Amazon Keyword Research: Your Guide to Higher Book Sales Image

So after months (or maybe years) of hard work, you’ve finally published your book and are ready to pop the bubbly, kick your feet up, and watch your sales soar.

But not so fast—you still have some work to do.

If you want to make your book a success on Amazon, you’ll need to show some marketing savvy by researching the best keywords to help your sales skyrocket.

What Are Amazon Keywords?

In terms of SEO, keywords are the words or phrases that people enter into search engines to find what they’re looking for.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing a page or site to attract organic traffic from a search engine results page. Part of this process involves choosing the best keywords that will attract users searching for specific information.

Amazon keywords, more specifically, are the phrases that shoppers use to find the products they want on Amazon.

If you’re a seller, you’ll want your products to be easily findable for customers. By strategically choosing the right keyword phrases for your post, you can help drive more traffic to your page and increase your sales.

In order to do this, you’ll have to learn to think like Amazon shoppers and anticipate what they might be looking for that could bring them to your page.

Amazon Keywords For Books

If you’re an author trying to sell your book on Amazon, it’s important that your book be seen by the right readers.

This is where Amazon search keywords play an important role—they can help readers discover your book.

But coming up with effective search keywords for your book or sponsored Amazon ad isn’t as easy as you might think.

Let’s say you’ve written a Romantic Action book with alien characters. Just because you included the keyword “alien” as a top search keyword does not mean it will end up on the screens of the right customers.

You cannot (and should not) just pack in any keywords without doing some research first.

How to Research Amazon Keywords

There is a number of ways to research the best keywords for your Amazon listing. Learn how to make the most of each method in order to maximize your visibility.

amazon keyword research

Autocomplete or Search Suggestions

You’ve probably noticed that whenever you type something into Amazon’s search bar, different suggestions appear as you type.

This feature is very helpful when you’re trying to figure out if the short phrase or keyword you want is commonly used by customers in their searches.


To illustrate, let’s say you want to research keywords for your Psychic Romance Mystery book.

First, type the keyword “psychic” and see what Amazon’s autocomplete suggests with just that word. List all of the keywords that are relevant to your book.

Note: Don’t forget to click on the “Search in” drop-down list and select the “Kindle Store” or “Books” department to make sure that the suggested keywords reflect the data for readers, and not all shoppers in general.

You should also activate your browser’s incognito mode when using this method so that suggestions are not influenced by your recent searches.

amazon keyword research

amazon keyword research

Type different letters next to the keyword one letter at a time. (For example, “psychic a”, “psychic r”, “psychic ro”, “psychic m”, etc.)

Check the suggestions for each combination, then list all relevant keywords.

Once you are done with “psychic,” you can repeat the same technique for “romance.” Try different keywords associated with your book and list all the related phrases that show up.

Don’t limit your keywords to just the suggestions that first appear when typing your single-word keyword.

Keyword suggestions are limited to 10 suggestions at a time, but this certainly does not mean that these are the only relevant phrases customers use in their searches.

This is why typing the different letters next to the word “psychic” is a must if you want more keyword ideas from the autocomplete feature.

Tip: If you type a # before the search suggestion in Amazon, it will generate keywords that contain that keyword, but not in the first word.

Keywords From the “Also Bought” Section

At the bottom of a product’s page, you’ll see a section that says: “Customers who bought this item also bought …”

Browse through this section and you’ll see that most of the books are similar to each other and to yours.

This means that people browsing or searching for these books would most likely be interested in buying your book, if they haven’t already.

Therefore, this section can give you valuable hints about what kind of keywords you should use for your product. Include all the relevant titles and their authors in your keywords.

After listing these items, you can also go to each book’s page and list the items in their “also bought section.”

If your book is not yet published or doesn’t have this section yet, search for similar books that are popular and get keywords from their “also bought” section.

Keywords From the Top Books in a Category

This technique can be great for your keyword-targeted Amazon Ads.

Select the category page that best fits your book. Based on our previous example (the Romantic Action novel featuring aliens), we would go to the Action & Adventure Romance or Science Fiction Romance categories under the main category, which is Romance.

The top 100 books in each of these two categories will give you 300–400 keywords. Of course listing them one by one can be tedious, but fortunately there are tools that can help you with this, like a plugin called KindleSpy.

After installing this plugin, go to the appropriate category page and click on the plugin’s icon. From there, you can export all the top books and authors from a category to an excel file.

