SEO Keyword Research Strategy

February 23, 2012 - by Andy · Filed Under Keyword Research, SEO 1 Comment 
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    How to do Keyword Research as an Affiliate

    Keyword research is extremely important for any successful affiliate marketing, adsense or CPC webmaster.  Choosing the right keywords for your affiliate website can be the difference between make $0 and $100,000 per month.

    In this article, I want to go over the basics to keyword research and explain how to build profitable affiliate websites that convert traffic into CPAs.

    First of all, there are 3 main types of search queries:

    1. Informational queries: The searcher is looking for information or answers on a certain topic. An example of such would be “How to SEO WordPress”, or “Search engine ranking factors”. These types of query are the lifeblood of the internet and can bring in massive traffic if you rank for lots of terms. Most of the content on my websites are these types of pages. In general I look at them as a loss leader, what I mean by this is that I don’t make a ton of money from queries like this directly. I use them to generate traffic and links to my site as well as help myself build a brand. I am not actively looking to make lots of money from traffic to these types of pages.

    However, some of the traffic will spill over into my money pages, bookmark my site or purchase something at a later date.Do you know how hard it is to get natural links to a website that is just product reviews? It’s pretty damn hard. However, if you have some mind blowing quality articles, you will start to build up natural links to these articles over time and these links will make your domain stronger as a whole and allow you to rank for tougher, more valuable phrases in the future.

    There are some informational queries however that are pretty valuable. These tend to be product related, an example of such would be “Best digital cameras.” Or “Best protein supplement”, these are not as lucrative as transactional queries (On a per click basis) because the consumer is still in the information gathering stage, rather than the purchasing stage. However, there is some kind of buying intent with the search and this in turn makes the traffic more valuable.

    2. Navigational queries: I know a lot of people who do not recommend ranking for navigational queries. An example of a navigational query is when someone searches for a brand name. E.G “BMW” or “Party Poker”. However I have done very well by “leeching” off other people’s brands by ranking for their brand name in Google. I then provide some kind of information or review and try to generate a sale that way.

    3. Transactional queries:  I also do well ranking for KW’s like “Buy + Product Name” or “Product  Name + Review” or “Product Name + Bonus” or “Product Name + Discount Voucher” etc. These types of queries provide VERY valuable traffic. This traffic is essentially people who are interested in buying the product that is for sale. They just need a slight nudge in the right direction before making a purchase. I have found the conversion rate from this type of traffic to be very high. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert salesman to sell something to someone who is already interested in making a purchase.

    Understanding Visitor’s Search Habits

    Many people when they purchase online do more than one search. An example of a chain of searches that a user might do before purchasing a product could be something like this…

    Weight loss » Weight loss supplements » Supplement name » Supplement name review »  Buy Supplement name / Supplement name best price » Purchase.

    The closer to the end of this chain of searches you show up, the easier it will be to convert someone. Someone searching for a product name + review is very interested in purchasing the product and will be much easier to convert that someone searching for just a generic query like “weight loss”. Interestingly, the more general first queries tend to be the hardest ones to rank for E.G Weight loss. That is why I usually start out trying to rank for uncompetitive buying keywords.

    In most industries you will have products that are incredibly popular and ranking #1 for certain terms will drive you a lot of sales each month. However these terms are always the most competitive. There are usually several products and services in each niche that are less popular. These less popular products and services are typically much easier to rank for.

    So as an example in the casino niche, you might have “#1 most popular casino + Review” and “#30 most popular casino + Review”. The most popular one is very hard to rank for and will make you $XXXX a month just from ranking first for that one term. However, the unpopular casino is a lot easier to rank for, it might only make you $XX-XXX a month after 6 months of ranking #1, but it will take you a lot less time and effort to get to the first position.

    Once I get the #1 ranking for a term, I will then scale down the link building to just a few extra links per month to that URL, providing that term is not very competitive. After I feel like I have locked up the #1 position I then move on to new terms.

    Although each of these #1 rankings do not make you much money each month, if you get 10, 20 or even 100 of these number 1 rankings, you will start to make some serious money.

    Remember, when you are first starting out you don’t want to swing for the fences straight away. You want to try and rank for the easy stuff first and once you start earning an income, you can start reinvesting that money in to ranking for more competitive search terms.

    Follow Me on Twitter @AffiliateFYI for Even More Affiliate, Business and SEO Updates!

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