By Kenji ROI for Paragon ERP

Most business owners are familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Google, making efforts to show up higher in the search results, but how much attention are you paying to your Amazon SEO?

Amazon is currently the largest search engine for products in the world with a rabid base of customers with a credit card on file, so NOT paying attention to Amazon SEO is leaving cash on the table.

Optimizing Amazon product pages with the right keywords is very different from Google SEO as it's a mix between:

  • Keyword Optimization for the Amazon Algorithm
  • Information Optimization for Shoppers Scanning Search Results
  • Persuasive Desire Creation Through Psychological Sales Copywriting

In this post, we are going to cover the keyword optimization part of this, but don't forget the other two are equally important to turn Amazon shoppers into Amazon buyers.

Identifying The Most Important Keywords

When it comes to Amazon keywords, relevancy is king. It's better to have a smaller amount of highly relevant words in a listing, than a bunch of keywords that are less relevant.

Amazon's search algorithm is incredibly advanced. The amount of data it uses to analyze how relevant a product is to the millions of different search queries that people type into the search bar every day is mind-boggling.

The higher quality keywords that you feed the algorithm, the better it can do its job. If you fill your listing with irrelevant keywords, it confuses the algorithm. You'll know this is the case if your Amazon Ads automatic campaigns start showing your product with products that have nothing to do with what it actually is.

More is not better! Avoid using words that are not directly relevant to your product, and never place keywords for other products in your listing.

Your most relevant search phrases are likely "long tail" meaning they are 3 words or more.

The broad phrases are typically too vague if when people search for them, any number of products could show up. As an example "water bottle" may have incredibly high search volume, but someone searching could be looking for a steel one, plastic, large, small, insulated, etc. This means that these searches don't convert at a very high rate because the traffic is too broad.

But people searching for "steel insulated water bottle" are much more likely to buy because they know exactly what they want, and if your steel insulated water bottle shows up, it's probably exactly what they are looking for.

Optimizing for the right keyword phrases that are specific, ultra-relevant, and have high enough search volume (over 1000 per month) is key when choosing which keywords to optimize for.

How to Perform Keyword Research

So now it's time to do the grunt work - digging deep to find the best keywords to place in your Amazon listing.

The first step is to go broad to find the best ones, then narrow it down to just the best ones.

Start simply by opening a spreadsheet and writing down all the different ways you could possibly write your product name. If your product was a cheese grater, it should look something like:

  • grater for cheese
  • cheese grater
  • cheddar grater
  • cheese grating
  • cheesegrater
  • cheese shredder
  • shredded cheesemaker
  • grate cheese

These are the keywords you will feed into the keyword tools to come up with even more.

Another way to get keyword ideas is to use a Reverse ASIN search. Find your top three competitors, then copy their ASIN as shown in this image.

Paste it into a reverse ASIN tool such as Helium 10 Cerebro and it will show you which keywords that product is ranking for.

This process is likely to come up with some keywords you didn’t think of. Add good ones to your keyword list.

Another great tool for discovering keywords is Scientific Seller. You just place one search, and it will continue to expand on variations for hours if you let it run.

Once you have a list of at least 20 solid keyword phrases, run searches for them one by one into a keyword discovery tool such as Helium 10 Magnet. Because you’ve done a good job of creating the original keyword list with as many variations of how to say your product as possible, expanding upon it with further keyword searches should round out the rest of the possible phrases you will need.

Combine all 20 keywords searches into one spreadsheet, remove duplicates, then filter it by the highest search volume.

We’re almost done! You have your top keywords filtered by the highest search volume, now we just need to remove the ones that aren’t relevant enough. Go through the top 50 lines or so and remove any phrases that are not relevant to your product.

What’s leftover is your keyword list to build your listing from!

Where to Place Keywords in the Listing


Once you've identified which keywords you want to target, it’s time to put them in the best places in your listing for maximum ranking effectiveness.

We need to give Amazon’s algorithm exactly what it’s looking for, and there are a few tricks.

