Identifying the most relevant keywords is the basis for your success on Amazon. With the following tips and tools, Amazon keyword research succeeds.
Matching keywords lay the foundation for organic ranking, as well as for running successful Amazon PPC campaigns. By comparing the keywords contained in the listing with the search query entered, the Amazon algorithm evaluates the relevance of your product with regard to a query.
A few other factors also play a role in the final ranking of the products, but the keywords used to determine in the first step whether your product will be included in the search results at all. On the way to holistic SEO optimization of your Amazon listings and when planning keyword-based advertisements, comprehensive keyword research should always be the first step.
Below you will find the most important tips as well as two of Amazon’s own research tools so that your next Amazon keyword research leads to success.
What types of keywords are there?
Before the actual research starts, you should be aware of the different types of keywords and what special features apply to them. This plays an important role, especially when using the keywords later, because not all keywords are suitable for every purpose.
Shorttail keywords: The shorttail keywords represent the main keywords and depict the product in one or two terms (e.g. “pillow”, “pillow”, “sleeping pillow”). Shorttail keywords are characterized by a high search volume, but due to their broad meaning, they have a lower conversion rate.
Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords usually mean further specification of the main keywords, for example with additional information such as colour or size (e.g. “pillow 60 x 40 cm white”). The more specific the long-tail keyword, the lower the search volume. At the same time, however, the conversion rate is significantly higher.
Generic keywords: Generic keywords can include both long-tail and short-tail keywords and are not tied to a brand (e.g. “bicycle lock”, “folding lock ebike high security”)
Brand keywords: In contrast to generic keywords, brand keywords always contain a brand reference, either to your own brand or to third-party brands (e.g. “abus”, “kryptonite bike lock level 10”).
Commercial keywords: Commercial keywords contain a reference to the intention to buy, using terms such as “buy”, “order” or “cheap” (e.g. “buy a bicycle lock cheaply”, “order a pillow online”). Corresponding keywords play a greater role in horizontal search engines such as Google than in vertical, transaction-oriented product search engines such as Amazon, since the intention to buy is already implied here.
Keywords should already be clustered during research into generic keywords, private label keywords, third-party brand keywords and, if necessary, commercial keywords. The reason for this is that according to the Amazon style guides, third-party brand keywords and commercial keywords are not allowed in the listings.
The use of third-party brands, even in the non-visible backend keywords, and terms such as “cheap” or “fast delivery” can lead to the products being blocked. In the Amazon PPC area, on the other hand, third-party brand keywords in particular can be highly relevant, for example for the creation of competition campaigns.
Amazon Keyword Research: Step by Step
Step 1: Brainstorm
As a first step, write down all the keywords that come to mind for your product. What would you type into the search box on Amazon to look for the product? A small collection of possible keywords often comes together through an initial brainstorming session. It is best to record these in a table and start clustering them according to branded keywords, generic keywords and third-party branded keywords in order to get an overview right from the start.
Step 2: Competitor: internal analysis
Next, you can search for similar products and check their product text for additional keywords. For example, you can enter some of the main keywords identified in step 1 into the Amazon search field and check the first organic results in each case. Matching keywords can be included in the document.
Step 3: Identify synonyms
After some main keywords have been collected, further synonyms of these can be identified. For example, additional keywords such as “insecticide” or “insecticide” can be added for an insect spray. Free search engines for synonyms help to find suitable synonyms.
Step 4: Use keyword research tools
Through the first three steps, a small collection of keywords has already been compiled. In the last step, a keyword research tool should also be used. On the one hand to expand the previous results, but on the other hand to check the relevance of the collected keywords with the help of a benchmark such as a search volume.
Most tools allow research either by entering the main keyword or by searching for a product. Add more keywords to your table in this way and create a second column in which you record the search volume for each keyword. Below are two tools that can help you find relevant keywords and provide information about search volume.
Brand Analytics & Opportunity Explorer: Keyword research directly on Amazon
There are numerous Amazon keyword research tools from a variety of providers, so I would like to introduce two Amazon-owned tools that brand owners can use for free: Amazon Brand Analytics and Amazon Opportunity Explorer.
The big advantage of the two tools is that the data provided comes directly from Amazon itself, which means that it can be classified as more trustworthy than the data or estimates from external providers. In addition, the use of both tools is free of charge, provided that your own brand has been registered with Amazon’s brand registry.
A downside to both tools is that while they provide quality information, they don’t go as deep as some other keyword research tools. Both tools only show a selection of the most relevant results.
Digression: The difference between search volume and search frequency rank
Before we delve deeper into Brand Analytics and Opportunity Explorer, it’s worth explaining the difference between Search Volume and Searches Frequency Rank. Amazon Opportunity Explorer, like most keyword research tools, reports a keyword’s search volume. In this case, it means how often the search term was searched on Amazon in the last 360 days.
The higher the value, the more frequently the term is searched for. Amazon Brand Analytics provides a slightly different metric with Search Frequency Rank (SFR).
This is based on a frequency ranking of search queries made on Amazon in a selected period. The most common search query on Amazon in June 2022 was “ventilator”. The keyword “ventilator” therefore receives the search frequency rank 1.
