Affiliate Marketing: The Best Keywords

The Best Keywords

Many marketers find keyword research difficult but, like anything else, once you know the strategies and tools to help you, all you need is to spend a little time to come up with the best, most relevant keywords.

Relevant keywords are the foundation of every good website. Overall, there are five major types of keywords that you should be interested in.

  1. Product Names
  2. Author Names
  3. Crisis Keywords
  4. Generic Keywords
  5. Long-tail Keywords

What you should do is concentrate on the first three groups of keywords because you’ll find that they’ll convert the best. After you’ve finished researching those, add the fourth and fifth group to the mix.

Crisis Keywords

When I start a Google Adwords campaign, I’ll create ad groups that focus on product names and author names, and then I’ll produce a list of keywords that focus on crisis keywords. Name-keyed phrases are important because you’re targeting people who are ready to buy but crisis keywords are even more important because those are people with an urgent need to buy. People in crisis mode are also more likely to buy on impulse and to buy multiple products than any other group.

Following are three easy ways to come up with the most relevant crisis keywords:

  • Poll Your Prospects Asking Them Who Needs the Product: This will help you to hone in on the exact audience type who needs your product the most, which will be those with the most immediate crisis.
  • Your Keyword Phrase Must Solve the Problem: Your keyword phrases must be the things your prospects would search on to solve their problem. For example, “acne tips” is not a good crisis keyword because many people could search for it, not just those in actual crisis mode. But “get rid of acne in a week” if much better because that’s a keyword phrase that only those that are most in crisis mode would search for.
  • Beware of Phrases with Multiple Meanings: If your phrase can be interpreted as anything other than what you intend, don’t use it. Although this is especially important for PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, it’s essential to make any campaign the best it can be. In our prior acne example, a search for “curing skin problems” may seem like a crisis keyword but it’s not because skin problems can refer to much more than just acne. You have to be careful that you target only the people who will be interested in what your solution can provide for them.

Long-Tail Keywords

In a nutshell, a long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that has far less competition because it covers a much smaller niche than a short-tail or high volume keyword. It also consists of more words that make up the phrase. There are a couple of instances when you would want to concentrate on long-tail keywords.

First, is during a PPC ad campaign. With advertising, the more keywords you the better. Lists consisting of several thousand keywords are the norm. Second, is during the developing of an authority website. Building an authority site requires you to delve down into the sub-niches of your main niche in great detail. For example, an authority site written about dogs would contain not just articles on dog training but articles that conver every breed of dog. This is where long-tail keywords are most useful.

Although finding long-tail keywords will require a bit of time and research, both on our own and by using specific keyword tools that we’ll cover, it’s extremely important that you take the time to do a thorough job to make sure you don’t miss any potentially valuable keywords.

Buying Keywords

Other keywords that perform well are buying keywords. These consist of terms people use when they’re ready to make a purchase such as buy, order, and purchase. Examples of these types of keywords are product and author names along with any keywords that end with the word “review.”

Forum Research

This is another tool that’s perfect for getting inside the heads of the people you’re targeting. Any forum dedicated to a single niche has the exact info you need to pinpoint what people are searching for, including the specific terms they use that you would only know if you were an expert on the subject.

Forums contain everything you need to start creating your detailed keyword lists and because people post their problems on forums, you’ll be able to easily find out what their problems are and quickly come up with an affiliate product to promote that will solve their problems.

Tools to Generate Keyword Lists

Although there are lots of keyword tools out there, one of the best (and one of my personal favorites) is Traffic Travis. The best part is that there is a free version of this tool that you can download from: TrafficTravis.com.

Once you install and run it, you’ll find Traffic Travis to be just about everything you’ll need to research recent search ranking data for keywords, get keyword ideas, generate keyword lists you can import to Adwords, and even discover the ranking data for competitor websites.

Using Traffic Travis

To show you how valuable this tool is, let’s use “acne removal” as an example of what kind of data we can uncover.

