Monday, January 14th, 2008

CPA Offers, Keyword Research, Landing Page Setup

One of the biggest factors in succeeding or failing in affiliate marketing comes from the offers you choose to promote. Now your probably asking yourself "how do I know a successful offer when I see one". Well, I wont lie to you. After you have been doing it for a few years you sort of develop a sense for it. With that said their are still all kinds of little hiccups along the way that we could face such as:

  • A poor converting landing page
  • Merchant just sucks
  • The market is just not profitable

As you fail and succeed in promotions you will start to develop almost a 6th sense for good ideas of what is *likely* to be a better offer. Even then this can fail you but hey, "it’s not all peaches and cream". I test at least 25 offers a week and usually come away with 1 that’s good and maybe 2-4 offers that I can *work on*. So there’s work involved but it’s so rewarding when you get one on autopilot.

Your probably asking yourself "can you show me an example"? So for this post let’s do an exercise together and do a walk thru on how we choose an offer and start promoting it.

Warning: The following material I am about to share with you is in a brutally competitive market and the payouts for the offers are quite low. I have gone another route of promotion for this landing page but I can tell you that if you copy this and go to Adwords with it, just be careful. It’s not going to take very long for you to lose money. Within hours I would say. You’ve been warned. Dont come crying to me.

For this example I have chosen the My Fun Cards offer from NeverBlueAds. It’s a solid offer and actually pays out $3.00 a lead. I want to first take a look and see where I can promote this offer. Most of the time the US Markets are brutally competitive so of my offer is for other countries there is likely to be an area that I can work in. We are in luck with My Fun Card:


 We’ve got great coverage here. There are a ton of ways to target this Ecard offer. Many countries allows us to utilize PPC Campaigns in Search and target some Placement Campaigns as well. ALWAYS be sure to read the terms of each offer. This offer has a few rules about promoting it. We cannot direct link to the offer and there are words that we cannot use as well. It’s all self-explanatory but failure to abide by these terms can have us forfeiting our earnings.

So lets have a look at the offer. We first want to look over the landing page and view the source code as well. We want to develop *out of the box keywords* so we can put together a keyword list.  Right off the bat I see this is a greeting/ecard offer so let’s look at keywords. For this I will start off with the Google External Keyword Tool. I type the word ecards into the tool and here’s what I get:


 This is excellent. I now have a bunch of terms I can turn out landing pages for. We can even go another step further and break these into specific landing pages and adgroups later. Let’s take the term "birthday ecards" and develop a keyword list for it. Type in birthday ecards and you’ll retrieve keywords to base your landing pages and adgroups around:

Birthday Ecards

Now we would repeat this for every keyword that we retrieve in the first keyword example. We can even go another step further here. Now that we have laundered a landing page/adgroup keyword list lets work on retrieving *variations* of the keyword for maximum results. By doing this we can put together a more exhaustive keyword list that will have longtail keywords and probably some less competitive terms that we can rank in the search engines for AND use in our Pay Per Click campaigns. What I do now is use the GTrends Made Easy tool by our very own forum member Benjamin Maker. The idea here is to take EVERY birthday ecard keyword we have here and load it up into the tool. Utilizing the Wordze Subscription within the tool it will retrieve us a list of variations for EACH keyword. Can you see the power here? It will also tell us the competing pages in Google for each keyword. This is very valuable because it will show us the competition and how easy or hard it is to rank for those terms. This in itself can easily yield you top rankings fast with a wordpress blog. I should know

For this example though I just put in birthday ecards and let the tool run a few minutes. Let’s see what it retrieved for us:

Gtrends Made Easy

Look over the terms. Anything with over 50 searches is good. Now look at the competing pages. I see hilarious birthday cards has 635 competing pages. WOW. With a simple wordpress blog post properly optimized with a title tag, some keyword density and proper meta description (yep it still works and helps determine SE users clicking on your listing) we can probably rank easily for this term. The idea here (And with everything) is to get the maximum results from your work. Targeting keywords this way will most likely get you paying less per click with PPC AND you get a really good opportunity to get listed in Google easily. Free search traffic is just added gravy.

