Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for search engines — the principles and techniques behind SEO are valuable in any situation where your product competes on a digital platform for visibility. Amazon also uses an algorithm to determine which products to show for a specific search query, and targeting Amazon backend keywords can help you stay within the top three results of that search.
Keep reading to learn all about Amazon backend keywords: what they are, how they work, and how to use them to climb the Amazon search results page and boost your sales.
What Are Backend Keywords?
Search engines tend to suffer from overzealous companies adding keywords to every piece of content, often leaving it feeling stiff, unnatural, or forced. If you’ve ever seen product descriptions where a particular keyword repeats every few sentences, you know exactly how jarring “keyword stuffing” can feel.
Amazon backend keywords are a solution that allows Amazon’s algorithm to match a search query to your specific keyword while promoting clean, enticing frontend copy for customers. Backend keywords provide Amazon with the context to provide relevant results for specific keyword searches without promoting spammy or unappealing product descriptions that put customers off your product.
Only sellers and Amazon’s algorithm can see backend keywords — they don’t appear to customers.
You can access the Amazon backend keyword feature through Amazon Seller Central. Once you’ve logged into Seller Central, navigate to the “Manage Inventory” tab, then to the “Offer” tab, and click on the “Keywords” section. You’ll be able to open a hidden keywords section where you can input your backend keywords for each product in your online store.
Backend Keyword Best Practices
While Amazon backend keywords are similar to traditional SEO keywords, they do contain nuances that will affect your keyword research and use. If you want to generate valuable leads, follow these best practices to ensure you get an excellent return on your investment.
Focus on the Strongest Keywords
Amazon enforces a 250-byte keyword limit for backend keywords, making it essential that you pick the strongest keywords possible. However, using search-engine-specific research tools, such as Ahrefs, may not yield the best result since people use different queries and search terms when using Amazon.
The simplest way to conduct keyword research is to use Amazon’s Search Term Report and Brand Analytics. The Search Term Report is only available to sellers who already run ads on the platform, while Brand Analytics is available to all brand-registered sellers.
If you run PPC ads for your Amazon product listings, you can download the Search Term Report from Amazon Seller Central in the “Reports” tab. You can play around with the reporting period and other parameters to get data relevant to your needs. We recommend sticking to the default options and a reporting period of seven to ten days.
While the report may seem overwhelming, you can start your data analysis by looking at a specific keyword’s click-through rate (CTR) — the higher, the better. You can also check which keywords resulted in strong sales performance and add these to your backend list.
Do you need more help choosing which backend keywords to target? You can use external keyword targeting tools to evaluate and extract your competitor’s Amazon backend keywords and allow you to search top-selling products and the search queries that led to them. In general, higher search volumes represent higher-value keywords that may work as backend options.
Make Your Keywords the Right Length
A potentially confusing aspect of Amazon’s backend keyword limit is that it refers to bytes, not characters. Your keyword must not be longer than 250 bytes. Certain characters, such as language-specific letters, take up several bytes and will contribute more to your limit, which can be a challenge for products with unique ASCII characters.
Punctuation contributes to the character limit as well. You might want to use commas as delineators to separate each keyword, but for Amazon backend keywords, a space between terms is enough. Similarly, avoid using “stop” words, such as “a,” “the,” “for,” “with,” etc., as they don’t add anything to your keyword quality and take up space.
General SEO best practices recommend using keywords in headings, metadata, tags, and content, but doing so on your Amazon listing will not yield the same results. Amazon strongly discourages duplication — having the keyword featured once is enough for the algorithm, and repetition doesn’t improve your ranking.
Avoid using the same keyword in your Amazon backend keywords and customer-facing pages. Amazon does not count these as separate for the purposes of ranking, so having a keyword in your backend frees up space on your front end for different keywords.
Adhere to Amazon Guidelines
Amazon has transparent guidelines for how to incorporate backend keywords. Failing to comply with these guidelines can tank product ranking, leading to decreased visibility and sales.
We’ve already covered some of the important guidelines, such as avoiding punctuation and stop words, but other important guidelines include:
- Do include synonyms and spelling variations, but don’t add misspellings
- Don’t use abusive or offensive terms
- Don’t use subjective statements and non-value descriptors, such as “best,” “free”, etc.
- Don’t include your brand name in backend keywords
- Don’t use temporary statements such as “new” or “coming soon”
Monitor and Adjust as Necessary
The only way to know if you’ve chosen the right backend keywords is to monitor their performance. Since you have limited space, it’s vital to choose the highest-performing keywords possible while keeping up with trends and new products.
You can use Amazon’s tools to evaluate your product’s rank performance and keyword index to continuously monitor keyword performance. However, changing your backend keywords constantly can negatively affect your ranking.
Let Us Handle Your Amazon Backend Keywords
Keyword research is time-intensive, and Amazon keyword optimization has several nuances that require expert attention. Click Fluency has a team of expert Amazon marketing experts that can drive sales through backend keywords and other Amazon best practices. Schedule your free session and see how we can get more eyes on your Amazon products today!