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Why Amazon Keywords Matter More Than EVER?

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Did you know that on average, Amazon buyers enter into the Amazon search bar 25-30 M new keyword phrases per month? Yes, Amazon is a ferociously dynamic marketplace - which gives it a privileged position among product search engines.

Unlike Google keywords which can be rather informative, interrogative, and rather passive, Amazon keywords are active as they express people's clear intent to buy.

For newbies, we could even try to define them like this:

Amazon keywords are words and phrases that online shoppers enter into the Amazon search field when they're interested to purchase something.

Now building upon the crucial importance of keywords in the Amazon marketplace, let's see some statistics that will knock your socks off, or, at least get them to easily slide inside your shoes:

  • 75% of Americans do most of their online shopping on Amazon*

  • Amazon beat Google by covering 54% of all online product searches in 2018**

  • In 2018, 92% of US online shoppers bought at least one item from Amazon***

Keywords are the pulse of the Amazon algorithm, along with reviews and sales, and what makes them your priority, dear seller, is the fact that they're the only ball that's 100% in your court. Why? You and only you are in charge of them, whereas reviews and sales are not.

Amazon search is based on keywords
Keywords are the engine of the Amazon search

How shoppers search for products helps Amazon sellers like yourself understand the consumer mindset and align their product development, lineup, launch, advertising strategies, and marketing to these "search habits."

Amazon A9 algorithm's work starts long before an online shopper types a query. Amazon constantly analyses data, observes traffic patterns history, and indexes the descriptive written content for each product available in the Amazon catalog before the customer has even decided to search. As soon as the first keystroke happens, THE ALGORITHM “jumps” with instant suggestions and a wide-ranging set of search results.

Amazon Keywords REFLECT your marketplace

In Merchant Words' 5-year report "And How Shopper Searches Have Changed Since 2014", there's the best example: Google searches for the key phrase"hidden cameras" are on a downward trend, while Amazon searches for the exact phrase are going up. This means that more potential buyers are past their "research phase" (that involves Google) and have moved into the "purchasing" queue - Amazon! Their intent is strong! They're one "add to cart" click away from getting what they want.

Having access to a well-researched list of Amazon-based keywords will tell you exactly what specs will sell your product, so do your SEO keyword research right and you'll outsmart your competition. Our Amazon Listing Optimization Service always provides this full SEO research and clients often ask us why? They can't post in on Amazon, so what's the use? This is it!

By simply searching on Merchant Words the full list of keywords that include "hidden cameras," the main features that currently lead Amazon sales for these devices to show up: "wifi", "USB", "spy", "wireless", "HD" and "4k". Therefore, if you're selling hidden cameras, your product should feature these if you want to keep up with the current trend. You can also use other tools like Keyword tool, Helium 10, or Sonar from Sellics (and these are just a few keyword research tools, to begin with).

Besides specs, let's see what else keywords teach us about our future buyers.

Main hidden cameras features revealed by popular keywords as per Merchant Words search
Main hidden cameras features revealed by popular keywords with a simple search on Merchant Words

Know Popular Colors, Product Fabrics & Client Demographics

Now, what can we learn about keywords from the Merchant Words' 5-year report?

1. Language

In the US marketplace, searches are not 100% in English, reflecting the population diversity, so don't be surprised if when going over your keywords list you spot some Spanish or Chinese terms!

2. Fabric and color

Shoppers use more and more modifiers to fine-tune their searches. And by modifiers, we mean product variables that describe a product's appearance, qualities, or features. Most frequent are: - material: top 5 is 1. Plastic, 2. Silicone, 3. Stainless Steel, 4. Organic Cotton - color: top 5 most popular are 1. black, 2. red, 3. blue, 4. white, 5. pink.

3. Superlatives

For product categories in the most competitive market segments, superlative search patterns are based on quality, value, and price. This means that instead of searching for the main keyword "smartphone," they'll also attach a qualifier such as "cheap smartphone" or "newest iPhone" just because these niches are very dynamic and customers are still learning about what they need to buy.

For instance, in the categories "beauty" and "baby", people tend to search for the "best" and "cheapest" products, while for electronics, it's "cheap", "best", "latest" and "newest." Other frequent adjectives are "warmest," "smallest," and "latest".

4. Who's it for?

The volume of key phrases that include the words “for women” is double that those including “for men, ” with “for kids” ranking on #3.

5. Brand name

In 2014, on a monthly basis, almost 23M Amazon keywords contained a brand name. This volume almost doubled in the past five years, reaching 42M. In this topic, it's interesting to see how the branded vs. non-branded are performing in searches.

Branded keywords have a share of 50% in the total volume of monthly keywords, they're just 40% of overall search volume, non-branded key phrases are still more searched, with 60% of Amazon shoppers using them. This shows us that before purchasing, they just have their need in mind and they're not after a particular brand.

In 2018, the Amazon US "search terms" had 72M unique keywords per month, with 36% of keywords changing each month, influenced by trends and newness.

Short Case Study: US women buying behavior****

And since we're here, let's take a look at some delicious statistics and insights:

  • Women prefer to shop online, while men still go for bricks and mortar.

  • Women are more sensitive to prices, as 38% of them are basically "bargain hunters," so if you're targeting them, they'll be more delighted to react to deals and discounts than men (only 18% seek sales, while 42% go for full-priced retailers - just 31% of women do so).

  • 40% of women frequently use their phones to shop, compared with just 22% of men.

So why is Amazon SEO important?

Most retailers invest a lot of time in Amazon Keywords and Search Engine Optimization because it's one of the must-do's of a successful listing, which means more sales. Ignoring Amazon-specific SEO queries and either short or long-tail keywords is just like allowing your competitors to take the lead. You'll not just waste the chance to get found by a huge customer base, but in time, you can expect losses. On the one hand, Amazon SEO keyword research is compulsory if you really want buyers to find your products, but also, don't expect that by handling or researching SEO only, you'll get on the first page of search results. One thing is sure: your competitors are most probably doing it, so what are you waiting for?

Amazon Keywords – Tips for product page optimization (front-end + back-end)

Now let's get technical and start optimizing your Amazon listing, considering the following tips:

  • Keyword stuffing or repetition is not necessary. If you use target keywords once or 10 times, it's the same for the Amazon algorithm.

  • The back-end "search terms" field is very important and it's where you should enter all the relevant search words (making sure not to repeat them). A string of 249 bytes (249 characters with spaces, in general - unless you have special characters that are the equivalent of more than 1 byte - for instance "é" as in "décor."

  • If you have words with irregular plural (formed any other way than adding a final "s", for your peace of mind, add the plural as well. For instance, if you target the word "leaf", include "leaves" in your search terms.

  • Disregard capital and lowercase lettering, umlauts, and auxiliary words. As for keyword position, keep it as natural and conversational as possible, for instance, the words "brown teddy bear" should be written in this order instead of "bear brown teddy."

For more tips and tricks on Amazon keyword research, organic search, and keyword optimization, browse through the articles published here OR hire us and we'll take care of everything for you: from competitors' ASIN lookup to professional SEO analysis and catchy listing content writing.

Data sources: Main data source: THE AMAZON KEYWORD SEARCH ECONOMY And How Shopper Searches Have Changed Since 2014 * Vox, Sept 28, 2018. **Jumpshot Data Report Q2 2018. ***NPR/Marist Poll 2018. **** CNBC article titled: "Men aren’t willing to shop online as much as women".


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