What’s New on Amazon: Search Term Optimization Tool

What’s New on Amazon: Search Term Optimization Tool

Watch Jenna Lieber, our Director of Client Services discuss the changes to Amazon’s A+ Content Experiments on this week’s Facebook Live

Let’s Start the New Year with Optimizations!

Hey sellers it is officially the new year and you know what that means, time to start off FRESH!

Using Amazon’s new Search Term Optimization tool within your brand dashboard you will be able to refresh your listings to ensure they are set up for success when it comes to indexing and ranking. 

This new tool will review your back end search terms to see if those terms are present anywhere else in your listing. 

By scanning your title, bullet points, and product description, Amazon is able to tell you what terms you should and shouldn’t removed from the back end search terms. 

This tool will help to ensure you are continuously optimizing your back end search terms and also gives you the best shot at making sure your listing is never left on autopilot

Ranking on Page One! Everything you need to know about Amazon’s A9 ranking algorithm

Ranking on Page One! Everything you need to know about Amazon’s A9 ranking algorithm

There’s a good chance you may have never heard of the A9 ranking algorithm on Amazon. But, it’s important that you do get in the know, so you can use it to benefit your listing’s traffic and sales growth. A9 is the proprietary search algorithm developed by Amazon and it has one job – answer search queries with products that customers are most likely to buy. That’s extremely valuable information because people coming to Amazon are looking to do one thing and one thing only: Buy Stuff! And if you’re a seller, you want them to buy YOUR stuff. So how can you make sure that this algorithm is working for you?

Ranking Factors for A9

The factors that affect the items that the A9 algorithm displays can be broken down into three general categories:

  1. Relevancy – Before showing your listing, Amazon first needs to determine that your item is a relevant product for that search term. If you’re not relevant then you can’t rank. To rank higher, your product needs to be more relevant. The elements in this category tell the algorithm that your product is likely to be what the customer is looking for and that it should consider showing your product page as part of the search results. 
  2. Conversion – These are the components of a seller’s listing that Amazon has identified as contributing to a customer purchasing once they’ve reached your listing. 
  3. Customer Satisfaction and Retention – Make customers happy and they’ll keep coming back. The factors in this category lets A9 know that if a customer purchases from you there will be a lower chance of returns and a higher chance of gaining a repeat sale.

Relevancy Factors


A good product title will increase your conversion rate. To optimize your Amazon product title, it should contain keywords, be easy to read, and stay under 200 characters. Generally, a relevant title should contain the following elements:

  • Brand.
  • Product line.
  • Material or key feature.
  • Product type.
  • Color.
  • Size.
  • Packaging/Quantity.

TurnKey Pro Tip: Keyword order and keyword choice can dramatically influence an Amazon product’s sales and ranking. Titles in organic results typically have between 115-144 characters depending on the product/category. Titles in right rail ads have around 30-33 characters and mobile titles have between 55-63 characters. That’s why it is important to place the most relevant keyword first and continually split test your listing to see what converts best. 

Features and Bullet Points

Displaying your product’s features in detailed bullet points which include keywords is a great way to increase conversions. 

TurnKey Pro Tip: Don’t rely on the features alone. Make sure you are always explaining the BENEFIT associated with that feature so you can appeal to customers’ emotional side. Use these benefits as taglines at the beginning of each bullet point before further explaining the feature that produces that benefit.

Product Description

Use the product description to expand on why your customer should purchase your product and include more of your keywords. It’s worth putting the effort into getting this right as a great product description will increase your customer engagement and conversion rates. Likewise, a product description which isn’t up to snuff could mean you lose sales or results in negative buyer feedback. 

Brand Name and Manufacturer Part Number

If appropriate, you should always include the brand in your title. This helps buyers searching by brand name to find your products. It also gives your customer the feeling that your product ahs brand recognition even if they’ve never heard of you before. 


The specifications section is where you should list the technical and physical details of your product including size, shipping weight, color etc. Completing this section shows Amazon that you’re diligent when it comes to listings. And again, it’s a place where customers will look for answers. YOu always want to make it as easy as possible to find information on your product. 

Category and Subcategory

When setting up your product listing, make sure you select the most relevant category and subcategory for your product. There’s very little chance that your beauty products are going to get in front of the correct customers if you’ve listed them in the automotive category.

