Amazon customers primarily find products through search. If your product is not indexed for important keywords, you will miss out on potential sales.
Indexing on Amazon is completely different than indexing for Google.
This article will first make sure you have the basics on understanding indexing, then share best practices for getting indexed and checking keyword indexing for an Amazon product detail page.
What Is Indexing on Amazon?
With Amazon, all of the data is structured exactly how Amazon wants it to be. This means that indexing on Amazon is not about crawlability, but about making getting the data into the indexing sections of the product detail page.
The length of many of these fields is limited to a specific number of characters. This means the challenge of indexing on Amazon is to make sure that you are maximizing the most important words for potential customers to find your products.
Want to get found on Amazon, reduce your reliance on paid advertising, or take market share away from your competition?
Being indexed for relevant keywords is key to your success.
It is important to know that the algorithms for organic and advertising are different on Amazon. This also means that the algorithms for relevancy are different for paid versus organic.
If your listing is indexed for a keyword, it will show when a customer uses that search term in the Amazon search bar.
In other words, checking your keyword indexing allows you to verify which words your product will be shown as a result for a specific keyword.
At the time of this writing, there are 730 products on Amazon that are indexed for “kids clown shoes”
As we start to learn about indexing, we first must clarify some common terms:
- Keyword: A word or phrase of words used to target potential traffic.
- Search Term: The exact word or phrase of words a customer enters into the Amazon search bar.
Learn the Amazon Indexing Basics
In general, the way customers find products onAmazon is throughsearch.
Think of each search term a customer might use as a door to find your product. The more keywords you are indexed for, the more “doors” a customer has to find you.
Similarly, the more search terms, the more your product will be a result for customer inquiries.
When you are indexed for highly relevant keywords, it will positively impact the amount of traffic and market share you will get on Amazon.
When working on relevancy, you want to prioritize the most relevant words, not simply look at estimated search volume for that keyword or search term. Relevant customers bring in customers more likely to buy.
There is a direct correlation between being indexed for highly relevant purchase intent keywords and your revenue.
For example, let’s say you are selling a baking dish. If you are indexed for the keyword [baking dish], you will show up as a result when a customer enters [baking dish] into the Amazon search bar.
However, if you are only indexed for [baking dish] and not [casserole dish], your product will not show up as a result when a customer enters [casserole dish] into the Amazon search bar.
When a buyer is typing a word or phrase in Amazon for a product, they will get the results based on Amazon’s indexing.
Based on several factors, including past conversion history Amazon will determine which orders will rank at the top of the page.
If your product is not indexed with the right words, buyers will find a competitor’s products or will not find any products related to their search.
Without being indexed for as many highly relevant, purchase intent keywords as possible you will miss out on all the potential traffic through that keyword.
Building up the number of keywords you are indexed for increases the ways your customers find your products.
Opportunities for Indexing on Amazon
On Amazon, you have a limited number of characters or opportunities for keyword indexing.
Amazon limits the length of your titles, bullets, and back-end search terms. You need to focus on keywords that are highly relevant to your product and have search volume.
MerchantWords.com is a tool we use to look at the estimated search volume. While “clown shoes” has significantly more searches per month than “clown shoes for kids,” if our clown shoes are only available in kids’ sizes, we will likely get traffic that converts better off of the search terms, including kids and children’s sizes.
Amazon rewards conversions and sales, so indexing keywords that drive traffic and do not result in conversions will actually hurt your organic ranking.
Traffic that does not result in conversions will make your products less attractive to the organic search engine on Amazon.
Focusing on high search volume/low relevancy words in your advertising campaigns can also quickly lead to a decrease in ad effectiveness.
Keyword indexing on Amazon is not a process that you can set and then forget. You want to go back to your keywords and check them regularly for relevancy and conversions.
Some common reasons we might need to add additional keywords into a listing after it was originally optimized are:
- We became aware of new alternate uses for a product.
- We unexpectedly found a keyword performing better than expected in ads.
Even after you have created your listings, you want to go back in and check the words your listing is indexing for regularly.
The primary reason to check your keywords regularly is the potential for Amazon to deindex words you were previously indexed for on the website.
Amazon may change its algorithm or make changes to the sub-category structure data. Your data may be deleted when changes in categories or sub-categories occur on the website.
For example, if you sell paper straws, you might know you need to focus on indexing for [paper straw], [biodegradable straw], and [turtle friendly straw]. However, after talking with your customers, you might find that a large number of people are using your paper straws to make pinwheels.
You would then want to adjust your listing to add [pinwheel stick] and [wedding pinwheel supplies] to words you are indexed for on Amazon.
What Does Being Indexed on Amazon Mean?
With Amazon, you don’t have to worry about schema mark-up, crawl errors, or canonical issues.
Because Amazon asks for you to upload your data in a specific format, the focus shifts from technical SEO to maximizing the structured data you are giving to Amazon so that you can appear as a result for appropriate search terms.
A finite number of words are used for indexing on your listing. You want to make sure that you are using focused keywords to attract potential buyers.
