Here it is…this is the detailed process I use to determine my Amazon KDP keywords.
If you’ve ever wondered exactly what steps to take to get keywords that will help your book get discovered on Amazon, I’m going to show you.
I’m going to show you both the long manual way, and I’ll also show you how to use Publisher Rocket to expedite this process and save yourself some time.
Why are keywords an area of focus in self-publishing?
Because it can make or break the success of your books.
Keywords aid in discoverability.
That being said, keywords will not sell your books for you.
That’s up to your book cover, description, and, of course, the content and quality of your book itself.
Table of Contents
Glossary of Terms
Exact Match Keyword – Keyword phrases with nothing extra added. These are the exact search terms you researched. No more, no less.
Longtail Keyword – Longer keyword phrases that are more concise than your root keyword. These are easier to rank for.
Root Keyword – Your main keyword. For example, if your book is a werebear shapshifter romance, that’s your root keyword.
Amazon KDP Keywords – The Hard Way
1. Write a list of words that accurately describe your book.
If someone asked you what your book is about, but you could only use a few words to describe it, what would they be?
Don’t overthink it.
Also, don’t get too attached to these words because this list is going to change, evolve, shrink, and grow.
2. Install DS Amazon Quick View.
DS Amazon Quick View is a free Chrome extension that shows your product details (including books) on Amazon inside the search results.
Just grab the free version. It will suffice. I’ve never had to use the paid version.
This plugin prevents you from having to click on each product, visit the product page, and scroll down to find the information you’re looking for. You can see it directly in your search results instead.
Next you need to enable DS Amazon Quick View for Incognito Mode.
In Google Chrome, click the ellipsis menu (three dots) and click Settings.
Click Extensions in the left navigation.
Click the Details button on the extension.
Toggle on Allow in incognito.
Let’s try it out!
3. Open your browser in Incognito Mode by pressing Ctrl Shift N.
Because if you use a regular browser window or tab, the results are tailored to your interests and browse history. We’re not marketing to you! So, we need to broaden our search by going incognito. It will be like you’re a brand new person!
NOTE: Don’t get obsessed with first page placement. You will not accomplish that right out of the gate. It takes time, marketing, and patience. Trying to find your book in the search results is not a good use of your time. Each person gets customized search results based on what they’ve bought before and what they’ve searched before.
Got to https://amazon.com and select Books from the drop-down menu.
4. Type the first word from a keyword in your list.
Don’t press Enter. Let auto suggest do its thing.
Jot down any keywords that are suggested that you feel apply to your book. Initially, we want 3 or 4 dozen total from all the words in your list.
If you’re in doubt about any keywords, toss them. Be 100% certain each keyword is a great descriptor of your work. If it’s not, it will only confuse customers and stifle your book sales.
The goal is to have 12 to 24 solid keywords when we’re done.
Repeat this process for each keyword from your brainstorming session.
5. Search each keyword in your list on Amazon.
Look up each keyword and focus on the number of products associated with that keyword in the top-left corner.
If the keyword search results are under 1,000, that’s great! If there are like 80,000 or over 100,000, you will want to find some alternatives.
That’s going to be a touch niche or keyword to break into.
To be clear, you can still use a keyword if there is an insane amount of search volume if the keyword is a great descriptor of your book. Keep it and ignore the search volume.
This is where you see DS Amazon Quick View do its work.
You can easily view the Amazon Best Seller Rank (ASBR) without having to open each product page to see it.
NOTE: The ASBR is based on the number of products in a given category or product type. The number of sales dictates the placement and ranking. The more sales you have, the closer your book will be to number one. The fewer sales you have, your book will be farther away from number one.
We want to see an average ABSR of below 100,000. That is roughly one sale per day.
A rank higher than that, like a million, means the demand simply isn’t there for this keyword. If your average ASBR is 100, you’re in for a heck of a fight and you may never see first-page placement.
Why do you want first-page placement?
Because who has the time to scroll through pages and pages of products? The closer you are to the top of the first page, the more likely you are to get a sale.
As you’re doing your Amazon KDP keyword research, be mindful of particularly great keywords that meet the following criteria:
- Match your book perfectly
- Have a reasonable amount of products
- An average ASBR that is between 10,000 and 100,000
That is going to translate to between 12 and 24 sales per day.
6. Clean up your list.
By now, you should have a giant list of keywords.
Separate the really good ones from the just okay keywords. We want 1 to 4 exact match keywords to use in our 7 keyword slots during the Amazon KDP publishing process.
As for the rest of the keywords, match up and pair keywords that have some type of overlap, like sharing a common word.
The key to the 7 Amazon KDP keywords is to fill each of the 50-character slots as much as you can.
Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur did a detailed cast study on this topic. You should definitely read that to get a better understanding of how to use keywords during the publishing process.
Dave and his team tested filling the keyword slots completely vs. filling them with exact match keywords. Exact match keywords are the exact search phrase with nothing else. That’s all that’s in the box. They found that 3 to 6 slots filled to the brim work well, with 1 to 4 of those having exact match keywords.
So, use up those 50 characters as much as possible. Amazon will take care of the rest.
Don’t duplicate your root keyword. Have multiple root keywords. The root keyword is your main keyword that you use to find longtail keywords.
Use a spreadsheet or some other tracking tool to keep up with your keywords. I track the date I’m researching and implementing my keywords and the list of keywords I’m using. That way I can easily troubleshoot and make sure my keywords are actually holding some type of relevancy on Amazon.
8. Use the leftovers.
Don’t toss out the keywords left over from your research! We are going to use them! You can incorporate them into a variety of areas, including:
- Your book description
- Your author bio
- A+ Content
FUN FACT: Did you know that you have a totally separate author bio for each of your books? I’m not even including the Author Central one.
If you’re not using a customized author bio for each book, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to further optimize your listing for search.
Amazon KDP Keywords – The Easy Way
I think it’s important that you understand how to find keywords the hard way. That kind of hands-on approach helps you understand the process better. It’s also free and if you’re just starting out or you are cash-strapped, you can still get the job done.
However, there is an easier way to do Amazon KDP keyword research that will save you a ton of time.
I mentioned Dave Chesson earlier. Well, he’s developed a great piece of software for doing Amazon KDP keyword research called Publisher Rocket.
I literally skip steps 2 through 5. That may not seem like a lot, but those are the most time-consuming steps.
See it in action in this video:
Now You Know How To Do Amazon KDP Keyword Research
That’s all there is to it. Once you understand everything in this article, then you can master Amazon KDP keywords. I’ll keep this updated should any new information surface.
If there’s anything you’re having trouble understanding, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll cover it in future updates. You could help someone else having the same struggle.
Let’s keep looking forward!