Firstly, the title is the most important field to put your main keyword phrases because it has the most “ranking juice.” Any keyword in your title will gain keyword ranking for every sale, no matter which keyword search that sale came from. This is not true of any other field!

There’s limited space in the title, 200 characters in most categories, so you can only fit three keyword phrases in there without stuffing it too full of keywords to the point of making it unreadable.

Choose your top three phrases. Start your title with the first and most relevant phrase, sneak the second one somewhere in the middle after the most important describing information, such as the color or quantity, then place the third phrase at the very end. This keeps the read-ability of the title intact while still getting all three phrases in.

Subject Matter

You will find five fields on your listing’s back end when uploading called subject matter. You will have to press “add more” until there are five fields and each only allows 50 characters.

This is the second most powerful place to put keywords, so we simply choose the 5-8 best search phrases and place them here in their exact match form.

Exact match simply means writing the phrase in the exact order that it shows in the keyword tool so “cheese grater” must not be written “grater cheese” for example.

Search Terms

This is a single field of 250 characters and is best used to fill in extra keywords that did not make it into your listing. Come back to this at the end and place your other relevant keywords here.

Bullet Points & Description

These two fields are not as important for keyword ranking, but you should still get your less important phrases in here somewhere. I recommend keeping bullet points short and readable, not longer than 170 characters each.

The description, however, is a great place to sneak in keywords you couldn’t elsewhere. You can use basic HTML formatting to create bullet-point lists. With some creativity, you can create lists that are literally phrases that you are targeting. Just make sure it still makes sense!

Info Optimization vs. Keyword Optimization

At Kenji ROI, we focus on a strategy called the Triple Optimized Amazon Listing.

Basically it’s taking into account the three most important factors for success with an Amazon product.

  1. Keyword Optimization
  2. Key Info Communication
  3. Persuasive Desire Optimization

Keyword Optimization

This one you should understand well by this point in the article. We need to write using keywords that tell Amazon’s algorithm exactly what our product is in a way that is most similar to what most Amazon shoppers are searching for.

Key Info Communication

Most shoppers are looking for a specific type of item and if we can’t communicate those details ultra fast & effectively, there will be a competitor who does it better.

Amazon is a comparison shopping engine so it’s all about optimizing better than the other products that are being thrown into the shoppers face.

Identifying the key product features shoppers are looking for, then placing that information near the start of the title, in the top bullet points, showing them off in the images clearly using lifestyle models or graphics are all effective strategies for getting more sales.

If shoppers are confident that your product is what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to click, and ultimately faster making a buying decision with you rather than scrolling around your listing trying to figure out some details, then seeing a competitor product and clicking away forever.

Persuasive Desire Optimization

The art of sales in written form is called writing sales copy or copywriting. Using sales psychology to portray your product as the bridge from your customer’s undesirable current situation to an improved future situation is the surest way to separate them from their money.

If you really boil it down, it’s the only reason anyone buys anything.

Writing your listing with proven copywriting principles, frameworks, and skills can do wonders to set you apart from competitors by instilling desire, aggravating the pain points your product solves, and presenting your solution as the ultimate fix for their painful problems.

Getting the right mix of all three of these factors is a true Triple Optimized Amazon Listing.

So as you can see, Amazon SEO isn’t as complex as you may think. While it may be tough the first few times you dig into it, it quickly becomes second nature and allows you to build a repeatable and reliable process for optimizing your listing keywords for page one domination.

About the Author

Danny Carlson is a 27 year old entrepreneur, podcaster, & lifestyle architect. He started his first business producing extreme downhill longboarding videos in 2014 & has since grown the Amazon FBA Agency "Kenji ROI" to more than 10 team members.

Kenji ROI has served over 500 Amazon sellers & created photos, video, copywriting, & graphics for over 1240 listings.

Danny is also the host of the Actualize Freedom Podcast & the Danny Carlson Podcast completing more than 60 interviews with names like Daniel DiPiazza, Steve Sims, Manny Coats, & Kevin King.

Residing in Bali, his off time is spent doing standing acrobatics, ripping sport motorcycles, and training at Nirvana Strength.