Keyword research is crucial that your affiliate website have a sense at all. Why? The lifeblood of your affiliate website is content. If it is effective, which means consistent, market-relevant, and keyword smart, then most likely, you will do very well in the business as an affiliate marketer.
In the ideal world, you must be an excellent writer and an SEO expert to succeed. However, if you are not both, at least learn to be one of the two, or a little of both.
There are those who blog very well and do not bother about maximizing the use of keywords, but their website performs wonderfully. These are the experts in their chosen niche. Because their content is relevant and valuable to the market, their websites get visited often and their conversions turn up very high.
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If writing, however, is not a natural talent of yours, at least, be smart in optimizing the use of your keywords. The good news is that this part can be easier learned as you go along.
So, don’t be lazy and just plod along because if you do, it will be an arduous and costly ride up. Sure, you will still be indexed by Google, regardless of the quality of the content but this is not our goal because it means that the probability of conversion will be very low or nil and that is the bane of an affiliate marketer.
So, let us get down to our business of how to generate free traffic by optimizing the use of keywords in content and how to become SEO smart.
Find the right keyword with keyword research
Think about your target market. Start keyword research about what interests them, what are the trending searches in your niche, and what converts. From these data, you shall find a common denominator, and this will give you the answer to your question.
Next, put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask if this keyword is what you would normally search for regarding the subject matter. If your answer is yes, then this may be the right keyword for you.
Also, as you publish your first few blogs, make sure you evaluate the results. See if your keyword works or needs to be tweaked a little. Here is where your traffic tool and data research come in handy so before changing anything, always base your decision from actual traffic results and research.
Optimize the use of keywords.
I’ll give you my tried and tested techniques for optimizing the use of keywords as you publish content.
First, when you decide on your title for your article and URL, make sure it includes your keyword after you have done the keyword research.
Second, as you conclude your blog, remember to mention your keyword.
One of the advices I give when I write my blog is to include one or two striking images that correspond to your title and body. When you post these photographs, you’ll most likely include captions for it. My third tip, then, is to include your keyword in these captions.
Fourth, put in your keyword when you do tags.
Fifth, use your keyword in the h2, h3, and h4 portions of your blog. These portions are indicated in your CMS template. For most of you, it’ll most likely be WordPress.
And that’s about it! If you notice, the gist is to use your keywords in strategic portions of your content. So, go ahead and keep writing those blogs and keep these in mind.
Know what to do with wrong keywords.
There are instances when some of you will experience good visitor traffic only to discover that you keyword is incorrect, maybe in terms of grammar, propriety, or meaning.
What should you do? Go back to your keyword research. Find out how correct yet similar keywords fare in rank. If the performance is up to par, just publish a new article using the right keyword this time so that you still have it in your website page.
Also, sift through your past posts. Find out which ones have the wrong keywords. Determine what can be deleted or replaced. That is, in terms of content quality and conversions. Those that have not generated clicks or, in other words, are useless, can be deleted. Then, write a much better version using the right keyword this time.
Yes, this is extra effort. You may need to even research a bit to correct this faux pas. The lesson here is to be careful when deciding on your keyword before you blog away so that you do not have to correct all the mess.
That said, what happens now if you don’t delete the posts just because the article is a good one? The best that you can do is improve on it and adopt a few changes.
Time is precious to an affiliate marketer. Every second could mean a sale or a lost opportunity. Your time should, therefore, be allocated more toward publishing and sustaining effective content.
I believe that complete overhaul of an article is not worth your time and resources. Just learn from this mistake, refine those good ones, bin those bad ones, and move forward.
Employ one keyword.
I think I mentioned this a while ago and in my previous blogs. You must only use one keyword. More than that will distill the effectiveness of your keyword. It’s as straightforward as that.
When you create content, adopt only one keyword to gravitate around. This is how you can score well in search engines. That's why keyword research should be the most valuable work.
If, however, you are conflicted between more than one keywords, you can always come up with another article about these, especially if they are related, but, if they are too related or mean the same, do not bother. It might even work against your ranking.
Ensure that you rank well.
Remember that your website is being ranked by a machine, not a human being. If you do not have the volume and quality in terms of content, which dictates your authority in the targeted niche, you will not be recognized by this machine.
Let’s say you have already been operating for more than a month and have generated ten blogs.
Each blog may contain an average of 450 words. The search engines would still need to determine your authority and credibility about the subject based on the value and volume of your content.
