The number one goal for any online business owner is to make money. If your online business, or any business for that matter, cannot turn a profit, the company will fail.
To gain customers, you need to market your product or service effectively, and today, this means successful internet marketing.
SEO affiliate marketing is one of the most popular strategies to make money online with your website, but many marketers view SEO only as a way to gain visibility. However, it’s the affiliate marketing portion that helps you generate revenue.
Let’s take a look at strategies to help you turn your marketing strategy into dollar signs.
SEO Affiliate Marketing Tactics to Make You Money
1. Find Your Target Niche
You want to choose a niche that you are genuinely passionate about. SEO-focused affiliate marketing is a long-term strategy. Ensuring you genuinely care about the niche you’re targeting will help keep you in it for the long haul.
Once you’ve chosen a niche, make sure that people actively search for content in that niche. If you’re the only one interested in it, you aren’t likely to get much website traffic.
Choose some popular products or keywords within your target niche and check the search volume of those products and keywords. You can use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to do this. Once you’ve found keywords with high search volumes, you know you’ve chosen the right niche. If you don’t see high traffic volumes, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
2. Choose the Right Product Within Your Niche
You’ve found a niche to market within, so now it’s time to choose what product or service you will promote. A fundamental strategy is to browse eBay, Amazon, or other online marketplaces. However, a better way to find products for SEO affiliate marketing is to register for ClickBank. This is an affiliate marketplace that shows you thousands of products for promotion in various niches.
To get started with ClickBank, simply set up an account. Then, you can sort products according to niche to make it easier to find a product that matches your content.
It’s essential to look for products with high Gravity numbers. Gravity numbers equate to increased conversion rates. List products and check reviews and landing pages to get the necessary background on each potential product before finalizing one for promotion.
3. Choose Your Target Keywords
Finding the right keywords to target is a significant part of the success of any SEO-focused strategy. Google Keyword Planner is your best friend in this process. It’s easy to use and free of charge.
Keywords with more than 1,000 monthly searches are considered good keywords that get decent levels of traffic.
Once you find your high traffic volume keywords, list each of them separately. Repeat this process until you’ve compiled a list of keywords to target.
4. Focus on Finding Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are essential because they are less competitive but boost traffic and have high conversion rates. In addition, it’s easier to rank with long-tail keywords because the search volume makes up a huge chunk of Google searches.
The best part of this tactic is that it’s super easy to find long-tail keywords in any niche. Using Google search, enter one of your primary keywords. Scroll to the very bottom of your search page, and you will find a list of related searches that give you popular long-tail keywords.
For example, if you search for healthy food and scroll to the bottom, some long-tail keywords will include healthy food charts, healthy food pictures, healthy foods to lose weight, or healthy food for kids. These 3 to 4-word phrases are your long-tail keywords.
5. Choose a Domain Name Relevant to Your Niche
If you are building a brand new affiliate marketing site, put some thought into what you choose for your domain name. The domain name’s relevance can make or break your website's success.
You have two choices when choosing a domain name. First, you can pick one that is related to your industry. These are domain names with words such as ‘fitness’ or ‘travel’ or ‘tech’ embedded within the title. Your other option is to choose a domain name that includes a product in your niche.
Each of these strategies works differently with regard to results. If you’re looking for quicker results, choose an exact or partial keyword match for your domain name. Long-term, choosing an industry-specific domain name will be more successful. You will be able to build on your reputation and establish your website as an industry authority.
Be aware that embedding keywords within your domain name won’t help your search rankings as Google has prohibited it from doing so. Also, most affiliate program rules won’t let you use a brand’s name directly in your domain. Keep these limitations in mind so you don’t negatively affect your marketing strategy.
If you're looking for a domain name, you can check out the following providers:
6. Choose a Good Web Host
Your website has a critical role in determining the success level of your SEO marketing strategies. If your website is too slow to load, visitors might leave. Have this happen too often, and sales will drop off.
Pick a web hosting solution that is secure and reliable. There are many good options available for all levels of use, scalability, and budgets for example:
7. Make Your Affiliate Links ‘Nofollow’
Affiliate links on your website involve a commission. This means that search engines consider paid links removable when determining your website’s natural authority in search results. This is the reason for setting affiliate links as ‘nofollow.’ It will make a gigantic difference in your marketing campaign results.
