Whenever you’re going to make a new Amazon Affiliate site, you’re going to have to sift through many different keywords. There are so many different niche markets to choose from that you can quickly start to feel overwhelmed. I’ve read a lot of articles from well-known affiliates, and I’ve yet to see anything on this VERY IMPORTANT topic. This information can also be applied to affiliate marketing for software and virtually any other niche that involve selling products as an affiliate.
Optimizing Your Keywords
As an Amazon affiliate, you’re typically going to be going after keywords like ‘best product’ and ‘product reviews’. For example, keywords like ‘best baby stroller’ and ‘baby stroller reviews’. Some time ago, I was analyzing one of my affiliate sites, and I couldn’t quite figure out why the traffic seemed to explode during November/December. Take a look at the traffic data for the site below:
You can see that the site’s traffic averaged about 10-15 sessions per day for most of its life, then all of a sudden, it jumped up to nearly 20o sessions per day starting in November and through December. Notice how it drops off pretty sharply after December 25th, and continues to drop down through January. What can we learn from this? It’s obvious that the niche market this site is in is highly popular during Christmas. To confirm our suspicions, let’s take a look at the Google Trends graph.
In the image above, you can see the huge spikes in interest during November and December of each year, which is the shopping season. You can see the interest peaks to almost 4x what it normally is. Another interesting tip: If you’ve been an Amazon affiliate for at least a couple of years, you’ll know that your conversion rate typically increases during the shopping season (November/December). Interestingly, the conversion rate usually increases by 3x to 4x.
It’s easy to see why Amazon affiliates love the shopping season when you consider both the interest in their affiliate products AND conversion rate increase by 3 to 4x the norm. The graph shown above is actually for the exact keyword that the site targets. However, it’s important to get the FULL picture, which leads me to the next point. This puts an end to the mystery of why traffic increases so sharply during the shopping season. We now have an exact reason of why this happens = overall interest in the products increases during November and December.
The Fatal Keyword Mistake
Although it’s a simple concept, many Amazon affiliates make this fatal mistake. No, it’s not going to kill YOU, but it will definitely kill your profitable website, eventually. As affiliates, we want to build a site and get as much profit out of it as possible. Yes, we still focus heavily on helping the end user, but at the end of the day, we want our sites to make as much profit as possible and with as little effort as possible. Let’s say you’ve just compiled 15 to 20 keywords for different niche markets. Some of the keywords are for baby strollers, some for lawnmowers and some for snow plows.
What do you do next? Start ordering content and building a site around them? Absolutely not! It’s a simple check and should only take about 10 seconds per keyword. Head over to Google trends and throw the keywords in, one at a time. What your doing is checking to make sure interest in the product is, at the very least, staying the same over time. However, what you really want to do is find niche markets where interest is growing because that will ensure that traffic and sales continue to grow. Trust me when I say you don’t want to build a site around a product when the interesting is dying.
Let’s think of a market where interest for a product is dying. As a general rule, try to stay away from promoting any products that are being replaced by emerging technology. In the image below, you can see I used ‘music cds’ as an example market. We all know that interest is quickly fading away for cds as far better, more advanced forms of media enter the marketplace.
Also notice I ticked the ‘forecast’ box to see what Google trends thinks will happen for the remainder of the year — notice how the interest continues to drop. If you calculate the percentages, you’re looking at an almost 10 to 15 percent drop in interest year over year. That means that even if you do nothing to your site, you’re looking at a 10 to 15 percent drop in traffic year over year.
If you choose to promote products like this, you’re truly ‘going against the grain’. This is especially important to consider when making sites that you want to be around for many years. By the time your site starts to get some very serious traction, there won’t be any ‘eyeballs’, interest or traffic left in the market to grab!
Here is another very important point to consider. Ever built out an affiliate site and poured a lot of resources into it, only to check your site’s traffic data and see that a large portion of your audience are coming from the United Kingdom or some other foreign country?
The image shown above is a Google trends report for the keyword ‘best wellies’. This is a product that is primarily associated with the UK. Check out the regional interest for the keyword. Could you imagine starting a site around this product and trying to monetize it with Amazon’s US affiliate program?
If you’re a US amazon affiliate, all of those visitors are wasted profits. Yes, you could go and make an Amazon account for the United Kingdom, but what if the majority of visitors for your keyword originate from Kenya? Believe it or not — there are many product keywords out there where this is exactly the case.
You could be pouring hundreds or thousands of dollars into resources to promote a site that gets 70 percent of its visitors from Kenya or some country that you cannot monetize with the Amazon Associates program. Even if you’re not an Amazon affiliate, these tips can and should be applied to any niche market. Let’s take a quick look at an even more dramatic effect of the Christmas shopping on physical products, such as what Amazon affiliates deal with.
You can see in the image below that traffic increases, at certain points, to roughly 8x the ‘norm’. The chaos starts just before Thanksgiving, and the flood gates open until exactly the day before Christmas, then drop off dramatically. The site in this image made thousands of dollars during December alone, by the way.
While it’s useful to look at the regional data from Google trends, don’t let that be the only deciding factor for whether you should build a site or not. You have to remember that every website that gets the majority of its traffic from Google gets almost all of its traffic from long-tail keywords. The regional data shown in the images is for a specific keyword and doesn’t represent the market as a whole.
I would check the regional data for several keywords that define your target product market, and if they all HEAVILY favor a country other than the US, I would build a site around a different product. As a general rule, you’re looking for 80 to 100 percent of the regional interest to be from a foreign country before choosing to drop the market and move on to something better.
In conclusion, you can use these tips to make sure you not only avoid choosing a completely worthless market but to also make sure you’re actually choosing product markets that have growing interest and buyers from the right country.