How To Sell More Kindle Ebooks Using Proper Keyword Research and Tags
The following is an excerpt from my new book The Kindle Publishing Bible available only on Amazon.
Categories are the second most important way new browsers on Amazon will find your book (unless you reach Amazon’s Top 100 overall list). But the largest source of traffic to your book page and sales from Amazon itself will be due to Amazon search.
Luckily, Amazon allows you to have some control over how your book appears in the Amazon Kindle Store search results. You can influence the search results by first of all doing your keyword research and putting your desired search keywords in your book’s tags, title and description.
In this chapter we’ll cover the exact process you can use for keyword research to choose the keywords that will lead to the most sales and then we’ll discuss how to add these keywords to your book’s tags.
Amazon Keyword Research
If you’ve ever done keyword research before for SEO purposes, this is a very similar process. For those of you who are totally new to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it’s a very simple process and I’m going to walk you through it step-by-step so that you can apply it to your book page to sell more books.
The first thing you must do is keyword research.
Step 1. Google Keyword Research
Go to adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool and search for a general keyword related to your topic. First of all, you will have to login to your Google account if you haven’t already.
I’ll use this book as an example. One of my keywords, I know, will be “how to sell more kindle books” so I’m going to type that keyword phrase into the Google Keyword Tool:
The next thing you must do is click the [Exact] button on the left side of the screen under the “Match Types” category:
It’s very important that you use Exact Match when searching for keywords. This tells Google that you want data for EXACT search terms – meaning Google will count the number of times someone typed in the exact words “how to sell more kindle books” – otherwise the data will be skewed with searches related to your search which doesn’t help you choose the right keyword.
Next, click the “Global Monthly Searches” bar to sort the keyword by the most searched.
With this search, Google gave me the following keywords which I think MIGHT help me sell more books (each of these keywords gets over 1,000 global monthly Exact searches on Google):
how to write a book
how to publish a book
sell books online
writing a book
how to get published
kindle self publishing
write a book
selling books online
publish your own book
how to publish an ebook
how to write an ebook
how to self publish a book
how to self publish
getting a book published
The next step is to use Amazon search to see which searches Amazon recommends.
Step 2. Amazon Keyword Research
Now that we have our preliminary list of keywords from Google, let’s head on over to Amazon.com’s Kindle Store search to see what Amazon recommends to searchers.
Make sure you search ONLY in the Amazon Kindle store when doing Amazon keyword research because otherwise your results will be skewed. You can access the Kindle Store only search function here: http://amzn.to/RLGyUr
Once I’m on Amazon’s Kindle Store, I’m going to type in my keywords into the search box. Notice how Amazon almost immediately starts recommending keywords and searches to me:
I simply wrote “how to write” and Amazon returned 10 other keywords and search terms including “how to write a book” and “how to write a novel” among others.
This means my keyword “how to write a book” is not only recommended by Google search, it’s also recommended by Amazon search! Meaning this is a GREAT keyword and I should definitely consider using this keyword in my book’s title, description and tags. Why? Because Amazon browsers AND Google searchers are both using this keyword to search for something – like my book!
Step 3. Keyword Relevance Check
The final step for keyword research is very subjective – this is the “art” of keyword research so to speak. My book isn’t technically about how to write a book – it’s really about how to sell more books on Amazon’s Kindle platform.
So if someone types into Amazon’s search box “how to write a book” and my book appeared, would they really want to click on it and buy it?
Now, you could argue either way. You could theorize that if someone is trying to figure out how to write a book then they will also want to know how to sell more books on Amazon Kindle and will therefore be very interested in my book. So this is a great keyword!
You could also argue that someone who’s searching for “how to write a book” isn’t yet ready to learn how to publish on Kindle because they first need to learn how to write their book before they can publish and sell it!
Which argument do you think is better? Should I use that keyword or not to try to attract more book sales?
Want to know my opinion? Check out my book page on Amazon and see if I used the keyword or not in my tags, title and/or book description!
What You Need To Know About Choosing Keywords
You might feel like I’m “leaving something out” here about choosing keywords but I’m not. That’s really all you need to know to use them to sell more books. The problem is that there’s a huge grey area – the area where your subjective opinion about what Amazon users are searching for meet the objective numbers from the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Here’s my opinion: If you get stuck trying to choose one keyword over another that you found through either the Google Keyword Tool or Amazon Search suggestions, just choose the one. It doesn’t matter. Don’t get stuck in the nitty gritty. Don’t get “paralysis by analysis” as so many of us perfectionists tend to do. At the end of the day, one good keyword tag is better than not having any tags at all.
