SEO Affiliate Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide
Hello, internet marketing enthusiast! We’re glad you’re here. If you’re reading this, you probably either want to get started with affiliate marketing or you’re simply looking to launch a new project and want some guidance to help you ensure that you make the right decisions. Either way, we will do our very best to share some great tips with you so that your first or next campaign can get off to a great start!
Ready to start? Let’s go!
Sometimes, the connection between SEO and affiliate marketing can be tricky.
In fact, if a business or a site has a drop in rankings, they often rush to the conclusion that one of their affiliates is to blame.
This is mostly caused by the bad reputation affiliate backlinks have, often without a real reason.
In order to fight this, it’s important to know some good SEO practices for affiliate marketers!
First, it’s crucial that you understand how Google ranks websites.
This helps you build your site in such a way that it ranks highly for a good reason.
In turn, your site generates more revenue, and you can know with certainty that there’s nothing wrong on your end.
In other words, knowing good SEO practices can save you from experiencing a whole lotta pain in your affiliate marketing journey.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is basically the act of promoting someone else’s products or services and earning a commission when someone clicks your link and performs the desired action.
There are a ton of different affiliate networks you can join.
This is great!
Because it helps you market in a niche you’re passionate about.
Moreover, it will also help to keep you interested for the long haul.
If you happen to be a golf nut and you create a site in that specific niche, there’s a good chance that you’ll actually stick with it.
And guess what?
That eternal ability to stick with it is what will eventually lead to your success!
Here’s the process:
You sign up for an affiliate network and decide on what you want to promote.
You get your affiliate links and place them on your websites, videos, or social networks so that people get to click those links and continue purchasing a product or service.
When your target audience performs the desired action, you get paid.
We mentioned the expression “desired action” because it doesn’t always have to be a sale.
Some affiliate networks offer CPA, which means Cost Per Action.
An example of an action in which the traffic does not need to buy for you to get paid would be when the visitor (traffic) fills out a form and opts in.
It can be that simple!
SEO Affiliate Marketing in 2018: Success Tips for Affiliate Marketers
Let’s get right down to the nitty-gritty!
It’s time to talk about everything you need to know before firing up your affiliate campaign.
We will go over many different things which allow you to better understand how it all works and where everything fits in.
Let’s do this!
This is a big one and for many reasons.
Indeed, choosing a niche is half the battle!
First things first:
Picking something you’re passionate about is a great way to start!
Another aspect you need to take into account when selecting a niche is whether or not there’s a hungry crowd of people searching for what you might want to offer them.
If you’re involved in the niche and have a good feel for what people are looking for, this should be easy.
Make sure to check whether or not there is actual search volume for keywords that will work with your offers.
If there are no searches, there’s no traffic!
Need some tools you can use that provide keyword search volume and cost per click?
This is a huge factor.
It can really determine whether or not your website is successful.
The choice you have to make is simple:
Either you wanna have a website with a huge authority that can be something you can actually brand, or you wanna go for a short, straight-to-the-point, exact match or partial match domain.
Each method can become a site that earns money, which means you really need to take some time before you launch and decide what are the long-term goals you have for the website.
The beautiful thing about building a large, authority site?
You can always be on top of it and you’ll get to turn a real profit, whereas if you happen to choose an exact match domain to target one main keyword, it could all fizzle out over time as trends change.
For example, if you’re working in the golf niche, do you want to create an authority site that you can keep exploring long-term and use it as a continuous project or do you want to target a specific product or niche within the massive general niche of golf?
IE Footjoy rain pants/footjoyrainpants.com VS Dry Golf Now | Details & Reviews of Latest Waterproof Golf Gear / drygolfnow.com
The exact match option might produce faster results while the other option could be something you continue to build upon as time goes by.
Is there a right or a wrong way?
No, not really.
You can make money either way, which is why it’s really important that you take some time to ponder upon these crucial matters at the early stages of your endeavor.
Yes, hosting matters.
