The importance of hidden keywords for Amazon SEO

16 March, 2020
3 minute read
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Sellers on Amazon often hear about the importance of listing optimization. Chances are, you’ve worked to improve your titles, features, and descriptions. While these are certainly important,  you also cannot neglect the field for hidden keywords when uploading product information to Seller Central.

What are hidden keywords?

Hidden keywords boost discoverability and help customers find your products in search. They are important for casting a wide net for what people are searching and how they might arrive at the detail page of your products.

Best practices for using this field

When creating a list of keywords, sellers should remember that this field is hidden and not customer-facing. This means customers will never see the words you input into this field. Because of this, you can use this field to input keywords you have not captured more organically (or ones that wouldn't make sense) in the title, features, and description.

In the hidden keywords field, sellers should include abbreviations, variations of product names, common misspellings, synonyms, character names, and associations. As an example, for a Schwinn Kids Bike, hidden keywords might include some of these: “children toddler bicycle 12 inch training wheel pedal dirt boys girls beginner BMX,” etc.

Tactics to avoid

Of course, it’s important that these are still relevant to your product (or the type of product) and not be disingenuous. You shouldn’t keyword-stuff this field solely to surface your product. You also cannot use keywords based on promotions, profanity, or subjective claims. For example, you should not use, “best deal laptop cable,” or “cheapest running shoes on sale,” as these would be subjective and promotional claims.

Use hidden keywords to be more comprehensive, but also do not stray too far because there is limited space. Amazon allows 250 characters in this field and will cut off at this count. You do not need to use any punctuation, plurals, capitalization, or special characters besides the occasional hyphen. Your keyword list can be separated by spaces.

Do not repeat words you’ve already used in your other content. If you are creating a list for a Motorola Baby Monitor, you likely have “baby,” “monitor,” “camera,” “audio,” and your brand name (Motorola) and product name.

Do not use this field to mislead customers. Amazon doesn’t like the use of brand names that are not your own, while this may seem like a good way to rope in customers, it ends up associating your product with a brand that isn’t yours.  When researching your keywords, you may see irrelevant terms that are high ranking. Sellers need to disregard and sort these terms out. For example, if you are selling snow boots, you may be tempted to toss in a phrase like “Steve Madden high-heeled boots,” because it ranks high for boots. However, using irrelevant phrases can mislead and confuse customers when your product shows up in their search.

There are many tools available to help sellers research and build a keyword list . From free tools, such as Sellics’ Sonar to subscription-based tools that go far more in-depth. Some tips for other search engines also work, but Amazon is certainly different than Google.

How to add to your product

Once you’ve completed your keyword list, you can upload it to the product ASIN in Seller Central. Navigate to the Inventory dropdown and select Manage Inventory. Click on the product and and go to the Keywords tab. The hidden keywords will be added to the Search Terms field. When uploading new items in bulk, use a column with the header “hidden-keywords” to correctly apply your lists.

Expert help

While this outlines the basics of keywords and the importance of having them, a lot more goes into research and creation of a keyword list. eCommerce Nurse can handle this for you as part of our content optimization work. We are experts at creating, implementing, and monitoring keyword lists that maximize product discovery and sales. Contact us for more information tailored to your brand and products.

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Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem is the senior content manager for eCommerce Nurse and Vendor Society. She has worked for Amazon in both Seattle and London, delivering results for multiple different teams and product lines across the U.S. and Europe. Katy's experience is centered on making sure customers have a best-in-class experience. She enjoys helping businesses and brands succeed and grow with next-level content.

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