Know everything about Amazon’s updated search term rules

Posted by Jimi Patel | February 9, 2024

If you’ve been using Amazon’s backend search terms to optimize your product listings, you’ll want to pay close attention. Amazon has made a significant change that could have a profound impact on your product discoverability and search ranking. The character limit for backend search terms has been expanded from a mere 249 bytes to a whopping 2500 characters, spread across five fields of 500 characters each. This is a game-changer for sellers looking to enhance their product visibility and reach a wider audience on the platform. In this blog, we’ll dive deep into this exciting development and explore how you can make the most of this extended space to boost your Amazon sales. 

Why did Amazon extend the search term field?

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The decision to extend the search term field on Amazon reflects the platform’s commitment to enhancing the overall shopping experience for both customers and sellers. This significant change was driven by several key factors, each contributing to the rationale behind the extension:

  • Improved product discoverability: One of Amazon’s primary goals is to make it easier for customers to find the products they’re looking for. By providing sellers with more space for backend search terms, Amazon enables sellers and Amazon account management experts to include a wider range of relevant keywords, synonyms, and variations. This, in turn, enhances the discoverability of products in search results.
  • Enhanced relevance: Amazon places a strong emphasis on delivering relevant search results to customers. With the expanded search term field, sellers have the opportunity to include highly specific and contextually relevant keywords. This results in a more accurate match between customer queries and product listings.
  • Better customer experience: When customers find products that align with their search intent, it leads to a more satisfying shopping experience. By allowing sellers to optimize their backend search terms comprehensively, Amazon aims to boost customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Competitive advantage: In the highly competitive landscape of e-commerce, sellers constantly seek ways to stand out and gain a competitive edge. The extended search term field provides sellers with additional tools to optimize their listings, potentially driving higher sales and market share.
  • Alignment with industry standards: Amazon’s decision to increase the character limit for backend search terms brings it more in line with industry standards. This aligns with the best practices observed on other e-commerce platforms, ensuring a consistent experience for sellers who operate across multiple online marketplaces.
  • Supporting global expansion: As Amazon continues to expand its global presence, accommodating sellers from various regions becomes essential. The extended search term field allows for better multilingual optimization, enabling sellers to cater to diverse customer groups around the world.
  • Adapting to evolving search trends: Customer search behavior evolves over time, influenced by changing trends and preferences. By providing sellers and Amazon marketing agencies with a larger canvas for keywords, Amazon acknowledges the need for adaptability in response to shifting search dynamics.

How to leverage the expanded space?

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With Amazon’s recent update that generously expanded the character limit for backend search terms to 2500 characters, sellers and Amazon optimization experts now have a significant advantage when it comes to optimizing their product listings. This expanded space provides ample room to include a wider range of relevant keywords and phrases, allowing you to enhance your product’s discoverability and visibility.

#1: Comprehensive keyword research

Begin by conducting comprehensive Amazon keyword research specific to your product niche. Explore long-tail keywords, synonyms, and variations that potential customers might use to search for products like yours.

Consider using keyword research tools or professional Amazon optimization services to identify high-impact keywords with substantial search volume and low competition.

#2: Prioritize relevance

While you have more space to work with, it’s crucial to prioritize relevance. Focus on keywords that directly relate to your product’s features, benefits, and intended use.

Avoid the temptation to include unrelated or overly generic keywords, as this can dilute the effectiveness of your backend search terms.

#3. Organized keyword placement

Divide your 2500 characters into five fields of 500 characters each. This division allows you to organize your keywords effectively, ensuring that you cover various aspects of your product.

Allocate space for primary keywords in the first field, followed by secondary and long-tail keywords in subsequent fields.

#4: Strategic keyword placement

Strategically place keywords throughout the 500-character fields. Consider incorporating them into product attributes, such as color, size, material, and product features.

Use variations of keywords and synonyms to capture a broader audience without keyword stuffing.

