Micro Intent: Always Consider This in Affiliate Marketing

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Written By Jamie I.F.
Founder of increasing.com, and here to give you the info you need to either start your making money online journey, grow and improve your niche sites, and build the most meaningful and fulfilling life for you.


Big alpha: the answers are literally staring at you in the face. You just need to look hard at the answers until they show themselves.

Literally. Just read the SERP.

Often times, for big review keywords, there’s a wide open opportunity to rank way higher than the highest DR sites, because they’ve missed the mark.

But it requires some studying of the SERP.

Not just of the main keyword – everyone knows that, and they’re all trying to hit it. That’s the macro intent.

But of the micro intent.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

Investing app reviews – hitting the micro intent to outrank high DR competitors

Some people already know this, but I’m an investor in Sammie’s project Up The Gains. I think he’s going right to the top and he’ll be the biggest in the niche site game very soon.

Very few people have the grit to get up at 5am and grind out the niche site content before their 9-5. Sammie’s a grinder.

He asked me to take a look at a few review keywords that were ranking on the first page of Google, but were sat in 6-10th place.

This is an app for investing, and we are 10th.

I read through all the top-ranking articles, and from this, it was clear that although we’d written a solid “InvestEngine review” post, we were actually fortunate to be ranking as high as we were.

This is because we were not hitting the micro intent behind the search.

After doing ~10 mins investigating, it became clear that InvestEngine (I had no idea what this was before this audit) was an app for first-time investors, who are less experienced, have less money to invest on average, and were not as financially literate.

Our current title was: “InvestEngine Review – Is It Worth It?

Other articles had titles like:

  • InvestEngine: is it the cheapest investment platform?
  • InvestEngine review: the best place to invest for free?

Beyond the macro intent of InvestEngine review searching, the micro intent was clearly “I’m a beginner, risk-averse and want a safe entry to investing. Please make me feel at ease.”

In conducting an audit like this, one of the best places to mine for this info is to look at the highest ranking low DR site, and try to identify why this is.

Up The Gains is a DR21, and ranking a few places higher than us was NutsAboutMoney which is DR19.

Their article was slightly better than ours overall, micro intent aside. There was more direct comparisons with data, for example in the alternatives section there was how much the fees would be at each investment level.

(This is an easy fix, especially if you have a VA who can collect each product’s data and put it into tables for you.)

But they also understood the assignment better.

Specifically, the title was geared towards beginner investors, and they even had an H2 high up in the article for “Is InvestEngine Good For Beginners?”.

It’s more common knowledge now that with reviews, you want to meet the search intent and answer the need as high up as possible. This typically means having your overall verdict at the top, along with the pros and cons, and your rating.

But it’s a less talked about this to have the micro intent up top too. This article ranks higher than it should relative to DR, because it answers the micro intent up top, too – in this case, whether it’s suitable for beginner investors.

This is the main pain point, what the audience want to know, and therefore what makes up the most helpful review content.

So, a simple set of recommendations I gave to Sammie to make this rank higher, and convert far better, were:

1. Optimise the title for the micro intent

Within beginner pain points, there are:

  • Is it safe? – is it legit? Will I lose my money?
  • Is it beginner friendly? – is it easy to use? Will I make a mistake and lose my money?
  • Is it good value? – Not just is it affordable (relative to competitors), but is the pricing scale easy to understand for me as a beginner? Will I get confused and sign up to something I can’t get out of?

So, if I was going to write a title that let searchers know “Yes! This person understands me!”, I would use something like:

InvestEngine Review: The beginner-friendly app you can trust


InvestEngine Review: Is it really as easy and cheap as they say?

2. Improve the CRO in the top of fold parts

The original live article had a “Key takeaways” section which was a quickfire roundup, basically saying InvestEngine was great.

While this is great for search intent, you’re basically giving all the sauce away without getting paid for it. So many people would just google the product and not click your affiliate link since there was not one included.

So the first recommendation was to remove this block entirely (these key takeaways blocks are great for info content to instantly hit search intent and summarise as a TLDR, but IMO not good for affiliate).

I also recommended to crunch down the intro so there was less fluff, and make a clear and strong value judgment as to who would benefit from InvestEngine (beginners, lower-amount investors).

Sammie’s new version does a great job of immediately meeting search intent, highlighting the main USP, bringing first-person experience and building rapport, and then telling you exactly who SHOULD use it, as well as who should NOT.

