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How to Find Ranking Amazon Kindle Keywords

by Jessica Clark | Last Updated: April 26, 2023
How to Find Ranking Amazon Kindle Keywords

Independently publishing books on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a proven way of creating an online income stream from books. In this article, we look at how to publish and how to sell books on Amazon and the importance of Kindle keyword research.

amazon best sellers key words

Today, we'll go over the following:

  • What is Amazon KDP
  • What are the keywords for Amazon Kindle
  • How to find the best keywords for Amazon KDP
  • KDP Keyword Research Tools

What is Amazon KDP?

What is Amazon KDP exactly? KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing, which is essentially a self-publishing service. It is currently one of the most popular platforms for aspiring authors and free-spirited writers to independently publish and sell their books online.

Publishing books through KDP makes them available digitally on Amazon, one of the world's largest eCommerce platforms. Moreover, Amazon KDP enables authors to sell eBooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers.

How does Amazon KDP work?

You will need to be ready with the following before attempting to sell on Amazon KDP:

  • You need a book or content that can be sold in a book-type format. Your manuscript needs to be fully formatted according to Amazon guidelines
  • A cover design that is attractive and creative
  • All of your metadata, including your title, subtitle series name, author name, contributors, and other information to adhere to Amazon guidelines
  • Relevant Kindle keywords as well as a dialed-in book description and what readers can expect.

If you're ready with a book, look at our KDP article on how to get started.

What are Amazon Kindle Keywords?

book search by keywords

Amazon Kindle keywords are what prospective customers type into Amazon's search when looking for a book. Amazon keywords are used in KDP to help your book be discovered by interested readers.

KDP keywords are essential to your success on the Kindle platform. Finding the top-ranking Kindle keywords will help you get seen higher up the search results page. The higher up you are, the better chance you have of a sale.

KDP Keywords should be relevant to your book's contents, but your Kindle keywords should also help you compete against similar books to target more customer sales.

  • Improper keywords may cause your book to target the wrong readers. You might get in the search results, but potential readers may lose interest before they make a purchase
  • The more relevant keywords, the more likely you are to get a sale because your book is now being seen by the right reader.

It's about finding a sweet spot that represents your book accurately but also casts your net as far and wide as possible.

How to find top-ranking keywords for Amazon KDP?

When choosing keywords, Amazon urges writers to evaluate the locale of their novel, the categories of characters, the jobs their characters perform, any plot elements in their book, and the atmosphere of their story.

Choosing the appropriate keywords can be time-consuming, but thorough keyword research is worth the time invested so that your book is discoverable.

Keyword research is a process by which you can identify the ranking keywords.

Keyword research step-by-step process

The first thing to do is to build a list of potential keywords. There are several ways to create a list of Amazon keywords for books:

  1. Do your own brainstorming. After all, you should know your book and its content
  2. Ask friends or relatives to also suggest keywords
  3. Use search engines and keyword research tools (see our top picks below) to help find additional keywords that you haven't thought of.

Finding the best keywords for KDP

amazon search keywords

So, you've built a list of potential keywords. Next, you need to know how to choose keywords that are ranking. So, let's look at the practical steps to getting this done:

  1. Install the free version of DS Amazon Quick View and enable it for incognito mode
  2. Open an incognito web browser and go to Amazon incognito mode.
  3. Type a keyword from your keyword list into the Amazon search tool and check the number of results.
    1. The lower the number of results, the better. It means that your book will have a better chance of being discovered.
    2. If there are over 100,000 search results, then this is a highly competitive keyword. In which case, you probably want to ditch the keyword! UNLESS this is an absolute must-have keyword for your book.
  4. Next, scroll down the page to the actual books in the search results. This is where DS Amazon Quick View gets to work and allows you to see the Amazon Best Sellers Rank (ABSR) on the search results page.
    1. Look for books with a Kindle ranker of 10,000 to 100,000. That is approximately 1 to 12 sales per day. Use the books in this sweet spot to find more relevant Kindle keywords for your list.
    2. You can also use a tool like Bookbeam's Amazon book sales calculator to help estimate monthly sales to identify your target competitors!
  5. Rinse and repeat for all your keywords. This will take time, so be patient.
  6. You'll end with a refined keyword list. Ideally, you should have your must-have target (root) keywords and a bunch of other supporting keywords.

