[SUPER GUIDE] Amazon Keyword Research & Site Building: Step by Step Blueprint ( 9 Parts )


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Oct 9, 2013
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Amazon Keyword Research & Site Building: Step by Step Blueprint

Chapter 0: Super Guide Overview

Welcome to splishsplash's COMPLETE A to Z SEO site building blueprint. I'm going to do the unthinkable. I'm going to hold your hand through the entire process of building a site. Everything between that first thought of "I'd like to make money online with a website and rank it on Google" right up to "Ok, my site is ready for off-page SEO!".

Make yourself a hot cup of tea or coffee, or crack open a beer, sit back, and enjoy while I take you on a complete site building journey.

I've made this guide Amazon focused. Almost all of it still applies to any other type of site. You'll come away from this guide with a full understanding of how to research, plan and implement a money site in any area.

First I'm going to summarise what each section will be about. This helps "prep" your mind for the material ahead. It's a good study technique. Before reading a book I always read the contents, then I look at the chapter headings and sub-headings in each chapter and do a mindmap. Anyway, I digress.. Study techniques are for another article. :)

Chapter Summaries

I've structured the guide in the logical order I do things. Keyword research for example is different from niche research, but most guides don't really differentiate the between the two.

Chapter 1: Keyword Competition Analysis - A Prerequisite

Before doing any niche and keyword research you need to know how to properly determine the SEO competition of keywords. This is actually a very complicated thing and more of an art than a science. I'll share with you my thoughts and approaches.

Chapter 1B:


Chapter 2: Niche Research

The first step you take is deciding which general niche you'd like to enter. This section will discuss how to find a profitable niche.


Chapter 3: Keyword Research

Once you've got a niche you need to actually dig deep into it and prepare a full list of keywords. Without detailed keyword research you can't properly put together a site.


Chapter 4: Site Architecture & SILOing - A prerequisite

This chapter will teach you about site architecture. How to structure your site for optimal SEO. You don't want to build a big flat website like this



Chapter 5: Content Plan & Keyword Groups

Now you've learned how to structure your site, it's time to get your keywords together and plan out the actual site structure and articles you'll write.


Chapter 6: Building the Site

Setting up essential plugins, comparison tables, privacy policy, affiliate disclosure and how to implement SILOing in Wordpress.


7: Analytics, Rank Data & CRO

Initially all you'll want to setup is rank tracking and some analytics, but once you've got traffic some split testing and conversion rate optimization is a good plan. We'll look into a few things you can test once you've got enough traffic.

Chapter 8: Where to from here?

Some discussion on initial off-page SEO, anchors, what to expect once your site is live, and some recommendations for SEO plans depending on your budget.
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Great waiting for Update too mainly for Chapter 8
I don't get why you posted this thread without even having a chapter ready. Best would be you start such a thread with the first chaper in the original post already.
I don't get why you posted this thread without even having a chapter ready. Best would be you start such a thread with the first chaper in the original post already.

Bah, and you call yourself a marketer? :)

Never heard of hyping and pre-selling?! ;)

Nah, in all seriousness, I'm doing each chapter this way so I don't lose my edits. The last thing I want to do is write out 10k words and lose it all. Much safer to write a chapter, proof-read, then post.
Thanks alot for you sharing this valuable information... great information will try.. is it ok to aks questions here in the thread?
Thanks alot for you sharing this valuable information... great information will try.. is it ok to aks questions here in the thread?

Yep. Everyone is welcome to ask anything they like in the thread.

No pms though, please, and only add me to skype if you want to network/chat/share, don't add me to skype to ask me stuff. :)
Awesome! School's on and I can't wait to read the first chapter. I'll be your most attentive student. Thanks.
subscribed, waiting for chapter 1, thanks for this guide.
Please not another "I'm doing a great guide, in the future, maybe..." thread. :(
Chapter 1: Keyword Competition Analysis - A prerequisite

So you want to create a web site..

You've decided an Amazon review site is a good first choice. I agree with you. It's a great first choice. Amazon has almost every product imaginable and it's easy to get at least 15-20% clickthrough rates from your site to Amazon, with 5% to 10% conversion rates on Amazon.

But, you can't just pick any old niche. As tempting as it might seem to create a "best toaster" or "best blender" site. Don't. You won't even make a dent without a budget of at least $1k/mo for SEO and enough experience to build a nice PBN.

What you want are those nice juicy low competition keywords where you can put up a site and land on page 2-3 in 2-3 weeks with absolutely no SEO.

Competition Level Ranks

First we need a ranking system for determining the competition level of a site. Let's use 1 to 10.

