For access to this entire 6-part series simply click the breadcrumb above for the Google Ads Affiliate Category.
In our last “part 1” post in this series on how to make $1,000 a day on Google Ads affiliate marketing, we talked about choosing the right offers and target audience (and the importance of getting those two right).
The next step is to learn how to choose keywords for Google Ads that enable you to generate conversions cheaply enough to make the math work.
In this post, I’ll show you the step-by-step process and strategies to find profitable keywords for your Google Ads campaigns, especially for affiliate marketing.
I’ll conduct actual keyword research and show which metrics you must consider when choosing them, such as competition levels, average cost per click, and search volume, and how to find them.
Before we begin
Before diving into keyword research, let me quickly introduce you to the Powerhouse Affiliate 30-day challenge.
This is a course I’ve created, assuming you know nothing about Google Ads affiliate marketing, which breaks down all the steps involved in launching and running successful campaigns.
This challenge provides a live example of setting up a profitable campaign from start to finish, covering everything you need to know.
If you want to fast-track to the end and see everything in more detail in one place, make sure to check it out.
How to Choose Keywords for Google Ads
Step #1: Get a keyword research tool
A keyword research tool enables you to discover and analyze potential keywords for your campaigns.
There are many great options out there, such as Ahrefs, Moz, and Google’s free Keyword Planner.
For this step-by-step, we’ll use SEMrush, an all-in-one digital marketing tool that provides a wide range of features, including keyword research.
And by using this link, you can get a 14-day free trial on it.
Check out this SEMrush Review
In the Advertising section of SEMrush, we can find the Keyword Magic Tool, which provides keyword suggestions based on our inputs and all their relevant data.
In our previous post, we used a back pain offer as an example.
To learn more about how to choose the right offers, check out that post or the Powerhouse Affiliate platform, which also provides a lot of great and free advice about affiliate marketing.
After typing the topic related to our offer (in this case, “back pain”), we’ll see many keyword suggestions, such as lower back pain and back pain relief, as well as a broad overview of them, including their intent, search volume, and cost per click.
With that information in hand, it’s time to start browsing them.
Step #2: Browse by country
One of the first things to consider when researching keywords is the country.
For the most part, the United States will always have a higher cost per click.
However, affiliate networks like ClickBank usually allow you to run offers in multiple countries where you can find a lower CPC.
Regardless of where you’re from, running campaigns in countries other than the U.S. is a great way to start on Google Ads affiliate marketing. It allows you to take your first steps with lower costs and move to countries with a higher CPC as you gain experience.
If we select Canada, for instance, we can see CPCs dropping to half or even a third of the cost in the U.S. for the same keywords. The first one, lower back pain, dropped from 1.22 to 0.43 USD.
Step #3: Consider the cost per click
Next, we need to choose our keywords based on our budget.
At this point, we need to do some math to determine which keywords will likely become profitable based on their cost per click, our offer’s payout, and the average conversion rate.
Let’s say our offer pays $55 per conversion, and the average conversion rate is 1%. We can expect to make $55 per 100 clicks in this case.
If we’re paying a dollar per click for this offer, the math won’t work, as we’ll be spending nearly twice as much per conversion as we’ll make from it. But if we choose a keyword that costs $0.22 per click, things become much more interesting.
Keep in mind that the CPC and conversion rates provided by keyword research tools and affiliate networks are just average numbers based on previous data, and you may come across different outcomes when running your campaigns.
Instead, our goal here is to figure out which keywords are more likely to turn us a profit when running our offers so we can start testing them, but more on that later on.
Step #4: How to Choose Keywords for Google Ads – Browse by intent
The keyword intent represents the goals of most people researching it, which directly impacts our conversion rates.
There are four main keyword intent types:
- Informational: when users seek information or answers to a question without looking to purchase or take any other specific action.
- Navigational: when they’re looking for a specific website or brand. In this case, they’re also unlikely to click on unrelated ads.
- Commercial: when users are researching products or services intending to make a purchase later.
- Transactional: when they’re actively looking for a product or service to purchase and complete the transaction. Those are the best keywords as the user is ready to buy.
As you may’ve noticed, commercial and transactional keywords are the ones that tend to generate the most conversions, and they’re the ones we should focus on when planning Google Ads affiliate marketing campaigns.
We can select them on our keyword search filters:
A great tip here is to use other AI tools like ChatGPT and Jasper. They can help you find additional keywords that tools like SEMrush often miss.
Check out our Jasper AI Review
Step #5: Consider the search volume and trends
When choosing keywords for Google Ads, we must also look at their search volume.
This will help us identify the most relevant ones for our target audience and the potential traffic we can get from targeting them.
It’s also important to understand how the search volume is evolving through the trends bar.
That allows us to identify which keywords are likely to become more profitable over time and discover topics that are gaining popularity in our niche.
That also helps us learn about seasonal trends in our industry and tailor our marketing efforts to them.
Step #6: Learn about your competition
Another excellent way to find profitable keywords is by grabbing data from competitors.
SEMrush allows you to do that through the Advertising Dashboard, which lets you learn about your competitors’ strategies and outcomes just by typing their URLs.
For our example, we could google back pain and click on some of the ads that appear.
We’d then copy and paste their links into the tool, and it’d show us which keywords they’re targeting, as well as their search volume, CPC, and amount of traffic they’ve been getting from them.
Doing this will help you discover more keywords to target on your Google Ads affiliate marketing campaigns.
Ideally, however, I recommend using them in a separate ad group. I’ll dive deeper into that in another article of this series.
Step #7: Select your keywords
Following all the steps we’ve covered so far will give you the best odds of finding profitable keywords.
But, as I’ve mentioned, the data available on tools like SEMrush and affiliate networks are based on previous campaigns, and you may get different outcomes.
You’ll only learn which ones will actually generate you profit once you start running your campaigns.
After finding some promising keywords with the right intents and a reasonable CPC based on your offer’s payout, it’s time to start testing them.
Ideally, you should target between 10 and 20 keywords in this phase.
On SEMrush, you can easily select and add them to your keyword list that you’ll use later on.
How to Choose Keywords for Google Ads – Final thoughts
Choosing the right keywords is critical for any successful Google Ads affiliate marketing campaign.
Finding them isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that requires constant analysis and optimization. Stay up-to-date with changes in your niche, monitor your competitors’ keywords, and regularly assess your campaigns’ performance to ensure you’re always testing keywords that make sense.
By conducting thorough research, identifying high-value keywords, and continuously refining your strategy, you can drive more targeted traffic to your affiliate offers and drastically increase your chances of success.
Furthermore, during testing, feel free to experiment with different keyword variations and match types to see what works best for your campaign.
In the following article of this series, we’ll cover the next critical aspect to succeed in Google Ads affiliate marketing: how to create landing pages that convert. So, if you’re serious about making over $1,000 a day on Google Ads affiliate marketing, stay tuned!
And if you want to fast-track and learn everything you need about affiliate marketing at once, don’t forget to check out the Powerhouse Affiliate 30-day challenge.