How to Conduct Keyword Research for Your Amazon PPC Campaign

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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No matter if we’re talking search engine optimization or pay-per-click campaigns, keyword research is an essential component to getting content in front of the right audience.

As far as Amazon is concerned, investing time into keyword research is one of the most critical aspects for optimizing an ad campaign and maximizing potential revenues.

Given the enormity of Amazon’s marketplace, touting millions upon millions of different products, it is vital for merchants to know which terms and phrases will trigger their products to surface for a given query. Moreover, since Amazon’s customers tend to have a strong intent to purchase as opposed to browsing aimlessly, successfully presenting ads in the right place at the right time can lead to massive growth for a seller or organization.

Considering how important it is to align an ad campaign with the right keywords, retailers must arm themselves with the most current and effective strategies for uncovering profitable phrases that drive clicks and conversions.

With that said, dive on into these powerful methodologies for conducting keyword research for an Amazon PPC campaign.

Know Your Industry 

Before conducting keyword research, it is essential for retailers to become intimately familiar with their niche. While many may already be knowledgeable, newer sellers must understand the pain-points, needs, desires, nuances and characteristics of those who are purchasing the products in question.

Know Your Industry Infographic

To effectively sell items, retailers must understand their customers by asking questions such as:

  • Who is searching for these items?
  • When are people searching for them?
  • What words might they use?
  • What type of devices do they prefer?
  • Why are people seeking these products?

Moreover, it is vital that merchants know which brands they are competing against and the likelihood of outbidding competitors for specific keywords. For example, a small-time candy company likely won’t be able to dominate brands like Hershey’s for keywords like “chocolate bar.”

At the same time, it is important to discern the difference between competitors and keyword competitors. For instance, the candy bar company does compete with the likes of Hershey’s; however, that same snack food brand might also have to compete for keywords like “chocolate” that a clothing brand uses. While the clothing manufacturer doesn’t compete with the candy company for sales, it does compete in the keyword arena.

Employ a Keyword Research Tool

This one is fairly obvious and quite useful. As important as it is to do some manual sleuthing for powerful keywords, it would be silly for sellers not to utilize all the tools at their disposal.

Keyword research tools help merchants obtain an understanding of how consumers search for products in a given niche, how frequently these searches take place and how difficult it is to stand out among countless competitors. 

Retailers have tons of tools at their disposal for this task. A free (and quite useful) one would be Google’s Keyword Planner. With this platform (which a company likely already uses for its Google Ads campaigns), users can search as many keywords as they want to determine keyword search frequency and levels of competition.

keywords research sketch

While such tools can be useful, many might instead opt for an Amazon-specific tool such as’s Amazon tool which pulls its results directly from the company’s autocomplete results. generates a hefty list of long-tail keywords for merchants to analyze and test. This tool is free to use. However, the complimentary version does restrict the data that users can access. 

Alternatively, sellers might instead utilize Sellics’ free Amazon keyword tool, Sonar. Using this platform, users can uncover monthly search volumes, related keywords and similar products.

In addition to these tools, retailers might consider a combination of platforms. Some other excellent Amazon keyword research tools include:

Be aware that these tools should not serve as an alternative to a manual approach, but instead should enhance such efforts. While these tools can be quite useful and extremely helpful in surfacing terms that can boost PPC performance, it is still necessary for merchants to put in the legwork required to gain a comprehensive view of the phrases Amazon shoppers are using.

Analyze Google Performance

Many merchants who utilize Amazon also possess a dedicated webstore. Not only is a proprietary website essential for an omnichannel experience, but it also provides sellers with heaps of data, including information on keywords.

Google vs Amazon Searches

Even though nearly 47 percent of product searches begin on Amazon, close to 35 percent still go through Google, and that equates to many millions of searches. This level of search volume means that Google’s data can be an invaluable resource for enhancing Amazon keyword research efforts.

Through tools such as Google’s Search Console or SEMrush, retailers can gain an understanding of which search queries are producing the best results in the SERPs. Keywords and phrases that deliver results on Google should be integrated into a brand’s Amazon PPC campaign if for no other reason than to establish if the impact carries over to the eCommerce destination.

Study Amazon’s Autocomplete Search Results

When looking for keyword data, one of the most useful places to procure information is right from the horse’s mouth.

When entering a search into Amazon, the company automatically suggests products based on what other shoppers frequently search. Therefore, retailers can utilize Amazon itself as a free keyword research tool that can give an accurate representation of how consumers use the Amazon search engine. 

fathers day search results

This can be an excellent route to go for merchants who don’t have the funds to obtain a comprehensive keyword research tool.

While this method does require some time and patience, retailers can procure a solid list of keywords to utilize, test and refine.

Target Competitor Pages

Competitive research is an essential task for all eCommerce brands for a variety of reasons. In terms of competitive research on Amazon, reviewing rival product pages, question and answer sections and reviews proves time and again to be an absolute keyword boon.

Competitive Research on Amazon

Therefore, when studying Amazon’s autocomplete results, it is often a wise idea to follow through on many of the more relevant queries to establish brand competitors and to comb through their product descriptions, bullet points and aforementioned details. Completing this task will not only allow merchants to gain a more comprehensive view of the competitive landscape, but it will also provide them with proven keyword details to integrate into their PPC strategies for increased performance and ROI.

Keyword Research Via Automated Campaigns 

A great feature for new advertisers on Amazon is the automated campaign function. By deploying an Amazon-run campaign, retailers need not conduct keyword research at all, nor will they need to worry about bidding strategies or any other of the complexities of PPC advertising. With Amazon’s automated targeting, simply select the budget, start and end dates and the product. From there, Amazon will find keywords that match the item’s category, description and related products. 

One of the greatest things about running automated targeting campaigns on Amazon is that retailers gain a plethora of valuable keyword data that they can build their strategies on and improve campaign performance.

reviewing analytics during meeting

After launching an automated campaign and allowing it to run its course, search through the search term report to establish which keywords resulted in conversions. In this step, harvest all terms that generated conversions and leave behind any that failed to earn a sale. 

After acquiring this information, retailers can then use this information to run a manually targeted campaign and turn the keywords that converted into exact match type keywords as they are likely to produce positive results. 

Moreover, during a manual campaign, retailers will want to bid higher on the keywords that converted the most and lower on those that attained less robust results.

Finally, terms that failed to convert at all, retailers will want to turn into negative keywords as these are likely to waste the advertiser’s budget.

Amazon keyword research is a vital element to obtaining PPC results that can help grow a brand within the sprawling digital marketplace. Without an efficient and effective strategy, retailers are essentially stabbing in the dark and hoping for the best. Utilize the tactics outlined above to uncover your niche’s more fruitful phrases and to get your products in front of the right shoppers at the right time.

However, if your brand doesn’t have the bandwidth or capability to manage its Amazon strategy in-house, reach out to our Amazon PPC management specialists for help formulating a plan that can help bring your brand to the next level.

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