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How to Conduct Affiliate Marketing Keyword Research

How to Conduct Affiliate Marketing Keyword Research

Your affiliate keyword marketing success depends on many things. Keyword research is one of the essential activities for affiliate websites. The right keywords will help people to find your content more easily.

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You can’t attract the right audience or traffic and sell products or services on your affiliate site with the wrong keywords.

That’s why in this guide, you’ll learn about the importance of keyword research in affiliate marketing, different types of keywords, and how to target them in your content.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a model where you get paid a percentage of the sales by a company for advertising its product.

You earn a commission every time someone purchases a product through your affiliate link. Companies pay a higher commission on informational products like eBooks and a lower commission on physical products (like the ones you find on Amazon). 

Why? It costs next to nothing to replicate digital information products, and that’s not the case with physical products.

Why is keyword research important for affiliate marketing?

Keywords, especially long-tail keywords, have an important place in affiliate marketing. Understanding your keywords’ intent will help you find relevant and valuable content for your target audience. 

For example, users search for the best routers and want to learn the pros and cons of different wireless before buying. Writing an article about the top ten other routers can describe each one, and readers can make a final purchase decision.

Best Wireless router

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Writing content based on keywords that drive conversions and sales is significant. As an affiliate marketer, you want to earn commission from sales, so readers should find value in your blog posts. Finding this balance between growing affiliate revenue and providing value to your readers defines your business’s success.

How to do keyword research for affiliate websites

To create a successful affiliate website, you need to start by picking a good niche. Once you have a niche, you can start your affiliate keyword research. Follow these steps to do keyword research for your affiliate website.

1. Choose a profitable niche for your business 

An affiliate marketer’s success is finding a profitable niche and creating a site on something you love. For instance, I am a vegan and love reading, talking, and promoting veganism. 

I ran a Google search for the term “veganism niches” and got several ideas I can use to create an affiliate site in the vegan space. Here are some great ideas:

  • Cruelty-free personal hygiene products
  • Reviews of cruelty-free beauty products
  • Vegan meal delivery services like SunBasket, Sakara, or Daily Harvest

To extend keyword research, use Quora as it offers plenty of user-generated content from real people talking about real problems.

Steve Ellis

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I also got specific questions like:

  • X country has a longer life expectancy. They aren’t vegan. Why?
  • If I go to jail as a vegan, do I get served vegan food?

The goal of affiliate keyword research is to:

  1. Find keywords with buyer intent to make affiliate commissions
  2. Find a low competition to rank easily
  3. Find out trends to capitalize on

I found additional veganism-related topics like how to avoid craving dairy. These questions can improve your affiliate blog. Highly authoritative sites often ignore these questions. 


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This is just one example. You can apply this strategy at scale for any niche.

Don’t restrict yourself to one or two niches — research a few different niches based on your interests. Use Clickbank to see if your desired niche has products you can promote as an affiliate. This is a list of best-selling products on Clickbank.

Best Selling Clickbank

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Conduct your research on Clickbank with these questions at the top of your mind:

  • Are there any products similar to what you have in mind?
  • Which are the top-selling products in your niche?
  • Are people posting negative reviews about these products?
  • Are people talking about any problems with these products?

Searching for the keyword vegan on Clickbank shows me supplements and eBooks I can promote. 

As a final check, use AdWords to check your desired keywords’ CPC (cost per click). The higher the CPC, the greater the advertiser’s interest in a keyword and the greater the potential of making money with it.

2. Get specific keyword ideas    

Start with a detailed analysis to get specific keyword ideas. If you cover the health space, consider particular products you can discuss — for example, weight loss products as a big sub-niche for health. You can search for specific weight loss products and promote products with high search volumes like dash diet for weight loss, Mediterranean diet cookbook, and more.

Use Google Trends to find a list of similar trending keywords. Ensure to filter results by their search volumes, time frame (a few months to several years), category, and location. That will help you build an extensive list of keywords.

