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There are over 2 million sellers on the Amazon marketplace. With that kind of competition, everyone is looking for ways to draw a larger share of consumers to their products instead of their competitors. In your struggles to drive more traffic to your own products, you most definitely have come across the word “keywords” before. Effectively taking advantage of Amazon keywords is key to any plan you have for increasing traffic.

What are Amazon keywords? Why do you need them?

Keywords are basically terms that are frequently used when searching for content online. By using keywords in your content search engines can match them with the search queries of users (what they type into the search fields).

It stands to reason that the closer the keywords are to the search terms that the more relevant the content will appear. The more relevant content appears, the higher search engines will rank it, placing it near the top of search results.

Keywords are the foundation of Search Engine Optimization. It’s where almost all SEO techniques start and end. Without the relevance supplied by using keywords, anything else you do wouldn’t amount to much. For now, there is simply no alternative that is as effective for comparing possible results with queries than the simple equation what user typed =/≠ content of the result.

Every search engine in existence is primarily based on comparing and matching keywords for relevance. Amazon’s A9 search algorithm is no different. You can promote your products in any way and on any platform that you want, but you will be doing yourself a massive disservice by not focusing on keywords.

While most other techniques are platform specific, keywords are universal. More users will be able to find your products on Amazon, Bing, Google; you name it, if keyword research and use forms part of your broader SEO strategy.

Long tail vs. Short tail keywords

"Keywords" spelled with Scrabble tiles

Keywords are divided into two main types: long and short tail keywords. The word “tail” refers to the length of the extra words added on to the base keyword. For example, if you are selling eggs, eggs (or, egg) would be your primary keyword. The tail would then be additional information like organic eggs or free-range chicken eggs.

Short tail keywords consist of only one or two words while long tail keywords are anything longer than this but usually 3-4 words. It stands to reason that the longer the keyword is the more specific it is because of the extra information.

A product with the word egg in there somewhere can mean anything. It could be actual eggs, an egg beater, free-range eggs or anything else egg-related you can imagine.

The shorter the keyword is, the more it occurs as well. After all, how many times do you think the word “egg” shows up either alone or as part of a phrase compared to the specific phrase “free-range chicken eggs”? A single word can show up in an almost endless combination of words whereas a whole phrase is much less likely to occur in other forms.

So, which one is best?

We can make some clear observances from these facts:

  • Short keywords are less descriptive/more general: If someone just sees “egg” they can’t be nearly as sure of what to expect as when they see the entire phrase “stainless steel egg beater”. A longer keyword will match more closely with a more specific term but will face a lot more competition for relevance with more general search queries.
  • Short keywords are more common: As short keywords can appear in so many forms, a lot more people will use it. This means there will be stiffer competition for that specific keyword.

It’s these observances that have people split into two groups. Some prefer long tail keywords because they target more specific searchers. They are all about conversions. Online surfers are lazy and don’t want to waste their leads chasing down potentially fruitless leads.

The more specific keyword will undoubtedly appeal to more people because they can be confident that it does, in fact, lead to what they are looking for.

Other’s campaign for the general nature of short tail keywords. It’s all about quantity over quality. As the short tail keywords have the potential to at least partly match with a wider range of search terms. However, it also means that they stand a smaller chance of landing nearer to the top of search rankings as they will have less relevance.

One thing everyone can agree on is that you need to include both to a certain extent in order to get the most out of your keywords.

How do you find the best keywords for your niche?

Now that you have a firm grip on keywords, why they are essential, and the different types of keywords, you are probably how you identify the keywords for your niche. You might also be wondering why you need to do keyword research. After all, it might seem easy and simple to think up your own related to your niche.

The biggest reason why it’s necessary to do research is that they are always changing. Peoples demands, different product’s popularity, and general trends all evolve. Quickly responding to these changes can help you gain a few notches on the rest.

Secondly, many of your most prominent or savviest competitors would already have done the work. Identifying what keywords they are using will spare you a lot of effort and let you know what they are up to.

Keyword research tools

With so much riding on keyword research for so many producers, sellers, and consumers, you can bet that it was only a matter of time before tools that help the process along were developed.

Most of these tools work mostly the same way. You type in a search query, and it returns a list of related queries with variations in the number of words and the individual words used. They might even contain synonyms or alternative phrases to what you searched. Sometimes you will also need to specify the location and the language

Usually, they will also contain information like the number of times that exact query was used during a specified period, it’s CPC (cost per click), and a competition score that shows how competitively it’s being used.