Being indexed means that typing the keyword into the search bar on Amazon will bring up your product somewhere the search results for that query.
For example, if you index for fuzzy slippers, your product will be in the search results when a buyer looks for fuzzy slippers on Amazon.
You could be position 1 or position 257, but your product is a result for that search term.
You are either indexed for a keyword, or you are not indexed for a keyword. If you are indexed, then your product is in the results; however, if you are not indexed, then your product is not in the search results.
Indexing does not take into account where you appear in the search results.
This refers to where your product appears in the search results. Tracking for a keyword will help you determine where your product comes up in the keyword rankings on Amazon.
Your goal when looking at keyword ranking is to improve your ranking for the word or phrases that are relevant to your product.
How Do You Get Indexed on Amazon?
The primary method of getting indexed for a keyword is by including the keyword in a data structure. The data structures where you want to put your keyword include:
- Your title.
- The bullets.
- Back-end search terms.
- Remaining structured data.
Your title and bullets are where you want to put your most important keywords. Repeating keywords is not a ranking factor on Amazon, so only repeat keywords if it is needed for the customer.
The remaining structured data are fields like color, fabric type, etc. available in the additional sections of the product detail page.
You can edit with a flat-file or using the advanced mode in the product details in Seller Central.
There is a Search Terms field in the flat file. This is a great place to put keywords that didn’t fit in your title and bullets or is for an alternative use case that you may not want to highlight on your product detail page.
Amazon has said in the past that A+ (or Enhanced Brand Content) is not indexed. However, that could always change.
Uploading via Flat Files will allow you to quickly see all of your options for additional keywords like fabric type, genre, sizes, etc.
If you have an existing listing, you can also download the Category Listing Reportand Amazon will send you the file for your listing.
Although the primary method of getting indexed relates to the data on your listing, anecdotally, we’ve seen that you can get indexed for words based on customer reviews, questions, and cross-product traffic.
Amazon has not confirmed that customer responses or cross-product traffic relates to keyword indexing. This occurs organically, and it needs to happen over time.
Subcategories impact your keyword relevancy by adding valid value to information or keywords in your structured data.
For example, a grocery subcategory template might have “Salt-Free” as a valid value, where an apparel sub-category template might have fabric type.
Ensuring you are in the correct subcategories allows you to be indexed for additional relevant keywords.
Although keywords are essential for advertising and ranking in search results, you must avoid keyword stuffing. Amazon is customer-obsessed, so you should be, too.
Attempts to bypass a customer focus will put you in a negative situation with Amazon. Do not keyword stuff your listings; focus on appealing to customers with relevant data instead.
Advanced Tip for Indexing with Parent/Child Variations
Parent-child variations also impact your indexing. A common misconception about a parent-child variation is that the child will naturally inherit the keywords of the parent product.
That is not always the case.
When you have a parent-child listing with the same product in different colors, you need to check each child product for relevant keywords.
Do not assume that a single child variation with proper indexing will automatically apply to all child variations on your listing.
For example, if you have socks in red, blue, and green and the red sock is indexing for [compression sock], that doesn’t necessarily mean that the blue and green sock will also be indexed for [compression sock].
Each flavor, color, size variation needs to be checked individually for relevant keywords.
Checking for Indexing on Your Amazon Listing
Once you have made changes to your Amazon listing, we recommend that you wait 24 hours before checking to see if you are indexed for the appropriate keywords. You can check keyword indexing for free manually with the following method:
- Open an Amazon page and make sure All Categories is selected.
- Type in the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) of the product and keyword you want to check.
- Hit Enter.
If the product is indexed for that keyword, it will show us as a result (see image above).
If the product is not indexed for that keyword, the product will not appear in the result.
Here we added the word unicorn, which the product is not indexed for. As a result, the product (clown shoes) is not showing up in the search results.
Suppose you are looking to check indexing for many ASINs or keywords; we have found a paid tool that works well. KW Indexer is a Chrome extension allowing you to type in the keyword and check through the extension.
Watching for Changes in Indexing
There are now tools that can help you verify how your product is indexing for specific keywords.
Helium 10 has a tool called Index Checker that will allow you to upload a list of words and check to see if your listing is indexed for that specific set of words, for example.
You can also use any tool with a Reverse ASIN Search (where the tool looks and finds all of the keyword phrases a listing is indexing for). However, it is important to note that sometimes the data on these tools can be days or sometimes weeks old.
Watch for changes in your traffic or sales. When it comes to monitoring traffic and conversions, we recommend that you watch the Detailed Traffic and Sales Report by Child Product.
This report will show you pages, sessions, orders, and unit session percentages for each child ASIN. (Unit Session Percentage is where Amazon takes the number of orders and sessions you have for an ASIN to determine conversion rates.)
If the number of sessions changes significantly, it may suggest that your product was de-indexed for a primary keyword or an algorithm change that resulted in a different page ranking.
It may also relate to a merging of two separate sub-categories.
Ensuring that you are appropriately indexed is one of the most accessible solutions to make your product easy to find.
