How to Create a Gift Guide With SEO, Marketing & Monetization Tips.

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gift guides

Ready to create a gift guide for your blog, YouTube channel or a newsletter?  Then I’m ready to help!

The post below is something I sent to the partners for some of the companies that hired me as their affiliate manager to help them grow their traffic and make money. Instead of keeping the strategies private for our partners, I wanted to share them with you because everyone can benefit.

But before we jump in I’d like to note that gift guides are not just for the holidays. People search year round for gift ideas and this type of content is the perfect way to get that traffic.

Below you will learn how to create high quality gift guides, discover themes you can use (with their current estimated monthly search volumes), and talking points for how to pick the right modifiers for SEO.

I’ve also included some bonus tips like in the “Christmas Gifts for Wife” where I share good examples of how modifiers can make a difference in both traffic and conversions and “Yoga Gifts” where I share a big hint as to how to find better themes for your gift guides.

The post has three sections:

  1. Marketing Tips and Strategies
  2. SEO Tips
  3. Gift Guide Examples & How to Build Them

Gift Guide Marketing Tips and Strategies

There’s a ton of competition out there so you need to stand out.  Here are some marketing tips to keep in mind while creating your gift guide.

Please remember I share some of the best gift guide marketing tips in the theme sections below, so make sure you reach through each.

  • Use an odd number in your title tag. Odd numbers normally stand out better than even numbers.
    • If everyone showing up in Google already uses a 7, 11 or 15, try 33 or something larger. The goal is to look unique and attract attention.
  • Change the wording for your H1 tag so that it is for a blog reader and not a search engine searcher.  Title tags and H1 tags serve different purposes.
    • Title tags show up in search engines and are designed to get someone to click to your website.
    • H1 tags are visible on the page itself and should be written to get the user to engage with the content below it.
  • Set the list to be reverse order (ascending). This entices your reader to scroll to find the number 1 gift because it may be assumed that number 1 will be the best.
  • Look at the top ten results in Google for the gift guide theme you are writing about. Next write down the adjectives and numbers being used in title tags and meta descriptions. Now come up with a better adjective and wording mix that is not being used and incorporate these words into your title tag, open graph, rich pins and meta descriptions.
  • Open your guide with unique copy about the benefits to the end user (not just about why you like the gifts). This lets the visitor know they have found a place that lists the gift ideas they are looking for.
    • Bonus tip – Remember, the gift guide is to help them find a gift for someone else, not about you and why you want or like something. The opening is about their needs, the product descriptions are for the person they are buying a gift for!
  • Define why you are the authority on this subject matter in the opening of your guide. This helps build trust with your visitor. Talk about your experience in a situation, any degrees or certifications you have, and other accolades.
  • The Big One!!!  In your copy, talk about how the recipient will enjoy the gift that your reader will purchase. Don’t focus why you personally like the gift. The goal is to get the person to shop for someone else. By helping your reader picture the moment the person receiving the gift opens it, you have pre-sold why the gifts you recommend are the right choice.

Gift Guide SEO Tips

But marketing alone isn’t enough. You need to get people to your gift guide.  SEO and social media optimizations are perfect for this.  Here are some ways to optimize your gift guides to get more traffic!

