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Whenever a website drops down the search rankings, the first blame goes to affiliate links and affiliate marketers. That’s because affiliates have a bad reputation. Doors to affiliate marketing are open for all. Anyone, ranging from a reputed marketing agency to a newbie working from home, has access to affiliate marketing. So it’s hard to be sure of who did what and how it affected the website’s rankings. It’s just easy to assume affiliate marketing is to blame.
However, that’s usually not true. The real reason why a website drops down the search rankings is usually a failure to implement an effective SEO strategy for affiliate marketing. This requires a careful balance between affiliate marketing and SEO.
An affiliate is typically not one where you experiment with all kinds of strategies. It is mostly made up of links to another site an affiliate marketer holds the responsibility for. That’s why it’s necessary to take cautious steps with SEO to promote your products.
SEO strategy made for affiliate marketing not only saves you from a sudden drop in rankings but also helps to increase your lead conversion.
How to Custom-Design Your SEO Strategy for Affiliate Marketing
1. Limit Your Products to Profitable Niches
One of the biggest mistakes affiliate marketers make is they try their luck with each and every product on the shelf. Products they are interested in, products they think are profitable or products they just try for the sake of earning more. Nothing wrong with that, except you will face challenges when it comes to SEO.
SEO is about the targeted audience. With different products, you have to follow different SEO strategies for a different audience. Rankings are higher for one product and lower for another. The next mistake is creating high-quality content for products you have more interest in, and low-quality content for the products you don’t have any idea about.
The result? Total imbalance.
The only way to balance it all is to cut down your products to the ones you are interested in and profitable ones. Targeting one or two profitable niche is enough to earn a good income as it will allow you to ocus on creating valuable content for the products you care about. Need help with choosing profitable affiliate niches?/
Visit ClickBank -> Click “Affiliate Marketplace” -> Pick Your Category -> Visit the vendor’s affiliate page to see how you much you can earn from the selected product.
2. Plan an Out-of-the-Box Keyword Strategy
I know Google Keyword Planner is one of the best tools in the SEO world. Still, I’ve seen many experts relying on other keyword tools to think out of the box.
Keywords are no longer only about finding words to insert within the content. Experts use keywords to help inform the content they’re creating to attract their target audience. They see keyword research as a valuable opportunity to get an overall idea of the market.
Well, it's time for you to consider your options with different keyword tools.
Other than Google Keyword Planner, these are the tools that help you explore more:
Google Trends: If you want to track how a keyword is trending over time, or a quick update on what’s going on in your niche, Google Trends is the way to do it. It tells you everything from changes in users’ interest to relevant queries users ask. This is all useful information to help you come up with long tail keywords.
I was looking for users’ queries on protein to target long tail keywords in my content. This is what Google Trends came up with.
AnswerThePublic: What do users want? They want answers to their queries. And how to find their queries? Ask AnswerThePublic. It reveals all sorts of queries users ask relevant to your term.
I used the same term “protein” on AnswerThePublic:
Use those queries to target long tail keywords as well as create useful content.
3. Optimize Your Web Content
Now that you have a better idea on how to find keywords, and how to create useful content with the help of keywords, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. Start creating web content enriched with keywords that users are looking for. Be cautious of keyword stuffing. Make sure you’re sprinkling keywords through your content in a natural way, rather than jamming them in at every possible opportunity. Write blogs providing a solution to users’ problems. With the help of keywords, you already know what they want. Give them what they are looking for through educational content.
4. Redesign Your Internal Linking Structure
When you start targeting long tails or low-volume keywords, you may end up creating lots of web pages as well as blog posts. This is where you need a proper internal linking structure.
Here are some quick tips:
Separate pages based on content relevancy: Having all your keywords on one page results in confusion for users. They can’t stomach too much content at a time. Better to categorize content and separate it on different pages so that users land only at a webpage where they recieve to-the-point information.
Minimize the Number of Clicks: Your single website contains links to a large number of web pages. Make sure each link takes 1 or 2 clicks, making the process as easy as possible for users. The more clicks it takest, the more impatient users get. Keep the clicks to links as low as possible.
Verify all your internal links: Maybe you are not aware of all of the web pages on your site. Search engines won’t fail to crawl it. Make sure all your web pages are internally linked for better search engine rankings.
Put a Few Links Per Page: Too many links on one page distracts users. They forget where they wanted to go because of all the links taking them in different directions. Better to put a few highly-relevant links on one page to keep users’ focused and maintain the quality of your web pages.
5. Link Building for High-Quality Traffic
Since the day Google banned keyword stuffing, SEO strategy shifted its focus to high-quality content and link building. Now you can’t put keywords everywhere with a hyperlink to your website as you may face Google penalty. If you have done anything like that, destroy them completely. Shift your focus to natural ways to link building.
Promoting Articles in communities only when asked
Create videos and put links in description (e.g. YouTube)
Put website links on your social media profiles
Introduce your business on LinkedIn profile
Engage in blog comments and suggest links to relevant articles
Participate in forum discussions and mention your guides when asked
Answer questions whenever possible (on Quora, for example)
6. Achieve Success Over Time
An affiliate website is not something you build and leave. It requires ongoing work like a job. You keep investing efforts to maintain the constant flow of income. It's possible only when you commit yourself to the work. Creating and updating content, building links, upgrading products or services are some tasks you have to keep on top of to keep growing your affiliate network.
As you can see, quite a bit of work is required to do SEO for affiliate websites. But if you want to embark on this journey, an SEO strategy is essential for your success. Keep learning, keep creating, and keep growing.