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November 10, 2014

Five Little-Known Facts About Keywords and Amazon Product Listings That Could Hinder Your Success

Lately I feel like a broken record. It seems the more people I talk with, the more times I hear, “I didn’t know that” when it comes to keyword-related facts about Amazon product listings. Most people are making this way harder than it has to be. In fact, many are seriously wasting space by not following what Amazon clearly lays out in the Seller Central Help section. Let’s take a few minutes to go over some specifics from Amazon so you can start benefiting from the right way to use keywords.

Not using keywords correctly in your product listing copy and not having them formatted the right way in your keyword fields can cost you both traffic and sales.

1. Amazon (Basically) Counts The Title As A Keyword Field
Many people believe that they must put the keywords in the keyword fields and also in their product name/title. Not true. According to Amazon:

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In essence, Amazon’s internal search engine works by exactly matching individual words (not phrases) that the customer types into the search box with the individual keywords you put into your product title and keyword fields.

2. The Title And The Keyword Fields Hold Equal Weight
I think the belief that the title holds more weight than the keyword fields comes from people who are flooded with information about ranking well on Google. Title tags hold more weight with Google so, therefore, most people assume the same is true about Amazon. Incorrect.

Amazon specifically tells us not to “waste space” by repeating words across certain fields because they are all included when a shopper conducts a search.

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3. You Should Not Enter Entire Keyphrases Into The Keyword Fields
Amazon’s search engine works by combining individual words, not by looking to match entire phrases. There is no need to waste valuable keyword space by entering:

USB computer speaker, USB Bluetooth speaker, USB iPhone speaker, etc.

Instead, remove the repeated words and put them into a logical order.

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You end up with a much more compact list of terms that allows more space for relevant search words. Here’s what you end up with after removing the repetitive words:

USB computer speaker Bluetooth iPhone

So, instead of using 63 characters with the original list, now you’ve only used 37, leaving you a lot more room for additional keywords.

4. Amazon Accounts For Stemming, Plurals and Commas
Another common debate is whether you should use commas and plurals in your keyword fields. Seller Central outlines this clearly as well.

Stemming is taking a root word and adding various endings to it. For example:

• diet
• diets
• dieting
• dietary
• dietitian
• etc.

As you see below, Amazon can handle “basic” stemming. I have not found a definition of “basic” but my interpretation is plurals and common other endings such as “ing.” Anything beyond that I would consider adding as another search term.

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No commas are needed in your keyword fields. In fact, as stated in the next screen capture, you don’t need any type of punctuation. Amazon’s system ignores commas … all you need is a space between the terms.

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5. You Should Not Add Competitor Brands To Your Keyword Fields
There is a common practice of putting other brands into your keyword fields. The assumption is that this is a good way to get more traffic to your page. Actually, putting irrelevant keywords into your fields (including brand names that aren’t yours) is a good way to have your listing removed. Amazon classifies this as keyword bombing and makes it known that your product listing could be deleted from the category it is in if you’re found guilty of using irrelevant keywords to drive traffic.

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Having the correct keywords in place and having your keyword fields set up the way Amazon suggests will play a big role in boosting the visibility of your products to qualified customers who are ready to purchase. It isn’t hard to do once you understand the way Amazon works best.


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Karon Thackston is president of Marketing Words Copywriting Agency helping Amazon sellers, eCommerce site owners and content marketers rank higher, convert better and make more sales.

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