Best Practices for Leveraging Amazon Search Terms

Jul 12, 2021



In the world of Amazon selling few things are as important to get right as keywords and search terms. These affect how your customers find you, how you stand out from your competitors, and how you market your Amazon products.  Search word optimization is an important part of successful selling on Amazon.  


Amazon search terms have very specific restrictions attached to them, and knowing what works and what doesn’t can really give you a leg up on the competition. That’s why we’re going to take a look at the Best Practices for Amazon Search terms in your Amazon listings.


Where to Use Amazon Search Terms



First things first, let’s look at where we need to go on our Amazon Account to fill out these search terms. You’ll find this field under the ‘Keywords’ tab on your Amazon Seller Central Backend page.  Here you’ll find two fields, ‘Search Terms’ and ‘Platinum Keywords’. The only field you need to worry about today is ‘Search Terms’.  


ProTip: ‘Platinum Keywords’ were designed to help Platinum Merchants optimize their storefronts. This area is no longer indexed by Amazon, so you don’t need to fill in this section.


Keep it Simple!


The ‘Search Terms’ field can contain up to 249 characters. This excludes commas and other punctuation. Even though commas and other punctuation doesn’t count towards your total, there is still no need to use most types of punctuation in the ‘Search Terms’ field. Keywords can be separated by spaces, no commas are needed. 


The exception to the punctuation rule is the hyphen. Hyphens are very useful in the search terms field. Hyphens can be used to separate words. When you do so, the hyphenated words end up being far more useful to you. The hyphen can act as a hyphen, as a space, or as a lack of space.  


Here’s an example. If you type in Note-Book into your ‘Search Terms’ field, your keywords will now include, Note, Book, Note-Book, & Notebook. This is great, because now you have 4 different search terms with 24 characters for the ‘price’ of 8 characters!   


There’s no need to list every possible combination of a word, list it once and it will be searchable in several different ways.


No Repetition!


There’s never any need to repeat any of the words you use in the search terms field.  All variations of the word are now included. If you wanted to add the term drawing to your search term field your customers could search ‘drawing book’ and your notebook will still come up! You can use this strategy with any important product adjectives. It’s important to remember that when you enter multiple terms you try to keep them in the same order they would usually appear in a customer search.  


Just like specific search terms can help your Amazon optimization practices, filler words like a, of, the, ect, can hurt you. These types of words are a waste of space as they can apply to multiple listings. Overall they detract from your keywords searches. Make sure you only input relevant words.  


How do you know you are choosing the right, relevant words? One way to make sure is to check out your competitors. Which search words bring you to their pages? Which ones don’t? Knowing what’s working for your competitors is always an important step in Search Term Optimization.


If you want to get some better, more in-depth knowledge of which words will be the most useful and relevant to your product, you could always choose to hire an Amazon listing optimization service. Services like these specialize in finding the best search terms for your products.


What NOT to Use


When filling in your Search Terms make sure you don’t use any Brands, AISNs, or numbers of any kind. These are just a waste of characters and will do nothing to help your potential customers find you. Because your Brand and Product name are already searchable, including them as Search Terms will not improve your Amazon Search Terms Optimization or Ranking.   


Also, avoid subjective or time-specific claims. Subjective terms are words like high-quality, and amazing. These terms are not based on objective measures that customers might be aware of, so they are not relevant. Time-specific terms would include words like New or Half Price. Customers will also rarely search these terms anyway, so it’s best to avoid them completely. 


Finally, you do not need to include common misspellings in your search terms as Amazon’s search engine already accounts for these types of errors. Fantastic right? This way we don’t have to worry about using notebook and wasting valuable characters!


Tips and Hints



So are there any other words that you want to make sure are included in your Search Terms? Definitely. Besides the main searchable terms, and a few important adjectives you will want to include any common abbreviations associated with your products. These can be acronyms or other common ways that your product categories are shortened. An example is using Web Server instead of Internet Server.  


In fact, the best practice based on our rule on word order would be Internet Web-Server.  This way we have the order correct and the multiple variations of the search terms are present.


One last tip, the search term area is an area of your SEO Amazon listing that should be updated. Add seasonal and holiday keywords here at the appropriate time of year, and remove words that lose relevancy over time.


Final Thoughts


If you are considering expanding into new markets, for instance overseas or anywhere with a different official language than your current Amazon list, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you are optimizing your search terms to include local listing optimization strategies and terms. 


International marketplaces require search terms that differ by language and by region, so it is always beneficial to hire a local to optimize your translation.  Professional translation services will help to make sure your search terms are relevant in every new market you enter.  


So now that you know how to optimize your search terms you’ll be able to leverage your Amazon listing optimization skills to make sure that you are only using the most useful, relevant words to help bring customers to your listing!