The Ultimate Rule of Search Engine Marketing

By Gina Broom
The Ultimate Rule of Search Engine Marketing


The average search engine experience for a consumer goes something like this: Something will pop into someone's head, and they need the Internet to get more information.

They then search for what they're thinking about at that time. Sometimes it's something they want to buy, and they're looking to find out how much it costs or where they can buy it from.

What you want is for that result that pops up ever so conveniently to be your website. Unfortunately, this isn't guaranteed to be the case for you just because it would be ever so nice!

Your website has to prove itself relevant for that search term before Google will display it in the results, and you have to know which search terms to make your website relevant for in the first place.

This is what search engine marketing is all about: figuring out what people will need, what they will enter into the search engines when they look for it it, and how to make your website relevant to that topic in the eyes of Google.

You might be thinking, "I already do that. I know what search engine marketing is." But I'm challenging you to think about how you approach search engine marketing, by always keeping in mind the ultimate rule of search engine marketing.

So What is This Ultimate Rule?

The rule: It's all about them. Your audience. Your niche market.

Their whim is your focus. If you can master this concept, then you'll have a lot more success with search engine marketing. Focus on them, then work your website to match, rather than focusing on your website and trying to find an audience to match.

Too often when thinking about search engine marketing, people start their train of thought with a lot of personal pronouns. It sounds like this:

  • What is my website about?
  • What products do I promote?
  • How can I get people to come to my website?
  • How do I get them to the merchant I've chosen?

The reality of marketing is that things will get a lot easier when you put the audience's thoughts before your own, as their searches are what it ultimately comes down to. Spot the difference:

  • Who is the audience for this niche?
  • What do they want?
  • What are they already looking to find?
  • What do they need urgently?

It's easier to promote products to a natural demand than it is to create demand for products just because that's what you promote on your website:

Buyer intent

You want to find a swiftly flowing river of buyer intent to place your website smack bang in the middle of, like a dam for catching that torrent of lucrative traffic. After all, a dam without a river isn't going to do much, but a dam in a large river with a strong current is going to have all the water it needs!

To summarize this ultimate rule, what you need to do is: Find out what consumers need: Discover the natural demand in your niche.

You need to find the products that people already want, rather than just trying to push products that you've found. Without the research, for all you know, the products you're promoting could be as exciting to your market as going to the dentist.

That's why you're about to learn how to figure out who your market is, what they already want and how to find the best products to align with their needs.

Targeting Customers Who Already Know What They Need

Some of the people using search engines already know exactly what product they want, right down to the brand and make, sometimes even the color. They will search with specific terms, such as "Where can I buy a gold iPhone 6 plus?" Some only know what type of product they want, or what purpose they want to it to achieve. Either way, they're all searching with the goal of finding a product to meet their needs.

Why Target These Customers? 

The great thing about customers that already know what they're looking for is that they usually have high buyer intent. That means they're ripe for the picking, and if you can direct them to the sales page they're looking for, they're the most likely to buy something right there and then. 

It can be more work to find and target them, and there will be fewer of them than there are general searchers, but once you've got them, they're the easiest to sell to — so it's well worth it!

How Do I Target These Customers? 

It's all about finding the products people are searching for, and finding the most popular high-buyer-intent search terms. More demand means more people that you can target. More people that you can target means more opportunities for getting a cut of the commission pie. 

How Do I Find the Products People are Searching for Most?

To discover which products are the most in demand in your niche, you want to compare search volumes for product-specific keywords.

1. Find products to research

I'd start by finding a range of products to compare. You can do this by searching in an affiliate network such as ClickBank for popular products in your niche (find out more about that process here). Here's a quick screenshot of "The Venus Factor" and "6 Minutes To Skinny", which are both products I've found under "Diets and Weight Loss" in the "Health & Fitness" category on ClickBank:


You can also search niche-related forums for products that people are recommending or talking about:

weight loss forum

If you discover product trends, you can look into them to see whether or not they offer an affiliate program.

2. Check the Search Volumes for the Product Names

Once you have a list, load up Traffic Travis. Enter in each product name as a search term, and compare how many people are specifically searching for these products in a month. 

Product-specific search terms

I've just quickly entered those two products from before, "The Venus Factor" and "6 Minutes to Skinny," but you'd likely enter more to compare. I can see already from this search that The Venus Factor has roughly 27,000 monthly searches, while 6 Minutes to Skinny only has about 1,600. Both are good numbers, and both have low competition too which is great, but The Venus Factor has won out as the product the most people are actively searching for. 

Someone searching specifically for a product like that is more likely to be ready to buy that product than someone who's just searching for something generic like "Weight Loss," so it's a good idea to target that product by promoting it on your website with product-specific keywords.

3. Use High-Buyer-Intent Keywords to Attract the Most Profitable Traffic

Try using the product name with a variety of buyer intent words as kickers. For example:

  • Buy The Venus Factor
  • Cheapest price for The Venus Factor 
  • The Venus Factor discount
  • Where is the best place to get The Venus Factor?

You can find a huge list of these for inspiration in the Niche Hacks blog post, "Buyer Keywords List: 220 Red Hot Keywords With Buyer Intent." Some of these won't apply directly to a specific product, but most will apply to a general product type such as "weight loss product."

To get a good list of these, head to the AffiloTools keyword research tool here. Enter your niche or sub-niche name, then click "Search." Click on "Competition" twice to sort from lowest to highest, and then look for phrases which have this low competition but higher search volumes:

AffiloTools keyword research

Once you've listed a few that look good, try adding any of those buyer intent keywords, for example:

  • Best before and after fat loss in a year
  • Product with good before and after fat loss
  • Before and after fat loss for women
  • Healthy looking before and after fat loss

4. Find More Words to Use as a Base for High-Buyer-Intent Keywords

You'll want to enter other words into AffiloTools to get more ideas for keywords. Here are some types of words that you can look out for when browsing your niche's forums:

  • Niche-specific lingo or terms 
    • E.g., "Interval Training" for fitness
  • Questions people are commonly asking
    • E.g., "Where's the best place to get low-fat recipes?"
  • Problems that people have (particularly product related)
    • E.g., "I can't seem to find a way to tighten my wobbly thighs."

This can also be good for discovering what audiences want from a product  but that is perhaps not available yet.

When you have some words or phrases ready to go, try them in AffiloTools to find more keywords with high search volume and low competition. Then try adding high-buyer-intent kickers wherever they could be relevant, such as "Best price for interval training guide." You can then promote the best products to fit, while targeting keywords that attract buyers.

Where to now?

Anyone searching for specific products or phrases like this is already on the hunt for something to meet their needs, rather than general information on a niche like fat loss. This is why you need to try promoting products that are well sought after, as well as targeting keywords with these buyer intent kickers in your website content.

You can learn more about using keywords in your content for SEO in this free lesson, "4 Areas of On-Page SEO to Tweak on Your Site." Check over your website, and start adding content that will really sell. For information on the types of content that does well for conversions, check out point three of this free lesson, "7 Steps To Improve Conversion Rates."

Search engine optimization is one thing, but this is search engine marketing.

Stuart Walker 10 years ago
Hey Gina, great post and thanks for the mention.
Gina Broom 10 years ago
Glad you liked it :)