With most product searches now starting on Amazon over Google and other search engines, product listings must be optimized with the Amazon searcher and algorithm in mind to be competitive in the search results. Amazon’s A9 algorithm is built to show the most relevant and best-performing products, no matter the seller – making keyword research and optimizing for the Amazon shopper, and their search intent, incredibly important for product visibility and sales. Continue reading for our guide to keyword strategy on Amazon. 

Amazon’s A9 Algorithm

The organic ranking algorithm is influenced by two main things:

- Keyword Relevance – the content and keywords on a product listing must closely match the search query and keywords of the shopper’s search.

- Product Conversion Rate and Performance – the sales velocity, both recent and historical, are considered alongside how well the listing converts on the shopper’s search query.

Along with keyword text match and product sales history, Amazon says factors such as price, availability, and selection also affect what products are displayed in the shopper’s search results. Other factors that could play into the rankings may be the product’s fulfillment method or the product’s reviews and quality of ratings. If the product images and A+ Page/EBC modules are well optimized, product listing conversion rates would be higher – leading to better product performance and increase in rank.

Amazon Keyword Research

As we covered the dynamics of Amazon’s organic ranking algorithm, we understand the importance of optimizing a product page’s title, bullets, product description, and backend search terms to correlate with relevant keywords the Amazon shopper is searching. While we look to gather keywords that will convert on Amazon, there are a few areas that provide great grounds for keyword research:

- AMS Reporting Data – Search Term reports in AMS provide the only Amazon-given keyword metric, attributing a shopper’s search behavior and the query to conversions – giving insight into what keywords are driving sales. Use these converting keywords not only in AMS campaigns but in the product page content and backend search terms.

- Reviews and Q/A Research – customer reviews, testimonials, and questions house insightful information into how they’re using the product, the pros, the cons, etc. – providing a hub of keyword ideas for content. Sift through reviews to grab keyword ideas for on-page content and backend search terms, while compiling the common customer questions to address in the product features, product description, and product images, helping increase conversions.

- Competitor Research – top ranking competitor listings offer insight into the keywords and content that’s converting. Dig into competitors and related products in the category to pull relevant content and keyword ideas for your product listing.

- MerchantWords – keyword tools, like MerchantWords and other keyword aggregators, compile a database of keyword phrases people are searching on Amazon, along with an estimated search volume, using Amazon’s autosuggest searches provided when a user starts a search. Discover the highly searched keywords and phrases Amazon shoppers are actually searching for and incorporate the findings into your products’ keyword strategy.

- AMZ Search Expander –  another keyword tool, specifically made as a Google Chrome Extension that builds off of Amazon’s autofill/autosuggest feature. Find the common keywords used before and after the term that you type in - getting insight into the long-tail queries shoppers are searching for.

Google Keyword Planner and keyword tools for Google and other search engines can provide useful product search keyword ideas that could overlap into the product searches on Amazon – allowing your product listings to potentially rank high in the Google search results if optimized well. Though, it’s important to tread lightly with this approach, as product-related keywords with search volume data in Google may have no volume in Amazon.

Keyword Strategy for Amazon SEO

The Amazon search algorithm revolves around providing the shopper with the most relevant and best converting products, increasing their chance to purchase. Understanding the main factors that drive the search result rankings allows us to prioritize what’s important for Amazon SEO and a well-optimized listing: relevant, compelling, and converting content. Gathering keywords from the areas covered above will give you a cohesive keyword strategy to optimize your product listing content – here’s how they can be distributed:

1) Product Titles: Product titles play an influential role in Amazon’s search for relevance, and they offer the shopper with a first impression of the product. Make titles clean and concise, yet informative – adding in the top priority keywords closest to the beginning of the title, without keyword stuffing.

2) Bullets: Bullets provide the opportunity to communicate the product’s features and benefits in quick, concise snippets. Strategically use the converting keywords with high search volume and include content from reviews, while answering the common customer questions.

3) Product Description: The product description is the last area on the product listing that you can incorporate the product’s relevant keywords. This space provides the largest area of content and can be an elaboration of the bullet points – use it to explain the features and bullets in more detail, how the product is used, and to tell the story of the brand.

4) Backend Search Terms: Backend search terms give your product an additional 250 characters (without spaces) of relevant and relatable product keywords. These search terms should not overlap with on-page keyword usage and should not be repeated – add relevant keywords discovered in AMS, reviews, and on competitor pages that don’t make it onto the product listing page.

When it comes to building a keyword strategy for your Amazon listings, it’s important to have a micro-focused keyword approach aligned with the Amazon shopper, not the Google searcher. Optimizing conversion-driven, relevant content is the key to competing for the top organic search results under Amazon’s A9 algorithm – increasing product visibility and accelerating sales.

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