Customers can find products on Amazon only when the listing contains all relevant search terms entered in the search query. Although most search engine keyword optimizations usually operate the same, Amazon has a different approach by encouraging sellers to apply only relevant search terms that do not fit in the title or bullet points.
The No.1 recommended method to optimize your backend search term fields is to check what your competitors have been doing! Here is the video guide to teach you how to use this simple and powerful tool to extract your competitors’ 100% Exact backend keywords within a matter of seconds!
As the only tool in the market which can instantly extract any ASIN’s search term, sellers have flooded our inboxes with many questions about how to optimize their search terms. After analyzing thousands of ASINs and gathering information from them, today we are so excited to show you:
- The top 8 mistakes we found that most sellers have made.
- Best practice and recommendations following Amazon’s latest rules.
- The detailed report from our research of 1000 ASINs.
Lets get started!
Mistake #1: Most sellers think the “search term” section is the least important field to optimize.
Sellers should keep in mind the importance order: Title＞ Bullet Point＞ Search Term＞ Description
We have seen a pattern that new products which are selling well are the ones with the best keywords optimized listings.
Mostly because they have to take advantage of keywords optimization to compete with those top sellers who a have huge amount of reviews accumulated over the years and lower prices.
Mistake #2: Put everything in the first field instead of separating all keywords into 5 lines.
Most sellers believe that the first search term field carries the most weight, thus they stuff a bunch of keywords into the first line.
However, one of the biggest findings from our research is: You should separate your keywords into 5 lines instead of filling all your 250 characters to your first field of your search terms.
That is because Amazon actually puts an equal weight on each of the five lines. For example, if the total weight of the backend search term is 10 points, then each line will take 2 points and each keyword in the same line splitting the 2 points. This means if you have 10 keywords in the same line, then each keyword will only get 0.2 points.
Thus, if you are only using one line, then you are wasting 80% of the opportunity.
A good example illustration:
This will also lead to questions #5 & #6….
Mistake #3: Repeat the important words again and again.
Amazon has said:
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.
Mention keywords once and then move on to the next ones.
Mistake #4: Do not follow the 250 rule strictly.
Let’s look at the official announcement from Amazon:
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.
Mistake #5: Copy all the keywords from one competitor and paste them to their own ASIN directly.
We know that one of the reasons you love the backend keyword extraction tool is because it can save you so much time from keyword research. However, we also know that many sellers will only extract one of their competitors’ keywords and copy them directly to their own listing without even thinking about it because they want the best exposure.
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 method in the last section of this article.
Mistake #6: Use comma between words instead of space.
Amazon has given us the final answer:
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.
What most people don’t know is that in the sellercentral backend, Amazon uses a comma to separate your 5 search term fields. If you use a comma to separate your keywords, Amazon will not be able to identify the 5 fields and will combine all the 5 search term fields into the first one, which is the same because you only used the first row and leave the rest 4 blank.
An example illustration screenshot from the tool:
Mistake #7: Optimize it once and will never touch it again.
Backend keywords should be constantly modified based on your sales performance, but you should never modify them often! It will take much time for the keywords of your listing 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. The frequency we recommend is to update your search terms once a month, but that is not a fixed rule since product’s sales performance speed varies from product to product.
Mistake #8: Not following Amazon’s rule.
Amazon’s official instruction for search term optimization:
Amazon provides sellers with an opportunity to add hidden keywords for a product. These keywords should only include generic words that enhance the discoverability of your product. For example, if you are selling headphones, your hidden keywords may contain synonyms such as “earphones” and “earbuds.” Hidden keywords are not required fields.
Here are some best practices for providing hidden keywords:
- 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.
What is the best practice & recommendations for optimizing search terms to improve my keyword ranking and traffic?
Most of our regular users have already found that some big players have very little keywords in the search term fields.
But why is that?
As we explained before, the overall weight of all the search terms is constant. The more backend keywords you put, the less weight a single keyword will get. Thus adding only 1 keyword per line will give this keyword 2 points weight. That’s why you saw your competitor only added a few big keywords in the backend.
Am I saying that you should follow the same rules and use very little keywords?
The answer is no.
Because there is no way for a newly released product to compete with the big players for those big keywords. Amazon will add a larger factor to the same search terms from a big player, which will have them indexed much higher than you.
Long tail keywords would be the best way for a newly released product to gather traffic in an early period because they are very specific to what you are selling. Whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy. In virtually every case, such specific searches are far more likely to become sales than general generic searches.
That is why we come up with the 2+3 rule for our tool users to benefit the most from their searches. Choose 2 best sellers and 3 new sellers which have well-optimized listing pages and good performance. Then, check the backend keywords for each of them and analyze them to find a pattern and combine all the keywords you found important to optimize your search terms.
If you set many long tail keywords in the early life of your listing, then every 4 weeks you should slightly modify your keywords and remove those keywords which are not working well. Gradually, as your sales grow, you should remove your `small` long tail keywords and keep well optimized `big` keywords (generic keywords most searched by people).
Keep in mind: Constantly modify the keywords based on your sales and evaluate the sales performance. If you already have steady sales, then DO NOT MAKE ABRUPT CHANGES to your backend keywords, in order to avoid potential loss. This is because with steady sales your listing accumulates importance of your current keywords. If you change them abruptly, your ranking by new keywords will possibly drop.
Anyway, if the modification causes fewer sales, then reset immediately your keywords to an earlier version!
Recommended for you: Why Your Product May Never Rank on the 1st Page of Amazon?
Good luck listing your product and categorizing the best keywords for the search terms!
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