Relevancy Dos and Don’ts

When creating the copy for your listing it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t provide inaccurate, misleading, or irrelevant information.
  • Respect the limits that are set for different fields.
  • Don’t provide redundant information that is already captured in other fields such as title, author, product description, bullet points, brand, etc.
  • When entering several words as a search term, put them in the most logical order.
  • Enter keywords in the manner in which they are entered by customers.
  • Use a single space to separate keywords. No commas or semicolons are allowed.
  • Don’t include statements that are only temporarily true, e.g., new, on sale, available now.
  • Don’t include subjective claims such as amazing, good quality, etc.
  • Include common misspellings of the product name in your backend keywords.
  • Don’t worry about including keyword variants. The algorithm takes into account things like spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and pluralization.
  • Don’t include terms that are abusive or offensive in nature.
  • Abbreviations, alternate names, topic (for books, etc.), and key character (for books, movies, etc.) should be included as keywords.
  • Hyphens offer a useful solution to cover several keyword combinations with one phrase.     For example, the phrase “dog-house” will have your product appear for “dog-house”, “dog house”, doghouse”, “dog”, and “house”.
  • Check your Q&A and Review sections frequently for ideas on the types of search terms your customers might be using and information you may need to add to your listing copy 


There are several tools you can use to research  the relevancy of your keywords:

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Place a hashtag before the main keyword in the Amazon search bar. This allows you to see all of the phrases and long-tail keywords that include the original word.

Type your item’s ASIN into the search box followed by the keyword(s). If Amazon is indexing your item it will return your item; if it is not, it will say, “We found 0 results for ASIN“. 


Check the indexing of all your Amazon “Phrase” and “Back End” keywords (Search Terms) in minutes, very inexpensively.  Use the KW Index Checker Chrome extension and with one click of a button you can determine which keywords are not considered relevant by Amazon.

TurnKey Pro Tip: Keep in mind that indexing for a keyword does not necessarily mean that you’re ranking for a keyword, but it is a good indication that your are on the right path.

Conversion Factors

Sales Rank 

Sales rank (also known as Amazon’s Best Sellers rank) is one of the most important ranking factors. Remember: More sales = higher rankings and higher ranking = more sales! To increase your sales ranking, drive traffic to your listing on Amazon by using PPC advertising. Off Amazon you can drive traffic using platforms like Facebook, Google AdWords, etc.

Customer Reviews

The number of product reviews you receive and the quality of these reviews are important ranking factors. It should be intuitive that the number and positivity of your reviews is one of the most important ranking factors in the Amazon Ranking A9 algorithm. How you respond to your reviews also can be a huge factor as well. Don’t let a negative review just sit there! Respond to the customer’s concerns and try to make things right. 

Answered Questions

Answered questions are listed at the top of the product page and play an important part in conversions.While this is one of those metrics that Amazon doesn’t specifically say that they track, it is data they have access to. Also, Q&A’s are listed close to the top of the product page, which typically means it’s important for conversions. Make sure you have a system in place for answering questions that come up. 

TurnKey Pro Tip: If you have a lot of questions, it probably means your copy is not sufficiently answering customers’ questions. Take some time to include the type of information you see asked about in the Q&A section in you listing copy. If you can help it, you never want a customer to have to go looking for information or wait on you to respond to get their questions answered (the lag time could result in a lost sale!).

Image size and quality

Use high-quality images that enable the zoom function. Customers need to be able to zoom in for a closer view of your product so multiple quality images are crucial. According to Amazon’s recommendations, “Images should be 1,000 pixels or larger in either height or width, as this will enable the zoom function on the website (zoom has proven to enhance sales). The smallest your file should be is 500 pixels on the longest side.” 


As well as being one of the most important Buy Box factors, the price of your products also strongly influences conversion rates and sales. (It’s vital for sellers to keep their prices competitive to maintain a good conversion rate.) 

TurnKey Pro Tip: Amazon uses both predicted and real conversion rates for product rankings. For example, if your product is priced higher than other similar products, Amazon will predict a lower conversion rate for your listing and use that rate until real data corrects it. So staying competitive from the start will give you the edge over your competitors. 

Using Parent-Child Products

By using Amazon’s parent-child product functionality you’ll be able to direct customers to a single product page and show them all their purchasing options. This will help maximize your customer reviews and make sure that your customers do not miss any of your size and color options.

Time On Page and Bounce Rate

The amount of time a customer spends of your listing will show Amazon how interested customers are in your product. Quality images and engaging copy will get customers to linger longer. 

