Affiliate Marketing & Programs

Dominate your niche with killer keywords


You probably know what a keyword is, but do you know the different between a killer keyword and a dud?

It’s all about competition. You might have a great keyword with lots of search volume, but if there’s too much competition, you’ll never get traffic to your site. And on the other hand, if you’ve got a keyword with little to no competition, you might also be choosing a keyword that will get little to no traffic.

Whatever your niche, it’s important to do your keyword research before starting your site-building. The correct use of keywords determines how the search engines index your site, which impacts how easily web users can find the products and/or services on your website.

If you post content to your site without doing keyword research, it’s likely you’ll have a site with lots of great content that nobody can find. It’s best to determine what people are looking for before you start writing … and before buying a domain name.

Finding your target keyword

Once you know your niche (let’s use dog training as an example) you can start brainstorming. Ask yourself these questions, which will help give more detail to your ideas, to start building a list of potential keywords.

What words are associated with your niche? If you’re niche is “dog training,” think about “puppy training” as well.

What buzzwords, slang, jargon, abbreviations, etc., if any, are associated with your product? For example, if you’re selling a course on how to train dogs, expand on phrases that contain both the term “dog training” and “puppy behavior.”

Do related products or potential upsells suggest new phrases? If you’re selling a book on puppy training, products such as collars or dog crates might be needed by the same shoppers.

Which keywords will help sell the most expensive products in your niche? Focus on high-dollar items for the best return.

What keywords are your competitors targeting? Be sure to look at other sites and understand their keyword strategy.

How to use the Google Keyword Tool
Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to do your research. Here’s a quick video on how to get started using the Google Keyword Tool:

And if you’re having trouble with the Google interface, you’ll definitely want to check out Wordtracker, which is one of the easiest-to-use keyword tools on the web.

Action Items

  • Determine your niche

  • Make sure there are products in your niche to sell as an affiliate

  • Do your keyword research

  • Find high-volume, low-to-medium competition keywords

The next article in our Site-Building Challenge is on Monday, when we’ll discuss the importance of SEO and choosing the right domain name.


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14 Responses to Dominate your niche with killer keywords

  1. Praveen June 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I see that you have started a good tutorial on starting up with affiliate marketing. I am in the process now, and have started my blog only a month back. Looking for good affiliate programs and some basics of setting up the whole site for good returns. I signed up with ShareASale, not yet joined any of the merchant programs since I am not sure how they work and how safe it is. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I will follow your posts regularly and see how best I can implement them. Thanks.

  2. Jeff Greer June 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Praveen,

    I’m glad you’re following this series. We’re going to run this through the end of the month, and after that we’re going to take some deep dives into selecting great programs, SEO, and WordPress.

    I like ShareaSale a lot. Have you checked out the WordPress themes you can sell through them? That might be good for your site. (Personally, I’m a big fan of StudioPress.)


  3. Rick June 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Have had a hard time figuring out Google Adwords. Your tutorial vid is a godsend!

  4. Kim June 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Hi I’m kinda new to affiliate marketing, so I have a question on keywords. I found a lot of keywords in Adwords with high monthly searches and low competition, but when I punched those keywords into the google using seoquake, I was seeing a lot of 4′s and 5′s for page ranks, which I learned if the average page ranking in the top 10 in over 3 then it is hard to get ranked in google for a good spot. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks, and you have a great informative website


  5. Jeff June 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Kim,

    It’s hard to know without actually running the data on your specific keywords. My gut tells me that if your niche is crowded, and if the sites on page one are pushing out a lot of content, that you’re going to want to look for some long-tail keywords and focus on those as you’re getting started.

    Also, PageRank is important, but it’s not the only determining factor in search results.


  6. Wade Schlosser June 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Kim,

    I wouldn’t pay that much attention to page rank. It is a mystery on how they calculate it. I would ensure that you go after a highly targeted niche to start, high traffic, low competition. Review your competitors to see what type of inbound links they have coming in, if they have a lot of unique (written from scratch, not pulled from other sites) content that they are publishing regularly. If they are light on quality content then it is very likely you will have a good chance at getting ranked. If you are passionate about the subject, just start taking action. You will be surprised how successful you will be.

  7. Christy July 24, 2011 at 6:00 am

    When doing keyword research, is it better to select the “exact match” option instead of broad match? It seems that would give you a better sense of the search volume for specific terms. Based on my SEO testing, you only rank for the exact keyword you’re optimizing against and don’t benefit from variations of that keyword, like plurals, stemming, etc. What are your thoughts?

    • Jeff Greer July 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      Using broad match while searching can help you find new terms. And those terms can potentially become part of your strategy.

      But when you’re optimizing your page, always use an exact match of the keyword you’re targeting.

  8. Chu Nam August 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    That right, research keyword before create website or write. Best for perfect.

    • Jeff Greer August 27, 2011 at 12:50 am

      Thanks for adding to the conversation, Chu.

  9. Luke Egure April 22, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I believe this website holds some very fantastic information for everyone :D . “Time–our youth–it never really goes, does it It is all held in our minds.” by Helen Hoover Santmyer.

  10. Conception Iannalo July 6, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I do consider all the concepts you have presented to your post. They’re very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for starters. May just you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  11. canadian new urbanism July 17, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

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