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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 necessary as these factors might be, how you do keyword research for affiliate marketing will make a big difference in your success.

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

For instance, someone searching for “what is a cache plugin” differs from someone searching for “best cache plugin.”

In this post, I will 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 many searches but 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 tips I will share in this post. On the surface, many tips will appear too obvious and straightforward to execute.

But do you ever wonder why many aspiring affiliate marketers never surpass their dream of becoming a six-figure affiliate marketer?

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

Here are some tips to help you pass that beginner’s stage and earn 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 searches. At the same time, PPC contributes not more than 15% of total traffic.

Website Traffic Share Statics by Bright Edge

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

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. At the same time, 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 in 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.

Let’s walk through the five keyword research methods for affiliate marketing

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 it is probably new.

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

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

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

If I want to pitch any of these SEO products to my audience, an excellent 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 keywords or topics help inform or educate the users on the subject.

Within the content, a subheading will list different SEO tools and what each tool will help you achieve.

The purpose of this section will be to introduce 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:

Scrutinize these posts; you will see how I strategically discussed 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 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 powerful keyword research tool was 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 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

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 in SERP.

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

3. Product Reviews Keywords

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

Walk yourself through the archive of this blog, and you will 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 decided to buy but is 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 go 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 an actual user perspective might convince the user to purchase.

I wrote some product review posts from my experience using the product.

4. Brand Comparison Keywords

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

As with most keyword research strategies, you are researching for relevant brand keywords to write your content around will not 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 are people looking to compare?

Using 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 dozens 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 must prepare for the occasion 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…

Specific keywords get many searches, conversions, and online spending during this period.

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 can analyze whether specific keywords’ search volume is rising or declining.

And when precisely 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 out 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 more intelligent than we think.

Content quality, relevancy, user engagement, and website performance greatly influence how web pages rank in SERP.

If you follow the tips in this article, you can take your affiliate marketing business to the next level.

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  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.


    1. Hi, Ryan,

      Good to read from you after a long time. Many thanks for coming down here.

      Thanks for the insightful contributions.

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