) and entering your initial search terms into the search bar. Amazon will begin to auto-fill suggestions that you can use to determine what Amazon customers might be searching for and how they might be phrasing those searches.
Keyword Research Using Google Keyword Planner
If you have a Google AdWords account, you can also use the Google Keyword Planner which can provide suggestions based on initial search terms as well as estimated search volume for the terms on Google. Note that even though Amazon surpassed Google as the primary search engine for product shopping, Amazon listings still rank on Google and sellers can increase their product rankings by optimizing them for both Amazon A9 and Google search engines.
Keyword Research using Amazon Automatic Campaigns
If you already have your products listed on Amazon and are running automated campaigns you can use the automatic campaign keyword report, which uses broad match, to gain additional potential search terms that your product already converts for. This can be done by going to Reports – Advertising Reports – Search Term Report and requesting a report that you can download for analysis.
Once you have all of your potential keyword terms, you can add them to your spreadsheet, sort by relevance and volume and work on creating a plan to implement them into your product listing.
Amazon Title Optimization
There are several places you can insert keywords, but none are as important as the product title. The title is essentially your first and most valuable search field. The goal here is to leverage SEO and avoid keyword stuffing while keeping in line with Amazon policy and best practices.
Amazon titles will vary in length but the goal is usually to be concise, and based on the category will be restricted to anywhere between 50 – 100 characters. Optimized titles will also include the brand name, product name, primary feature, and variation information (size, color, flavor, etc.) Note that it is always better to dominate for a few keywords than being lost in the shuffle for many. Typically the top 2-3 search terms will bring in a majority of the products organic sales, so focusing on the most relevant search terms here is essential.
Amazon Product Description Optimization
The last place you can add your primary search terms is in the product description. Amazon currently has two product description options for sellers with the brand registry: regular product descriptions and Enhanced Brand Content. A9 currently does not index Enhanced Brand Content, so even if you use this feature as an overlay, you will still want to include an optimized regular product description for A9. However, Google does index the Enhanced Brand Content so you will want to include your primary keywords in that content as well.