There are few things in life that make me more excited than keyword research.
But one of those things is writing about keyword research!
And what’s even weirder is that I’ll probably do keyword research to find relevant keywords to include in this article about keyword research.
Yeah. Ponder that one for a few minutes.
Anyway, keywords are a big deal. Developers and copywriters spend tons of time loading up website content, meta tags and headings with keywords that are relevant to the site’s industry. Bloggers research keywords to use in their articles to increase their organic search engine results. Digital advertising managers run pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns that focus on keywords.
Why? Because every business in the world relies on keywords.
When people want information or are looking to buy something, they ask questions. Where can I get _____? Do you know what _____ means? How do you ____?
All those blanks represent keywords. You may ask your friend where to find some blue house slippers (keyword: blue house slippers). And your friend may send you to the local brick-and-mortar house slipper store. And obviously, the same thing applies online. People around the world ask Google about 47 billion times a day where to find what they’re looking for.
How is this all relevant? Because we’re in the eCommerce business. And when people want to buy something – a product, item, gadget, tool, etc. – they go to Amazon. And when they go to Amazon, they click on the search bar and type in what they’re looking for. And those words that they type in? Those are your keywords.
If you know the exact words and phrases your potential customers are searching for, then you can make your product easier for them to find. You can include those keywords in your product description, bullet points, etc. You can fill up your search term fields. And you can run PPC campaigns focused on those keywords.
All of these things will make your product(s) more visible to potential customers. And if your product is relevant to what they’re looking for, that means more sales for you!
So how do we find all the keywords that customers are searching for? I’m glad you asked.
Everyone has different methods for keyword research on Amazon, and I don’t think any of them are right or wrong. This is just how I do it. I start with a blank Excel sheet. I like Excel because it’s easy to sort, add, delete or manipulate data and all kinds of ways. It also makes it easy to copy and paste our keywords into the Keyword Search Terms field later on. But a pen and paper will work just fine.
For this example, my product is going to be a “bamboo drawer organizer” (something like this):
Mining Amazon for Keywords
The first thing I like to do is just start brainstorming and list out all of the words that describe my product. Things like: brown, kitchen, utensils, compartments, adjustable, etc. Then I like to put myself in the shoes of my potential customer: If I were searching for this product on Amazon, what would I type in the search bar? Other words may come to mind: storage, dividers, etc.
After this first step, my spreadsheet looks like this:
Notice that the words “bamboo,” “drawer” and “organizer” aren’t on the list. That’s because they will be in the product’s main description, so Amazon will automatically index them as keywords.
The next thing I like to do is check out where the customers are: Amazon. If you go to Amazon and start typing in the search bar, you’ll notice that they start trying to complete your search phrase for you. That’s because other people are searching for the same thing, and Amazon knows this. So to make your life easier, they start suggesting potential keyword phrases. Look at what happens when I just type “bamboo drawer” in the search bar:
I didn’t even get to type in “organizer” before Amazon started guessing what I may be searching for. And low and behold, “organizer” was the very first set of suggestions. That’s good to know, because it looks like my product name is correct. And best part? Down below that is a list of other suggested search terms. Those are things that people are searching for on Amazon, so it’s a great place to mine some more keywords for my list.
If any of the search terms suggested are relevant to my product, than I add them to my list. I already had “dividers” listed from my brainstorming session, so I don’t add that again. “Pulls” are not relevant, because my product isn’t a drawer pull. However, “boxes,” “tray,” “box” and “inserts” are all features of – or other ways to describe – my product. Those words go on my spreadsheet.
Now I just start typing the next word. I know “bamboo drawer organizer” is good, so I just start adding “organizer” in my search bar. I only have to type the letter “o” and Amazon already gives me a new list of suggestions that go along with my main keyword phrase. Here’s what pops up:
From this list, I see that “boxes” and “trays” are the two main, long-tail phrases that people search for. So I make note of that, because I’ll want those words in the Product Name for my listing. I also see that people are searching for a number that’s relevant to these organizers. I’m not sure if it’s the size of the tray or the number of compartments they’re looking for, so I just click on the first suggested search with “13.”
The first thing I notice is that almost all of the listings for similar products list both the size of the tray AND the number of compartments. That tells me that I need to make sure to have this information in my listing. It will probably go in my bullet points, but it won’t hurt to include those numbers in my Keyword Search Terms as well.