1-3 = Low comp
4-6 = medium comp
7-9 = high comp
10 = insane comp

So 1 is a super low comp, 2 is a low comp and 3 is a moderately low comp.
4 is low medium comp, 5 is medium, 6 is a harder medium
7 is a softer hard comp, 8 is hard comp, 9 is very hard
10 is insane. Let's never speak of it again :)

I would call 'best toasters' a 7. There's not really much beyond a 7 for Amazon keywords. 8+ is where you're into the realm of payday loans, gambling, insurance, finance where you're up against people with 5 and 6 figure budgets. 9+ is where you're up against big companies with near unlimited SEO budgets and resources.

I personally target 3's to 5's just now. I'm going to develop my own algorithm for determining low competition keywords, do some serious analysis and start targeting 1's and 2's, but just now I don't bother finding them.

3's = A couple dozen web 2's and some bookmarks you'll get a few page 1's. Mostly high page 1's. Add in a small handful, 3-6 pbn links and you'll get top 3's
4's = The web 2's will get you on page 2. You'll get high page 1's if you build more web 2's and throw in tiered link building. 5-10 pbn links will get you in the top 5, 8-12 the top 3.
5's = You'll struggle to do much with the web 2's other than get in the top 100. You could get page 1 by building maybe 100 good tier 1 web 2's and boosting them with tier2/3 using tools like rankerx and gsa. Page 1 for 5's are 10-15 pbn links.
6's = 20-50 pbn links.

These are just some rough estimates to give you an idea of what's needed. You'll understand more about what a 3 is, and what a 5 is as you read on. Note, the type of PBN links I'm talking about are your own private blog network links. Buying 20 cheap blog posts from the marketplace isn't going to rank you on page 1 for a level 6 comp keyword, but having 20 of your own 15 TF+ sites will.

The overall competition level here is a product of relevance and strength scores. Let's look at those.

Relevance vs Strength

The first thing to understand is there's two things to look at when analysing the SEO competition of keywords.




Let's use an example "best toasters"


This is a measure of relevant the page is for the keyword. You'll encounter these scenarios, in order of most relevant, to least relevant :

1) The page is targeting the keyword exactly. You'll have a title like "Best Toasters Tried & Tested"

2) The page is targeting a highly related keyword. A title like "Toaster Reviews: Our Recommendations" or "Top Toasters for 2016" We know as humans 'best toasters' is pretty much the same as 'toaster reviews' and since Hummingbird, so does Google.

3) The page is targeting the niche, but not the keyword exactly. This would be titles like :

"A Radical New Toaster Changes Breakfast Forever"
"A Toaster That Begs You to Use It: Welcome to the Bizarro Smart Home"
"Splurge on This Toaster Because It Actually Works"

So pages that are targeted at toasters, perhaps a review of 1 individual toaster, or just discussions of toasters in general.

4) The page is targeting something loosely related to the niche of the keyword. titles such as :

"OvenBacon.net: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven"

Hard to find even on page 10+ for "best toasters". But some examples off the top of my head would be :

"How to Repair Your Toaster"

This is the 'toaster' niche, but it's not the 'toaster review niche', so it's a related niche.

"Cheap Kitchen Equipment"

Maybe we have a page that has stuff on toasters, blenders and steak knives.

5) The page is targeting something quite irrelevant to the keyword. Not even related to the niche.

Hard to find for "best toasters". We'd need a more obscure example here. Let's use the keyword "is diet coke good for programmers"

One of the results on page 1 is this :

"Diet Soda vs. Regular Soda: Is One Worse For You Than The Other"

That's an example of a '5'. Entirely useless to the searcher.

This gives us 5 levels. 1 = highly relevant. 5 = not relevant. We now have 2 ranking levels. 1-10 overall competition level and 1-5 relevance.

Let's summarise our new scores.

1) Targets exact keyword. Exact keyword in title. Highly relevant.
2) Targets highly related keyword. Synonym of exact keyword. Very relevant. Basically the same as 1 and you won't have much of an on-page advantage being a 1 vs your competitor who is a 2.
3) Not targeting keyword, but targeting the niche the keyword is in. Moderately relevant. As a 1 you'll have a strong advantage against your competitors who are 3's.
4) Not targeting keyword and only loosely targeting the niche the keyword is in. Perhaps targeting the wider niche of the keyword. Loosely relevant. As a 1, you'll have a very strong advantage against competitors who are 4's.
5) Not targeting keyword or anything even closely related to the niche the keyword is in. Entirely IRRELEVANT. As a 1, you'll obliterate any 5's on page 1 with ease.

Now, if we have all 1's and 2's for a keyword, this doesn't mean it's high comp.

However. If we have all 5's for a keyword it definitely does mean it's low comp.

5's = This is a 1 to 2 comp
4's = This is a 2 to 3 comp
3's = A 3 to 6 comp. This entirely depends on the strength of the pages which we'll look at in the next section. It would only be 6's if we have some seriously strong sites like thewirecutter.com targeting the broader niche. Even then 6 is a push.
1's and 2's = At best it's a 3. It'll only be a 3 if the strength of the sites targeting it are low. At worst it's a 10 comp level. :) We really have NO clue at this stage and need to look at the strength.

