Affiliate marketing has become a very popular way to monetize sites. This allows you to have more control over your website’s monetization than with AdSense banners. Affiliate marketing allows to you to promote products and niches you are passionate about.
SEO is an important factor in affiliate marketing success. We’ll be discussing how to blend SEO and other marketing strategies in the most effective way.
What is affiliate market?
Many companies who sell their products online seek bloggers as partners. Affiliates work with such businesses. Affiliate bloggers work with companies to promote their products. In return, they get a commission each time a referral client is made.
Let’s start with our PowerSuite affiliate program. When you become an affiliate partner with us, we will give you a unique affiliate URL to put on your website. If someone clicks the link and buys our product, they will receive a 33% referral commission.
In most cases, the decision is up to you as to how to promote your product partner’s product. You can promote the product to your existing audiences via email or blog posts, as well as social media. Your partner can also be attracted to you. For example, you can create a new website and bring SEO traffic and PPC traffic to it . You could also organize training courses. Launch promotional sales. Affiliate marketers can refer new clients directly to a partner’s site and get paid.
SEO on affiliate websites: Does it work?
Google doesn’t like affiliate websites. Google can and does penalize affiliate sites quite often. This isn’t because affiliate websites have bad reputations. Affiliate websites can be created quickly and with little effort. SEO can be turned into a key source to your affiliate earnings by taking SEO seriously.
You can choose an affiliate niche where you will be the most successful
Start by choosing a topic you are passionately interested in. If you are part of a niche community or already have a following, this is a good place to start.
These are the steps I recommend before you choose a niche or product.
Consider that you own an SEO blog. SEO software is the most obvious area for your affiliate efforts. SEO is a broad topic. It’s not likely that you will be able write quality content about it all. Even if they do, it’s likely that you will just be another generic SEO blogger.
Instead, what if you focus only on one part of SEO? This will help you to be known as an expert in your field. There are many things you can do, including SEO tool reviews, a/b testers, case studies, and building backlinks. Over time, your blog can become the hub for all things SEO.
Some of the best-known SEO bloggers have actually done that. You probably know Bill Slawski (the guy who writes about Google’s patents) or Marie Haynes (an expert on EA-T).
It’s important that the topic you are interested in is also interesting to other people. Checking if people search for the topic and how often is a good way to tell if it’s interesting is one way to test. This will allow you to see if your keywords have a lot of search volume.
There are many options for determining keyword search volume. But we’ll use ours to illustrate. You can use the Keyword Research tab to search for keywords relevant to your topic.
After your keyword research is complete, go to the Keyword Sandboxtab. There you will find all of the newly discovered keywords. You’ll see at the top the total number searches for all found keywords and the amount traffic you’d receive if ranking in the top positions for all.
You can also group related keywords using semantic similarity. This will allow you to create subtopics within the niche. This allows you to identify which subtopics are popular.
Some keywords you are targeting may already have been targeted by very strong websites. It doesn’t matter how hard or fast you try, your keywords won’t rank well enough to be found by visitors. To find out which keywords are too highly competitive, go to Keyword Sandbox and look Keyword Difficulty.
Now that we have an idea of the stats, it’s the time to pick the topics to work with. It’s important to choose topics that are not as competitive but have high search volumes.
Choose a domain
This step is necessary if you want to start an affiliate website. Here are some SEO considerations.
Don’t obsess too much about matching domains
Exact match domains were popular a decade earlier, when they were a big ranking factor. Today keywords in your domain are almost non-relevant. Google uses your content to rank websites in search results. Google doesn’t care about domain names that are exact matches or require you to spend large sums of money to get a high-quality domain name.
Avoid domain names with brands
Most affiliate program rules will state that it is strictly forbidden to use the company’s brand name in your domain. Be careful when purchasing a branded Domain (unless you have the company’s explicit permission) to avoid being sued for trademark infringement.
If you’re looking to purchase an existing website, review the history
It’s crucial to examine the website’s history before buying it. You don’t want to buy a domain that has been spamming Google with negative content or poor links in the recent past. A healthy backlink profile would also be beneficial in order to increase authority.
This is where I would first check. This is a website which logs the past versions pages from all the internet. Take a few pages from the website you want to track and see how they were in the past. Search for obvious signs of spammy or duplicate content.
