Amazon SEO – Your Step By Step Ranking Guide for 2020

Amazon SEO – Get Found in Amazon Search

Imagine this, you have spent months, possibly years, and thousands of dollars perfecting a product, finding a manufacture, researched demand and knew people would buy, and you are finally ready to start dominating sales on Amazon. You put up your listing and…. *crickets*…. no sales….

What happened?

People could not find your product. It does not matter how good your product is if people are unable to find it when they search. This is why Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is incredibly important in your Amazon journey and should not be overlooked.

On the flip side, imagine if you did the research, made sure your product was optimized in Amazon SEO, and when people searched for your product, they were able to find it quickly with minimal effort. Your sales, conversion rate, review count, ranking, and so many other good metrics will improve if you take a little bit of time and do Amazon SEO correctly.

Luckily, there are a lot of resources available. So in this article, we will discuss how we can make Amazon work for you and get your products into the hands of its 150 million prime members worldwide. 

What is Amazon SEO?

Amazon has this fancy software that determines where your product will be listed on each page called the A9 algorithm. This algorithm can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. If your product sells well and is optimized, then A9 will put it in front of more people; but if it isn’t, A9 will bury your product in the search results, never to be seen, not showing up at all.

Making the A9 algorithm happy is only half of the battle. Listing optimization will also help you with the other half of the battle which is improving your listing in the eyes of the customer. These two aspects of your listing are a balancing act that takes effort to get right.

We have done countless hours of research and are consistently perfecting our approach based on the data we receive and the new research that is conducted. Unfortunately, this may be difficult to do the first time, and even harder to stay up to date. At Streiff Marketing, we have the industry leading software that helps our client’s products stay up to date and consistently making the A9 algorithm, Amazon customers, and ultimately our clients, very happy.

How to Make the A9 Algorithm Happy

The million-dollar question is how does Amazon’s A9 algorithm find and determine what products are relevant for what search terms. For example, if I search “Longboard” how does Amazon know that this Quest Qt Super Cruiser is a long board at all? How does it know it’s not a watermelon slicer?

This is because the seller has the word, “longboard” somewhere in their listing or they are advertising and receiving sales specifically for that keyword. In fact, you can see it in the title right here.

This is what we call Indexing – showing up in the search results for a keyword. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are one of the top products (that is ranking), but if the product shows up in search at all.

The quick and easy way you can find if a product is indexing for a specific keyword, is to enter the keyword in the search bar along with the product ASIN.

If the product has this keyword in the listing or is actively advertising for it, then it will show up in the search results. If it does not have the keywords in the listing or advertising, it will not show up in the search results.

Now, I bet you are thinking “Wow, that would take forever if I had 1000 relevant keywords” and yes it would if you did it this way. That is why there are software products that we use that will allow us to do this with thousands of keywords at a time.

If you would like to learn more about indexing here is a great article and video about indexing.

Amazon’s Terms of Service

As you can see, keywords are extremely important in your listing. It is imperative you do your research to see what keywords are relevant for your product. Make sure you know Amazon’s terms of service or else your product could get removed or your account suspended. Here is the link to their terms of service so you can be compliant and not risk your business. Do not include profanity, keywords that can be considered edgy or adult content, and competitor names. You can review Amazon’s terms of service here.

Where Do I Find Relevant Keywords

There are a few different tactics on finding relevant keywords. Generally speaking, there are a few ways that are very simple, and a few that require advanced software; we will cover both.

Simple Tactics

Competitor Listings

Going to your competitors that are dominating the market is probably one of the best research practices you can do. They have already done all the heavy lifting and if they are one of the top ranked competitors, obviously they are doing something right.  NOTEI would generally avoid products that have under 50 reviews because they may be doing something to boost their sales and so their sales may not have been achieved organically.

For Example:

They have put the most important keywords in their listing like, “Travel laptop backpack”, “Business Anti Theft”, “Slim Durable Laptops”, “Backpack with USB Charging Port”, and they even put the laptop size, which if you look at the search results on Amazon, most of the top listings have so it is obviously important to the customer.

Keep in mind you do not want to keyword stuff. Customers don’t like it and Amazon does not like it. This one is a little long, but you want to stay within Amazon Terms of Service of keyword limits. Make sure it includes convincing salesmanship because you are building it ultimately for the customer. You do want as many key phrases as possible for Amazon’s algorithm, but you don’t want it to be robotic or not make sense. It is a tricky balance.

Going back to our example, notice that another competitor put similar phrases in his title.

Again, notice that they use similar phrases and keywords. These are probably the keywords that are converting the best and are important to use in your listing as well.

Next, look at another competitor’s bullet points:

You can pick out phrases and keywords that they have used to get a good start on what keywords are important to your product. Again, you should use as many keywords as you can without keyword stuffing. It should be well written.

You can also repeat this process with competitor’s descriptions also.

You will want to look at as many competitor’s listings as possible because there is a lot of information you can glean from them that you can use to gain more market share.