The refined keyword list will contain the keywords to enter into the 7 backend keywords slots in the Amazon KDP dashboard. If you have leftover keywords, you can use those in the book description, author bio, and any other place within KDP where you can squeeze them in!

7 search terms amazon KDP

Once you've published your book, Amazon's search engine will do the rest to showcase your book in the search results and get your book seen by customers.

Free tools to use for keyword research

If you're still researching keyword ideas, you can use Google's search engine to check what internet users typically search for. Free tools like Google Keyword Planner can also help if you want a more in-depth search.

google keyword planner

But Google is not a magic KDP keywords generator, and Google Planner is not specifically an Amazon keyword tool. However, it can provide some opportunity keywords and a better idea of most searched Amazon book keywords. Be receptive to the suggestions supplied by these tools, and you may find the perfect keywords to pique your readers' interest!

Best Amazon Keyword Research Tool

Consequently, manually searching for the best Amazon book keywords will take significant time, and there are plenty of opportunities to get it wrong. This is why it could be worth investing in one of the best Amazon keyword tools to help you slice through the process.

There are a few good Amazon-targeted business software tools, such as Jungle Scout, Publisher Rocket, and Gumroad. But our top pick for all Amazon sellers is Helium 10 (including for physical products and Amazon FBA). Helium 10 is a suite of powerful tools to help Amazon sellers crush it online.

Helium 10 Chrome Extension

More specifically, for Amazon KDP, Helium 10 offers 4 tools that can help drive Kindle publishing sales in the right direction:

  • Review Insights (available for free using the Helium 10 Amazon Chrome Extension) is a great way to gather competitor intelligence
  • Cerebro is an Amazon keyword search tool
  • Listing Builder to organize your keywords and help with your listing description
  • Keyword Tracker to monitor keywords and their performance

Overall, the robust software bundle in Helium 10 allows you to be more efficient and targeted in your Kindle keyword research and find the top Amazon searches as part of your marketing strategy.

Another one of our favorite Amazon KDP tools is Jungle Scout. This software program also has Amazon-specific search tools and can help you find profitable keywords and get ranked.

Amazon advertising console

Amazon Advertising Console helps Amazon Sellers to perform paid product advertising on the platform.

As an Amazon KDP user, you can use the feature to boost your sales. This feature lets you target customers with adverts based on their browsing and purchasing history.

amazon advertising book keyword search

Amazon KDP advertising includes two types: CPC and CPM. When you use CPC, you pay a fixed amount each time someone clicks on your ad. Meanwhile, with CPM, you pay a fixed amount each time your ad is displayed 1000 times.

Paid advertising can be tempting to get the show on the road but be aware that it can be a fine art and can be trial and error. My advice is always to take it slow, spend what you can afford, and analyze your results so that you can tweak your adverts to find the winning formula.

Final Thoughts

For those who choose to publish books on Amazon Kindle, learning to effectively use Amazon KDP keywords is a must!

This article has also provided some suggestions for Amazon KDP keyword research tools. Both paid and free tools are available to help speed up the process and dial in your keywords to get ranked on the Amazon results page. With great content, a killer front cover, and ranking keywords, you'll stand a much better chance of improving sales and making money using KDP.


What is Amazon's Choice Vs Best Seller?

The two things are fundamentally different:      

  • The Amazon Choice badge is awarded by the Amazon search algorithm for the products that best match the target keyword.
  • The Amazon Best Seller is precisely as it sounds. The badge that is given to the Kindle books best sellers in their category over a period of time

What are the 7 Kindle Keywords used for?

In your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) dashboard, Amazon allows you to insert 7 kind keyword phrases to help the Amazon search engine find your book! In each of the 7 boxes, you can enter up to 50 characters. This is the ideal place to insert the keywords that you think are Amazon's most searched keywords for your book! Find out more using the Amazon Kindle help guide.


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