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Amazon Keyword Tips: 7 Mistakes New FBA Sellers Make

Amazon keyword research is the bread and butter of any successful product-selling campaign.

Get it right, and you put your product in front of the right audience with the proper phases you’ve optimized. However, getting it wrong is a fast track to a frustrating Amazon journey, even if you have the best product on the platform.

After spending a few years in the Amazon selling space, I’ve compiled a few beginner mistakes that will significantly undermine your keyword research process below.

But before then…

What’s The Fuss About Amazon Keyword Research?

You don’t need keyword research to launch a product, write a listing, or start an Amazon PPC campaign.


It’ll be like throwing money down the drain and wasting your time.

An Amazon report shows that 7 in 10 Amazon customers don’t browse past the first page when looking to buy a product. In fact, being on the first page alone might not be enough since 35% of Amazon shoppers will click on the first result of a search.

So, without keyword research, how would you know what your potential customers are looking for and get in front of them?

Not doing keyword research or doing it poorly will also hurt you with Amazon ads. After all, you pay for every click – even if the click came from someone outside your target audience.

Even worse, you could be bidding on the wrong keywords while your competitors are stealing market share right from under your nose with effective keyword research.

No matter how you view it, there’s no upside to not properly doing Amazon keyword research. And, done right, it’ll pay for itself in multiple folds – ensuring one of the best ROIs.

That said, what are the common beginner mistakes you should avoid when researching keywords for your product listings, Amazon ad campaigns, and other purposes?

Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Amazon FBA Keyword Research

Most of these mistakes are rookie-level errors you want to avoid when selling on Amazon. Likewise, it’s a good refresher for intermediate and expert sellers. Hence, they avoid falling prey to simple issues while scaling their Amazon FBA brands.

Mistake #1: Not Using Keyword Research Tools

I was guilty of this when I started, mostly because I wanted to save some money. However, I wasted more time and effort than I admitted to anyone else. I could have been far more profitable if I started with a keyword research tool earlier.

Of course, keyword research tools:

  • Require you to enter a seed keyword still
  • Only scrape data from Amazon search engines, which you can do manually
  • Will cost you a monthly or annual fee or credit prices, but savvy users can find ways to mitigate these costs.

But did you know that these keyword research tools will also:

  • Suggest keywords that you didn’t even know buyers in your niche were looking for.
  • Uncover new keywords buyers search for your product with so you can be the first mover in that space.
  • Allow you to organize hundreds and thousands of keywords at once.
  • Let you filter an extensive keyword list so you can quickly see a streamlined version of what works with your Amazon marketing and targeting strategy.
  • Expose negative keywords that would undermine your Amazon PPC campaign, unnecessarily increase your Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS), and eat into your ROI.
  • Ultimately boost your sales by ensuring you get more impressions, clicks, and conversions without having to compete for the keywords everyone else is targeting.

For instance, thousands of Amazon listings offer balloons to customers, competing for a share of this 8000+ monthly search volume.

Keyword Search Summary for "balloon"

So, instead of optimizing for “balloon” alone, I can spice up my listings with “table decorations for birthday party,” which will put my listing in front of more potential buyers.

Table decorations for birthday party

Pro Tip: Use a free trial of your preferred keyword research tools to ensure they work with your strategy before fully committing.

Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Keyword Research Tools

I agree that Google is the biggest search engine, and some Google searches even bring up Amazon results. Still, that doesn’t mean you can use Google SEO and keyword research tools for Amazon.

Amazon’s search engine is different from Google’s. So, it makes sense that you won’t get the exact keyword data if you’re doing Google and Amazon keyword research for the same term.

Does this mean you can’t use Google SEO tools for your Amazon marketing? Quite the contrary.

Those Google SEO tools will be helpful when driving off-Amazon traffic to your Amazon FBA store. You can then combine them with tools like Helium 10 Attribution to track such marketing efforts to know how your keywords are converting.

But stick to Amazon keyword research tools for your on-platform Amazon marketing efforts.

Pro Tip: Don’t pick jack-of-all-trade tools that offer Amazon and Google keyword research features. Go for tools niched in Amazon keyword research for the best results.

Mistake #3: Choosing the Wrong Marketplace

Always remember to focus on your marketplace when doing Amazon keyword research.

While Amazon has multiple marketplaces in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Poland, and more, keyword data isn’t replicable across all the marketplaces. Hence, a competitive keyword on Amazon UK might not be as competitive on Amazon US.

For example, the keyword “pencil” only has a CPR of 45 on Amazon Canada, with just under 10,000 monthly search volume.

Monthly search volume

Move over to Amazon USA; the same keyword has over 30,000 monthly searches with a higher CPR.

Monthly searches with high CPR

Hence, if you were filtering for keywords with more than 10,000 monthly searches in the Amazon US market, but you’re wrongly searching under Amazon Canada, you would have missed this one.

Pro Tip: You can get product/keyword ideas from other marketplaces. However, always validate against your marketplace before using such keywords.

