affiliate marketing, brand marketing, google, seo

Keyword research methods for affiliate marketing

Using affiliate marketing is an effective way to expand the reach and impact of your business and products. It can open up access to new markets and demographics, provide a high return on investment, and can be sustained with low ongoing costs and a lot of flexibility in terms of approach.

However, as with anything, successful affiliate marketing requires a great deal of planning and effective research, into things including market trends and consumer preferences and behavior. Targeting the correct demographic is crucial for affiliate marketing to attract customers to their platform and generate sales. Keyword research is the primary way to go about this. Let’s look at what exactly keyword research is and how best to implement it in your affiliate marketing strategy. Read on to find out more.

What are keywords?

Keywords are essential for driving traffic to your site. They are the words or phrases that people type into search engines, like Google, to find answers to questions or products and services they’re interested in. Search engines will scan content throughout the internet and display results with the relevant keywords to the search engine users.

Clearly, keywords are vital for affiliate marketers. They will get your content noticed by search engines and, in turn, seen by potential customers. However, how do we know what keywords to use to increase traffic? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just using the name of your product as a keyword, search engine algorithms are too nuanced for that these days. Your keywords will need to be more specific, relating more directly to the terms consumers are searching for.

How do we find these specific keywords? The solution is through effective keyword research.

Keyword research methods

While you will most likely have a good idea of what kind of keywords people are using to search for certain products, to ensure your site is being recommended by search engines you’ll need to narrow down and optimize the keywords you use.

First, you’ll need to identify your target market or demographic. This can be slightly more difficult if you’re selling a popular, widely used product, but if it’s more specialized it should be easier to identify your niche target market.

Once you have identified your target, you can start conducting your keyword research. There are a number of tools available to help you with this research, let’s take a look at one of the main ones.

Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner tool is designed to help you discover and identify terms that are relevant to your marketing campaign, what exactly is being searched for, and who is searching for them. By giving Google Keyword Planner a description of products or services that are closely related to your business, it will generate thousands of keywords that you can use in your campaign. What’s more, Google Keyword Planner allows you to narrow down and filter the results, sorting them by parameters including language, geographic location, date, and average monthly searches.

What keywords to use?

Once you’ve used your keyword search tool and drawn up a list of keywords that are relevant to your campaign, how do you decide what keywords to focus on? It can be tempting to use them all in an attempt to generate as much traffic as possible. However, recent updates to Google’s search algorithm now means less priority is paid to content that is deemed too focused on optimization for search engines. Instead, the algorithm will focus on content that is more informative and ‘people-focused’.

What does this mean for marketers? Instead of filling your content with as many keywords as you can, you’ll need to be more selective, including only the keywords that you’re confident will drive more traffic to your site.

This is no easy task, the method for selecting keywords will vary depending on a number of factors, including how new or established your business is, how quickly you hope to see results, and whether you’re aiming for leads or conversions.

Search volume is incredibly important, a keyword that nobody is searching for is never going to generate traffic. However, research has indicated that high search volume keywords are linked to low conversion rates, mainly used by people looking for information on a particular product or topic. More complex, specific keywords are more closely linked to sales, however, these also come with lower search volumes. This is a delicate balancing act; you’ll need to carefully weigh up both search volume and searcher intent before deciding which are best to use in your campaign.


As updates to search engines and algorithms continue to roll out, affiliate marketers need to be on their toes to stay ahead of how search engines identify and rank their content. By doing effective and regular keyword research, you can ensure that your content continues to attract traffic and generate business.

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