Whether you’re thinking about SEO, PPC, or social media marketing as a way to generate traffic to the site, hosting plays a bigger role than you may realize.
Think about it:
Do you like going to a slow-loading website and waiting for it to load?
Of course not!
It doesn’t matter what method of traffic generation you’re using:
Visitors will leave the site more often than not and it can affect your SEO efforts.
And then, what?
Before you can even understand what’s going on, there goes your chance of getting a sale!
A quality web hosting solution will be fast, secure, reliable, local, and won’t cost you much.
Who’s got the best hosting for affiliate marketers?
We all have our favorites.
Just make sure you pick a hosting solution that offers you everything that was previously mentioned!
Content will largely depend on your earlier choices.
Did you opt for the route of a targeted niche site or did you choose the long-term, authority-style site?
If you chose the laser-targeted niche site (sometimes called sniper site) you won’t need a ton of content.
It’s important to note that it’s worth the money and/or effort for you to go ahead and get some high-quality, professionally written content for your money pages.
If you’re taking the authority site path, the content will hopefully be handled in-house either by yourself or by someone you’ve partnered with on the project that has the knowledge and passion to keep adding content for many years to come.
Content marketing can bring you loads of targeted traffic.
If you do it right, your blog/site will have followers and regular readers forever!
Whether you’re making a sniper site or a blog/authority site you’ll want to get your on-page SEO dialed in.
With the sniper site, it should be pretty straightforward.
You’re targeting something very specific such as footjoy rain pants and your on-page SEO will reflect that.
With an authority-style site, you’ll want the homepage to have a general theme/topic overview.
Later on, you’ll be able to create posts, pages, and sub-pages to target certain keywords.
Your on-page for each post or page will then have its own on-page factors.
Choosing the Right Keywords
Google has changed a lot when it comes to niches, domains, and keywords.
While it’s still a good idea to choose a domain name that’s short and memorable and to have short URLs (Google gives a URL’s first 5 words much more importance than the others), the same no longer applies to keywords.
With the addition of the Hummingbird algorithm to its search engine, Google introduced latent semantic indexing (LSI).
This means the search engine tries to figure out what your article is about based on what you’re actually writing about.
Long tail keywords are also important if you want to rank well!
Instead of competing for the keyphrase “good restaurants”, you’d have much more success in affiliate marketing with a long tail keyword such as “good Italian restaurants in Brooklyn”, for example.
The good thing about these long tail keywords is that, due to LSI, you don’t have to always repeat the complete sentence or even write it in the same order.
Because Google will pick up on it throughout the text, anyways.
There’s a great tool you can use that’s really gonna help you with LSI:
Wondering what you’ve gotta do?
Just insert the keyword you’ve picked to optimize your page on LSIgraph and the tool will work its magic!
You should choose a niche that’s closely connected to the products you’re promoting.
Ideally, you and your writers should be comfortable with it.
One of the most important steps you’ve gotta go through in order to find the right keywords for your site is how you go about implementing keyword research and become a master that’s always one step ahead of all other affiliates.
Are you struggling with this process?
You can understand how to research keywords with Google’s algorithm in mind.
Avoid Content Farms and Poor Content
It might sound enticing to just spam as much content that has no real value for the audience, but this practice has been frowned upon for quite a while now.
With the numerous algorithm changes and search engine updates that have come about in the past few years, this practice can actually hurt your rankings!
The best way of getting high Google rankings and a whole lotta traffic is to bet on high-quality content.
You need to engage your audience and provide them something of value.
If you create seriously amazing content that entertains, engages and educates the reader, you’ll definitely get a higher number of backlinks.
Quality will increase your audience’s loyalty and trust, which means that they’ll also be more willing to check out any products or services you’re promoting.
“How can content marketing overtake SEO completely when the only way to successful content marketing is to have SEO?” – Neil Patel
A case study released by Backlinko’s Brian Dean showed that – from an SEO perspective – the ideal length for an article in 2016 is over 1500 words.
