SEO Starts with Keyword Research

You can have a site with the best SEO on the planet and still not rank for a given search term. This is due to the competition in that space. For instance, if you were going to try to rank a website for the term “Nike Shoes,” then you would have zero chance of ranking with your on-page search engine optimization techniques alone. However, if you were trying to rank for a less competitive term like, “Seattle Discount Shoe Store,” then you might have a little bit more of a fighting chance of hitting page one. You’ll still have a lot of work to do, but this term would be a lot more manageable, especially on a tighter budget. Therefore, the success or failure of your SEO efforts begins with proper keyword research.

Keyword Research for Local vs Affiliate SEO

If you are a local business, you can’t really pick and choose which terms to go after in the search engines. Well, you can, but you are a little bit more limited in your choices. This can actually be a really good thing. A lot of people on the affiliate side of Search Engine Optimization get so caught up in which niche to go after that they get stuck in the paralysis of analysis.

For local businesses, it’s best to start off with what we call “longtail keywords.” Instead of going after your city name and product or your city name and service, go after something in which there is little competition. A great tool for this is the Google Keyword Planner. It tells you roughly how many searches a term gets per month and it is really easy to use. There are other tools out there of course, but they cost money. I have always relied heavily on Google’s keyword planner and I suggest you do the same. Don’t just take it at face value though. Use a little thinking outside of the box to find those great keywords that will drive people to your website.

For affiliate marketers, utilizing SEO techniques is a great way to point people to products that they might like. If they end up buying them after being referred from your link, then you will make commissions on that sale. This isn’t some sort of a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes a lot of work. It takes so much work that most people don’t dare venture into the realm of possibilities. On the other hand, there are several people who make five to six figures a month doing affiliate marketing. If affiliate is your thing, then make sure that you are going after terms that are profitable, have enough search volume so that you can actually make sales, and that the competition is weak in that particular vertical.

A Quick SEO Tip for Keyword Research

A lot of times, my ADD is a nuisance. Sometimes, it is not. In keyword research, my ADD is a great thing. I can often find terms that people are searching for that have very little competition. It’s sort of like how a brainstorming session works when you have a bunch of people in a group, except that I’m the only person in the room. I will think of a niche or product that I want to promote only to find that the competition is pretty stiff and there are a lot of authority websites already ranking on page one that I probably can’t beat out. I then look for similar products and longer tail keywords in Google’s keyword planner. Once I find something that gets at least 1000 searches per month, it’s go time.

I don’t mean that one specific term gets all of those searches, but a combination of words and modifiers gets those searches. For instance, if I were to try and rank for SEO tips, I would be out of luck. BUT if I were to try and rank for SEO tips for beginners in online marketing, that might get 20 searches or so per month. Maybe SEO strategies for beginners in online marketing might get a few more. I then add all of those up and if it comes out to 1000 searches or so per month, AND I can monetize it with commissions, I’m all about it. Happy hunting!