Editor’s Note: This post has recently been updated to give our readers the best tactics, links, and suggestions possible 🙂
Original Post Date: January 24, 2018
The more we rely on the eCommerce titan, Amazon, the more vital Amazon keyword tools and Amazon keyword research become, respectively. With the various keyword tools to pick from on your keyword research journey, you may be caught up just choosing which tool to go with.
You may be thinking, “I swear I heard Amazon has its own keyword research tool!”
Well, the answer is both yes and no.
Although Amazon doesn’t have its own proprietary keyword research tool for organic users, Amazon can give you a suggested keyword list if running Amazon advertising campaigns.
However, keep in mind that this tool is limited in that suggestions are only based on product name and category. To get more data points or criteria evaluated, you’ll need to rely on a third-party software solution as your Amazon keyword tool.
An Amazon keyword tool can assist you in uncovering the keywords that people are most frequently searching on Amazon (which can be different than Google or Bing search queries).
The right tool can help you identify initial opportunities as well as optimize your new and existing campaigns through keyword expansion.
Getting Started with Keyword Research and Optimization
It’s definitely not rocket science, but it’s still worth reiterating. Keyword research is extremely important when you’re showcasing a product or several products on Amazon.
You can easily maximize your revenue by simply investing the time to do the proper keyword research in your niche, then tailoring your product titles and descriptions around those keywords.
But Amazon keyword research goes beyond just tailoring your product titles to your interested shoppers. Keyword research is the jet fuel to any eCommerce campaign.
That is, if you know how to leverage these keyword tools to help you create hyper targeted ad copy, product descriptions, etc. So, let’s get started, shall we?
First, once you know which products you want to sell, choose the “Promote and Advertise” button.
After you have selected your campaign type, it will allow you to choose your campaign name and daily budget. You can also choose if you want to run your campaign continuously or within a date range.
Lastly, in this next step, you can either choose an automatic campaign or continue with manual targeting, which is what we’ll do here.
After selecting manual targeting, Amazon will spit out a list of suggested keywords and give you an option to “add your own keywords.” This is where you’ll select “add your own keywords” to use the keyword research you’ve found through a third-party Amazon keyword tool.
You don’t have to pay to promote to get value out of doing keyword research, but it can help with performance. We’ll talk more about what you should consider cost wise, when deciding whether you want to promote, later in this post.
Keyword Expansion and Organic Usage
So, let’s say your product campaigns are already live or you don’t want to pay to promote. Let’s make sure you’re ready for any organic strategies you may be running as well.
Let’s get our hands dirty with some keyword expansion.
You can use keyword expansion to either create new ads based on an expanded number of primary (short tail) and secondary (long tail) keywords.
These longer tail keywords can help distinguish different verticals in your product line that may convert at higher rates than the primary keyword for the product.
You can also use these keywords to discover better performing variations of your keywords to replace the current ones you’re targeting.
This process is important, because keyword expansion (in general) can really impact the success of your products’ sales. With an average of 485,000 products are listed everyday, according to an article on ExportX, you need to continuously be distinguishing your brand from the competition.
Optimizing the keywords for your Amazon products through keyword refinement or expansion can aide you with ranking higher in the Amazon search results.
How, do you ask?
Well, the same Amazon sellers create names and descriptions for products that seem a bit longer than you would imagine. You know, like the “Insanely Long-Tail and Thickly-Worded Perfectly Optimized Product Title.” According to Amazon’s information about optimizing listings for searching and browsing, it can be more effective to have a product title that includes more information.
For example, Amazon refers to “Laura Ashley Sophia Collection 300-Thread-Count Pillow Cases (Blue, Queen, Set of 2)” being a better product title than “Blue Pillow Cases.”
This is because although there’s not a single person who actually types this out word-for-word, each word in the product title is actually searchable on its own. Amazon sellers know that the Amazon search algorithms can catch it and prioritize it for the searcher.
On Amazon’s website, they refer to having the brand, product line, material, color, size, and quality in the title as being better than having a shorter product name. More specific titles are perceived to deliver the most value based on a consumer’s search intent.
