Amazon Keywords vs Search Terms: A Guide to Ranking Higher


In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, distinguishing between keywords and search terms is vital for optimizing product visibility and driving sales on platforms like Amazon. Despite the frequent interchangeability of these terms, they play distinct roles in your advertising strategy.

In this blog, we will delve into the nuances of ‘Amazon Search Terms vs Keywords,’ and help you understand how they play different roles in Amazon search terms optimization, advertising stratgey, and more.

What are Search Terms?

Amazon search terms are the specific queries users enter when looking for products on the platform. These are the phrases customers type into the search bar, expressing their intent and preferences. For instance, if a user searches for “toxin-free face wash,” that entire phrase becomes a search term. Understanding these terms is crucial for advertisers, providing insight into customer behavior and helping in refining targeting strategies.

Amazon keywords

Amazon keywords are specific words or phrases that sellers strategically incorporate into their product listings and advertising campaigns. These words encapsulate the essence of the product and play a crucial role in making the product discoverable through Amazon’s search algorithm. Sellers use keywords in product titles, descriptions, and backend search fields to influence how the algorithm connects their products with relevant customer searches.

When sellers use keywords in their advertising campaigns, they gain flexibility in determining the match type of the keyword. This match type dictates how closely Amazon’s algorithm will match that keyword with the customer’s search term on the platform.


To better grasp the concept, let’s explore the three match types and how they can differ from a user’s search term:

Broad Match

In a broad match type, Amazon matches your ads with a wide range of relevant search queries related to your target keyword. This includes variations, synonyms, and even loosely related terms. It offers the broadest reach but may also result in less precise matches.


  • Target Keyword: “Running Shoes”
  • Potential Search Terms: Your ad might appear for search terms like “athletic footwear,” “jogging sneakers,” or “sporty running shoes.”

Phrase Match

In a phrase match type, your ad is shown when a customer’s search term includes the exact phrase you’ve specified as your target keyword. Additional words can appear before or after the phrase, allowing for some flexibility while maintaining a more targeted approach.


  • Target Keyword: “Travel Backpack”
  • Potential Search Terms: Your ad could be triggered for search terms such as “best travel backpack for hiking” or “compact travel backpack for laptops.”

Exact Match

The exact match type is the most restrictive. Your ad is displayed only when a customer’s search term precisely matches your target keyword. This provides the highest level of precision but might limit the overall reach.


  • Target Keyword: “Wireless Earbuds”
  • Potential Search Terms: Your ad will be triggered for the exact search term “wireless earbuds,” ensuring a precise match with minimal variations.

What are Backend Keywords on Amazon

Backend keywords on Amazon are hidden phrases you add to your product listings that are invisible to shoppers on the product detail page. However, they are indexed by Amazon’s search algorithm, which helps your product appear in relevant search results.

In simpler terms, they act like behind-the-scenes tags that tell search engines what your product is all about, even though customers can’t see them. This is important because it allows you to target relevant keywords that you might not be able to naturally fit into your product title, description, or features.

Significance of Search Terms in Listing Optimization

In the context of listing search engine optimization, search terms play a crucial role in enhancing visibility and performance. Here’s how search terms help in listing optimization:

1. Improved Visibility

  • The inclusion of relevant search terms or keywords in product listings ensures that the product appears in search results when users look for specific items.
  • Utilizing popular and industry-relevant terms increases the likelihood of the product being discovered by a broader audience.

2. Keyword Ranking

  • Search algorithms often prioritize listings that closely match search terms. Including relevant keywords in your product listing can improve its ranking in search results.
  • Strategic use of keywords helps the listing to appear higher in the search results, increasing the chances of potential customers clicking on it.

3. Targeting Customer Intent

  • Understanding the intent behind certain search terms allows for the creation of listings that directly address customer needs. Thus, with the right keyword research, you can target high-intent shoppers on Amazon for your product.
  • Incorporating long-tail keywords that reflect specific customer queries can be particularly effective in targeting niche markets.

4. Competitive Advantage

  • Analyzing and incorporating high-performing search terms used by competitors can provide insights and help optimize your own product listings.
  • Identifying unique or less competitive keywords can give your listings a competitive advantage and improve visibility in specific market segments.

5. Enhanced Conversion Rates

  • Using search terms that align with customer expectations and preferences can lead to higher conversion rates. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when the product meets their specific needs.

Keyword Limits and Standards on Amazon

Amazon has specific guidelines and standards for keywords, particularly in the context of product listings. However, it’s important to note that these guidelines may be subject to change, and it’s advisable to check the latest information on Amazon Seller Central or contact Amazon Seller Support for the most up-to-date details. Here are some general guidelines related to search terms on Amazon:

1. Character Limits

  • There are different character limits for search terms for different use cases.
  • Backend Search Terms: Previously at 249 bytes, Amazon recently expanded this limit to 2500 characters across five fields, each with a 500-character cap.
  • Product Title: 200 bytes (including spaces and punctuation).
  • Product Description: 2000 bytes (including spaces and punctuation).

2. Relevance and Accuracy

  • Keywords must be relevant to the product and accurately describe its features. Including unrelated or misleading terms is against Amazon’s guidelines.
  • Avoid using competitor brand names or making false claims.

3. No Repetition

  • Repetitive use of keywords within the search terms is discouraged. Amazon’s algorithm considers redundancy, and repeating keywords excessively may not provide additional benefit.

4. Prohibited Content

  • Certain types of content are prohibited in search terms. This includes offensive language, information unrelated to the product, and inappropriate content.

5. Avoid Special Characters

  • Amazon recommends avoiding the use of special characters or symbols that don’t serve a specific purpose in the overall use of keywords.

6. Keyword Stuffing

  • Keyword stuffing, or the excessive use of keywords to manipulate search results, is against Amazon’s policies. It’s important to use keywords naturally and focus on providing valuable information to customers.

7. Guidelines for Specific Categories

  • Certain categories may have additional guidelines or restrictions regarding search terms. Sellers are advised to review category-specific guidelines to ensure compliance.


So, there you have it! By understanding the crucial differences between Amazon search terms and keywords, you’ve taken a giant leap toward navigating the vast Amazon landscape with confidence. Remember, the key to success lies in adapting your language to both search intent and keyword optimization.

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