How To Do Keyword Research for Affiliate Marketing?

Want to generate passive income online? 

Affiliate marketing is the way to go. 

Whether you’re a current blog owner or starting from scratch, this post is for you. 

Let’s get rolling. 


Finding a Profitable Affiliate Marketing Niche

Before we get to the juicy stuff, allow me to lend a hand to those without a blog first.

If you already have a niche and website, feel free to skip this section. If not, read on to find the ideal niche for your affiliate site today.  


Why is a niche important and how to find one?

Here’s a cold hard fact: it’s nigh impossible to build a successful affiliate marketing business with the wrong niche. 

At this point, you may already have an idea of what niche to pursue. 

After all, everyone has their “thing.” 

It can be about fitness, cooking, writing, public speaking, and what have you. 

Remember, a niche must be something that aligns with your passions — that is the first requirement. 

What is a Niche
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By picking a niche you’re passionate about, you minimize the risk of burnout. 

Can you imagine working, day in and day out, trying to promote products or services you’ve no interest in?

Unfortunately, finding a profitable niche in the online space takes a lot more than identifying what you’re passionate about.  

Step 1: Starting with a submarket

Let me ask you a question: 

What exactly are you passionate about? 

Is it dating or physical fitness? How about personal finance? 

Regardless of your answer, I have bad news for you. 

None of those are niches. 

Rather, they are merely submarkets that are still too competitive for a new blogger. 

Core Markets and Submarkets
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Keep in mind that a niche is a well-defined part of a submarket. It must serve a specific group of customers with specific goals. 

Unless you can identify potential end products you can sell, you still haven’t found your niche. 

On the flip side, finding a submarket is a step closer to discovering your affiliate marketing niche. 

Step 2: Narrowing down your submarket on Quora

When creating a “money site” for affiliate marketing, remember that you’re building it for an audience — not for yourself. 

To find the perfect niche for your affiliate site, you must understand the challenges and problems they face. 

That should put you in a position where you can find affiliate products that can help them accomplish their goals.

Researching your audience can take hours of intensive research, which I outlined in this post

However, I know a shortcut. 

All you need to do is head to Quora, type in your submarket, and look at the questions users ask.  

Quora Searching for a Submarket
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The Quora search results in the screenshot above are particularly interesting. 

From the perspective of someone who’s clueless about photography, these results gave me the following niche ideas: 

  1. Camera lenses and other equipment reviews
  2. Wedding photography
  3. Camera apps and photo editing software

If I were you, I’d write a list of all the potential niche ideas I have — we’ll validate them later. 

For now, here’s another way to come up with niche ideas in your chosen submarket. 

Step 3: Get more niche ideas from AnswerThePublic

Quora can help you get a glimpse into the minds of your target audience. 

However, the Quora user base is only a fraction of the online population. 

That’s why I recommend using AnswerThePublic for more niche ideas.

It works by consolidating all the questions users ask about a topic into one page. 

AnswerThePublic Start Page
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In case you’re wondering, AnswerThePublic utilizes “autocomplete” data from search engines to generate results. 

Once the results are in, the site renders three “search clouds” for queries based on questions, prepositions, and comparisons. 

AnswerThePublic Search Cloud
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It looks impressive, but you’ll get a better view by switching to the ‘Data’ tab.

This will display the results as lists — way more scannable than search cloud visualizations. 

AnswerThePublic Data View
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Combing through Quora and AnswerThePublic for questions should be more than enough to generate dozens of niche ideas. 

To validate the profitability of a niche, proceed to the next step. 

Step 4: Checking for potential affiliate products in marketplaces

At the end of the day, your affiliate marketing business will only perform as well as your product. 

If there are no viable affiliate products to sell, you should forget about affiliate marketing altogether. 

To look for potential affiliate products, you can start with a simple Google search. 

The trick is simple: just add “affiliate programs” at the end of your search query.

Google Search Photography Affiliate Programs
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Within seconds, you should be able to find a number of prospective affiliate programs you can jump into for monetization. 

In most cases, you should be able to find listicles that aggregate multiple affiliate programs into one post. 

Google Search Results for Photography Courses Affiliate Programs
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Since you’re entering the landscape of affiliate marketing, you should also get familiar with affiliate marketing marketplaces. 

Amazon Associates is a great place to start, thanks to the unparalleled diversity in their product catalog. 

You can find everything here — from fashion items to eBooks. 

Amazon Associates
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You can read this guide for a list of the most reputable affiliate networks on the web. 

If you still can’t find a suitable affiliate product to sell, there are also several unconventional strategies you can try. 