There’s an arguable next level where you can recommend alternative products here with an internal link to a review for anyone who self-identifies as a different type of investor, to make sure you don’t lose anyone within your funnel, but that’s marginal anyway.

I also said to improve the Lasso display.

Sammie’s a Lasso customer (as you should all be 😉), but was just using the default block without the extras that increase your clicks and conversions. Since then, he has added:

  • Pros and cons
  • Star rating for social proof
  • Adding supporting content – in this case an exclusive offer which is AMAZING for conversions. Big credit to Sammie here for this
  • “Best for ETF investing and low fees” banner for segmentation

You can build beautiful and high-converting displays like this with Lasso.

3. Get the micro intent in an H2 up top

Sammie already had the bottom line up front with the overall verdict, rating out of 5, and the pros and cons. But the rest of the review was fairly general, and wasn’t written for a specific segment or audience type.

Now we’ve landed on the beginner investors segment as the searchers here, we can tweak this for them.

In this case, I said to move the FAQ for “Is InvestEngine good for beginners” up to near the top of the article as an H2, just below the verdict and pros and cons at the top.

And where possible, tweak the remaining sections for this audience segment.

(This doesn’t mean that only beginner investors will search this review keyword. But, for other segments, they’re probably just in the exploratory stage, and there are other products better for more seasoned investors. So they won’t convert. And I enjoy money…)

InvestEngine is cheap and has a flat rate investment fee that makes it really easy to understand for brand-new investors.

But at higher investments, it’s not as cheap as some of the more advanced, more complex options.

So, even if the other segments come on to the page, they’re unlikely to convert as this product is not the best for them.

But it doesn’t mean we ignore them. Just clearly say in the cons that this isn’t for those people, and then recommend a product directly for them with an affiliate link, or a review on your site that you feel is better suited for them with an internal link.

4. Optimize the semantics, entities, and entity salience for the micro intent

Don’t worry, this sounds more complicated than it is.

For the semantics, if this article suits beginners, then we should include verbiage that is relevant to this.

You’d want to include lots of language like:

  • Entry-level
  • Beginner
  • Newbie investor
  • Accessible
  • Low-cost
  • Simple to understand
  • Flat rate fee
  • Free download
  • First-time investor
  • Get started
  • Novice
  • Starter

This is the lexicon that will psychologically reduce your audience’s anxiety, but more importantly, this shows Google (that CAN’T read like a human) that this content is relevant to beginner seachers.

SurferSEO, Page Optimizer Pro, On-Page AI, Market Muse, etc all have tools for extracting entities so you can include them.

But I suspect for this article, where the micro intent is partially hidden, that they would miss a lot of this beginner-friendly language. They scrape all the top 10, and so if only the top 3 have figured out the “beginner” micro intent, this will get mostly lost in the entity extraction process.

So, I would make sure that I had all of these beginner-style words and phrases in the article beyond this.

And then beyond the entities themselves, there’s the salience of these entities.

I’m still fully getting to grips with this – thank you again to Tony Hill for making me think more deeply about entity salience within NLP.

But the 80/20 of this is:

Start each sentence/para with the entity, and write clearly so that Google can ascertain with a high confidence that you are answering the question, and understands with high confidence what exactly you are describing.

You want the fewest possible dependency hops (which happen from convoluted, overly long and passive sentences), and clear, concise writing.

Most of the time, sentences with the highest salience for the entity you’re describing, are also just the best-written sentences that are easiest to undersand. There’s a big correlation there, which generally is a good guide for better copywriting.

The Results?

This was one of three reviews I checked over for Sammie over around an hour.

One of them (not the one covered in this newsletter), while it has only increased in rank by 1 place (I think from 9th to 8th IIRC), has converted £150 of affiliate sales in the next 5 days at £30 per sale.

That’s turned from an article that wasn’t converting, into an article that, if it maintains that, will earn £600/month. Just from that article.

I hope everyone is beginning to see the $$$ potential available if you’re willing to create amazing content that helps people make buying decisions. The sky is the limit in the right niches.

I’ll probably turn this into a YouTube video at some point. It’ll let me get more into a lot of this stuff that needs to be said.

Photo of author
Jamie I.F.
Founder of increasing.com, and here to give you the info you need to either start your making money online journey, grow and improve your niche sites, and build the most meaningful and fulfilling life for you.

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