Most likely, you are currently a fully engaged professional, so you know it is very difficult to find a side job that fits with the demand of your current organization or business and has the potential to blossom into a sustainable, full-time venture. With affiliate marketing, you can earn commissions and add a little or a lot of income to your bank account by promoting another person’s or company’s services or products. For you to be successful in affiliate marketing, your site must be optimized for search engines to find you. In this article, I will answer the question; What is SEO for Affiliate Marketing?
The most significant advantage of affiliate marketing is location independence and the fact that you are free to choose the products and services you would like to promote. Also, your energy and time investment is directly related to the return you will receive at the end of the day. There a way affiliate marketers can ensure increased visibility and attract more traffic to their website. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and if you want a profitable affiliate site, you need to invest your time to do SEO the right way, or Google will ignore your site. And trust me, you really need Google to like your site.
What is this SEO Thing that is So Important to Google?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a somewhat technical process that increases the visibility of your site and the pages of your website in the search engines. It refers to the most crucial things you can do or add to your site to enable it to appear at the top or as close to the top as possible of all the search engine rankings. When a visitor does a search and finds your relevant keywords, and you happen to appear closer to the top of the search results, the more traffic you will tend to get. As we all know, the more traffic your site gets, the more likely you will make money. This equation of traffic=more conversions=more money in the bank, is critical to all affiliate marketers.
It is natural for most people who do a search on the internet, to mainly be interested in the search results on the first few pages and very seldom do they go any further. It is of vital importance that your website appear as early as possible in the results if you want a decent volume of traffic to your site. This enables your website to get a higher rank in other search engine results by optimizing the content of your website, resulting in the pages of your site appearing much more frequently in the search engine results pages. You can learn a lot about SEO on the internet and optimize your website yourself, but if you want consistent and solid results, it may be to your benefit to get some affiliate marketing training and SEO training from one of the many quality companies on the net.
You can CLICK HERE for my #1 Recommended Affiliate Marketing Training Site.
How to Make Money Online with SEO-Driven Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate marketing has really evolved over the years. Back in the early days of search engines, coming up with an effective SEO strategy for your affiliate-marketing site was pretty easy. All you really had to do is pick your affiliate market and buy a brandable keyword domain name. You would then proceed to search it on the Overture keyword tool and choose the top 50 keywords in your niche. For each keyword, you would create about 500 words of content and then start working on developing links using some reciprocal linking. If you were a guru with advanced link development strategies, you would also create one-way linking in an attempt to get links directly from bookmark lists that are run by college students. And that was enough to get commission checks flowing into your bank account.
Today, SEO has evolved and has made affiliate marketing a much more challenging process. It is now more technical and requires you to have a specific strategy of make sure your site and your content is optimized. So you need to know how an affiliate marketer can create an evolved strategy for your site and your content, whether it is text, videos, images, and any of the other parts of you site and pages?
Here are some of the things that you need to do for effective SEO-Driven Affiliate Marketing:
• Domain Name – Domain name is a huge factor. It can determine much of the success of your website. The choice you need to make is simple: you either choose to have a site with a prominent authority for your branding, or go for a short, straightforward, partial match or exact match domain, to your niche. Both methods work and that is why you need to take your time before launching or deciding your long-term goals for your website. The great thing with building an authority site is that you can get ahead with it and turn real profits, whereas if you choose an exact match domain, you get to target one main keyword which is limiting and may burn out after some time as trends change and as you run out of ideas for content.
For example, if you’re working in a football niche, you would want to have an authority site that you will keep expanding for a more extended period and use it as a long-term project with plenty of content options. This would be as opposed to having a niche or product that is within the niche of football and more isolated to a smaller number of items and affiliates. While exact match produces quicker results, they are most likely shorter lived, while the other option can be something you will continue to build on for many years to come. There is no better way, but it all depends on your goal; that’s why it is essential to consider these crucial matters during the early phases of your strategic development of your site.
