top of page

Conquering The Keyword Research Battlefield

Data Abundance

In 2023 Amazon PPC managers are facing a new challenge - data abundance. With tools like Brand Analytics, Helium 10, Jungle Scout, and Data Dive keyword harvesting has never been easier. But with too much data, how do we sort and determine which keywords are the most important for our products? That’s where Ritu Java’s Keyword Battlefield Strategy comes in. It allows us to launch our products, initiate the ranking process, and maintain some level of profitability.

Keyword Ranking Strategies Over Time

In the past, sellers were able to leverage different tactics to help rank products faster, but if you’ve been in the Amazon space for a while I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of these tactics that are now considered black or grey hat by Amazon. But long gone are the days of giveaways, super URLs, and Search Find Buys.

While some sellers still use old strategies like the keyword graduation method, which involves running an auto campaign and harvesting converting terms into exact match, this process can be time-consuming. Fortunately, with the abundance of data available to us, we can largely skip this step.

Keyword Buckets

First, let's define the three different keyword buckets we will use to sort our keyword master list:

Goal Keywords - These keywords have a search volume of +2000, are short-tail, highly relevant, and are nearly impossible to rank for on day one. Brands that currently rank for these keywords have likely been there for some time, with large review counts. Building relevancy for these keywords can be very challenging, so we consider them out of reach for now.

Stepping Stone Keywords - These are long-tail keywords with a search volume of 300-2000. They are comparatively easier to rank for. When selecting these keywords, ensure they describe your product accurately. They often contain your seed keyword, helping you build relevancy with your Goal keywords without competing directly with them.

Related Keywords - This is our final bucket and the one that most sellers ignore. Related keywords are keywords that do not perfectly match your product, but are somewhat similar to your product. Amazon actually uses this internally with loose-match campaigns. Most sellers do not harvest these loose matches, but these keywords can provide help create relevancy and entryway into the Goal keywords over time.

The Battlefield

Imagine playing an Amazon selling board game with thousands of keywords scattered across the board, all occupied by your competitors. How can we take over space on the board or rank our new product to seize market share from established competitors?

Let's dive into our strategy. The high mountain peaks represent our Goal keywords. To conquer these peaks, we must first gain control over the areas surrounding them. These smaller mountains surrounding the higher ones symbolize our stepping-stone keywords. Additionally, we have related keywords flanking the backside, allowing us to attack from all sides and ensuring no gaps in our full-funnel advertising strategy.

The idea is to conquer the Stepping Stone keywords initially. By doing so, we build relevancy and history on our short-tail, high-volume Goal keywords. Let's consider the example of a garlic press, kitchen essentials, and garlic crusher. These keywords fall into our Goal keyword category based on their search volume, and realistically, there's no chance of ranking for them on day one.

So how do we reach the top of these crucial keywords? We focus on long-tail keywords like "garlic press stainless steel" and "stainless steel garlic press rocker." These keywords have lower search volume, incorporate the seed keyword, and are less competitive.

Smart kitchen gadgets can be classified as a related keyword. While it's not an exact match for a garlic press, it belongs to the same category, helping us build relevancy for kitchen essentials. At this point, you might be wondering about our important Goal keywords. We still need to pursue them, but with a low bid to ensure we stay profitable.

Finding Keywords

We start our keyword research with Amazon’s product Opportunity Explorer. This gives us a much better starting point than Helium 10’s Cerebro because Amazon is giving us your closest competitors' data.

Using our garlic press example from above, when we put that into the product opportunity explorer, Amazon will give us our 3 related niches for this seed keyword.

We can then drill down into the products tab where you will find a list of all the products that are ranking or getting conversions. This is where we will extract our competitor ASINs.

Next, we will go to the search terms field and extract all of the search terms in that niche.

Now we can take the list of ASINs over to our keyword research tool like Helium 10 or Jungle Scout knowing that we are starting our research with the right products and keywords.

Campaign Setup

We can then combine the keyword lists from Amazon and our keyword research tool, making one master list. We set up our keyword sorting list using search volume descending, word count, relevancy score, and checkboxes to make the sorting easier.

The word count column is used to help us quickly understand where our Goal, related, and Stepping Stone keywords are. Goal keywords will typically be 2 words but make sure to pay attention to the search volume, Stepping Stones will be 3 or more, and related can be single words.


Finally, we have our results comparing our old method and our new method. For ASINs 3 and 4 we used our old ranking strategy where we did not segment our high-volume search terms. ASINs 1 and 2 we applied our Keyword Battlefield Strategy. As you can see, the ranking results are pretty clear after 2 months. ASINs 3 and 4 are ranking for 237 keywords on page one, while ASINs 1 and 2 only ranking for 14 keywords.

These results can vary and depend on your product's pricing, budget, and listing optimization. This comparison is the best we can come up with for apples-to-apples since it was tested on the same brand and niche.

Small Seller's Side Note: We do get very aggressive on launches, aiming between 50%-80% ACoS, make sure you have clear launch goals.


The evolving landscape of Amazon in 2023 requires a fresh approach to keyword ranking strategies. Using this method of sorting and prioritizing keywords into strategic buckets can help us achieve better results for our Amazon ranking efforts.

Using the battlefield analogy can help us illustrate our strategy's core concept. Sellers should aim to conquer the Stepping Stone Keywords first, gaining control of surrounding areas before targeting the high-volume Goal Keywords. By attacking from all sides, sellers ensure a strategic approach to keyword ranking and minimize gaps in their strategy.

Ritu Java, CEO of PPC Ninja joins Sourcing Monster to talk about her Keyword Battlefield Strategy

PPC Ninja is a powerful software helping agencies and brand owners increase their advertising efficiency with cutting edge techniques such as the Bid Sufficiency model, Zero Sales Algorithm, Placements X-Ray and more. Sign up for a 14-day free trial here.

If this post sparked your interest, leave us a comment or a question!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page