Optimizing your full 250 bytes of Amazon search term space is crucial to your product getting discovered by customers, so here are some steps to improve your listing keywords!
As a seller, one of the most important things for you to master is Amazon search term optimization. In 2017, Amazon announced that its list of indexed search terms would be chopped down from 5,000 characters to 250 characters (or bytes, as stated by Amazon).
Most sellers didn’t believe that Amazon was indexing 5000 characters worth of search terms, but the facts surfaced in 2017 when Seller Central confirmed the change.
Since Amazon decreased the number of searchable characters so drastically, it’s even more crucial to learn how to use Amazon search terms effectively.
Why the Amazon Search Term Character Reduction?
The primary reason for the Amazon search term reduction is relevancy. If 5000 characters were indexed, the distinction between products would become more ambiguous, and shoppers would see less relevant results for their search.
According to Amazon, the search term character reduction was in the name of “improving the quality of search results.”
What Does the Amazon Search Term Limitation Mean for Me?
The 250 character limitation means merely that your Amazon search terms and keywords are even more critical to get right. Since you have limited space, it’s essential to optimize that space with the best possible content so you can lead customers to your listing and get more eyeballs on your product.
How Can I Optimize My Amazon Search Terms?
Fortunately, the Helium 10 software suite can help you out here!
1. Establish your keyword/search term strategy
Remember, relevancy is the name of the game here, so choosing which Amazon keywords to target will be critical to your success. You’ll want to research the following:
- Broad match search volume
- Exact match search volume
- The number of competing products
- Which terms competitors are already using to target their customers in advertisements
Recommended Helium 10 tools for optimal results: Cerebro
2. Choose the best keywords possible
Selecting the best keywords can be arduous, but there is software available to make the whole process easier and more effective. In addition to your primary keywords, you should also search for the following:
- Synonyms: Customers can find their products without knowing the exact search terms. For example, a customer searching for “sandals” might type in “flip-flops.”
- Abbreviations: These Amazon search terms are so common that they often replace the original words. For example, someone who is looking to work on a project themselves is likely to type in “DIY” rather than “Do it yourself.”
Recommended Helium 10 tools for optimal results: Magnet
3. Optimize your keywords
Run your Amazon search terms through an optimization process to weed out any undesirable keywords left over. This procedure can help to ensure that your product listing is as discoverable as possible.
Recommended Helium 10 tools for optimal results: Frankenstein, Scribbles
4. Figure out which backend and frontend Amazon search terms are being indexed
The reason this issue is so important is that too many irrelevant keywords can cause your right keywords not to rank at all. Any poor keywords must be deleted from your listing so any Amazon search penalties against your listing may also be removed.
Recommended Helium 10 tool for optimal results: Index Checker
What are Some Common Mistakes I Should Avoid?
- Punctuation: Amazon doesn’t take punctuations such as semi-colons (;), colons (:), commas (,), hyphens (-), and periods (.) into consideration.
- Repetition: Some sellers will double up on search terms hoping to one-up the competition, but Amazon suggests you don’t repeat words either in the search term field or words that are already in other fields such as the title or brand name.
- ASINs: Although it is tempting to throw the ASIN into the mix to improve searchability, Amazon does not recommend that you include it.
- Stop Words: When plugging in your search terms, Amazon suggests that there is “no need for stop words, such as ‘a,’ ‘an,’ ‘and,’ ‘by,’ ‘for,’ ‘of,’ ‘the,’ ‘with,’ and so on.”
- Subjective Statements: Examples of subjective statements would be “best,” “amazing,” “cheapest,” etc.
The reduction of available search term characters from 5,000 to 250 can be seen as a great opportunity. For those who are sincere about selling their product and are willing to put in the work, following the above steps can help promote your improved listings and demote competitor listings that aren’t optimized.
Do you have your own experience in trying to optimize your Amazon search terms to improve your product’s discoverability? Tell us about it in the comments below!
The Helium 10 Software Suite will allow you to gain an unfair advantage over your competitors as it was designed and battle-tested by Amazon's top sellers. So if you want more sales, more time, lower PPC costs, and if you want to discover hidden keywords your competitors don’t use then start using Helium 10 -- the same tools top Amazon sellers use on a daily basis.
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