An Introduction to Keywords, Part 2: Selecting Relevant Keywords
Keyword research can be overwhelming. There are millions of keywords out there and almost as many opinions on the best research methods. We’re fans of simple, easy-to-follow solutions here at MerchantWords, so we broke down keyword research into three steps:
Think about how you would search for your product. Get inside the head of a consumer. As it turns out, many of us use similar words to describe and search for a product. Let’s say you sell cookware and recently decided to start selling 9”x13” baking pans. If your best friend is always telling you how much they love their Calphalon 'baking dish', you should probably put that phrase on your keyword list.
Research your product. How is it most commonly used? Is there a slang term most widely used for it and a technical term? If there are, those are good keywords to add to your list. Find out what qualities consumers look for in your product.
Is the pan 'dishwasher-safe'? Add that too.
Consider what types of recipes might commonly call for a 9”x13” pan. Brownies, cakes, lasagna – the possibilities are huge.
Once you’ve done all that you can with your own thinking cap, it's time to turn to an Amazon keyword research tool like MerchantWords. Search for each of the keywords on your list to view search volume data and keyword variations. You can learn more about our search results page here.
We recommend starting your research with those wide “top of the funnel” keywords. If you don’t know what we’re talking about you can learn more by reading our keywords article. By beginning with a broad search term you’ll be able to skim the top search results associated with that term. While scrolling through the results, you may stumble upon a term you would have never considered. For instance, did you know that a lot of people search for that 9”x13” pan as a ‘casserole dish’? MerchantWords does. Including these terms in your list of keywords can bring your listing to the attention of more Amazon shoppers.
Now that you’ve found the most relevant keywords for your product it’s time to include them in your listing. There are four different places to consider when placing your keywords: Title, Description, Bullet Points, and Search Terms (Hidden Backend Keywords).
Title: Your Product Name/Title should include informative keywords that accurately describe the most important details of your product. These are typical "top of the funnel" keywords, and each word in the Title is searchable on its own. Your title is what entices a customer to click on your listing in search results.
For example, a product called 'Calphalon Signature 9"x13" Rectangular Nonstick Bakeware Pans Set of 2' is better than '9"x13" Baking Pans.' This is because the recommended Product Name above includes the brand, product, key features, size, and quantity.
Description: This section helps customers learn essential details about your product. It should include product-related information that answers common customer questions about the product in a clear and concise manner.
More and more people are doing their online shopping on their phones via their preferred browser or the Amazon app. Therefore, it is important to keep your language mobile-friendly. Make sure your content is direct, and it conveys the essential information without any unnecessary scrolling. Once you have published your listing, view it on several mobile platforms and revise any distracting or hard to read content.
Be sure to think about how, when, and where your product is used. Here is your opportunity to use any keyword synonyms and related terms you discovered; it is also where you mention those recipes that fit deliciously into the 9"x13" dish! Is it too soon to talk about cake again? Mmmmm, cake.
Bullet Points: Listed in Seller Central as Key Product Features, the bullet points are just another way to incorporate keywords. Customers use bullet points to quickly obtain information about your product, especially those shopping from their mobile devices. Having well-crafted bullet points can even improve your sales!
There are five bullet points available. Select a product feature or benefit that is most relevant to your prospective customer for each one. Think like a buyer, not like a seller. Is the baking dish actually 'dishwasher-safe?' Include that here along with other keywords that match your product.
Keep each bullet point short and briefly expand on the relevant information you couldn’t fit in your title. Once you’ve found an order that you like, remain consistent across all of your listings!
Search Terms (Hidden or Backend Keywords): This is the place for keywords that don't fit into the visible part of your listing but can help enhance the discoverability of your product. It’s important to try and fit your most highly-ranked keywords into the title, description and bullet points of your listing as Amazon has recently changed the character limit in this section. Where you once had upwards of 5000 characters, the limit is now only 250 bytes. Wondering why Amazon made this change? We did too, and you can read our thoughts on it.
So, what is a byte? Well, it depends on the characters you are using. Each alphanumeric character in the English language equals one byte. Most “special characters,” commonly letters with accents, are two bytes. And Japanese and Chinese characters can be up to four bytes. (Don't worry, if you exceed the 250-byte limit, Amazon will give you a warning message.)
Here are a few useful tips to help make the most of your 250 bytes and utilize this section effectively:
Stay under the length limit. If Search Terms are over the limit, none of the Search Terms for that ASIN will be indexed by Amazon Search.
Separate keywords with spaces.
Do not include brand names or repeat words from other sections of your listing.
Include synonyms, abbreviations, and alternate names.
Include common spelling variations, but no need to include misspellings or plurals. Amazon will cover the misspellings and plurals for you.
No need to include punctuation, such as: ";", ":", "-".
Don’t include ASINs in Search Terms. Amazon does not factor them into their search algorithm.
Avoid temporary and subjective claims: words like “new,” "best," "cheapest," and “on sale,” as you cannot always maintain these claims. Amazon has long held issue with such phrases and including them may impact the ranking of your listing.
Don’t add abusive or offensive terms. A gentle reminder that Amazon will suspend your listing for using any language they find offensive or derogatory.
It is important not to overload one section with keywords and leave another high and dry. Spreading them out throughout your listing allows you to integrate these keywords naturally.
Finally, keep in mind that keywords are not static. Language is constantly evolving and how people search evolves, too. As an Amazon seller, you need to check in with your listing to make sure that your keywords are properly indexed, current, and serving your purpose. It might be that a keyword you thought was fantastic and would increase your visibility isn’t actually bringing in any impressions or clicks. If that is the case you should replace it with another keyword that can drive traffic to your products. Testing and revising your keywords can keep your listing competitive.
Your product listings should be comprehensive and convincing, but also easy-to-read. Remember: you are talking to real people. You don’t want your bullet points or description to look more like a list of semi-related words. And, by providing relevant and complete information for your product, you can increase your product's visibility and sales!
We hope that was a helpful introduction to the world of keyword optimization. There is another great use for keywords – product research. If you’re curious, take a look at our overview on new product research!