Key Points About Compelling Copy and Keywords on Amazon with Karon Thackston

This week, Seller Labs’ Tyler Henderson spoke with one of the best, most experienced, and most-successful copywriters in the e-commerce space, Karon Thackston of Marketing Words. She talked about the key points of compelling copy and keywords on Amazon. Karon shared her best practices and answered questions in this Facebook Live, she also offered our audience a special deal on her gold-standard eBook, Amazon Advantage: Product Listing Strategies to Boost Your Sales. Go to and use code AMZ20 for $10 off this must-read.

Do your listings have copy that converts? Join the discussion with Tyler and Karon Thackston of to talk about writing compelling copy, common keyword mistakes, and keyword tiers.

Posted by Seller Labs on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Karon Thackston’s Key Points About Compelling Copy and Keywords

Copy is compelling when it connects the content with the reader.

It is impossible to be all things to all people, and it’s impossible to write copy that is all things to all audiences. Focus on your niche and reaching the shoppers who read your listings and think, “I’m in the right place, these people are going to give me what I’m looking for.”

Specificity is important. Don’t focus on the most words or the longest listings or on keyword stuffing. Space for copy is limited so don’t waste it on the wrong kind of traffic (lookers vs. buyers). Don’t keyword stuff. 95% of keywords you use should be extremely relevant, not just related to what you think might get your listing in front of someone who might be interested.

Remember that you are looking for clicks and conversions more than traffic and impressions. Your search terms should be more targeted and more relevant than broad. This is not about casting a wide net so much as speaking to the right audience and appealing to them.

How Do You Test for Relevance?

  1. Search Amazon using the terms you would use to describe your product. Does your product come up or do you get a whole different genre of items instead?
  2. Can you substitute A for B? If you sell plastic dinner plates, you may be tempted to use keywords like “plastic container” or “plastic box” because you think that will bring more people in. But are those the right people? Not really. How do you know? Substitute those words for “plastic dinner plates” and ask if they are really the same. If not, don’t use those words.

Stuffing with non-relevant words can actually hurt your ranking. Amazon wants buyers, not lookers. If you’re listing is getting lots of traffic but few conversions, Amazon will actually lower your ranking because it is not relevant to the majority of users’ searches.

Be sensitive to regional differences. In some parts of the country, what Karon calls a “jump rope” is actually called a “skip rope.” Not using “skip rope” in such a listing would be not speaking to an entire region of potential buyers and missing out big time on relevance to them.

Finding Keywords That Are “Different but Relevant”

Synonyms are massive and they likely include words you haven’t thought of. Use a tool like Scope to find the keywords you may have been missing. But don’t just add all of what you find. You want to go beyond the obvious, try to add words that are different but relevant so that you can pick up where other listings are missing these words.

Another good way to find synonyms is to search Amazon using your main keywords and see what comes up. Look at how Amazon populates the search bar as you input more characters. Look at the results and the products most similar to yours. Scan those listings for keywords you might have missed.

Don’t forget to look for keywords in reviews and Q&A. Customers are literally telling you how they describe your product.

If you use a keyword in your title or bullets, you don’t need it on the backend. You can repeat it if necessary in the description, but more is not better and repetition on the frontend (what the shopper sees in the listing) or the backend (the info only you as the seller see and input for the listing) will not help you rank higher.

How to Prioritize: Use Keyword Tiers

  • Tier 1: These are must-have keywords, the few words that you would use if you were severely limited. Ask yourself, “If I could only use 5-10 keywords to rank, what would they be?” Those go in your title.
  • Tier 2: These are the words for which it would be great to rank but it isn’t essential. Once you have these, work them into your bullets.
  • Tier 3: These are so-so for ranking. Use them in the description but don’t focus on them and don’t stuff just to bulk this section up. More is not better!

A Few Reminders

Don’t force it! If you don’t need all 250 backend characters, don’t use them! In fact, don’t write just to fill space.

Always focus on conversions over traffic and SEO.

Not every seller is the same. Some sellers are grandfathered in with features that are no longer available to newer sellers. Amazon rarely rolls changes out all at once and across the board, so don’t go by what you see on some other seller’s listing. Keep your eyes on your listings, your account, and your categories.

Don’t make sweeping changes. Don’t alter all of your listings at once. Make changes to a few and log the changes you make so that you can see how they affect your sales.

Karon can be found at The site is chock full of good stuff and we recommend the blog. Visit and use code AMZ20 for $10 off Karon’s Amazon Advantage: Product Listing Strategies to Boost Your Sales ebook.

Lena R. Liberman

Lena is the Ignite Marketing Specialist at Seller Labs. She has nearly 20 years of marketing and product experience, heavily concentrated in the fields of technology, publishing, education, and commerce. When not gathering information and writing about it, Lena can be found restoring vintage furniture or hiking with her dogs.

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