What is “Search, Find, Buy” for SEO Rankings Boost on Amazon?

If you’ve recently heard the phrase “search find buy” with regard to selling products on Amazon, then its likely that you are looking to optimize your product’s ranking in the organic search results. Below we’ll look at what exactly “search find buy” refers to, why it is (or isn’t) a “thing”, and if it really offers you an Amazon rankings boost.

When it comes to optimizing for search on the Amazon Marketplace, there are basically two options: running paid search ads, and optimizing for organic search placement. The latter, often referred to as Amazon SEO, is generally the most cost-effective way to generate sales from Amazon’s search engine. Because of this, many Amazon channel managers and brand managers break out all of the stops to maximize how optimized their product listing pages are for organic search. This includes putting keywords in the product title, including all relevant keywords in your bullets and search terms fields, and overall optimizing your listing page to convert visits to sales.

What exactly is Search-Find-Buy on Amazon?

Search, Find, Buy (SFB) refers to how consumers successfully use the search interface on Amazon to discover and purchase products. Quite literally, first they search using a keyword. Then they find a given product (or several). And lastly, they either buy that product or they don’t. Each time someone completes the process of searching, finding and buying a product we can deem this a success. Its a success for Amazon as they will now charge a commission (typically 15%) to the third-party seller. Its also a success for the brand being sold, as that’s a successful sale which should add to the brand’s profitability.

Does SFB boost rankings on Amazon?

Many marketers believe that Amazon keeps track of each time a customer searches on a keyword and then purchases (or doesn’t purchase) a product. Here’s an example:

Let’s say 100 people search on “garlic press” on Amazon. 30 of them click Product A and 5 end up purchasing. 30 also click on Product B, and 10 end up buying. In this case, Product B was more successful at converting the search to a completed purchase. As such, Amazon would then deem Product B to be more relevant for the keyword “garlic press” and thus deserving of ranking higher in the organic search results.

This intuitively makes sense. After all, Amazon has a vested interest in making it easier for customers to find what they want in the search results. Its a better user experience, and also translates into more sales for Amazon. So boosting a product’s rankings for a given keyword when it performs well makes good business sense for Amazon.

But does it actually work this way?

I do believe that when a customer searches on a given keyword, clicks on your product, and buys it – that this has a positive impact on how your product ranks for that keyword in the organic search results. We can test this, in a way, by running very specific paid search campaigns targeting only exact-match keywords we wish to also improve the organic rankings for. More on this below.

Simply put, a successful search-find-buy session is the clearest sign of product relevance possible for Amazon. And we can tell from footprints in the Amazon URL that they are indeed following the keyword search each time you visit a product page. Go do a search on Amazon right now and click on a product. Then look at the URL on that product’s page that you are on. You are likely to see a parameter in the URL that looks something like this: &keywords=garlic%2Bpress

How do you optimize for Search Find Buy on Amazon

When we’re discussing Amazon SEO, search-find-buy refers to any tactic or strategy that one might leverage in order to increase the likelihood that a customer searching on a given keyword will 1) find your listing and 2) complete a purchase after searching on a given keyword.

  1. Include your top keywords in your product title
    Customers see your product title in the search results before they click on your listing. They don’t see your bullet points there in the search results. So make sure to include your top keywords in your product title. This will help confirm for them that your product matches what they just searched on, making them more likely to click (“find”) your listing.
  2. Use images 2 through 7 to target those keywords
    Include infographics, tables and other wording in your images for images 2 through 7, such that it reinforces (and literally mentions) your top keywords. Consider the keyword and whatever features or aspects about it might be top of mind for the buyer. For example, if the keyword is “stainless steel garlic press” then you might want to emphasize on image #2 that the product is made of stainless steel and resists rust.
  3. Discounting – sell new products on the cheap!
    Price does matter, and lower prices (as well as coupons) can help to move units. When you have a new product, it might make sense to sell at a low price in order to maximize your conversion rate for all keywords across the board.
  4. Run exact-match paid advertising on target keywords
    We believe that customers doing a search-find-buy even from paid ads can help your ranking in organic search. As such, you might want to aggressively bid on certain exact match keywords that you are trying to improve your ranking on, in conjunction with the above recommendations. This might even mean doing so while running at a net loss temporarily (say for 30 days).
  5. Paid SFB Services (against TOS)
    There are “black hat” services that offer to have many customers manually complete this action for you – where you pay them and they will have shoppers search on your keyword, scroll to find and click on your listing, and then purchase the product. Since they are buying the product at full price, this tends to be quite an expensive effort. Its also important to note that this is clearly against Amazon’s terms of service (TOS), and thus using a service like this is running the risk of getting your account shut down. For this reason, we do NOT recommend using such a service.

Lastly, its also worth mentioning that you might consider rotating the keywords you are running search-find-buy on over time. That is to say that this is not a set-it-and-forget-it tactic. You can target a given keyword for a month or two and then after achieving a baseline ranking in the search results that you are pleased with, perhaps opt to then trim your PPC bids and adjust your title and initial images to shift to targeting another keyword for the next month or two. Each time, results should actually come a bit easier as with each successive iteration you’ll likely have a better sales velocity and greater number reviews that your listing is starting with.

About the Author

Jon Payne

Jon is the founder and lead consultant of Vocational Media Group. He works directly with brands to increase their sales on Amazon, while also tightly controlling costs and protecting margins. Jon also practices what he preaches, by building, acquiring and operating his own private label brands on the Amazon Marketplace.

Vocational Media Group is a digital marketing agency located just outside of Charlotte, NC. We specialize in full-service SEO for businesses looking to improve their presence in Google, as well as Amazon FBA channel management to include Amazon SEO and PPC campaign management.


Vocational Media Group LLC
2058 Carolina Place Drive
Fort Mill, SC 29708