Here are some ideas: 

  • Set up Google Alerts to receive updates about known products in your niche
  • Check out what other affiliate marketers are selling
  • Find out what people are interested in using Google Trends
  • Read income reports of affiliate marketers for the hottest affiliate product ideas
  • Look at product recommendations in forums

That’s it — all the steps you need to find a profitable affiliate marketing niche. 

The next order of business is to equip your blogging strategy with profitable keywords. 

Let me show you how it’s done. 


Doing Keyword Research for Affiliate Marketing

Make no mistake that your target keywords can make or break your affiliate marketing endeavor. 

With the right lineup of keywords, you can: 

  • Generate free, organic traffic from search engines
  • Attract users with purchase intent
  • Supplement your content strategy with evergreen topic ideas

Not sure how all these come together? 

Don’t worry — everything will make sense once you get your first batch of target keywords. 


Using the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool to find long-tail keywords

To get the ball rolling, let’s search for affiliate marketing keywords with SEMrush — a heavy-hitter in terms of features.

(Experience SEMrush with a 30 Days FREE trial)

For the sake of this guide, let’s say you went ahead and built a travel photography blog. And as for your monetization, you decided to promote online photography courses as an affiliate. 

It’s time to turn these bits of information into lucrative, long-tail keyword ideas.

What are long-tail keywords?

Put simply, a long-tail keyword is a keyword that contains three or more terms. 

Broad Keywords vs Long-Tail Keywords
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Aside from length, they differ from broad terms in the following aspects: 

  • User Search Intent — Some long-tail keywords contain commercial terms like “buy,” “price,” and “for sale.” These are strong indicators that the person who uses them are planning to make a purchase. 
  • Keyword Competitiveness — The shorter a keyword is, the more competitive it tends to be. Targeting long-tail keywords is a surefire way to avoid competing against big brands with much bigger bank accounts. 
  • Content Strategy Implementation — When coming up with blog post ideas, broad keywords can only tell you so much. Long-tail keywords, however, can often be used as content topics themselves.

Now that you understand the importance of long-tail keywords, let’s go look for them.

In SEMrush, all things keywords-related can be found under the “Keyword Analytics” submenu.

SEMrush Keyword Analytics Tools
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To find affiliate marketing keywords, you need to fire up the “Keyword Magic” tool. 

Just click ‘Keyword Magic Tool’ and enter any broad term related to your chosen niche. 

I like to call these broad terms “seed keywords.”

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
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The Keyword Magic Tool can provide you with a wealth of insights on your seed keyword — along with related keywords.

It also converts broad, seed keywords into more specific long-tail keywords. 

For example, if you enter “photography courses” as your seed keyword, you’ll get the following results:

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Photography Courses Ideas
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As you can see, the Keyword Magic Tool revealed pertinent data about the keyword “photography courses.” 

It showed the average monthly search volume for your keyword, its projected difficulty score, and more. 

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Metrics
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Impressive, but that’s not a long-tail keyword.

To make sure SEMrush only displays long-tail keywords, you’ll need to play with some filters. 

Using filters to find profitable, long-tail keywords

On the Keyword Magic Tool results page, click the ‘Advanced Filters’ drop-down menu to reveal all your options. 

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Advanced Filters
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Since a long-tail keyword has three or more words, type in “3” into the “Word count” filter’s lower range. 

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Word Count Filter
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Additionally, I would set the minimum search volume of keyword ideas to be at 100. 

This is not a rule set in stone. 

In fact, a lot of SEO professionals go for keywords with at least 50 searches per month.

Quora Answer by Gabriel Nwatarali
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You can also lower your search volume filter’s minimum limit to 50 if you can’t find keywords with low-medium difficulty. But as much as possible, look for keywords with a search volume of 100 or more to maximize your results. 

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Volume Filter
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“You mentioned keywords with low-medium difficulty — how do I find those?”

Good question. 

SEMrush measures keyword difficulty on a scale of 1-100: 

  • Low Difficulty Keywords (Below 60) — These are the perfect keyword difficulty range for new bloggers and affiliate marketers. 
  • Medium Difficulty Keywords (60-80) — If your website has some authority in your sphere, you could go for these keywords to gain more traffic. 
  • High Difficulty Keywords (Above 80) — Lastly, keywords with a difficulty of 80 and above require consistent SEO and link building. Stay clear of these keywords if you’re just starting out. 

To find keywords within a specific keyword difficulty bracket, enter your preferred values under “KD %.” 

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool KD Range Filter
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Remember that the keyword difficulty scale varies from tool to tool. 

