For a seller on Amazon, it’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of search terms.

Customers visit Amazon in order to check out a specific item – and to do that, they use the Amazon search bar to find it – we’re here to help you make sure they find yours!

The following is your complete and comprehensive guide to Amazon search term optimization.

What is an Amazon Search Term and why it is important

Amazon search terms are made up of the keyword or multiple keywords which you choose to make sure that your product is displayed when a customer searches for an item like yours.

Although search terms work in a very similar way to regular keywords, Amazon has a few unique features which you must be aware of in order to be successful.

Amazon’s system includes five separate fields for search terms.  Within each field, you can enter multiple keywords and, each search term can be up to 250 characters in length.

Taking advantage of your full Amazon search term space is vital to your product’s sales.

It doesn’t matter how good your product is, or how competitive – if potential customers don’t get to see it, they don’t get to buy it.

Without Amazon search terms, it’s possible that a customer may eventually be led to your product but Amazon’s search engine relies heavily on search terms so you’re missing out on vital sales without them.

Amazon’s rules about optimizing search terms

Although you are always encouraged to optimize your search terms for best results, Amazon has seven golden commandments that must be obeyed if you don’t want to find yourself being penalized.

Amazon Golden Rule #1: Choose Your Keywords Wisely

Amazon is very much aware of the practice of using brand names and other relevant keywords in search terms as a way of getting more hits.

Doing this is a good way of getting yourself a warning or even having your account suspended in some cases.

When Amazon says 250 characters, it means 250 characters and it’s unlikely that you’ll get away with trying to get around this rule.

Take the time to research your keywords carefully in order to make sure that you are able to keep within Amazon’s parameters.

Amazon Golden Rule #2: No Repeated Keywords

 Apart from the fact that repeating keywords over and over is simply wasting your allotted character allowance, Amazon’s official rules prohibit the duplication of content in product pages and ads.

Amazon Golden Rule #3: Not Exceed 250 Characters

As mentioned previously, Amazon is a bit of a stickler for this one.  Amazon’s official statement warns that anybody exceeding the limit will have their entire entry rejected so don’t waste your hard work only to have to start again

To reiterate, you may use 250 characters separated by spaces but without punctuation.

Amazon Golden Rule #4: Compare and Contrast

It is advised that you take a look at five of your competitors at least before committing to your keywords.

Although it’s fine to get a little inspiration from your competition, direct copying of keywords is likely to be noticed by Amazon and your keywords may be deleted.

Amazon Golden Rule #5: Not Use Punctuation Search Terms.

Although it’s a good idea to use spaces to separate your keywords, punctuation is unnecessary and just uses up your precious character allowance.

And, finally, the most important commandment of all:

Amazon Golden Rule #6: Always Follow Amazon’s Rules.

Amazon is committed to providing a fair playing field for all of its sellers and doesn’t take kindly to those trying to buck the system for their own gains.

Those trying to do so will often find that they are penalized with the removal of keywords or suspension of an account.

In summary, Amazon’s search term guidelines are:

  • Do not include brand names or any other deceptive or misleading words
  • Keep to the search term length allowed
  • Do not repeat content
  • Keep search terms sensible and logical
  • Use spaces but not punctuation to separate keywords
  • Never include false or untrue claims about the product
  • Never include abusive or offensive language

5 Strategies to use when optimizing Amazon search terms

Strategy 1:  Know Your Competition

A great way to analyze your competitors is by using the Amazon Backend Search Term SEO.  To do this, pick 10 of your direct competitors who have good sales and great reviews and who rank first page for keywords.

Use the Backend Keyword Extractor to extract keywords from 10 products.  Put together a group in Listing Builder and add the new keywords to your bank.

You’ll now be able to view the keywords that your competitors are using.

As a general rule, getting to know your competitors, their product and their keywords is a good habit to get into it and will help you to distinguish your product from theirs as well as gaining a little inspiration.

Strategy 2:  Get the right tool for the job

We all need a little help occasionally and, there are some great tools out there to help Amazon sellers.  Some of our favorites are:

Merchant Words

An incredibly useful online resource, Merchant Words contains over a billion unique search phrases harvested from searches made by Amazon shoppers around the world.

Through a simple online process, you can find a number of different words and phrases to help drive customers to your page.

Merchant Words costs $60 per month to use but offers a free 14 day trial.

See also: Merchant words discount

Google Ads Keyword Planner

As you would expect from an internet giant, Google, the Google Ads Keyword Planner is a fully interactive keyword and phrase search tool offering almost unlimited permutations.

As well as keyword searches, Google Ad Planner features tools to help you measure and analyze your searches.

For more keyword tips and tools, see this helpful article.

Strategy 3:  Be Amazon’s Guest

 Use the Amazon search box to find ‘guest words’ that you can use to optimize your search terms.

You can do this by plugging your product description, i.e. Digital Camera, into Amazon’s search bar and then ready the words which appear in the dropdown list.

Strategy 4:  High Days and Holidays

Take advantage of special occasions and national holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day to boost your search term optimization.

For example, toward the end of the year, you can add ‘Christmas gift for him (or her)’ to your search terms.

As mentioned previously, always keep Amazon’s rules in mind – if you’re selling mouse traps or toilet rolls, you may not get away with calling these Christmas gifts!

Strategy 5:  Try Some Long Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are super-specific three or four-word key phrases which are used to target customers who know exactly what they’re looking for and don’t want to waste any time finding it.

An example of this would be a seller who specializes in furniture.  Many would simply use ‘Home’ or ‘Furniture’ as keywords.

Most customers, however, do not search for these words so, instead, try, ‘Blonde pine solid wood wardrobe’ to bring relevant customers directly to your product page.

Strategy 6:  Optimize Your Search Term Often

You need to strike a good balance when it comes to optimizing your Amazon search terms.

Although you shouldn’t modify your search terms relentlessly due to the fact that it takes time for these to be indexed and ranked by Amazon, it is a good idea to get into a habit of doing this regularly.

Mastering Amazon search term optimization is half the battle when it comes to becoming a successful Amazon seller so it’s worth putting in the time and effort to get a handle on this tricky skill.

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