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4 Ways You Can Attract the Traffic You Want to Your Affiliate Site Even if your content is already generating traffic, it may not be the right kind.

By Thomas Smale Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Is your affiliate site struggling to make money? It's frustrating to put countless hours of work into your website, only to see little or no return for your effort.

Related: 3 Tools to Uncover Your Competitor's Keywords

Fortunately, in addition to making sure your content is fleshed out and vetted for quality, you can take several other steps to drive the right kind of traffic to your website and increase your conversions.

Keep in mind that even if your content is already generating traffic, the traffic you're generating may not be the right kind. Your goal should be to attract shoppers. And, to do that, you need to optimize your website for shoppers. Here are four steps you can take to begin attracting more targeted traffic to your website.

1. Optimize for keywords with commercial intent.

At first, your content strategy may revolve around choosing keywords that are easy to rank for, or those that will drive a lot of traffic.

While traffic volume is an important metric overall, driving a lot of traffic to your site may not do much to earn you affiliate commissions. And that may mean your conversion rate isn't very high.

This might result because the keywords you're using lack commercial intent. This means keywords that buyers are using to search for products they're interested in. It stands to reason that if you target keywords buyers are using, you'll have a better chance at converting them.

Your keywords, in fact, may be way off base: Words like "really," "hilarious," "actually," "accidentally" -- and others you're likely to find in BuzzFeed titles -- will drive a certain kind of traffic. But that may not be the type to help you generate a high number of sales.

Instead, look for opportunities in words like "discount," "sale," "best" and so on. These words often align with buying intent.

Related: How to Master Keyword Research, Production and Promotion for Your Content Marketing Campaign

While keywords with commercial intent may not generate as much traffic as words with entertainment value, the former are still more valuable to you as an affiliate marketer; you'll find out that you will earn more using the right terms.

Naturally, you'll want to do your own keyword research for best results. So, optimize keywords for commercial intent instead of traffic, and you should begin to see your conversions improve.

2. Avoid competitive keywords.

Much has been said about long-tail keywords. Today, ranking for keywords that are too competitive is an uphill battle at best. There are major contenders in every significant market.

You'll find it valuable to trim down and target keywords that are dense and more specific to your niche, as opposed to general terms like "Amazon," "guitar," "music," "insurance" and so on.

On his blog, Neil Patel discusses various long-tail keyword case studies. He offers insights into terms like "call to action examples," "problems with Fiberglass pools," "how to write email subject lines" and why these terms have worked.

Again, you'll want to tailor your approach to the specific products you're promoting. Bluetick offers follow-up email services, which can be an incredibly valuable way of capitalizing on your niche by retargeting visitors who have an initial intent to purchase.You will also need to combine what you now know about keywords with commercial intent to make this all work. There's a difference between traffic and highly targeted traffic.

Still, discovering where the opportunities are for you is a process that may not yield quick results. Fortunately, there are many ways to conduct your keyword research and even reverse-engineer what your competition is up to.

3. Understand your analytics and track your primary keywords.

If you aren't tracking and measuring how your site is performing, you're essentially going at this blind and likely missing several opportunities.

You need to keep an eye on the keywords you consider most important in your market. After all, you're working hard to rank and maintain your rank with these terms. You don't want your competition swooping in and siphoning off your traffic and sales, especially if this is preventable. You can create a free account with Moz to begin tracking five keywords per day. This is a great way to start, and to focus on your most important keywords.

Beyond that, also install the Google Analytics tracking code on your site so you can conduct a more in-depth analysis on traffic numbers and sources. You'll find many opportunities with a bit of digging. Another helpful resource for affiliate marketers is HumanProofDesigns. The site is dedicated to helping marketers get to revenue quicker, and has a myriad of tools to help you succeed in your online venture.

4. Monetize international visitors.

Developing content that capitalizes only on an American audience can cause you to miss out on international sales. If you have the ability to talk to international buyers, or at least send them to the right places with your links, you could boost your affiliate commissions in a significant way.

This is where a tool like geni.us comes in. You may have had issues with your links not directing your visitors to the right places, particularly with buyers worldwide. Geni.us makes it easy for you to create links that work in any country, for any store and for any device or OS. You can rest assured knowing you're capitalizing on every opportunity by implementing this tool.

Ultimately, your content may be reaching more people than you're aware of, and that's something you will uncover from your analytics. Getting your content ready for international buyers could help you boost your commissions, leading to an increase in revenue.

Final thoughts

Succeeding in affiliate marketing may require considerable effort, but it does work. Just look at Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income or John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire. They earn a lot of money from affiliate marketing alone -- never mind their other income sources -- and even publish monthly income statements that can show you what's possible. If they can do it, so can you.

Related: The Affiliate Marketing Model: A Blueprint for Success in the Gig Economy

Optimizing your website may not be easy, and it may take time for you to see results; this is always the case with content marketing and SEO initiatives.But don't become frustrated. Keep doing your keyword research, keep analyzing your stats and create content that drives buyers to your site, and you will eventually find success.

Thomas Smale

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of FE International

Thomas Smale co-founded FE International in 2010. He has been interviewed on podcasts, blogs and also spoken at a number of industry events on online businesses, exit strategy and selling businesses.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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