The easiest way to make sure all your affiliate links are set to ‘nofollow’ is to use the site audit option in your website auditor. You should see a list of all your ‘dofollow’ links and change their status.
8. Optimize the Conversion Rate of Your Website
It doesn’t matter how much traffic your website gets if you aren’t getting conversions along with that traffic. Therefore, the ultimate goal of all SEO affiliate marketing campaigns is to boost revenue through conversions.
To see results, you have to optimize your website. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your homepage:
- Have a call to action button
- Provide informative product descriptions and catchy headings
- Use high-quality visuals in the form of photographs or infographics
You can choose to set ads up before optimizing the layout of your website or determining keywords. If you set up the ads and see conversion, you’ve got the right plan. If there’s no conversion happening, then you need to change something.
9. One-Up Your Competitor’s Content
The best way to outrank your competition is to provide more valuable content. Take a look at the content provided on competing websites. Look for articles that lack depth, lack actionable advice, and lack meaning. Re-write your own version of these articles by including the actionable advice and depth readers are looking for. This will help your website to steal top-spot in search rankings.
If you need help structuring your content there are tools out there that will analyze your competitor's content to see how they have structured theirs. Two of these tools are Frase.io and SurderSEO.
SurferSEO is an on-site SEO tool designed specifically for content marketers. Its SERP Analyzer feature scans the first page of results for your keyword. You’ll get data about average word count, keyword density, page loading speed, alt text, and more. Then, you can use that data to improve your content and rank above your competitors.
Frase is also a very useful tool to help content marketers streamline the process of researching and creating content.
10. Master Technical SEO, On-Page SEO, and Off-Page SEO
These three things are the foundational building blocks for mastering SEO marketing. Technical SEO involves optimizing your website's speed, making sure you have a mobile-friendly site, and indexing your website correctly.
On-page SEO means providing quality content, lots of internal links, and giving your page a logical, easy-to-follow structure.
Finally, off-page SEO involves guest posting, backlinks, being active on social media platforms, having online reviews, and good public relations.
11. Insert Your Affiliate Links on High-Performing Pages
Leverage your existing content assets to build your affiliate SEO marketing campaign. Take a look at the analytics dashboard to identify your top-performing pages. Once you’ve found them, optimize them by searching for affiliate keywords within your content. Use these keywords to link to your affiliate offers.
To take this one step further, look for relevant content and re-write short portions of it to slot in your SEO keywords. If you have a blog that sees high traffic volumes, this is a great way to generate sales from your affiliate marketing links.
12. Leverage Pain-Point SEO
Pain in any form is a strong motivator for sales. If this is product-related pain, your customers want their problem solved now. Therefore, pain point strategies prioritize low-volume, high-intent keywords over the high-volume keywords everybody aims for.
The idea behind using low-volume keywords is that convert better by solving problems close to the sale. Here are the five types of content that leverage pain-point SEO:
- Pricing pieces that discuss product or service pricing of what you are promoting
- Comparison posts. Compare your affiliate products with other leading products in your space. Again, make sure to be objective
- Posts that describe alternatives to a popular product or service
- Case study posts that describe the reader’s problem and show them the solution
- Best product posts or top-ten lists
13. Make Your Content Voice-Search Friendly
Fifty percent of all searches are voice-based. If your website isn’t optimized for voice searching, you’re missing out on half of your potential site traffic. Here’s how you optimize your site to be voice-search friendly:
- Write in a conversational tone
- Put questions in your content. For example, voice searches tend to focus on ‘how do I …?’ or ‘what is …?’ type questions. FAQ sections are significant for this
- Embrace long-form content. Why? Because when you write longer, in-depth content, long-tail keywords are naturally included.
Can I Do SEO on My Own?
