Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Philip Murphy, Digital Marketing Manager at Private Label Sk.in.
Effective Amazon keyword research is one of the best ways to improve your search result ranking and attract serious buyers. When you’re getting started selling on Amazon, learning that researching and optimizing your keywords is not a one-time activity is key. To keep your ranking as high as possible you need to continually review what is working and what might have potential. The faster an e-commerce seller can do keyword research, the easier it will be to respond to new trends in customer interest. You will also save time you can then direct to other aspects of your business.
1. Take Advantage of Tools
You can brainstorm with a spreadsheet application and test out your ideas one by one, but the wealth of tools available will save you much wasted effort. However, keep in mind that no tool can yet edit its own suggestions the way a human can. You will need to sort through results that are not as useful, but these tools will still be worth your time.
To make the most of your keyword research results, be clear on what kind of searches you hope to attract. Customers are not always ready to buy right away. Sometimes they are in the early stages of learning about your kind of product, and they are not yet committed to making a purchase. As a seller on Amazon, you will want to focus on keywords that are more likely to be used by sellers when they are ready to buy. To use an example from the skincare industry, a customer who searches using the phrase “how does moisturizer work” is probably less close to making a purchase than one who searches for “moisturizer sensitive skin SPF.”
Differentiating between the keywords that are searched the most and those that result in the most actual conversions is the function of A9, Amazon’s proprietary search algorithm software. The purpose of A9 is to guide customers to the most relevant search results for their sales. Choosing the best keywords for your product helps your A9 rating, which in turn leads more customers to your product line.
Use keyword search tools, which can include the ones listed below, to test out possible search terms for your product:
Amazon Auto-Fill: Put your keyword into the Amazon search bar and see what related searches come up. Be aware that your own past searches may affect the results, so either delete your search history or open an incognito window to conduct your research.
Amazon Automatic Campaigns: If you are already running automated campaigns on Amazon, you can request a keyword report that shows which terms your product has already converted for. Request “Search Term Report” from the Advertising Reports menu.
Google Keyword Planner: Many of your customers will be entering their search terms right on the Amazon site, but Google still plays a role in driving customers to your listing. Amazon listings rank on Google, so add the keywords that boost your Google results to increase business.
Keyword Scout: This research tool allows you to sort results by search volume, relevancy, bids and other categories. It also helps you estimate your campaign costs in advance.
Scope: Scope helps you find search terms based on initial search phrases, which will give you a more accurate search volume than Google. It also researches terms in your competitors’ listings.
SEMrush: Use this powerful analytics tools to test out all your possible keywords and review their related terms, search volumes and CPC.
More keyword research tools (all free) can be found here.
2. Competitors’ Listings are Goldmines
Now that you’ve thoroughly researched your own keyword ideas, turn to your competitors’ listings and see what terms they are using. The aim is not to find their most popular keywords, but to find those keywords that are well-suited to your product that you have not yet come across. If your competitors are enjoying good placement with the keywords they are using, that is a testimonial to how successful those terms can be for you.
By taking advantage of your competitors’ business and marketing experience, you might also get ideas for new vertical markets for your products. Remember to research your competitors’ listings on platforms other than Amazon, as well. Remember, competitive research is one of the most invaluable ways to stay competitive on Amazon in every aspect, not just keywords. Take note if your competition is using Prime, if they’re answering questions, and how many reviews they have on listings. This will help you stay competitive on keywords and conversion signals.
3. Always Be Optimizing
While you are busy getting ideas from your competitors, they will be getting ideas from you. Then as that’s happening, your customers’ search habits may shift, and other brands may start to crowd your industry. The way to stay on top despite all these changes is to make keyword optimization an ongoing process. Analyze what is working and what can be done better, then go out and research a new batch of keywords.
Once you have a strong set of terms, put them to the best possible use. These efforts can include:
- Titles: Use your top two or three terms in your title. Follow the Amazon Style Guide, available at Seller Central, for the actual word order and format.
- Product features: A well-worded sentence here not only helps your conversion rates but with the addition of one or two search terms it will also boost your A9 ranking.
- Product descriptions: If you are in the brand registry, your regular product descriptions will be indexed by A9 (but not Enhanced Brand Content).
- Seller Central backend search fields: Here is a place to add the good search terms that did not make it into the other components of your listing. You have 249 characters to work with, so make the most of your space by omitting punctuation such as commas, avoiding repeated words, using hyphens in compound words, and not including plurals (which Amazon will include on its own).
Keyword research is an ongoing business necessity, but these tips can help you get the best results for your business in less time.
Philip Murphy is the Digital Marketing Manager for Private Label Sk.in. Philip and PLS are passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed in e-commerce. Their mission is to provide world-class manufacturing and fulfillment services, bring your ideas to market and your products to the world.