For example, if we look at this screenshot from Keyword Tool, you can see what we’re talking about. In this particular tool, you can also specify what search engine it should focus on. This tool blurs out the exact numbers on the free version, but keywords are still ranked according to search volume.

Keyword Tool screenshot

As we can see, egg cooker, eggmazing egg decorator, and egglettes are the most popular keywords. You can use the filter and negative keywords features to narrow down to your particular niche.

Aside from keyword focused tools like Keyword Tool, Wordstream, and SERPS Amazon research tools like AMZ Insights and Jungle Scout also provides some of this information. It makes sense and saves time to do keyword research as part of your product research strategy.

Amazon search

You can tease the Amazon search engine itself to give you some answers. Take a look at the screenshot below. See anything familiar?

Amazon keyword screenshot

Most of the top results that show up in the suggestion box are the exact same results that the keyword research tool returned in the previous section.

Amazon’s A9 search algorithm does keyword comparison as part of its search. There are a lot of other factors that also impact on search results like the performance of individual products and categories. But, as the correlation in results between the keyword research tool and Amazon search point out, keywords still play a significant role.

If we complete the search, we will see that the suggestions don’t necessarily reflect the actual results. That’s because users often search for a type of object and Amazon returns products from specific brands or sellers. We will explain further why in the next section when we look at keywords from competitors.

For now, all you need to know is that you can look at these suggestions for the most relevant keywords to the term “eggs.”

From your competitors

So, why the discrepancy between search suggestions and results? The simple answer becomes apparent when you search for something on Amazon yourself. When you go search for an egg whisker on Amazon, do you type in a specific brand name or do you just search, “egg whisker”? In most cases, it’s the latter.

It’s up to Amazon to return the best sellers with the products most relevant to your search. It’s this low-cost-high-reward approach that made Amazon such a success in the first place.

If you want to find your competitors keywords, you need to dig a little deeper. Luckily, by that, we mean that you merely need to click on a search result to view a specific product page. If you have an on-page research tool like AMZ Tracker, finding the keywords are much easier.

You can look at the product listing’s headline, the features, and the product description for key phrases. If you want to go the extra mile, you can cross-reference these with the keywords that showed up in the keyword research tools and use the best ones.

How to use keywords to increase traffic to your products

Sell items relevant to the keywords

If you are cunning, you might’ve already realized that keyword research could lead to a shortcut in determining which products are popular. Keyword popularity research scales all the way down from the most general keywords to the most specific. For example, if eggs receive 200,000 searches a month but bread receives 400,000 searches, it’s pretty apparent which one people are more interested in.

Eggs in a basket

Proper keyword research can send you into an entirely new niche, help you hone in on a popular pocket within a niche, identify specific products that are hot, and help you avoid waning ones.

There is also a counter-intuitive way to use keywords to inform your decisions. By looking at the CPC and competition score of keywords, you can determine saturated markets or items. As anyone who knows anything about selling on Amazon can tell you, knowing what not to sell can be as important as knowing what to sell.

Utilize keywords in your product listings

You should also practically incorporate keywords in your product listings and descriptions. This is as simple as including the actual keywords of value that you found strategically in your product pages. If you create product listings without them, it’s not too late to go back and change them. Once search engines crawl your products, the new keywords will have an impact.

There are no hard and fast rules on how to best include keywords on your product listings. There are tonnes of articles on blogs that will recommend this way or that, but the truth is that there is almost an endless number of ways to do it.

One thing you shouldn’t do is stuff in keywords every chance you get. While there is a case to be made for frequently repeating keywords, it shouldn’t be to the extent that they become awkward or frustrating for the visitor. A readable and pleasant product page is vital for your conversion rate.

We can sum up well-known best practices in a few tips:

  • Include the main keyword once in the title.
  • Use each long tail keyword at least once in the product description.
  • Sprinkle the keywords throughout the features section, but sparingly.
  • You can use the tags to stuff in as many keywords as possible. Keywords can be split across tags if they don’t fit in a single one.

We have written an article with more Tips for Creating a Best-Selling Amazon Product Description.

Deciphering Amazon keywords can be done!

If you were intimidated by keywords before, we hope that this article has helped assuage your fears. As you can see, there isn’t much to it once you understand the concept and know where to do your research. Now, it’s time to find the Amazon keywords relevant to your niche and utilize them to drive traffic to your products!

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