Keyword optimization for Amazon is quite similar to other search engines. Your products on Amazon will only show up when the keywords used in your listing matches with the search query that the user enters. But many times, you may not be able to add a particular keyword in your listing since it may not match the description of your product. This is where the lesser-known ‘Amazon Backend Keywords’ comes into the picture.
For example, you may be selling a “red bag” which many buyers who are searching for “black bag” may also like. For this purpose alone, Amazon provides you with Amazon backend keywords search fields. You can use these to include all the relevant keywords that are important but didn’t make it in the titles, bullet points, and product description. This is also a good place to put keyword variations that aren’t suitable for visible integration, like colloquial terms, similar products, synonyms or common misspellings of certain keywords.
So to make sure that product shows up in the search query you need to equip them with a lot of relevant search terms and have listed for as many keyword combinations as possible.
Note: For a primer on Amazon listing optimization, refer to “How to get your Amazon SEO in shape”
The Amazon backend keywords information is crucial and it has a huge role in the keyword search optimization. There are a lot of places in the backend where the search terms can provide Amazon with some extra information that will play a meaningful role in your product listing optimization. Earlier this year Amazon upgraded the Seller central character limit for the Amazon backend terms. Now this upgrade allows the Amazon sellers to have more possibility than ever before to list additional keywords in a bid to rank them organically. The best part about this is how it will have a direct impact on the discoverability of millions of FBA products for sellers like you.
In February 2016, Amazon increased it’s backend keywords’ limits from 250 characters to 5,000 characters, 5 lines of 1,000 characters giving more space for sellers to grow organically. But in August 2017, Amazon announced they will only index the first 250 characters in a product detail page’s backend keywords.
Amazon launched a feature that limits the length of the generic keywords attribute to less than 200 bytes in Amazon.in, 500 bytes in Amazon.co.jp and 250 bytes in every other marketplace except Amazon.cn. The limits have been shown to improve the quality of search results. It applies to newly registered and existing ASINs.
Here’s how you can access it:
- From Seller Central click on the Inventory tab.
- Then on the far right, you will see ‘Edit’ against each active product.
- Click on the “Edit” button to open the seller backend ‘Edit Product Info’ screen.
- You’ll automatically arrive on the ‘Offer’ tab.
- Click on the ‘Keywords’ tab.
- Here you will find the “Search Terms” section.
So what does this update mean for Amazon sellers? How can it help sellers improve their listing? How can you make the most of this opportunity? Does the update really make any difference? These questions have been buzzing around for many of the Amazon sellers while trying to figure out the impact of these changes. We’ll discuss how to make the most out of the upgrade and turn it into an opportunity. We’ll also discuss how the backend terms help sellers to improve their listing and grab more sales.
Relevance of Amazon backend keywords
So now the main question that arises is that are these backend search terms actually relevant to the listing?
The answer is HELL YEAH!!
Of course, it’s a setback that the character limit has been decreased again. There will be less space for long-tail keywords. But, if you take some time with your planning, 250 characters should be enough to include those vital keywords which will lead to conversions.
Longtail keywords turn out to the secret to increasing your profits. But now you have to sacrifice some of these potential winners because there simply wasn’t enough room for them. Yet you can still choose the most relevant search terms and get on with it.
What Amazon’s 250 character indexing maximum means
Amazon will now index only the first 250 characters in a product detail page’s backend keywords instead of 5,000 characters as believed before. This applies to all five search term fields. The biggest points of this update to Amazon backend keywords are:
- Generic keywords will be normalized. It means you shouldn’t add upper and lower case keywords, singular and plural forms of the same keyword.
- Merchants don’t need to add keywords that already appear in the title, description and subject keywords.
- Amazon’s system ignores any generic keywords beyond 250 characters for every category.
- Amazon will also discontinue doing partial matching of generic keyword fields because it believes it is unlikely anybody will search for paragraphs of keywords.
This means Amazon third-party merchants will need to be extremely cognizant of the keywords they use on their product detail pages. To give you some context, 250 characters is about 40 words, which isn’t a lot. So keyword research and optimization for the backend terms will be more crucial than ever to stand out in organic search.
Do’s and Don’t while filling in the search terms
Amazon has outlined some important terms and requirements of optimizing the search terms. They have done a great job at outlining their best practices for providing keywords. Some of the points not to do include (but are not limited to) are:
- Keep content within the prescribed length limit (less than 250, 200 for IN, 500 for JP): Length limit applies to total content in all generic keyword fields (a max. of 5 attributes)
- Whole entry will be rejected upon exceeding limit
- Optimizing keyword content for search discoverability
- Providing irrelevant and misleading information
- Including interim statements
- Spaces and punctuation (“;” “,” “.”) do not contribute to the length limit. Punctuation between words is unnecessary. Space separation between keywords is necessary.
