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November 10, 2014

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

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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:

search1

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.

search2

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.

search3

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.

search4

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.

search5

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.

search6

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.

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

    Nice explanation and useful for using Keywords at Amazon. It will definitely help.

    avatar Poojary says:

    Informative article thanks

    avatar Simon Ilyaev says:

    Lies. Doubt you are an Amazon success story.

    avatar AmznSllr says:

    What lies are in the article?

    Thanks for this great article. I am trying to spruce up my keywords to improve sales. So far I have not had much luck, hopefully these tips will help!

    avatar Alisa says:

    One thing I’m still trying to grasp is the conflict of two concepts here. Am I understanding correctly?

    1. “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. Additionally, backing that up you write “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:”

    If that’s the case–I’m wondering why it is important, as you said, to “remove the repeated words and put them into a logical order.” Why would a logical order be necessary if Amazon is only searching individual words and not phrases? If #1 and #2 are correct, then shouldn’t we try to maximize our keyword box by simply putting in any relevant words that could be combined to make a search phrase that customers would use? And therefore it’s not necessary to create “logical phrases”?

    This is a great article–and I appreciate it–I’m just trying to figure out how to reconcile those two different concepts presented!

    Thanks!

    avatar Bren Murphy says:

    Hi Karon,
    Great resource you have put together here. I get the whole keywords with Amazon is about simple and not repeating words. I like this.
    Also, a great idea is to use the tags to get the headline with Amazon’s yellow color – this looks very authentic as well.
    Thanks,
    Bren Murphy

    avatar Wendy says:

    When I looked at Amazon’s instructions for the keyword fields, they said to use commas, so I went back and added commas to mine. I know that their edit pages just changed as of today, but I don’t know if what I saw just last week was part of that planned change or not.

    Well wrote article. Now days many people wanna start a business online and they dont have bugdet. Amazon affiliate program is the best way to sell your product online.

    avatar Hareb Mohlibely says:

    Thanks Karon. Much help was obliged by article reading of this. Very much thanks and love for your left arm. – Hareb

    avatar Michael says:

    5. You Should Not Add Competitor Brands To Your Keyword Fields…. Another seller did this on one of my best selling products and got the listing removed. How can I search a listing and see what keywords were used by other sellers on the listing? Thanks.

    avatar Smithc104 says:

    I am really enjoying the themedesign of your blog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A handful of my blog readers have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

    avatar Smithc78 says:

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    Sharing a link to our site is fine. Thanks for your interest.

    avatar Ivan Palii says:

    Great tips. Thanks for a lot, Karon for your experience. I’ve also tried to describe the best tactics for Amazon SEO and axioms of A9 algorithm here: kparser.com/amazon-keyword-tool/
    Can you share your opinion about these steps for getting TOP?

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