Searching for vegan diet on Google Trends, I got a lot of good keywords like Canelo vegan diet, vegan diet for fatty liver, etc.

Google trends

Google Trends shows many related topics like fatty liver disease and the possible link between sugary drinks and liver disease. These are all potential topics I can explore to reach my target audience.

For advanced research, use WebCEO to find keywords arranged by their difficulty levels. It shows search terms with high and low difficulty scores and generates plenty of related keyword ideas for your target audience. If you enter a competitor’s site, you can check how competitor keywords rank and get a list of pages with the highest traffic.


3. Use search intent for keyword research

The next step is to focus on search intent. Some people understand their problems well, while others don’t. It is a top-priority task to use specific affiliate keywords to help users find your products or services and take action. So, let’s have a look at different keyword types:

  • Phrase match keywords

A phrase match is a solid match type that usually combines two to three words and includes your keyword with high search intent — for example, best vegan diets, top vegan diets, or favorite SEO tools. 

Best Vegan Diet
  • Product or brand comparison keywords

Brand comparison keywords compare two brands that sell similar products — for example, WebCEO vs. SEMrush – two keyword research tools. Brand comparison keywords have less competition and convert well.

Compare Semrush
  • Product review keywords

Product review keywords provide detailed reviews of individual products or services. These keywords are great for affiliate sites because searchers are close to purchasing. Use star ratings for your reviews to improve the click-through rate.

Web- CEO
  • Trust and authority keywords

Trust and authority keywords (T&A) target non-commercial topics you can use to educate and inform your visitors. The best thing about these keywords is building trust with your audience and authority through links. Find the topics your target audience would find valuable to attract quality links. For example, the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel regularly publishes blog posts using T&A keywords to attract customers’ attention to fix their problems: 

Jay S
  • Freebie keywords

These keywords provide information to readers looking for an accessible alternative to a product. For example, the reader doesn’t want to buy beauty products, and they want to eliminate acne without using harsh chemicals.

How To Get Rid
  • Seasonal keywords 

These affiliate keywords don’t get searched for over the year but relate to seasons of the year and major holidays, such as Black Friday, Christmas, Halloween, etc. During these peak seasons, seasonal keywords get a lot of traffic, conversions, and sales. So you must prepare for these occasions in advance to focus on getting the best of the festive season.

For example, there appears to be a peak number of vehicle accidents that occur during the summer months. Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C prepared for this season and created a series of content on their blog on how to stay safe in heavy traffic.

How Serious
  1. Filter keyword data 

Filtering keyword data helps you remove search terms with too much competition or non-commercial keywords that aren’t worth your time and effort. Check the monthly search volumes for each keyword and SERP features like featured snippets to better understand keyword competition.

Create keyword groups for different topics and blog posts. There are various ways to cluster your keywords:

  • You can group different terms that mean the same thing like video editor, video snipper, video editing tool, Adobe tools, Canva video editor, and more into one group.
  • You can group terms by their search volume or keyword difficulty. Band together keywords with high/low volume or high/low difficulty.

Use mind maps or spreadsheets to organize your final keywords. Look at the competitors who rank on Google for the terms you’re targeting, and study their domain authority scores to see if you can outrank them.

To simplify your keyword research and manage multiple sub-tasks, you can use project management tools to concentrate on your tasks and deliver the best results. 

Daily Planner


Researching the right keywords for a successful affiliate site is essential to attract the right audience and increase sales. You should now have a better understanding of affiliate keyword research and how to find profitable keywords for your content. 

Make sure to mix phrase-match keywords with long-tail keywords to target more niche audiences. Don’t be afraid to use different keyword-targeting techniques to figure out what works well for you. Don’t forget to avoid keyword stuffing and keep your content authentic and natural.

Guest Author: Irina Weber is a freelance writer and content strategist at SE Ranking. She loves helping brands create, publish, repurpose, and distribute content through different marketing channels. She is a regular contributor to a lot of media outlets like SEW, Adweek, SME, SMT, CMI, etc. Follow her on Twitter @irinaweber04

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