Kindle Keyword Ranking Percentages: #1 vs. #2

When you type something into Amazon, Amazon responds by using their A9 Algorithm to figure out what products they should show you, and how they should rank them.

This is Kindle Keyword Ranking.

But what you might not know is that the difference in sales is GINORMOUS between the book that ranks #1 and the book that ranks in the #2 spot.

In this article, I will show you that by ranking #1 in an Amazon search, you can estimate 27% of the traffic for that keyword, where as being ranked #2, you only get 12% and #3 you only get 9%.

Basically, the difference between ranking #1 and #3 is a staggering 18% of the number of the customers that will click on your book.

Bonus: Want to learn how to rank your Kindle book #1 on Amazon with our collection of time-tested tips and tricks? Download my free ebook now!

Now, at this point, you can just take that information and move on – knowing the power of ranking well in Amazon and its effect on your sales. Or you can continue reading to find out exactly how I created these numbers.

In this article, you will learn:
  1. Professional research on Market Click Mentality
  2. Google vs. Amazon search results
  3. Percentages of success, based on Keyword Rankings

Yeah, this is pretty advanced, but I love getting into the weeds. The key is, ranking higher in Amazon searches is directly proportional to getting more sales and these numbers will prove it.

The Base Numbers of Google

A couple of years ago, used some magic tactics and was able to record the percentage of clicks on Google based on where that link was ranked.

They found the following:


Notice how quickly the percentage drops as you move from #1 to #2 and down to #5. Ouch!

So, if your website ranks #4 for a Google keyword that gets searched 1000 times per month, your website, on average, will only get 69 visits per month. But if your website ranks #1 for that same term you should expect 312 visitors per month.

That’s a huge difference!

However, as many of my esteemed reading amigos would say:

“So what! That’s Google; we’re talking about Amazon. Big Difference!”

I’d say “Yes and no.”

While Google doesn’t sell products like Amazon, it's important to remember that they both use search engine algorithms to present the information in the same manner – a list. We can, therefore, use this information as a base, and then manipulate the numbers so as to best reflect the differences that Amazon has.

The difference between 1 & 2 #Kindle book in search is 18% more salesClick To Tweet

Sure, there will be a little fudge factor in all of this, however, in the end, this thought experiment should only highlight the grave importance of Kindle Keyword rankings and what they mean for YOUR sales.

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Major Differences That Should Be Accounted For

Below are four factors that would make the click-ability on Amazon different based on different existing factors:

Number of Products on the First Page: On a Google search result, they present ten potential links. On Amazon, they present 14 products per page. Since there are more products and links on Amazon’s pages, and people tend to scroll through the first page, but not necessarily click to the second page, it can be assumed that the products that rank 12-14 will get a higher percentage with Amazon than on Google (which resides on the second page of Google), which thins the others slightly.

RESULT: Reduce #1-3 percentage and increase the rest on the first page

The Existence of Advertisement: Google allows companies to pay for the top spots in the results through the Google Adwords program. Amazon, however, does not at the moment have such a thing for book searches. Therefore, we can assume that the existence of ads on Google causes people to click #3-6 more often than if there weren’t ads. Because, let’s face it, we know which are ads (they say so) and we most likely immediate skip them.

RESULT: Reduce the percentage of clicks for the #3-6

The Shopper Mentality: People who search on Google are usually looking for an answer to something. They’ll search until they've found their answer and many times it’s the first page. Therefore, there aren’t as many extra clicks on the page. Amazon, however, is a shopper’s market. And, have you seen how people shop? My wife can’t just walk into the store and purchase the first thing she likes and leave….NOPE. She’s got to try it all…over, and over…and then come back and hum and haw and then maybe purchase it. Online shoppers are the same, where they will check out many of the products before they choose.  Therefore, with Amazon you can expect more clicks throught a search results than on Google.

RESULT: Reduce #1 spot and #2-3 slightly, while increasing #4-14

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The Existence of a Book Cover: In Google, the only thing people can choose from is the title of the article or website, and the description of that particular page. However, with Amazon, they can see the cover or picture of the product….and let’s face it, people judge a book by its cover. This, therefore causes people to scroll more often and search for a book that has a good cover, as well as title and reviews thus causing the density of clicks to disperse from being top-heavy.

RESULTS: Reduce #1-4 and increase #5-14

Percentage of Clicks on Amazon Final Results

Based on the above factors, I believe the following numbers are a better representation of the click percentages on Amazon:

Clicks on Amazon based on Ranks

So, if you get your book to rank #1 for a Kindle Keyword that get’s 2000 visitors per month, then you can expect about 540 clicks per month for just that targeted keyword! However, if you rank #2, then you can only expect about 240 clicks.

That’s a difference of 300 clicks. That’s a lot of lost potential sales!

Want to know how to find out how many searches per month a Kindle Keyword or phrase gets? Check this out!

Now, for you math whizzes, you probably noticed that those don’t add up to 100%. That’s because not everyone types in a search and clicks something. Sometimes they just don’t like what they see and make another search. As we say in Google talk “they bounce.”

Plus there are other search page results that get some love as well.

DISCLAIMER: Again, these are estimation made by using known statistics, studies, and some market interpretation.  Understand that certain keywords will have WAY higher stats than others.  Example: If someone types in the exact title of a book, I'm sure the #1 spot will get a higher percentage of clicks. Whereas, books with a broad term like “Fantasy” will have wild differences.   And that makes sense, right?  Someone who types in “Fantasy” really doesn't know what they are looking for…but something as specific as an exact title probably means the shopper knows what they want.  So, keep that in mind.