This is a radical shift from the time when a 300-word page was considered long.
It all goes to show that the emphasis is on more thorough, well-researched articles.
Whatever you do regarding the type and length of your videos, blogs, and presentations, be sure that you’re making them for your target audience, and that it adds value to their lives in some way.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
We’re long past the time of asking ourselves whether marketing for mobile users is important.
Over 80% of internet users have smartphones, and it’s estimated that around 50% of all internet traffic is coming from mobile devices.
This means you need to jump on that bandwagon and make your site mobile-friendly if you haven’t done it already.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to cost you much in both time and money, as there are a whole lotta services and templates that can help you with this.
For example, WordPress has several plugins specifically made to help you optimize your site for mobile browsing.
You can easily test your site to check the kind of mobile experience it grants with various third party services – even Google has one.
Apart from that, you should also know Google PageSpeed Insights gives you solutions so that you can solve your website’s problems and increase speed.
Social Media is Your Friend
In today’s marketing world, social media is king.
Over 95% of online marketers use some form of a social media marketing campaign to promote their brand and establish communication with their audience.
Since it’s very interactive, customers have the feeling that they’re communicating with other people, instead of connecting with a faceless corporation.
Conversion rates are much higher.
Hubspot studies show that – besides higher conversion rates – social media leads also have a higher lead-to-close rate than classic outbound marketing with newsletters, landing pages, and so forth.
It’s simple, really!
Every post you make on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other social network can be seen by an ever-growing audience.
People can share your content, comment on it, and do the promotion for you.
You build your brand and gain recognition, but you have to establish your brand voice early on and try to stick to it.
If you wanna be the affiliate king, social media is the way to go!
Here it is!
The age-old debate regarding backlinks!
What the heck are backlinks?
Do you even need them?
A backlink is a link from another site to yours.
Plain and simple.
How the sites link to you is critical, and it’s worth mentioning that crappy links will eventually get your site in the crapper with Google.
What to do?
Be careful when it comes to what you do and how you go about it.
There would be nothing worse than working as hard as you possibly can and finally getting the results you want, and then having it all taken away from you just because you were too lazy with your links.
Do you need links to rank?
Of course you do!
Some people will tell you that you only need to create quality content and that it will rank naturally.
We say balderdash!
We’ve asked some of the people who are adamant about this to answer the following question:
What happens when there are a lot of sites with great content?
What do they do?
We’ll tell you what:
They brush the question aside.
Without having to write an entire book, we can assert with 100% certainty that backlinks done right will be one of the keys to your long-term success. Voila Norbert’s email finder is the go-to tool when looking to secure backlinks on publications.
The type of website you decide to create doesn’t matter.
You need backlinks.
Two great guys you should follow to learn the art of safe, effective SEO?
You could have all of the above nailed down, and still not be able to make sales because your website fails to be optimized for conversions.
Yes, you have to get the traffic before you can get conversions.
Even so, you must make sure that you take a little time (and maybe even spend a little money) to ensure that you have good calls-to-action and that your site is properly funneling people to where you want them to go.
Small tweaks in this department can lead to massive profits!
Just keep that in mind because it’s critical to whatever style of site you decide to build.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money.
It provides anyone with a chance to earn money online.
When you figure it out, you get to work from anywhere.
In fact, you get to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and have the ultimate freedom!
Even so, don’t be foolish:
This is all gonna require hard work.
You need to go through a lot of reading, writing, experimenting and testing before you reap the rewards of affiliate success!
What to do?
Read and reread the tips showcased in this article, apply them to your strategy, and then take action!
Because – when all is said and done – imperfect action will always trump the theories of those who stand by and do nothing at all!
Never forget that constant algorithm changes have made it impossible to go about life with SEO hacking in mind.
This means that you must enter into a whole new and modern marketing paradigm.
Focus on the user experience and on providing the best, most useful content and services possible!
Go for it now!
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