Check out my keyword difficulty analysis guide to understand how different tools determine the difficulty ratings of keywords.

Other keyword filters

Apart from the filters mentioned above, the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool also lets you filter results based on:

  • Cost Per Click — Looking at the average CPC of a keyword will give you an idea of how profitable it can really be. If marketers are willing to spend even just $5 per click, without guaranteed sales, they must be getting decent margins.
  • Competitive Density — If you plan on running PPC campaigns, look for keywords with a low competitive density score. SEMrush measures this on a scale of 0-1.00.
  • SERP Features — Top-tier keyword research tools can display the number of SERP features that appear in search results for each keyword. This will help you find keywords with additional ranking opportunities – be it videos, FAQs, site links, and so on.
  • SERP Results — The “Results in SERP” value for each keyword lets you take a second look at the competitiveness of a keyword. It’s an approximation of the number of pages that are currently indexed for that particular search query. 
Keyword Magic Tool Other Filters
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The CPC and competitive density metrics, however, only make sense if you’re planning to launch a PPC campaign. 

As for SERP features, you can learn more by reading this SEMrush review and tutorial.  

Moving on…

After clicking ‘Apply filters,’ let’s take a look at our list of keyword ideas now:

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Filtered Results
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So far, so good. 

Our list is now a mix of viable long-tail keywords — all with reasonable traffic and low-medium keyword difficulty scores. 

Still, we have plenty of ground to cover when it comes to finding keyword opportunities for affiliate marketing.

For one, we still haven’t discussed “search intent.” 


Utilizing search intent to boost conversions

Search intent is something that isn’t always discussed in keyword research guides. 

For the most part, it’s due to the heavy emphasis on finding long-tail keywords, which isn’t really a bad approach. 

Here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if your target keyword can generate traffic if they have zero purchase intent. 

Let me explain. 

The three types of search intent 

Behind every online search, there is a primary objective that the user wants to accomplish. 

This can only be one of the following: 

Three Types of Search Intent
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  • Informational Search (Looking for Information) — First off, an informational search is done if the user’s main goal is to simply learn. It involves a question that can be answered with or without buying something. 
  • Navigational Search (Finding a Website) — A navigational search — also known as “branded search” — happens when a user already knows what they’re looking for. It only makes sense to optimize for these searches with keywords that include your brand’s name.
  • Transactional Search (Looking for a Product to Purchase) — If someone uses Google with the intention to buy something, that is considered a transactional search. This is the kind of search intent you should optimize for if your priority is to generate paying customers.  

Got a solid grasp on search intent and why it matters?

Good. 

As soon as you read about the different types of search intent, the term “transactional search” probably caught your attention. 

To generate more sales, you should attract visitors with purchase intent, right? 

With that said, let’s talk about the ways to find “buyer keywords” used in transactional searches. 

Using SEMrush filters to find buyer keywords 

The easiest way to find buyer keywords used in transactional searches is to use filters. 

Here’s what we should do: 

  1. Expand seed keywords into long-tail keywords using the process mentioned earlier
  2. Use filters to zero in on viable keywords in terms of traffic and competitiveness
  3. Sift out keywords that contain terms that are associated with purchase intent

For example, we can all agree that the keyword “wireless headphones for small ears” looks promising, right?

Keyword Magic Tool Wireless Headphones Ideas
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That’s because we’ve already expanded our seed keyword — “wireless headphones” — into long-tail variations. Furthermore, we’ve also filtered these keywords using our preferences in terms of search volume, keyword difficulty, and word count.

Keyword Magic Tool Filtered Results for Wireless Headphones
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What we haven’t done, however, is to use the “include” and “exclude” filters to find keywords specifically with transactional intent.

The game plan is simple. 

First, we enter a term that implies purchase intent into the “Include keywords” field. 

Some examples of these terms are: 

  • Buy 
  • Best
  • Price
  • Affordable
  • Budget
  • Deals
Keyword Magic Tool Include Filter
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Immediately, we find several long-tail keywords that are commonly used by searchers who plan to buy something. 

Keyword Magic Tool Transactional Keywords
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You may also notice that some branded keywords have made their way into the list: 

Keyword Magic Tool Branded Results
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Relax — we can easily weed out these keywords by using the “Exclude keywords” filter.

Simply type in the brand name you don’t want to appear and click ‘Apply filters’ to refresh the results. 

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool Exclude Filter
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Within seconds, the Keyword Magic Tool should provide you with a fresh batch of long-tail keyword ideas. 

