The current thinking is that you need 1,000 keywords when you run an Amazon ad. Yes, you read that right – 1,000! How in the heck do you come up that many? Well, I’m not sure. But, by using the techniques below, I was able to come up with well over 500 keywords per ad. (Although I’m unsure why 1,000 is necessary as my hits seem to be concentrated on five or six words, but that’s a blog for another day.)
Each of these methods is free, but they do take time. I spend about four hours per Amazon ad searching for keywords.
Auto suggestions. Open incognito mode in Chrome and go to Amazon.com. In the kindle store, slowly start typing in words that relate to your book [think setting (e.g. Victorian age, character types (single dad, veteran, etc.), character roles (strong female lead), plot themes (coming of age), story tone (dystopian, feel-good)] Amazon will give you auto suggestions. Auto suggestions exist because these are words readers search. You can also do this in the Google search bar.
Google ads. Google ads will help you find keywords. Just type in anything related to your book (perhaps words you gathered from auto suggestions) and google will come up with a ton of suggestions. Google will also let you know the competition for each word. More competition translates into a higher bid price.
Top 100. On your Amazon book page, scroll down and see what categories Amazon has sorted you into. These don’t always match the categories you’ve chosen! Now, check out the top 100 ebooks in each of these categories. You should add the title and author’s name to your keywords.
Also Bought. Under the description of your novel, you’ll find a handy list of books ‘customers also bought’. (Note: For new releases, this will only pop up if you’ve had some pre-orders.) Be sure to include the title and author’s name for each of these ‘also boughts’.
Also viewed. Below the ‘also boughts’, you’ll find the ‘also viewed’ products. These titles and author names should be added to your list of keywords.
Sponsored Products. Scroll even further down and you’ll find the ‘sponsored products’ related to your book. These titles and author names should be added to your list of keywords.
Yasiv.com This site is the bomb! You plug in your book and it gives you all books that ‘point’ towards yours. This is better than ‘also reads’ and ‘related products’ because it points to all the books readers bought that are one or two books removed from yours. But watch out! You can go down the rabbit hole with this one. If you click on each book, at the bottom you’ll see “Customers often buy this product with…” You can click on each one of those ‘also boughts’ as well. See? Rabbit hole. Totally.
Goodreads. On Goodreads, navigate to the genre under which your book falls. In addition to a list of books and authors to add as keywords, on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll find related categories. Check those out as well.
The Not Obvious. Maybe it’s obvious, maybe it’s not, but make sure to include your name (or pen name), the book title, and the series name as keywords. This may sound counterintuitive. Why pay for an ad if people are searching for your book anyway? If your novel has a common name, it will be hard to find. If you search Finders, Not Keepers, for example, you’ll get a list of novels entitled Finders Keepers but not my novel.
Using these techniques, you should be able to come up with hundreds of keywords to add to your Amazon ad. Good luck!