KDP Keywords are essential for getting your books ranked on the Amazon searches and seen by customers. When used correctly in your book listings they give your book a better chance of getting free organic traffic from Amazon and, therefore, a better chance of making sales. We will take a look at what keywords are, why they are so important and how to do KDP keyword research to find those valuable search terms that can be used in your Amazon KDP no content and low content book listings on Amazon.

Although this article is aimed at no content, low content and medium content book publishers the same research process can also be applied if you are a regular fiction or non-fiction author or publisher.

What are KDP Keywords?

Simply put, KDP keywords are those search terms that customers enter into the search bar on Amazon when they are looking for something to buy. They are commonly a string of 2 to 3 words but can be a single word or many words depending on what the customer is searching for.

KDP Keyowrds are Search Terms in Amazon Search Bar

Why are KDP Keywords Important?

KDP keywords are important because if you know what customers are actually searching for you can give it to them, increasing your chances of making a sale. There is no guessing.

For example, if you know that a customer is searching for an ‘adult coloring book with animals’ then you can optimize your book listing by using that keyword or related keywords in the title, subtitle and description of your book. So now, when a customer types that search term into the search bar on Amazon there is an increased chance that your book will appear.

If your book is exactly what the customer is searching for then the greater the chance you will get that sale, provided your book is of sufficient quality and appeal of course.

The skill comes in finding KDP keywords that customers are typing into the search bar which is what we will explore in depth.

The aim is to get your book ranked high up on the first page of the search result listings when a customer searches for a product. This will get the most traffic and the most eyeballs on your book and so more chance that someone clicks on your book and buys it.

Where to Start with KDP Keyword Research

When starting out with your kdp keyword research the best place to start is the Amazon search bar on Amazon itself. This is a great starting point to do free research and will get you a lot of useful information.

After you’ve decided on what type of book you’re going to publish, or niche of your book, the first thing to do is to enter a broad search term related to your book into the search bar on Amazon.

Amazon Search Bar Keyword in All Category

I recommend doing your KDP keyword research on Amazon.com, the U.S. site and not your local country specific Amazon site. Amazon.com is by far the biggest market for your books, will give you the most sales and provide the most useful data. If your book is specific to your country or a different language specific country then by all means do your research on that particular Amazon site.

Now, one important point, as you can see I am searching in the ‘All’ category. There are a number of reasons for this which I covered in a video on my channel but the main reason is because this is where customers are actually doing their searches. It is unlikely they are going to go to the ‘Books’ category straight away. They would normally open up Amazon and dive straight into their search. So by searching in the ‘All’ category we get to see what our customers are seeing.

How to Find Amazon KDP Keywords

So, when you enter a search term you will notice a list appears.

Related Keywords

These are all search terms or keywords that are related to the search term you entered into the search bar. These are gold. These are the keywords you are after.

Amazon is actually telling you what people are searching for and customers will tend to click on these keywords if they see something that matches their interest. And those keywords near the top of the list will be clicked on more often than those at the bottom of the list.

So what you need to do is open up a spreadsheet – I write all mine down on a Google sheets spreadsheet but the choice is yours. I write them down under a column called keywords. How original!

KDP Keyword Spreadsheet

Assessing Keyword Competition

Now not all keywords are the same. Some will be more popular than others (those towards the top of the Amazon suggestion list) and some will have a lot of competition in the Amazon listings. That is, a lot of other publishers creating similar books.

An example of a popular keyword would be ‘adult coloring book’, as we’ve used in the example above. These sell extremely well, making a lot of money for their publishers, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars a month. The problem is that there are a lot of other publishers who also want a slice of the pie and so there are many adult coloring books listed on Amazon and, therefore, creating a lot of competition.

The chances of publishing one of these books and it appearing even on the first page of the search results would be slim. In order to get it to rank there you would probably have to run a paid advertising campaign and send outside traffic to the book from sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and your own website. And it would probably take a couple of years to get your book ranking organically.

Now take the opposite end of the spectrum, a ‘17th century french poetry book’. The competition in the search results on Amazon is a lot lower and, therefore, would be a lot easier to rank one of these books high on the first page of the Amazon searches. However, the problem is that these books are not very popular and so you wouldn’t make any sales.

