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If there’s one term you’ll see a lot of in digital marketing circles, it’s “low hanging fruit”. 

The trouble is, it’s often spoken about as if the reader already understands what low hanging fruit actually means. 

By the end of this article, you should not only know the answer (in general and for affiliate marketing) and be able to go looking for it yourself!

Where is the term used?

Low hanging fruit isn’t a term exclusively used in online marketing. It’s used in executive management, marketing, and life coaching to name a few industries and it means the same in all of them:

It’s something that is easily attainable.

Long-hanging fruit in personal management

If you’ve got a big list of tasks that you need to complete, and you need to look like you’re doing something in the eyes of your manager or supervisor, it’s a good idea to go for the low-hanging fruit first. 

These are the tasks that you know you can quickly and easily complete. You need to show results so you focus on the items that you know aren’t going to require much time or effort.

The easiest task in the list is the low hanging fruit.

Low-hanging fruit in sales

If you need to close a sale by the end of the day, it doesn’t make sense to spend time working on the client that’s been avoiding your calls for the last month. No, it’s much more likely you’ll close a sale with the client that already phoned to ask you about the new version of your product.

That’s the person you’d call because they’re clearly the low hanging fruit. 

Low-hanging fruit in life-coaching

Life coaching is all about helping someone to become a better version of themselves. When setting goals on areas for personal growth or change, there’ll be some that the client will suck their teeth at and say, “whoah, that sounds tough,” and there’ll be those that they’ll smile at and say, “sure, that sounds good”.

Of course it makes sense to tackle the ones the client feels good about first – they don’t feel too challenged and you both achieve a quick win when they easily complete the goal. The best bit about achieving an early win is that the client then feels more motivated to tackle the tougher challengees afterwards. 

Going after the low-hanging fruit first increases the motivation to go after the fruit further up the tree.

Finding low-hanging fruit in affiliate marketing

In affiliate marketing, low hanging fruit usually refers to the kind of keywords that very few people search for and, as a result, there aren’t many websites that are ranked in the search engines for that keyword.

To find low-hanging keywords, using a keyword tool is almost essential. My preferred tool is Jaaxy but there are other tools you could use too such as Long Tail Pro.

If you imagine that my website is about specialist cat foods and I’m trying to write a new article to promote a new brand that I think is awesome, I’d need to think about what kind of article I could write.

I need to write about something related to cat food or feline nutrition, after all, that’s the focus of my theoretical website. 

I headed over to my Jaaxy account, clicked on the Keywords search tool and typed in “feline nutrition”.

I’m not expecting to find something useful – that’s probably an incredibly over-used keyword on websites. No, my aim is to get ideas for a new article. 

As expected, the keyword results aren’t exactly inspiring. 

I noticed that there are 139 searches for “feline nutrition” per month on average. If my article somehow made it to the first page of Google, I’d see an average of 24 visitors per month.

But how much competition would I be facing? Clicking the Get QSR link reveals 139 pages competing for that particular keyword.

That’s not really what I’m looking for. That fruit it too far up the tree.

No, what I’m interested in are the related suggestions over on the right. That list can be a veritable gold mine of ideas for new articles.

Some of the suggestions jump out as potential ideas to be explored. Here’s a shortlist of the ones that interested me:

  • canned tuna safe feline nutrition
  • seaweed feline nutrition
  • feline nutrition lymphoma pancreatitis

In Jaaxy, clicking on any of these related ideas will perform a search on them. 

I had no idea what lymphoma pancreatitis was so I looked it up on Google. Apparently it’s a medical condition that (according to the very scientific page I read) has no proven link to diet. Only immoral money-grabbing affiliates would try to write an article claiming there was a link to diet just to sell a related product so I’ll pass on that one.

I’ve never heard of seaweed and cat nutrition used in the same sentence before so again, I did a quick Google search to see if it was worth writing about. After wading through a few clearly spammy affiliate pages, I found an interesting page that seemed more interested in science than sales that suggested that seaweed supplements could be good to write about. I’ll come back to this in a moment.

Finally, there was the related keywords about canned tuna. I have to be honest, by this point I was more interested in the seaweed thing so I clicked on the link in Jaaxy to see what kind of keywords popped up (and more importantly, to see if I could see any low-hanging ones).

Well, that was surprising. Apparently, an average of 40 people searches for “seaweed feline nutrition” per month. If I was able to write a page that ranked on the first page for this keyword, I’d be getting an estimated 7 visits to my page per month. Best of all, there aren’t any competing pages. 