Product Listing Completeness

The more complete your product listing is, the better. Try to complete every single field on the listing setup page. Sparse listings tend to feel less genuine and they immediately lose credibility. Don’t be that seller! Make sure your listing is robust and professional. 

Customer Satisfaction and Retention Factors

Negative seller feedback

All negative feedback counts against you equally in terms of product search results. Your feedback rating is also an important factor for your Buy Box chances.Create a systems to address any negative feedback and try to make it right. 

Order Processing Speed

To be successful and rank higher on Amazon, you need to ship quickly and accurately. Make sure you are intentional about your choice to ship via FBA, FBM, or SFP. 

In-Stock Rate

Poor inventory management can result in popular products going out of stock and seriously stunt your upward sales momentum. Amazon likes sellers who keep a high in-stock rate to minimize refunds and pre-fulfillment cancellations.

Perfect Order Percentage (POP)

Sellers who achieve a higher percentage of perfect orders will rank higher than those who experience order issues. What can you do to achieve this? 

Order Defect Rate (ODR)

If a customer makes a claim against an order, this is considered an order defect. Defects can result in: negative buyer feedback, A-to-Z Guarantee claims, shipment problems, and chargebacks. 

TurnKey Pro Tip: If the feedback is later removed by the buyer, this won’t count against your ODR. So, it’s worthwhile trying to resolve any issues that might occur. 

Exit rate

How often does a customer view your listing and then exit Amazon.com? That’s your exit rate. Products with a lower exit rate will rank higher and convert more. If your page has an above average exit rate, Amazon takes that as a sign that you have a low-quality listing. Usually, a high exit rate is because your product has a low in-stock rate, or because your listing isn’t fully complete.

Phew! I know that’s a lot, but knowing what factors contribute to the A9 Algorithm can have exponential effects on your sales. If you’re wondering why your sales have plateaued or you aren’t growing as fast as your competitor, take a look at these factors and consider making changes to your listing. Considering the impact of the algorithm can have on your sales, it will be time well spent. If this feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, did you know TurnKey does listing optimizations? It’s a one time coaching call where we help you identify areas to improve your listing and give you a plan to actually take action. Contact us here and be sure to mention that you read about it on our blog, to get 10% off!

Are You Using the Right Keywords?

Are You Using the Right Keywords?

How important is keyword research in your business? Surprisingly, many sellers we talk to don’t put much effort into conducting keyword research, and even if they conduct some level of research, they are not strategic enough about how they use the words. Don’t let that research go to waste, and make the most of your keyword research.

Choosing a Keyword Research Platform

Have you ever tried using Helium10? There are several tools you can choose from if you visit their website, but if you’re looking for an all-in-one software to do market research, gather customer data, and optimize product listings, this will be your best friend. Merchant Words is also great for their user-friendly interface and options for sellers at every level.

Front End Keywords

To begin with, focus on finding front end keywords. Keywords on the actual listing are really important for not only ranking, but for appealing to the right customer. For front end keywords, we are looking for low risk keywords, or keywords that explain your product directly. These are the most likely words customers would type in to find your product. 

Long-Tail Keywords

Once we have found the top front end keywords, then we expand from there and start to look for long tail keywords. A long tail keyword is essentially a keyword phrase that will explain the product a little further and might also be commonly searched for (ie… leather backpack, all in one cooler, etc…).  Even when we are looking for long tail keywords, we want them to be direct and connect with the products. It does not good to show up on keyword searches and be among a list of products that are completely unrelated to yours.  

Back End Keywords

Now let’s address the backend keywords. For all the keywords that don’t really have a place in your listing but are high ranking for the niche, you definitely want to include them in the backend of your listing. This second place for keywords also ensures that you don’t feel forced to clutter up your listings with every single keyword that looks appealing, but you can rest assured, your listing will still pull up when those words are queried. 

Competitor & Branded Keywords

Our final tip is to also find competitor keywords, as well as branded keywords. If you sell a coffee product, make sure that if someone is on Amazon looking for Starbucks, you show up because Starbucks is included in your keywords. These competitor keywords are going to be put in the backend, as you never want to misrepresent your product or your brand with competitor names that are not actually tied to your product. Keywords are not just for optimizing your listing. Doing proper keyword research will give you information to not only build out your listings and backend search terms, but it will also help you plan out your PPC campaigns. At TurnKey Product Management we help our clients to not only perform keyword research, but DO SOMETHING with those keywords, and accelerate their sales on Amazon. If you are in need of more support on Amazon or with keyword research, feel free to reach out and we’d love to chat with you.