  • Use proper header tags (H1, H2, H3) for sections and subsections. Header tags tell search engines and users what each section is specifically about.
  • Use UL and OL tags to define that this is a list for the search engines.
  • Make sure all the items on the guide are set in LI tags.
  • Use proper schema on the page when necessary.
  • Add a “best of section” to the top of larger lists that has two links. This helps users quickly locate your top gift recommendations.
    • Make one link your affiliate link so the person can shop and the other an anchor link to read more about the gift idea.
  • Find topics with at least 1,000 estimated monthly searches for the topic. This helps make sure there are people searching for gift ideas in your niche. If there aren’t people searching then you have to build the audience for it which is much harder to do.
  • Use a proper advertising disclosure at the top of your guide and also use proper attributes like “sponsored” and “nofollow” on your links when needed.
  • Write a unique description for every product included in your gift guide. Do not copy and paste from the store’s website or from another website.
  • Create a featured image that is properly named for SEO and has a clear message about the gifts “The 25 best motorcycle gifts for Grandmas in 2020”.
  • Make sure to use proper meta data for the social networks and intent.
    • Facebook has people being entertained and blocks clickbait so creating something engaging that is worth interrupting their fun.
      • Facebook images are also landscape rectangles or squares so make sure to consider this and upload something unique.
    • Pinterest images are vertical and people are specifically looking for ideas and lists.  You’ll want to choose titles and wording that is relevant to these queries vs. being interruptive like on Facebook and use Pinterests ad platform to find high search volumes.
  • Big Bonus Tip – SEO modifiers for gift guides are not just prices, people and occasions.  Think about international delivery and shipping speeds. This is a perfect opportunity for you to stand out and get a conversion.
    • i.e. 25 Birthday Gifts for 5 Year Olds that Ship Free & Overnight.

Now that you have some gift guide marketing tips, lets jump into some example themes with their estimated keyword search volumes.

Gift Guide Examples & How to Build Them

These search volumes are year round (aside from Christmas, Valentine’s and other holidays or seasons) which means that if you make your guide evergreen vs. focusing on Q4 holidays you can create some extra income each month.

In the first few examples I focused heavily on women and wife. These modifiers could be replaced with men, spouse, boyfriend or husband. You could also try grandpa, grandma, cousin or stepmom.  Each of these likely has a high search volume depending on the theme or time of year.

Also, as the holidays approach the search volumes will likely increase as well. By writing them to be evergreen and using affiliate links you can increase your traffic and make money year round.

Below you will find the following gift guide themes:

One more quick thing, here are some affiliate programs I currently manage that are a perfect fit for the gift guides below.

For FTC compliance, these links are ads for the programs and I will earn commissions if you create a new account on some of the affiliate networks.

We also manage other brands. These are specific clients that match the themes below so feel free to contact me for more gift guide ideas and affiliate programs to join.

Gifts for New Moms

With a monthly search volume close to 50,000 this is a big money phrase. The important thing to remember is to talk about new mom problems and how the gifts will help make her life easier. It could be anything from physical and mental health to helping with her new daily routines.

Products for nursing, keeping the baby calm or simply providing her with a few 10 or 15 minute escapes so she can have some down time are all great options. You may also want to think about her body and find products to help restore areas affected from being pregnant and giving birth.

Because of the massive search volume you may want to up your guide to 55 gift ideas and create a few subsections. This will give you a better chance to show up in the search engines based on what I am seeing right now and help you get more long tail traffic.

The top modifiers with search volume include:

    • gifts for new moms – 22200
      best gifts for new moms – 6600
      gift ideas for new moms – 2400
      christmas gifts for new moms – 1600
      birthday gifts for new moms – 1300
      gifts for new moms after birth – 1000
      gift for new mom in hospital – 880

Self Care Gifts

Self care is something we all need, but we don’t always take the time to do. This topic has roughly 8,000 monthly searches and should spike as holiday or seasonal stress (back to school) sets in.

Talk to the reader about helping that special someone that takes care of everyone else before themselves and how these gifts can help them relax. Your goal is to inspire the reader to treat that person in their lives who never treats themselves.

Talk about how the products will help this person relax based on their interests. It could be wine, spa kits, lounge pants, books, in home massage appointments or anything else that will convince the recipient to take a break.

Top modifiers with search volume include:

    • self care gifts – 2900
      self care gift basket – 1300
      self care gift ideas – 480
      best self care gifts – 390
      self care gifts for women – 320
      self care kit gift – 320
      self care gift box – 210

Christmas Gifts for Wife

This is an interesting topic. The word “thoughtful” has 4X more searches than “good”. Using the modifier “my” vs. “your” has a substantial difference in monthly searches too. Depending on the keyword phrase you go after, make sure you modify the tone and wording to match the intent of the website visitor.

Thoughtful gift descriptions should talk about creating an emotional reaction with smiles, happiness, and love. You could incorporate meaningful gift items with favorite photos and tchotchkes that are catered around her needs. A thoughtful gift could even be recommending a guaranteed night off each week where the reader watches the kids for the wife. The gift just has to be meaningful and selfless.

