Whoah, you say. Why should you care about SEO and how will it help you maximize book sales?

Simply put, SEO is when you carefully place targeted keywords in key areas on Amazon in order to get more people onto your book page and ultimately, sell more books.

In fact, optimizing your Amazon book listing is the easiest way to increase visibility and get your book into the hands of new readers.

So yeah, SEO isn’t exactly exciting, but unfortunately it’s necessary.

I promise to make it as quick and painless as possible. 🙂

SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and while not much is known about Amazon’s algorithms, one thing we do know is that Amazon links on-site keyword searches with the most relevant books. After all, they’re a search engine much like Google and so they want to direct readers to the most targeted books possible to increase the chances of a sale.

What this means to you as an author is that you want to utilize the most targeted keywords possible so that you can siphon traffic to your book page and optimize for sales.

Where do you incorporate these keywords?

In a few different places:

1:  Within your book title.
2:  Within your book’s sub-title.
3:  Within your book page inside of KDP (Amazon allows you to add 7).
4:  Within your book’s description.
5:  Within your Editorial Comments

This isn’t about gaming the system. You’re not some scammer looking to send traffic to a product that isn’t relevant.  Instead, you are doing your part to ensure that readers in your chosen genre are able to find your book.

So, how do you do it?

Start by creating a list of 20-25 possible keywords.  Then, run those keywords through the Google Keyword Planner tool.

Look for the top 5-10 keywords that have the most traffic and add those to a new list.  Those are the keywords that you are going to test within Amazon’s on-site search bar in order to see if they are being used.

To do that, load up www.Amazon.com and begin to enter each keyword as shown below to see if it auto-populates. If it does, it’s a keeper! If it doesn’t, disregard it.

In my example, one of my keyword strings was “Meditation for Beginners”, and when I started typing in “Meditation for…” it auto-populated to include my potential keyword. This indicates that it’s an actively used phrase.

So is, “meditation for dummies”, and “meditation for teens”, which were two other keyword strings I had found using my keyword tool.

Once you have a list of 10 solid keyword phrases, it’s time to use them to optimize your book page.

We’ll start with adding them into the title and sub-title of my book. All of this is done within your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account.

Your book title short be short and memorable so you might not be able to incorporate a lot of keywords into it, but you can certainly do it in your sub-title!

Example:  One of my book titles is Writer’s Hustle. I didn’t want to stuff keywords into my book title because I wanted it to be memorable.  Instead, I added keywords into my book’s sub-title:  “How to self publish and market your book on Amazon”.

My keywords were: “how to self publish”, and “market your book on Amazon”.

You want to connect with your ideal audience while ranking for specific keywords, but you need to make sure that your sub-title makes sense. Don’t just stuff a bunch of keywords into it.  Both your title and sub-title need to communicate directly with your audience and motivate them to one-click your book.

Next, add your keywords into your book’s description, and within the keyword field (make sure to use all 7 spots!).

When publishing my paranormal romance novel, I chose the following keywords after using Amazon’s auto-populating search bar because it helped me identify phrases that readers of paranormal romance were actively using:

Keep in mind that you don’t have to enter in single keywords. You can enter in long-tail keyword phrases as well.  Just don’t waste space by using the same keywords that you’ve used in your book title or sub-title as you’ll already rank for those.

You can also add keywords into the “About” page connected to your book, as well as in the “Editorial comments” section.  You access that section through your Author Central account.

Tip: I always copy and paste my best review into the “Editorial Comments” section as well as above the book description in order to provide social proof that people are enjoying the book.  I also use reviews that include the keywords I am hoping to rank for.

Give it a try!

Posted by Kate

Kate is a New York Times Bestselling author who loves making money from all things writing. When she isn't writing romance novels or business guides, she's usually found creating tools and resources that help other writers cash in on their skills.

Leave a Comment!