So, what do you do? Give the search engines it what it needs. Keep churning out those lovely articles of yours and remember what I told you about the use of keywords.
Sometimes, writers make the mistake of producing the same content and almost the same keyword. As I said, this does not result in good ranking.
For example, if one of your articles is about ‘DIY Cures for a Sprained Ankle’ and then you decide to produce another one, entitled, ‘DIY Cures for my Sprained Ankle.’
Seriously? They’re practically identical twins! The difference is just one single word and how differentiated can you go with these?
If you insist in going ahead with these topics, at least differ in your purpose for the two articles. That should at least do some good in your ranking. Otherwise, avoid this mistake no matter how desperate you are for content.
Note these other suggestions.
The success of your affiliate website can be managed up to a certain extent using the tools and strategies that I outlined here and in my previous articles.
However, what drives you up the scale is hard work and strategy. Know your SEO performance spectrum. How much is enough, too much, and too little? Work around that, adjust, and evolve.
Another key point is to check out your adversaries. Yes, you may be very knowledgeable about your niche or your affiliate website may have become super smart in terms of SEO but sometimes you’re still not performing as well as you’d expected. So be careful and detailed during keyword research.
What could be wrong?
Investigate which websites publish the same content in your chosen subject matter. Are these websites way above your league? Could they be almost the same level as TechCrunch if you are targeting its niche?
If so, this is bad news for you. Of course, you can’t compete against TechCrunch or Buzzfeed at this stage so you will need to be content with being ranked on the second page of Google, at the very most.
In this instance, what you can probably do is adopt a longer phrase in your succeeding content so you can draw more traffic into your other pages.
Produce effective, consistent, and sustainable content.
Now that we have those basic techniques panned out, let’s focus on producing content consistently after we have done with keyword research.
Again, if you’re not a natural word craftsman, this is your opportunity to become one. Remember the adage, ‘Constant correct practice makes perfect.’ Anyway, you can always go back to what you wrote and edit as you see fit. You can also write an update of it and just link the two articles so that your reader can be rechanneled to your new version.
Just keep doing it, keeping in mind the tips I’ve given you about using the right keywords and mentioning them in strategic parts of your articles. Of course, create content based on what you gleaned from research as well.
Some of the research tools that I’ve tried and proven effective in the past are ‘Jaaxy’ and ‘SEMrush.’
The former is what I recommend for newbies like you because apart from its affordable rate, it is reliable and quite handy in providing the results you need to track your visitor traffic.
‘SEMrush,’ on the other hand, is not as affordable but is very good in providing predictive statistics from which to base your content writing and website management strategies.
Later I shall teach you how to also determine which products to target in terms of marketing.
Please also see some of the tutorial videos that I composed to help you in your knowledge and strategy map regarding keywords and how to optimize their use.
Just in case you still are not confident about your keywords, that’s okay. Keep going with what you have and then evaluate later whether these keywords rank well or not. Then, you can always adapt accordingly.
As the owner of an affiliate website, expect failures and mistakes. It’s a given. Whenever you hit a bump on the road, find out how to go around it, and keep going.
Take calculated risks as well. Don’t be a victim of analysis paralysis because, as I said, time is essential here.
Keywords are crucial in content so it would do you well to learn how to be as knowledgeable as you can with optimizing it.
Sustain your affiliate website.
In the initial stages of your business, it might be a bit difficult to sustain your content. Sometimes, you will run dry with what else to write. That is a common challenge especially if you’re not yet a seasoned blogger.
My solution is to just keep at it. It’s just like learning how to ride a bicycle. You will expect to fall and may have wounds and bruises to show as you pedal but you don’t stop. You keep pedaling until you find your bearing, and soon you’re already doing it without support!
It’s the same with blogging. You don’t quit. You keep producing and producing and producing until you get those clicks. Believe me, with that kind of persistence, the conversions will come, if not sooner.
If, for instance, you choose a very thin niche and you panic because there seem to be not enough points to discuss about. Don’t rely on what you think.
Here are other sources where you can obtain inspirations for your niche blogging:
Check your ‘adversary.’
When you run into a blank wall, there’s always Google to help you.
Check other similar websites and find out what they are writing. Better yet, see which of their articles generate a lot of interest. These are usually the articles with a lot of comments and likes.
You can then base your next article on this same subject matter but provide a different perspective, an even more interesting take if you can.
Go where the herd is after keyword research
After browsing other similar websites, you can also check out social media sites, chatgroups, and other networking sites that focus on the same niche.
