Many online advertisements tell us that affiliate marketing is easy, and you can earn a large amount of money from it. While I agree you can make a lot of money as an affiliate marketer, It is not as easy as some make it out to be. If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, you must find and use the right keywords in your content.
Why should you research keywords for your affiliate marketing?
Keyword research is critical for page ranking on search engines like Google, where roughly 90% of all searches flow through. Statistics show that only 25% of people go to the second page of search results, and 75 percent of users stay to the first page of search results.
As you can see, if sites do not rank on the first page of search results (especially Google), then they miss out on a ton of potential visitors. Fewer visitors mean less revenue, and that’s never a good thing. When you have first-page rank status, you will receive a great deal of organic (free) traffic. Sites that are not on the first page will often pay handsomely for search engine ads to get visitors.
To increase traffic to your site and rank high in search results, you will have to take keywords and the research involved seriously. Do not worry because we will cover ways to leverage keywords in addition to keyword research throughout this article.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process in which you look for terms (keywords) that people search for most often in search engines that you can use in your content to increase page rank. Sounds simple right? Well, it can be depending on your niche. If you are in a saturated market, you will find it more difficult to rank high because of competition. Engaging in keyword research and utilizing the many tools on the market will help you climb the ranking ladder.
Basics of affiliate marketing SEO
The basics of affiliate marketing SEO consist of the following:
- Quality and informative content for your readers
Google changes its algorithm regularly. However, one thing Google seems to be passionate about is providing quality content to its users. Quality content will often decrease page bounce rate. Bounce rate means the percentage of visitors that go to your site then quickly leave without exploring your other pages. A site that contains quality information for its visitors is likely to have a lower bounce rate and rank better.
Below is an example of the average bounce rate for certain websites. Here you can see that blogs, landing pages, and non-eCommerce content sites suffer the worst for bounce rates. As an affiliate marketer, your site will probably fall into one of the three categories I just mentioned.
- Write an attractive title and description meta tags
An appealing title that contains your target keywords and is relevant to the content are significant to SEO. Keep your title under 60 characters if you want it fully seen on Google. Long titles will not negatively affect your ranking. Sometimes longer titles are better when targeting long-tail keywords.
Here is an example of a title and meta tag on Google.
Another best practice for writing meta tags is to avoid keyword stuffing. As you can see in the image above, the meta tag is informative, concise, and easily readable. Lastly, make sure your meta tags are different for each of your pages.
- Page speed
Your website’s speed is one of the many factors judging page rank. Longer loading pages and slower sites will have lower rankings than faster sites. Remember, Google’s job is to get quality content to its users as fast as possible. If you have a slow site, don’t expect high rankings.
The good news is that you can check your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. A site is often bogged down with too many plugins, conflicting plugins, or the wrong plugins in general.
Another way to increase your site’s page speed is to optimize your images.
- Optimize your images
Image optimization is an essential component of SEO and page speed, as mentioned previously. Optimizing your images is simple with the help of plugins. There are various plugins available for condensing images. You will want a plugin for this task to shrink your image’s file size without negatively impacting quality.
- Internal links and backlinks
Internal links are the links you have on your website that direct people to different pages throughout your site. Backlinks are just the opposite. Backlinks are links from external sites that bring people to your website. An example of this would-be social media posts that contain a link to your site. Another example is external websites such as blogs that reference your website and include links in their content to drive traffic to your site.
- Write long-form content
Studies show that long-form content outperforms short-form content consistently. For that reason, I recommend you include long-form in some of your content. Long-form content is typically very informative to the reader and touches on specific points on any given topic. This article is an example of long-form content.
Be sure that your content is relevant to the topic at hand when creating it. Do not write for the sake of reaching a specific word count. If the page requires 3,000 plus words, then write it! Nevertheless, if a page calls for only 500 words to get your point across to the audience, do not stretch it out.
Here is an excellent example of how long-form outperforms short-form.
Criteria that keywords should meet
When engaging in keyword research, there are elements you must be mindful of. They are search volume and keyword difficulty. Every tool is a bit different by the way they rank specific criteria. For this section, we will use parameters from the tool Ahrefs.
- Volume – This is the estimation of the average number of search results monthly for a keyword. The best keyword would be the one with 1000 or more searches per month.
- Keyword Difficulty – Gives an estimate of how hard it is to rank in the top 10 of organic search results for a keyword on a 100-point scale. The best keyword difficulty score is up to 20-25.
