Keyword Research Tips for Affiliate Marketers Using SEO

by WorkFromHome on June 7, 2011

The better you rank in the search engines, the more money you will make. This is as simple as affiliate marketing with SEO can be made, so your goal is to rank well for keywords that you target. Finding and deciding on keywords to target are two of the most critical parts of a successful affiliate marketing campaign using SEO. An efficient research method will maximize profit potential while minimizing wasted effort. Here we’re going to take a look at an advanced approach for keyword research for affiliate marketers using SEO that is efficient while giving you a foundation to build on if you want to expand.

Building Your Initial Keyword List

Using a combination of a spreadsheet and a keyword tool, you’re going to want to find as many relevant keywords as you can at first. The Google AdWords keyword tool is free and works great for this. In your spreadsheet file on a sheet with the title “Initial Keyword List”, you’ll want to create columns for the keyword, the number of results the keyword gets when you search for it in Google, and the number of searches the keyword gets each month. Make sure not to get too carried away with irrelevant keywords or your list will get too large for you to do anything constructive with.

Once you have somewhere between 50 and 150 relevant keywords to the product or service you’re trying to sell, it’s time to do some research. Using Google and your favourite keyword research tool, fill in the values for the columns in your spreadsheet. Having an approximation for very large numbers is a good idea, since it’s much easier to read something like “58M” than “58400000” if you are just copying and pasting the results from your web browser to your keyword spreadsheet.

Narrowing Down the List to Find Winners

With your keyword list ready and your initial round of research completed, it’s time to narrow the list down. Copy your “Initial Keyword List” sheet to a second sheet called “Narrowed Keywords”, and do the following on the “Narrowed Keywords” sheet. First you’re going to want to identify the 10% to 20% of keywords that have the fewest search results in Google, and analyse the competition on the first page of the search results for each individual keyword.

For each competitor in the top ten of the rankings for each keyword, make note of the PageRank of their site using the Google Toolbar or some other free PageRank utility. Having a bunch of sites with a PageRank of two or lower on the front page means that you will usually be able to make the first page of results without much trouble. If there are three or more pages with a PageRank of four or higher, then skip that keyword and go on to the next one. Once you’ve looked at the competition for each one of the keywords in that 10% to 20% of sites with the fewest number of search results in Google, you will have a list of keywords that have very little competition on the first page of Google. This list of keywords is where you will start your campaign because it represents a soft spot in the market that will be easy to penetrate.

Tracking, Testing and Moving Forward

From this point, you’ll have a starting list of highly-targeted keywords relevant to the product or service you’re trying to sell that each have been verified to have very little competition. One by one you should attack these keywords, trying to rank pages on your website for each individual term or phrase. Track your results using a statistics program and the tracking options from the affiliate program you’re using, and you’ll be able to quickly figure out which keywords are making you the most money. Focus most of your attention on these high-performing keywords and others like them, and you’ll rake in the profits.

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