How to Find Your Keywords for Successful PPC Campaigns
Before diving into the subject of choosing keywords for Amazon PPC, let us establish two simple truths:
- Buyers all over Amazon.com are already using the keywords you need to find similar product. Your job is to uncover them.
- Be clear about your strategy. This will help you determine which relevant keywords to focus on. Depending on your product and market situation, you can choose to either take the competition head-on or ninja your way around. The two approaches will require totally different keywords to power PPC campaigns, so get clear about your approach before deciding on your keywords.
- For example, a keyword “Ping Pong Paddle” is perfect for a well-received white label product. Using it to advertise may be a good fit if you can maintain high enough bids and if customers actually like your ping pong paddles.
- On the other hand, the keyword “Professional Hard Ping Pong Paddle” is a long-tail keyword, and there will be fewer people looking for one. However, if you customize your product to be exceptionally “hard” and “expert level” you can still score sales from ads run on this keyword—and at a fraction of the cost!
Keeping these factors in mind will ensure that once you’re done with keyword research, you’ll have an easier time deciding which ones to take on board for your Amazon advertising.
Now, without further ado, let’s look at the actionable checklist of where to find relevant keywords for your Amazon PPC Campaign.
Free Tools Are Enough
I believe that the internet has all a Seller needs to harvest a powerful, relevant, and competitive bunch of keywords for free. Be it for their product page (title and other listing fields) or a PPC Campaign. The only difference when using them as opposed to 3rd party keyword collection services - is that it’ll take more time to do at the beginning, as well as some extra effort to optimize once the campaign starts running.
Here are the ones that I believe should be used first:
Seller Central’s advertising manager campaign setup is a surprisingly good spot to start looking for relevant keywords. Try entering a keyword that you know definitely relates to your product… and let Amazon give you some suggestions. You’ll obviously need to use common sense to leave out the less relevant ones, but all in all - this is a good start. It’ll also give you some ideas about the bottom and top 25% levels of bids that other Sellers use with these keywords. The amount of the bids indicates which Amazon PPC strategy they're best paired with. You can then pick more or less expensive keywords, respectively.
2. Amazon.com Search Results
This one is really straight forward. Type in the search-relevant terms you already have and open 5-10 competitors’ products Amazon listings. The fact that these products appear at the top of the search for these keywords implies that these competitors know what they are doing. For instance, they're most likely using the right keywords in their product pages.
So this is where you’ll be heading: the top competitors’ product detail pages.
Once there, carefully examine all the fields containing keywords:
- Product title
- Bullet points
- Product description
- Product pics (if they have any words or infographics on them)
- Customer reviews (and the words THEY use to talk about the product)
All the keywords picked in this manner are a perfect “starter kit” of highly relevant keywords that you can put to work immediately.
By all accounts, Google and its tools are a perfect place to search for keywords. Type the ones you’ve already gathered into the search console to see the more popular variations Google suggests and pick the ones that fit your product. Or just pick the 10 most different ones - and have the Google's free Keyword Planner tool gather any viable alternative search terms.
One thing to always keep in mind: Google is designed to help people finding information, while Amazon is focused on making sales. So, as you review the keyword suggested, use common sense to cherry-pick only the keywords that relate specifically to how customers would be looking for and purchasing your product.
This is another great free tool that allows you to monitor the seasonality of impressions of any keyword on Amazon. This can be useful if your product is a seasonal one (like a knitted winter scarf, or scuba diving fins, or Halloween stickers). It will not offer you any new keywords - but it can tell if your keyword will be at its full potential by the time you get to launch your PPC campaign with them. OR, if you're going after keywords that only have higher search volumes at the time you're conducting your keyword research.
Paid Tools That Are Worth It
Now that you possess (or have refreshed) the knowledge of where to look for the right keywords – let’s examine some ways to cut corners. Namely, get a computer to do the tedious work for you. I’m talking about 3rd party keyword research tools. There are a number of them out there.
The most popular ones (and for a good reason) are:
Essentially, what all of these tools do is cut out all of the work you did manually to find the relevant search terms, as well as provide you all the variations of this type of query that people use when searching Amazon. Along with helping you find Amazon competitor keywords themselves, they provide useful info on the number of impressions per month this keyword gets, the level competition on behalf of other Sellers for this keyword, and the estimated bid to be competitive with them.
Using these paid tools saves you a lot of tedious work. It also allows you to skip testing some of the keywords on low bids before assigning them either high bids or getting rid of them altogether (as you would with manually-discovered keywords).
All of these tools still require a time investment on your part, as you'll want to be sure to analyze the findings for relevancy, PPC strategy match, etc. For those that don't have the time or confidence, Profit Whales came up with a cross-channel marketing roadmap called the Zero to Hero PPC structure.
The main task of the ZTH structure developed by Profit Whales is to track and understand each keyword, where it is displayed, under what conditions it is displayed, and why some positions are working, and others are not. That is, it gives complete control over the semantics and the ability to promote a large number of sets of keywords (that Amazon doesn’t).
The goal of ZTH as a whole is to study our clients' marketing history, collect as much data as possible, and understand what cross-marketing strategy fits their businesses best.
Remember to REGULARLY check for new keywords. There may be some that you missed during your previous research or new ones that people weren't using in the past. Amazon’s Search Term Report is a great place to go for this type of research. All of the above methods are also good options to continue your search and track down new keyword opportunities.
If you have any comments on the best strategies for choosing keywords for PPC campaigns, or if you have something to share from your own experience - leave us a comment below. We’d be glad to hear from you!
And as always, good luck to you out there, fellow Amazonians!