Find niches you can cover
On Reddit, you can find keyword ideas and discover new niches you may have never heard of.
If you were to write about fitness, for example, and wanted to narrow down your target audience, then this is a way to do it. By taking these steps, you can find new niches.
As you can see from the example above, we have narrowed down our target audience and found a new niche, “working out with your own body weight.” You can then select and look through the hot topic discussions for keyword ideas. You also can check out the FAQs to find subjects and keywords to cover in any given niche.
Quora is known for getting answers to questions. If you want to find what people are asking about, then Quoras is an excellent source to use. Some answers to the questions here may not be found with a simple Google search. If that’s the case, competition could be lower for a specific niche or the keywords you find.
When you first sign up for Quora, you will be asked to select areas of interests or broad niches. For this example, we will stick with fitness. Now that we narrowed down our search for niches, we can look for keywords to target.
You might consider targeting keywords that involve pull-ups and why they are a favorite bodyweight only workout from the above results.
Also, Reddit and Quora are both unique ways to drive traffic to your site with backlinks while you answer questions or converse about topics that relate to your niche. These platforms are precious resources you can use to bring awareness to your site and build up trust and authority in your market.
Find keywords that you will use on your website
There are multiple ways and programs to help you find keywords. Let’s talk about a few of them.
Google Trends is a magnificent free tool that you can use to see how popular specific keywords are being searched currently and in the past.
As you can see from the chart above, the keywords “become an affiliate marketer” are being searched for more often and are growing in interest.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is typically used for finding keywords to run advertisements on Google.
Shown above is the average number of searches along with competition and bid price for ads.
You are also given keyword ideas and the option to refine your keywords.
Ahrefs is another SEO tool you can use for finding keywords, training, and more. One way to use Ahrefs to find keywords is to see what your competitors are ranking for.
Say you want to write about or sell cappuccino products. You can go to Google and type in cappuccino. Then you can take all the domain names that are ranked on the first page of Google and plug them into Ahrefs “Site Explorer.”
Above, you can see the amount of traffic and top keywords these sites rank for that you. You also can use the Ahrefs keyword research tool called “Keywords Explorer” to find keywords. Here you can enter multiple keywords to find keyword ideas related to your niche.
Amazon Keyword Tools
If you are going to do affiliate marketing on Amazon products, then with the help of tools, you can find out which products are the most popular and what keywords should be used for them. When searching for Amazon keywords, you want to find the products that sell best. AMZScout is one of the tools you can use to find the right keywords and products to sell.
For example, you can use the AMZScout reverse ASIN tool to find all the keywords a product is ranked for. First, you go to Amazon, type in a product such as a cappuccino maker, and scroll down until you find the ASIN.
Now we copy the ASIN and plug it into the AMZScout reverse ASIN lookup tool.
You can see the highlighted results of how often each keyword is looked for, so that you will know how many people looked for this item in the past month.
We touched on Long-tail keywords earlier. A long-tail keyword is the same as regular keyword targeting, just with more words. Five or more words are long-tail keywords. For example, “How to become an affiliate marketer” would be more targeted than “Become an affiliate marketer.” It contains the “How to” in the beginning, which many people search for when they want to learn something online.
Using long-tail keywords can help you rank for other keywords contained within your keyword’s selection. For example, if you used the long-tail keywords I just talked about above, you may also rank high for “become an affiliate marketer” because it contains your targeted keywords.
As I said at the start of this text, you can earn substantial sums of money from affiliate marketing. Nonetheless, it is not going to be easy. You must work at it and educate yourself as you progress. The most important thing, in my opinion, is to stick with it!
When I first started, I worked very hard for a few months then gave up. A couple of months later, I received a check in the mail for $150 from my efforts. That is the first time I earned money online about four years ago. I should have never given up on that site because all that work would have compounded, and I could have been successful with it. I will leave you with a quote from the great Winston Churchill, “Never, Never, Never Give Up!”
Kevin Vallieres is a freelancer for copywriting, social media management, digital advertising, web development, and a new business owner. He is currently a contributor at AMZScout.net.
- Which Affiliate Marketing Niches Work Best
- 5 Awesome Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Generate More Sales
This blog post is about:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Keyword Research
- Digital Marketing
- Keyword Research Tips for Affiliate Marketing