Updated June 13th, 2019
Keyword research is an important part of your Amazon product launch. Investing the time to properly assess the most important keywords in your niche can maximize your revenue potential. It can also position your product to be the highest asked item for valuable search queries.
But it’s a science and an art!
Have you have seen Amazon product listings with the super-long, keyword-stuffed, one-size-fits-all, uber-optimized product title, you may wonder what human would actually read such a title and be convinced to purchase the product. This is a valid question. Humans don’t naturally like long sentences.
But this is where the (unknown) science comes in. Amazon’s algorithm appears to find value in those ridiculously worded titles.
Sellers who know this use these long titles so that their product shows up in more searched. They’ve done keyword research to identify the exact search terms they want to target. By incorporating variations into their title, description, bullet points, FAQs, and even images, they are improving their chances of being seen by potential customers.
In this post, we’ll explore different tools you can use to find the most important keywords for your product. We’ll also show you how this can help you sell more units and, ultimately, generate more revenue.
Keyword research & SEO for Amazon
Amazon is one of the largest search engines in the world for ecommerce and general product inquiries. In fact, a third of all product searches begin on Amazon. However, because it is a marketplace like no other, with close to 500 million products in amazon.com alone, it is not the best place to browse and discover new products.
For that reason, Amazon users are extremely purchase-focused. They enter the search term for what they want, and check out. And since they aren’t there to search randomly, they want maximum speed and efficiency.
Amazon didn’t patent the one-click checkout for nothing!
So, because Amazon shoppers have such a high purchase intent, it is extremely important for you as a seller to appear at the top of the list when they search for any phrase that is remotely related to your product.
There are a number of factors that help you rank highly in Amazon’s search results, including:
- the number and rating of your reviews,
- the volume of sales you’ve done in the past,
- the conversion rate of how many visitors to your Product Page actually purchase,
- and how relevant your product is to the search query.
Some of these things require time, but increasing your listing’s relevancy is something immediately within your control.
And the beautiful thing is that there are quantitative ways to know exactly what words you should include in your listing to maximize your relevancy for the most profitable search queries.
So let’s explore some of the tools and strategies to find these keywords!
Tool #1: Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool that shows you estimated search volumes for any word or phrase. It can also help you find other related phrases.
With troves of data available via Google’s search engine, you can also segment the information by geography, which is helpful if you are selling on Amazon UK or another non-US Amazon site.
Update: Since this post was published, it has been speculated that Google have placed restrictions on their Keyword Planner tool. Unless you have a Google AdWords (advertising) account running, you may see limited average monthly search data.
To get to the Google Keyword Planner, you have to create a free AdWords account. You don’t need to create any active campaigns or spend any money though.
Once you have created your account, you can find the Keyword Planner under the Tools tab:
There are several helpful methods to pull relevant keywords from the Planner.
Start with some main keywords
If you drop in some main keywords, or “head terms”, we can start surfacing some other search phrases that may help us.
The strategy here is to start with the main keywords, like “workout gloves”, and then drill down into more specific long tail keywords people are searching for, like “leather workout gloves” or “blue workout gloves”.
As you can see from the screenshot above, you can find some important data that way:
Keyword (by relevance): This is the list of keywords most-relevant/related to the keywords you entered; in this case, it’s “workout gloves”.
Average monthly searches: While the actual search volume on Amazon will differ from what you see in the Planner, you can assume that the volume will be relatively the same. It helps you prioritize which keywords will get you the most traffic on Amazon.
Competition and suggested bid: These columns are more specific to creating an Adwords campaign, and not exactly relevant to helping you create an optimized Amazon listing.
However, if you get to the point where you have created your own website off of Amazon, and want to drive paid traffic to the page, it’s certainly valuable information you’ll want to have!
Enter a competitor’s landing page
If we want to get an idea of the keywords our competitors are targeting, we can enter their landing page. If you are unsure of what keywords may be relevant, you can start your keyword research by referencing a competitor’s site. So just think up some relevant competitive products and let Google work its magic.
Continuing with the example of workout gloves, if I Google “workout gloves”, what are the top organic results? It looks like this Walmart page is the top ranking organic listing, so I can just enter that URL into GKP under the “Your Landing Page” box:
And the following keywords appear:
I like to start by looking only at the “Keyword Ideas” tab, however, Google will also organize the keywords by suggested Ad group ideas. There may be some helpful niches here that don’t appear in the Keyword ideas tab, so make sure to scan through these to uncover any hidden gems:
You will want to start saving all of the relevant keywords within the GKP, so we can evaluate them once we’ve gathered a bunch, and rank them by search volume.
This saved list of keywords will be handy to identify how to prioritize them based on search volume and monetary value, more on this later….
Tool #2: Ahrefs Site Explorer
While Ahrefs Site Explorer is mostly used for backlink analysis, this tool has many more use cases. Keyword research on Amazon is one of them, especially if you want to learn from successful Amazon sellers.
Here’s how it works. Go to Amazon, find a popular product page that you compete with, paste the URL into Site Explorer, and choose “URL” as the search mode.
Ahrefs will reveal the keywords that send organic traffic to the page. That way, you will be able to optimize your own page for juicy keywords to drive some traffic from best-selling items to yours.
