How High Volume Sellers Do Keyword Research for Their Amazon Listings


Keeping tabs on what the best companies in the industry are doing is a good way to hone your own business strategy. What works for the industry hot shots might not work for smaller businesses, but it helps to know what works for your competitors nonetheless.


Think of high volume sellers when you go over your keyword research methods. If you’re struggling to find the right keywords for your products, looking at more established companies can be helpful. Bigger brands have the resources to see what works and what doesn’t, and they have a history off of which to base their decisions; watch them so you can benefit from the work they’ve put in.


You can’t copy other businesses exactly—they might not sell the exact same products, they may already lay claim to popular keywords, and they’ve spent a great deal of time honing their process. However, you can practice efficient keyword research with their help. Here’s a quick look at how high volume sellers are doing keyword research, and how you can use this info to improve your Amazon listings.


laptops on the table


Understanding Amazon’s Algorithm

The first step is to get to know Amazon’s algorithm, also known as A9. The better you know the system, the better you can use it to bring in customers and generate sales. Fortunately for up-and-coming businesses or independent sellers who are just starting out, a simple online search tells you what you need to know about it.


Amazon’s algorithm can be manipulated using your SEO skills, but it doesn’t function the same way as a search engines like Google or Bing. Here you’re searching through Amazon’s product categories to find the right one. People aren’t typically searching for information or directions on Amazon, so the search engine focuses on matching keywords to the appropriate product listings.


What does this mean? Your page should be optimized for the search engine. Product titles, descriptions, and even your seller name can influence your search engine result ranking. Choose the words that best describe your products, and use the right backend keywords to show up earlier in the results. There are other factors, including performance, that affect your ranking, but search engine optimization is one way to get more visibility.


Checking Keyword Suggestions

Using the right keywords is critical to bringing people to your product. The engine itself is smart, and it develops suggestions based on keywords that are commonly used together. If you’re looking for keywords to optimize your page, this can be an extremely helpful tool.


Many sellers find success by matching products with others that are similar or complementary. A good way to find out what products people buy together is to type one keyword into the search engine. Then suggestions will be generated; for example, the keyword “car” might be followed by the word “charger”. “Car charger” may then generate “adapter” or “iPhone”. You can use the suggestion tool to find additional keywords that may be relevant to your product and help drive sales.


  • Keywords A to Z

If you really want to spend time with the Amazon search engine, try testing keywords followed by a single letter. Each letter of the alphabet will generate a list of suggested keywords to add to your query. This lets you dig up specific keywords that you might not have thought of, and that your competitors might not have thought of either.


"Keywords are what give your audience a clear route to your storefront."  -Click to Tweet-


Using Amazon Keyword Tools

You might not have time to sit there and test keyword after keyword, but you still need the information so you can put yourself in the best position as a seller. In this case, you’ll want to use one of the many Amazon keyword tools that are available today. Here are three of the most popular:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Price is often an issue, especially for SMBs. If you’re looking for easy and free, Google Keyword Planner may be the right choice. However, you may encounter some restrictions if you don’t have an AdWords account. Just input a keyword idea, and the tool will generate relevant keywords and as well as search data about each one.

  • Keyword Scout: Keyword Scout generates keywords based on Amazon PPC data, so you’re getting suggestions based on real users. You’ll find information about exact and broad matches, categories, and relevance. Keyword Scout will also teach you about your competitors’ spending on keyword research.

  • Sonar: Also free, Sonar specifically scans Amazon searches to generate only the most useful keyword suggestions. Find out what keywords your competitors are using thanks to the reverse search feature, and arm yourself with the right language to conquer your niche.


Analyzing Their Own Data

Whether you search for keywords manually or use an automatic tool, you’re only going to be left with suggestions. It’s up to you to continue to monitor your keywords and find out which ones are most effective and which ones are dead ends. To do this, you have to look at your own data.


To get the clearest picture of what’s working and what isn’t, look at the before and after when you optimize for new keywords. Check your biggest increases in traffic and sales, and find out what it was that made the difference. Even failed keywords can be helpful, as you can set them aside knowing not to focus on them.


High volume sellers don’t just look at their ranking on Amazon; they look at their rankings everywhere. If you’re not very visible to the Google search engine, your Amazon page probably has a lower ceiling than it could. Do what you can to increase your rankings all over the Internet, and you may see some carryover success with your Amazon sales.


Amazon keywords screenshot


Optimizing Long Tail Keywords

Keywords can be categorized as either “short” or “long” tail. Short tail keywords are in high demand because they’re brief, simple, and broad; like “car”, “phone”, or “makeup”. Since these keywords are so simple, they make up a huge amount of search queries and can be extremely lucrative. As such, there’s a lot of competition to deal with.


Long tail keywords typically involve several words, like “car seat”, “phone case”, and “makeup remover”. They are naturally more specific, so they can be tailored to your products and stand out to your particular niche. Using basic word association, you can create countless long tail keywords out of their short-tailed counterparts.


Long tail keywords are important for smaller businesses because they’re affordable. The most important short tail keywords are already being optimized for by the big names, as well as just about everyone else. Long tail keywords give you the opportunity to optimize for search terms that are in less demand but will do a better job of directing people to your online store.


Research Negative Keywords

In addition to researching the phrases that do bring people to their products, high volume sellers will look for the keywords that don’t. This way they can exclude them, so irrelevant search terms don’t lead people to the wrong products. Just like the established pros, you should find and use negative keywords to keep your traffic relevant to your products.



Online selling and the surrounding work that make it all possible are best understood when you consider it through an analogy. In this analogy your product is at the center of an environment made up of your products, your store and the physical terrain around it.


Designers and content creators are the architects of your store interior and collaborate to display your products on the website that is your storefront. Keywords and the tactics that utilize them (like PPC and targeted ads) are the countless roads and highways that lead to your establishment. It’s your job to make sure your audience has a clear route to your storefront. Do you want a crowded freeway with bumper to bumper traffic, or a clear avenue with wide lanes free parking? Keyword research can highlight the most accessible routes for success and traffic when selling online.

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