They’re one of the most important aspects of running a successful affiliate marketing business, and yet understanding how to find good keywords is one of the most often misunderstood parts of website research.
Many new marketers focus solely on finding keywords with high volume, and ignore the fact that higher volume keywords often have higher competition, which can make them more difficult to use effectively.
In this post I’ll walk you step by step through my process of finding keywords that are relatively easy to rank for quickly.
Step 1: Create a List of Content Ideas
Before I even begin looking for a good keyword, I need to have an idea of what I’m going to write about. This is a subtle, but important point:
Keywords support your content, but they should not define it.
If you haven’t already, you should list a few topic ideas on a piece of paper. These ideas can be broad, and I usually keep a running list of ideas that I can pull from whenever I sit down to write a post. Every topic has the possibility of finding a good keyword to support it, it’s just a matter of refining and developing the idea, which is step 2.
Step 2: Use Google to Help Refine Your Topic
I love Google’s ‘alphabet soup’ style sentence completion. You can start to type part of your topic idea into the search bar and easily find commonly searched phrases related to that topic.
For example, if my topic is “stomach exercises,” a broad term that probably has a lot of competition, can easily be narrowed to a more precise topic. My search comes up with the following:
- stomach exercises for men
- stomach exercises at work
- stomach exercises for women
- stomach exercises while pregnant
These are already much better ideas to use for keywords than the too-broad “stomach exercises” example. Even if I don’t use one of these exact matches, they give me further ideas of how to refine my topic. I could repeat the exercise by choosing one of these keywords as my base phrase, typing “stomach exercises for” or “stomach exercises for m” and letting the search fill in the remaining part of the phrase.
Step 3: Evaluating the Volume to Competition Ratio
Now that you have a list of good keyword ideas that both fit your topic and provide a refined glimpse into what people are searching for within that topic, it’s time to evaluate the golden ration of keyword analysis: search volume to competition.
There are a number of tools available to do this, but I use Jaaxy, which provides a ton of great information in an easily accessible format.
Selecting one of the phrases I got from Google, I do a quick Jaaxy search. I’m looking for the ration of search volume to QSR, a measure of competition that matches exact appearances in a Google search. Jaaxy also provides a green-yellow-red light system to show keyword validity, as well as an SEO-score ranking the term on a 1-100 scale (the higher the better).
Ideally, I’m looking for 3 things here:
- I want to see a QSR-Competition rating below 300,
- I want to see a search volume of at least 50 monthly searches, and
- I want the ration of search volume to competition to be above 1.
In the term I used in this example, “stomach exercises for men,” I meet each of those criteria, with over 4400 monthly searches and only 123 QSR-Competition.
Also note how Jaaxy provides information for related keywords, in the event that the exact phrase entered is too competitive or does not provide enough search volume.
One caution to look out for when doing keyword research is to always select keywords that have a natural-language flow. For example, “best ab workout men” also appears to be an attractive keyword, but the phrase is much harder to put naturally into a sentence. Remember that content always comes first, so all you keyword selections should be easy to read phrases.
In this post I’ve just walked you through how I find good keywords to use within my blogs, taking you from a broad topic to a specific phrase I know has a good chance of ranking well and driving traffic to my site. The process is relatively straightforward, and pretty easy once you get used to doing it.
I encourage you to go ahead and practice using Jaaxy to see what kind of results your keyword ideas are getting. It’s free to start, so just type you’re search into the box below and find a good keyword to write on today: