How to Optimize Amazon Search Terms

Updated 2/21/2020

Amazon Search Terms are the keywords that you want your products to display for when searched. While these keywords function in the same general way as keywords for any comparison shopping engine, there are a handful of rules that are unique to Amazon.

There are five fields for search terms. The official Amazon optimization guidelines prohibit using excessively long search terms. Each field can include multiple keywords separated by spaces (commas aren’t necessary) so you aren’t limited to just five keywords. The search terms can include up to 250 bytes total.

Search Terms Best Practices

  • Provide accurate information.
  • Don’t repeat content in titles and bullets, and don’t repeat words within the Search Terms fields. Try to expand on the most important terms of your product.
  • It is not necessary to include common misspellings, but do include spelling variations (swimsuit vs. swim suit). Use singular or plural, not both.
  • Don’t include your brand or other brand names.
  • Include any abbreviations or common alternate names and synonyms for your product or content.
  • Don’t use stop words like a, and, the, and so on.
  • Enter search terms in order of importance.
    • Search Term 1 = most important
    • Search Term 5 = least important

The following example is from a seller who could be doing much more with their Amazon search terms.

Example of poor Amazon Search Terms
Minimal search terms for a women’s t-shirt on Amazon.

Make important Amazon decisions with confidenceWhile these terms are a good starting point for the general terms people might use to search for this product, they are missing the basic terms about what the product actually is. Shirt, t-shirt, and tee should all be included in the search terms. Since it is possible to include multiple terms separated by spaces, each field should be filled with keywords. This seller is limiting themselves to five keywords, when they could be exposing this product to many more search queries.

Keyword Research

  • Amazon doesn’t publish keyword data the way google does, so using Google’s keyword resources may be a productive method of keyword research even though it’s through another medium.
    • Google Trends is always a great source for determining how people search for your product. This handy tool can also show you where in the world people use certain keywords. This can be helpful for sellers who only sell domestically – if people use certain keywords much more frequently in other countries, it may be better not to include those terms.
    • If your business is also set up with Google AdWords, the Keyword Planner tool will also provide helpful data to help find appropriate search terms that you may be able to carry over into your Amazon store.
  • On Amazon, taking a look at titles, descriptions, and bullet points of competitors can also help you get an idea of which keywords to include.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Randy says

    Are your search terms indexed by Amazon?
    I found the keywords in the title and bullet points are indexed within 1 day but those in search term aren’t indexed after 2 days.

    • says

      Hi Randy,

      Yes, your search terms should be indexed by Amazon. You can check to see if your product is indexed for a keyword by searching “Your ASIN: Keyword” in Amazon’s search bar. For example “B004RH4GWK: grill cover”.

      If your search terms are not indexed, check that they are fewer than 250 characters total. If you are over this limit, A9 will not index any of your search terms. If the problem persists, contact seller support if you are the brand owner. Hope that helps!

  2. Teodor Radovic says

    Hi Michele, great tips! Especially the one about doing a research on your competitors, why should you ‘invent a wheel’ when you can see what others are doing and make it better :)

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