How to do Keyword Research for Affiliate Marketing

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keyword research for affiliate marketing - featured image

Your success in affiliate marketing heavily depends on a few things. Among them are, keyword selection, content, marketing, traffic sources, niche, audience engagements, etc. But as important as these factors might be, how you do keyword research for affiliate marketing will make a big difference in your success.

If your keyword selection goes wrong, every other aspect of the business will fail miserably. This is because you’re not going to attract the right audience to your affiliate offer.

And without the right traffic or audience, even the best product/service will not sell.

To get the best of your affiliate marketing business, it’s important to know the different types of users keywords and how to target these keywords in your content.

For instance, someone searching for “what is a cache plugin” is not the same as someone searching for “best cache plugin“.

They are at different stages in the buying circle.

In this post, I’m going to show you the different types of affiliate marketing keyword research methods and how to implement each keyword strategy in your content development plan.

Then, I will show you specific affiliate keyword research tools developed to make your job easier.

But first…

Don’t Make This Mistake…

One of the many mistakes I make in affiliate marketing is targeting keywords with lots of searches but with no buying intent.

This results in decent monthly traffic but no conversion, no affiliate clicks, and no revenue.

Honestly, I don’t want you to make the same mistake as I did.

This is why I want you to pay attention to some of the tips I will share with you in this post. On the surface, many of the tips will appear too obvious, simple to execute.

But, do you ever wonder why so many aspiring affiliate marketers never make it past their dream of becoming a six-figure affiliate marketer?

Why do only 9% of all affiliate marketers make over $50,000 per year? And only about 48% of affiliate marketers earn $20,000 per year?

Well, here are some tips to help you past that beginner’s stage and start earning consistent income from affiliate marketing.

Why is Keyword Research Important for Affiliate marketing?

According to a report by BrightEdge in 2019, 53% of all website traffic comes from organic search. While PPC contributes not more than 15% of total traffic.

Website Traffic Share Statics by Bright Edge

If you want to get found online for the right keywords and audience, SEO is your best bet. However, without the right keyword, is hard to drive targeted traffic from SERP.

Keywords are the foundation of a successful online business, affiliate marketing included.

As an affiliate marketer, you need to know the different types of keywords and when to target each keyword type within your content.

This is because not every keyword has the potential to generate sales traffic.

Some keywords will form the foundation of your blog’s SEO strength. While some keywords will help you build a loyal community around your blog.

And for the most part, you need to write consistently on keywords that drive sales, leads, and conversion.

How you find the balance between all these keywords will determine the success of your blog business.

Though your ultimate goal as an affiliate marketer is to earn commission from sales, readers should find value from reading your blog, too.

So, finding the balance between offering value to your readers and generating affiliate income is something of great importance to the success of your business.

5 Keywords Research for Affiliate Marketing Tips That Works Best

#1. Informational Keywords

If you have an audience, chances are, some of your audience will be reading about a particular service or product for the first time, right?

They haven’t heard or read about the XYZ product, or probably the product is new on the market.

This is where researching for the product/service informational keyword becomes helpful.

For instance, most of my audience here are beginners’ online marketers. People who are about to start a blog. Also, a portion of that audience already has a blog running but looking for ways to take it to the next level.

Chances are, among my audience, there are people who never heard or read about Semrush, SEO Powersuite, or SERPstat before.

If I want to pitch any of these SEO products to my audience, a good way to start is to write on a topic such as:

  • What is SEO
  • How to get more website traffic with SEO
  • What is an SEO tool and Why is it Important?

These are informational topics.

These types of keywords or topics help inform or educate the users on the subject.

Within the content, there will be a subheading that lists different types of SEO tools and what each tool will help you achieve.

The purpose of this section will be to introduce the SEO tools to my audience. There is no need to try to sell the product here.

If you want to see this type of post and learn from it, here are some examples:

Examine these posts carefully, and you will see how I strategically talked about affiliate products without being pushy.

#2. Commercial Keywords

The ultimate goal of an affiliate marketer is to generate sales, but sales won’t just happen without you pushing for it.

As an affiliate, one of the best ways to drive sales traffic is to target affiliate marketing keywords with buying intent. It doesn’t matter if your target keyword generates millions of visits if they have no purchase intent.

Keywords with purchasing intent have commercial words in them such as:

  • Best
  • Buy
  • Affordable
  • Cheap
  • Price
  • Budget
  • Deals
  • Coupon
  • Discount
  • And more

How do you discover keywords with buying intent?