The first thing we can conclude here is that we don't even need to look at the strength of sites if all we're looking for is competition level 1 to 3 keywords. If that's your goal then backlinks don't matter at all. Just look for relevance level 4/5.


It's very hard to accurately judge strength, and it varies so much. A site might only have 30 backlinks from 20 root domains, but they're contextual from SUPER strong sites like cnn and huffingtonpost, in which case I'd call it a level 3 strength, but it good be a 4. We don't know exactly how Google works. The only accurate way to determine exact competition is to build a site, and even then there's an element of randomness, but we can guestimate the strength well enough to make some informed decisions.

With that in mind please take these figures only as rough guides and try to build your own frame of reference.

The strength of a page ranking for a keyword can be discovered by looking at the following:

Majestic TF/CF
Ahrefs Rank
PR (Not updated in a while, but if pages have PR they're strong and old. If they DONT have PR it doesn't mean anything though. They could still be super strong.)
Number of backlinks
Number of linking root domains
The type of sites linking to the page and the overall site.

As above for relevancy, let's use a rating system of 1 to 5, where 1 is the strongest and 5 is the weakest. (The opposite of what I'm using for the overall comp level. Sorry about that.)

Level 1 strength: 1000+ backlinks. 200+ root domains. TF 40+ Ahrefs rank 50+ and the type of backlinks are mostly contextual, from well known sites.
Level 2 strength: 1000+ backlinks. 200+ root domains. TF 30+ Ahrefs rank 40+. Similar to 1, but the backlinks aren't quite so impressive. More unknown sites in the link profile. Either real links from less known sites, or a large PBN.

1/2 are to be avoided. Combine 1/2 strength with 1/2 relevancy and you're talking 7+ comp level.

Level 3 strength: 500+ backlinks. 100+ root domains. TF 20+ Ahrefs rank 30+. Quite a few decent looking contextual backlinks. Maybe a couple from well known sites, but mostly just less known sites and/or a smaller PBN of probably 20-50 sites.

A level 3 strength combined with a 1/2 relevancy is a solid 6 to 7 comp level.

A level 3 strength combined with a 3 relevancy is about a 5 comp level.

A level 3 strength combined with a 4/5 relevancy is a 2 to 4 comp level.

Level 2 strength: 100+ backlinks from 20 root domains. TF 10+ Ahrefs rank 20+. A few contextuals from some minor sites, maybe 5-10 PBN links.

A level 2 strength combined with 1/2 relevancy would be a 4 to 5 comp level.

A level 2 strength combined with a 3 relevancy would be a 3 to 4 comp level.

A level 2 strength combined with a 4/5 relevancy would be a 1 to 3 comp level

Level 1 strength: Under 100 backlinks and 20 root domains. Under TF 15, Under Ahrefs rank 20. (TF10-15 could be 1 or 2 strength). Perhaps 1-2 contextual links. Maybe 1-5 PBN links. Crappy links like comments/bookmarks/web 2's. Maybe no links at all. General weak link profile.

A level 1 strength combined with a 1/2 relevancy would be a 3 comp level.

A level 1 strength combined with a 3 relevancy would be a 2 to 3 comp level.

A level 1 strength combined with a 4/5 relevancy would be a 1 to 2 comp level.

Here's another way to look at strength 1 to 5.

Level 1 strength = Authority sites, real, run by companies, very popular, very high quality content, lots of natural links.
Level 2 strength = Like 1, but a little less impressive.
Level 3 strength = Very strong affiliate sites backed by strong PBNs or natural links. Smaller authority sites etc.
Level 4 strength = Moderate affiliate sites. Decent backlinks.
Level 5 strength = Weak sites. Almost no backlinks or half hearted attempt at SEO.

In terms of SEO budgets :

Level 1 strength = Only go after if you've got a minimum of $25k/mo+ for content, guest posting, building a huge pbn, buying paid links on top sites.
Level 2 strength = $10k/mo+ Similar to 2, but less
Level 3 strength = $1k/mo. Enough to build a nice 25-50 PBN and have a writer handle your content.
Level 4 strength = $250/mo. Enough of a budget for some SEO tools and a small, but healthy PBN of around 15-25.
Level 5 strength = $50/mo. Small budget. Manual work mostly, with some budget spent on building a very small PBN of up to 5-8 sites.

If you've got less than $50/mo I wouldn't even bother with SEO. Get a part time job or do whatever it takes to at least get $50/mo. Realistically aim for $250/mo, which is a nice healthy SEO budget and will allow you to comfortably get various tools and build a nice PBN.

In conclusion most of you will want to be finding competition level 1 to 3 keywords. Comp level 4 at a push.

Summary of My Competition Levels

Overall Competition Level

1 = lowest comp
10 = strongest

Relevance Level

1 = Most relevant
5 = least relevant

Strength Level

1 = Strongest
5 = Weakest

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