Competitor Listings

Another tool that is free is to use Amazon’s Search bar auto complete.

Say your product is a drone and you type drone in the search bar, Amazon will automatically suggest to you other phrases that are associated with your original keyword.

It looks like “Drones with camera” is an important key phrase, along with “kids”, “adults”, “8-12”

These are quick and free ways to find relevant keywords and key phrases. Now let’s look at the more complicated software.

Advanced Software

There are a number of software’s you could use for keyword research, but the two most famous are Helium 10 and Jungle Scout.

We will go in a little depth about what you can do with this software, and here are a few more links to show you what they could do.

Helium 10

Cerebro – Input top competitors ASINs and it will automatically go through and pull the keywords they are indexing for. There is a few different filters and sorting tools to narrow down exactly what is best for your product. Here is what it looks like.

Notice all the great information it gives you that is very valuable.

Notice the top result for search volume is the same as the auto-fill from Amazon!

Magnet – This tool allows you to input a keyword and it will give you related keywords.

Mispellinator – Common misspellings from customers. Use these to your advantage

It will give you some very interesting information. It will give you misspellings, how often customers misspell them, and if Amazon corrects it. So for example, HALF of consumers misspell “drone” as “droan”, and Amazon does not correct it. If you did not index for “droan” than you would be missing out on a huge chunk of customers. 

Competitor Listings

Jungle Scout works similarly. You can enter either a keyword or up to 10 ASINs and it will give you keywords associated. It does give you some valuable information that Helium 10 does not give you like the 30 and 90 day trends. Check out here.

Where Should I Put Keywords and Phrases in My Listing?

Determining what keywords to put in your listing and where is one of the most important steps.

There are a few different main places to put keywords and key phrases. They are (in order of importance) the Title, Bullet Points, Description, and Back-end Keywords.

You need to put your most important and relevant keywords in your title. Do not keyword stuff! This is when you put as many (and sometimes keywords that are not relevant) in your title to boost ranking from the A9 algorithm. You want to practice good salesmanship and keywords to make both the customer and the A9 algorithm happy.

The first 5 words in your title are the most important. Amazon and google use random main words in your title (and sometimes else ware in your listing) (not words like “the” or “and”) to create what is called a Canonical URL.  If you put your top key phrases in the first 5 words in the title with a dash after, most of the time Amazon will use these 5 keywords in the product URL. As a result, whenever someone clicks on it from off Amazon, you will gain a little ranking for those keywords or key phrases. 

If you would like to learn more about this tactic check out this blog post about all URLs you need to know when working on Amazon. Canonical URL is one of them. And, here is an excellent video on the same topic.

*Another thing to know about keywords and key phrases, you want to keep your top key phrases as phrases in your listing. This signals to Amazon’s A9 algorithm that those specific keywords are more relevant because they are together. You will still index for those keywords if they are separated but it helps the algorithm know it is more relevant to the customer if they are together.

The other keywords that you have found are important but do not need to be in phrase form you can use a Helium 10 Product called Frankenstein.  You can import all your original keywords into Frankenstein and it will take out all the duplicate keywords and filler words such as “and”.

Helium 10 has another software to help you write your listing and listing optiization; this one is called Scribbles.

We will cover listing optimization in detail in another article.

Scribbles helps you arrange your listing so that when you include a phrase or keyword, it automatically crosses it off you list. The colors are search volume.

Back-end Keywords

The last important field is the Back-end Keywords section. It is good for the keywords that you need to index for but you don’t want showing in your listing. For example, Spanish terms, misspellings, or terms that you cannot fit into the rest of your listing.

*Keep in mind that in order to index, you do not have to repeat keywords. For example, if you had “dog hair brush”, and “cat hair brush”, in the back-end keyword section, you would not have to repeat hair brush for both dog and cat.

You can find this in Seller Central in the ‘Keywords Tab’

SEO Maintenance

One thing to keep in mind is that this is not a one and done solution. Keyword optimizing is a continual process that you must go through time and time again to make sure you are not leaving sales on the table because people cannot find your product. If you are running PPC advertising, a lot of the time you will find more keywords that are converting that you can take and put back into your listing to help you rank quicker.

Better Search Engine Optimization = Better Exposure to Customers = More Sales


Amazon SEO is one of the most important things you can do to help your products be a success on Amazon. To do it right, it takes a lot of work, time, and effort. That is why a lot of our clients come to Streiff Marketing because this is one area we are consistently staying up to date on the latest rules and tactics to give them the edge on their competitors.

About Streiff Marketing

We are a full-service Amazon Marketing Agency specializing in both Amazon Vendor Central (1P) and Amazon Seller Central (3P) services. Our expert team understands the difference between vendor central vs seller central and builds your strategy to optimize your Amazon brand storefront to maximize sales throughout the Amazon Marketplace. Our Account Management service includes everything you need to use Amazon fulfillment to succeed on Vendor Central or Seller Central, including account setup, optimization, reviews, SEO, pricing, advertising and more.