This time, you have yourself a mine of profitable keyword opportunities you can use for affiliate marketing. 

Keyword Magic Tool Profitable Keywords List
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Here’s a pro tip: click on the ‘KD %’ column header to sort the keyword results according to keyword difficulty. 

Click it once or twice to sort the keywords list from least competitive to most competitive. 

Keyword Magic Tool Sort Results
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This step isn’t always required. But if you got a list of keywords with intimidating difficulty scores, sorting the results could be extremely helpful. 


Building a bigger target keywords list for your affiliate marketing content

With the steps we’ve done so far, the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool provided us with 30 long-tail keyword ideas. 

Keyword Magic Tool All Keywords Count
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That should be more than enough

Remember, it’s generally advised to target around five keywords per page. These keywords should be closely related to maximize your post’s topical relevance in the eyes of search engines and readers.

Here’s what Steve Napier of SEOmark has to say about the number of keywords you should target per page:

SEOmark Steve Napier Quote
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Sounds great, but what if you still haven’t found a suitable keyword for the affiliate product you’re trying to promote?

Thankfully, we can still squeeze a handful more keywords using the steps below. 

Looking for related keywords on SEMrush

In case you didn’t notice, the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool can instantly pull up related keyword ideas for your query.  

At the top of the results page, you should see these tabs to the left of the ‘Advanced Filters.’

To reveal related keyword ideas, click ‘Related.’

Keyword Magic Tool View Related Keywords
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Checking the results, you’ll see that the number of potential, long-tail keyword ideas has gone up from 30 to 47. 

Keyword Magic Tool Related Keywords List
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Easy-peasy.

You can also expand related terms for any specific keyword that catches your attention.

Suppose the keyword “best headphones for making beats” inspired you to make a listicle for that specific product category.

Keyword Magic Tool Best Headphones for Making Beats
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Before you take that keyword and write your content, there are three additional things you should do: 

  1. Look for additional, related keywords until you have at least five
  2. Check out the top organic pages for those keywords
  3. Scout out the potential affiliate products 

Let’s go over each of these steps in detail. 

Exploring the related keyword for more ideas 

The first step is to explore more long-tail keyword ideas that are contextually relevant.

To do this, click on the keyword to view its “Keyword Overview” report. 

Above the fold, the page shows metrics that you should already know from the previous list.

What’s interesting here, however, is the “Keyword Suggestions” panel. 

Keyword Magic Tool Keyword Suggestions Panel
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Take note that, although it only says there are eight keyword suggestions, I’m certain there are way more than that. 

You’ll see what I’m talking about in a bit. 

If you scroll down to the “Phrase Match Keywords” section, you’ll see the keyword suggestions mentioned above. 

Keyword Analytics Phrase Match Keywords
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In some cases, looking at phrase match keywords is enough to find at least five target keywords for a post. 

Doing so should be ideal since it tells search engines that your content is 100% about “headphones for making beats.”

There’s just one problem. 

The total search volume for these keywords, along with “best headphones for making beats,” is just 450. 

  • Best headphones for making beats: 
  • Related keywords: 240 
  • Total: 450 average monthly search volume

Would you go through all the trouble of writing content, optimizing for search, and building links for 450 monthly visitors? 

Don’t forget that you’re not even guaranteed to get a reasonable share of that traffic. 

Not to mention that a large chunk of your web visitors won’t convert into paying customers.

The good news is, you don’t have to stick to phrase match keywords for your affiliate marketing content. 

The Keyword Magic Tool has plenty of additional keyword suggestions for you. 

Just slide over to the ‘Related Keywords’ panel and you’ll know what I mean. 

Keyword Overview Related Keywords Panel
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True, these keywords may not contain the exact phrase “headphones for making beats.” 

Most of these keywords, however, are LSI keywords that are highly beneficial for your SEO. 

Go ahead and click ‘View full report’ to let the Keyword Magic Tool dig up truckloads of more keyword ideas. Just remember to switch to the ‘Related’ tab to view the keywords that can bolster your affiliate marketing campaign. 

Keyword Magic Tool Related Keywords Tab
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If, for some reason, you still want more keyword ideas, simply repeat the steps above. 

That’s the beauty of using robust keyword research platforms like the Keyword Magic Tool. 

The next thing you should do is look at the organic SERP results for your target keyword. 

Scouting the competition’s content

Another cool keyword research feature of SEMrush is the organic search results analyzer. 

Going back to the overview of “best headphones for making beats,” look for the “Organic Search Results” section. 