Good gifts on the other hand do not have to have an emotional attachment. They can be items she’s been asking about or hinting towards. Something that she’ll use or enjoy regularly but does not have that deep and emotional spark. Golf clubs (if she plays) or a nice bottle of wine are good gifts vs. something emotional.

You could tackle this post by doing a list of five gift ideas with three or four themes (food, relaxing, travel, romantic, etc…), or simply breaking it out with individual niche posts based on interests.

Top modifiers with search volume include:

    • christmas gifts for wife – 18100
      christmas gift ideas for wife – 6600
      best christmas gifts for wife – 3600
      thoughtful christmas gifts for wife – 2900
      christmas gifts for my wife – 1300
      christmas gifts for your wife – 880
      good christmas gifts for wife – 720

Gift Ideas for Girlfriend

Shopping for a girlfriend can be intimidating. Your gift guide will be able to help the shopper navigate their way through this tricky topic.

There are a ton of modifiers and themes here too. Below I list “anniversary”, “cute”, and “good” as examples.

One way you may be able to increase your readers clicking through to shop is by focusing on her reaction to the present in your gift guide descriptions.

While writing think about if the gift ideas set the mood for romance and love on an anniversary. Is it something useful or empowering if she is feeling down? Can it spark a memory and be something that makes her smile when she sees it?

These talking points may be able to turn readers into shoppers because you’ve pre-sold why this gift item is the right one for their girlfriends.

Estimated monthly search volume:

gift ideas for girlfriend – 14800
cute gift ideas for girlfriend – 1900
romantic gift ideas for girlfriend – 720
1 year anniversary gift ideas for girlfriend – 590
good gift ideas for girlfriend – 590
small gift ideas for girlfriend – 590
10 romantic gift ideas for your girlfriend – 320
gift basket ideas for girlfriend – 320

Gift Ideas for Wife

This topic is great year round and also has large spikes around Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Just like the girlfriend theme above there are modifiers for age, celebrations like anniversaries, and romance. There are large differences too.

Gifts for girlfriends does not mean the couple is currently intimate whereas a person shopping for their wife likely is or has been intimate with the shopper. A spouse likely has more insight into the wife’s wants, needs and desires which could include opening up to new experiences including toys, lingerie and bedroom accessories.

This guide can be done by theme or as a massive list with themed sections. The themes can be anniversaries, holidays, birthdays and situational like thinking of you gifts. Just like with the girlfriend gifts, try to think of ways to get the shopper to think about the recipient’s reaction and how the shopper will make her life better with the gift.

And remember, there are more couple types than just man and woman so use inclusive and non-gender specific wording.  It helps with conversions as a bonus!

Estimated monthly search volume:

gift ideas for wife – 9,900
christmas gift ideas for wife – 6,600
mother’s day gift ideas for wife – 2,400
anniversary gift ideas for wife – 1300
40th birthday gift ideas for wife – 1,000
3 year anniversary gift ideas for wife – 880
50th birthday gift ideas for wife – 880
gift ideas for wife who has everything – 880
gift ideas for my wife – 720
christmas gift ideas for my wife – 480

Secret Santa Gift Ideas

This topic will absolutely spike after Thanksgiving. The modifiers here include specific people or situations like co-workers or gender, and there are also variations with price points.

From an SEO standpoint you could tackle this with a massive post of secret santa gift ideas divided into sections with 10 ideas for each modifier and a table of contents at the beginning. Another option is to build individual gift guides for the niche themes.

Because it is Christmas focused, it could be “advent-ageous” (see what I did there) to have some fun by playing off of holiday themed numbers like 25 and 12. This is the perfect gift guide for a best of summary like I mentioned in the marketing tips section above.

There are tons of last minute shoppers that need to “ship fast” and to specific regions. This is a gift guide where modifiers matter.