When researching or expanding your keywords through keyword research, remember this helpful formula:
But take caution.
This keyword research formula might be helpful, but only if you can find a goldmine of relevant PPC keywords for your Amazon product title.
Keep in mind that there are regulations when creating and optimizing a product title on Amazon. According to Amazon, the general rule of thumb is a 50 character limit. But in some instances, some categories will allow longer titles and exceptions to those guidelines.
Along with the title guidelines, Amazon also provides guidelines on the items below:
Comparing Amazon and Google Shopping
So, is it harder to get your products listed on Amazon than with Google Shopping campaigns? Or should you focus your optimization efforts on Google Shopping campaigns instead?
Requirements & Barriers to Entry
First, in comparison to Amazon’s guidelines, there are also guidelines Google has on product data specifications for Google campaigns. Although there are specific requirements based on the product you sell, Google happens to present a universal list too:
Although both Amazon and Google Shopping have straightforward general specifications for selling a product, it gets tougher to list for Amazon. When looking at Amazon, there are many barriers to entry for selling a product. Not only that, but the list of categories requiring approval keeps growing.
Cost and Performance Assessment
Next, it’s important we take a glance at what it costs to get your product up and running on Amazon and Google Shopping.
Evaluating the cost per product is important to each seller.
Amazon has two options when it comes to selling plans: Professional Selling Plan and Individual Selling Plan. Choosing between the two plans can be decided from how many products you plan to post overtime and any budget limitations.
The Professional Selling Plan features a monthly subscription for $39.99 and no per-item fee for the seller. The Individual Selling Plan has no monthly subscription fee; however, it costs $0.99 per item sold. If you’re posting at least 39 items per month, it would be more beneficial to sign up for the Professional Selling Plan.
There’s also a referral fee and a variable closing fee. First, for the referral fee, the seller must pay the greater of the category-specific referral fee (which is usually 15%) or per-item minimum referral fee ($0, $1, or $2). Secondly, for the variable closing fee, the seller must also pay a fee of $1.35 per each media item that’s sold.
In regards to the variable closing fee, a media item is defined as books, music, videos, DVDs, video games, consoles and software.
Google Shopping, on the other hand, works differently.
Rather than charging a cost per item, Google Shopping works through creating Google Shopping campaigns. These product campaigns are based on cost per-click.
Having a cost per-click system can vary the cost for different sellers using Google Shopping. One seller may have a higher budget than the other and decide to bid more on the clicks for their product. This can be done during the setup of your campaign.
For example, if you’re setting up a single-product ad group (SPAG) on Google Shopping, it’ll give you the option to choose how much you want to bid for that single product. This is where the Google Shopping costs can vary per seller.
To put cost in perspective, even though you pay to have an account on Amazon either way, if the CPC is lower on Amazon than for Google Shopping campaigns, it still might be more cost effective to advertise on Amazon.
There are too many variables to consider when it comes to cost: competition, type of product, industry, etc. to be conclusive in this piece on which one is better cost wise.
It’s important to look at the performance levels of both Amazon and Google. During a case study done in 2012 (yes, we wish we found one more recent, but this was what came up doing our research), the rival engines were broken down based on key metrics including CPC, traffic, conversion rate, revenue, and cost of sale.
Google was new in the CPC game when this study was done, meaning Q3 of 2012 marked its first recorded CPC which averaged at $0.30. With Google now being made, it still comes in at being remarkably cheaper than Amazon Product Ads.
In Q4, Amazon had an average CPC of $0.41 and Google had an average CPC of $0.31. From this and the chart above, you can see that based on this study, Google Shopping had trends of being cheaper than Amazon Product Ads.
Next, we can look at how Google Shopping dominated Amazon Product Ads during this period. During Q4 of 2012, Google was sending merchants nearly double the amount of traffic that Amazon Product ads were.
Finally, we can look at a very valuable metric known as conversion rates. Amazon’s conversion rates show that they were trending up over this period.
However, Google was showing a steady decline over the time period.
Overall, Amazon and Google were neck and neck in terms of cost of sale (cost divided by revenue).