This is about to get really tedious, so bear with me! But I’ve found several good keywords this way. Now that I have “bamboo drawer organizer” in the search box, I just start typing one new letter at a time. Start with “a” and go to “z.” You only have to type one letter and Amazon will start suggesting more words. So as soon as I type the letter “a,” here’s what I see:
It gives me one suggestion – “adjustable” – but that’s a word I already have on my list. When I type “b,” it just suggests “boxes.” Already got that. I get nothing for “c”. But for “d” I get “deep.” That’s good to know. People want to know how deep the organizer is. For “e” I get “expandable.” My product isn’t expandable, though, so I pass on that one. For “l” I get “large.” My product is large, so that’s good.
Cut to the end of the alphabet, and I’ve found a few more relevant keywords. Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like now:
Mining Google for Keywords
Now onto Google. If you’re familiar with their Keyword Planner tool, that’s a great resource. Type in your main keyword (“bamboo drawer organizer”) and it will give you a list of other relevant keywords. I actually use an app called Long Tail Pro (affiliate link) that aggregates all of the data from Google. Depending on how popular your product is, it will give you hundreds of keywords suggestions. It will also give you the average monthly search volume (in Google), and it has a metric that tells you how competitive those keywords are. There’s also a column that give you an Amazon competitiveness rating. But yes, Long Tail Pro does cost money. It’s not necessary – just a luxury!
So for the simple, free method: Do what we just did in Amazon’s search bar. When I type in “bamboo drawer organizer,” Google starts suggesting some more phrases:
And here we go again – “trays” and “boxes” top the list. For now, I just hit enter and complete the search for my main keyword. I’m not interested in the search results, though. I’m interested in the info down at the bottom, buried underneath the heading, “Searches related to bamboo drawer organizer”:
Notice the 8 search phrases Google is suggesting. And notice that they put the new words that are added to my phrase in bold lettering. That makes it easy!
But alas, we already have all of the relevant keywords on our list. Google seems to agree with Amazon. And there’s one on the list – “expandable” – that we left off because it isn’t relevant. But maybe I’ll make a mental note that people are interested in that feature. Maybe I’ll make an expandable drawer container in the future.
Next, I just click on one of Google’s relevant suggestions (I picked the one with “trays”). I immediately scroll back down to the bottom of the page and see what new suggestions I get:
Nothing new here. And some of the suggestions are moving toward more generic products (away from bamboo), so I don’t want to take those too far. I just click on the first option, “bamboo drawer dividers.” I already have all of those keywords, but let’s see what Google comes back with:
There’s a new one: “shallow.” People want to know how “deep” the product is so they can determine if it will fit in their drawer. So we’ll tell them that dimension. And then if we use “shallow” as one of our keywords, people who search for that may find our product. Perfect!
So for my product, it looks like I got the majority of my main keywords from Amazon. But sometimes Google will be an absolute gold mine, so make sure you use it.
Mining the Competition for Keywords
Finally, I want to take a look at the top sellers of similar products. I like to read through their listings and see if they are using any descriptive words that I haven’t come across yet. Here is the #1 best seller in my product category:
Does anything jump out at you? Here are some new words that I see: “utility,” “dimensions,” “high quality,” “strong,” etc. Some of these are just adjectives meant to touch on the emotions of the buyers. But some of them are obviously qualities that customers care about. Here’s what the final version of my spreadsheet looks like:
I’ve got a total of 24 keywords to include in my listing. And depending on your product, don’t be surprised if you come up with over 100 keywords. And Amazon gives you plenty of room to add all of them in the Search Term fields, so use them!
Since I’m already pushing 2,000 words on this article, so I won’t go into detail on optimizing PPC campaigns or anything right now. Just know what your main keywords need to be in your Product Name under “Vital Info.” That is basically the title of your Amazon listing, and Amazon treats indexes everything in your title as a keyword. So my product name for this one might be: “Bamboo Kitchen Drawer Organizer Tray with Large Adjustable Compartments and Storage Dividers.”
It’s rich with keywords, and it’s very descriptive of what my product is. It may not be the best, but I won’t know until I try it out and then see if I can tweak the title after some testing. And the rest of my keywords will appear either in the bullet points somewhere, because that’s the very first thing customers read when they click on your product. I may use them again in the longer product description, but I want to make sure I use them in my bullet points.
Adding the keywords from your Product Name into the Search Term fields is unnecessary, because Amazon counts them from your Product Name. I don’t think there’s any harm in adding them, however, so I usually just copy and paste all of my keywords into the Search Term fields when I’m editing the listing.
Anyway, enough about keyword research. I’m sure this wasn’t the most exciting thing to read, but hopefully it’s helpful to anyone wanting to find some more keywords to target for their FBA products.