Keyword Analytics Organic Search Results
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Long story short, it’s a list of pages that rank for your target keyword from positions 1-100. 

Why should you bother checking these out? 

Three reasons: 

  • Determine the Best Content Type for the Keyword — By analyzing the top ten results, you can easily determine the best content type to use in your strategy. It can be a listicle, “how to” guide, review, and so on. 
  • Look at the Potential Affiliate Products You Can Sell — Investigating the top results will also help you discover the best affiliate products you can promote on your site. At most, it should only take a couple of minutes to do this. 
  • Check Out Your Competitors’ Top Keywords — Yes — looking at your competitors’ content is also a great way to discover even more keywords. That’s the cherry on top. 

When doing any form of competitor research, it’s always a good idea to start with the top-performing content. 

For the keyword “best headphones for making beats,” it’s this post from Music Critic.

Keyword Overview Organic Search Results
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Let’s start by sniffing around the actual page. 

To visit the link, click on the small, blue icon with an arrow to the left. That should take you directly to the page and not the “Organic Research” report. 

Music Critic Post
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Clearly, a listicle the ideal content type for our keyword. 

Scrolling a little further, you should begin to see potential affiliate products that you can promote yourself. Some websites are even nice enough to create a table of contents for you to use. 

Music Critic Table of Contents
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While you’re at it, observe the elements your competitor uses in their content. 

Remember that if you want to outrank them, you must first outperform them. 

Pay attention to every detail and incorporate them into your own content strategy. In the example above, having a “top three picks” widget is a great idea to borrow. 

Music Critic Top Three Picks
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Got a good look at your competitor’s content?

SEMrush has one more trick up its sleeve that will help you make the most out of your competitor research. 

Checking out competitor keywords

Performing keyword research is one of the most fulfilling experiences as a blogger. 

It’s a fundamental skill that can turn anyone into a competitive online marketer — no matter what niche you enter. 

However, everyone can agree that it can be a time-consuming process. 

This is where competitor keyword research comes in. 

The premise is simple: skip the number crunching and just steal the target keywords of your top competitors.  

SEMrush can help you with this using its suite of competitive research tools. 

SEMrush Competitive Research Tools
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Without further ado, let’s put these tools to the test. 

To view your competitor’s top organic keywords, enter their domain’s URL into the “Domain Overview” tool. 

In relation to the previous example, let’s plug in Music Critic’s domain to spy on their top keywords. 

Domain Overview Tool
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On the “Domain Overview” page, scroll down until you find the “Organic Research” section. 

One of the first data cards you should see is the “Top Organic Keywords” list. 

Domain Overview Top Organic Keywords
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Of course, you shouldn’t just copy their top keywords willy-nilly into your campaign and call it a day. 

Just like before, you ought to use filters to find the best long-tail keywords that can get faster results. 

However, it’s worth noting that the filter tool for the organic research page works differently from the Keyword Magic Tool.

Rather than a single panel where you can quickly add filters, you need to use drop-down menus to create them. 

For example, to find keywords with a monthly traffic of at least 100, you need to use the following settings:

Domain Overview Keyword Filters
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To add more filters, click ‘Add condition’ and repeat the process again. 

Domain Overview Filters Add Conditions
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It’s not as intuitive as the Keyword Magic Tool’s filters — I know. 

Regardless, it shouldn’t take long before you find a new batch of keywords for your affiliate website. 

Domain Overview More Keyword Ideas
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With these steps, it’s flat-out impossible for you to run out of keyword ideas ever again. 

We’re not even done with competitor keyword research yet. 

Unveiling the target keywords of a competitor’s specific content

Want to outrank your top competitors for specific search queries?

You can also use SEMrush’s organic research feature to check out the keywords of a specific page. 

For example, let’s paste the URL of Music Critic’s post about headphones for music production. 

Notice that the drop-down menu to the right of the main field turned from “Root Domain” to “Subfolder.”

SEMrush Organic Research Subfolder
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Upon clicking ‘Search,’ the organic research page should now display the top organic keywords for that specific post. 

Organic Research for Competitor's Site
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Again, you should view the full report and use filters to scoop up the best keyword opportunities for you.

Using the Keyword Gap tool to find keyword ideas you’re missing out on 

Finally, SEMrush has a unique tool called “Keyword Gap.” 

I saved this for last due to how awesome it is. 

In simple terms, the Keyword Gap tool’s main function is to compare the keywords of two or more sites. You can use it to find organic keywords that your competitors already rank for, but not you. 

For example, let’s say you own MusicRadar and Music Critic is your top competitor. 

The first step is to type in Music Critic’s domain. 

