You may have noticed that independent publishing is filled with ingenious, time-saving tricks.
Some hacks can make your work easier and faster, while others will assist you in selling more books. Some hacks are as basic as knowing current publishing trends, while others are more sophisticated, such as having a strong mentality…
One self-publishing tip we'd like to share is how to make Amazon KDP keywords work for you instead than the other way around.
To make your book discoverable on Amazon, you'll need to include particular phrases or words known as keywords. While some study is required to make the most of Amazon keywords, it is well worth the effort. They're a force to be reckoned with. Strong KDP keywords can directly lead to increased book sales.
But it isn't as simple as 1, 2, 3. To increase sales, you must know how to locate and employ the most effective keywords. To do so, we'll go through everything today.
What Are Amazon KDP Keywords?
To get the most of Amazon KDP keywords, it's important to first grasp what it is.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. This is how authors use Amazon.com to self-publish and market their works. Many advantages come with being published through KDP, including the ability to conduct free pricing campaigns on your works.
Keywords are used in KDP to provide contextual information about a book's contents. "You need keywords that accurately convey your book's content and mirror the words people will use when searching," according to Amazon.
Keep in mind that KDP keywords are critical to your platform's success. Keywords have the ability to make or break a purchase. After all, incorrect keywords may mislead readers and cause them to lose interest in your book before they even learn what it's about.
Each book posted on KDP can be tagged with a variety of keywords. These keywords are search terms; when a potential reader goes to Amazon to look for their next book, a keyword will point them in the proper way. As a result, keywords should be relevant to your book's content. You want them to portray what you wrote accurately.
Advantages of Amazon KDP Keywords
By now, you've undoubtedly realized how powerful keywords are. They not only attract the proper readers to your work, but they also:
- Make your books stand out. Keywords ensure that your book appears in Amazon searches such as the one seen above.
- Work for you rather than with you. Your job as an indie author may have just gotten a whole lot easier with the correct keywords. Amazon frequently rewards well-chosen keywords with higher search rankings.
The time it takes to discover KDP keywords is one of the few drawbacks of employing them. Your keywords must be precise, discoverable, and deliberate. In the next section, we'll go through how to use (and find) the proper keywords.
What is the Flywheel Effect, and how does it work? Why is it so critical to obtain Right keywords?
The more clicks and sales a book receives on Amazon, the more visible it becomes. These are referred to as "good consumer encounters," and they help your book rank higher. However, if a client clicks on book listings above or below yours, it can result in a "negative interaction." If other books for a query are being clicked on but not yours, then you have a problem. In that situation, your book's rank for that search query will be penalized and decreased.
Over time, the influence of these negative and good 'points' assigned to your book listing will diminish. In this instance, you must maintain the momentum!
This can be accomplished by continuously ranking for the right keywords. This will result in enough sales to make your listing more appealing than similar listings.
The Flywheel Effect states that the more clicks and sales your listing receives, the more appealing it becomes to the Amazon algorithm.
Maintaining a high ad rank requires accumulating these positive marks on your book listing. The trick to preventing this flywheel effect is to make sure your book is relevant to the keyword you're seeking to rank for. Your book's ad rating and discoverability are determined by whether or not customers click on it! If it isn't relevant to their search query, people won't click on it, which will hurt your sales and rankings.
How Do I Select Amazon KDP Keywords?
Remember what we said in the previous paragraph about strong keywords:
Using KDP Keywords That Are Accurate
Understanding what your book is about is crucial to developing accurate keywords. When choosing keywords, Amazon recommends authors to think about the setting of their book, the types of characters they have, the roles they play, any plot themes in their book, and the tone of their story, according to the KDP website. A well-organized and established plot makes it easy for both you and your readers to figure out what kind of novel you're working on.
For example, if you produced a scary narrative about a haunted mansion, damsels in distress, and blood-sucking vampires, you should use these keywords in your metadata.
Using KDP Keywords That Can Be Found
Make sure your KDP keywords are discoverable if you're going to spend the time researching them. Pulling up a private web browser on Amazon.com is a good method to see what Amazon users are already searching for.
For example, if you've written a book about coming of age, type "coming of age" into the Amazon search bar and see what comes up. The keywords that appear are often searched for, and if they're relevant to your book, they're worth include in your metadata!
If you're still stumped for keyword ideas, try using Google's search tool to see what others are looking for on the internet.
Using KDP Keywords With Intent
Finally, the use of strong KDP keywords is deliberate. They should have been thoroughly researched and shown to be appropriate for the type of book you've authored. It's tempting to use whatever keywords come to mind while describing your work. However, the more consideration you put into your keywords, the more likely you are to be successful.
Brainstorming is an excellent approach to come up with specific keywords. It's time to brainstorm what keywords fit with your writing, just like you did while determining what to write about!
Consider whether your genre has any well-known tropes. What do other authors have to say about similar-themed works they've written? Read author interviews in the same genre and seek for any frequent keywords used to describe works similar to yours.
