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How To Research Keywords for Amazon Products

  • May 27, 2016 | Avalara

You could think of Amazon as the world’s largest search engine for products. Every day, millions of people visit Amazon and browse its catalog for things to buy.

Google also has a piece of the action when it comes to shopping, but when considering buyer intent, it pales in comparison to Amazon.

So how do you tap into the mind of the Amazon consumer? How can you place your products in such a way that your customers are able to find them?

Keyword Research

Helping people find your products relies on solid keyword research. Keywords are words and phrases that people enter into search engines. 

It's important to use keywords that a high degree of relevance to what you're selling; they must be closely tied to your product. On Amazon, specific keywords are better than broad ones.

For example, a healthy-back store might choose the key phrase "mattress for back pain" instead of just listing a product as a “mattress," or might choose “lumbar support pillow" instead of just "back pillow."

This store's customers are looking for the solution to a problem, and any old mattress won't cut it. In fact, "any old mattress" might be causing their problems in the first place.

Finding Keywords

Here are three good methods for finding keywords for Amazon. 

Google Keyword Planner

First off, use the Google Keyword Planner tool. The Google Keyword Planner tool is a part of Google's advertising suite -- Google Adwords. They've built this tool so you can find keywords to use in ads placed in Google searches (also known as "Sponsored" listings). But even though it's a Google tool, the keywords it shows are suitable for SEO use and even for Amazon. Google is the largest search engine in the world, and the data Google has is pretty much the “collective consciousness” of the entire internet.

All you need to access the Keyword Planner is a Google account. If you haven't used it before, they'll ask you to "sign up" again, which is just you telling Google you'd like to use your existing account for Adwords too. You don't have to fill out any billing information to use the Keyword Planner. If you end up somewhere else when you try to get to the Keyword Planner, as long as you are in Adwords, you'll be able to access the Keyword Planner using the "Tools" menu on the top of the page.

It’s safe to assume that the keywords people are using on Google are going to be similar to the keywords people use on Amazon. Once you've got the Keyword Planner open, enter a word or phrase people would use to search for your product, and click get ideas.

Note that the volume of searches will be for Google, not Amazon, but it’s safe to assume that the volume on Amazon will be proportional.


If you’d like to get Amazon-specific data, try MerchantWords. At $35 per month, it will show you roughly how many searches a particular keyword gets on Amazon.

MerchantWords works in pretty much the same way as Google Keyword Planner: You enter a keyword and it will spit out results for that keyword and related keywords, too.

Remember to make a note of any good keywords you find and enter them into a spreadsheet.

Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click) 

Amazon PPC requires you to already have a product for sale on Amazon. If that is the case, you can run Amazon Sponsored Products ads with an “Automatic Targeting” campaign.

Automatic targeting means Amazon will show your ads for whatever keywords their algorithms feel is relevant. This usually introduces you to lots of new keywords that you wouldn’t have thought of.

Run your campaign for a week or two, then go into the Sponsored Products dashboard and download the keyword report. You’ll find it under your Campaign => Ad Group => Keywords. There, you’ll see a button that says “Get report” -- it’ll take a couple of minutes for the reports to generate, then you can download them.

Open up the report in your favorite spreadsheet program, and you’ll be able to see the different keywords your ads showed for, as well as how many impressions (views) your ad got, how many clicks those ads got, and how many orders your ads brought in.

Keywords that inspired the most orders are keywords you want to target. Keywords that received lots of clicks but fewer orders are keywords that are worth exploring, but perhaps you may have to tailor your listing a little more to appeal to those buyers.

Keywords are the backbone of your Amazon strategy -- make them just right and your customers will find you. 

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