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Are Keywords All That Important, Really?

You have noticed that your ecommerce listings are starting to slip in the Amazon rankings and you want to know why. There are a plethora of reasons this could happen, but let’s focus on just one of them in this piece: keywords. Keywords are crucial to the ranking and success of your ecommerce business. Keywords are the terms that lead potential customers to your items, making them crucial to the success of your listings and your business. So let’s break down keywords and their role in Amazon success.

What Are Keywords?

Keywords in ecommerce are, in short, words and phrases that line up with what potential customers are searching for on a marketplace. If you were to generally search for keywords you would mostly find a lot of discussion about how important they are for SEO and getting web pages to show up on Google, but those types of keywords aren’t important to your Amazon based ecommerce business. Keywords are absolutely essential for Amazon search results, and there are a few different kinds:

  1. Head Keywords: These are highly searched terms that cover a broad range, something like “kitchen supplies,” for example.

  2. Body Keywords: These are more specific and narrow searches down, something like “spatula.”

  3. Long-Tail Keywords: These are searches that are very specific, something like “red silicone spatula with a wooden handle.”

Why Are Keywords?

Now that we’ve got a breakdown of the types, what are you supposed to do with them? Since we are specifically looking at their role in ecommerce let’s talk sales. Head keywords, while bringing in the most people also result in the lowest sales conversion. Often people searching these head keywords are researching potential products, likely without any sense of certainty for what they actually want to buy. Head keywords are great for titles, they get clicks from the people that are just searching, but they often don’t translate to sales.

Body keywords are the next step, these start popping up for people that have started comparing products and are trying to find the perfect thing to purchase. These body keywords will result in much higher sales conversion than the head keywords.

Long-Tail Keywords are the keywords which will result in the highest sales conversion. These are people searching for essentially the exact product you are selling. Obviously, when someone is searching for a very specific product they already know what they want and they have most likely already decided to make a purchase. These Long-Tail Keywords are crucial and should be pretty much an exact description of your product.

What Now?

Well, once you’ve got your keywords sorted out you write your listing, fill it with all the keywords you want the Amazon algorithm to see, and release it into the world. If you’ve done your work properly your listing will be ranked highly among similar products and will be placed in front of potential buyers. If you’ve done your job really well you will be right at the top for the long-tail keywords and you will be converting those searches into sales at an incredible rate, which will continue to make Amazon’s algorithm happy, resulting in even higher rankings with the head and body keywords, which will snowball into more sales from less certain customers, though your sale rate will likely take a hit when your product is placed in front of a higher number of people. That’s fine though, more potential sales will result in more actual sales.


Keywords are one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal for getting people to buy your product. They are the first part of your product that potential customers will interact with, even before they know that your product exists. They obviously aren’t the only part of landing the sale. Once the customer is in the proverbial door you need to give them the rest of the package. Most sales happen because the Amazon listing has good reviews and quality photography. I intend to touch on how these conversions happen in a future blog. However, all the great reviews and top notch photography in the world won’t mean anything if you don’t have the keywords to lead potential buyers to your product.

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