It is important to review your backlink history, and overall backlink profile. Make a project in to check your backlink profile and history. A sample check was done on a website I purchased for $15,000. Incredible, this website has over 800K links, nearly all of which are follow.
The penalty risk tab shows that the profile appears to be quite healthy. Most linking domains are not subject to penalty risks.
Manual checks can be useful too, such visiting links and looking out for any obvious signs of spam. But the automated check suggests that the website is worthwhile.
Start with long-tail keyword phrases
When you’re ready and able to start creating content it’s time for you to identify the keywords that you should be targeting. Affiliate marketing is what I’m referring to, so let me switch your focus from big SEO keywords towards looking for the “low hanging” fruits.
Why? Because the brands you’ll be affiliated with have already taken up the most SEO keywords. I can also guarantee that they have more resources and knowledge than yours to win the rankings war.
long tail keywords might be what you want instead. Long-tail keywords can be longer and more specific search phrases, with lower search volumes. These keywords do not appeal enough to big brands as it is too hard work for too few results. Long-tailed keywords, however, are an ideal way to rank for small affiliate sites.
To find long-tail keyword phrases, go back into your SEO Tracker project, switch to Keyword Sandbox tab. Then, click on filter icon above the table with discovered keywords. In the popup window, you can change the length of your keywords to 3 words or more. You may also want the parameters to determine keyword difficulty and search volume.
Click ok to filter your initial list of keywords to exclude keywords without matching parameters. Just scroll down the list and find the keywords that work for your content.
A logical internal linking structure should be created
If you are targeting low-volume keywords that have a high volume (the “low hanging cherries” we identified in the previous step), it is likely that you will end up creating many pages. If your website is too fragmented, it’s important to create architecture that supports traffic flow.
This is why your site structure should be structured from the top to the bottom. Your homepage, category pages, and blog posts are directed to each other on your website.
Websites are where conversion happens on their home pages. In which case, individual blog posts would attract traffic. Internal links could direct users to your homepage.
Also, ensure that all internal links are using keywords in their anchors. This will help Google and your visitors understand what linked pages are about.
The Web Site Auditor tool can help you to understand the structure of your current website. Navigate to Website Structure Visualization, and you will see how the pages are linked together. This tool will enable you to identify orphan pages, as well as determine if there is an overall flow to your structure.
Do not follow your affiliate links
Google views affiliate links as a method of earning affiliate commissions (or in other words, another type paid link). Google would like the paid links to be removed from its link authority calculation, since they are far too weak to be considered natural authority signals. Therefore, it is a requirement that all affiliate links must have the nofollow tag.
Google may be able to automatically identify affiliate links made via popular networks like Amazon and “nofollow”, them. For those who are not part of a well-known network, a no follow tag is recommended.
To ensure your affiliate links remain unfollowed, log in to the HTML Site Inspector dashboard. Check the Site Assessment dashboard for a list of Dofollow other links.
Utilize user-generated Content
Google may penalize your SEO efforts by burying your website with too little content, as well as reusing landing pages or product descriptions from vendors. However, it is possible that producing enough content can seem overwhelming to a small business.
The solution? Here is our top affiliate marketing tip. Allow your users to create content. Blog comments, testimonials and product reviews can all be used to add content to your SEO campaign.
Enabling user rating allows you to earn the nice-looking stars within your search engine result snippet. This makes it easy to stand out amongst the SERPs and helps to project the image a digital marketing company.
Profit from vendor’s exclusive deals
Black Fridays. Cyber Mondays. Christmas. Easter. Vendors often offer discounted and limited-time deals on many holidays.
This is good news for affiliate marketers as it allows them to easily grab commission since they can get double or triple the conversion rates with these special deals. For SEO PowerSuite Affiliates these events result in three-times the average income.
You should always ask the vendor about the future deals and plan your digital advertising campaigns accordingly.
Follow SEO best practices
This article isn’t about SEO, but affiliate marketing. We have compiled a list to help you understand SEO and what you need to do when building your affiliate website.
- SEO Ranking Considerations
- SEO checklist when launching a website
- List of technical optimization
- Keyword research guide
- Onpage SEO Guide
- HTML tags for SEO
- Offpage Search Guide
- Backlink profile audit
- Email outreach