Episode 75: Amazon SEO
I’d heard about Dave Chesson and Kindlepreneur quite some time ago, but have always been slightly put off by companies with Kindle in the title, as they have tended to be get-rich-quick schemes. However I heard an interview Dave Chesson gave on the EOFire podcast, and with a recommendation from another friend, decided to have Dave on the show. It turns out Dave knows a lot about SEO, and Amazon SEO in particular!
What exactly is SEO and how does it differ in terms of Google and on Amazon?
SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. The idea is that you want to be able to get your product or site to rank highly when people search for it on Google or Amazon. Those people with the highest ranking items in search get an order of magnitude more traffic, or in Amazon’s case, purchases.
Ideally what should authors consider in terms of keywords before they even start writing their book?
There are three things you need to consider:
- Make sure there are actually people on Amazon typing those keywords in?
- Make sure it is a keyword that people are going to search for when they are looking for something to buy. So for example Fantasy is a general term which won’t get many sales.
- Make sure you can beat the competition.
Where should people be entering in these keywords?
The first place is in the 7 keywords that Amazon allows. But often with competitive keywords this won’t be enough, so you might need to have the keyword in the title, the sub-title and even the contents of the book.
What tools can people use to assess which keywords to use for Amazon SEO? Are they the same tools people would use for Google SEO?
Dave used to use Google Keyword Planner mainly, as people often start on Google when they are looking for a book. It also gives you suggestions on similar words. Dave’s team has actually created a tool (KDPRocket) for doing keyword search actually on Amazon itself rather than just Google. This is a paid product, and makes use of data from Amazon’s marketing API and Dave’s knowledge of Amazon rankings.
What simple changes can an author with an existing book make to improve the possibility of their book showing up high when people search for it in Google or on Amazon?
You are allowed to change keywords as many times as you like. Do some research and change one keyword at a time, so you can identify what works (and also what doesn’t work).
Should they be thinking of phrases or individual words?
In Amazon SEO, phrases (long-tail keywords) get less traffic and less competition, while keywords get more traffic but are often less specific, meaning people often don’t buy from the result of these searches. You need to find a phrase or keyword that is targeted to your audience. If you know your audience you can work out what this is.
Is there anything that authors should consider in terms of the links they publicise for their books on Amazon?
Dave recommends against using what are called “Amazon Super-URLs” which is where someone has typed in a keyword in Amazon and then click on their book. The idea is that if you do this, then Amazon will think people have searched using that keyword and push it up the rankings for that keyword. However, this doesn’t work as Amazon timestamps its URLs. This means Amazon knows this isn’t a real search. Also Amazon stamps the searcher’s ID on the link. Dave believes (though he’s not sure), that Amazon looks for people who found the book via the Author’s URL which he or she provided. This will be much more likely to have their reviews removed, as Amazon can see they have a “relationship” with the Author.
How can people find out about you and Kindlepreneur?
If you liked this show you might like Using Google for Business with Martin Shervington, The Benefits of Standard Procedures with Tony Brown and EBook Discovery Services with John Doppler.