–Enter “acne removal” into the interface, click Fetch, and check out the results:

traffic-travis-ex1

Traffic Travis returned dozens of responses to your initial keyword, up to a total of 200. You can then sort them in order of who’s searching for them, how many times per day, and even includes the data for each of the major search engines. You can then choose to export all these keywords in a couple of formats.

If you’ll be using them for a PPC campaign, you can run them through PPC analysis. Just save the keywords to a project and switch to PPC analysis to see how the keywords are performing among different competitors. If you’re going to be using thousands of keywords for a PPC ad campaign, this data can either make or break it for you.

traffic-travis-ex2

After you run Traffic Travis, you’ll see the specific advertiser sites for particular keywords. You can review each advertiser to see which keywords they’re marketing for, how many keywords they’ve chosen, and their current rankings. This shows you exactly how many competitors you have and you can even export your competitor URLs and analyze them to see how effective their sites are.

Even more valuable is that you can come back in a few weeks to see which keywords are still being advertised by your competitors. And you can bet that the terms they are still using are still getting them sales so those are the terms you want promote too.

Even if you don’t plan on doing any PPC advertising, this kind of info will be of great help to you in optimizing your website(s).

Using Google Keyword Planner

This is another useful free tool to help with your keyword selection by providing good traffic data, competition estimates, and synonyms for your keyword phrases.

After you’ve been researching on forums, going through Google Keyword Planner will help you verify that people are actually searching for the terms you’ve discovered.

Analyze Competition Levels

Marketers will often think of a keyword or phrase and Google it only to find 20 million results. Then they, erroneously, assume they’ll never be able to rank for it. In fact, the number of results if virtually meaningless. What counts is whether the sites that are already ranking for that keyword are competitive or not. And that’s where Traffic Travis comes back in.

Go to the SEO Analysis Tool in Traffic Travis and enter a few terms similar to “fast acne removal.” Look in the “Difficulty” column, where Traffic Travis gives you its estimate of how hard it thinks it will be for you to rank on page 1 of Google for that keyword:

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Now look at the different pages that show up for the keyword (in the image above) to see what you’ll need to do to rank on the first page of Google:

  • Website Age
  • Page Rank
  • Backlinks to Page
  • Backlinks to Website
  • Links from .edu and .gov
  • DMOZ and Yahoo! Directory Listings
  • Title Tag and Header Keyword Placement

Traffic Travis analyzes the pages looking for the things that Google recognizes as important. Green checkmarks tell you how many of the different SEO tasks needed to rank have been completed by the site. The fewer green checks you see, the easier it will be for you to push your site up the rankings.

While not always 100% accurate, Traffic Travis will give you a good idea of what terms you need to optimize for. Since the best websites should only optimize for a collection of phrases, you’ll be able to narrow it down and focus on some easy terms and a few medium/hard terms to rank for.

Once you have your keywords, list them on a chart from easiest to most difficult to rank for. Then prioritize them based on the one that get the most searches.

Getting Traffic, Traffic, and More Traffic

One of the four pillars of monetization that we covered earlier was traffic and it is the single most important factor that will determine whether you make money or not. Another mistakes that far too marketers make is that they work on getting everything on their website(s) looking just perfect but fail to get enough traffic over to actually look at their site! And while good site content can get you ranked in the search engines, which will bring in some organic traffic, you’ll still need to learn what it takes to generate traffic from other sources. The more traffic you get, the more money you make.

An when it comes to traffic, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is king. While Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is good, it’s a costly and ongoing process. But getting all green checks in the SEO analysis tool and making your site user friendly for all devices including mobile, will help your site rank its best in the search engines that will bring in that free traffic.

Don’t Worry About the Competition

SEO is not about backlink building or writing hundreds of articles. It IS about writing content that is actually useful enough that people will be inclined to share it with their friends. It’s about targeting the right audience with relevant keywords.

Rather than focusing on how many competitors you have, focus on how many good competitors you have. The first think to do is to make sure you use the Traffic Travis SEO Analysis Tool as covered earlier to get a good idea of just how competitive your niche and keywords are. Should you tick off all the green checkmarks but still find your site failing to rise in the rankings, it will be time to start increasing your backlinks.

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Affiliate Marketing: Best SEO