Understanding Amazon Keyword Research in 2022
April 4, 2022 Posted by LEWIS FLETCHER

A key factor in your product’s success is something called Amazon keyword research. If this seems like a scary prospect do not fear. This article will outline everything you need to know in order to make 2022 a successful year for your business.

Amazon’s A9 Search Algorithm

Amazon, Google and Bing are all search engines. But whereas your homepage search engine deals in images, news and pictures Amazon focuses solely on one thing: listing products for sale by their relevance to buyers.

The search engine - called A9 – hates the idea of scrolling. It wants to make sure that customers have to scroll through, at most, three search results to find the item they’re looking for. A customer having to scroll through hundreds of unrelated items reduces the chance of a sale. This is why the A9 search engine is so important.

Product relevance and keyword research

The exact formula Amazon uses to measure product relevance is in fact a bit of a trade secret. If they told people then every seller would know how get their product listed in that coveted top spot on the results page.

So in reality it’s all a bit of an educated guess – but the general consensus from experts is that certain key criteria are essential to understanding how to get the best out of Amazon’s ranking methods.

1. Conversion rate and sales velocity

Conversion rate

News flash. People are attracted to popular products!

Predicting whether someone will buy a certain product is calculated using a formula called the conversion rate.

Sales ÷ total number of item views (page hits or ‘impressions’) = conversion rate.

Amazon’s conversion rate is a giant 13%. Top sites aim for 5.31% or higher while the industry average is 2.35%.

Sales Velocity

The formula for working out sales velocity is a bit more complex.

[Page impressions hits x sale price] x conversion rate = example number.

Example number ÷ sales length cycle = Sales Velocity.

This example will make everything clear.

  • Your product page has 5,000 impressions in 1 month.
  • Average sale is $30.
  • Conversion rate is 10%.
  • Sales length cycle is 30 days.
  • ((5000 x 30) 0.10 / 30 = 500

$200 is your sales velocity and that is what you make in a day on average.

2. Product title

Your product’s title tells your customer what you’re selling but just as importantly it tells the A9 search engine what your product is.

Until sales are generated the only way Amazon keyword research can classify and group your product is using the product title and its details. This obviously makes efficient Amazon keyword research essential for sellers.

At this current moment in time Amazon permits sellers 200 characters in their title.

3. Bullet points

Keep the information in your five allotted bullet points concise and short. They should include keywords that you weren’t able to include in your title. The information in the bullet points should explain your product to a buyer and shouldn’t include unnecessary information - your potential buyer should only have to read relevant product information.

4. Description

Although not as important as information higher up the page product description is still very important in persuading a potential customer to make a purchase – after all, if they haven’t bought the product yet they are probably still deliberating about whether to go through with the purchase. This an excellent opportunity to include any lower-volume keywords you felt unable to include earlier.

5. Other possible ranking signals

It’s important to remember that Amazon may change their criteria for ranking products. We can assume that they also take into consideration reviews, promotions, images and back-end keywords.

Amazon keyword research: the process

This is when things get a bit scientific. But absorb the following process about Keyword Research and ensuring your products are relevant to buyers will become second nature.

Long tail vs. short tail

Phrases with 1-3 words are known as short-tail keyword phrases.

Longer phrases of 4 words or more are called long-tail keyword phrases.

People search for short-tail keyword phrases a lot more than longer ones but due to increased competition costs are higher.

On the other end of the spectrum long-tail keyword phrases have a lower cost and a better chance of conversion. BUT they have a comparatively limited search volume. The result is that a large amount of long-tail keywords are needed to compensate for disparity in search volume.

Let’s look at some examples to make things clearer.

You sell shoes and the short-tail term ‘shoes’ gives a search volume of up to 1,000,000. But the competition associated with this keyword is very high so the keyword costs an expensive $5.

The inevitable result of this approach is that if shoppers click on your product it’s often not what they’re looking for. ‘Shoes’ is just too broad a category. You’ll probably end up with a conversion rate of around 1%. You’re making a gross profit of $10 on up to $500 advertising costs. And the chances are that you won’t make that money back.

The result is much better if you want to get ranked using the long-tail phrase ‘blue Adidas kids running shoes’.

Despite getting only 500 monthly searches the cost of each click is just $0.25. And the conversion rate is an excellent 19%.

At just $1.32 in advertising costs per sale the effect on your net income is obvious.

While it’s cheaper to use long-tail phrases, if you’re not hitting sales targets even with a conversion rate then there’s a problem. The solution is to add more long-tail phrases until you seen an upward trend in sales.

The purpose of adding more long-tail phrases is to compensate for their lower search volumes.

In general, the long-tail phrase approach is the safest bet for your business. The financial cost of converting short-tail opportunities is usually too high.

Amazon keyword research strategy

So now you know what the keywords are. Next step: how to actually find them.

Run Amazon PPC Automatic campaigns

You have two options for your Amazon pay-per-click advertising (PPC) campaigns.

  • Amazon PPC Manual Campaigns: This is where the choice of keywords is up to YOU. Sellers often find this surprisingly difficult as they deliberate over what keywords to rank for.
  • Amazon PPC Automatic campaigns: When Amazon chooses the keywords to advertise your product they try a range of keywords. They use ones that offer the best conversion. If there are changes to the success of certain keywords then Amazon will review and modify accordingly.

Our advice is to use Amazon’s automatic campaign initially. This isn’t as illogical as you might think - Amazon’s system knows how to find the best keywords and it will save you time and hassle.

A week into the sales cycle perform a report for your keyword search terms (found in Reports > Advertising). Order the spreadsheet by best-converting keywords. The conversion rate metric will tell you exactly what type of keywords you should be using.

To see what keywords Amazon is aiming for within your campaign without running a search terms report go to your advertising dashboard and click on the automatic campaign, go to the ad group and then click ‘Search terms’. Because you now know the best-performing keywords you can switch to a manual campaign. But remember to keep checking in and changing the keywords to optimise your listing.

Final thoughts

So as you can see Amazon Keyword Research is not as daunting as it first appears. It’s one of the most important ways to drive traffic to your product. Understanding the difference between long-tail and short-tail phrases, as well as regular review of what keywords work, will ensure your product has the best chance of selling well

Lewis Fletcher
Senior Content Manager