- Do not duplicate content present in other attributes, such as title and bullet points.
- No need to repeat keywords; once is enough.
- Avoid usage of terms that are offensive and abusive in nature
- Do not include brand names (even your own) or other product identifiers
- The number of bytes equals the 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)
- Use keywords that are synonyms, hypernyms or spelling variations of content invisible attributes (e.g. if product title is ‘whiskey’, use ‘whisky’ in generic keywords)
We’ve summarized the main points below and given some examples to help and guide you through your Amazon backend keywords list.
|Use a single space to separate keywords||No commas, semicolons, or carets are required|
|Where possible enter a phrase in the most logical order||No plurals or misspellings unless it’s super uncommon|
|Use popular abbreviations: Lord of the rings, LOTR||No punctuation variants: 80GB, 80 GB|
|List alternative names: body wash, shower gel||No inaccurate, misleading, or irrelevant info|
|Do include synonym versions of your keywords||No redundant information meaning keywords already captured in title, description or bullets|
|No temporarily true statement “new,” “on sale,” “available now”|
|No subjective claims: amazing, good quality, trendy, best seller, etc.|
The following examples illustrate a bad and a good implementation of filling the search term fields in the Amazon backend keywords of Amazon Seller Central. The aim is to achieve optimal keyword coverage for a copper crisper.
Bad Implementation of Search Terms
The first example does not show an optimal usage of the search terms. This is because
- Usage of platinum keywords (It won’t hurt you to fill them out but it won’t help you either when you are not a platinum merchant)
- The full space was not utilized, only one keyword per field was entered
- Unnecessary repetition of keywords.
- Repetitions of keywords in several combinations “Chef Crisper” and “Chef”
- Two variations of the same keyword “Copper Chef” (“Copper Chef” and “chefcopper”)
- Usage of unnecessary filler words. (“kitchenware copper”)
- Usage of keywords with little relevance (“good quality”)
Good Implementation of Amazon Backend Keywords
The second example had a better implementation of search terms. This was because of the following factors
- No usage of platinum keywords
- Complete utilization of the available space
- No keyword repetitions
- Keywords were used only once
- Hyphens covered compound variations and separate spellings
- No filler words
- No use of irrelevant keywords
Indexing of your search terms
Studies show that your product listing will show up in a search query only if your search terms are indexed by Amazon. Unless Amazon indexes your keywords, all the relevant and the traffic grabbing search terms in your listing does not matter. As Amazon has an indexing policy of its own, a lot of sellers faced this problem of not getting indexing.
Don’t fret. There are trial and error methods to find out the indexing of your Amazon backend keywords.
Testing Your Search Term String for Indexing
To test whether your five fields of the search term are indexed or otherwise; copy a string (the entire search term row) of characters from a field and try searching it on Amazon.
If the results show your product, then you are surely indexed.
If no results are available for that string, or your product wasn’t one of them, which means this search term field was not indexed completely.
This means you may have done something wrong, which caused all of your keywords not to work when the string was searched. Maybe there was a double up in there you missed, or maybe you already used a keyword in your title.
Repeat the process and check how you went for all 5 search term rows.
You must have an irrelevant or inappropriate term in there, which may block the rest of the terms. No one knows for sure if this is the case or not but what most sellers agree upon is that when you give Amazon the information they want, in the way they want it, your rankings seem to improve.
So you may want to experiment and figure out the dud keywords and remove them or use backend tools like SellerPrime (more on that later).
Manual Reverse ASIN Lookup
So the next method is the Manual Reverse ASIN lookup. it’s pretty simple and basic. First, go to the product detail page if you don’t have the ASIN on hand. Once you land on the page, go to the URL and locate the 10-digit ASIN. For our example, we’ll use a fidget spinner with ASIN-B06XBZML6K
Now, go to the search bar and paste in your ASIN and add a ‘+’ and then the keyword. To get the indexing information for a product, I would simply put “B06XBZML6K+toy” into the search bar and hit enter.If it is indexed the search results display the ASIN. If it isn’t, the search engine results page will say “Your search “B06XBZML6K+toy” did not match any products.”
You can use this reverse ASIN lookup method on any product on Amazon. But it’s a manual process and only verifies whether a product is indexed for a keyword or not—it doesn’t give you any new keywords. Understand the keyword phrases that your competitors are using for PPC campaigns using SellerPrime’s free reverse ASIN tool!