Keyword Research and analysis tools are the answers…

There are a few best keyword research tools for affiliate marketing in the market today such as Semrush, Rank Tracker, AnswerThePublic, SERPstat, etc.

But for the good of this post, I will focus on using the Semrush keyword tool.

This is a powerful keyword research tool developed for many aspects of keyword research.

Enter your seed keyword in the Semrush keyword tool.

Note: The latest version of the keyword Magic Tool now comes with keyword intent. It shows the search intent behind each keyword.

This is a helpful feature for an affiliate marketer.

keyword data from Semrush magic tool

To narrow down on your keyword selections, use the search filter on the page to only research keywords with commercial and transaction intent.

Also, use the KD% (Keyword Difficulty) filter to set the barrier within your website’s SEO reach.

Semrush keyword data report

This is because depending on your website’s SEO strength, some keywords will be easier to rank for, while some will require lots of on-page SEO and link-building efforts to compete for in SERP.

You probably don’t want to compete against the likes of Forbes, the New York Times, HuffPost, etc.

#3. Products Reviews Keywords

Product review keywords are one of affiliates marketers’ best-kept strategies.

Walk yourself through the archive of this blog, and you see many product review blog posts.

Product review keywords work best because users are in the buying mode at this stage. The searcher wants to know more about the product specs, benefits, pros, and cons.

There is a great chance the user has already made the decision to buy, but looking for more information about the chosen product.

On the surface, a product review appears to be one of the easiest articles to write, but if you want your content to stand out from the crowd, it goes deeper than just talking about product specs, pros, and cons, etc.

Your experience using the product will play a long way in convincing the user that the product or service is the best solution to his problem.

How you talked about the product from a real user perspective might convince the user to make the purchase.

Here are some product review posts I wrote that come from my own experience using the product.

#4. Brand Comparison Keywords

Brand keyword comparisons usually have low search volume, but they do convert better. This is because the user has already narrowed down the search and he is in the buying mode.

As with most keyword research strategies, researching for relevant brand keywords to write your content around is not going to be easy.

You can’t just pick two similar products against each other.

You need to know what users are searching for. What type of brand products people are looking to compare?

If you use the Semrush keyword magic tool, you can easily find brand products to compare for your affiliate content.

Go to Semrush, and click on the Keyword magic tool from the side menu.

Enter your seed keyword in the search bar (this could be a brand name or product name) then hit the search button.

Use the “phrase match” filter to select vs. from the list.

Semrush keyword magic tool - keyword research result

The Semrush keyword magic tool will give you a list of relevant branded comparison keywords. You can use this keyword strategy to find dozen of product comparison keywords to write for your next blog post.

Instead of guesswork, you now have a keyword list backed by data.

#5. Seasonal Keywords

Many affiliate marketers earn 70% of their annual income from promoting seasonal affiliate products.

This type of keyword doesn’t get searched for all through the year.

But you have to prepare for the occasion in advance if you want to get the best when the promo is on.

Think of the Black Friday discount deal. Halloween Celebration. FIFA World Cup event. Diwali. US Independent Celebration. And more…

During this period, certain keywords get lots of searches, conversions, and lots of online spending.

The BIG question is how do you discover these keywords in advance so you don’t miss out on the gains?

Google Trend is the answer.

Google Trend is a keyword research tool from Google that analyzes the popularity of search queries.

This simple tool will help you research trending keywords’ popularity over time. You will be able to analyze if certain keywords’ search volume is on the rise or declining.

And when exactly during the year do the changes occur?

Google Trend Graph

So you can prepare your content marketing strategy in advance and focus on getting the best of the festive season.

Conclusion…Keyword Research for Affiliate Marketing

Keyword research is just half the battle in affiliate marketing, publishing valuable content that resonates with your audience is another thing.

As you research for relevant keywords, do not forget that Google is now smarter than we think.

Content quality, relevancy, user engagement, and website performance now play a huge role in how web pages rank in SERP.

If you follow the tips in this article, you’ll be able to take your affiliate marketing business to the next level.

2 thoughts on “How to do Keyword Research for Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Great job on this post Shamsudeen. Bloggers often err in ignoring keyword research and Google traffic. But getting the right words drives the right Google traffic if you publish in-depth content. This traffic boosts affiliate profits quite nicely.


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