If you don’t have a marketing budget, it’s absolutely possible to do SEO yourself. All you need is the right strategy. SEO itself is relatively straightforward. SEO is about:
- Understanding the needs of your target customers (aka what they’re Googling)
- Creating content such as blog posts and product pages around what your customers are Googling
- Using technology to push your pages higher in search rankings
The four ways to do your own SEO:
- Do your keyword research. This is the process outline earlier in the article. Brainstorm your base keywords, use a keyword research tool to generate more keyword ideas, evaluate and prioritize the ones you want to use.
- Create a website optimized for high rankings in search results. These pages can be your homepage, a landing page, a product page, or a blog post. This is known as on-page SEO, and it helps you rank higher with Google. What this doesn’t mean is stuffing your webpage full of your keywords. Google is smart enough to recognize synonyms and semantically related words.
If you don’t believe that you’ll rank without your precisely matched keyword or phrase, try searching for the best breakdance songs. The number one ranking result for this search is titled ‘157 Bboy Tracks That You Must Listen to Before You Die.’ The keyword ‘best breakdance songs’ is mentioned on this page exactly zero times. Yet, Google ranks it as the number one search result.
The takeaway is that you need to create content that’s simple to read and matches the intent behind searches for your keyword.
- Fix any technical issues on your website. It goes without saying that any errors or problems on your website will tank its search ranking. Customers don’t stick around to look at websites that don’t load, so make sure your site runs the best it possibly can.
- Build-in some links. Links are one of the top three ranking factors on Google. So SEO marketing is all about link building and getting other sites to link to yours. The two best ways to do this are:
- Building community links on discussion forums like Quora, Facebook, and Reddit
- Replicate your competitor’s backlinks by finding out who links to your competitor’s sites and re-creating those links. A tool called Link Intersect can help you find who’s linking to competitors but not to you.
SEO or PPC: Which One is Better for Affiliate Marketing?
SEO focuses on optimizing your website content, so it ranks higher in search results for your chosen keywords. Maintaining your rank with SEO isn’t easy, and it can feel like you’re constantly chasing your way around algorithms. SEO takes time, but it can produce long-term results.
PPC or pay-per-click gives you almost instant results for your marketing efforts. Your page ranking is not affected, and you can maintain complete control over targeting, scheduling, and budgeting. PPC gets your page shown as top results, but it will be displayed as an ad. This can mean lower conversions, as consumers are notoriously suspicious of paid advertising.
So, the downside of PPC is you can spend money upfront on your campaign, and you have no guarantee of results.
The best way to get results from both marketing strategies is to start with SEO to focus on building valuable content. This will help you establish an audience that trusts your online business. Once you’ve found your audience, it’s safe to add in PPC. It’s always better to diversify your marketing strategy with more than one tactic.
Does SEO Work on Affiliate Websites?
SEO and affiliate marketing have the common goal of driving high-quality, relevant traffic to your website and converting that traffic into sales volume. Therefore, they shouldn’t compete against each other but work in tandem to generate site revenue.
The one reason that affiliate marketing and SEO can clash is if you’re trying to sell too many products from too many different categories. This is why choosing only one or two niches and trying to choose the most profitable niches.
How Do You Work Your Keywords In?
It’s not entirely necessary to work your exact keywords into all of your content. As previously stated, Google is more than capable of recognizing the relevance of your content through synonyms or related words.
Most guides will tell you to include your keywords in the following places: title, URL, mention throughout your page, and include long-tail keywords in your copy. For blog articles, it’s suggested to include your target keywords in
- The article title
- The SEO title and description
- The slug portion of the article’s URL
- Once within the first couple paragraphs
- In 1 or 2 H2 headers
- In an H3 header, if you can pull it off
These are not the primary way to optimize keywords. The best way to optimize your keywords is to match the search intent of your customers.
If you are extending your keywords into your social media posts, there are a few other places to sneak in your keyword to optimize performance:
- Photo captions
- Linking and tagging webpages
- Summary and about sections
Which ones are best at optimizing performance will be different for each type of social media, and you may find you have to use other keywords depending on the site.
Affiliate marketing and SEO are often seen as mutually exclusive strategies by professional marketers. Using SEO tactics, however, can boost your affiliate marketing campaign success significantly. By using the right SEO affiliate marketing tactics, you will boost visibility and increase profits.