Optimize the book page for Amazon and other retailers

“Optimize the book page? Do I need to care about that?” I get why you don’t seem to bother with optimizing the book page.

After all, you already do all the things that can get your ideal readers to buy your book.

You make sure that your book is well-edited and well-formatted.

You also already make sure to get a professional book cover design that fits the genre you write.

Pretty much you already do all the things that you need to do generate sales for your book.

Congratulations on putting the effort to make your book as professionally done as possible.

Making your book to look professionally done is important. But your effort will be fruitless if your readers can’t find your book on Amazon and other retailers.

So, how can you get your readers to come across your book when they’re searching for the next book to read on Amazon?

The answer is simple. You need to optimize your book page. 

What most authors don’t understand about Amazon

Many authors don’t realize that the search bar on Amazon works just like Google. Whenever you type something in the search bar, it will give you the keyword suggestions.

So, how does Amazon is able to provide you with the keyword suggestions whenever you type something in the search bar?

Well, all of the keyword suggestions that you see are based on what people are typing in the search bar. Amazon algorithm collects all of the keywords that people type in the search bar and present it to you with the keyword suggestion when you’re searching for something similar.

It will then present to you the search result based on the keyword that you type in the search bar.

All the things that you see in the search result will only appear if your keyword matches the keywords that are being used on the product page.

Imagine if you optimize the book page using the keyword that you see from the keyword suggestion.

Not only your readers will come across your book, but they will also click on the link to the book page.

Keep in mind that the search result isn’t the only way for your readers to discover your book.

But that’s the only way for us to be in control of how our readers discover our book. The rest of the book discovery process is highly dependant on other factors that we can’t control.

How to optimize the book page for Amazon

Now that you already know about what Amazon really is and why it’s important to optimize the book page, you need to find the best keyword for your book.

But the question is how do you find one?

The first thing you need to do is to put yourself in your readers’ shoes.

If you know a lot about your target readers, it’s not so hard to think about what kind of keywords your readers are using when they’re searching for your book.

Once you already know the keywords that your readers are likely to use, put that keyword in the Amazon search bar and see what comes out.

Do you see any books appear in the search result? If there is, what kind of books are they? Are the books similar to the type of books you write?

If you answer yes to all questions, you get yourself the best keywords for your book.

Other ways to find keywords for your book

Remember that you can add up to seven keywords when you upload your book on KDP. That may not seem a lot to some authors, but it can be a huge struggle if you don’t know what else to put in the keyword list section.

If that’s you, then take a look at your book category. Some categories aren’t included when you upload the book on KDP. If you realize that the book category you want isn’t available on KDP, you can get into the book category you want if you add the book category in your keyword list.

What’s more, you can also add the category filter as your keyword too.

To illustrate my point, let’s take a look at my Trigger Locked series.

My Trigger Locked series is a technothriller, hard science fiction. It’s not a problem for me to find the hard science fiction subcategory since it’s already included in the category list on KDP.

But technothriller category isn’t available on KDP. Instead, it’s known as technological.

Sure, putting my book in the technological category will automatically put my book in the technothriller subcategory. But to be on the safe side, I still include technothriller as one of my seven keyword list because I want my book to be listed under technothriller subcategory.

If you take a look at Mystery, Thriller and Suspense category on Amazon, you’ll notice that you can filter the search result to get the type of books you want.

Prefer to read a comedy thriller novel? Just tick comedy and the search result will only show you the books that fall into comedy.

The good news is you can make your book appears in the filtered search result. You can do that by listing down all the filter keywords in your keyword list section.

Amazon already creates the keyword lists that you can use to make your book appears on the filtered search result. You can take a look at the list right here to find the keyword for your book’s category. Scroll down the page and you’ll see Categories with keyword requirements heading. That’s your source for finding another keywords to include in the keyword section.

If you’re like me who writes thriller and suspense novels, you can take a look at the keyword list right here

It’s just the beginning

Finding the right keyword isn’t just about finding the keywords that match your book. The keywords should also be the keywords that your readers are using when they’re searching for similar books like your books.

Keep in mind that not all keywords will create the exposure you desire for your book. It’s pointless to optimize the book page with the keyword that only a handful of people are using.

And let’s not forget the competitions. There’s no doubt that other books are targeting the same keywords as your book too.

In other words, it’s not enough to slap your keyword list with any keywords.

You need to be sure that a lot of people are indeed using those keywords when they’re searching for similar books. And the keywords that you’re using aren’t that competitive.

That’s where the keyword research comes in.

How to do keyword research for your book

There are two ways for you to do the keyword research for your book. You can choose to do it the manual way or with the help of a keyword research tool specifically for books.

The manual way

The manual way requires you to find the keywords based on Amazon’s keyword suggestions.

From there, you can see how many books appear on the search result. If you see many books appear on the search result, it means that many authors are indeed using that same keyword to optimize their book page.

Want to know if the keyword is generating traffic or not? Take a look at the first book that appears on the search result and examines the sales rank.