However, Google came in a bit cheaper than Amazon. On average, Google was 32.77% more cost efficient than Amazon for merchants.
Although Google did appear to be more cost effective, we can’t discount the statistics regarding conversion rates. With this being one of the most important metrics for a business, there’s still hope when going through Amazon.
Tools & Reporting Available
Another difference between Amazon and Google is that Google has tools like Keyword Planner to help with keyword research. So, one might think it provides more to assist with setting you up for success with your product listings.
But does it really beat Amazon that hardily?
Although, Google Shopping ads offers reporting and competitive data, so you can see an accurate picture of how your products are performing, Amazon offers similar tools. Under your seller account on Amazon, you can find three types of business reports (Sales Dashboard, Business Reports by date/ASIN, and Amazon Selling Coach).
In addition to providing tools like Keyword Planner, Google Shopping has several benefits that can make it worth considering.
Businesses can experience higher click-through rates (CTR) when using Shopping ads over text ads–so if you’re considering advertising an e-commerce brand or product at all on Google, shopping campaigns would be the way to go.
Now that you see the value in keyword research and optimizing for Amazon product listings, let’s cover the keyword research tools you can utilize to assist in your efforts.
The 5 Best Amazon Keyword Tool List
With multiple Amazon keyword tools on the Internet, I’ve narrowed it down to a list of five for you that I think will at least get you going in the right direction.
Here’s an overview of the criteria that will be compared:
1) Sonar Tool
Sonar Tool is free with no signup necessary. Some of the pros include that it only takes into account Amazon sources and it has a Google Chrome extension. While the Google Chrome extension isn’t free, it’s easier to use since it allows you to look up keywords directly in your browser.
With not many cons, I did find that in order to get the full list of keywords, you must sign up for Sonar Tool. Yes, they want your information.
Regardless, what I love about this tool is that the keyword searches are pulled from real search queries from Amazon customers.
Not only that, but these are pulled from precise algorithms that detect exactly what these shoppers are on the prowl for, producing over 200 results per keyword.
With this search behavior being the case, the Amazon keywords that are suggested can be directly correlated and relevant to Amazon itself.
To put the icing on the cake, compared to other Amazon keyword tools, Sonar offers a wide range of features. These features include ASIN reverse lookup, the ability to find synonymous words, and Amazon search volume rankings.
Using the ASIN reverse lookup is actually quite simple. First, you’ll need to select the “ASIN” option above the search bar. Next, you just need to enter the ASIN of a competitor’s product in the top search bar and begin the search.
The search volume found within this tool is based off Sonar’s algorithm. It ranks the search volume on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the minimum and 5 being the maximum.
This ranking helps illustrate and calculate the probability of appearance.
2) Keyword Tool
Keyword Tool is simple and easy, offering a Pro Lite version for $48 per month and a Pro Plus version for $88 per month. The pros of this Amazon keyword tool include the use of the Amazon search suggestion function and its simple user interface.
The only con I found during my evaluation is that the search volume statistics are pulled from Google. Since Amazon doesn’t provide keyword search volume data, this helps estimate the keywords relative popularity. Thus, it may be somewhat inaccurate.
Keyword Tool can assist in finding you relevant long-tail keywords by using Amazon’s search suggest function. Suggestions pop up in the Amazon search bar once a shopper begins typing, predicting exactly what they’re looking for.
How does it exactly work?
Well, Keyword Tool throws your keyword into the Amazon search box and then attaches different letters and numbers to it.
In a matter of seconds, this Amazon keyword tool can spit out all related keyword suggestions generated by Amazon in an easily read manner.
The keywords are presented with more relevant and popular keywords above the less popular ones. These keywords are actually in the same order as they appeared in the Amazon search suggestions.
By using and paying for Keyword Tool Pro, you can have access to as much as two times as many related Amazon keywords. Not only that, but it includes features such as search volume, CPC in Google Ads, competition in Google Ads, and the ability to export the data to Excel or CSV.
Although we’re focused on Amazon, this is a definite plus, because it gives the user an idea of how those same keywords are performing in Google Ads compared to Amazon campaigns.
