Amazon Search Term SEO: 7 Golden Rules for Backend Keywords!

Amazon search term is a hidden section for sellers to insert keywords and improve ranking.

It seems like Amazon is paying a lot of attention to search terms these days. It is changing the rules again and again in order to find the best one.

In this post, I will share with you the 7 golden rules in Amazon search term SEO and teach you how to choose the best backend keywords for your product!

amazon backend keyword seo

Amazon's Latest Updates for Search terms

  • Jan 2017: ST characters were limited to 1000. The first line carried the most ranking weight.
  • July 2017: Amazon only indexed the first 250 characters. 
  • July 2018: ST became an unimportant ranking factor temporarily.
  • check
    Aug 2018: ST fields were reduced from 5 to 1. Sellers are only allowed to input up to 250 characters in the ST filed. It became an important ranking factor again!
amazon search term updates

Rule #1: choose your keywords wisely.

What does this new  250-character limit indicate?

  1. Amazon doesn't want you to manipulate search terms with unrelated keywords or other people's brand names, which means Amazon is totally not ignoring the keywords in your search term field.
  2. Amazon wants you to make careful selection of keywords instead of dumping all keywords into the search terms without even thinking about it, which means Amazon is really gonna take these 250 characters seriously in terms of indexing and ranking.

Little is More!

It's time to find the most important keywords for your product and make use of the 250 characters wisely!

Rule #2: do not repeat keywords again and again.

Amazon's official statement: 

"Do not duplicate content present in other attributes, such as title and bullet points. Thus, there is clearly no need to repeat keywords in search terms. Duplicating keywords will only waste your precious space for getting more keywords indexed or ranked."

Rule #3: do not exceed the 250-character limit.

Updated in Aug 2018: Now you can only input up to 250 characters...

Amazon's official statement:

"Keep content within the prescribed length limit (less than 250, 200 for India, 500 for Japan): Length limit applies to total content in all generic keyword fields (a max. of 5 attributes). Whole entry will be rejected upon exceeding limit.

Number of bytes equals number of characters for alphanumeric characters (e.g. a-z, 0-9) while other characters can be 2 bytes or more. Examples include ä (2 bytes), £ (2 bytes), € (3 bytes) or (3 bytes).Spaces and punctuation (“;” “,”, “.”) do not contribute to the length limit, but words should be space-separated. Punctuation between words is unnecessary."

Rule #4: analyse at least 5 competitors before choosing keywords.

We know that one of the reasons you love the backend keyword extractor tool is because it can save you so much time from keyword research. However, we also noticed that many sellers will only extract one of their competitors’ keywords and copy them directly to their own listing without even thinking about it.

This is not acceptable because the search term section is not a one-keyword-fits-all situation. From our past experience, you should at least check 5 competitors’ backend keywords before you can know what are the best keywords you should use.

We will show you the best practice step by step in the last section of this article.

Rule #5: Do not use punctuation in your search terms.

Amazon's official statement:

"Spaces and punctuation (“;” “,”, “.”) do not contribute to the length limit, but the words should be space-separated."

Some people may say there is no difference between using a comma or a space. However, after our 3-month research of 1000 ASINs’ backend keywords, we found that the comma really has a negative influence in your search terms.

Below is a bad example:

amazon backend keywords comma

Rule #6: optimise your search terms continuously.

Most sellers only optimise it once and never touch it again. However, backend keywords should be constantly modified based on your keywords index and rank performance.

As you may have already known, the content on your listing's front page should not be modified once the listing has launched and gained good ranking on Amazon. Change listing title & bullets will make you loss the current keyword ranking.

This is when search terms come handy.

If there are any other keywords you want Amazon to index after your product launch, you can simply add them into your search terms.

But you shouldn't modify it too often as it takes times for the keywords to get indexed and ranked by Amazon. 

You can use this free keyword index checker tool to check your keyword indexation status quickly to see if your modification takes effect.

Rule #7: always follow amazon's rules.

Amazon's rules for search terms:

  • Don’t include product identifiers such as brand names, product names, compatible product names, ASINs, UPC codes, etc.
  • Don’t provide inaccurate, misleading, or irrelevant information such as the wrong product category, the wrong gender, out-of-context words, etc.
  • Don’t provide excessively long content. Respect the limits that are set for different fields.
  • Don’t provide redundant information that is already captured in other fields such as title, author, product description, bullet points, brand, etc. It won’t improve your product placement in search results.
  • When entering several words as a search term, put them in the most logical order. A customer is more likely to search for big stuffed teddy bears than for teddy stuffed bears.
  • Use a single space to separate keywords. No commas, semicolons, carets are required.
  • Don’t include statements that are only temporarily true, e.g., “new,” “on sale,” “available now.”
  • Don’t include subjective claims such as amazing, good quality, etc., as most customers don’t use subjective terms in their queries.
  • Don’t include common misspellings of the product name. Amazon’s search engine compensates for common customer misspellings and also offers corrective suggestions.
  • Don’t provide variants of spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and pluralization (“80GB” and “80 GB,” “computer” and “computers,” etc.). Our search engine automatically includes different case forms, word forms, and spelling variants for searching.
  • Don’t include terms that are abusive or offensive in nature.
  • Abbreviations, alternate names, topic (for books, etc.), and key character (for books, movies, etc.)could be included as keywords.

amazon backend search term SEO: the best practice

Step 1: Choose 10 competitors the meet all 3 requirements below:

  • Good sales and reviews (>100 review is good)
  • Rank on the first page for your main keyword
  • Very relevant and similar to your product

Step 2: Use the Backend Keyword Extractor to extract all keywords these 10 products are using at their search term fields.

Step 3: Create a group in Listing Builder and add these 10 sets of keywords into your group's ST Bank.

Step 4: You can find all keywords you added just now in the Listing Builder ST Bank section. Ranking from the highest to the lowest frequency. 

The number at the top right corner indicates how many times this word appears in the 10 set of backend keywords you added. The higher the frequency, the more important this word is.

Now you can click the button "Add to Search Term" to add all keywords from the most frequently appeared to the least frequently appeared into the Search Term field at the right. This is very easy to understand, keywords that all of your top competitors are using should be used in your listing too!

Also, it will automatically help you limit the total characters to be 250 following Amazon's latest rules.

Job done!

So far this is our favorite way to optimize search terms as it is super easy to do and saves us a lot of time from manual keywords selection and edit. 

Keywords that are already added into your search terms will be highlighted in green in the ST Bank.

You can also manually edit your search term field after that if you want to.

amazon backend search term seo

Step 5: Copy paste your search terms to Sellercentral. 

Well done! Now you have well-optimized search terms after spending 5 mins on consolidating keywords from your top competitors!

Good luck listing your product and don't forget the 7 golden rules of search term optimization!

What are the other Amazon topics you want to learn in our future articles? Comment below to let us know and we will make an article for it!

Like this post? Share it with your friends!

Comments (2)

Awesome points. Can I share your article on other Facebook groups?

Thanks! Of course you can! Please feel free to share it to anywhere you want~

Comments are closed.