Keyword research has always been essential to optimising a product listing on Amazon. It can be difficult choosing the right keywords but it’s even harder to discover the correct keywords.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm is constantly evolving so if you want customers to find your product, using the right keywords is extremely important.
This guide goes through the importance of selecting the correct keywords for an Amazon product. By the end, you will have a complete understanding of why keyword research is vital to all Amazon businesses.
But there is only one place to start and that is to define what a keyword actually is.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are the terms or phrasings that describes your product. Think about how you can sum up everything about your product and condense it into a few words; these are your primary keywords.
Keywords are important because they bridge the gap between your product and what your customers are searching for in Amazon. Everything about keywords is centred around one goal: organic rankings.
It’s important to keep the customer in mind when selecting a keyword. After all, they are going to have to find it, so it must be discoverable and relevant in that niche. This is where keyword research comes in.
Why Do Keyword Research?
As we said earlier, keyword research is a crucial part of Amazon SEO. Amazon views keywords as an important factor for rankings in search results. Get them right, and Amazon will understand what your product is, making it easy for it to show up at the right time in response to a search.
When you know what your target audience is looking for, you can optimise your product listing to deliver the products they want. Different keywords need to be in specific parts of the listing, for example, the primary keywords we mentioned previously must be in the product title.
HQ SEO has this to say on keyword research:
For the majority of businesses, the initial higher searched terms will be very obvious, but understanding what your target market is searching on a more granular level is extremely important and very profitable in the long term.
Overall, keyword research supports not just creating the product, but all marketing and promotion strategies, including email marketing. It will also help with pay per click advertising and competitive research.
Checking out the keywords your competitors are targeting can help you refine your product keyword strategy. The best way to do this is with an Amazon ranking tool. Reverse engineer how they are ranking well for a product similar to your own and employ your own strategy based on the findings.
Contact us for more information on how a keyword tracker can help your business.
Understanding Types Of Keywords
Before you start doing keyword research, it’s essential to understand how to classify them.
There are 3 main types of keywords: head, body and longtail:
- Head keywords have the highest search volume and consist of 1-2 words only.
- Body keywords are more specific that head keywords (2 to 3 word phrases) but with less search volume.
- Long tail keywords are 3-4 phases that are very specific to your product description. They will have the lowest search volume of all keywords.
The main difference between each of three is how specific they are to your product. The longer and more specific the keyword, the fewer search results there’ll be when searched.
As an example, let’s look at the basketball shoe niche and the number of search results:
- If we search for “basketball shoes” we get over 30,000 results.
- If we search for “red basketball shoes”, we narrow down to 5,000 results.
- If you search for “red Nike basketball shoes”, it’s cut down to 1,000 results.
Just by adding a few more words into the search bar can make a big difference in terms of product viability. From a visitor’s viewpoint, the more context you add to the search terms, the better the results.
Latent Semantic Indexing
There is another term to be aware of when it comes to keyword research and that is semantic keywords. These are related to latent semantic indexing (LSI). LSI is when search engines associate your search terms with different products to find what you’re actually searching for.
For example, if we search for the term “Dodgeball” into Amazon, the search engine would use the context you provide with other search terms to decide whether you’re looking for products that relate to the sport or the movie.
See this small snippet from Higher Visibility’s infographic:
LSI helps search engines provide the most relevant results when people search. The best keyword research strategies will find LSI keywords to use in their product listings. To see it in action first hand, start typing a random keyword into the Amazon search bar and look at the autocomplete results. As more words are added to provide context to the original search term, the list will change.
It all comes back to choosing the correct keywords for your products; use semantic keywords to give products context and more potential relevance and reach.
Understanding Keyword Intent
However you describe keywords, it’s not just enough to understand whether they are short, medium or long tail. To make the most of keywords for Amazon products, it’s important to understand the intent of the searcher who uses them.
As usual, there are different ways of describing keyword intent. There is a great piece by Practical Ecommerce where they describe all the variations but for Amazon, only the following are relevant:
A lot of queries on Amazon are searching for general information.
Keywords with informational intent are not likely to lead to an immediate sale. However, they give an idea of how your products engage with potential customers. Choose keywords that a visitor would use to solve a problem.
One of the most efficient ways to do this is through a keyword tracker and seeing which phrases are proving popular search terms.