Ok now that we know how to do our keyword research for our offer, landing page and future adgroup lets take a look at a landing page. For this market your obviously targeting a lot of younger people or people who are passionate about sending ecards. I like to keep it SS here. SS means simple stupid. A creative from the network hyperlinked with our affiliate link, a few paragraphs with our keywords and a few other keywords is a great way to go for keywords in one shot but we still would want to target landing pages individually. As a test with one of my blogs we can look at a simple landing page at free animated ecards. That’s how really simple it can be.

A creative hyperlinked, a few paragraphs of text with keywords, our affiliate url anchor text and hyperlink, a few bullet points and a simple call to action (Click here hyperlink).

This is just an example. In all actuality you should really choose a domain that relates to your offer. You should structure your site and pages around the offer as well. I used ecards because you can structure a site easily using these keyword techniques and the payout on the offer is worth it. Plus the offer is free to the user, it caters to a lot of countries making PPC campaigns far more widespread and you will show up in Google in many countries pages as well. Add the fact the offer can and does cater to young and older people, you have a widespread audience that the offer fits nicely with. It gets searched and there are many pages we can rank for organically for free traffic as well.

This is a basic keyword setup to get you going with an offer. In my next post we will talk about maximizing landing pages for traffic, efficiency, newsletters and getting the most we can from them. There are TONS of other things to get traffic from here and retaining it. I want to show you a step by step way of doing it.


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38 Responses

January 14, 2008

Ok I found the average search trends column. I’ve got “no data” for all of my columns though.

I went toneverblueads and looked at the new offers. Just to walk through this process, I picked one of the top ones for “jewelry.” I added that to the adwords external keywords tool but there’s no data showing in the columns for search volume.

January 14, 2008

Great stuff Ruck .Thanks For the insite on how to go about setting a CPA up and do the research for it.

You sure know how to break it down in a step-by-step way to follow and ease of understanding.

January 14, 2008

good morning. just what i was working on this morning. great post man. you gave me some tips i was not using. i mean i wasnt going deep enough in my research part and you’ve shown me another process to add to my methods. thanks bro.

January 14, 2008

@ sparky – Are you in the US? If not tailor the results. I put in jewelry and got a ton of keywords.

@gokarter and Mo – No problem guys. I’ll cover traffic generation tonight or early morning tomorrow.

January 14, 2008

wow, what a fantastic post . Some quality stuff there Ruck.

Wordze seem quite useful aswell. where do they retrieve there results from?

January 14, 2008

Yup, in the US. Got keyword results, a ton of rows, but they all look like this:

image link

January 14, 2008

hey Ruck. how do you get that last column on your google search? The trend one that shows you the last 12 month trend.

January 14, 2008

@mo: click on my image link and look in the greyed out area directly above the search results. Notice the “show/hide columns” drop down. Click on that and find the “show search volume trends.” ta-daa!

January 14, 2008

@ rare pennies — It uses yahoo, msn and google. I believe it incorporates other engines like ask as well. Probably how it can retrieve so many variations.

@ sparky – That’s strange — my images — You got me baffled. I imagine you have fooled with all the settings already maybe someone else here can jump in cuz I have never seen that before.

@ mo – Filter my results – there is a drop down box on the external tool. Pick the “show search volume trends” If you want just pick them all and you’ll get a ton of data.

January 14, 2008

I’ve seen the ‘no data’ results before too. It does seem to be some kind of glitch that happens some days and not others. Maybe they’re updating some of their servers?

January 14, 2008

I just noticed that I had a really slow load on researching there. So it could very well be a glitch.

January 14, 2008

the no data happen to me as well sometimes

January 14, 2008

Ruck, you’re using T1 connection right? So you probably wont get any problems

January 14, 2008

Yea T1 but the problem is not on my end. That little captcha that pops up took about a minute to load awhile ago. Seems to be working fine now though.