Estimated monthly search volume:

secret santa gift ideas – 9,900
secret santa gift ideas for coworkers – 1,600
secret santa gift ideas for friends – 880
secret santa gift ideas for guys – 390
12 days of christmas gift ideas for secret santa – 320
secret santa gift ideas under $20 – 320
secret santa gift ideas under $25 – 320
secret santa gift ideas under $10 – 260
secret santa gift ideas under $5 – 260

Baking Gifts

This is a fun topic. Guides can include anything from unique themed baking molds to gifts for specific people including kids, couples, and adults. There is also a search volume for life events like birthday gifts, and holidays.

The more unique you get with gift ideas, the better chance you’ll get some extra social sharing to bring in more traffic and hopefully earn more commissions.

Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

baking gift basket – 1600
baking gift ideas – 1300
baking gift set – 590
baking gifts for kids – 390
baking gift basket ideas – 210
gifts for baking lovers – 210
unique baking gifts – 170

Alcohol Gifts

You can of course include a shaker set, beverage glasses and a wine or beer club in your guide. But if you want to be unique then think of creative items like a cocktail of the month subscription that teaches the person a new ingredient or drink type, or a science based cocktail kit to make drinks that smoke or change colors.

Unique alcohol gifts like interesting flavors and ways to make drinks smoke with molecular gastronomy will help your listcicle to stand out. You could even try booze infused meats, liquor filled gummy candies and other alcohol items the shopper likely would not have thought of.

Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

alcohol gift baskets – 3600
alcohol gifts – 2400
send alcohol gift – 1000
alcohol gift delivery – 720
alcohol christmas gifts – 590
alcohol gift ideas – 590
best alcohol gifts – 480

Craft and Crafting Gifts

What makes this gift guide unique is the tense of the word craft and the intent of the user. The searches could be crafts to make as a gift for someone else, or a gift that is a crafting supply or project for the recipient to enjoy creating. It could also be a crafting gift for a kid so that the kid can then create a gift for a grandparent.  The wording choices you use and keywords you optimize matter here!

The search volumes below are more oriented for someone looking to buy a gift for a person that likes to craft.

Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

craft gift ideas – 1600
craft gifts for kids – 880
arts and crafts gifts – 390
craft gift box – 260

Gifts for Long Distance Relationships

For this gift guide, think about gifts that help couples enjoy some intimacy.

Creativity is key here because you have to relate to the shopper and let them know you understand geographic obstacles. Because the couple cannot be together, toys that can be controlled via an app from a distance and kits to let you clone specific parts of the shopper or their partner’s body are items that make sense.  Remember, your goal is to help them feel together while distance has them separated.

Estimated monthly search volume:

sex gifts for long distance relationships – 2400
sex gifts for long distance relationships gif gif – 30
romantic sex gifts for long distance relationships – 20

Romantic Gifts for (Insert Person)

This guide could be someone shopping for a boyfriend, a girlfriend or a spouse. It could even be a group if the person is in a thruple. The goal here is to be unique.

Most gift guides list renting a hotel room, a fancy dinner or romantic dice. What these gift guides forget is to provide how to take it to the next level. That is where you can make money as an affiliate and stand out for social media shares.

Instead of just saying get a fancy hotel room with a bathtub. Tie in how to use the hotel room with products like massage oils, sexy board games and of course ties, toys and novelties.

Bedroom blocks, aromatherapy with memories in mind, unique position cards and adventurous games are all great choices. And don’t forget to add in lingerie or costuming in to set a fun role-playing and romantic mood. You can talk about honeymoons or vacations and dressing up as someone from the resort or occasion to create a fun scene.

Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

romantic gifts for her – 4400
romantic gifts for him – 4400
romantic gift for wife – 2900
romantic gifts – 2900
romantic gifts for girlfriend – 2900
romantic gift for boyfriend – 1900

Sexy Gifts

Just like the romantic gifts there is a heavy skew in search volumes for specific people. Unlikely romantic gifts there is also a large search volume for events like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.

Creating unique themes for the specific events can give you more topics to write about, and you can also have fun with themed puns. Changing out “Claus” for “Claws” on Christmas and playing off “surprise parties” for birthdays.

