Amazon KDP Keywords Research: Make your Book More Discoverable

Rick Wong 28 May 2021

Great! Now that you have finished writing your book and performed the final edits, you are ready to publish. There is one key step that you cannot overlook as a digital book publisher, and that is Amazon KDP Keywords Research.

Since you are publishing on Amazon, the potential reader makes their book discoveries on the Amazon search bar via Amazon A9 Algorithm. How the reader’s search can be related to your book title is by matching the right keywords in your KDP book listing.

You add/update the keywords of your KDP listing by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to:
  2. Go to your Bookshelf and click the ellipsis button (“…”) under the KINDLE EBOOK ACTIONS or PAPERBACK ACTIONS menu next to your book
  3. Select “Edit eBook Details” or “Edit Paperback Details”
  4. Under the “Keywords” section, make the edits you want
  5. Go to the bottom of the page and click Save and Continue
  6. Once you reach the book Pricing page, click the Publish button at the bottom of the page

So now the question is how can I find the most popular and relevant keywords for my book?

What is Keyword Research?

We will begin with what exactly is keyword research. As an online entrepreneur I am quite sure you have heard of the term, this term probably the most well known in the digital marketing/SEO space. Keyword research is a process of finding the most relevant search terms used by your potential end-user, it seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What are people searching for?
  • How many people are searching for it?
  • What is the intent of the search?

Amazon KDP keywords are no different. Finding what people are searching for is probably the first step, there are software tools out there to help you with the process, which will be discussed in detail below. By finding the keywords that your target audience is using will be your first step to getting your book to the right audience.

A Note About Keyword Relevancy

After you acquire a list of keywords, there is also a process to select a set of highly relevant keywords. You have to make sure that you eliminate the keywords that are less relevant to each other. This step is not an exact science, but as the author, you will have a good idea if the keyword is relevant or not.

You want a list of, at most, 10 keywords that are at least 80% relevant to the product. In other words, your book title should be at least an 80% match with the keyword. What I am explaining to you is very subjective and based on what you define as relevant. The number of actual keywords you can get in depends on your keyword research process, or how unique the topic of your book is.

How do you know a keyword’s percentage relevancy? The below example can be a broad guide for you to follow. If your product is a Yoga Wheel that is 10 inches in diameter in size, the following would be its keyword and related relevancy:

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One quick and easy way to figure out relevancy is to do a search on Amazon using that keyword. See if similar titles are amongst the search results. For example, if you are self-publishing a self-help novel on mindfulness, you can use the keywords “self-help” or “mindfulness.” If books similar to yours come up for the search query, it means that the keyword is relevant to your book.

What is the Flywheel Effect? Why is getting keywords rights so important?

A book on Amazon will also increase visibility with the more clicks and sales it gets. These are counted as “positive interactions with a consumer” which boosts your book’s rankings. However, books can also get a “negative interaction” if the customer clicks on book listings above or below yours. Meaning, if other books for a query are being clicked on, but not yours. Your book’s rank for that search query will be penalized and lowered in that case.

The impact of these negative and positive ‘points’ that are given to your book listing will also reduce over time. In this case, you need to keep the momentum going! Do this by consistently ranking for the correct keywords. This will garner enough sales to make your listing more attractive than other similar competitors.

This is the Flywheel Effect, the more clicks and sales you get, the more attractive your listing is to the Amazon algorithm.

Accumulating these positive points on your book listing will allow you to maintain a high ad rank. The key to unlocking this flywheel effect is ensuring the relevancy of your book to the keyword you’re trying to rank for. The ad ranking and discoverability of your book depends on whether customers are clicking on it! If it’s not relevant to their search query they will not do so, and it will negatively impact your sales & rankings.

How to research keywords for your KDP Book?

Using the Amazon Search Bar

This is one of the most basic but effective methods to find keywords for your book. Type a word relating to your book into the Amazon Search Bar and look at the suggested search queries. Remember to make sure you are in the marketplace you intend to sell in, it matters!

For example, if you type “serial” into the search box you get the following:

  • serial killer books
  • serial killer true crime
  • serial killer trivia

If you’re writing a fiction or non-fiction novel on true crime, these could serve as keywords you can use. Put them in the metadata of your book, and run them in your Sponsored ad campaigns. Of course, it’s important to remember that a search query is not a keyword. This is where you have to use your judgment to simplify the search queries you found. This means making it all lowercase, removing common words like “is” or “a” or “the” and so on.

An even better trick is to use 1 search query as multiple possible keywords to bid on. From our earlier example, there was the search query “serial killer true crime”. We can actually split this query into 3 keywords: “serial killer”, “true crime”, “crime”. Extracting keywords like this from longer search queries lets you cover more ground and make your book more discoverable.

Using Keyword Research Tools

Search suggestions are a good start but to really make your book discoverable, you need over 1000 relevant keywords. To reach this volume of Amazon KDP keywords, you will need to use keyword research tools.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a tool that is perfect to research keywords. Signing up for an account is free, and you can just use the Keyword Planner tool since that’s all you need. You can input more than one topic at a time, e.g. “crime, thriller, procedural” and Google will output a list of relevant keywords. You can then sort them by search volume, and filter out any keywords that don’t apply.

Keyword Planner

Similarly, you can use Google Trends, which won’t even require an account. However, Google Trends is more useful to find out the current ‘popularity’ of a keyword, and the traffic in a certain region over time. Using Keyword Planner in conjunction with Google Trends is actually a great strategy, because you can see the search volume trend over time for a set of keywords you’d like to use. Even better, Google Trends provides a few related topics & related queries, that you can widen your search with.

You can even compare your keyword to another keyword, to find which one has better search volume!

ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends will provide a good overview of what search queries customers are using overall. To find Amazon KDP keywords though, you will need more specialized tools. One such tool is ahrefs Keywords Explorer, where you can find keyword search volumes specifically on Amazon. You just have to select “Amazon” in the dropdown next to the keyword search box.

Using ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you can find the search volume of keywords, volume by country, and also keywords with similar terms or “phrase match.” Clicking into a keyword will also tell you the average CPC for a keyword, which is a useful guideline for how much you would spend in a Sponsored ad campaign if you were to use that keyword.

Keyword research tools are a trustworthy source of the most relevant keywords, because they are backed up by concrete search volume data. Instead of simply pulling terms from within your book, it’s better to go off the book category and extrapolate new keywords from there.

Finding relevant Amazon KDP keywords with high search volume will help make your book discoverable to readers, and help you achieve The Flywheel Effect!


The author of this guest post, Rick Wong is a veteran Amazon seller who is into all things Amazon FBA. Having sold his Amazon business, Rick writes and talks about this topic to share his passion for Amazon FBA business building. A data geek at heart, he is currently the Co-Founder of SellerMetrics, a software tool that helps Amazon sellers automate the tedious and manual work of Amazon PPC Optimization.

SellerMetrics is an Amazon PPC tool that helps Amazon sellers, brands, KDP Authors and agencies navigate Amazon Advertising PPC via bid automation, manual bid changes, and analytics. SellerMetrics has been known to bring down ad spend and increase sales at the same time, average users can expect a 25% increase in ROI immediately after use, sign up for the free trial to find out.

If you have questions or insights to share, please feel free to post them via the comments section. Please also consider joining our Facebook Group where we discuss any questions you may have about running an Amazon business.

We are SellerMetrics, our Amazon PPC Software helps Amazon sellers, brands, KDP Authors and agencies navigate Amazon Advertising PPC via bid automation, bulk manual bid changes, and analytics.




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