The connection between SEO and affiliate marketing can sometimes be a tumultuous one. 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 case your affiliate partner is not satisfied.
In other words, knowing good SEO practices can save you a lot of pain in the future of your affiliate marketing journey.
Explore 4 actionable SEO tips you can start using today as an affiliate marketer
#1 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 (the Google search engine gives the 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), which 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 a keyphrase “good restaurants”, you’d have much more success in affiliate marketing with a long tail keyword “good Italian restaurants in Brooklyn”, for example.
The good thing about these long tail keywords is that, due to the LSI, you don’t have to always repeat the complete sentence or even write it in the same order – 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 this LSI issue: LSIgraph. 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 in close connection 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?
10-Step Easy Keyword Research Process
1. Create an Excel sheet containing the following columns: Keyword, Volume, Competition, and Keyword Competition.
2. Google the generic keyword e.g affiliate marketing. Check the related keywords Google presents at the bottom of the search results. Then, insert those related keywords in the sheet (insert the ones that make sense and are gonna be suited to your specific page.) Here’s an example of a query (keyword research.)
3. Go to Ubersuggest and write your keyword once again. See all those keyword suggestions the tool’s giving you? Do they seem like they make sense to the type of content you’re exploring? Then insert them on the sheet! Later on, you can repeat this same process for the generic keywords that are related to your content.
5. Download Keyword Planner’s results. This is where you’ll get to see all results related to the keywords presented, as well as the search’s volume and competition of the initially inserted keywords.
6. Clean Keyword Planner’s results. Erase all the columns, except for the following ones: Keyword, Volume, Competition, and Keyword Competition.
7. Exclude all the keywords that don’t make sense to explore, taking your content type into account.
8. Copy those keywords and paste them on the Excel sheet you’ve created in step 1.
9. Erase all duplicate keywords.
10. Filter and pick the hottest ones. Focus on relevant keywords, high search volume, and low difficulty.
Pro tip: Go to Quora to research valuable keyword variations for your topic!
This is gonna be essential on your affiliate marketing road to wealth, fame, and power!
There are other awesome tools you can use to discover the best keywords in town! Even so, the ones mentioned here are easy to use and are gonna give you some terrific insights! 🙂
Here’s another little thing you probably don’t know and that’s super crucial to affiliate marketers: Google’s got a new artificial intelligence ultra system. It’s being used along with Google’s already known search engine super-advanced algorithms.
For what purpose?
To provide the best results possible to users’ many queries. RankBrain – the name of this AI system – is gonna use some pretty complicated mathematical processes and an hyper-developed understanding of semantics to learn more about why and how people like you and I search.
Then, the idea is that Google is gonna apply this experiment’s conclusions to search results.
Why do you need to know this?
Because this is gonna influence your future SEO strategies in major ways!
#2 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.
Trust me: with numerous algorithm changes and search engine updates that came about in the past few years, this practice can actually hurt your rankings!
The best way of getting high Google ranks and a whole lotta of 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 Brian Dean of Backlinko 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. I guess it all goes to show that the emphasis now 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.
#3 Optimize Your Site for Mobile
We’re long past the time of asking ourselves whether marketing for mobile users is important. It is. 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 its speed.
#4 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 and customers/audience have a feeling they’re communicating with other people (and not 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!
SEO & Affiliate Marketing – Final Thoughts
All in all, the rapidly changing internet landscape, with Google rolling out hundreds of algorithm changes on a yearly basis, means SEO hacking is no more.
That now is all about a modern marketing paradigm that basically tells us to focus on user experience and providing the best, most useful content and services possible.
That, at least, will never grow out of style.
I hope that these fundamental SEO basics have helped you change your affiliate marketing perspective!
Wanna ask some awesome questions? Use the comment section below to write and I guarantee I’ll answer real quick!
João Aguiar - SEO Manager at Mobidea