The Golden Rules of Amazon Listing Optimization

The Golden Rules of Amazon Listing Optimization

This post was written by our friends at MerchentWords for the TurnKey Success Blog

In 2018, Amazon beat Google as the destination for 54% of all online product searches. As an Amazon Seller, this is important for two reasons. Firstly, this means more people than ever are accessing Amazon regularly, which increases your potential customer base. Secondly, due to the fundamental difference in nature between Google and Amazon, that means more people are shopping online. Therefore, not only the quantity of potential shoppers has gone up, but the quality as well.

The primary difference between searching on Google versus searching on Amazon is the intent. Keywords that come from Google are research-based; their primary purpose is to deliver information. Whereas keywords that originate from Amazon are purchase-based, they drive a sale. That means that it’s more important than ever before to ensure your keyword data is current, accurate, and properly placed.

There are two types of purchase-based keywords you can use to optimize your listing and ad campaigns: top-of-the-funnel and long tail. 

 Top-of-the-funnel keywords are broad seed keywords that have high search volumes like “shirt” or “phone case.” 

Long tail keywords are phrases with two or more words with lower search volumes that tend to be specific to the product you’re selling or a niche audience. In the example above, some long tail keywords would be “workout shirts for women” or “clear iphone 6s case.”

You need to include both to ensure customers can find your listing and then purchase your product once they’re there. High traffic with low conversion rates leads to little profit; while low traffic with high conversion rates leave money on the table.

Listing Optimization

There are four key elements to an Amazon listing: product name, product features, description, and search terms. Amazon’s algorithm looks at each of them differently, so it’s essential to know which keywords to place where. Let’s go through each one individually. 

Product Name 

Your product name (aka title) should include top-of-the-funnel keywords that accurately describe your product. A concise and relevant title will improve search results, catch a customer’s attention, and drive traffic to your product. Each keyword in your title should be relevant to your product and searchable on its own. 

When formatting your title include the brand, product, and critical attributes like size, color, and quantity. Search each of these qualities individually in your keyword tool of choice. Find relevant keywords with high search volumes and place them in your title. 

Be careful of how many keywords you include. You want your title to read clearly on desktop and mobile. Amazon also limits the number of characters by category so be sure to review the guidelines for your product. The trick is maximizing your number of keywords while also keeping it readable. 

Here’s an example of a good and bad title we found on Amazon. 

Good Title:

This title is concise and informative. Chances are, you know exactly what this product looks like without seeing the picture. 

Bad Title:

This title is overstuffed with keywords and truncated in the search results. Many of the keywords, such as “8 Hours Playtime,” are better suited as bullet points. 

Pro Tip: Capitalize the first letters of each word in your title and use numerals (2) rather than spelling out numbers (two).

Product Features

Listed in Seller Central as Key Product Features, customers use the bullet points in this section to quickly obtain information about your product, especially those shopping from their mobile devices. 

Think like a buyer, not a seller. If you were coming to Amazon to buy a product like yours, what would you want to know? Use each bullet point to highlight a top feature or benefit of your product.  This area is a great place to include both high- to mid-volume keywords and long-tail keywords that characterize your product. But most importantly, this is your chance to highlight the aspects of your product that make it something you MUST have! Communicate the “WHY” behind why someone would want your product, and you’ll sell your customer in a heartbeat. 

Amazon recommends writing this section in sentence fragments separated by semicolons or commas rather than full sentences. Again, think about how you can make it easily readable, while also maximizing keywords and character limits. 

Here are our real-life examples.

Good Bullet Point:

Bad Bullet Point:

The top example quickly communicates which devices these headphones work with instead of the lengthy and hard-to-read approach of the bottom. 

Pro Tip:  Only include brand names in your listing if they are pertinent to your product. Amazon will suppress listings that include branded keywords to boost search traffic.

Product Description

This section helps customers learn essential details and make a connection with your product. It should include product-related information that answers common customer questions and help guide them in their purchase decision. 

