Keyword research is an important part of any online marketing campaign, including affiliate marketing campaigns. Keywords are used to drive search engine traffic, and without them, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to generate much in the way of traffic at all.
To ensure that your website generates enough traffic to make money, you should perform keyword research to figure out which keywords are most relevant to your business and your products/services.
This way, you can use these keywords in your website copy and content to get targeted visitors who are searching for what you have to offer specifically.
What is Keyword Research?
Before you can start writing any content, you need to know what keywords people are searching for that relate to your topic. Then, once you write content, you can optimize it so that it shows up in search results when someone searches those specific terms.
If you own an affiliate website or are thinking about starting one, keyword research is one of your most important tasks.
Without good keywords, no one will ever see your content and without good content, no one will buy anything from your site.
Nowadays there are lots of tools out there that will help you with keyword research; there's also plenty of free options too (like Google Adwords). Let's take a look at each tool and then talk about how to perform keyword research for your affiliate website.
Many marketers recommend getting familiar with some free keyword analysis tools like Google Adwords first before diving into expensive pay-per-click (PPC) ones like SEMrush.
If we talk about SEMrush:
The free version won't give you quite as much data or powerful insights as to the paid one, it will still show very valuable information like monthly search volume per keyword, cost per click pricing information, related words/phrases, etc.
The interface of SEMrush is pretty intuitive and easy enough to learn quickly even if you've never used a similar service before.
Get started by entering a few seed keywords relevant to your niche and start analyzing data right away. You'll be amazed how much useful information you get just from typing a few words into a box.
Next, let's talk about using Moz:
Moz is probably one of my favorite websites because not only do they have all sorts of helpful content but they're also constantly updating their software and coming up with innovations and techniques.
Their free keyword research tool is cool: Just enter in some keywords and press enter, then you'll get back tons of great data including suggestions for high traffic competition keywords.
For example, I put in the keyword “Affiliate SEO” which is quite competitive.
I got back multiple suggestions based on that root word including search engine optimization which has approximately 30k-70k monthly searches according to Moz.
So now I know exactly what term I should start optimizing for if I was looking to build an affiliate site targeted at beginners who want tips on improving their SEO strategy.
Find Keywords in your Niche
This is probably one of, if not THE most important step in keyword research. This is because you need to get an idea of how popular certain keywords are in your niche.
If there are very high search volumes it could mean there’s more demand for your product, but if it’s too competitive then you may have a hard time getting on page 1 of Google.
One of my favorite tools that I use all of the time is called Google Adwords Keyword Planner. With just a few clicks you can get hundreds of different keywords that people are searching on Google every month.
Now it’s time to dig deeper and try and find some long-tail keywords. You want to start by finding low competition long-tail keywords with low search volume so they will be easier to rank for and easier to convert into sales.
It's also a good idea to track your progress over time so you'll know exactly what works and what doesn't work within your affiliate marketing campaign or specific niche. It's also worth mentioning that Moz allows you to check your rankings for every keyword you enter.
They don't give you exact numbers of where you rank but instead an indicator of popularity and difficulty. This is a huge feature for anyone who wants to figure out whether it would be easier to try and optimize for a more competitive keyword phrase instead of one less common.
There are certainly other paid alternatives to perform keyword research that may work better for your business depending on your needs.
Here's a brief overview of 2 of our favorites: SEMrush - With almost limitless features, plan prices start from $99/month depending on the number of projects and keywords looked up.
Once you find a keyword to focus on, make sure to check out its SERP.
This means the search engine result page and will tell you how many websites are currently ranking for that keyword. It might seem obvious, but don't target keywords with hundreds of thousands of competitors!
Instead, pick something more reasonable; maybe 1 - 10K is more realistic for your skill level and budget. It doesn't matter if you choose Moz or SEMrush, both of these sites offer powerful keyword research tools and relatively equivalent features.
But I prefer to stick with a tool that is a little easier to navigate and doesn't force you to download any weird browser add-ons. By trying out both of these suggested services and seeing what works best for you, you'll find a lot more insights than you would otherwise.
This brings us to our next question. How many keywords should I focus on?:
In reality, there is no one answer for everyone when it comes to figuring out how many keywords you should target.
Monitor Competitor Keywords
Once you have chosen your keywords, you must monitor your competitors’ websites regularly. A steady stream of keyword research ensures that you are always one step ahead of your competition.
By monitoring their websites, you can see what keywords they are using in an attempt to rank higher in search engines. This is especially important when your website ranks highly on search engines with strong competition. You can use these tools to see which keywords your competitor is currently targeting and how much traffic each site receives from each keyword.
The more keywords and traffic information you collect, the better equipped you will be at deciding which keywords would be best for your affiliate website. Without detailed keyword analytics, finding quality keywords for your website will be very difficult.
These tools allow you to easily track popular search terms, compare them against other domains, determine if they are long-tail or short-tail keywords, view their monthly search volume, and so much more!
Types of Keywords that you should target
Niche keywords are an essential part of successful affiliate marketing. Niche keywords are related to your niche but very specific.
For example, you would choose the best curly hair products as a niche keyword. You can also use broad or general keywords, but they tend not to convert as well as niche keywords.
These types of words include curly hair and hair care. How do you determine which keyword type is best? It’s very simple. Just look at what people search for most often when they’re looking for your product or service online.
If most people are searching with broad/general terms like hair care, then it’s probably best to start with those terms in mind. But if a lot of people are using niche terms like Japanese straightening techniques, then starting on these kinds of phrases might be more effective for growing your website traffic quickly and easily.
Targeting these kinds of highly-specific searches will help get more conversions on your site!
When choosing niches that you want to target, don’t forget about related keywords! Choosing one keyword per page is too narrow; we need variety!
Try several related terms on each page of your site—it will increase visitors and give them multiple places to click while browsing around.
Remember: People will sometimes try several variations (different spelling) before finding what they want.
Target Phrase Match Keywords
To start your research, identify your keywords. Start by deciding which phrase you’re trying to target, then try different combinations of words that people might use when searching for what you’re offering.
Let’s say you’re looking to promote a weight loss supplement. Some possible combinations could be weight loss pills, best weight loss supplements, and natural weight loss aids. It's good practice to pick 2-3 main phrases that best describe your product or service to find potential customers online.
Target Branded Comparison Keywords
This approach is a good option if you have a unique product that is not too competitive. Ideally, it should also be a high-value product so you’re converting many of your visitors into customers. Using branded keywords is an effective way to do keyword research for your affiliate website because there are much fewer bloggers writing about those terms.
With less competition, you have a better chance of making it onto Google’s first page results with branded search terms. In general, it’s safe to use up to five times as many branded keywords as you would non-branded ones.
Target Product reviews keywords
You can use Google AdWords to find product review keyword ideas. If you want more ideas, you can run a search on Google and use their suggestion feature (i.e., Google: MacBook air vs Macbook Hp Probook).
It will suggest keywords related to your seed keywords. I suggest you should copy and paste these into a list in an Excel sheet and then sort them by volume (i.e., most searches per month) and bounce down that list until you find some common phrases that are relevant to your niche/affiliate site.
The process of creating a high-quality affiliate website can seem daunting, but it’s not that difficult. Start by following these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to ranking higher in search engines, attracting more visitors, and making more money.
With so many people looking for valuable information online today, an affiliate website will prove to be an incredibly valuable asset as long as you do your research and plan accordingly!