If the sales rank is 10,000 and lower, it indicates that the keyword has a decent amount of traffic.

You can then repeat the same process for other keywords.

I don’t recommend you to do the keyword research the manual way because it takes a lot of time. And let’s not forget it’s tedious too.

But if you’re just starting out and you want to do the keyword research the manual way, you can take a look at Nick Stephenson’s free video training.

In this free video training, Nick will break it down on how to do the manual keyword research in much more detail than what I outline here.

Using a keyword research tool

If you want to save time on doing the keyword research for your book, then I highly suggest you invest in the keyword research tool.

The good thing about using the keyword research tool is that you can simply get the data on the keywords you need without having to visit the Amazon website itself.

With the keyword research tool, not only you will get data about the keywords you’re planning to use. But the tool can also provide you with the data on other keywords similar to your keywords as well.

Now that you already sold with the idea of using the keyword research tool to save time when you do keyword research, which keyword research tool you should need?

Well, there are quite a few keyword research tools that you can use out there.

But the one I highly recommend is Publisher Rocket. This is the keyword research tool I use to optimize my book page. I even list Publisher Rocket on my resources page as well.

What I love about Publisher Rocket is that you can use it not just to find keywords that people are using on Amazon, but also the keywords that people use when they’re searching for books on Google.

Even better? Publisher Rocket can also tell you how many books are using the same keywords, the average monthly earnings of the books that are using the keyword and how easy it is for your book to rank with that keyword thanks to the software’s competitive score.

It’s not that hard to determine how easy or how hard it is to get your book ranked with the competitive score. The higher the competitive score, the harder it is for your book to rank on Amazon.

Apart from doing keyword research, you can also use Publisher Rocket to discover bestselling book categories in seconds and find profitable keywords for Amazon ads.

Publisher Rocket is currently available for only $97 for lifetime access. If you’re interested in getting Publisher Rocket, I highly recommend you to get it now before it becomes a monthly subscription. With such a robust keyword research tool, I won’t be surprised at all if Publisher Rocket will eventually become a monthly subscription for the years to come.

What’s next

Now that you already find the best keywords for your book, you can then list these keywords in the keyword list section of your book page.

Want to increase the chance for your book to be in the category you want or be included in the search result?

Well, you can also list these keywords in your book description too.

Always keep in mind that you must write your book description for human, not for the Amazon algorithm.

What I mean by that is you shouldn’t be stuffing your book description with keywords.

Sure, doing that will make the Amazon algorithm pick your book and include it in the search result whenever somebody is searching for your book.

But it won’t get anyone to buy your book if the only thing they see is a gibberish book description.

At the end of the day, your goal is to get your ideal readers to buy your book. Amazon algorithm can only go so far to get your book discovered by your ideal readers. It’s the compelling book description that will get your readers to take the plunge to buy your book.

Bonus: How to write a book description that sells

You already know how important it is to have a book description that can convert into sales. But how do you write such book description?

Fortunately, writing a book description isn’t as hard as you think when you have someone that can guide you to do just that.

If you’re struggling to write a book description for your book, I highly recommend you to get the book Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen.

It’s thanks to his book that I was able to write a book description on my own.

With Sizzling Synopsis, not only you will be able to write a synopsis that can pull your readers to wanting to buy your book. But you can also be able to write a compelling call-to-action that seals the deal.

Okay, I admit that it sounds over the top for some of you. But that’s how I feel whenever I use the book as a reference to write my book description.

Alternatively, you can choose to hire him to write the book description for you if you’re still struggling to write the book description yourself.

But if you don’t want to hire anyone to write the book description for you, then the book Sizzling Synopsis will do just fine.

How to optimize the book page for other retailers

So far, we’ve been talking a lot about how to optimize the book page for Amazon. What about other retailers then? Does the process is the same as Amazon?

In all honesty, other retailers aren’t as sophisticated as Amazon. That makes it even harder for you to generate sales on other retailers because you can’t get much data from their websites.

But then again, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give the other retailers a shot.

So, what you should do if you want to generate sales on other retailers?

One of the ways for you to do that is to get a merchandising deal with the other retailers.

The good news is it’s not as daunting as you think.

If you have a free book and you already go direct with Kobo, you can ask them to include your book in their free book list.

As for other retailers that you don’t go direct, you can always ask the ebook aggregator to ask for the merchandising deal on your behalf.

Let’s say you’re using Smashwords to distribute and you want your book to be featured on Apple Books Store. You can ask Smashwords customer service if they can do that for you.

To be honest, I never ask other retailers for the merchandising deals. So, I can’t say for sure whether a quick email will get you the merchandising deal with them or not.

But if you want to expand your sales beyond Amazon, then it doesn’t hurt to ask them whether they can include your book in the merchandising deal or not.

Even if you don’t plan to optimize the book page for other retailers, you can still use the same optimized book description and the keyword lists on other retailers as well.

That’s what I did with all the books that I distribute through Smashwords and PublishDrive. They all have the same book description and the keyword lists like the one on Amazon.