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Matching search intent of common affiliate keywords to drive traffic

To make predictable income with your website through affiliate marketing you want to be ranking for keywords that someone would type into a search engine if they are in the final stages of researching a product before buying.

These types of keywords (which we will be referring to as “buyer intent affiliate keywords” in this article) tend to follow certain patterns, regardless of niche. These patterns include:

  • Best [product]
  • Best [product] for [specific need]
  • [Product] review
  • Product A vs product B
  • [Product] alternatives

Each of these keyword patterns have a slightly different search intent behind them, and therefore require a different marketing strategy and types of content in order to rank for them.

Here we will go through each of these buyer intent affiliate keyword patterns and explain how you need to structure your articles in order to rank for each keyword.

Product roundups: Best [product] and Best [product] for [specific need]

To rank for keywords with the structure best [product] for [specific need], you will need to create a roundup of all the relevant products and services associated with that specified. The roundup should begin with your recommendation of the best product and roughly rank the rest from best to worst.

Each product featured on your roundup should have its own mini-review dedicated to it, and each of these mini-reviews should contain some sort of justification of why you have ranked it favorably/unfavorably against other products.

The best way to compare products against each other within a roundup is to pick out certain parameters that you can use to measure a product’s quality against others. For example, if you were writing around up of vacuum cleaners (in an attempt to rank for the keyword “best vacuum cleaners”) we may compare them by suction, bag size, cord length, noisiness, and maneuverability.

The introduction of these roundups should contain two elements:

  1. We should state our methodology for comparing our products against each other. Have we actually bought and directly tested products against each other or have we just researched them online?
  2. We should give a recommendation for the best product. This is to serve searchers who just want to quickly find and buy the best product within a category. At this point, you should have a call to action with your affiliate link to monetize these readers.

Product/Problem roundups: Best [product] for [specific need]

These keywords are also served by product roundups. You can however approach ranking for these types of keywords in two ways:

  1. Target these keywords within amore general product roundup that targets the larger keyword best [product].
  2. Create dedicated landing pages targeting these keywords

The trade-off between these two options is that while the former is less targeted, it will allow you to benefit from any link equity that has built up in the page.

As a general rule of thumb, if your page ranks for the keyword “best [product]” and that page has more incoming links than its competitor pages, then, you are better off answering any keywords around specific needs on that page. If you are competing against pages with greater link equity, then you should build out dedicated pages targeting best [product]for [specific need] keywords.

WooRank’s keyword tool can help you determine which of these tactics to utilize for each keyword you want to target.

With the former approach (answering keywords in an article whose main target keyword is just best [product]) you will want to make recommendations based on specific needs in the introduction of your article.You can see an example of how Good Housekeeping does this below in their vacuum cleaner roundup:

Once you get to reviewing individual products, you can state again if they are the best product for a certain need or problem.Including jump-tos to these specific reviews in your article should increase conversions further.

If you are creating dedicated pages for these keywords, then the structure should be similar to product roundups targeting best [product] keywords. The only difference is that the parameters you set to compare products against should be specific to the need that the keyword addresses.

For example, if you are targeting the keyword“best vacuum cleaner for stairs” then you will want to compare vacuum cleaners against parameters that affect the machine’s maneuverability as this is the biggest challenge people face when vacuuming stairs.

Single product reviews: [product] review

When reviewing a single product, the most important challenge that you have to overcome is convincing the reader that you are actually familiar with the product that you are reviewing.

Many affiliate partners and content creators create reviews just by rewriting product specifications on Amazon. Readers have become wise to this and so treat reviews they find online (especially on unknown websites) with more skepticism than they have in the past.

Reviews should therefore state exactly how they researched a product and, crucially, provide evidence of this research.

For example, if you say that you own and use the product you are reviewing you should have unique imagery of the product and of you using it.

If you say that you researched the product using forums and watching YouTube videos, then state exactly what forums you browsed and what videos you watched. Honesty and evidence are king here.

As far as a review is structured, again, you should give a summary of your review, along with a “product verdict” at the start of the review. This is to serve visitors who just want to know whether they should buy a product or not.

For the review itself, you want to go into detail about a product, but present this detail in as easy to consume way as possible.Using visual elements such as feature tables and lists of pros and cons can help you get this right balance between detail and readability.

Product comparisons: Product A vs. Product B

For someone to make a search that compares two products they need to already have some familiarity with the products in question.

Your article needs to appreciate this fact, and rather than introduce each product, it needs to go into a bit more detail about the intricacies of each product and how they differ from each other.

To match the search intent behind this type of keyword, your article needs to achieve two goals:

  1. Describe what the key differences are between the two products in question
  2. Explain how each key difference makes a product a better fit for a specific need

For example, if we are comparing two vacuum cleaners against one another, we can say that one has stronger suction than the other and therefore will be more suitable for renovation projects where heavy dust can be created.

If you can, try to present these differences and their implications for specific needs in a table so people can quickly scan this and make an informed purchasing decision in seconds.

Product alternative roundups: [Product] alternatives

People who make the search [product]alternatives are almost always looking for a version of a market-leading product that is cheaper but has a similar level of functionality.

Consequently, to meet search intent for these keywords you should create a roundup of products that are both cheaper versions of the product specified in the keyword, and you should compare these products based on their functionality.

The introduction of your article should contain two elements:

  1. It should state the key functionalities of the product specified in the keyword and explain that you will compare products against these functionalities
  2. It should give recommendations of product alternatives at different price points, along with a call to action of where to buy

The product reviews themselves should all address these functionalities and explain how far each product meets these.

Conclusion: Build trust and solve problems

To get visitors to convert on your affiliate reviews you need to demonstrate knowledge on the product that you are reviewing and answer the key questions implied by the keyword that they search.
So long as you make your reviews specific enough to answer these questions, and give evidence for all the claims you make in your reviews you should have every chance to both rank for these buyer intent affiliate keywords and convert traffic that you driving traffic through them.

This article was written by John Wright, longtime affiliate marketer and Founder of affiliate marketing software Statsdrone.

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