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Common Questions and Answers
If something is constant throughout your Amazon selling experience, from the beginning and as you continue to grow your business, it would be keywords. They are the alpha and omega, and they will determine whether your listing will rank on the first page or the last. For campaigns, keywords will also determine whether your ads will appear to the right audience and get that sale.
Let us help you ensure that you are using your keywords right by providing you with 20 keywords strategies you can incorporate into your store right away. Let’s begin!
Prime among the knowledge you need to have is the platform’s algorithm update. Just this year, in 2021, the algorithm was updated from A9 to A10. Some details stayed the same, but there are also many significant changes.
All these factors are being checked to ensure that Amazon customers are given accurate results and not only the listings with the highest sales.
Despite the algorithm changes, search engine optimization (SEO) is still of prime importance, and now it matters inside and outside Amazon. Here are the different tools you can use inside and outside the platform.
Amazon keyword research tools:
Google keyword research tools:
Social media keyword research tools:
Most of these tools offer more than keywords research and competitor analysis, like posting of PPC cost data and keyword competition. These data will help you decide which keywords to incorporate into your store and posts.
You will have thousands of choices for keywords to include in your store and campaigns outside Amazon. It would help to partner with SEO experts to decide which keywords to choose. Yet, if you are doing it on your own, the first step would be to strategize. Here are some things you can do:
Another key way to help you decide which keywords to include is through competitor analysis. You can conveniently do this through the same tool you use for keyword research. Just utilize the “Reverse ASIN” function of the tool to generate competitor keywords for you.
After that, you can check which keywords your competitors are ranking for, and you can piggyback on those words. It would also be strategic to check the keywords competitors don’t include but have a high search rate. You can include these in your ads and listings.
Once you decide which keywords to include, the exciting part begins—optimization both in and out of Amazon. There is not much difference. The best way to optimize is to seamlessly incorporate the keywords in your content, whether in or out the platform.
Through the help of copywriters, writers, and content creators, you can have product descriptions and bullet points inside the platform that is enticing and informative, with keywords included. It is less restrictive outside Amazon, and content can be longer and more creative, so the chances to include keywords are higher.
You have plenty of keywords to use, so use them as much as you can. An easy way is to optimize your images by renaming the file names into keywords too! If you are partnered with a graphic design team, know that even the photos themselves can include the keywords you want to rank for. You can create better images with Amazon Brand Registry.
Brand Registry is the platform’s way to protect your brand on Amazon from hijackers and counterfeiters, but when it comes to optimized images, this service is also the way!
Check out these images from SoLo Nutrition. A few of the keywords the product is aiming to rank for are the following: nutrition bar, plant-based, vegan-friendly, snack bar, and gluten-free. These keywords are also included in the product images.
Plenty of the keywords you’ll find are abbreviated and misspelled, and will not be visually pleasing to include in the front end of your store. Don’t despair, you can always include these in the back end.
For Amazon, the backend keywords can be optimized in the “Inventory,” “Manage Inventory,” and “Keywords” tab. Just enter an amount not greater than 250 bytes of words (usually, one letter/number = 1 byte) and do not use any punctuation marks to separate the words. Also, take care not to repeat any words.
What are negative keywords? These are the keywords you get clicks for which are unrelated to your product. When it comes to pay-per-click campaigns, these keywords will cost you, so what you need to do is to pinpoint which keywords they are and include them in the negative keywords portion seen in the “Campaign Manager” and “Advertising” tab of your Seller Central account.
Including negative keywords ensures your listing and ads won’t appear for those searches, so make sure to enter only specific keywords you don’t want to rank for and not to overdo it.
Has there ever been a time when you came across listings, comments, and reviews in another language (especially in Spanish) when browsing Amazon? This situation shows that Amazon has a wide variety of customers. It is best to optimize your listing and ads with languages your target audience and bulk customers speak. If you cannot include them in the front end for aesthetics, you can always have them in the back end.
Foreign languages will appear in your keyword research, but you can also translate the keywords you want to use in another language.
Moving on to optimizing your ads, you’ll come across two terms: automatic and manual campaigns.
Some think that you need to choose between the two when the best strategy is to launch them together. You can also launch an auto campaign first to know which keywords you’ll rank for, and then launch a manual campaign and bid higher for the high-ranking keywords.
An automatic campaign will help you get ideas on which keywords are being searched for. Amazon will take care of everything here, but while the algorithm does that, you need to monitor which keywords are ranking to bid more for them through manual campaigns.