One thing to remember for this gift guide is that it is all about the recipient. But that doesn’t mean the gift has to be for them only. It could be lingerie for the shopper to wear as the gift, or something the shopper and recipient can enjoy together or with a group if that is their style.

Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

sexy gift – 1300
sexy gifts for wife – 1000
sexy gifts for him – 590
sexy gifts for boyfriend – 480
sexy gifts for her – 480
sexy gifts for men – 480
sexy gifts for husband – 390

White Elephant Gift Guide

This is a fun topic where you can let your creativity shine.

The SEO modifiers for white elephant gifts are specific to the recipients’ reactions and price points. By using dollar amounts and words like “funny” in your title tags, you’ll let the person searching in Google, Bing or Yahoo know they’ve found an ideas list that meets their budget needs and gift requirements.

To make the content even more relevant for the shopper, make sure to carry the theme through your content and within your product descriptions. For example if you use “funny” in the title of your post or video, mention the recipient laughing when they open the gift in the description of the gift ideas.

Estimated monthly search volume:

white elephant gift ideas – 90,500
white elephant gift ideas $20 – 4,400
white elephant gift ideas $30 – 3,600
creative white elephant gift ideas – 2,900
white elephant gift ideas $10 – 2,900
white elephant gift ideas $50 – 2,900
white elephant gift ideas $25 – 2,400
funny white elephant gift ideas – 1,900

Gift Ideas for Friends

The search volume for this theme will spike around late November and early December, and once again as national friends and best friends day approaches.

To help get the person ready to shop you may want to talk about how the gift is meaningful between two friends.

Another talking point could be how the gift lets the recipient know the gift giver is always there for them. You may also want to open the guide by letting the reader know you’re not doing the typical friendship bracelets and are instead giving them unique gift ideas if they read through the post or watch the full video.

Estimated monthly search volume:

gift ideas for friends – 12,100
christmas gift ideas for friends – 4,400
gift ideas for best friend female – 3,600
cute gift ideas for friends – 1,600
gift ideas for your best friend – 1,600
funny gift ideas for friends – 1,000

Fitness Gifts

Category based gift guides are great. There is a large search volume and you can stick to your niche. Fitness for example can be overarching and work for everyone from seniors to kids. It could be for parents that have no time to go to the gym or singles looking to find the love of their life. Most generic categories like “fitness” can work across numerous types of sites.

The modifiers are very diverse here and include phrases like “best”, costs like “under $20”, genders like “men” or “her” and of course descriptive phrases like “lovers”.

Estimated monthly search volume:

fitness gifts – 1900
gifts for fitness lovers – 1000
fitness gifts for men – 880
fitness gifts for her – 720
best fitness gifts – 390

Yoga Gifts

One thing to remember is that you don’t always have to go for the main category with a gift guide. Sometimes the niches within the category have a higher search volume.  Fitness gifts is the category above, but yoga gifts has more than twice the monthly searches.

The same can potentially be true for other phrases like running or runners, cycling, hiking or swimmers.  And don’t forget people search for teachers, coaches and instructors too!

By going niche for a specific type of fitness you are able to share more relevant gift recommendations and potentially convert more readers or viewers into shoppers.

Estimated monthly search volume:

yoga gifts – 4400
gifts for yoga lovers – 1900
gifts for yoga teachers – 720
yoga gift ideas – 590
best yoga gifts – 480
yoga gifts for her – 480
yoga gifts for mom – 260

Gifts for Runners

The interesting thing about some of the fitness gift guides is the way the search volumes change when you move the order of the words. Below you’ll see “gifts for runners” has 9,900 monthly searches. When you change the order to “runner gifts” it drops to under 500.  

By focusing on the differences in wording and the order in which the words appear you may be able to optimize for the larger traffic volumes and bring more people to your content. This will help grow your audience and give you more opportunities to earn commissions. 

Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

gifts for runners – 9900
best gifts for runners – 1900
gifts for runners women – 1600
gifts for runners men – 1300
gift ideas for runners – 1000
gifts for marathon runners – 880

Now that you know how to create a gift guide, here are some affiliate programs to join and incorporate into the themes above.

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