Keyword Gap Competitor's Domain
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Next up, enter your own domain on the next domain field. 

Keyword Gap Tool Second Domain
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Before you click ‘Go,’ click on the icon with two intersecting circles between the domains. 

That’s where you can set the “intersection type” you want to use to filter out keywords from your search. 

Set this to ‘Unique to the first domain’s keywords’ and you’re good to go. 

Keyword Gap Intersection Type
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Within seconds, the tool should display your competitor’s keywords that you — or, in this case, MusicRadar — don’t rank for. 

Keyword Gap Missed Opportunities
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Of course, there is an obvious drawback to this strategy. 

It only makes sense to use the Keyword Gap Tool if your website has been around for a while. 

Otherwise, the tool will simply pull up most if not all of your competitor’s organic keywords.

In the example below, I tested the keywords of Music Critic with that of an empty, test domain. 

According to the Keyword Gap tool, every single organic keyword of Music Critic is unique. 

Keyword Gap Tool Unique Keywords
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Finding low-hanging fruit keywords with the Keyword Gap tool

Okay — finding your competitor’s unique keywords is pretty cool, but it’s not really mind-blowing. 

What really gets me excited about the Keyword Gap tool is its usefulness in spotting low-hanging keyword opportunities. 

Basically, low-hanging fruit keywords are those that can guarantee quick and substantial gains. They are keywords that you already rank for, but not on page one. 

For example, if you’re the owner of TheAudioDome.com, then “wireless headphones for making beats” is a low-hanging fruit for you. 

Why? 

Because you’re already ranking on Google’s page two for that keyword. 

Google SERP Low-Hanging Fruit Example
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Remember, the vast majority of organic traffic is soaked up by Google’s first page results.

By prioritizing this keyword, TheAudioDome has a very good chance of reaching page one and getting loads of traffic.

That’s the reason why I’m absolutely impressed with SEMrush’s Keyword Gap tool. 

With it, you can find keywords that competitors rank for on page one, but you rank for on page two. 

To make it happen, enter you and your competitors’ domains into the Keyword Gap tool — just like before. 

This time, however, set ‘Common Keywords’ as the intersection type for your search.  

keyword Gap Common Keywords Intersection Type
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After clicking ‘Go’ and viewing the results, the next step is to create three filters. 

For the first one, select the domain of your competitor under the ‘Keyword’ drop-down menu. 

Again, we’ll pretend that Music Critic is your competitor and MusicRadar is your site.

Keyword Gap Tool Competitor's Keyword Positions
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On the next drop-down menu, choose ‘Less than’ and enter 11 on the field to the right. 

This will tell the Keyword Gap tool to look for keywords that your competitor ranks 10th or above for. 

In other words, these are the keywords where they appear on Google’s first page.

Keyword Gap Position Filter
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Next, create another filter by clicking ‘Add one more’ and select your domain.

Keyword Gap Your Domain Position Filter
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On the next drop-down menu, select ‘Greater than’ and enter 10. This will tell the tool that you’re after keywords where you appear on Google’s second page and beyond.

Keyword Gap Your Domain Position Upper Filter
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Now — for the third and final filter, select your site again. 

Keyword Gap Upper Position Limit Filter
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On the next drop-down menu, select ‘Less than’ and then enter 21. 

This last filter tells the tool to exclude keywords that you rank for on position 21 and above. 

Yes — those are keywords where you appear on page three and higher. 

Keyword Gap Tool Less Than 21
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Moment of truth. 

After applying the filters, the Keyword Gap tool should now present you with a long list of low-hanging fruit keywords. 

Prioritizing these keywords in your SEO strategy will have a maximum impact on your traffic in the shortest possible time.

Keyword Gap Tool Low-Hanging Fruit Keywords
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Do you now see why I’m completely amazed by SEMrush’s Keyword Gap tool? 

As much as I love it, it’s definitely not a tool for everyone. 

Newbie affiliate marketers probably won’t find lucrative keyword opportunities using the strategies in this section. Still, learning about these strategies today can surely help you reach Google’s first page when the time comes. 


Bonus section: targeting question-based keywords with QuestionDB

Full disclosure: SEMrush did not sponsor this post. 

Truth be told, it’s one of my top SEO and marketing analytics platforms of all time. But it’s not the only tool in the world that can help you find countless keywords for affiliate marketing. 

If you’re using another tool, I’m confident that it has features similar to what SEMrush has to offer. 

Except, maybe, the Keyword Gap tool. 

Speaking of more tools, I still have a couple of keyword research tools I’d like to share with you. 

