No matter how many hours you pump into improving, maintaining and editing your site, none of it will matter if it’s never seen by anybody but you.
Because without site visitors you simply cannot make any money through your affiliate business. The nature of affiliate marketing requires that people click on your affiliate links so that you can be paid commissions. Without people, you won’t generate any clicks and thus won’t make any money.
So what is SEO, and how can it be used to boost your success?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is, well, the process of optimising your site for search engines. By optimise, we mean fine-tune – tweak your site in clever little ways in order to ensure that it shows up on the first few pages of Google, rather than at, say, page 50.
SEO is also an industry that generates millions of dollar a year through people pumping their hard-earned cash into businesses that promise to rank your site in Google’s top ten. Unfortunately, these ‘get-big-quick’ schemes rarely work and the vast majority of them are run by inexperienced, sometimes even illigitimate companies that’ll take your money and use very little of it to actually improve your website.
Thankfully, there are a tonne of ways to optimise your site for search engines without having to spend a penny – or at least very few pennies.
This article will cover exactly that – the best, tried and tested ways to get your site ranking in the first few pages of Google, sending your affiliate marketing profits skyward.
First and foremost (because many of these techniques depend on keyword research), keyword research is vital to the success of your site.
But what exactly is keyword research, and how can it be used?
Using a variety of free online tools such as Google AdWords, Keyword Keg and Bing Ads, website owners can easily find research which words are being searched for most frequently in a number of search engines.
While you’re using search engines, companies like Google and Bing track your activity and use this to provide businesses with an insight into what it is that people are searching for online. It is exactly this information that we’ll be using.
First of all, head on over to Google AdWords (to begin with) and sign in with your Google account/register an account with Google. This account is totally free to create so don’t worry about any costs/fees.
Once done, click on the ‘tools’ heading at the top of the screen and then ‘keyword planner’. Then ‘search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category’.
Here’s where your keywords come in.
Punch into the first box any ideas you have for site names – these could be anything related to your site’s niche: ‘fishing’, ‘furniture’, ‘blazers’, ‘holidays’, anything! Search these keywords to get an idea of how often they’re being searched for monthly. This is the data you want.
Try to build a list of a keywords that exceed 5,000 monthly searches. These are the keywords you’ll be using across your site to increase the likelihood that people will actually find your site.
Using a Domain Name Filled With Keywords
The next step is your domain name. The key here is to include as many keywords as you can in the site’s title without making it sound like a scam.
‘Fishingforcarpdailymagazinefrancegermany.com’ is no good. Even if the site isn’t that bad, how likely is anybody to share a link like that with their friends?
The best domain names are short, snappy, include your best keywords, easy to remember, and easy to spell. Including keywords in your domain name will be useful for sites like Bing in particular that place great emphasis on including keywords.
This is why keyword research is so important. Building up a bank of keywords that you can pepper across your site will ensure you affiliate marketing platform will rank highly in search engines, generating you clicks and boosting your income.
Posting Unique Content
What is considered unique by definition is not necessarily the same as something that is conceptually unique. While yes, perhaps the content you’re creating isn’t a copied and pasted collection of second-hand information, that doesn’t necessarily mean your content is wholly unique and that it’s never been done before.
So many affiliates spend valuable time marketing the hell out of their neglected, unoriginal and unattractive websites. If the content you’re producing isn’t of a high quality and isn’t useful/unique then, no matter how optimised your site is for search engines, people will simply just click away and find a more useful site.
Unique content signifies quality. Well-written content is also far more likely to generate backlinks – links from other websites directing people to yours. This will boost your sites ranking in search engines, ensuring that the content people are being directed to is of a high standard.
What’s Your Unique Selling Point?
Many people are driven by the misconception that Google hates affiliate marketing websites, however this is simply false information.
Google doesn’t dislike affiliate websites, it dislikes bad affiliate websites. By this I mean sites that clearly haven’t been thoughtfully designed – that look ugly and offer clunky, user-unfriendly information that doesn’t deserve a top-spot in search engines.
Spend some time looking at other affiliate marketing website within your niche, sites that perhaps are not performing well enough to claim the top spots in Google, and ask yourself – what are they missing? Why are these sites not ranking in search engines?
Approach this as though you’re the merchant of the products – the guy recruiting affiliate marketers to advertise what you’re selling. Take a look at the websites and decide whether or not you personally would pay their owners to market your products. If not, why not?
From this, try to make a list of do’s and don’t’s to use as guidance when designing your affiliate marketing website.
How are you going to ensure that your site stands out, that it’s set apart from all of the other existing sites? This is the key to building decent backlinks in order to rank highly in search engines.
In working hard to create an affiliate business that speaks to your target audience, that really grasps their interests and gives them the information they need, your site is sure to succeed. This information should be delivered clearly, concisely and in your own unique way. Stay true to your voice and your personality in your writing – it’s unique to you and will set your work apart from everybody else’s.
This will also open up great opportunities for you to build backlinks and connections with others sites, boosting your spot in search engines. No dodgy marketing schemes or manipulation required – just an effective strategy that focuses on transforming your affiliate-based site into a valuable resource to your audience – people looking for top quality information and services within your niche.
How to Build Backlinks
As touched upon before – backlinks are simply links from other websites directing viewers to your site. Search engines love these.
Backlinks are absolutely key to boosting your site’s position in search engines, moving you from page 50 to page 5, from page 5 to page 1. But why?
Well, according to most search engines, a site that is being talked about and recommended a lot online must be doing so for good reason. If everybody is linking people from their sites to yours, your site must thus offer top quality information worthy of a link. Therefore, Google and search engines alike bump these backlink-wealthy sites nearer the top of their pages in order to ensure people are finding the best sites for the information they require.
Some ways to build backlinks:
- The ‘Broken Link’ method. This method involves finding sites within your niche that already contain backlinks, but backlinks that no longer work because that site is no longer active. You simply contact the site’s owner letting them know that the link is broken and suggest that they link to a relevant page of your site instead.
- Infographics. Creating infographics that give detailed information about your niche is another great way to build links. People using your infographics will be required to place a link to your site (where they obtained the infographic), thus giving you an easy backlink from a site relevant to your niche.
- Guest Blogging. This simply means writing an article for another site. By doing this, not only will you be directing that site’s audience straight to your content, but you will also be generating an incredibly useful backlink. This is also a great way to increase your site’s reach and expand your audience, increasing your following and thus potential to build further backlinks & rank higher on Google.
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