Amazon’s goal is to sell as many products as efficiently as possible to the people using its site. To do that, they work hard to return the most relevant results to the searcher, so they place an order.
It’s the ultimate win-win-win scenario.
The customer wins because they find what they need. You win because you are selling your product. Amazon wins because they are getting a cut of your sales and another happy customer.
Your job in this economic ecosystem is to make sure you are getting your products in front of the right shoppers.
That means ensuring your products appear in relevant searches. Relevance is critical because it’s one of the primary deciding factors for your product ranks on Amazon’s search results page.
You communicate your product’s relevance to Amazon by strategically using keywords.
How to Create an Amazon-Friendly Keyword Strategy
If you’ve been an online retailer for a while, you know that keywords are the starting point of any good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
That’s true for Amazon SEO, too, but keywords here work a little differently than they do on Google.
Don’t assume that you can take your website’s keyword strategy, plug it into Amazon, and sit back and wait for the sales to roll in.
Instead, you’ll need to develop a strategy that’s specifically tailored to Amazon searchers.
That’s because those searching on Amazon are going to use different keywords than those searching on Google. Consider, for example, someone who is searching for a new curling iron:
On Google, they are more likely to use terms like “best curling irons 2020” or “curling iron reviews.” That’s because Google searchers are more likely to use the search engine to gather information about products before they go to buy them.
On Amazon, the searcher is more likely to look for specific products such as “Acme 9000 curling iron” or “curling irons with crimping tools.”
When someone visits Amazon, they’ll have a pretty good idea about what they want to buy and use the search bar to find it.
How to Generate Your Amazon-Focused Keyword
Because of the different intentions behind the searches, you’ll need to create a new keyword strategy for your Amazon products.
Use an Amazon-focused keyword search tool for the task. Before you start, though, you can do some work yourself.
Start by listing specific attributes of your products, thinking about what you’d search for to find a competitor’s similar product.
Get specific with it. Instead of just using “curling iron” (which is going to be tough to rank for), you might use the much more specific keyword “1-inch curling iron.”
Skip the superlatives when making your keyword list. Don’t bother with opinion-based words like “best” or “top-rated”. This could hurt your ranking.
If people disagree with the superlative word and click off your product regularly, Amazon will push your product down the results page.
Once you’ve thought about your keywords, use one of the many tools out there to help you finish your keyword research. Here are three (free!) tools that are specific to Amazon research:
• Sonar. This tool allows you to search for relevant keywords for your products. You can also do a reverse search to see what keywords your competitors are using.
• Keyword Tool. Another free tool, but this one offers a paid option that returns about twice as many relevant keywords. However, the free version is pretty great and brings back plenty of info to get you started with.
• Amazon Search Bar. You can also use Amazon itself. Start typing your keyword into the search bar and see what comes up in the auto-complete. This is a great way to generate keywords from Amazon itself.
Once you have that list of new Amazon-ready keywords, you can start putting them to work.
Don’t Stray Away From Your Keyword Research.
It’s tempting to stick a few wild card keywords into your product listing just to get your product in front of more people.
Remember, though, that just because a keyword is popular doesn’t mean it’s profitable.
Some companies think this strategy helps increase sales simply by increasing the number of views. Unfortunately, this not only doesn’t work, but it can also hurt you in the long run.
This non-relevant keyword stuffing may put your product in front of more people, but they aren’t the people most likely to buy.
Imagine if a searcher is looking for a popular brand of curling iron and your line of moisturizing lotions pop up.
What are the chances they are going to buy your product? They might use lotion. They might even love lotion. But it’s not what they are looking for right now.
Amazon will clock this non-relevant keyword stuffing, too, and penalize you within the search results. It’s best to stick to the most relevant keywords and be consistent with them.
That way, you’ll be playing to the strengths of Amazon’s algorithm.
3 Ways to Put Keywords to Work on Amazon
The good news is that Amazon’s SEO is a lot more straightforward than Google’s, so fewer factors go into your search result ranking.
The bad news is that there is less wiggle room for getting your SEO right because there are fewer factors.
These three keyword strategies should help you start boosting your conversions, though.
Put Your Most Important Keyword in the Title
Using the list of keywords you compiled for your product, which one is the most relevant?
Whichever keyword you deem to be the most pertinent needs to go into your product title.
Your product title is one of the most critical factors in your ranking, so make it good.
Include some specifics in the title that aren’t already included in the keyword itself. For example, if you are using “1-inch curling iron” as a keyword, your title might also mention that it’s pink, comes with a travel case, and the manufacturer’s name.
The end result might look like “Acme 1-inch curling iron in pink with carrying case.” That way, you are hitting many search specifics in one go and are more likely to pop up for an interested buyer.
Put the Rest of Your Keywords in the Description
The rest of the keywords on your list should go into your description. What’s different here compared to what you usually do with Google SEO is how you use those keywords.
You only need to use keywords on Amazon once. Amazon won’t penalize you for naturally using a keyword more than once, but it won’t benefit you, either.
That space may be better utilized by other keywords, anyway. As you write your descriptions, remember that Amazon doesn’t look at keyword frequency, it only looks to see that the words are there. So once you have put one into your description, move on to the next one.
Put Backend Keywords to Work
Backend keywords are an excellent place to experiment with some alternative keyword options. They won’t appear on your product listing, and searchers won’t ever see them.
However, they can still help you rank on a search page. You only have 250 bytes of space available here, or about 240-250 characters, so use it wisely.
Here are a few tips to maximize the space:
• Skip plurals and punctuation
• Don’t use brand names or brand identifying words
• Keep the keywords relevant to the product
You can play around with backend keywords without affecting your ranking from the product title and description keywords. That makes it a good place to do some experimenting.
How to Keep Moving Up in Amazon Search Results
Your work isn’t done just because you executed your keyword strategy. The most successful keyword strategies need ongoing monitoring and adjustment.
Once you’ve put your keywords in place, there are two things you’ll want to do to make sure you are getting the best results:
• Check the competition. Check out what keywords they are using and how they are structuring their product titles and descriptions. See what trends they might know about that you haven’t heard of yet. Keep an eye on their pricing, too. If your pricing is way above what other sellers are selling an item for, Amazon is more likely to push you down in the ranking.
• Track how keywords are performing. Track views and conversions for various keywords. You may need to experiment a little to find the keywords that work best for your products. They may change over time, too, but if you keep an eye on their performance, you’ll be able to switch them out before sales bottom out.
Boost Your Results on Amazon With the Right Keyword Strategy
Implementing a strong keyword strategy can get your product in front of more eager buyers.
The most crucial step is the keyword research itself, then you can start enhancing and optimizing your product listing.
Play to Amazon’s algorithm’s strengths and see how the right keywords can help boost your bottom line.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.