You’ll need to clean up the list of extra characters first. Some books in the list are not always pertinent to the category, so check for that as well.

Keyword Research Tools

Now that you have a list of keywords from search suggestions, “also bought” recommendations, and the top books in your category, the next step is to make sure that these keywords have a substantial number of searches.

Keep in mind that a single keyword will be extremely competitive. If you use a single keyword as one of your top keywords, there’s a chance that your book will rank very low (or not at all) for that keyword.

For this reason, using short phrases or long-tail keywords for the top seven spots is strongly recommended. The competition is usually lower, so you’ll have a greater chance of ranking higher.

For the 1000 maximum keyword Amazon Ads, however, you can try to combine the single keywords and long-tail keywords.

There are many free keyword research tools that you can use to check the number of searches a keyword gets each month.

1. Publisher Rocket has four key features. The first is the keyword feature, which functions similarly to the other keyword research tools on this list by telling authors which words shoppers use to search and how many people search those words per month.

Then there’s the competition analyzer, which gives you a look at what your competition is doing and how much money they are making. The category feature contains all 16,000+ Amazon categories and allows authors to see how many books they’ll need to sell to be #1 in that category.

Finally, the AMS keyword feature helps authors to build Amazon Books ads more efficiently and more profitably.

2. Keywords Everywhere is an excellent example—it’s a browser plugin that’s really easy to use.

Once installed in your browser, enter a keyword from your list in the Amazon search bar. (Don’t use your browser’s incognito mode this time so that the data will show up.)

The data will immediately appear next to the suggested keywords. Use this data to help you choose your top keywords, as well as the keywords you’ll use for the Ads.

amazon keyword search suggestions

3. Ubersuggest is another great free keyword tool. To use it, simply enter a keyword and choose the “Keyword Ideas” in the left-side menu. It will also suggest the monthly search volume and competition.

4. Keyword Tool is also free and generates keyword ideas for you. However, you can see data like the search volume only if you purchase the Pro version.

5. Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword tool that is ideal for doing keyword research for your keyword-targeted Amazon Ads.

Though the generated data is not based on Amazon, it can give you thousands of keyword ideas for your ads.

See to it that you check and clean the list, because not all keywords will be relevant to your book.

Keyword Trackers

Keyword trackers help you to track your rankings on search engines for a given keyword.

Below are some keyword tracker tools that will help you to see your site’s position for certain keywords and phrases.

1. Sonar allows you to research Amazon keywords, create listings that convert, and then track your Amazon keyword rankings. You can try a 14-day free trial, after which pricing starts at $67/month.

2. Keyword Scout by Jungle Scout will help you to optimize your listings and boost your Amazon PPC campaign by showing you keyword search volumes, recommended product keywords, and ranking difficulty scores. You can try a free 14-day free trial, after which pricing starts at $39/month for entrepreneurs and businesses.

3. KeywordX allows users to analyze their product’s rankings over time with accurate and up-to-date data. Ranking positions are stored for 30 days and keywords are tracked, recorded, and updated daily. After a free trial period, plans start as low as $27/month.

4. Amazon KW Index and Rank Tracker is a free tool offered by AMZDataStudio. Users can bulk check the indexing and ranking positions of their Amazon keywords for free using this browser extension.

How to Improve Your Book’s Rankings

You can also include keywords in your book description and in the book title itself.

Amazon advises that your top seven keywords should not repeat what’s already in your book title and description, since these are keywords themselves.

Strategically add keywords to your description in a way that sounds natural.

Trying to force in too many keywords can result in awkward descriptions or titles, which can turn off potential readers.

Use Keywords Strategically

Optimizing your search keywords is critical if you want your book to rank high and be seen by thousands of Amazon shoppers. It takes quite a bit of work, but you should find that it’s ultimately worth the time and effort.

Also keep in mind that keyword is not a one-time thing. If your first batch of top keywords doesn’t help your book rank higher, you can always change them.

You should also put some thought into which categories you will choose for your book. You can add up to 10 categories, so be sure to take advantage of this.

And finally, don’t underestimate the power of an attractive book cover. It turns out shoppers really do judge books by their covers, so make sure yours is the best it can be.

Once your book ranks higher on search results, you can expect a bump in your sales. If this happens, your efforts will have all been worth it.

Do you have any tips for researching Amazon keywords? Share them in the comments below!

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