What is a Backend Keyword
When it comes to your Amazon SEO, keywords can be the make or break variable behind a successful product listing and an unsuccessful one. Product visibility on Amazon is almost entirely dependent on your ability to optimize your product listing through the effective use of keywords.
You may be thinking, “okay, so why not just pack my listing full of cool keywords to attract customers?” While that may be a common train of thought, it is far from the best practice. The secret is in your use of backend keywords.
Backend keywords are search terms that are only accessible to Amazon sellers. They allow you to target keywords that you were unable to target when developing your product listing. They let Amazon sellers optimize your product listings by creating engaging and readable content.
An important feature of backend keywords is that they are composed of bytes. What is a byte you ask? A byte roughly equates to one alphanumeric character, with certain special characters being more byte-heavy than others.
Backend keywords are critical to your success as a seller on Amazon. In today’s article, we’ll explore 13 tips for choosing valuable backend keywords.
How to choose valuable backend keywords
1. Backend Keyword length
When you are setting up your backend keywords for the first time, you may want to add dozens in order to feel like you are doing enough to get your point across and reach your audience.
It is imperative that you do not exceed the length limit. This means that you need to keep your backend keywords under 250 bytes. If you cross this limit, your changes will not be saved, and your backend keywords will not be accepted by Amazon.
Not sure how you line up? Take a look at an online character count tool to help you determine where you are at.
2. Focus on the Most Important Keywords
Some Amazon sellers think that backend keywords present a great opportunity to use filler words to help them discreetly improve their product descriptions, but this is definitely something you want to avoid.
Only focus on the most important keywords. What does this mean? You have limited space for your backend keywords, so use that space wisely.
Begin with the end in mind and remember that the goal of a good set of backend keywords is to boost conversions and improve product visibility. If you only focus on the important words, you can optimize your product listing and rank higher in the Amazon search results.
3. Avoid Duplicating Frontend & Backend
What if you already have a great set of frontend keywords? Keep it that way. It is best to separate your frontend and backend keywords to achieve true keyword optimization.
If you pack your frontend and backend keywords into the same campaign, this is known as keyword stuffing, and the duplication will be harmful to your Amazon SEO.
4. Utilize Your Amazon Search Term Report to find Backend Keywords
Keyword research is an important part of developing a good set of backend keywords. Interestingly enough, you can leverage Amazon to do this.
You can download an Amazon Search Term Report to find great backend keywords to use when trying to optimize your product listing. This report is accessible by navigating to the homepage in Seller Central, then hovering over the reports tab. When the drop-down appears, click “Advertising Reports.”
This link goes to the “All Campaigns” section of the reporting tab. The best practice is to create a report with a period of 7-10 days. After your timeline has been selected, click “Create Report,” and then download the report.
Take note of high-performing keywords and include them in the development of your own backend keywords.
This will take you straight to the All Campaigns section of the advertising reports. Set a reporting period of 7-10 days and click the Create report button. To complete the process, click on the download option.
5. Fillers & Punctuation
While it may seem natural, using punctuation when developing your backend keywords is actually a waste of time. Avoid writing Amazon backend keywords like a sentence, and instead, focus on inputting the words that will help your brand grow online.
Avoid using words like “a,” “an,” “and,” “by,” “for,” “of,” “the,” “with,” and others. At the end of the day, adding punctuation will not take up your valuable character limit, but it won’t add any value to your listing.
Check out this article from Amazon on best practices when it comes to creating keywords.
6. Include Synonyms & Word Variations
For any reader who lives in Canada, you know that the winter is dry and cold. Your hands are feeling the pain, so you go online to buy yourself some hand lotion. Or was it hand cream?
The point is, both will get you what you want, and you may even see the same product when you type in “hand cream” and “hand lotion” as two separate search results.
This is no accident. It is best to include spelling variations, synonyms, and word variations in your backend keyword list.
7. Use Keywords Sparingly
This ties back to point 3, but Amazon does not require you to use keywords more than once in your frontend or backend.
Let’s use the example of Coppertone sunscreen. If you are selling it, you may select “copper” and “tone” as two independent keywords, and “Coppertone” as another, separate keyword.
Don’t do this. Your goal should be to optimize your backend keywords, not to encumber them.
8. Monitor performance
The cardinal sin of selling on Amazon is adopting the mindset of “set and forget.” Much like achieving success in life, selling on Amazon requires constant improvement, evaluation, and a commitment to doing better time and time again.
To truly optimize your Amazon SEO and Amazon PPC, you must monitor the performance of your keywords by examining any observed improvement in conversion that results from using these keywords in your Amazon product listing, either on the frontend or the backend.
9. Include Abbreviations and Alternative Names
Try to make your listings as understandable and relatable as possible. If you are listing a product with a common acronym, like “Game of Thrones Collectibles,” be sure to use “GoT” as a backend keyword.
Why? While you may think “Game of Thrones” when looking for a product, your customers may jump to the GoT abbreviation.
Your goal is to use these keywords to reach as wide an audience as possible, and being inclusive with your use of abbreviations and acronyms will ensure that your product is more likely to appear in Amazon’s search results.
10. Do Not Worry About Capitalization
When you text, do you capitalize everything automatically because it’s what you learned in school? Like most people, capitalizing words is second nature – effectively automatic.
When it comes to backend keywords, forget what you learned in school and focus on saving time. Backend keywords do not need to be capitalized, and to save time, avoid capitalization when creating them.
11. Always follow Amazon’s guidelines
A great piece of advice is to do what Amazon says. When it comes to backend keywords, always follow Amazon’s published guidelines.
There are two important guidelines to adhere to when creating backend keywords.
1. Use Relevant Keywords: Only use keywords that are relevant to your product. If you use generic popular keywords that don’t relate to your product, this will negatively affect your Amazon SEO, and who wants that?
2. Use a Logical Order: think like your customer, and ensure that your keywords are structured in the way that your customer may type.
12. Platinum keywords
When it comes to setting up your backend keywords, you will notice a section at the bottom of the configuration page called “Platinum Keywords.” You may think to yourself, “ah, I should put my most important keywords in there.”
Unless you have been contacted by Amazon directly, and you’ve been designated as a “Platinum Merchant,” then you can avoid this section altogether.
13. Disregard Plurals
Amazon’s A9 algorithm is brilliant. It is so smart that it knows how to identify plurals of products.
This means that you don’t need to waste one of your critical 250 characters on a letter that makes one of them a plural. If you really want to truly optimize your product listing, then don’t include any plurals in your backend search terms. Save yourself time, and avoid using plurals altogether.
Effectively selling products on Amazon is complex. A great Amazon seller will have to juggle marketing efforts, logistics, case management, and more – meaning that a great seller will have their hands full.
If you don’t feel like you have the time to focus on creating a great set of Amazon backend keywords, consider looking at a trusted Marketplace Consulting Agency. Hiring the right agency can offer you effective account management that will help you optimize your Amazon product listings, freeing up time for you to focus on the more important elements of your Amazon business.