This section is an excellent place to utilize keywords you haven’t used elsewhere on your detail page and continue telling the story of your brand and sharing why someone should buy your product. Think about how, when, and where customers are using your product; consider including care or operating instructions, and warranty information. Also, be sure that any product claims you make are truthful and can be substantiated. 

While including the proper keywords is essential for Amazon search ranking, also ensure your copy reads well! Use correct grammar and punctuation and make sure that each word or phrase you include makes sense within the sentence. 

Good Description:

Bad Description :

In the second example, the seller uses this section as an extension of the product features. It isn’t in paragraph form and repeats keywords used earlier in the listing. Using a variety of keywords allows more customers to discover your product. Keep it brief though, Amazon only allows 2000 characters.  While spelling variations are useful (e.g., “lite” vs. “light”), consider using them in your backend search term section to maintain consistency and avoid duplication. 

Pro Tip: More people than ever are shopping on their phones. Keep your language mobile-friendly! Convey essential information clearly and concisely, so you limit unnecessary scrolling. 

Search Terms (AKA “Hidden” or “Backend Keywords”)

It’s important to place your most relevant, highly-ranked keywords into your title, description, and bullet points. For those that you can’t fit, you can include as search terms. 

The search terms section is the place for keywords that don’t fit into the visible part of your listing but can help enhance your discoverability. Use this as an opportunity to get indexed for new searches; include spelling variations, other use cases and occasions for your product, and niche audiences. Consider incorporating relevant phrases in other languages. 

Remember, this section is limited to 250 bytes, so do not include symbols, punctuation, duplicates, brand names,  or misspellings. 

The Ultimate Listing 

By combining all of these techniques and tips, you’re well on your way to finding success. Even if you don’t sell on Amazon, Amazon keywords can play a large part in helping you be profitable in e-commerce. 

Vox recently stated that “Amazon is uniquely qualified to spot and highlight shopping trends, as it’s where 75% of Americans do most of their online shopping.” Amazon shopper search terms give you incredible insights into high-level shopping trends, while simultaneously assisting you with the smallest of listing details. 

As the experts in shopper search, MerchantWords is here to help you find the most relevant keywords to grow your business. We’ve collected and analyzed over 1.6 billion keywords and 390 million products since 2012. Our singular focus has been to ensure that you have the most extensive, accurate metrics available. 

Utilize our shopper search data for product research, listings, and ad campaigns, or have our experts do the writing and optimization for you with our Listing Advisor service. Either way, we’re here to help you achieve success.

Sales Copy Magic: Using Words to Transform Your Listing

Sales Copy Magic: Using Words to Transform Your Listing

Selling online can be tough because you don’t always get to touch and see the product in person, which means that capturing your audience can be a bit trickier. When it comes to selling on Amazon, the foundation of converting views to sales is your listing copy. Potential buyers will not only base their decision on the visual elements of your listing but also what they learn about your product in your bullet points and product description. Thus, it is important to use words that will both make your product relatable to your target market and entice your customers to buy. 

Effective sales copy is a crucial component of your listing and can help you properly position your products on Amazon. It can, in fact, mean the difference between making a single sale or creating a lifelong customer. Any sales copy worth its salt will answer a crucial question: Why? If you can explain to your customers why they need your product, you have won most of the sales battle. Your product’s “why” should paint a picture of how your product will fit into the consumer’s lifestyle. 

Brands like Apple and Nike have done a phenomenal job of defining their “why”, and as a result have amassed cult followings among consumers. They lead with clear, succinct missions statements that define their core values, and follow up with the logistics of what their products do. These companies have been successful because consumers understand their why, and purchase their product to be part of a vision not necessarily for their products themselves. 

When working on your sales copy and defining your “why”, here are five places we recommend looking for inspiration: 

  1. Check Out Reviews and Comments – Whether they belong to your product or a competitor’s, people who have previously purchased the product will give you insight into the reasons why consumers are buying products in your niche. 
  2. Review Customer Questions – These could help you understand what potential customers are looking for prior to purchasing products.
  3. Talk with people in your niche – Going straight to the horse’s mouth can give you insight into your target customer’s motivations.
  4. Find fitting affirmation statements – These should inspire your customer and encourage them to reach their goals in life.
  5. Use Famous or Inspirational Quotes – Either directly use the quotes or paraphrase them to enhance your product

Once you’ve defined your why, creating dynamic sales copy will be much easier.

Want more support in creating the type of sales copy that converts prospects into customers? Apply now to see which of our services you qualify for.