The trouble is, that keyword doesn’t even make grammatical sense. Let’s try searching for something people might actually type into Google. Here’s the ideas I tried:

“Feline seaweed supplements”

This didn’t produce anything useful. The actual keyword doesn’t seem to attract any monthly searches so I’d be more or less wasting my time writing about it.

“seaweed supplements for cats”

Again, this keyword doesn’t appear to be searched for so it’s not really worth my time writing about it.

“can cats eat seaweed?”

Bingo.

This keyword gets an average of 56 searches per month and would net me an estimated 10 visits per month if I managed to get ranked on the first page of Google.

Clicking on Get QSR reveals only 32 competing websites (ideally this value should be less than 100). 

I’ve found a low hanging fruit. 

It’s low hanging because there isn’t a huge volume of people searching for it, and there aren’t many websites that have pages about it. This is certainly worth my time writing about it. 

If you weren’t too concerned with having a title with “seaweed feline nutrition” in it, you might be better off writing about that because there are no pages competing for that keyword at all (for now).

Perhaps something like, “What you need to know about seaweed feline nutrition” might work.

Why target low-traffic keywords?

You might be asking why I’m happy to write a blog post for a keyword that will only attract around ten visitors a month.

If I only had one single article on my blog, that might be a problem but the aim is to have a lot of articles on my website.

Each article will target a low-traffic keyword to attract readers to the site. Once they’re on the site, the hope is that they’ll browse the other articles too.

Yes, you could write content about much-higher traffic keywords but only if the QSR (the number of pages competing for that keyword) is below 100.

Any higher than that and it’s highly unlikely that the page is going to be shown in someone’s search results before the established pages.

You might be able to get around this if you have an effective social media strategy or email marketing campaign.

Find your own fruit

I’ve got to be honest, I have absolutely no interest in the cat nutrition niche. I don’t have a website about it and I don’t write about it, so I felt it would be an ideal example of how to find low-hanging fruit if you’re an affiliate marketer. 

If I can do this exercise with no interest in the subject, imagine what you can do with a topic that you’re passionate about!

The key is to use your keyword research tool effectively

I highly recommend Jaaxy and as you can see in this article, it works very well but I haven’t tried Long Tail Pro or some of the other tools on the market. 

If you want to give Jaaxy a try, you can signup for a free starter account that will let you try its features out for 30 searches. 


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6 Replies to “What is a low hanging fruit?

  1. Hi Phil,

    What a great post! As an affiliate marketer, I now feel like I have a far better understanding of the low-hanging fruit concept and its value in marketing. You’ve explained the advantages well!

    Online marketers are obsessed with traffic. So, high-traffic keywords have incredible appeal. The problem is that the attractiveness of those keywords typically translates into super high competition. Ranking for highly competitive keywords is nearly impossible. What’s the point in investing a lot of time in researching and writing a post that’s unlikely to ever see a Page 1 ranking?

    Page 1 rankings are never a slam-dunk, but they are infinitely more attainable with low-hanging fruit keywords. It’s so important to keep that in mind when doing our research. Thanks for the great information and bringing things into focus!

    1. Thanks Linda,

      I really appreciate your comment. I’m glad the post was useful.

      As you said, getting on to the first page of Google’s search results is much easier when you pick a long-hanging fruit keyword but nothing is guaranteed.

      As Google push more and more sponsored results to the top of the first page, that leaves visibility and impact for the organic results below.

  2. Hi Phil,
    This is a very informative review. I liked your analogy for low hanging fruit in management, life coaching and sales. People starting a new business who are trying to gain traffic to their sites, need to understand how to rank. You have clearly explained how to find the low hanging fruits, using Jaaxy keyword tool. I use the same tool myself, so I know it is very helpful in keyword searches. Your graphics showing others exactly how to do it, is a time saver as well. This is clearly an effective method for reaching the ultimate goal of page 1 in google search.

    1. Thanks, Chas,

      I really appreciate your comment.

      I’m a very visual person and find annotated images helpful when I’m trying to understand something and thought it would be helpful if I created them for my own posts.

      Hopefully, they will help people that are getting started with keyword research.

  3. This is a great explanation of the importance of choosing the right keywords in online marketing, Good Ranking in Google is important as it will be better in attracting visitors to our site, which can be good for both our visitors and ourselves.

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