Mistake #4: Not Doing Manual Research

Keyword research tools are here to help, guide, and simplify your process, but they don’t fully replace the human touch.

However, beginners would often take the data on keyword research tools and run with it. This is especially dangerous when you’re evaluating keyword difficulty.

Keyword research tools track data points to estimate volume, trends, and difficulty calculations. That’s why different tools might have differing opinions on the same keyword.

But does that mean you shouldn’t use any keyword tool altogether? Not at all. In fact, there’s a very high chance that you won’t find some unique keywords and keyword variations if you don’t use tools.

So, enter your seed keywords or phrases in your desired tool, gather the keywords that fall into your defined range, and then manually investigate them.

By doing so, the keyword research tool would have helped you streamline a massive pool of keywords so you wouldn’t need to manually research, saving you time and resources. Hence, you can focus on the deep dive into the remaining keywords.

Pro Tip: Define metrics like active listings, exact match keyword bids, etc., to determine keyword viability during manual research.

Mistake #5: Going for Shorter Tail Keywords

Wouldn’t it be nice to optimize your product listing around a keyword like “sweater” and get all the traffic from people who want to make a fashion statement or need the apparel out of necessity?

The thing is, at any given time, you’ll be competing with about 40,000 other products on Amazon US to gain the top spot for that keyword.

Search results for "sweater"

Let’s refine our search to something like “blue sweater,” and we’re down to competing against 20,000 products. It’s still a large number, but adding just ONE word cut the competition pool by half!

If we dig further and try to optimize for “blue sweaters for men,” we get to cut the competitor pool by half again.

Now that we’ve established that optimizing and ranking your products for longer tail keywords is easier, you shouldn’t just go around adding irrelevant words to your Amazon listing copy! You still need to ensure the keyword has active search demand from your target audience.

This is where product research tools come in again. Otherwise, you’ll have a low-competition keyword nobody wants, and it’ll be cricket for months.

Pro Tip: Use a keyword research tool to filter by word count. Enter your seed phrase/keyword and set the minimum results filter to 4-6 words. You’ll usually find related keywords with decent search volume and low competition to optimize.

Mistake #6: Ignoring Negative Keywords

It’s easy to get carried away with researching lucrative Amazon PPC campaign keywords that most beginners forget to research negative keywords, too. Without adding negative keywords, your ads will be shown to everyone looking for a broad match term far from what you’re selling.

For example, if you sell office chairs and you’re bidding on the keyword “chairs,” Amazon won’t know that you’re not selling patio chairs, party chairs, and other types of chairs. So, when someone searches for other keywords, your ad pops up, and they might click it.

That’s money wasted that won’t convert for you.

I’m of the school of thought that you should regularly browse through your Amazon search term report to identify negative keywords. But that’s after the fact, and you may have been bleeding some serious ROI that’s driving up your ACoS.

So, build a healthy list of those negative keywords you don’t want to appear when Amazon shoppers search related keywords.

Pro Tip: Dive into this in-depth Amazon PPC guide for beginners to avoid other common beginner pitfalls that could cost you money and revenue.

Mistake #7: Adapting Irrelevant Keywords

I know I said to dig into your seed keyword/keyword phrase to identify variations. Likewise, I said to apply long tail keyword variations to get more eyes on your product with keywords others might not be targeting.

However, there’s a fine line between that and stuffing your copy with irrelevant keywords.

The fact that a string of keywords shows up during your seed keyword research doesn’t mean it should go into that campaign. For example, a search for “pencil” yielded some results identified below, which aren’t necessarily relevant to what we want to achieve:

  • Teen girl school supplies
  • Amazin wishlist
  • Undertale school supplies
  • Things cute, etc.
Keyword examples

Implementing these keywords to undercut the competition could blow back because:

  • People searching for such keywords may not be looking for pencils. So, you’ll get more impressions, very few clicks, and even fewer conversions, if any.
  • You’ll waste money that could have been well spent elsewhere on your Amazon PPC campaign if shoppers keep clicking on your listing for the wrong reasons.
  • You’ll waste time that could have been spent optimizing and ranking for better keywords.

This ties back into mistake #4 above. So, always manually vet all keywords you want to work with for their potential rather than blindly trusting even the best tools.

Pro Tip: One of the best ways to find relevant keywords is to dig deeper into keyword variants research rather than sticking with the seed keyword research only.

Which Mistake Are You Guilty Of?

Even the top sellers have been there before, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Instead, this is a chance to regroup, identify what you’ve been doing wrong, and improve your strategies from here on out.


Christopher breathes everything Amazon with experience in Amazon affiliate marketing, content creation, and FBA. He’s also the editor at RevenueGeeks, where he helps bring other Amazon FBA and FBM sellers unique and helpful content to grow their businesses from anywhere. He’ll constantly miss dinner to brainstorm new sustainable tips to boost Amazon sales, improve product and content visibility, and optimize all listings for the best performance.

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