Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keyword Research Tips For Affiliate Marketing

Keyword research is the first and most vital step in Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO), but many internet marketers have no idea how to effectively research keywords.  Keyword targeting is highly competitive and the research that goes into it must be thorough.

So many internet marketers are not done in by bad affiliate programs or poor products, but instead by poor keyword targeting.  Choosing the wrong keywords will all but doom any website hoping to generate organic traffic.

There are numerous keyword research tools available online to assist with selecting quality keywords.  Here are a few useful keyword research tips that will help in the selection and targeting of keywords for affiliate marketers:

  1. Spend time on keyword research before selecting an affiliate opportunity.  Most affiliates, of course, choose an affiliate program and then begin the keyword research process.  Researching keywords prior to choosing an affiliate opportunity, however, gives affiliates an idea of the competition, popularity and demand for a particular online niche before committing to marketing it.  Finding an affiliate program to fit a selection of targeted keywords that meet the competition, popularity and demand criteria is much easier than doing it in reverse order.

  1. Avoid keywords that are too broad.  This is probably where most people get it wrong when targeting keywords.  Sure, it would be ideal to rank at the top of Google and other search engines for broad keyword terms.  Unfortunately, unless you have an authority site or have cracked the SEO code, you will likely find yourself buried in the search engine abyss – never to be seen on page one.  And while broad keyword terms have ideal popularity, the traffic is not targeted and often useless when it comes to affiliate sales.  The key to getting conversions from search engine marketing is targeted traffic.

  1. Avoid keywords with low monthly searches.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, some websites are doomed by low search volume for their targeted keywords.  You can think of this as “having the keys to Ferrari, but no gas.”  Ranking at the top for every keyword you target is great, but if those keywords generate no traffic, what good is it?  It can be fairly easy to rank for keywords no one uses for searching, but the ultimate goal is to generate traffic to earn income online – not rankings.

  1. Use long-tailed keywords for better targeting and less competition.  A useful strategy for generating more targeted traffic and less competition is to use long-tailed keywordsLong-tailed keywords are multi-phrased terms (usually three words or more) used to search online.  An example of a long-tailed keyword is credit repair for families (credit repair would be the general or broad keyword term).  Benefits of long-tailed keywords include: higher conversions on website traffic, less competition for ranking, and more targeted visitors.  If doing Pay-Per-Click advertising, long-tailed keywords are also cheaper.

Keyword research can be a tedious and time consuming process, but the rewards are well worth the effort.  Targeting the proper keywords is often the difference between an affiliate website flourishing or dying on the vine.  Make use of the free keyword research tools available online and use the tips mentioned earlier in this article for guidance.

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