#5. Monitor and adjust

The expanded space for backend search terms opens up opportunities for ongoing optimization. Regularly monitor your product’s performance and adjust your backend search terms based on actual search trends and customer behavior.

Stay agile in your approach, making updates as needed to improve your product’s visibility and relevance.

#6: Competitor analysis

Analyze the backend search terms used by successful competitors in your niche. While you shouldn’t copy their exact terms, you can gain insights into effective keywords and strategies.

Differentiate your backend search terms by including unique keywords that set your product apart.

#7: Multilingual optimization

If you sell internationally, leverage the expanded space to include backend search terms in multiple languages relevant to your target markets. This can significantly enhance your product’s visibility among diverse customer groups.

Which categories do the changes apply to?

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Amazon’s policies and style guidelines can vary depending on the product category, and the recent update to the search term field is no exception. It’s important to note that the expanded character limit may or may not apply uniformly to all product categories.

Based on our research and observations, we’ve identified several product categories where the 2500-character maximum limit for search terms has been implemented.

While these are some of the categories where the update has been observed, sellers need to stay informed about changes specific to their respective niches. Amazon may continue to roll out updates across additional categories in the future.

Amazon rules for the search term field

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When optimizing your search terms on Amazon, it’s crucial to adhere to certain guidelines to ensure your product listings are both effective and compliant. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Stay under the length limit: Make the most of the 2500 characters available across five fields, but avoid exceeding this limit. Utilize each field efficiently to include relevant keywords.
  • Include synonyms: Incorporate synonyms and related terms that customers might use when searching for your product. This broadens your listing’s reach.
  • Include spelling variations: Account for common spelling variations or alternate spellings of your keywords to capture a wider audience.
  • Include abbreviations and alternative names: Use abbreviations or alternative names for your product, if applicable. Some shoppers may use abbreviations when searching.
  • Use all lowercase: You can use all lowercase letters in your search terms. Amazon’s search algorithm doesn’t distinguish between uppercase and lowercase.
  • No punctuation: Avoid punctuation marks like semicolons, colons, and hyphens in your search terms. Separate words with spaces.
  • Avoid repeating words: Each keyword should be unique within the Search Terms field. Avoid redundancy.
  • Exclude brand names: Do not include your brand name or other brand names in your search terms. Focus on generic and product-specific keywords.
  • Avoid ASINs: Refrain from including Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) in your search terms.
  • Skip stop words: Don’t use common stop words like “a,” “an,” “and,” “by,” “for,” “of,” “the,” and “with” in your search terms.
  • Singular or plural: Choose either the singular or plural form of a keyword, not both, to save character space.
  • Avoid temporary statements: Don’t include temporary statements like “new” or “on sale now” as these may become outdated.
  • Avoid subjective claims: Steer clear of subjective claims like “best,” “cheapest,” or “amazing” in your search terms.
  • Exclude abusive or offensive terms: Ensure your search terms are free of abusive or offensive language or terms.

Wrapping it up

The expansion of the search term field on Amazon offers a valuable opportunity for sellers to enhance their product discoverability and reach a wider audience. By leveraging these extended character limits and adhering to best practices, you can maximize the effectiveness of your search terms and ultimately boost your sales and visibility on the platform.

At eStore Factory, we specialize in helping Amazon sellers navigate these changes and optimize their listings to achieve their business goals. If you’re looking for Amazon expert guidance and support in optimizing your Amazon product listings, feel free to reach out to us.

Published by Jimi Patel

Jimi Patel, is a Co-founder and CEO at eStore Factory, an Amazon SPN certified agency that serves as a one-stop solution for all your Amazon business needs. Having helped countless brands increase sales and grow their footprint on Amazon, Jimi provides the most practical and effective solutions for your business. He is highly skilled in developing and executing plans that align with your specific business goals and objectives. When not working, Jimi enjoys practicing yoga and traveling to new places. He is an avid reader and enjoys staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the e-commerce industry.