How to Find Relevant Keywords for Your Amazon Ads Campaigns – Dave Chesson | Guest Post

How to Find Relevant Keywords for Your Amazon Ads Campaigns

Marketing your book is tricky, it’s easy to make mistakes. That’s where amazon ads come in. Finding profitable keywords for your Amazon ads is a task you have to perform if you want profitable ad campaigns. You’ll need between 200-300 keywords for your advertising campaigns to see considerable results.

Why so many?

Because Sponsored Product Ads (the most profitable type of ad and the one you need keywords for) show up after an Amazon customer searches for a particular keyword or product. The more relevant keywords you target, the more eyeballs you can get on your book.

That means you need to find the searched for phrases on Amazon that could logically lead people to your book. These keywords are split into two categories:

  1. Phrases that people use to describe the book they’re looking for
  2. Related book titles and authors

In this article, we’ll look at ways you can find keywords for both of these categories.

A quick note: This is a time-consuming task–especially if you do it manually. You’ll want a spreadsheet handy to keep track of your keywords. But finding the right keywords can make all the difference when it comes to running profitable ads and selling more books.


Manually Finding ‘Descriptive Phrase’ Keywords

For ‘descriptive phrase’ keywords, you’re looking for words a reader who’d like your book might search for.

For example, if you hurt your knee and wanted a book on how to look after it, you’d use descriptive phrases to track one down. You might type in “knee rehab exercises.” Or you could type in other phrases like “knee pad, ” “sore knee,” “how to fix a sore knee,” or a number of other options. The same goes for fiction books. Rather than typing in a specific question or pain-point, you’re typing in a phrase that describes the book you want to read.

Step 1: Brainstorm Phrases That Describe Your Book 

First, grab a pen and notepad and brainstorm the basic terms and phrases that describe the anatomy of your book and your genre. These are the most common phrases that describe the themes and tropes within your niche.

Note: Keep all genre-specific keywords separate, that way you can re-use the list on your next campaign.

Step 2: Find Auto-fill Suggestions 

Amazon has a great tool that lets you work out which words people are searching for. The ‘Search Suggestions’ filter is generated by phrases people have used in the past–I’ll show you how to extract what phrases people have been searching for.

There are two things you’ll need to do first to ensure your information is relevant and accurate.

  1. Use Google’s incognito mode or a private browser. This will mean that your search and shopping history won’t alter results.
  2. Once you’ve done that, select ‘Kindle Store’ in Amazon’s dropdown list, and begin typing out your list of words from the previous step. Write down any Amazon auto-fill suggestions that are relevant.

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To expand on your results, type the letter “a” after your chosen phrase. All the suggestions will have a word beginning with the letter “a” after your base keyword. Write down all the new examples and make your way through each letter of the alphabet.

If you’re really committed, you can do the same thing again using two letters instead of one: “aa,” “ab,” “ac,” etc.

Step 3: Synonyms and Words That Aren’t Spelled Correctly 

Do any keyphrases have common misspellings or synonyms you can use? Add them to your list and see what happens.

Sometimes using a synonym can work wonders. Using my knee example above, the keyword phrase “knee pain” might be super-competitive and expensive, but the phrase “knee ache” could be less competitive and produce a lower CPC (Cost per click) for your ads.

You should have a minimum of 50 results written down now. Hopefully, you have closer to 100. If you’ve got fewer than 50 results, brainstorm more keywords and try again.


Manually Finding Related Books and Authors

Another great way to advertise to readers who like books similar to yours is to target books in your genre. There’s a great way to find books similar to yours so you can use them in your marketing. Check it out below–and keep those keywords you noted earlier handy!

Keyword Search Results 

When you type your main keywords into Amazon and hit search, you’ll get the top-performing books for that keyword. Write down the titles and authors for these books. Some of these will be direct competitors to your book and some won’t, either way is fine. You’ve just generated a list of keywords you can target in your Amazon ads by doing this.

“Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” Books 

When you find books that are direct competitors to yours, click through to their sales page and find the “customers who bought this item also bought” (or also-boughts) section. Copy the book titles and authors down to your list. You can even deep-dive in the ‘also-boughts’ section for these books! 

Category Bestsellers 

Check out the best-selling books in your category and write down the book and author names. Personally, I’d do the top 20 or 40 books from this category. However, a lot depends on the category competitiveness. I once did this for a sports fiction book and most of the top results were adult fiction books at the time, so I only chose the books that were relevant.

You can even find the ‘hot new releases’ for that category and target those too. The new releases are less competitive for ad-spend, so if you’re lucky, you could hit gold.

Remember, you’ll have to do this for every one of your top keyword phrases–I told you this would take some time! But, if you’ve got a series of similar books, you can re-use many of these keywords, just adding more ideas to your list as time goes by.


How to Automatically Find Keywords

Finding keywords the manual way can be a pain. If you’d like to do keyword research (for KDP and Amazon ads) in only a few clicks, I designed a little piece of software called Publisher Rocket to help self-published authors do exactly that.

Rocket finds Amazon ad keywords in seconds. All you have to do is type in your core keywords from the list you’ve made at the start and Rocket will give you descriptive keywords and related books.

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By completing this process with a few of your most important keywords, you can get 300 more keywords in a matter of minutes, which can literally save you hours and give you more in-depth data. It’s perfect for busy self-publishers who want to spend more time writing and less time doing keyword research.


Bonus: Common Amazon Ads Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some of the common mistakes many authors make when it comes to finding Amazon advertising keywords:

  1. Choosing keywords that aren’t being searched for. Your ads will only show when the corresponding keyword is searched for. You won’t see any impressions if your keyword is never used.
  2. Choosing keywords that are too competitive. If you choose keywords that are too competitive, you’ll be competing with a lot of authors and big-time publishers. This means that costs will skyrocket.
  3. Using too few keywords. Aim for over 200 keywords per campaign. It’s tempting to select a few hyper-relevant words, but you’ll find profitable keywords where you least expect them.
  4. Using confusing KDP and Amazon ads keywords. KDP forbids targeting other authors’ book titles and names as Kindle keywords. However, targeting other books and authors with Amazon ads is a smart tactic. Be sure you know which is which.


Final Thoughts

A list of a few hundred keywords will put your book at an advantage over others. Not many authors will go to this much effort to get their keyword list. And the more keywords you find, the more eyeballs you can attract.

Want to go deeper? I teach everything you need to know to start running Amazon ads in my free Amazon Advertisements for Books course.


Photo by Silas Köhler on Unsplash


Dave ChessonBIO – Dave Chesson

I’m 34 years old and an 11 year veteran of the US Navy. I was also a military kid and so have lived in all corners of the globe. But that’s not what defines me. After my family, my real passion is books, but more specifically the new world of Kindle e-books. I’ve made a pretty decent side income out of them. 

You could say ‘I have a certain set of skills’? 

If I had to describe myself, I would start by saying I’m a husband and a father first and foremost. But when I am not playing dress up or chasing the Bogey Man out of the closet, I am an online entrepreneur specializing in Kindle e-book marketing.

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