QuestionDB

QuestionDB is a handy tool that, similar to AnswerThePublic, identifies questions that users ask pertaining to a specific keyword.

QuestionDB
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To use it, simply enter a seed keyword and click ‘Generate.’ 

It should take less than a minute for QuestionDB to provide you with dozens of question-based keywords. 

QuestionDB Results
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Why are question-based keywords important for SEO? 

Let’s go over the reasons real quick. 

Better rankings overall

By mentioning and answering questions in your content, you give search engines more relevancy signals. 

They help crawlers understand the “semantics” of your content and present it to the users who need its information.

Optimize for voice search

Optimizing for question-based keywords will make your content more searchable to users who use voice search. 

Brian Dean actually wrote a very insightful article that discusses the relationship between voice search and question-based keywords. When you’re done reading this post, I recommend checking that out right here

The Google Answer Box

Ever typed a question on Google?

Chances are you encountered a SERP feature dubbed the “Google Answer Box” a couple of times.

Here’s the Google Answer Box in action:

The Google Answer Box
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By optimizing for a question-based keyword, you’ll have a shot at being featured in the Answer Box. 

You don’t even need to be at the number one spot. 

If you manage to reach Google’s first page, your content may randomly get featured — regardless of rankings!

Just a little pro tip: if you want to target question-based keywords, check if they already trigger this SERP feature. 

So, ready to take QuestionDB out for a spin?

With a free account, you can get up to 40 question-based keywords at a time. If you want to find up to 1,000 keyword suggestions, you’ll have to pay $10 a month. 

It’s not free, I know — but it’s definitely one of the most affordable keyword research tools in the market. 

If, however, you can cough up more cash for a premium tool, just go and get SEMrush. 

Looking for question-based keywords with the Keyword Magic Tool

To wrap up this section, let’s go back to the Keyword Magic Tool. 

After generating a list of long-tail keyword ideas and applying filters, simply click ‘Questions’ to view question-based keywords.

Keyword Magic Tool Questions Tab
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In doing so, SEMrush will refresh the Keyword Magic Tool — this time, including only question-based keywords in the list.

Keyword Magic Tool Question-Based Keywords
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What makes SEMrush better than QuestionDB and AnswerThePublic is it includes all the valuable SEO metrics you need. 

More importantly, it can tell you right away if the keyword triggers the Google Answer Box. 

You simply need to refer to the “SF” column and hover over the number. 

If the pop-up shows “Featured Snippet,” that means the Google Answer Box is triggered for that keyword’s organic results page. 

Keyword Magic Tool SF Column
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Still wondering why SEMrush is one of my favorite SEO and marketing analytics tools of all time? 

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll need additional information on how to rank for these question-based keywords. 

Sadly, that topic is advanced enough to warrant its own post.   

In the meantime, I highly recommend learning from this guide by SEMrush. It will help you learn about a lot of useful concepts such as:

  • “HowTo” schema markups
  • FAQ schema markups
  • Types of question-based keywords you should avoid

Conclusion

Keyword research for affiliate marketing is serious business. 

Whatever you do, you should never rush this process. 

It ultimately determines whether or not the next few months you spend blogging will pay off. 

Like always, I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of the guide above. 

Did I miss an important keyword research tip that every affiliate marketer needs to know? What topic should I cover next in Master Blogging?

Leave a comment below and see you in the next post!


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Affiliate Marketing Keyword Research
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AUTHOR

Ankit Singla

Ankit Singla

Ankit Singla is a full-time blogger and founder of Master Blogging. You can learn more about him at Master Blogging about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

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11 thoughts on “How To Do Keyword Research for Affiliate Marketing?”

  1. Hi Ankit,

    First of all, I would like to say thanks to sharing such detailed guide at finding best keywords for affiliate marketing. We all know very well, affiliate marketing is one of the best way to earn passive income but this makes easy by putting right keywords into our post since by only putting right keywords and creating targeted mailing list which helps to drive sales.

    Thanks again to share this helpful post.

    Reply
  2. Hello Ankit,
    Thanks for such a useful post about affiliate marketing keyword research, really for earning good amount proper keyword research is most essential part.
    Thanks again for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  3. Hi Ankit, i just found your post on JustRetweet and wanted to see what have written. I really liked the way you presented the article. It’s pretty informative for beginners.

    But i think there is a big mistake.

    The competition level shown in Google Keywords Planner is for the advertisers, not for bloggers, site owners or affiliate marketers. A low competition means that less advertisers are competing to rank for that keyword and a high competition level means that a lot of advertisers are there competing to rank for that keyword.

