Understanding Keywords and Search Terms Within Amazon Sponsored Products

Understanding the Amazon Sponsored Products platform is no easy feat. And whether you’re a rookie or a veteran to Sponsored Products, it can be a semantical nightmare. One of the easiest ways to understand keywords and search terms within Sponsored Products is to run ads and check your results. Amazon provides a mountain of data through search term reports on every campaign you run. With some patience and time, you’ll soon understand your top keywords and search terms. Knowing this information will enable you to optimize your ads and detail pages for maximum profitability.

Defining Keywords within Sponsored Products

A keyword is a word used to define a Sponsored Products ad. You define the keywords you want to use when running a manual campaign.

Defining Search Terms within Sponsored Products

A search term is a string of keywords that a shopper types into Amazon search to find a product. Depending on your keyword match type, Amazon will match search terms with keywords to display the most relevant products and ads.

Keywords and Search Terms

Let’s get a more nuanced view of keywords and search terms, and how the effect your Amazon Sponsored Products ads. Let’s look at an example from a Sponsored Products campaign I’m running for an apple slicer. Here’s a list of the keywords that I’m running ads for:


If you look at the top, you’ll see that there are 52 search terms associated with the keyword “corers”. You’ll also see that there are 18 search terms associated with the keyword “apple cutter”.
Upon clicking the keyword “corers”, we see that Amazon is displaying my ad for the search term “pineapple corer slicer”. You’ll notice I haven’t received any clicks. This is important information because I can now see the search terms I want to convert into negative keywords. So I can move the search term “pineapple” to my negative keywords list because my apple slicer isn’t relevant for shoppers looking for a tool to slice pineapples.


I can dig even deeper by downloading the search term report for my ad campaign. To do this, log into Seller Central. Click on Advertising>Campaign Manager>Ad reports (on the right)>Search Term Report>Request Report.

What I found various search terms shoppers use to find my apple slicer in my search term report for the keyword “apple slicer”. Since my bid is greater than the suggested bid, I am most likely getting the maximum number of potential impressions—unless my daily budget is maxed out. I can now use this information to optimize my ads and detail page.

Optimization Tips

Now that you know the difference between keywords and search terms, and you know where to find your search term reports, it’s time to go over some basic keyword optimizations for your ad campaigns.

Tip #1

If the search term report is showing terms that do not relate to your product, move those terms to your campaign’s negative keyword list. This is done by digging into the ASINs of each ad campaign within Sponsored Products and deactivating the keyword you want to make negative and then adding it to the negative keyword list.

Tip #2

If your bid is high and you’re still not seeing many impressions for your keyword, you may need to optimize your product detail page to make sure your search terms are relevant. Amazon matches the search terms to the listing to determine relevance. Use your search term report to beef up your product title, bullet points and product description for relevant search terms.

Final Thoughts

The Sponsored Products search term report is a valuable asset because it gives you information on what users are actually searching for to find your product. The search term report will give you 60 days worth of data. The longer or more aggressive you’ve been running ads, the better the search terms will be.
Think of the keywords you use to run ads as a silo, which then holds the search terms shoppers use to find your products. The difference between the two is subtle but imperative in determining your products’ relevance and discoverability on Amazon.

Automate your ads with Ignite, our new Amazon Sponsored Products advertising tool.

Stay Up to Date on All Things Amazon and eCommerce

    A cup and a folder

    We're sharing all the secrets it takes to be a successful Amazon seller.

    This tell-all guide goes back in the vault soon, so act now!

    Unlock Access