Amazon Keyword Research & Optimization

Choosing the best keywords for your listing and Amazon sponsored ad campaigns shouldn’t be based on which words have the highest search volume and are relevant to your product; this is only part of the picture. 

There’s little point in trying to rank for a golden keyword if you stand no chance of appearing in the top 16 (mobile devices) or top 50 (desktop) search results.

If there are another 50,000 sellers trying to compete for the same keyword, then unless you are in the top 50 or so already all that will happen is that you will index for the desired keyword but not be found, which means no sales.  

So, what do I do?  

Keyword Master Sheet

I run up to 10 seed keywords through Helium 10 software. The results will provide thousands of keywords.  Now, many agencies will clean up those keywords and remove any irrelevances thinking that they are helping you out.  I don’t remove them because the words that lack relevance are needed to create negative keywords for sponsored ad campaigns and save you money.

I will create a list of 200 negative keywords to copy and paste into your ad campaigns and will list them in order of how frequently they appear.

I look through your ad campaign reports (if you provide access) to see which are the golden keywords that have converted 80-90% of your orders and I make sure they are added to your listing.

Reverse ASIN tests are analyzed for your own product and three competitors you’d like to beat.  This often creates thousands of keywords some of which will not be in the keyword search results.  In total, a product will have between 5,000 and 100,000 keywords subject to category.  I manually look through each keyword for the following:

Rather than searching for the highest search volume keywords that are relevant for your listing, I compare where your product ranks among others for a given keyword, how many other sellers are also fighting for it, where Amazon ranks the keywords as recommended for your product, what the likelihood is that you will ascend to the first page, and if a seed keyword is unlikely to do well for you, I search for other phrases that have fewer competitors but still good search volume – this means you will index for the longer phrase and the seed keyword. 

The shortlisted keywords are entered into different phases of analysis to end with fifteen keywords that are highly relevant for your product, are Amazon recommended keywords for that category, and have good search volume with the lowest competition contrasted against your current ranking. 

For example, “bluetooth headphones” has a monthly search volume of over 2 million.  Fantastic.  It also has over 70,000 sellers competing for that keyword.  If your product is not found within the first two pages (currently the top 100 results) then you are wasting your time trying to index for that phrase unless you are already ranking within or near to the top 100.  “Wireless Bluetooth Headphones” has 64,000 searches but 100,000+ competitors vying for that keyword. 

“Top 10 Bluetooth Headphones” enjoys 14,000 searches per month with fewer than 4,000 sellers competing here.  That’s still a lot of sellers BUT in choosing this word you immediately overcome 96,000 competitors.  Now you might, in this case, argue that you’re not in the Top 10 products.  Sure.  In the description, we might say, “enjoy listening to your all-time Top 10 songs with these Bluetooth headphones” and you begin to index for that phrase and the main seed keyword.  As you can see, keyword choice and strategies are vital to success. 

I build a keyword strategy and monitor it for 12-months.  All part of the package.  Every quarter, I weigh up what changes need to occur to ensure your listing succeeds with these keywords, or with new ones.  So, you can feel comforted to know that I will be watching over your listing for a whole year, without any extra cost to you.

Backend 250 Bytes of Keywords

This is a critical field for indexing against search phrases shoppers are using.  The algorithm checks the start of your keywords and looks for relevance.  If it doesn’t find any then its search could end.  Most agencies and copywriters won’t repeat words from the Title, Bullets or Description and enter them into the back 250 bytes (normally called characters) of keywords. 

Amazon suggests not to repeat any keywords throughout a listing, however, there is plenty of research that shows a little repetition of long-tail phrases gives a competitive advantage.  Many sellers think about their product and add the most relevant keywords first, but this isn’t always a good strategy. 

I enter all the keyword search results and reverse ASIN data into a word processing software which then reorders the words into how frequently they occurred.  I then place the most relevant keywords into the 250 characters field, in order of how often they are searched, and I try to set them in order of how they are entered into the search engine by the shopper.  This means that when the algorithm checks the start of your backend keywords, it will see a relevant match for most of its searches.  Which is good news.

Misspelled Keywords

Despite Amazon stating that it auto-corrects misspellings, it doesn’t do so all of the time.  It’s not so much that people don’t know how to spell, but that they click the wrong key, or they miss the right letter on their smartphone, and Amazon seems to be set up to catch regular misspellings.  I have software that provides the words Amazon does not correct.  What this is means is that if those words are added to your product’s back end, your listing will show in the search results for when people have misspelled them.  And all those competitors relying on auto-correct are unlikely to appear. 

EBC Keywords

The written content in an EBC description is not indexed for keywords by the algorithm.  This means three things;

1. You don’t need to include any awkward keywords in the description, so I write it around the customer experience

2. The algorithm is still indexing the original pre-EBC description for keywords.  Unless you have copied the original description into your EBC, shoppers are not going to see it.  Only the algorithm notices it.

3. It occurred to me in a sudden moment of inspiration, that here is a golden opportunity to raise the bar against the competition.  The original 2,000 bytes (near 2,000 characters) of description can be keyword stuffed.  It won’t appear on your EBC page (unless you make a change to the EBC content that is not accepted by Amazon) and it will be indexed by the algorithm.  This is a fast way of making a dramatic effect on your keyword indexing.

The algorithm is looking at your listing for relevance to the searches used by shoppers.  It needs to trust that your item will get sales for a particular set of keywords.  In your PPC, if the algorithm thinks there is a mismatch, or the shoppers think there is a mismatch your ACoS is likely to become high. 

By adding circa 1,800-1,900 characters of keywords behind the EBC, the algorithm will increase the depth and breadth of relevance for your listing, which is good news for ranking!

If you don’t have EBC, I still provide a page of keywords just in case you ever do.

NB.  I also have Publisher Rocket for people wishing to run ad campaigns for their books/Kindle e-books

Keyword Package



Keyword Master Sheet

Copy & Paste into Ad Groups

Keywords for PPC Campaigns

Using Helium 10 software

Competitor Reverse ASIN Analysis

Own Product Reverse ASIN Analysis

Strategic Keyword Selection & Explanation

Each Report Comes with a Video Explainer

Misspelled Keywords

Amazon Recommended Keywords Analyzed

200 Negative Keywords for Sponsored Ads

250 Bytes of Backend Keywords in High-Frequency Order

Subject Matter & Intended Use Bonus Keywords

Full Keyword Reports for EU Listings as Needed

Seed Keyword Research from Competitor Listings

Strategic Analysis Report for Long-Term Targeting

Done in 5 Business Days

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