MerchantWords has an awesome ability to uncover highly specific keyword phrases and offers a paid version for $60 per month.
The paid version allows you to expand the reports to see more data points such as dominant categories. One con I did find was that the free version only offers the top 5 results for your keyword and doesn’t give you the information on dominant categories.
This tool seems to be that one Amazon keyword tool that gives the user an option to really narrow down your search. It gives us the ability to narrow it down to a defined Amazon category.
What does this do for us?
Well, we’re able to see the dominant product categories that are related to an exact Amazon search. Honestly, that feature right there is a massive plus.
4) Keyword Tool Dominator
For starters, Keyword Tool Dominator offers a free service with a usage limit or a $50 one-time purchase.
The pros I found with this Amazon keyword tool is that it ranks the keywords from 1 to 10 and it offers a lifetime subscription. The only downside or con is that the free version only allows up to 3 keywords to be searched per day.
While diving into this Amazon keyword tool, I first noticed the unique data of ranking the keywords from 1 to 10. This illustrates where that specific keyword was found on Amazon’s suggestion list.
With a rank of 1 meaning most popular, and a rank of 10 meaning least popular, this aspect of the tool stands out amongst the rest. The rankings are based off of search volume, sales, conversion rates, and many other factors.
Oh yeah, not to mention, this puppy has a Google Chrome extension as well.
That’s what I’m talking about (well, unless you’re not a Chrome user…).
5) Scientific Seller
Similar to the Sonar Tool, the Scientific Seller Amazon keyword tool is a free service to use. Some other pros that I discovered were that it continuously searches until you pause the tool and it gives you the ability to delete keywords for a more relevant list.
The only downside on this one is that there’s no numerical order when it comes to the results. So, this one runs a bit different than the others. Scientific Seller can find hundred of keywords instantly.
But why does this tool seem broken? It won’t stop loading.
Broken? Pssssssh, it’s just performing thousands of creative Amazon searches to find more unique related keywords that you may have not thought of.
This Amazon keyword tool really has an in-depth research process compared to the rest.
From this report, we can see a feature that I’ve yet to see on other Amazon keyword tools. It gives you the ability to delete words off the generated list.
Where did it go?
This third-party Amazon keyword tool is the first that I’ve seen to do this, and I really think the rest are missing out. Having the ability to delete irrelevant keywords of the generated list is going to allow you to get more relevant results.
In all seriousness, this tool is so in-depth, I am unsure if it ever fully completes a search for one keyword.
Overall workhorse, if you ask me.
How To Use Keyword Tool Dominator — It’s Simple
Now, I think it’s fair to ask how are you supposed to use any of the Amazon keyword tools from the list above without a full walk-through.
So, before you ask, let me get down to a “how to” and walk you through one of the tools mentioned that I find to be the most valuable.
Honestly, they’re all made to be simple, which is a huge plus. But we’ll take a look at Keyword Tool Dominator below, which requires a 5-step process to use:
Amazon Keyword Tool List in a Nutshell
So, ready to get out there and crush your keyword research for Amazon?
I think you are, but just one more thing…I want to leave you with a parting piece of guidance:
Most important of all, if you can get your Amazon product dialed in with the keywords that are being searched most often with your industry, product and competition in mind, and have an extremely high demand, you’re on your way to some great success.
These tools can provide the data and results to understand what keywords/search terms are needed for your exact product.
While all seem to have their own twists, in actuality, each can ignite the fire under your campaigns and product listings and get them on their way to the top of Amazon.
Perhaps, you’re ready to go with Amazon, but are wondering what keyword tools to use for general PPC campaigns. Well, not only are there a good many to choose from, but Chelsea developed a list of these 27 keyword research tools that can be used for other general PPC campaigns such as through Google Ads.
Leave no stone unturned when listing your products.
So, pick your favorite tool from the Amazon keyword tool list above and use it to improve your Amazon keyword research. Then, move on to improve keyword performance across the board.
Let us know in the comments below what you found to work best. Also, if there’s any I’ve missed, I would love to include them in my next update.