There are four types of auto campaigns: substitutes, complements, loose, and close match. Loose and close match refer to keywords, while substitutes and complements are ASIN-targeted ads.
Loose match: Ads will appear on searches that are somewhat related to your product.
Close match: Ads will appear to highly relevant searches.
Substitutes: Ads will appear on product pages where your product serves as a substitute.
Complements: Ads will appear on product pages where your product serves as complements.
Substitutes and complements are highly effective, and you can also customize targeting through manual campaigns.
Substitutes: For instance, if you are selling sports drinks your ads will appear on your competitor’s product listing page as a possible substitute. In this way, buyers are given a choice. You can optimize this by targeting competitor listings with lower reviews or higher prices.
Complements: Here, if you sell sports drinks, your ads will appear on sports-related products. For instance, customers may be planning to buy some gym weights, but since your product complements working out,they may think of buying your products too.
For your manual campaigns, you’ll have three keyword match types to use: Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact Match.
For Broad Match, these are the instances when your ads will appear:
Launching a Broad Match campaign is a double-edged sword. First, the conversion rate may not be that high as the search is extremely general and your viewer may be looking for something specific. On the other hand, the rule of “the more viewers, the higher chances of growing business revenue” also applies. Nonetheless, what is sure is that you can use the data you get from Broad Matches to decide on the keywords to use for Phrase and Exact Match campaigns.
Let’s move to the next match type that is more restricted than Broad Matches: the Phrase Match. It would help if you input keywords in order for this type, and here are the searches where your ads will appear. Let’s take “kitchen knives” as an example.
Case Study: “red kitchen knives” search
Check out this sponsored ad: Set of 3 Sharp Ceramic Kitchen Knives With Anti-slip handle & sheath – 6” Chef Knife, 5” Utility Knife and 3” Fruit Knife by Sendaist. It appears in the search for “red kitchen knives” despite not being red because of the phrase match ad type.
The last keyword match type for the manual campaign is the Exact Match, and as the word itself suggests, it is only in exact searches where your ads will appear. Just like the other match types, it has benefits and disadvantages.
Whichever manual keyword match type you choose, all of them will cost you per click. It would be wise to bid lower for broad keywords as they serve as test campaigns to know which keywords to bid higher for when using Phrase and Exact match types. To know how much PPC cost you need to spend, go back to the keyword research tool you use and check the column for PPC cost.
A10 now measures ads and links outside Amazon. Start by creating your social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Youtube. Make sure to use the above social media keyword research tools for optimization.
Aside from these tools, you can also stay visible to your audience by consistently checking trending topics and hashtags and creating posts relevant to your product or brand and the hot subject. In all these posts, do not forget to include a link to your product listing.
Aside from social media accounts, it is now a must to build a website to post blogs and other long-form content about your product and industry. In the same way you optimize Amazon listing content for the A10 algorithm, you also need to optimize all your posts for search engines.
How it works:
It would help to partner with SEO experts to supply you with keywords, and a content team to keep posts fresh and relevant.
As you grow your website and social media followers, keep affiliate marketing in mind. Amazon Associates is the affiliate marketing service offered by the platform where website owners with significant site traffic and famous social media personalities can get affiliate links to post products on their accounts and get paid.
You can use affiliate marketing to your advantage by proactively looking for a successful salesperson who can create content relevant to your product and, of course, seamlessly endorse it. Links leading to your Amazon product listing should always be available, and endorsers’ call-to-actions should always include asking their audience to click the link to learn more.
Last but not least, learn the importance of data monitoring, analysis, and decision making. After all the optimization you do inside and outside of Amazon, the work doesn’t stop: you need to constantly monitor the following:
Campaigns outside Amazon:
If the numbers look good, you need to analyze what made it successful to duplicate, maintain, or surpass your achievements. If you are not hitting the goals, then, based on data, you need to adjust your strategies accordingly.
If you want to increase your sales and ranking on Amazon, the first step is to ace your keyword optimization. It will ensure that your listing will appear in search results and your ads will show up at the right time and be viewed by the right people. With well-thought-out content and visually pleasing and informative ads, you can get your customers to click and hopefully make that sale.
Just remember that campaigns in and out of Amazon are not one-time things but a continuous process. Change what does not work, bid higher on what makes you succeed, and eventually your revenue will soar!
About the author
Jayce is the managing director of Seller Interactive, the number one Amazon advertising agency based in Canada that helps brands build their business on Amazon. His content marketing expertise has led him to work with brands such as Toyota and GoDaddy, producing content that has reached over 20M views in a month.