It helps increase your organic ranking and decreases your reliance on advertising or paid search for success when selling a product on Amazon.
- 5 Strategies Every Amazon Seller Should Be Following Today
- Amazon Advertising Options Guide: What Marketers Need to Know
- Ecommerce Marketing: The Definitive Guide
All screenshots taken by author, January 2019 and April 2021
Checking for Indexing on Your Amazon Listing
You can check keyword indexing for free manually with the following method: Open an Amazon page and make sure All Categories is selected. Type in the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) of the product and keyword you want to check. Hit Enter.
To get the indexing information for a product, enter “ASIN keyword” "B00MKB5TXA barbeque" into the search bar and hit enter. If it is indexed, the browse page will display the product, but it could be in any row of the search results. If it isn't, then the search term is not indexed for the product.
- Target products that complement your product. ...
- Type into the Amazon search bar and look at the keyword suggestions. ...
- Look at what you're ranking for on Google. ...
- Use a keyword research tool.
- Focus specifically on your Amazon audience. ...
- Use Amazon-specific keyword tools. ...
- Only use relevant keywords. ...
- Don't use subjective keywords. ...
- Integrate keywords in your listings. ...
- Use backend keywords. ...
- Research competitors. ...
- Monitor keyword performance.
In order to find the Amazon product ranking for a given product, first go to any Amazon product page. Once you are on the product page, scroll down to the 'Product Information' section. On the bottom of the chart, you will see 'Best Sellers Rank' on the left hand side of the chart.
In simple words when you use the Amazon search box and you get a result, it means the search engine linked certain keywords to your product listing.
First, generate a keyword list in seconds using Keyword Scout. Next, input the list into Rank Tracker. Whether you're #1 or #50, you'll see exactly where your product ranks organically on Amazon's search engine pages. Track your competitors.
Sometimes, when you run Index Checker for a keyword related to your product, you discover that your product is not showing up in Amazon's search engine results. Why? The general answer is that Amazon has decided that the keyword is not relevant to your product.
Keyword indexing refers to the process used to make articles findable in databases. Databases are collections of thousands of articles from different publications.
The Sonar Amazon keyword tool helps you to identify all relevant keywords to maximize visibility.
Use all 200 characters to optimize your product title - include as many unique Amazon keywords as possible. Here are the product title guidelines from Amazon. A great product title with the most relevant keywords can help improve Click Through Rates (CTR) and increase sales revenue.
Keywords on Amazon are indexed based on the sales made by the listing for the keyword. Amazon considers the product making the most sales as the most relevant one and places it on the top of the search results for the keyword.
- Step 1: Lay the Groundwork. ...
- Step 2: Do Your Initial Keyword Research. ...
- Step 3: Check Out the Competition. ...
- Step 4: Consider Intent. ...
- Step 5: Conceptualize the Content. ...
- Step 6: Execute. ...
- Step 7: Optimize for Your Keyword. ...
- Step 8: Publish.
Knowing how important keywords are, you may be wondering: how many keywords does Amazon allow? The limit is 250 bytes, which refers to a file size that corresponds to an Amazon keyword limit of about 40 backend keywords. Non-special characters like letters and numbers each take up a byte of space.
These are generic words and synonyms that are related to your product that a customer might include when they type in Amazon's search field. For example, a customer who is searching for a grill brush might type “grill cleaning tool” or “grill scraper” into the search field in Amazon's store.
You can find a product's BSR ranking listed on multiple pages, including on a main Best Selling Products page, within a product's detail page, and on a category-level Best Selling Products page.
What is the Amazon sales rank? Amazon sales rank is a metric that explains the relationship among products within 1 category based on their sales performance. Sales rank is updated hourly, can range from 1 to over 1 million, is influenced by seasonality, and its algorithm remains unrevealed.
The Amazon "Buy Box" is the "Add to Cart" and "Buy Now" section of the product listing. If a buyer doesn't modify which seller they'd like to buy from and they simply add the product to their cart, the seller who ranks in the Buy Box gets the sale.
Focusing on long-tail keywords is a great SEO tactic. Long-tail keywords are keywords or keyphrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly used keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific.
The Field-ASIN Index column tells you whether the keyword(s) appear in the URL string for that product, when a customer clicks on the product in a broader search results page.
Amazon provides you space to upload up to 9 images to your Amazon listing.
- Set Up Google Search Console. First, log in to your Google account. Then go to Google Search Console. ...
- Go to the Performance Report. The Performance report tab is where you'll go to start checking keyword ranking in Google. It's located on the left sidebar.
View Page Source
To find out which keywords a website is using, examine a page's HTML source. That is a helpful tool designed not only for web admins but also for SEOs. In Google Chrome, right-click within the page and select “View Page Source,” or press Ctrl+U.
- Log in to Google Search Console.
- Enter your keyword and hit “Enter” or click the search button.
- View the search results and “Search performance for this query” box.
- Install or open Chrome.
- Visit the website.
- Right-click your selected page.
- Choose “View page source”
- Hold Ctrl+F.
- Type in your keyword and press enter.