For example, if you are looking for “how to ride a bike”, Amazon will show products that will help the searcher learn the skills.
This is the line between researching a product and going out and buying it.
Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz, said:
Researching the best brand of digital cameras for an upcoming purchase qualifies as investigational intent. It’s not directly transactional, and may never result in an exchange of goods, services, or monies, but they’re it’s not purely informational either.
Potential customers may be using keywords with investigational intent to try to compare products or retailers. They might be investigating seasonal differences in price. Or they could be trying to deepen their understanding.
Keywords with transactional intent are used by visitors that are ready to make a purchase. These are the ‘holy grail’ of all keywords.
However, it’s less likely that transactional intent is less important when it comes to the Amazon search engine compared to Google. Remember, Amazon is an online retailer and so customers searching are going to purchase here, rather than comparing prices to other online stores.
Avoid Broad Keywords
This is best described by looking at an example of a clothes store.
Now, the keyword ‘clothes’ does a decent job in describing what the store is selling. Imagine this store sold all different types of clothing. To rank highly in the search results for the term ‘clothes’ would be the dream scenario. In reality, if the store is not one of authority already, it will not be a profitable keyword. Relevant traffic will be diverted elsewhere due to the extremely high competition.
For the clothes store, it becomes far better to start targeting keywords such as ‘men’s t-shirts’ or ‘women’s jeans’. The change in wording has a dramatic effect on the search results. The competition may still be there, but it will be far less fierce than going after a term that covers an extensive number of items like ‘clothes’. This is true for both PPC campaigns and organic rankings in Amazon. The more specific the keywords, the better the product viewings will convert to a sale, which in turn boosts rankings.
These keywords are sometimes known as ‘vanity’ keywords. By doing a search for the broadest keyword, the product likely winning the space is the one that shows up first. However, by narrowing down and creating specific keywords, the return on investment is far greater.
When you know how to categorise the keywords you find in your research, you can use this information to help with product listing strategies and to ensure that the customers’ needs are met wherever they find the information.
Keyword Selection Tips
So now that the importance of choosing the correct keywords has been discussed, here are a few tips on how to choose them.
Pick Good Phrases
Keyword generation should start simply with answering the question of “What products or services do you sell?”
Going back to the basketball shoes niche, choosing to use the keywords ‘basketball’ and ‘shoes’ separately, would be poor. On their own, neither do a great job actually describing what the business is selling.
This may seem pretty obvious but it’s not uncommon. Make sure to use bigger, precise and relevant keywords. In fact:
50% of search queries are four words or longer
This goes to show the importance of longtail keywords.
Adhere To Amazon’s SEO Structure
Amazon has a very specific way they want their sellers to input information for their own search engine so follow it.
In a way, it’s easier than formulating SEO for Google because Amazon’s already done their own research. They want certain types of words and phrases that’ll result in conversions because their main aim is to sell products, so give them what they want.
Each product should be aiming to convert to a sale and Amazon’s structure wants relevant keywords to make that happen.
Use A Tool For Ideas
They won’t give you perfect keywords but if you’re struggling for ideas, they’re a good place to start.
Tools like the Google Keyword Planner provide a large volume of keyword ideas. The search volumes here are based on Google searches.
From here, enter them into the tracker tool to see which ones rank the best for certain products.
Tailor Keywords According To Competitiveness
This doesn’t relate directly to other sellers in your niche competing for the business. Instead, keywords are competing against one another. Choosing keywords that aren’t so ‘mainstream’ can give you access to a market no one else is targeting.
The ideal scenario is discovering keywords that are high in search volume and low in competition. However, finding these is going to take time and a bit of luck. The more research, the better the chances.
In terms of competitors, especially for those in competitive niches, do a quick search to see which products are ranking at the top. From here, track what keywords are they are ranking for.
Utilise Sponsored Ads
Sponsored Ads, or PPC ads, can be another great tool for keyword research. With Automatic ads, Amazon shows a product as a sponsored ad for what it considers to be relevant keywords based on its information. After an Automatic Ad campaign, download a keyword report and figure out which keywords the product performed best for.
The keywords that converted the best should be considered primary keywords. All other future keywords should be built around this result.
Choosing the right keywords is an important decision for any Amazon business launching a product. Tracking how these keywords perform will help decide those to pursue.
If you have any queries about keyword tracking and selection, don’t hesitate to get in touch.