“An imperfect plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” – General George Patton
And the good news is you can always change your tags later if you change your mind or if the search results change.
Again, I want to caution you about spending too much time on keyword selection. Find your keywords on Google and Amazon, choose 15 or so you think are the best, tag your book and be done with it knowing confidently in your heart that it’s better to have mediocre tags than no tags and you can always change it later.
How To Add Your Keywords To Your Book Tags
Once you’ve completed the above 3-step process and created a list of 15-30 high quality, relevant keywords for your book, it’s time to add your top 15 keywords to your book tags (Amazon only allows 15 book tags per user).
You can only tag your book once it’s published. Then just go to your book page on Amazon and scroll down until you see the section “Tags Customers Associate With This Product.”
Here you can add up to 15 tags.
Each tag should be a unique keyword phrase that you did research on before. Add your top 15 tags to your book and voila! You’re all done.
How To Get More Than 15 Tags
Let’s say you did very thorough keyword research and found 27 ideal keywords that you would love to use for your book. Well, you can’t fit all those keywords into your 15 tag limit! So you’re going to have to find someone else who would be willing to tag your book for you.
You can call a close friend or business partner and ask them to tag your book with the extra keywords. I highly recommend doing this – the more keyword tags you have, the more likely you are to have your book appear in search results and the more sales you will generate.
Your 7 Search Keywords
In addition to tags on your book page, Amazon allows you to choose 7 search keywords to add to your book when you upload it to Kindle. If you want to change these 7 search keywords at any time, just edit your book and change them.
Whereas any customer or Amazon user can tag your book with any tag they see fit, only you, the author, can choose these 7 search keywords and tell Amazon what keywords are important for your book – so choose the top seven keywords you think will lead to the most sales for you!
I want to give you an example of keyword searches in Amazon’s Kindle store so you can get a feel for how it works. I searched for “love” and received 77,727 results! That’s a LOT of competition for that keyword – which should be expected because it’s such a common word and it’s a one-word keyword. Keyword phrases with multiple words will be naturally less competitive – and more conducive to increasing your sales.
Next, I searched for “How To Love A Pet” and Amazon only gave me 14 results for this search, meaning it’s MUCH less competitive and easier to rank highly for.
Notice that the keyword phrase “How to love a pet” is so much more targeted and narrowed down than the general keyword “love.” It’s a lot more specific. Remember that someone who types “love” into a search box might just be browsing or researching – but someone who types in a specific phrase like “how to write an ebook” is much more likely to be a buyer because they’re looking for something very specific.
Ideally, you want high quality relevant keywords for your tags that are also not highly competitive. How do you know if it’s highly competitive? Well, the easiest way is to just check your own search results for your keywords after 2-3 weeks on Amazon. Does your book come up in the top 10 or farther down the list? If your book is in the top 10, congratulations! You’re likely to get sales from that keyword if it’s well-chosen. If you’re much farther down then you may need to wait longer for your book to rise up in the search results.
Note: Amazon, unlike other search engines, ranks search results not just by “keyword relevance” but also by sales rankings. What does that mean? Well, Amazon wants to sell more books so they have a part of their search results algorithm that calculates how many copies your book has sold and compares it to others in the search results. The bottom line is that if you sell more books, your search results in Amazon will improve over time. This benefits Amazon because they sell more books and it benefits you because you sell more books when you follow the strategies in this book!
After you’ve tagged your book with your ideal keywords, wait 2-3 weeks and then search for your 15 or more keywords that you and your friend tagged your book with. If you’re appearing in the top 10 of those keywords, congratulations! That is a great keyword for your book and is likely going to lead to new sales.
If you find your book is not in the top 10 or top 20 search results, then that keyword is too competitive for your book right now. At this point, you have choices. Either you can change the tag to a different keyword and test it out or you can add that competitive keyword to your book’s title or description as we will cover in the coming chapters.
Different Tags for Different Versions
By the way, different versions of a book will have different tags. For example, a book published in paperback as well as Kindle will have different and separate tags for the paperback sales page and the Kindle sales page. So make sure you utilize good relevant tags for each version of your book!
The same holds true for books in different Amazon store countries like the US, UK, Germany, Italy and Japan!
Do your keyword research for Google and Amazon and add your keyword tags to your book.
This was an excerpt from my new book The Kindle Publishing Bible available only on Amazon.
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