How to Find Your Keywords

Find Your KeywordsKeywords are critical to your success on Amazon and beyond. Keywords help search engines to categorize your book correctly and display it to people who want to buy it.

Figuring out the right keywords will draw readers to your book through search traffic. Amazon gets a heck of a lot of traffic so it is worth it to spend some time on this. Your keywords can be single words or phrases. The phrases bring more targeted traffic, which is what you want because those are the people that are most likely to read your book.

Research Your Keywords

Get out a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. Label the first column Google, the second one Amazon, and the third one Combined.

Head over to the Google Keyword tool  https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool . (Login with your Google Account so you don’t have to enter the CAPTCHA.)

In the search box, type in a word or phrase you think people would use to search for your book.

Keyword Research for Authors

Make sure you are on the Keyword Ideas (circled) tab before you click the blue search button. Google defaults to the Ad Group ideas.

Once you click Search, Google will make suggestions based on what people are actually searching for. Google loves Amazon, so you can use the keyword tool to find an approximate list of keywords and phrases that people would use to find your book. I’d suggest trying to find 20 keywords for your book. Write these words in the column labeled Google.

  • Don’t select your keywords based on popularity–make sure you go for relevancy. For example futuristic detective novel is way better than detective novel because it is more specific.
  • Get creative when you are looking for keywords, use location, theme, genre etc. to search for relevant words.

Take a few minutes to go through Google’s suggestions. You can run new searches or run searches on the suggested keywords. When you find a good word or phrase, write it down. When it comes to search volume, look in the Local Monthly Searches. Google has localized search by country just as Amazon has Amazon.uk et al. So you want to make sure you are pulling data from the same pool as you are about to head over to Amazon to do the same thing.

As far as search volume goes, more refined keywords are the best but rule out the ones with less than 1000 searches. You want a keyword that you can rank on–so head for middle ground here. (Don’t worry too much about the search volume because we’re going to use Amazon to refine this list.)

Once you have a list, go over to Amazon and start typing your keywords into the search bar. (If you are only publishing for the Kindle, make sure the Kindle store is selected in the where to search part of the bar.) You’ll notice that Amazon will make suggestions to you based on what you are typing in.

  • Pay attention to those searches because that is what people are actually typing in when they look for books on Amazon. Using your Google list, cross reference all the key words and determine your top 7 keywords by both popularity and relevancy. You can even type in your main keyword and then every letter of the alphabet to get additional ideas. This takes less time than you would think.

Write down all of these words in your second column. Once you have a good list, compare them with your Google list and write those in your third column. You will need to pick your top seven to ten keywords from this list. Y

Use these keywords when you are uploading your book. It is really, really important to also use these words in your book description and tags as well.

When a customer types in your keywords, you want your book to come out on the top and the best way to do this is to use your keywords where-ever you can. Pick your best one and use it in your title…like Blue Moon Waning (A Futuristic Detective Novel). This has the added benefit of telling customers in the search results what they are getting when they click on your book.

You can and should use these keywords on your website, social media sites and anywhere else on the internet that you post. It just helps create a cohesive picture of you and your books for the Search Engines and they will rank you higher for it. Doing your keyword research does not take all that long and really pays off because it forms the base for your book promotion.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

What do You think?