So the strategy I suggest is to aim for the middle ground, to balance that popularity and competition. Find those keywords that are still popular enough that books make sales but that don’t have a large amount of competition.

How do we do this? Glad you asked.

When you enter a search term into the search bar on Amazon and hit enter you will notice in the top left Amazon tells you the number of search results.

Amazon Search Results Number

The higher that number the greater the number of results and, therefore, competition. The converse is true – the lower the number means less competition.

So this gives you an idea of the competition for the keywords you’ve found.

So, you would then take each keyword you found, enter it into the search bar, take a note of the number of search results and enter it into a second column on your spreadsheet, labelled ‘Amazon Search Results’.

Amazon Search Results in Keyword Spreadsheet

So now you are starting to build a list of keywords that you know customers are searching for and you also now have an idea of the competition – the number of search results.

What I recommend doing, at this stage, is removing keywords unrelated to your product or don’t enter them into your spreadsheet in the first place.

What is a Good KDP Keyword?

After publishing over 2400 no content and low content books on Amazon I started to get an idea of what number of search results constitutes a lot of competition and what constitutes low competition. And I came up with a simple rule:

Low competition keywords are keywords with search results of less than 1000. (And remember, that’s in the All category, not the Books category).

From experience I’ve found that if I use these keywords in my books, with 1000 search results or less, I have a very good chance of ranking on the first page of Amazon.

Those with search results of greater than 1000 are not off the table. It just means in order to rank on the first page organically you may have to start thinking about running an Amazon Ads campaign to get your book seen and make sales or running some other marketing campaign to drive traffic to your book. Eventually, after getting a sales history and building reviews your book would start to rank organically in the listings.

An organic ranking just means a ranking based on the Amazon algorithm and not dependent on ads.

Building a KDP Keyword Spreadsheet

So now you have that initial list of keywords from your first search in your spreadsheet. When you enter each keyword into the Amazon search bar to find the number of search results you will also find that more search terms appear in the suggestions. These also go down in your spreadsheet. So pretty soon your spreadsheet will begin to grow and grow.

Amazon Keyword Suggestions

I often use a free Chrome plugin installed on my browser called AMZ Suggestion Expander. This will give you even more suggestions when you search on Amazon. Like the suggestions Amazon gives you, these keywords are also being searched for on Amazon by customers.

AMZ Suggestion Expander is free but if you want even more functionality there is a pro version available too.

AMZ Suggestion Expander Results

And yes, you guessed it, these also go into your spreadsheet and your list of keywords will rapidly grow in size.

You will eventually get to the point where no new keywords appear and they start repeating themselves. At that point you can stop.

Keywords Everywhere Plugin

This next step is useful but not essential. I have an additional Chrome browser plugin installed called Keywords Everywhere. Currently, with the free version, when you perform a search on Amazon a list of numbers often appear next to the suggestions.

Keywords Everywhere Google Monthly Search Numbers

You will notice I have some additional information and those pretty looking blue sales graphs. That is because I pay $10 for 100,000 search credits. This seems to last me a long time but how quickly you use up the credits will depend on how much research you’re doing and the plugin settings.

These numbers are the number of Google searches per month. It can tell you if that keyword is also popular in the Google searches and that just gives us some extra information. If a keyword has a lot of Google searches it can indicate that a keyword is popular and has some potential extra search traffic from Google and it’s possible your Amazon listing could also appear in the Google searches.

So, back to our spreadsheet. I create a third column and name it ‘Google Monthly Searches’. In this column go those figures. Many of the keywords you find won’t have any monthly Google searches listed at all but that’s ok, it’s just a bit of extra useful information to give you an edge over the competition.

Google Monthly Search Results on Spreadsheet

So now you’ve created your spreadsheet using this free method and will now have a good list of high and low competition keywords.

The method can be made quicker and you can get some further information by using paid tools such as Helium 10 or Publisher Rocket, my favorite KDP keyword research tools, but they are not essential, especially when starting out.

This research has helped me get my books ranked and seen on the first page of the Amazon search results and, as a result, build consistent sales. I’ve also performed research on many different KDP low content and medium content niches and published lists of these keywords in my Gumroad shop. Some are free and some are paid for.

The next step is then to use those keywords correctly in your KDP book listings which I will cover in another post. You can also watch this video on how I use KDP keywords to get books ranked on Amazon: