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How To Find The Best Amazon Keywords For KDP That Increase Book Sales

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Are you using the right Amazon keywords for KDP when publishing on Kindle? Learn how to do Amazon keyword research and Amazon SEO to boost Kindle book sales.

If you’ve published a book on Amazon KDP, you probably remember the seven keyword boxes where you’re prompted to enter the keywords used to show your book in an Amazon search.

Does it feel like these Amazon keywords aren’t getting you more sales? This article explores some important reasons why your Amazon marketing strategy may not be working as well as it should be.

Keep in mind, that the purpose of these Amazon KDP keywords is to show your book to more readers in Amazon search.

With each impression, there’s a chance they could buy your book, so optimizing these are directly related to sales. For the search numbers and keyword valuations below, we used Publisher Rocket, an Amazon keyword tool.

5 reasons your Amazon keywords for KDP are not selling books

In this article, we’ll explore some reasons why your Amazon keywords for KDP are not increasing book sales and making you money and how to fix them.

#1. People search for a different Amazon keywords variation

Often, Amazon KDP keywords may look the same but have significantly different search rates.  This often occurs with abbreviations, alternate spellings, or rewordings.

When targeting Amazon keywords, it’s important to check which variations receive traffic and which ones might receive far less. Often, the answer may surprise you.

Here are two examples we found of Amazon KDP keyword variations, but there are countless more Amazon search terms you can look for.

Keyword Searches Per Month
Fantasy Series Young Adult 406
Fantasy Series YA <100
Sci-Fi Romance 675
Sci-Fi Romance 7,984

#2. Your Amazon keywords competition is too heavy

If you are targeting an Amazon KDP keyword that is broad, it will be extremely difficult to rank for it in the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing store.

While you’ll still show up in Amazon’s search, your Amazon keyword ranking may end up on page 100, which does you no favors when trying to make sales.

An example here is trying to rank for the keyword “Science Fiction”.  Because tens of thousands of authors would like to show up in the top slot for that keyword, it’s next to impossible to beat out all the competition.

Instead, focus on more niche Amazon KDP keywords where you have a better chance of showing up in search. Imagine you targeted the following keywords:

Keyword Searches Per Month Competition
Science Fiction 10,685 Very High
Science Fiction Space Colony 740 Low

Even though “Science Fiction” receives far more searches, the competition is so high that most books will have no share of those impressions.

For instance, when I launched my short science-fiction book into the Amazon bestseller lists, I used niche KDP keywords and categories which made it much easier to rank.

Some of these niche categories included “LGBTQ+ Mystery”, “Two-Hour Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Reads”, and “Colonization Science Fiction eBooks”.

With a more niche Amazon KDP keyword, ranking in the top position for that specific keyword could bring a greater overall share of views – so even though the total Amazon search volume is less, the amount of impressions your book can receive is higher.

seo of amazon

#3. Your Amazon keywords are not applicable

If Amazon does not think your keywords apply to your book, it’ll reduce its rank in search. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

For example, if you use the word “Romance” but there is no love interest in your book; readers are unlikely to purchase it or will leave a negative review.

Amazon will see this and reduce the number of shoppers they send to your book since they know their readers are not finding what they searched for in the store.

It’s critical to make sure that shoppers who find your book through a keyword are enticed to buy it, as this shows Amazon your keyword is relevant.

kdp keywords

There are many ways to improve your conversion rates, including honing your craft, and often these are aesthetic. Book covers are critical, but so is what’s inside the book.

For example, if your book is poorly formatted, people may consider the book unprofessional, and be wary to click buy.

Make sure that you format the book correctly, as this tells your reader that you’re a professional, and care about their reading experience.

Using proper formatting gives readers the confidence to buy, while poor formatting could result in bad ratings and reviews, keep readers away, and convince Amazon that your KDP keywords are not relevant.

amazon kindle kdp

#4. Shoppers don’t buy with those Amazon keywords

Another problem that can occur is if your Amazon keywords don’t drive sales, even if there are thousands of searches.

For example, if your KDP keyword is for something people are used to receiving for free, your conversion rate could be very low.

It’s important to make sure, not only that your Amazon keywords are relevant and have significant search volume, but that they also drive purchasing behavior.

If no one buys with the Amazon KDP keywords you choose, then the first two factors are irrelevant, because they make you no sales anyway.


#5. Your Amazon keywords are too long

Although Amazon gives you up to fifty characters per keyword, you may want to avoid jamming long sentences into these boxes.

Typically, search terms will only be a single word or small phrase, and these are what you should target.

The Amazon Kindle Publishing store wants to help readers find books that will interest them, and it’s rare that readers will search for very long phrases (although there are rare exceptions).

For example, people who enjoy dragons in Fantasy will likely search for “Fantasy Dragon” before they search for “Fantasy books that have dragons in them”.

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Amazon Kindle publishing tips & tools

Now that you know why your Amazon KDP keywords are not making money and how to fix them, you can improve your Amazon listing optimization to get found in Amazon KDP search and sell more books.

Improve your Amazon advertising strategy with this free course on selling more books with Amazon ads.

Find profitable keywords for your AMS book advertising campaign in less than 10 seconds with Amazon keyword research tools like Publisher Rocket.

It provides real-time data on what Amazon book buyers type into Amazon, as well as how many people search for these keywords each month.

Publisher Rocket is one of the popular Amazon SEO tools that help you see potential competitors’ information, reviews, book covers, and even their daily and monthly earnings with the click of a button.

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Understanding what works for your competitors will allow you to create book titles, subtitles, and descriptions that convert better, raise your Kindle rankings and sell more books.

Improve your Amazon business strategy for publishing on Kindle and add more Amazon publishing tips to your Amazon marketing mix with these KDP self-publishing resources.


© 2022, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.

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