Introduction to Keyword Research
Keyword research forms the basis of virtually any search engine optimized affiliate marketing or ecommerce campaign. Taking the time to engage in accurate keyword research can make or break your affiliate website and is one of the most (if not THE most) crucial factors to get RIGHT when starting a new website. If you fail to pick a keyword where you can effectively compete, or if you choose a keyword that is not a “buyer” term, you will very likely earn very little if anything from all your efforts.
So when considering a keyword to target, keep in mind the number of searchers for that term, the commerciality of that term, the competition of the term, and also ensure that the keyword has sufficient associated methods to monetize your website.
Components of Keyword Research
I have outlined the criteria for finding profitable keywords in more detail below…
When you begin searching for a keyword around which to base your website, you want to make sure that there are actually people looking for that keyword. Several tools can tell you the number of searchers for a given keyword, and each tool has its good and bad points. Beginners may want to begin with the free alternative provided by Google called the Google Keyword Tool. This is the most basic research tool and serves as the platform from which the more complex tools base their data. Google’s free tool can provide you with an idea of the search volumes for any given keyword, but it lacks the ability to provide an accurate analysis of your competition.
In order to provide value to my readers, I have managed to secure a better alternative (Keyword Blueprint 2.0) for free to anyone who registers through my website. Keyword Blueprint 2.0 provides data on search volumes and competition, and it has the added benefit of being great for beginners because it automatically analyzes the competition to tell you if it will be “easy”, “moderately difficult” or “impossible” to compete for your chosen keyword. Click Here to get your free copy of Keyword Blueprint 2.0.
Finally, one of the most popular keyword tools and the one that is used most often by professional marketers is Market Samurai. This tool does not provide you with an explanation of the difficulty of the competition, but supplies you with the accurate raw data so that you can make the determination for yourself. This is preferable to more experienced marketers because they do not have to rely on the judgment of a third party algorithm on whether or not they can compete, but they are able to decide for themselves based on the actual data from each of their competitors. I could not secure my readers a free copy of Market Samurai, but I was able to secure a 12 day trial. Click Here to get your 12 day trial of Market Samurai.
So now that you have the tools to check search volumes, you need to be aware that there are three different ways that Google calculates the number of searchers for a given keyword based on “broad match”, “phrase match”, and “exact match.” It is important to understand the distinction because incorrectly measuring the wrong match type can cause you to spend hours developing your site only to find that almost no one ever finds or reads your content.
Broad Match is the number of searchers who look for any combination of your search keyword. Phrase Match is the number of searchers who look for your keyword phrase plus possible additional words. Exact Match is the number of searches for your exact keyword phrase in that order. If this is confusing and you need more guidance, please Register Here for Access to a Free Video Tutorial Series.
Each of the keyword tools I discussed above allow you to customize which match time you would like to check for search volumes, but I tend to recommend you use Exact Match to ensure the most accurate results. Generally, I recommend a minimum of 1,000 monthly exact match searches to guarantee that I will have enough visitors to make building a website worthwhile.
Commerciality of the Search Term
This is fairly self explanatory, but you want to ensure that you pick target keywords that are likely to be profitable. When performing keyword research, try to step into the shoes of your searcher and ask, “Are people searching for this term in the mood to buy something?” Then, if so, try to tailor your website presentation to solving the exact problem to which they are seeking a solution.
Some tips to determine if a keyword is commercial or not is to check for specifics and urgency. For example “how to lose weight” would likely not be as profitable as “how to lose weight in 2 weeks” or “how to lose weight fast”. Also, “how to lose weight” may not be as profitable as “how to lose thigh fat” given the added specificity.
As a general rule, avoid terms that include the word “free” or “torrent” because those are generally searchers who are looking for a freebie and not willing to pay. If you need more help with commerciality… Register Here for Access to a Free Video Tutorial Series.
Competition is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a target keyword for your website. If you choose a keyword with too much competition, your site will likely never rank well in the search engines and you will almost never, if ever, make any sales from natural visitors to your website.
Unfortunately, the Google Keyword Tool does not provide much information at all on organic search competition for specific keywords. If you are a beginner or if you are simply looking for a free tool to help you analyze the competition, I am currently offering a free license to Keyword Blueprint 2.0. This tool is especially good for beginners because it automatically analyzes the competition and tells you whether or not you can compete without presenting confusing data. Alternatively, more experienced marketers can Click Here for a Free Trial of Market Samurai.
Monetization Methods for the Keyword
When choosing a target keyword for your website, you want to ensure that there are sufficient offers related to your keyword that you can promote. Some popular affiliate networks are Clickbank, e-Junkie, Plimus and Amazon Associates (to name a few). This is not really an important step beyond simply ensuring that you have some product or affiliate offer available to help make your website profitable after it is ranking well in the search engines and receiving a lot of visitors.
Putting It All Together…
So once you have analyzed search volumes, competition, determined commerciality and found related affiliate offers for several keywords, choose the top 3-15 keywords (depending on how large a website you would like to create) and follow the steps in my Search Engine Optimization Basics post to optimize each page for a single target keyword. Then, follow the steps in my guide for off page SEO to ensure you outrank your competition.
If you find the keyword research phase to be difficult, you may be interested in a new keyword research tool called IMeye. Unlike any of the other tools mentioned in this tutorial, IMEye is different because you simply tell it what number of searches, levels of competition, and topics you would like keywords for, and the tool lists thousands of pre-analzyed keywords. It’s easier to understand if you see it in action, and I have secured my readers with a 3 day trial, so Click Here to check out IMeye.