Image of The One About How To Build A Good Keywords List For AMS

How to build a good keywords’ list for AMS

One of the most important factors that will influence the success of your Amazon Marketing Services campaigns is the list of keywords that you are targeting in each one of your ads.

There are different ways to build a good keywords’ database. See below a few strategies that are specific to AMS. If you discover any other ways of getting keywords, please share it with us by leaving a comment below.

Keep in mind that with AMS, you need to take into account the user behaviour on Amazon – this means that queries/search terms that you may be using in Google AdWords, or any other platform outside Amazon, might not be suitable to use here.

Also, as Product Display ads can only be targeted based on interest, category or ASINs, you are only able to use keyword targeting with your Headline Search and Sponsored Products Ads.

How to get keywords for your AMS campaigns?

You can start by adding some of the suggested keywords that Amazon is recommending in AMS – you can see these after you get to the Add keywords and bids step – see all the steps in: How to create Headline Search Campaigns or How to create Sponsored Products Campaigns.

A second way of using AMS to get keywords is by using the functionality under Headline Search Campaigns. One of the steps of creating a HSA is adding search terms into a keywords’ box (you can also upload a spreadsheet). Only on this type of campaign you will also get recommendations based on the keywords that you are inputting.

The process is simple: Under Add keywords and bids: Add your own keywords, add a keyword> enter SPACE from your keyboard> you will get a list of recommended keywords from Amazon – I find this functionality extremely useful, especially after I already have a list of 10-20 search terms that I know that are efficient. 

If you have no clue as to what keywords you should target, you could create a Sponsored Products and/or Product Display campaign and set them on Automatic targeting. After the campaign(s) have run for a couple of weeks , you will be able to download a campaign report where you will see what are the keywords that users searched for to get to your product,  and which keywords produced the most sales.

The advantage of Sponsored Products campaigns compared to Headline Search Ads, is that the campaign report that you can download is showing exactly what search terms users have used before clicking on your campaign. This report is also showing the results per individual keyword (including halo sales), so it is a great source to analyse the success of your campaigns (and to improve them). I also find this report useful to identify keywords that I shouldn’t be targeting. I do this by looking at all the search terms for which I got impressions and selecting those that are not relevant to my campaign. I am then adding these keywords as negative ones to my Sponsored Products campaigns.

To build your list of keywords, also use other keyword tools (e.g. AdWords), but keep in mind that Amazon is a product search engine, while Google is more an informational search engine. This means that keywords that might work with Google AdWords campaigns, might not work with Amazon. On Amazon, users are searching mostly for products (they are deep down in the purchase funnel – just about to buy the product), while on Google, users start by looking for information about the product. Translated into practice, a keyword like “SF best game” might be efficient for Google, but not for Amazon.

Lastly, if you have an Account Manager from Amazon, take advantage of him/her. They will be able to provide you with some help on keywords. Also, Amazon is always adding new features, so if they are telling you that they cannot help you at a specific moment, ask again in a little while. As a hint, Amazon UK, DE, ES, IT, and FR now have a keyword tool that they can use to identify user queries based on the ASINs that you are interested in.

A couple of tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep improving your list of keywords.
  • Add both phrase and exact search terms to your campaigns.
  • Use negative keywords with Sponsored Products Ads.
  • Manual targeting is more efficient than automatic targeting in terms of sales. In terms of getting impressions, the results are the other way around.
  • On a daily/weekly basis: monitor and optimise the search terms in your campaigns by pausing keywords, modifying bids, adding new terms.


12 thoughts on “How to build a good keywords’ list for AMS”

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  10. For any type of campaign, you need some research and more analysis. For research, keywords use google keyword planner and other free tools like Moz, then target the right set of audiences in google and social media.

    1. That’s a good start, for sure. Keep in mind though that the search behaviour is different on Amazon vs Google and Social Media, so some of the keywords that you may get from the Google keyword planner may not perform so well on Amazon.

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