As a popular page on Amazon can rank for hundreds or even thousands of keywords, it’s worth using the built-in filters to narrow them down.
Tool #3: Keyword Scout
While Keyword Planner and Site Explorer are great, simplistic methods for finding keywords, your best bet for finding powerful keywords for your Amazon FBA private label products is Keyword Scout.
Keyword Scout is the world’s first Amazon keyword tool that uses real Amazon PPC data to discover powerful keyword opportunities. Best of all, it’s included with Jungle Scout at no additional cost.
Here are just a few of the questions you can answer using Keyword Scout:
- In addition to the entered keyword or ASIN, what other relevant keywords are there?
- How many exact match searches are being done for the keywords?
- And how many broad match search volumes for the keywords?
- What are the dominant categories for the keywords?
- How many units should you giveaway with Jungle Scout’s keyword targeted promotions for the keywords?
- What are the average Headline Search Ad bids for the keywords?
- And what are the average Amazon Pay-Per-Click Ad bids for the keywords (exact and broad)?
- How relevant are the keywords to the entered keyword or ASIN?
Using Keyword Scout
Allow me to demonstrate how easy it is to use Keyword Scout and how you can generate powerful new keywords in seconds.
First, you’ll want to log in to your Jungle Scout account. Once there, click on the Keywords header on the left-hand side, then click Keyword Scout from the list that appears. Finally, enter in a keyword or product ASIN to generate keywords for. We’re going to use “workout gloves” again.
As you can see, Keyword Scout has already come up with 990 keywords for “workout gloves”, which is already 10 times more than what we could come up with the Keyword Planner trick I showed you above.
Once you’ve got keywords generated, you can learn a lot more about those keywords in the various columns.
In addition to being a powerful keyword research tool, Keyword Scout complements Jungle Scout’s product research tools by providing exact and broad search volumes for all of your keywords.
Check out how many searches for “workout gloves” per month: 27,475 for exact searches and a whopping 68,190 for broad! Obviously, it’s a highly sought out product!
Plus, we can learn what our competition is like, too, thanks to the average Headline Search Ad and Pay-Per-Click bids.
As you can see the average HSA bid is a massive $16.83. PPC bids are also pretty high at $1.81 and $1.47 for exact and broad respectively. So, in my opinion, this is probably a pretty competitive product.
Typically, it takes 7-10 ad clicks to make a sale on Amazon for products priced between $18-$35 (based on a 10-15% conversion rate). And it takes even more clicks for more expensive products; sometimes as many as 20-30!
A good rule of thumb is to look for keywords that, when multiplied by 10, add up to 25% or less of your target sales price. Another way to look at it is that each keyword bid should be no more than 2.5% of the sales price. That’s why we call this the 2.5 Rule.
How the 2.5% Rule works
For example, if we wanted to sell our “workout gloves” for $30 a pair we’d want our total ad costs around $7.50 per sale. After all, that would leave us some healthy room for profit.
Therefore, the cost-per-click for HSA and PPC bids needs to be $0.75 or less (or 2.5% of the sales price). Unfortunately, we saw that ad costs were nearly double that or more with exact and broad PPC bids. And HSA bids were simply too high to be competitive with.
You probably remember that Keyword Scout was kind enough to generate 990 keywords for us. So we have plenty more long tail keywords to work with.
Take a look below.
There’s roughly 60-75 keywords that come in under $0.75. However, most of those keywords are long tail. Their search results are less than 500 searches per month.
Here’s another rule of thumb. I like to make sure at least one or two of the keywords I’m targeting has over 1,000 searches but still less expensive than 2.5% of the product’s sales price.
Additional sources for keyword research
If you’re already live on Amazon, you can download a list of search queries that make sales.
One of Automatic Targeting’s benefits is that Amazon will show your ad to any relevant search query. This is based on your product’s description.
However, the targeting can be fairly broad, and we don’t want to pay for clicks that isn’t targeting the right traffic. Regardless, you may come across some good keywords that you didn’t identify when initially creating your product listing.
For example, here is the keyword data from our marshmallow sticks.
Once you download the report into Excel, you can organize it by which Customer Search Term generated a sale (go to the Data Tab > Filter > Largest to Smallest), and it will look like this:
This is the data from the campaigns that have been running for Jungle Stix. As you can see, there are some customer searches that we did not anticipate. For example: ‘girl scout” which have converted into sales. We may want to incorporate these search terms into our Product Listing somewhere.
Another helpful tool similar to Keywordtool.io, is Soovle (which offers search queries from eBay, which is also a search engine with high purchase intent):
Another free tool is Ubersuggest, which also pulls all of the related keyword searches. And for those more visually inclined, you can reference a word cloud that may surface some new ideas:
Set yourself up for success by finding the keywords with the highest demand! As you can see, these are all free tools and provide helpful data to craft your keyword optimized listing.
We went through this keyword research process to create the listing for Jungle Stix, the private label bamboo marshmallow sticks. We were able to rank as the top organic product for the main keyword, “marshmallow sticks”, which was covered in detail here.
And when we later released Keyword Scout, we further improved our listing.
Are there other tools that you have found useful in your keyword research? Please share them in the comments, would love to learn of other resources!