Selecting the Correct Keywords
Choosing the correct Amazon KDP keywords is critical to your book's success. You can't sell a book that can't be found! So, how can you get people to notice your book? You use Amazon as if it were a search engine. Your book will almost surely plummet into the Amazon abyss if you skip this vital stage.
This is a primer on Amazon's KDP keywords. It simplifies the procedure into a few easy steps.
Step 1: Get to Know Your Audience.
Your book is finished, the cover is created, and all you need to do now is start selling it. You've almost made it! However, you must first prepare your book for success. If you haven't previously done so, now is the time to figure out who you're writing for. Consider your audience, including their gender, age, and interests.
At least three distinct audiences, one primary and two secondary, should be identified. If you wrote a Travel Guide to Paris, for example, your major audience would be those planning a trip to Paris. Hopefully, you'll be able to be even more specific, such as women, foodies, or art aficionados visiting Paris. Secondary audiences could include travelers' friends and relatives, tour guides, and Airbnb hosts, among others.
Step 2: Create a Keyword List
It's time to build a long list once you've identified at least three prospective consumers for your book. Make a list of every word that pertains to your readers that comes to mind. Then make a list of every term or phrase you can imagine your readers typing into Amazon to find your book.
Step 3: Research and Validation of Amazon Strings
People generally type a string of phrases into Amazon's book search to accurately specify what they're looking for (ex. Where to stay in Paris). It's your job to locate strings that accurately describe your book and that people are looking for.
Open Amazon and navigate to "kindle shop," then start typing one of the keywords from step two into the search box.
Do you notice how Amazon, like Google, autofills searchable sequences of words? This is the first type of verification you require! These are strings that people are looking for on Amazon, making them potentially profitable keywords. Long tail keywords are what they're called.
After your search query, try adding a new letter. For instance, "France" + A, "France" + B, and so on. Of course, this takes time, especially when you consider your long list of prospective keywords.
Step 4: Competition for Keywords and Earning Potential
Once you've compiled a list of keyword phrases that you know people are looking for, it's time to assess their competitiveness and prospective earnings. To do so, start by counting the number of books that come up when you type this string into a search engine. This is your opponent. When I enter in "France Guidebook," I get 4,000 hits, but when I type in "Paris Guidebook," I only get 1,000 results.
As you can see, narrowing the focus from "France" to "Paris" helps to eliminate a lot of competitors. You must, however, guarantee that these books are selling. How do we go about doing that? Scroll down to Product details after clicking on the first book that comes up in your search.
The Amazon Best Sellers Rank is the figure we're interested in. A book that is ranked #1 in the Kindle store is the most popular.
Rankings aren't a precise science for determining a book's sales prospects. In general, though, books with a ranking of less than 10,000 sell quite well. Use this figure to determine whether or not people are interested in this keyword niche.
With 1,000 additional competitors and the top-ranking book at 59,000, this term could be beneficial for you, but it won't break the bank. Keep in mind that this is just one of your seven keyword strings, and you'll be targeting multiple venues to broaden your reach (and profits!).
Step-by-Step Instructions for Implementing KDP Keywords
So you've done your keyword research and chosen your keywords; now it's time to add them to your metadata on the KDP website. You should consider employing your keywords in four different places. Your Amazon keyword boxes, title, subtitle, and description.
While Amazon does not explicitly indicate that keywords in a book's title, subtitle, or description are taken into account, we believe that they do. As a result, if you're able, incorporating your keywords in any of these places could help your book.
Of course, including a keyword in the title or subtitle of your book can be tough, especially for fiction authors, but most authors should be able to incorporate a few keywords into their book descriptions without too much difficulty.
So, how about those Amazon keyword boxes we talked about earlier? The following is a step-by-step guide on entering your keywords.
Log onto the KDP website to add keywords to your book's metadata.
You'll be able to see all of the books stored under your KDP account after you've logged in, whether they're published or unpublished.
From the ellipses next to whichever Kindle book you want to add keywords to, select "Edit eBook details." The same goes for any paperback or hardback books you have listed on KDP and need to edit.
Scroll down to a section labeled "Keywords" once you've reached the information of your book. You'll notice seven spots for your keywords here. We recommend that you use all of them!
To finish adding – or editing – your keywords, click "Save and continue" at the bottom of your screen. To publish your new keywords, go to the final screen.
Note: A previous version of this tutorial suggested using semicolons to separate several keywords in a single box. However, Amazon now recommends utilizing a single keyword in each of the seven boxes.
How to Put KDP to the Test performance of a keyword
Now that you've entered your keywords, what's next? How can you know whether your book is appearing in the searches you want it to appear in?
Go to Amazon.com by first opening an incognito or private browser window.Then, in the amazon search field, type one of your keywords in quote marks and hit search.Examine the outcomes. Is your book listed anywhere in the results? You should if you've input your keywords correctly.
If you've made it this far, you're already miles ahead of the majority of self-publishing authors out there. Don't forget that choosing keywords for Amazon KDP is a great way to attract people to notice your book, but you can't underestimate the importance of cover design if you want to sell it!