• Choosing What to Promote – Your Niche – SEO-driven Affiliate marketing needs to be focused on finding products that have a great deal of traffic on the search engine and have affiliate goods that provide a reasonable commission for each sale. As an individual affiliate marketer, you should choose to promote products from businesses that are passionate about their brand or products that are tied to a niche you enjoy. This strategy not only enables you to monetize your personal blog but it also makes it easier and more fun to be able to create additional income, because of your expertise in a specific field. As a personal blogger, you can choose a product that has a commission as long as it is what you genuinely recommend, use, or believe in.
• Take ample time to choose hidden gold mine affiliates – The other important factor that you need to take into account when selecting a niche is whether there is a hungry crowd of consumers searching for what you intend to offer them. You literally need to take time to know your product, and whom you’re aiming to market it to. By understanding these two fundamentals aspects, you’ll begin to build up credibility because you’ve chosen the product you believe in, and people will start to trust you and the products you’re offering. Besides, other business will feel much better about giving their products to you rather than others. This will result in higher sales revenue for you and a much stronger business.
• Avoid choosing the wrong affiliate – Many people want to earn from affiliate marketing as fast as possible. In their rush to be part of one, they tend to choose a bandwagon or hyped product. This is the kind of products that the program thinks is “hot.” They prefer products that are in demand without actually considering if they appeal to them. This is not a very wise move obviously and the odds are you will not make much if any money from these over-hyped products.
• Avoid joining too many affiliate programs – Since affiliate programs are elementary to join, you might be tempted to join multiples affiliate programs to try to maximize the earnings you will be getting. On top of that, you may think that there is nothing wrong and nothing to lose by being part of a bunch of affiliate programs. True, that is a great way to have multiple sources of income. However, joining multiple programs and attempting to promote them all at the same time will prevent you from concentrating on each one of them. You really need to find the best fit for your niche and put all your focus on that affiliate program for the first 6 months to a year.
• Truly Unique Content – There is a difference between creating content that is “technically” unique when it comes to search engine ranking and “conceptually unique” content from a consumer’s perspective. Learn to differentiate the two and plan your content on the aspect of conceptually unique. Social signals pay off on the search engines and if you think about it, more people may be inclined to share something like “13 things you never knew widgets could do” of 500 quality words, more than they may be willing to share a 450 words article about “discount widgets” or a 400 words article on “cheap widgets”. Bottom line is, you have to create your own unique content. Don’t copy other peoples content and don’t plagiarize. Google checks for all of this.
• Finding Keywords to Drive Traffic to Your Affiliate Site – While it is a useful idea to choose a domain name that is memorable and with short URLs (Google prioritize URL’s first 5 words more than the rest), but this no longer applies with keywords. With the introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm to its search engine, Google adopted latent semantic indexing (LSI), which means search engines try to assess what you are writing about and what your article is about. That said, long tail keywords play an important role. Instead of battling for key a phrase such as “best hotels,” you can gain much more success in affiliate marketing if you use long tail keywords like “best Italian hotels in Brooklyn.
The advantage of using long tail keyword is that, because of LSI, you don’t have to write the keyword in the same manner or repeat the complete sentence, because Google is able to recognize your keyword throughout the content anyway.
The best keyword search tool by far that I have found and use, is called Jaaxy. It was created for affiliate marketers, by affiliate marketers. If you are looking for a search engine tool, I highly recommend Jaaxy.
• Don’t Duplicate Meta Descriptions – A meta description is a simple recommendation that most affiliate sites miss out on. Ensuring your meta descriptions and meta titles are unique and relevant allow them to appear as snippets in SERPs, and this goes a long way in helping you stand out among your competitors.
If your content doesn’t have a meta description and meta title, search engines will just pull the first part of the content’s introduction and that will become your meta description. This may or may not be what you want searchers to see, so make sure you write your own meta title and meta description.
