Updated: Mar 7
Are you looking for the best keyword research strategies for Amazon Advertising?
Well, you are in the right place.
Keyword research best practices change according to the objectives you want to achieve on Amazon.
In this ultimate guide, I’m gonna explain two keyword research techniques that tackle the two most important scenarios when it comes to making your way up in Amazon organic ranking.
I’ll focus more on the advertising side, but keep in mind that the keywords on Amazon product pages and those in ad campaigns should be related. If you target different keywords with advertising, you won’t perform well. So, the following keyword research strategies will help your listings optimization as well.
You will learn how to find profitable keywords to improve your Amazon listings and ad campaigns, leverage insights from competitors’ top selling items and use Helium 10 like a boss!
Yes, you got it right.
Helium 10 is my keyword research tool and you should use it too.
Why? Keep reading.
Table of contents
BEST AMAZON KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL
Before we start with the actual keyword research techniques, it’s important to make an introduction about the tool I’ll use in this guide.
What is the best keyword research tool for Amazon?
Without any doubt, the best Amazon keyword research tool is Helium 10.
If you follow me on YouTube or here, on my blog, you know that I’m very picky and selective with the tools I use for digital marketing.
And I’ll be very blunt: if you do business on Amazon, Helium 10 is a must.
In this guide, I’ll show you my best practices for keyword research by using Helium 10. It has a free forever version, so you can just start with it and eventually get a premium subscription later.
Specifically, I’ll teach you how to master and leverage:
Xray - Amazon Product Research. Helium 10 crawls Amazon products feed and returns amazing insights about the listings displayed, like sales, revenue, reviews, Amazon fees and so on;
Cerebro - Reverse ASIN Lookup. A tool that scrapes information from a listing and returns a list of keywords with related useful insights;
Magnet2 - Keyword Research. Starting from a seed keyword, this tool generates more connected alternatives.
You might substitute Helium 10 with JungleScout which has similar features to Helium 10 and is still a powerful tool. But it doesn’t have a free version.
For the advanced keyword research techniques that I’ll show you here, you can’t use 100% free software like Sonar by Sellics, because they don’t have the necessary features.
HOW TO STEAL AND LEVERAGE PROFITABLE KEYWORDS FROM TOP RANKING COMPETITORS’ LISTINGS
As an Amazon seller, you want your listings to be found in the first page of the Amazon feed. But when you launch a new product, it’ll probably take a while to get there.
There are many factors that determine your listings’ organic ranking like the IPI (Inventory Performance Index), sales velocity, reviews, keywords, seller history (the more time you are on Amazon as a seller, the better) and so on.
Not all these factors can be commanded.
For example, there is nothing you can do to increase your history as a seller. If you joined Amazon yesterday, you can only wait.
You should make a difference by acting on those factors which you can control. And keywords are one of them.
What keywords should you target on your Amazon listings and ad campaigns?
Assuming that a listing can’t rank number one for every keyword, you must choose the most important one.
What is your most important keyword?
It is a keyword that perfectly describes your item and drives a lot of traffic. In other words, it needs to have tons of monthly searches (possibly, more than 10k/mo searches).
For example, if you sell a shampoo for men, you may want to rank number one for the keyword “men shampoo”.
If you are new to the marketplace and have a low budget, you may want to start small and pick a long-tail keyword instead. “Vegan shampoo for men” for example.
This step is very important, because this keyword will represent the compass for the whole keyword research strategy I’m about to show you.
Let’s call it the “pilot” keyword.
If you search for your pilot keyword on Amazon, you will find a list of competitors’ products on the first page.
You should always copy what top ranking competitors do.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Follow this step by step guide to steal the most profitable keywords from your top ranking competitors.
Step 1. Identify the pilot keyword for your listing
Identifying your pilot keyword can be difficult sometimes.
Maybe your item has cross-product features and is not easy to describe or maybe, you just can’t come up with the perfect keyword to define it.
And, in any case, you want to be sure that this keyword has traffic potential.
So, I recommend using Magnet - Keyword Research by Helium 10.
From the Helium 10 home page, use the side navigation menu and click on Magnet in the Keyword Research tab.
Pick the right Amazon marketplace (in this guide, I’ll just focus on Amazon US) and input the seed keyword in the search bar.
You can eventually analyze multiple seed keywords if you are not sure what to pick. The AI will find all the related alternatives.
In this example, the seed keyword “vegan shampoo for men” has just 18 searches per month which means we need to find a better pilot keyword for our listing.
In the filters section, select Organic as a Match Type and apply the filter. Helium 10 will now display only organic keywords.
Remember that pilot keywords are for organic ranking, not necessarily for advertising. I’ll show you what to do on the Amazon Advertising console in the next chapters.
Take a look at the entries and order them according to the Search Volume.
In the example above, the most relevant results are:
“mens shampoo” with 33,907 searches;
“shampoo for men” with 18,375 searches;
“natural shampoo” with 16,542 searches;
“mens shampoo and conditioner” with 14,262 searches;
“hair thickening products for women” with 10,855 searches.
Number 1 is too competitive, number 3 is too general, number 4 and 5 are not in target (we are selling only shampoo for men without conditioner).
So, I would opt for number 2: “shampoo for men”.
Don’t be scared by competitiveness. It’s not important in this phase.
Remember that this is the “wannabe” keyword. It represents the compass of your ranking strategy.
Before you are able to rank in the first page for such a keyword, you need to rank higher for a multitude of other related long-tail keywords.
Step 2. Find your competitors’ top ranking products
Now, it’s time to find out who are the best Amazon competitors for your pilot keyword.
Head to amazon.com and search for your pilot keyword. In this example, I’ll keep using “shampoo for men”.
Attention: install Helium 10 Google Chrome Extension before you begin (here is the download page).
Click on Helium 10 Chrome Extension and select Xray - Amazon Product Research.
As you can see from the image below, Helium 10 has found in depth information about the products listed in the feed.
Also sponsored products are included (they have a blue box with the letters "SP" before the title), but you don’t need them for this keyword research, so click the garbage button at the beginning of the entries.
In this way, you’ll clean up the list and get a clearer outlook on what your real competing products are.
I usually select my competitors according to two factors:
The first point is important, because you want to be sure that the competing product considered is very similar to what you are selling.
The second point is important, because you want to copy only successful listings.
Proceed in this way:
Look at the Sales column and identify the products with more sales. Remember that entries are ordered according to the organic position for your pilot keyword, so you can’t look for best sellers in the second page of the feed. For each Amazon page, there are more or less 45 organic results (it depends on different factors). Consider results that have more than 2,000 - 3,000 monthly sales. Depending on your product category, you might have competitors that sell less than 2k monthly units. In this case, just identify those with most sales;
Then, look at the ASIN column and hover the cursor on the best sellers identified in the previous point. Helium 10 will display their product image. Verify that the product image and title are relevant for the item you are selling (eg: similar features, same product category...);
Optional: if you are undecided between one competitor or another, check the Review Count too. You want to select the crème de la crème.
Follow these guidelines and select from 5 to 10 items.
Warning: don’t select more than one product which belongs to the same brand otherwise this keyword research strategy won’t work!
Step 3. Use Cerebro to steal the most profitable keywords from your competitors
On the top right corner, click the button Run in Cerebro.