The ultimate backend tool
So obviously this trial and error method is quite confusing and time-consuming. Checking each and every search terms and keyword for indexing will drive you crazy and won’t be of much help unless you keep a note of it every day. So why not do this process using a tool from the beginning to make your life easy.
Choosing the right keywords will make or break your business on Amazon, so it’s important to take this step seriously. Now, you can do all of the above and more. But if you really want to start ranking on Amazon without spending a ton of time and effort in the process, SellerPrime is the tool.
SellerPrime can help you with keyword research, optimization of your listing, indexing and everything else. But today I want to talk about the Keyword Tracking Feature of SellerPrime.
SellerPrime Keyword Tracking
SellerPrime’s Keyword tracking feature will help you track all the top Amazon backend keywords that you have at one location. Keyword tracker will help you to
- Whether Amazon indexes that particular keyword or not!
- The number of products indexed for the keyword
- What are the search volume and CPC rates for that particular keyword
- Your ASIN’s search page number when a buyer searches for that keyword.
- The trends of the number of products indexed and page rank over a period of time.
It is essential to make sure that your top keywords are indexed and are on the top page of the search result.
Sign up for a trial of SellerPrime today to experience superior results and increase your sales and revenues!
Ways to Extract Search Terms
The next best thing to using Amazon’s data for search terms is using the information buyers give freely on the Amazon platform every day. What do I mean by this? I’m talking about the product Q&A’s and the customer reviews, be it for your product or your competitors. Reading these two sections is like finding gold when you want to get inside the mind of your buyer.
- What do they like?
- Which features do they talk about?
- What doesn’t work…?
How do they describe a product or even better is how do they describe the results of the product? Hiding in all this text are the words describing your product in the eyes of the buyer. Read them, study them and start thinking the way that the buyer does and I’m sure you’ll soon see plenty more potential search terms to use to help make your product more discoverable in the Amazon search results.
SellerPrime is also the ultimate tool for Keyword research which thousands of Amazon sellers use daily.
With just a single click, you can see different categories like keyword type, estimated search volume, CPC rate, competition intensity, indexed products etc.
You can also see if the keywords are dominating or trending i.e. if their search volume is high throughout the year or if they are seasonal.
Most importantly, it shows you the number of indexed products for that particular keyword. If the number of products indexed for a keyword is many, then your product might also get indexed.
This comes in handy while searching for the keywords and search terms for your listing. As far as keywords go, your competition has already done most of the work for you. SellerPrime will actually show you which keywords they’ve worked so hard for. Then, all you have to do is plug them into the five search term fields of your Seller Central Backend to begin ranking. You can also insert keywords that your competitors are using for their PPC. Understand the keyword phrases that your competitors are using for PPC campaigns using SellerPrime’s free reverse ASIN tool!
Use Amazon Sponsored Products To Find More Terms
Amazon Sponsored Products ads can be very beneficial while looking for search terms. They are proven to be one of the best methods to find search terms. It will show you the exact terms the buyer searched to find your product. These show up in your Search Term report.
Yes, it does cost money to run ads. But it’s better to invest money in the right places and probably win than investing money in the wrong places and definitely loss. Many experts agree that it’s worth the investment for the insights you gain in return.
If you do decide to pay for Sponsored Products ads, be sure you’re making the most out of this opportunity by regularly downloading the reports Amazon provides and analyzing them.
Also, be sure you always sort your reports by clicks and orders, not impressions. Just because a search term receives a large number of impressions doesn’t mean that it’s actually relevant to buyers. You should only be concerned about which terms lead to purchases.
Look through your keyword list and get rid of any search terms that hadn’t come up from the two previous methods we’ve covered.
Then, apply the Dos and Don’t we outlined earlier too. Get rid of any plural and duplicate words, etc.
Finally, plug them into your Amazon backend keywords search term and see what the results are. You’ll want to pay special attention to whether or not Amazon has picked them up or rejected them.
How often should I optimize my Amazon Backend Keywords Terms
We recommend a frequency of 3-4 weeks to fine tune your Amazon backend keywords
- Do look at your PPC keywords which are high performing (high CTR & Conversions) every 3 weeks. Find keyword variations of that primary keyword and add them as part of your backend/listing keywords
- Do a Reverse ASIN Search using Keyword Optimization tool. Extract the keywords of your competitors and add the relevant ones to your Amazon backend keywords /listing terms.
Repeat the same every 3-4 weeks to keep your listing in top ranking. Thanks to Amazon’s big change, you can always add more keywords if necessary until you hit your limit. But do it only when it makes sense.
Sign up for a trial of SellerPrime today to experience superior results and increase your sales and revenues!