    Truly speaking it doesn’t have anything to do with site owners; more specifically the affiliate marketers unless you think of advertising your affiliate site through Adwords. What someone should check is the number of searches in a month and how many exact pages are there in Google index competing for that keyword. So the research should be made on Google itself. Because that’s more important. Also intitle and inurl parameters should be properly used to find the best keyword for the product you want to promote.

    Also a low gravity means the product is not being promoted by many affiliates. But it doesn’t mean that the product is not a good product. Low gravity is also good for new affiliates as it competition is comparatively less.

    I’m sorry if i seem like talking against you. But it’s not.

    Reply
    • Hi Tamal,

      As per my understanding, when there is high competition, it means a lot of advertisers are promoting that product in that niche and are spending thousands of dollars. So if we want to make money for that high competition product, we will have to spend money because ranking the site will be too hard and even if its ranked, it will be surrounded with advertisements.

      And the reason you should go with low competition keywords is that there are advertisers in that niche but not a lot of money is being spent making it easy for your site to rank and not be surrounded with advertisements.

      I completely agree with the fact that inurl and intitle parameters should be used, but the reason I didn’t say anything about it is that I don’t have complete knowledge about it that I can share with others. But I mentioned an article from NichePursuits that explains the importance and use of those parameters.

      Coming to the gravity, I didn’t say that low gravity products are mediocre.

      But when you want to buy something, you will go with the product that is used by tens of thousands of people rather than going with the one used by 100 people. The product with more reviews is likely to be sold quickly than the ones with less review even though it might be better than the first.

      And I was happy that you made this comment. Such comments help us to give more useful content and research more deeply on a particular topic.

      I will surely learn more about the inurl and intitle parameters now!

      Thanks again for your comment 🙂

      Ankit

      Reply
      • Hi Ankit, i understand that everyone has different perspectives and no one is wrong. The way you presented your thoughts and ideas, it makes me fell that you are also right. But usually i don’t care about the advertisers. I am more concerned about the number of pages competing to rank for the keyword i am targeting.

        Also i appreciate you for the fact that you agreed you don’t have complete knowledge about Google parameters. Most people would argue and try to act like an expert already even though they are not. There are always things you may not know and it’s absolutely fine as long as you have true interest to learn.

        Reply
        • I’m glad to see you again on my blog Tamal.

          No doubt that your comments added great value in this article. I’ll surely work to polish my skills.

          Keep sharing your thoughts with me. 🙂

          Reply
  4. This is actually a great tutorial on how to do keyword research for affiliate marketing. I promote products mostly from shareasale and I’ve had a lot of success with them. Doing some research before promoting the post is actually helpful because it helps to further optimize it for higher reach.

    Reply
  5. Hi Ankit

    Detail Step by Step explanation of the step required for the Affiliate marketing and product promotion from Clickbank. Although Clickbank is good , dont we have any indian Affiliate existing , which are reliable enough to promote and earn. You can name a few from your experiance.

    Reply
  6. Hello

    Thank you for the awesome article, it’s very useful to me.
    I have a question about the search volume in keyword planner, why you said “The lower search volume will always be better”?
    I think if the keyword has low competition and appropriate (inurl, intitle, intext) so I will profit more from more searched keywords, right?
    please explain your opinion 🙂

    Regards

    Reply
  7. In fact this definitely an eye opening secret on how do a a keyword research on affiliate marketing. These are strategy that any affiliate marketer who desire a boost in sales should be able to apply these salient points to achieve the needed income goals.

    Reply
  8. Hi Ankit,

    Thanks for sharing your case study with us on choosing the right keyword for affiliate marketing.

    However, I’ll like to ask one thing about keyword research, from what I understand over the course of doing keyword research;

    low, medium and high values doesn’t have to affect or be of any concern to bloggers or content marketers that doesn’t utilize paid content channels like Google adword(ppc).

    I think the Low, Medium and High values in adword are related to the amount of advertisers bidding for such keyword and not exactly writers that leverage other non-paid content marketing channels.

    If this is so, then I think using the search engine like you rightly pointed out is another useful alternatives to gauge the possibility of your web page performance to other pages competing for same keyword.

    To do this, I would recommend two important SEO Google chrome extensions (Mozbar and SEOQuake) that would let you quickly analyze the strength and other useful metrics of your search results links against your page

    With this you can decide if your blog SEO strength can out rank others for same keyword. Though, this can be taking to an advance level, but these little extensions will get you started well.

    Thanks Ankit, nice read.

    Reply

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