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Lesson 5
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How To Find A Main Keyword You Can Rank For
Lesson Transcript

Hello and welcome to Boost Travel Affiliate Revenue Using SEO

I’m Sharon Gourlay, and I’m partnering with Travelpayouts to bring this super informative course, so you can make more money from travel affiliates using the power of SEO. 

In the last lesson, we talked about why it’s great to use SEO for this and the types of keywords you want to look for to make money from affiliates. Now, just because a keyword could be great to make money from affiliates, it doesn’t mean you should write about it. 

If you want to get traffic to your site from search engines, you need to find keywords that your site has a chance to rank for. You need to do keyword research to establish for any keyword you come up with, your site can rank on that top page of Google results, in that top 10 search results. Because if you can’t get to that top 10 there’s no point writing that article because it won’t get any traffic, so it won’t lead to affiliate revenue. It’s really important to understand how to look for these keywords. 

Before we get started on me showing you how to look for these keywords, I recommend you find out your domain authority. Domain authority is just a measure a company called MOZ has for your site. In some ways it’s meaningless, but I find it useful for finding keywords. So if you go to moz.com you can find out the domain authority for your site, so you can follow along with my demonstration. 

I also highly recommend you use a keyword research tool. It’s the only way to go. Now I use Keysearch.co, it’s a nice cheap one. I find it very powerful and that’s what I’m using in this demonstration. But you do not have to use this keyword tool. You could use a different one, but you will need one, and you may still be able to follow along my demonstration exactly how I’m showing you because a lot of them show very similar fields. 

So how do you get started with keyword research? Well, start by writing a list of words that could be used to describe your article idea, and this should be quite long because probably the first keyword you come up with is not going to work. It’s usually one that’s on the top of everyone’s mind, so it’s likely to be more competitive. 

Think about things like maybe if you’re about to go on a holiday to Tuscany you might have like where to stay in Tuscany, the best hotels in Tuscany, Tuscany hotel reviews, or you might even get more specific like where to stay in Florence or go for a smaller town that’s less known in Tuscany, go through all of those, so just come up with tons of ideas. 

Then you use a keyword tool to basically go through all of those ideas, the keyword tool will also give you lots of other ideas when you type in one and just really methodically work through to find keywords that could work for the article you could write. 

And then you get to decide on the keyword that you think you could write a great article for, you know, that’s a buying keyword that will work well for affiliates, and that your site has a chance to get to that top 10 search results. So now, instead of just talking about it, I’m going to show you how I go about doing it.

In this demonstration, I’m going to look for a keyword around accommodation in Melbourne, the city where I am right now. 

So I started with putting in “Melbourne accommodation” and I am looking at a target audience of Australians now, when using a tool like this, you can put which country you’re targeting for your keywords and there is at “All locations”. But I would just say a warning to that, it’s not like it actually exists in a top 10 global Google search results. So it can make more sense to put the country where the majority of your audience is.

Just click Search, and it brings back a whole lot of data for me, it brings a lot of related keywords. And these are really handy for trying to find alternative ideas above and beyond the list that you write. And here it tells me the top 10 and a bit of an analysis of the top 10 for “Melbourne accommodation”.

While “Melbourne accommodation” has this great volume over 18,000 that means on average, that’s how many people look per month. So that’s fantastic. When I look over here at the top 10 search results, I see a lot of red, which is a bit worrying. And it looks very competitive to me. 

Now, how do I work that out? Well, there’s a few things I look at. The first one, and sort of the main thing I look at, is this DA which is domain authority. What I’m going to do here is compare the domain authority of the sites that are in that top 10 with my site’s domain authority. 

If you’re just starting out in blogging, your domain authority might be quite low. Like I would say under 20 is quite low and 20 to 30 is like on the low side. Ideally, I would work on building your authority to over 30 which is about link building and a whole other topic. But what I suggest you do if you’re under 30 because it’s going to be hard to find keywords is pretend that your blog is 30 and work on it being a DA of 30 when you’re doing keyword research and just know you do need to build up the authority of your blog as well. 

