Guest Post: 5 Tips to Optimize Your Amazon Listing and PPC Keywords

Anyone selling online understands the importance of keywords. They are the interface to connect what people want with what we have

As sellers and marketers, our job is to anticipate what people might type into the search bar to express their needs. Given the importance of the role keywords play, it is vital that we invest appropriate amounts of time researching, promoting, refining and expanding them. Not just at launch, but on an ongoing basis. 

These tips below outline how I use data-based techniques to build a solid repository of reliable keywords that bring in consistent revenue.

1. Use Reliable Tools for Keyword Research

My favorite go-to resource for keyword research is Brand Analytics. This is the MOST reliable keyword data, available directly from Amazon, highlighting trending keywords, popular expressions and top products winning market share. 

Amazon Brand Analytics Keyword Results for PPC and Amazon Listing Optimization

The Search Frequency Rank metric is a good proxy for Search Volume. The smaller the number, the more popular the keyword, and the more searches it has. 

I like to drop seed keywords that describe my products into the Brand Analytics search bar and let Amazon show me all the variations of that word along with their conversion share data. Once I have this initial list, I can then use secondary tools and keywords expanders like Merchant Words or Helium10 to find more.

Don’t restrict yourself to high volume keywords alone. There are a lot of sales made in the long tail.

2. Build Relevance Early On

Next, I get into spreadsheet mode to identify which of the top keywords are primary targets that I can place within a listing, and which ones are secondary targets, that I will target ONLY through PPC. Typically the latter includes competitor branded terms that I cannot incorporate into my listing, but that I CAN bid on. 

Building keyword relevance requires us to make sure that the most relevant, high search volume keywords have a prominent place in the Amazon listing's title or bullet points in exact phrase order so that they can get indexed by Amazon’s A9 algorithm. Despite what people might say, the sequence of words matters, so you want to keep them together. 

Amazon does flag the Search Term field if it has duplicates, but there are a few other fields where duplication is not a problem. One such example is the Subject Matter field, which can be expanded to 5 fields of 50 characters each. You can plant keyword phrases there that you want to be indexed for, in their exact sequence. 

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As you can see, there are duplicate words across these fields, and that’s not an issue.

Here’s a resource on Seller Central that lets you check all the fields that are indexed by Amazon.

3. Promote the Keywords You Care About

Once you have your list of keywords and you've shortlisted the ones that you want to go after, promote them aggressively with higher bids especially during launch. Make sure to create ads that will help you discover even more keywords. I never neglect to set up Auto Campaigns, as well as Broad and Phrase match keyword campaigns to discover long-tail keyword phrases that I would never have thought of. 

I intentionally bid on competitor keywords to steal traffic that might be on the fence. I also recommend bidding on your own branded keywords. This is to play “defensive”, because just like you bid on competitor keywords, they are also bidding on yours. Of course, Amazon makes money either way. If spending on these keywords is a concern you can manage your overall ACoS by keeping these bids really low.

For newly launched campaigns and keywords, try applying the “Fixed” bid strategy over the default “Dynamic Down Only” strategy. This will increase your chances of winning the auction in those early days when Amazon has virtually no prior sales data to optimize bids dynamically.

4. Put in the Time to Harvest Long Tail Keywords

Sooner rather than later you’ll want to invest in an automation software that informs you of newly discovered keywords from search term reports. But if you are still managing your PPC manually, set aside some time each week for some manual spreadsheet work.

Once I discover keywords that are converting well or are super relevant, I harvest them as exact match keywords opportunities. Contrary to popular advice out there, I don’t negatively block them from the source campaign. I like to keep as many horses in the race (source and destination), instead of blocking any good sales that are already coming in. There is no guarantee that a harvested keyword will actually surpass the performance of the source campaign, or even perform at all in it’s new spot, so I don’t recommend keyword blocking of relevant keywords.

Try also to use Helium10 or other tools to identify keywords that you are winning Amazon’s Choice badge for, and make sure those are part of the keyword list you are bidding on.

5. Refresh Your Listing Based on What You've Learned

Slot time once a month to weave your best converting keywords back into your listing. Your ad data is an invaluable source of information about what shoppers are looking for. It is also a source of determining relevancy by Amazon’s algorithms. 

When keywords that convert well through ads are fed back into the listing, it causes a positive reinforcing loop, causing Amazon to recognize and associate those keywords as being relevant to that product. This is the condition that people refer to as the “flywheel effect”.

You can help stimulate the flywheel yourself by following the process I outlined above. The goal is to keep refining and optimizing your keyword list until your products start to rank organically, which in turn helps you reduce your advertising costs.

Want to learn how PPC Ninja automation and services can help you optimize your keywords and get the flywheel moving? Jump on a free 15-minute discovery call with one of our PPC Ninjas to learn more.

Ritu Java

Ritu Java is the CEO of PPC Ninja providing Amazon PPC Tools and Services to Amazon Sellers, Vendors and Agencies. She is an Amazon accredited advertising strategist, leading a team that helps Amazon sellers, advertisers and brands develop creative and powerful strategies to scale and optimize their advertising efforts on Amazon.

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