Amazon Brand Analytics
As already mentioned, Brand Analytics shows a ranking of the most common searches on Amazon. By default, this starts at rank 1 and usually ends at around rank 350,000 (varies depending on the selected time period).
This means that by far not all search queries made on Amazon are covered, but only a selection. If a search term does not appear, this does not mean that it is not searched for, just that it was not searched often enough in the selected period to get a rank.
Brand Analytics offers the possibility to filter the ranking. A restriction to search terms from individual categories is possible by selecting the desired category. In addition, the period can be adjusted, because the ranking is constantly changing. You have the option to select a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly period.
You can also enter a term that must be included in the search terms. So if you enter “bicycle lock”, you will get all the search terms in the ranking list that contain the term “bicycle lock” (e.g. “bicycle lock with alarm”). Alternatively, the ASIN of a product can be entered to display search terms for that specific product.
Additional information provided by Brand Analytics is the top three most clicked products per search term, including title, click-through rate (percentage), and conversion rate (percentage).
Brand Analytics is particularly suitable for checking the relevance of keywords that have already been collected using the SFR and for identifying long-tail keywords for certain main keywords. Brand Analytics is only suitable to a limited extent for researching main keywords, as the term entered must always be included in the results.
Synonyms and thematically similar terms are therefore excluded. It is best to record the researched SFR of your keywords in your table.
Amazon Opportunity Explorer
The Opportunity Explorer is actually a tool for analyzing product niches. We, therefore, do not research directly for keywords, but first, have to identify one or more niches into which our product can be classified. You can enter a search term that describes the product or niche.
Suitable niches will then be displayed, which you can examine more closely in the next step.
At first glance, for each niche, we can see metrics such as search volume, search volume evolution, average units sold, number of most clicked products, average price and price range. If we now click on a niche, we are first shown the most frequently clicked products in this niche.
However, there are also the “Keywords”, “Insights” and “Trends” views. For keyword research, we are particularly interested in the search terms.
Although the search terms are limited to about 20 results, these are highly relevant keywords for the niche. In addition, you will receive valuable information for each keyword, such as the search volume over the last 360 days, the development of the search volume, the click share (in percent), the conversion rate (in percent) and the top 3 clicked products.
Opportunity Explorer is a great complement to Brand Analytics, as niche search terms also include related terms and synonyms of the term originally entered. For the niche “bicycle lock” we get additional keywords like “folding lock”, “chain lock” and “bike lock”. Again, you should add the search volume to the table for the keywords for which it is available.
The Amazon Opportunity Explorer is not to be seen as a classic keyword research tool, since keywords cannot be searched for directly, but only for niches. The success of the research is strongly dependent on the search term entered.
For some search terms, it may happen that no niche is available or the displayed niches show too little relation to the search term. In many cases, however, as in the bicycle lock example, Opportunity Explorer provides valuable insights into the most relevant keywords and their most important metrics.
Get the most out of keyword research
After keyword research, the keywords are placed in the listing. A few aspects should be taken into account, some of which differ from the rules of other search engines such as Google.
Order: With long-tail keywords such as “pillow 40 x 60 cm white” it does not matter in which order the individual terms appear. Likewise, they do not have to be directly related. In order to be classified as relevant for the search query, it is only important that your listing contains the individual terms.
Keyword frequency: How often a keyword occurs in a product listing has no influence on the relevance rating. It is therefore sufficient to use the most relevant keywords once.
Keyword modifications: Amazon allows slight modifications when matching the search query with the keywords contained in the listing. You don’t have to pay attention to singular and plural forms, common typing and spelling mistakes or filler words.
Before you place the keywords from your table in the listing text, you should sort them in descending search volume (or ascending search frequency rank). Now you have a good overview of the relevance of the individual keywords and can use this as a basis to decide where the keywords should be placed in the listing.
The keywords with the highest search volume (or the lowest SFR), which also best describe the product, should be placed in the title. Since space in the title is limited, other relevant keywords are placed in the bullet points. Nevertheless, make sure to formulate the texts in a way that is reader-friendly. Pure keyword listings can lead to potential customers perceiving the product as dubious.
Did you come across relevant keywords during your research that you do not want to place publicly in the listing because they are perhaps too colloquial or disturb the flow of reading? For such keywords, placement in the backend keywords (general search terms) is ideal.
You can also place keywords here that have no longer found a place in the title and bullet points. However, make sure not to exceed the length of 249 bytes.
Although the product description offers the most space for SEO-optimized texts, it is not fully indexed. Keywords that are used in the product description should therefore also be included in the title, bullet points or backend keywords to ensure that they are taken into account for the relevance evaluation.
Also, check the Amazon style guides for the category your product falls under to ensure your product listing meets all requirements. This way you can prevent your product from being hidden in the search results due to small things.
The organic ranking for a search query on Amazon depends on various factors, but paying attention to relevant keywords in the listing is the basic requirement for your product to be classified as relevant for a search query and to be displayed in the search results. The Amazon keyword research consists of several steps for which various tools and aids are available.
Amazon internal tools such as Brand Analytics and Opportunity Explorer offer a way to get first-hand information about the search volume and search frequency rank of your keywords and thus accurately assess their relevance. Keyword research should be optimized at regular intervals, as the search behaviour of Amazon users is constantly changing.