• You should Nofollow your affiliate links – While affiliate marketing is a great way to make money and work for yourself, many people have bought into the misconception that making money online is quick and easy or that you can buy an automated software package or program that will do all the work for you. The truth of the matter is however, you have to do a lot of work, and this should includes setting your affiliate links to nofollow. Google understands that your affiliate links are a means of earning commissions. Since affiliate links are not a natural authority signal, they like to remove such links from counting as organic link authority. From this point of view, it is a crucial basic requirement that you nofollow all your affiliate links. Most probably, Google can automatically recognize affiliate links built through popular affiliate networks such as Amazon and it “nofollows” them automatically. However, if you are on a less popular affiliate network, it’s vital that you use nofollow tags. Ideally, nofollowing gives you the peace of mind by minimizing the odds of being penalized for the scammer pages that pass their traffic to other websites.
• Delete Inactive Plugins and Themes – With cybercrime on the rise and hackers sharpening their skills every day, it’s essential to be extra careful about customer privacy, cyber security, and this means that the biggest mistake you can make is failing to delete inactive themes and plugins. If you don’t update or delete inactive themes that are sitting idly on your website, you run a significant threat of having your information stolen by hackers or cybercriminals.
Themes and plugins that idle on your site are an easy target for hackers, and by updating your themes regularly, you will keep these criminals at bay. However, if you fail or forget to update, they find ways to use old code to form a backdoor to your website by hiding vicious codes inside them. Hackers can also conceal suspicious code in your wp-config.php file, uploads directory, and wp-includes directory. It is essential to ensure you are updating everything to the latest versions, combing your site regularly for malicious code, and removing all inactive plugins and themes ASAP.
Why is SEO So Important?
When it comes to affiliate marketing SEO is important because:
• Search engines are the most significant source of traffic to your website, especially free traffic.
• If you have traffic coming from organic search results (gained by maximizing your website to enable it to appear at the top of search engine rankings), you will get FREE traffic!
• Being in the first three pages of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) enable marketers to receive a substantial amount of traffic from search engines.
• To increase your SEO ranking, you need to pay attention to on-page optimization as well as off-page factors. On-page factors include adding keywords on your page, having correct links, and using headers in your content correctly.
• Off-page factors entail adding links to your website from other sites, ensuring those websites are authoritative, popular, and relevant to your topic and by having in-text links.
What are Some of the Pros & Cons of SEO?
There are really good things and some not so good things when it comes to search engine optimization as your most important method of generating free traffic to your website.
Here are some Pros and Cons of SEO:
⇒ The traffic is free: The traffic that you will generate through natural search engine listings is free, and that is why it is so important.
⇒ The traffic is a lower risk: Because the traffic that you get is free, it is less risk compared to if you were paying for the traffic – you are not under much pressure to start turning profits because you won’t lose any money.
⇒ SEO is democratic: The ability to rank high in the search engines is not directly dependent on how much money you spend, unlike with paid search listings. It takes time, hard work, and dedication to the SEO process.
⇒ It takes a lot of time and effort: The time and effort factor is probably the biggest drawback for most people. SEO can take up to six months of solid effort and time commitment before your website starts approaching the first-page listing in Google (it can take less time of course but it all depends on your market or niche and your hard work.) If you are the kind of person who’s looking for a quick buck, you are not going to like SEO and affiliate marketing. It is not a get rich quick scheme, but is instead an online business you are building.
Bottom Line for SEO and Affiliate Marketing.
Learning how to make money with affiliate marketing could be one of the best ways to start an online business and eventually begin making money online by working only a couple of hours a day on a part-time basis. This means that almost anyone who has a computer with an internet connection and a strong enough drive can learn how to make money with affiliate marketing. You need to put your skills and creative knowledge to work for you. Affiliate marketing does take work, and you need to build it up like any other business. You have to be willing to work at it long and hard and sat dedicated to the process. You need to be open to learning and don’t give up, and by doing so, you’ll soon find that your business is booming. Affiliate marketing is a great career opportunity, and with hard work and determination, you will be well on your way to becoming the super affiliate.
By far the best affiliate marketing training I have found is called Wealthy Affiliate. I highly recommend it, and it is completely free to try it out for the first 7 days.