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Finding Amazon Traffic That You Can Rank For

Trying to rank for something that you're not even sure people look for is like being blindfolded and trying to throw a bulls-eye on a dart board that could be on any wall…it's there, but you'll need a lot of throws…or could just get lucky.

However, if you know which topics/keywords/phrases get searched, and you can rank for them, then you have an incredible head start.  That's why I created KDP Rocket.

KDP Rocket will help you find terms/phrases/keywords that people type into Amazon and help you figure out if you can rank for it. It even helps you to find better terms as well.  All you have to do is give it a general idea, and it will do the following:

  • Tell you how many people per month type that into Amazon and Google
  • How many competitors there are and if you can beat them
  • How much money on average books are making ranking for that term
  • Gives suggestions on other terms/phrases/keywords that are close to your original

Basically, KDP Rocket helps validate your book idea so that you know before you start writing your book that it will be discovered and have natural organic Amazon traffic because of its rankings.

Pretty nice, right?

So, What Does it All Mean?

As you can see, where your book ranks for a Kindle keyword can be HUGE difference in the number of sales you get. More importantly, if you can’t rank your book well for a keyword, then you can’t expect the kind of sales that a book at #1 gets.

Again, I know that the above is not an exact science, and I know people can argue left in right about the fudge factors and liberty taken in this. But I am sure we can all agree that the above numbers serve as a good ‘relative’ figure to use when trying to estimate the marketability and discoverability of your book.

Furthermore, things like a good book cover, amazing title, and subtitle, can easily sway people away from the #1 book and click on yours.  But, if you're read my free Kindle Rankings PDF, you'll know that the #1 factor for ranking #1 is having a high Search-Click-Ratio.

If someone does a search, clicks your book and buys it, your rankings will increase – and if it happens enough, you'll be sitting at #1 in no time.

As I've said before, it's important to get your book to show up for a keyword that people actually type in…but it's just as important that you are able to rank well for that term or else your book will not make it.

Don't forget my latest software, KDP Rocket. It's been designed to do exactly what we talked about.  It will tell you how many searches per month terms on Amazon gets, as well as whether or not you can beat the other books and rank well.  Without it, you're just guessing.

Besides, this is the first ever article to talk about that…something I like to do a lot here at Kindlepreneur.



More Keywords and Categories:

If you're interested in more articles like this one, check out our hubs for how to choose the best keywords and categories, as well as our overview of Publisher Rocket.

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10 thoughts on “Kindle Keyword Ranking Percentages: #1 vs. #2

  1. Tbone

    Hey Dave, tried to get your Amazon Kindle Rankings E-Book, at , even tried a different email address I keep as a Private email address … No Luck , are you sure the Link isn’t broken .. I really like all your stuff and I own and try use kindle rocket .. Could use a helpful video on all little secrets about Kindle Rocket please … Tbone

    1. Dave Chesson

      Hmm..not sure what happened there. But no worries. I just sent you the email.

  2. Suzana Scoville

    I love it how you use words so well to show your own love for numbers. Your newsletters are one of the very few I open and read through right away when I get them in my mailbox.

    1. Dave Chesson

      Thanks Suzana….you’ve seriously made my day. There are two fun facts you should know:
      1. When I started, I was told repeatedly that authors don’t care about numbers and this will fail…don’t try to be better…be different.
      2. I get SOOO nervous every time I write an email. With over 15k people on the email list, I imagine that I am giving a speech to 15k person theatre…this makes it so I spend hours on the email each time. Because who wants to be boo’ed off stage. Very nerve wrecking though.

      1. Suzana Scoville

        I can completely relate. I remember reading The Little Prince and how he remarks on adults liking numbers as something that sort of limits imagination… Although I love the book (read and cried over it about 3 times and get his point on the numbers), I believe numbers hold a lot of beauty in them aside from all the practicalities. Maths is basically behind the whole universe!

        Your comment on writing your emails reminded me of this accurate animation:

        (PS. I’ve spent a year in SK, too – I miss kimchi so much!)

        1. Dave Chesson

          Hahaha….that is awesome. Yup. Can’t say I miss the Kimchi, but I do miss the bulgogi and friendship.

  3. Robert_Worstell

    Kinda suspected this. Thanks. Love your KDP Rocket!

    1. Dave Chesson

      Hi Robert. Thanks and glad you’re enjoying it.

  4. Regina Joyce Clarke

    This is great data, but I have to observe–millions of us want to rank #1 on Amazon. #14 works for me, too! But most everyone is in the three-to-five-to-six-digit ranking and no matter how skilled we are at keyword action, only a very few out of those millions–well, even bring it down to hundreds of thousands of us, same thing–can ever get top ranking. There just isn’t room for us all in the spot…be nice if there was another way to get “found.”

    1. Dave Chesson

      Hi Regina. Thanks! I won’t deny that there is more competition on Kindle than there was in the past. In 2011 there were only 500k. Now there are 4.7 million. But with that said, it doesn’t mean that discoverability through Amazon itself is a dead art. It just means that we must be a little wiser if we are depending on that particular tactic to be “found.” Hopefully with data like above, authors can start to see the fuller picture.

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