There are a lot of learnings in these communities and I am sure that you’ll find many insights not only about what to write but also how to improve on your strategies.
See which topics are getting a lot of fuss and take a note of these. You may have to map out a plan to schedule your blog content so that your content flows cohesively one after the other.
Pore over published materials.
You can also do your research on publications such as magazines and bestsellers. Read about your niche gurus and learn from their perspective and style of communication.
At this point, I cannot overstress the importance of keeping an online journal for your sparks of inspiration. You’ve got to sustain your content quality and to do that, you not only have to manufacture content, but more crucially, high quality content.
Where else to find it but from your niche influencers.
Mine from shows and documentary materials.
It’s the age of information and you are no longer limited to physical libraries to mine information from, although you may put a sticky note on that one, if all else fails. Who knows?
Anyway, my point is there is so much information sources available out there that you can tap. Turn on the TV and watch out for channels that may feature some documentaries about your chosen niche. If you get lucky, they might even dedicate their entire spot just about your subject matter.
Visit product websites.
I’m sure you know the big-ticket commercial websites in relation to your niche. Some of these include Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, and other huge brand marketing websites. And they are also a great platform for keyword research too.
Do visit and browse through these marketplaces. Watch and determine which of their products, in relation to your niche, are rising stars or even best-selling.
Read through the reviews and comments about these products. Just by doing so, you’ll be able to find a whole world of insights that can rekindle that spark for your next blog.
In fact, with what you can discover in these hugely popular sites, you can already map out a month-long list of topics to write about.
You might even discover how to further expand your niche by knowing what it can cover with the new and fast developments mushrooming all around the place.
You’ll also be able to update yourself with product developments that you did not even hear about. These open a lot of opportunities to explore regarding how else to expand your topic discussion.
Keep in mind, also, not to be boxed in with your product. For instance, if your product is about coffee, there’s always an opportunity to write about DIY coffee bath scrubs from your coffee remnants. That would even be way cool since DIY is such a huge trend nowadays and you can further go eco-sustainable mode with this!
Remember, digital marketing is the new world. There is even way too much information and boundless possibilities so be in trend with keyword research.
I cannot even think of products or services that can no longer be promoted online. Even critical surgeries are done online.
So, get up and do your mad research. Only you can limit yourself. The tools are just staring you in the face.
Keep those creative juices flowing and you’ll realize that you are either your own content loser or your content champion.
After posting substantive content, the easier way to find other points of discussion is to dive back into your previous blogs, especially those that you’ve created in the early stages of your journey as a niche marketer.
During that time, you may probably have so much to write about that you were not able to completely cover everything that needs to be expounded. Never put keyword research besides.
There may also be points there that can still be made into a full-blown blog post.
Afterward, you can always link the past article to your new one to encourage more visits. Just remember what I said about keywords.
Also, digging up past blogs not only help you edit those blogs that need to be improved but also provide you with a chance to learn from your past mistakes and then create better versions for later linking.
This is one of the easier sources that you can tap as you do not need to look further from your own backyard.
Always watch out for the silver lining.
As you gain traction with your writing, you will observe that traffic is building and that means you did good keyword research. Not only that, but you will also discover that your visitors now post remarks or comments about your articles. Fantastic!
Well, here’s the thing. Not all comments will be pleasant, though. Sometimes, these comments will be abrasive or plain destructive so be ready to make lemonade out of life’s lemons.
To me, all comments are welcome because these tell me something about my audience and these may be useful in either conducting deeper conversations with them or in giving me new insights to my next article.
In this case, try to listen to what they have to say. Turn a deaf ear at the harshness of their language. Why? My interpretation is that if they spend time and effort to leave a comment, it could mean that they care enough about the subject matter. That is essential.
Conclusion about keyword research
Another possibility is that this niche that you are focused on may be one of their expertise or interests as well. Engaging them or listening to what they have to say may afford you a novel perspective on your subject matter.
Also, you can treat these negative comments as indicators that others may also feel the same way about your discussion but did not bother to leave a comment.
This ‘dingbat,’ on the other hand, had the guts to tell it to your face and that’s what makes his action or comments noteworthy.
In this case, it may be your cue to blog about your niche through this newly discovered point of view and you may even dedicate an entire blog about it.
The important lesson here is any activity is still activity and I would prefer this type of activity anytime of the day than wasting away with very well-written content but having neither impact in rank nor flow of traffic.