January 14, 2008

Great Post Ruck! Thanks for the birthday present..I wasn’t sure you would come thru :)
Don’t forget to Stumble It, Digg It, Bookmark It everyone…he’s doing us a huge favour, let’s do him one…
Thanks again Ruck…greatly appreciated…can’t wait to see tomorrows post…

January 14, 2008

Ruck it seems like you don’t use this payed keyword tools to do your work for you if im correct

January 14, 2008

The only one I pay for is the $35 a month subscription to Wordze

January 14, 2008

Ruck, do you actually promote free ipods and do they work well for you. I hear that the net is already saturated with them offers

January 14, 2008

I have but not in the US :)

January 15, 2008

Hey Ruck, I like the idea of that blog. Is that purely for testing purposes or could you consistently drive PPC traffic to it and make conversions?

January 15, 2008

Wow, great detail. Thanks!

January 15, 2008

looking at the keyword ‘hilarious birthday cards’ it has over 50 searches on wordze count, but on google it only has 5?

January 16, 2008

Hey Ruck,

Thanks for letting us know about this tool. We have a Wordze account, and have been using it in conjunction with manually finding the Google result count. This will be a big time saver!

January 16, 2008

One suggestion I have if using PPC traffic is to ensure that your offer payout is at least 10x higher than the cost per click prices you’re paying.

When I started out, my payout was only about 3x higher, and I got killed on that.

Luckily I had a $200 credit voucher, so it was $0 cost to me!

January 19, 2008

With CPA offers what is the advantage of even having a landing page instead of redirecting traffic directly to the merchant’s page? (Unless you are using Adwords)

January 19, 2008

Uhh Preselling?

Besides since we include Search Engine rankings as a form of traffic generation, gonna be a little hard to do that without our own pages.

January 22, 2008

Ruck, Thanks a ton for going into such detail and giving actual examples. So many marketers are afraid to give out real working URLS and real specific examples and even though many others might want to help, without seeing the real specifics it’s really hard to learn.

Although I am sure there are people that will try to take advantage of the times you do that and become direct competitors with you, I am also sure there are plenty that will want to stay out of the specific markets just out of respect and appreciation ;).

Please keep it up!

January 22, 2008

Hi Ruck,

Just curious if you are done with CPA series or is there more to come? Just need some more ideas about driving traffic to the blogs.



January 22, 2008

Thanks for the all the tips Ruck.

Can I ask your advice? So far I have researched amd generated a list of around 10 keywords I think would work well.

The problem is knowing how to use all 10 of them effectively. Is there a good way to incorporate multiple keywords?

I know that some keywords will perform better than others, but I want to maximise my profits by focusing on a selection of keywords rather than just going for one keyword like I have done in the past. Any ideas?

January 22, 2008

Are they broad keywords?

If they are broad then you would break them into 10 sets with each keyword being a set. Generating keywords off each keyword set and then generating variations.

Am I missing something?

January 22, 2008

No, they are longtailed keyword phrases of around 4-5 words.

I have been using wordtracker and keyword elite to generate a good set of words, and I want to maximise profits by using all of them.

Creating one campaign based around one keyword takes long enough, so Im looking into advice on how to mulitply my efforts?

Great post, Ruck. Very timely for me, indeed because I’m just starting to use Adwords for affiliate marketing and would like to learn more about it so I don’t get burned too much.

I wonder, do you have a PDF file of all your PPC and other affiliate marketing topics so I can read them while on a break at my offline work?

Thanks for a very enlightening post.


PS. Oh and I subscribed by email BTW

November 11, 2008

Thanks for this. Very worth the read in my opinion.

Thanks for the effort in this article!

November 21, 2009

Thnaks for the useful advice. This sort of marketing has always been a bit of a barrier for me.. time to knock down those barriers.

Excellent stuff..

January 4, 2010

Hey I’m pretty much useless at CPA marketing. This blog really does provide great content and helpful information, now I understand how the CPA marketing network works. Nice work, keep it up. :)