It is that time of the year where online shopping starts to break the records and just about a good time as any to run experiments to test your various methods of promoting products online. Having been approached by some people within my circles as to what method I have been using to find products to promote, I thought it would be interesting if I shared it with you too.
The steps I will share with you today are by no means the only way to find and promote hot products, but it is a method I use often and has been working for me. It is not a very simple process, but it is highly effective. Even if you don’t implement exactly the same steps here, it should provide you with some ideas on how to improve your online sales.
Essentially, here are the steps that I apply to get me rolling…
- Find or identify products using Google Insights For Search or the real-time tool as mentioned below
- Build keywords “around” the product by using Google’s keyword tool
- With the help of Google Analytics or Clicky, use your top landing pages, or
- Create niche websites for the “product” or “group of products” identified on the research phase.
A good tool that you may not be aware of is Google Real Time Insights Finder: Marketing Tool. Take a look at it and play with it some (don’t forget to click on the “real time insights tool”). This tool lets you compare different search patterns so you can see how consumer interest and behavior is evolving. The real-time insights tool provides a “suite” of Google’s marketing tools that you can use for to improve your marketing campaigns. Try it and let me know what you think. Alternatively, you can find online marketing tools in Ana’s page.
Finding Products To Promote
What we really are interested in promoting is preferably what people are looking for to buy. One of the best ways to promote products are those that are hot and breaking out on search queries and knowing what users are looking for is a great way to start. Do remember that “these” things vary from time to time so don’t insist on products that were hot a year ago. That is not a good practice, unless they are evergreen products and have not been updated or replaced by something “newer”.
Some quick ways to identify hot products is simply by going to popular and credible sites, such as eBay or Amazon. Look under the “best sellers” section and you should be able to see which ones are of interest and relevant to you. If you have a a niche site about Cameras, do find relevant products related to Cameras. If you have a travel related site or a deal site, cheap holidays, may be one way to go. If you have a blog about Books, Steve Jobs latest book is an example of what dominated the queries a while ago. I think you get the point..
Anyway, my favorite tool to assist my “product hunting” is Google’s Insight For Search. It may not be 100% accurate (are there any?), but it gives you a good amount of information, if you know what you are doing. This month (December 2011), Google Insights has updated the categorization taxonomy. The change provides a richer taxonomy for restricting the scope of the searches while improving the accuracy of the search classifications.
So here’s how to use Google insights… Let’s take the example of Cameras.
Use the dropdown menus and search for, “Product Search”, select the region you are targeting for, and the last xx days or years of search data. I like to use the 30 day data. In the category section go as “deep” as you can and select the item you are looking for, or just browse among the different categories if you are not certain about what you want. You can also type in directly in the search term box and give it a try..
Hit search and you will be presented with the results similar to this one below.
On the left column you will see the Top search terms and on the right the “rising searches”. For this example, I am going to try Nikon. Canon, although is the most searched, also indicates that it may be very competitive so, I 0ll go for the second one, and so on.. Clicking on “Nikon” returns…
Now that we are given a set of products to choose from. I am going to try Nikon Coolpix and Nikon Coolpix Reviews on use Google’s Keyword Tool… I usually add “reviews” as many people like to do searches this way. So here are the results…
From my initial attempt, I found that “Nikon D800” has over 30K local searches. I would normally go for terms that have at least 3.000 local searches and then check competition by using tools such as LongTailPro (aff link) or any other free tool available, like WebSEO analytics (limited but good enough). So clicking on the Nikon D800, you will see another set of of results and sorting them by searches returns some interesting “keywords” that you can use “around” your new post or edit an older one to fit those related terms. Just remember to check the competition first or you may be targeting “highly competitive” keywords. Note that the “competition “column” on Google’s Keyword Tool is for AdWords advertisers so this is not really an indication of potential competitors. I will be writing a post about how to check competition soon, so stay tuned for that.
This is one of the exercises I use to find for products to promote. It takes a bit of effort and lots of research, but then again, who says that making money online was easy? In addition, if some of you may notice (specially Camera fanatics), the reason why the Nikon D800 has very low competition (on AdWords) is because the camera has not yet been officially released. You can use this in your favor an start building buzz around it or use it as a bait for your site or similar products. Be creative..
Next step.. Create Niche Site or Use Top landing Pages
To market the products you identified, there are some ways you can do this. You can create a niche website about a group of products and add individual items as you see fit, or you can use the technique of Using Your Most Viewed Articles For Better Conversions. If you want to see an example of a niche site, here’s a site about Professional Cameras, I launched just last week.
The technique about using your most viewed articles is essentially using Google Analytics or Clicky Website Analytics, to identify your top landing pages and use those pages to market the products you are interested in. It makes sense to do it this way because they are the pages that are generating you lots of traffic and are usually older post, so your loyal readers will not be bothered by it. Just do it wisely :).
That’s it! I am assuming that you all are familiar with affiliate programs and that you know where to find the “actual” products to promote. Amazon Associates, Google’s Affiliate Network, Commission Junction, are just but a few you can source for products to promote.
How about you? What method do you use to find hot products to promote? Share them here please. I like to learn from your experience too :).
Good luck and to your success!