How to Choose Amazon KDP Keywords for Your Books

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Choosing the right keywords for your eBook and printed book is crucial to its success. Book and author SEO are key parts of your online book marketing strategy. When people search for books on Amazon, the platform uses keywords to match relevant results to their queries. Studies show that the top 3-4 search results—often determined by Amazon’s best-sellers ranking—are the ones most likely to sell. If you want your book to be easily found by your target readers, you need to choose the best Amazon KDP keywords.


What’s KDP?


Just a quick note before we dive in: KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s Amazon’s platform for selling eBooks and printed books as an independent author. The info here applies to your sales page on Amazon, whether you go direct through KDP or partner with a self-publishing company like BookFuel.


Strategies for Choosing Effective Keywords


It’s essential to do careful research when picking your keywords to make sure they accurately reflect your book’s content. But you also need words that are intuitive for your readers to search for. Keeping an eye on and updating your keywords periodically is also important, especially if market trends change or you release new works in different genres.


Keywords to Avoid


Before you start your keyword research, make sure to read Amazon’s list of keywords to avoid. This way, you won’t accidentally harm your efforts.


Manual Amazon Keyword Research Techniques


Once you know which keywords to avoid, you can start figuring out which keywords to use. There are two main methods: doing a manual search and using a keyword tool. Here’s how you can do a manual search to find keyword ideas:


  1. Log out of your Amazon account so your past searches don’t influence the current one.
  2. Start typing keywords into the search bar. For example, if you’ve written a time travel romance, try “time travel romance.” Author and “Kindlepreneur” Dave Chesson suggests you then go through the alphabet to see what shows up. So, type “time travel romance a,” and you might see “Time travel romance Audible books.” Continue with “time travel romance b,” “time travel romance c,” and so on. You’ll be surprised by what pops up—like “time travel romance western” for “w.” If you’ve written a time travel western romance, this keyword could be useful.
  3. This method shows which keywords are frequently searched, but not if customers are buying the books that appear. For “time travel romance western,” check the Best Sellers Ranking of the first book that shows up. If it’s ranked #494,350, it’s not selling well, meaning either not many people search for that keyword or those who do aren’t finding what they want. Either way, it might not be a keyword you want to use.

Keep doing this until you find keywords that are popular and lead to books that sell.


Using Software to Find KDP Keywords


There are many tools available to help find Amazon keywords. Some, like Publisher Rocket, show the average number of pages using each keyword, the number of competitors, the average price per product, monthly earnings, estimated monthly Amazon searches, and your likelihood of ranking. You can also try Chrome extensions like “Also Bought Downloader” by Kindle Trend.


Using Long-Tail Keywords Effectively


Amazon’s algorithm now favors long-tail keywords over broad ones. For example, “science fiction” is a broad keyword, while “epic space adventure” is a long-tail keyword. Long-tail keywords get fewer monthly searches, but your chances of landing in the top three search rankings are much higher.


Analyzing Competitor Keywords


Using tools mentioned earlier helps you see what keywords best-selling books in your category are using. This can help you decide whether to compete with them or choose a different, longer-tail keyword instead.


Implementing Keywords in Your KDP Listing


(Information on this section was cut off; make sure to include relevant tips and guidelines on where and how to implement keywords effectively within your KDP listing.)


How to Optimize Your Amazon Book Listing with Keywords


Use As Many Characters As You Can


Amazon allows up to 50 characters (including spaces) for your keywords. Studies have shown you should aim to use as many of those 50 characters as possible to optimize your listing. Since Amazon uses a Boolean search, the order of your keywords doesn’t matter. Whether you write “epic dragon comedy” or “dragon comedy epic” or even just “comedy epic,” “dragon comedy,” etc., it’s effective.


Include Keywords in Your Title


While it’s not always possible, fitting one or two keywords into your title or subtitle helps Amazon’s algorithm categorize your book better.


Include Keywords in Your Description


There’s some debate on whether Amazon’s algorithm checks book descriptions for keywords, but readers definitely do. So, try to include relevant keywords in your description for their benefit.


Update Keywords for Seasonal Trends


Revisiting your keywords every few months is a good practice. Trends change, and seasonal or holiday trends can provide opportunities for better visibility.


The Importance of the Right Keyword


KDP keywords are crucial for customers to find your book. Research your keywords well, invest in a keyword research tool, and think like your potential readers. What terms will they search for to find your book? With some research and time, you can greatly improve your book’s Amazon search engine rankings.


If you’re still writing your book and wondering how to get it onto Amazon and other online bookstores, check out BookFuel’s Self-Publishing packages. They not only help you get your book onto Amazon, but you’ll retain 100% ownership of your book. Plus, you’ll get support to ensure your KDP keywords are optimized, bringing relevant searches to your book’s sales page.


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