Powerful Keyword Research Tips
There's no way around it - keyword research is the foundation of every good affiliate marketing business.
It doesn't matter if you're an organic search guru or a PPC baron, you'd better be able to pinpoint the keywords
that matter and become competitive for them as fast as possible.
I'll admit that when I got started, keyword research was always at the bottom of my to-do list. I almost never
seemed to get to it on time.
That's obviously changed over the years, because to be a true super affiliate, you'd better have some fantastic
So, for all the marketers out there who don't know where to start with their keyword research or who do but
dread doing it, here are some tips that I've been using for some time now to great effect.
To get started, you need to do some basic research. You probably have a very rough idea of what people are
searching for - the simple keywords that every good marketer pinpoints early on. But, that initial list is the same
as brainstorming for a novel. Sure, you have a rough outline, but you still need to sit down and write the
I like to get started in the Google Keyword Tool - it's free, easy to use and has a decent amount of data to
draw from. Like most free keyword tools it's not 100% accurate and is based on PPC data, so if you're working on an
organic campaign, it's not going to be exactly what you're looking for, but it's a good start.
To get started, visit http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and enter a basic term or phrase into
the search tool. You can enter multiple terms, but for now, just one will do. I'll use "lose weight" as an
example. The top level of search results will be terms that use the basic term, and will include things
* How to lose weight
* Lose weight fast
* Lose belly weight
These terms are all directly related to the term and give you more options to build your list. Look for the
Global Monthly Search Volume to get an idea of how many searches this term gets each month.
Unless you're developing a PPC campaign, ignore any local search volume data that Google gives you. Also ignore
the competition data as this relates to advertising. You just want to know how many people are searching.
Next, scroll down a bit and see what "additional keywords to consider" Google has selected. These are syntax
related terms and might include phrases like:
* How to burn fat
* Weight loss tips
* Get thin fast
* Muscle building tips
Basically, terms that tend to show up with the phrase you searched for originally will appear here. These are
not necessarily terms you will all use, but you can get a lot of ideas this way. Your goal should be to create a
list of any terms you think someone would search for when they are trying to solve the weight loss problem. Later,
we'll narrow down to specific keywords that help you.
Forums and In-depth Research
Another great way to find keywords is to go to industry specific pages, like forums, and search for terms that
relate to questions or problems that people have in this niche. Forums are good because they represent a hub of
data where users will search for solutions to particular problems.
For example, if you were to visit a weight loss and dieting forum, you might find specific body locations and
muscle groups that people are targeting, like:
* Pectoral fat burning
* Get rid of fat on obliques
* Build bigger quads
These terms may not have popped up immediately because they are a bit too specific. Another great way to create
lists of more specific industry terms is to analyse competitor pages. Which keywords are your competitors using to
boost their own pages?
Tools like Traffic Travis (available from www.traffictravis.com) allow you to input URLs and get keyword reports on how a site is
optimized. You can also search for sites or keywords in the ad analyser to see which terms are being used with
Best Kinds of Keywords
Okay, so now you have a good general idea of what keywords you'll be using. What about the actual terms you
should be targeting. I have a small listing of terms I like to use as often as possible. How you optimize will
depend on your strategy, but if you're doing PPC, you pretty much have to have lists for these particular
* Author Names - If you're promoting info products on weight loss products, you can find
keywords related to the authors of those info products. Check your affiliate program's rules to determine if you're
allowed to do this, but most vendors will be perfectly happy to let you. More commissions for you means more
profits for them.
* Product Names - Along the same lines, product names are highly successful conversion tools.
Most people, when searching for a specific product name, are looking for reviews, or final justification before a
purchase. Volume is lower, but you're getting leads that are much more likely to convert.
* Buy Phrases - Find keywords with terms like "buy", "order", "purchase", or "download". If you
have that, plus a product name or author name, you can almost guarantee the prospect is ready to make a purchase.
These keywords have far fewer searches, but are worth 10-100 times more than a standard product related
* Crisis Keywords - These are keywords related to a crisis that your searcher may be in. For
example, many people search for gardening advice, but if they're in a crisis, their search is much more urgent.
Keywords then might include "cure blight", "kill pests on tomatoes", or "tomatoes won't grow". These are
specific, immediate problems that they'll buy a product to solve.
* Product Related Keywords - General keywords related to a product niche are still valuable,
but can be a little more dangerous. You need to be more careful here in general. Here you'll find things like "how
to", "lessons", "online", etc - terms that relate to getting advice, but with less urgency.
* Long Tails - Finally, if you're doing PPC or creating an authority site, using long tail
keywords can really boost your performance. For example, if you're writing about dog training, you can add the dog breeds to beginning of each keyword -
instantly creating 200 longtails for each base keyword you have.
For example, someone might search for "fix golden retriever aggression" and someone else might
search for "fix poodle aggression". Those are both specific longtails and can be extended as much as is needed to
get your traffic.
Keywords are the currency of any good affiliate marketer. You want traffic? You need to find the words people
are searching for and become competitive for them. So, before you ever start marketing any of your new niche
products, spend some time researching, building lists, and analysing the keywords.
Check with tools like Google and Traffic Travis, check to make sure there is volume, and always check your competitors to see
what they're optimized for. If you do it right, you should be able to create a huge list of potential gold