So let’s have a look at these. As you can see, there is none under 30, and I’m just going to pretend for this example that my site’s domain authority is 30. 

I would already rule it out as being too difficult. If there had been a couple under 30, I really just looked for two under 30. I would then look at this column called “Auth” or authority and that’s how many external links there are to that URL. And really what I’m looking for here is two or less, so N/A is like zero, one or two. So I’d want to see that for those low DA sites as well. But it doesn’t matter for this keyword. It’s already too high. 

I’ll also take a brief look at all these in the top 10, like the domain names, and just try and get an idea of the types of sites that are ranking and whether my site is similar. What you want to see here at the site URLs are some domains that are blogs or travel content sites as well. 

Where there’s a problem is if you see there’s a booking.com or HotelsCombined like all these e-commerce sites that are selling hotels directly and if that’s the case, it’s kind of a sign that Google doesn’t want to show here, you know, travel content here are the types of content that blogs produce. And this is very much overtaken by those more commercial sites. So from that point of view, I wouldn’t be interested in this as a keyword at all.

So what I would do next is go through these, but there are like 700 of them, right? So the first thing I recommend is that you filter, and you look for more relevant keywords. So in this case, I’m going to filter saying to it, it has to have the words Melbourne+accommodation and Melbourne+hotels right like I don’t want to Chadstone hotel, for example, it will get rid of some of those. 

I want at least three words in the keyword, the shorter they are, the more competitive they’re going to be and the less likely they are suitable for blog content, you’ll get more of these sites in the top 10 like these e-commerce ones, and I’m going to put the minimum volume at 150. That’s what I like to look for. That means at least 150 searches per month. 

Then we filter, and we’ve got a much more manageable list to look at over 133. I would start with the highest volume first and go through them. 

Now I’ve done this lots of times and the more you do it, the more you’ll know which keywords you can ignore straightaway right, it’s like Melbourne accommodation being full of these hotel booking sites I’m betting that hotels in Melbourne is as well, we’ll see if I’m right. 

To be honest, I wouldn’t even… yes, I am right. Same types of sites. So I wouldn’t even bother analyzing the top 10 for keywords like that, that I think are going to be dominated by all those sorts of sites. But I come down and definitely look at this more buying keyword of best hotels in Melbourne. See if there’s any chance of that. 

So I look at that top 10, and it’s great, right? There’s definitely more travel content there. There is a booking.com in there, and a TripAdvisor, but otherwise, it’s the type of sites where I feel like a travel content site can rank. And what’s good with this one is that we do have two sites with lower DAs, so 14 and 12. That’s great to see. But the problem is one of them has N/A, so no links, but one doesn’t. 

So there’s only really one site there I feel I could beat, so I would keep looking. The other problem with this one is, too, it’s called just melbourne.com.au. Which means you assume it’s a Melbourne-specific site. So if they’re a Melbourne specific site, they’re going to have an advantage to ranking for a Melbourne keyword over if I was writing this for a general travel blog, so it would make me a bit more worried that that would be hard to beat as well even though the DA is low. 

So I just keep looking and go down. And just click on any I think is one that might be you know possible like maybe I click on “cheap hotels Melbourne”, this takes a long time right you do need to be methodical I’ve been clicking on a lot of these anything that’s sort of more than just saying hotel in Melbourne or accommodation like even luxury hotels Melbourne might be one. 

But because I don’t want to have you in this lesson forever, I did find one already that I thought was quite appropriate, which is “family accommodation Melbourne”. 

So when I saw this mean straight away, I see all the green right love the green. There’s a lot of domain authorities, it’s four sites there with less than 30. And if I look at this authority column, like no sites have more than two in this column, so I’m happy with that keyword. 

I also think it’s always worth just clicking on a few posts, just making sure they’re not all like really long quality. Make sure you could write something better than them. But otherwise, I am super happy with that keyword. And that’s what I would move forward with.

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