Does SEO matter for affiliate marketing? We look at why search engine optimization is so important for affiliate marketers in the long term.
Given the importance of affiliate marketing, How do you get people to your affiliate marketing site?
You might have signed up to a great affiliate program, got a visually stunning website and set up your social media profiles – do you just wait for the traffic to roll in? Not exactly.
While paid ads and social media can bring almost immediate traffic and exposure, SEO is a bit different. It’s more long-term in nature.
We are going to show you what SEO is, how it works and what you need to do to optimize your affiliate website correctly.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
It is essentially the way in which search engines rank website. When you search for someone on Google for example you get a list of websites. How does Google determine what one is first, second, third etc…? The answer is SEO.
SEO has been declared ‘dead’ for years now but it is still very much relevant to building a sustainable affiliate site. The key to SEO is targeted specific keywords and phrases that are related to your affiliate niche and there a range of tools which can help you to find what people are searching for.
Writing content for SEO
Once you have your list of keywords you need to start putting them on your website.
Things are different now than there were 10 or 15 years ago. IN the past you could practice what is known as keyword stuffing or some other black hat techniques that meant search engines picked up on how many times you used a certain word or phrases and ranked the site accordingly.
Search engines and the algorithms used are smarter. They penalize websites like this. Any content you do use on your affiliate site should be focused on providing value for the reader. Yes, use keywords so Google knows what your site is about but use them sparingly and in a natural manner.
Optimised images matter too
It isn’t just the blogs, website copy and articles on your site that matter – your images do as well.
A website – especially an affiliate site – without images is an incredibly boring one. No-one wants to read long pages of text with nothing to break it up. Images can be optimized for SEO as well.
You know that alt text box you see when you upload an image onto your CMS? Use the targeted keyword for that page there. It’ll let the search engines know what the image is related to and will help with your ranking efforts.
Off-site SEO strategies
It isn’t just the things that you should do on your site that matter, what you do beyond your website is important for SEO as well.
There are a number of off-site SEO strategies that you can implement which will boost your rankings. Building credible and quality backlinks is one. These are simply links that point back to your site. If you get popular and relevant links back to your pages then this will help to improve your search engine results.
Some affiliate marketers make the mistake of focusing too much on their own site rather than keeping an eye on what goes on off it.
Read more about on-page and off-page SEO.
SEO and affiliate marketing
Search Engine Optimization is vital for a successful affiliate marketing business.
While things such as social media and paid ads are important to get traffic and to boost your exposure in the short term, SEO means that your site will rank in the long term. 75% of people don’t navigate to the second page on Google, so if your site isn’t there then that is a big chunk of your market you are missing out on.
Implement good SEO practices on and off your site based on your keyword research to ensure that your site continues to gain relevant traffic well into the future.
Read more: How to get started with the Amazon affiliate program