Something that I notice affiliate marketers do when they create affiliate websites is that they don’t think much about “keyword intent” when it comes to their keyword research. When I say keyword intent, I am referring to what is the intended action of that user searching for that specific search query.
For example, most affiliates do their keyword research by looking for keywords with the highest search volume and easiest SEO competition. While that is a great way to build a website that gets a lot of search engine traffic, it does not necessarily make for the most profitable websites.
A more profitable way of building affiliate websites is to focus on keywords where there is buyer intent. As an affiliate we are looking for users that are going to take some sort of action for us whether it be to buy a product or fill out a lead form, and for this we need to target the right kind of traffic to accomplish our goals.
Informational vs Commercial Keywords
If you’ve done any pay per click advertising, particularly with Google Ads, you probably understand the value of targeting “commercial keywords” over “informational keywords”. The former is used by someone ready to make a purchase, while the latter by someone just doing some research.
For example “Samsung 47″ HD TV” is a commercial keyword as someone searching for something that specific is likely ready to buy. In contrast a keyword like “best living room TV” is more of an informational keyword as this is likely searched by someone still in the beginning research phase of their buying journey.
The above is just an illustration of the different types of searchers out there, and the point I’m trying to get across is that we need to target people near the end of their buyer’s quest rather than the beginning or middle.
What Is Their Next Step
So getting back to building affiliate websites, we don’t have to target “commercial keywords” to be profitable, in fact this is likely a bad idea if we are not promoting our website via Google Ads.
For example if your primary means of driving traffic is SEO, targeting a keyword like “Samsung 47″ HD TV” would be silly because you would never outrank the big box websites (Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart etc) that Google would likely display.
So as affiliates we have to do the next best thing, and that is analyzing user intent and understanding “what is their next step” when we are looking at keywords to target.
When someone is Googling a specific keyword, is it likely their next step is a purchase, or are they just going to read our content and leave? If you start thinking about this you’ll be able to identify profitable keywords over those that on the surface look great, but will likely flop.
For example lets say I’m doing some keyword research (note the tool below is Ubersuggest) and I get the below when I search “vegan recipes”
So we see that “vegan recipes for breakfast” has a 9900 search volume and a SEO Difficulty score of just 10 (lower the better). So some affiliates might think “Wow this is a nice easy keyword I can rank for”, and that’s likely true. However for someone searching for this you need to consider “what is their next step?”.
A user searching for “vegan recipes for breakfast” is likely just looking for information to make their next vegan meal. Are they likely to buy anything? Probably not. Someone like this is just going to read your website, jot down a recipe, and likely bounce. So even if this keyword drives traffic, it isn’t worth that much because the next action of the user has very little commercial value.
Now compare that to say a keyword like “cooking turkey in oven” which has the Ubersuggest analysis below:
Again we see Ubersuggest tells us this is a pretty easy keyword to rank with a healthy 12,100 search volume a month. However again we need to consider “what is their next step?”.
Well someone searching for this keyword has probably never cooked a turkey in an oven before, and there’s probably a good chance they don’t have the proper tools to do it. Things they may need to buy may include a large oven pan, turkey baster, meat thermometer etc. which likely someone searching for this doesn’t already own.
So in the above case, their next step after reading our article on “cooking turkey in oven” could be possibly looking for tools they need to make this turkey. For a keyword like this slapping together some content and then adding related amazon affiliate links could make for a decent earning affiliate website.
Again the above is just a crude example just to get you thinking about keywords that could possibly lead to action.
Another example would be targeting a keyword like “1920s Fashion”, well why would someone be searching this keyword? It’s hardly likely this person plans to start walking around in 1920s clothing regularly. The most likely explanation is they are doing research on a costume for some party or event, and again displaying some affiliate links to 1920s costume clothing from Amazon could be another way to earn money.
So it’s important that we always are considering the intent behind the keywords we target. As affiliates we only get paid when a visitor to our website takes some sort of action, and we need to be aware of this when we are doing our keyword research.
I hope this article got you thinking a little deeper about the keywords that you target for your affiliate websites. Too often affiliate marketers only think about the best combination of search volume and SEO competition. However to make money we need our visitors to be of a certain variety, specifically a buying one, and we need to target keywords that bring this type of traffic in.
Again there is nothing wrong with looking for high search volume keywords, but you also need to be thinking about the intent behind such searches. So review what you’re currently doing, and see if you can improve upon it by targeting keywords that will bring you higher value traffic.