Amazon is, in fact, a big retail search engine. So when potential book buyers start looking for a new book to read, they very often begin by using Amazon search queries.
Amazon product searches are based on Amazon keywords and your product description, or your book description.
You want your keywords related to books to appear when people use a search term that is associated with your book.
This will only happen though if you do your Amazon keyword research and select the best seven Amazon keywords for your book.
Where do you start with Amazon keywords for books and Kindle ebooks?
How do you use Amazon keywords?
Firstly, let’s go back one step. The two categories (genres) you have chosen are crucial and need to be as narrowly focused as possible.
In a previous post, I explained how to add search phrases to categories. When you use this method, it is possible to have your book listed in an additional two or three finer focused categories.
Once that is done, it’s time to add your seven keywords or long tail keyword phrases. You should avoid using one specific single word keyword, and look to use a short phrase for each of your seven keywords.
Think about the topics, themes, geographical settings and period in your book. Then start making a list of the possibilities for how people can find your product (book).
Then try your seed keyword or phrases in Google, to begin with. Why do you need to do this?
Because first, you can check the search volume at the top of the page. Then at the bottom of the first page of search results, Google gives you a list of related searches. So you can note more possibilities for your keyword research list.
In my case, as you can see from the image below, I finally selected cold war as one of my potential keywords.
Once you have collected a list of possibilities, go back to Amazon.
But, don’t begin your keyword search on the home page of Amazon.
Dive into categories
You need to navigate to one of your main categories, and further down if you have narrowed your category.
My book is listed under one category of Biographies & Memoirs and in the sub-category of Historical.
Once there, I can see the total number of books that are competitive to mine. It is not too bad at only 23.5K.
If this number is very high, you really need to consider refining your category selections.
Now, in the search box, start to enter your keyword, but don’t hit enter.
As you type, Amazon provides you with a drop-down list of actual searches, or buyer keywords that people have made. This information is absolutely worth noting, and for getting more relevant keyword ideas.
You will notice that some search phrases are quite long. They can be as long as 250 characters.
This is the result of the start of my keyword. Looking down the list of keyword suggestions I can see that my keyword phrase cold war has been used by Amazon customers, so this is very good news.
Unfortunately, you don’t get Amazon search volume data. If you want this information you will need to pay for commercial Amazon keyword research tools.
But let’s look at what you can do on Amazon.
That my keyword is listed is a very good sign so it is potentially a great keyword.
Next, select your keyword, and in my case here it is, cold war, and hit enter to check on how competitive the keyword will be.
I would prefer a slightly higher number than 187, but it’s far better than 200k.
When your keyword search returns under 1,000, it increases your chances of your book being discovered in Amazon SEO search terms fields results.
A number greater than 1,000 means that your keyword will be up against a lot of competition. It might struggle to appear in a high position.
Once you have selected your keywords, go to your KDP dashboard and change the keyword or keywords in your book’s ‘Edit Details’ screen. Then republish your book.
Checking your progress
Wait a day or two, and check your new keyword. But again, first, make sure you are searching in your category.
So, was my research and change of a keyword worthwhile? Yes, it was.
My new Amazon keyword has worked for me, and my book is appearing at number 8. This means it will appear on the very first search screen for my keyword. That is exactly what a good keyword should do.
Repeat the same process for your other six keywords. Then from time to time, check them again to see if they are still performing well.
If the results are not as good as you would like for one of your keywords, go back to your list of keywords from your research. Start hunting for a new one to replace it. You could also try using semantic keywords to find more possibilities.
Over time, you will have a list of seven strong Amazon keywords that will help readers find your books. It will give you a far better chance of increasing your book sales.
Pro-level book keyword research
If you have a lot of titles or want to speed up your keyword research with real-time data, you might want to consider Publisher Rocket. It is a high-performance pro tool for Amazon book keywords.
You can access the whole Amazon database in real-time to find the best seven keywords and two book categories for all your titles.
It is much easier to find keywords for nonfiction because it is always topic-specific. But it can be a little more difficult for fiction.
Publisher Rocket is an ideal tool to help you find profitable niche keywords for fiction authors.
It’s never too early
You should start thinking about your keywords as part of your marketing plan well before your book launch if you want to sell more books.
Indie authors need to think ahead and understand how the Amazon algorithm for search works. As an Amazon seller, backend keywords for your products on Amazon are crucial in gaining higher product listings.
It should be one part of your overall book marketing strategy.
Yes, write a blog post, use your email list and post on social media. Make sure you have a fantastic book title, cover and book description.
But in the end, your selection of Amazon keywords and making sure that your book is keyword optimized will be the main driver of your ongoing book sales.
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
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