Affiliate Website SEO: What Expert Bloggers Won’t Tell You About It In 2018
Are you a blogger and thinking to build an affiliate website that makes you thousands of dollars every month?
Do you want to know how I made over $16,000 from ONE affiliate product? If yes, you are in the right place.
I have been using affiliate marketing to make money from blogs for over 8 years now. And I’m glad that I’m making decent income from my marketing efforts.
Harsh Agrawal recently covered an article about me on how I made over $16000 through affiliate partnership. And I’m glad that I’ve been successfully using affiliate marketing to make passive income from my blog.
Whether you agree it or not, making money from affiliate marketing largely depends on your search traffic. If you want to make more money by promoting affiliate products, increase your organic reach. It’s as simple as that.
So I decided to write a detailed article on how one can do SEO for an affiliate website that helps you make more money. Are you ready? Let’s dive into the details.
Table of Contents
- Affiliate SEO basics: Here’s how to do SEO for an affiliate website that makes money
- Affiliate website SEO: 5 types of content to create to boost sales
- Affiliate Website SEO Resources
- 3 advanced on page SEO for improving your affiliate website SEO
- Affiliate Website SEO: Do’s and Don’ts
- 4 Proven Ways to Build White Hat Links to Your Affiliate Websites
- Practical Tips to Make Your First $1000 In Affiliate Sales
- Top 3 SEO Mistakes Most Affiliates Make
- FAQs About Affiliate Website SEO In 2018
Affiliate SEO basics: Here’s how to do SEO for an affiliate website that makes money
The money you make from affiliate marketing is directly proportional to the products you select to promote. So you should always look out for the best affiliate products that suit your blog audience.
Keyword Targeting: Informational Vs. Commercial Intent Keywords
You have to first bring a lot of visitors from search engines to your blogs if you want to make more sales from it. The reason why you should focus more on organic traffic is that people convert more who come from search engines.
It’s a lot easier to convince search visitors to buy what you promote from your blogs because they are already in the state of mind of buying.
So how do you increase your website search traffic?
Here’s the ONE thing you can do to increase your search traffic. Focus on finding the RIGHT keywords. Keyword research is the one thing that can bring you lots of traffic if done right.
Most people either write posts without doing any keyword research at all or find very competitive keywords that are too hard to rank. If you are doing either of them, stop it now. That’s not the way to do SEO for an affiliate site that makes you real money.
Suggested Reading: How to Do Keyword Research Like A Pro
Make sure to read the above article as I’ve clearly explained how to find profitable keywords for any niche. It helps you performing the right keyword research even if you are a newbie to SEO.
There are basically two types of keywords.
One: Informational keywords (Ex: “What is affiliate marketing?” – that’s an informational keyword)
Two: Commercial intent keywords (Ex: “best web hosting” – that’s a commercial intent keyword where people are already in the state of mind to “buy” something)
Focus on using the right combination of both information and commercial intent keywords. Generally if someone is using information keywords, they are not intended to buy anything (yet). But if they are using commercial intent keywords such as “best hosting”, “best SEO training” etc, they have already decided to buy something.
More about the difference between commercial intent keywords and informational keywords
Generally when you use informational keywords to educate your blog audience about the products you promote from your blogs.
It’s always better to define the type of audience you have, also make a list of all the affiliate products you want to promote. This way you will be easily able to get a lot of ideas on finding the right keywords for your blog.
Suggested Reading: Why No One Is Buying Your Affiliate Products And What Can You Do?
Using information keywords can help you boost your search engine traffic. See, if you want to boost your sales, you need to bring a lot of search traffic. That’s the reason why you should focus on finding information keyword related to the affiliate products you promote through your blogs.
Now, the next part is to focus on finding the best commercial intent keywords. These are the keywords that helps you make money.
One of the best examples of commercial intent keywords is “reviews”. If you are planning to use more commercial keywords, make sure to write a lot of product reviews. That way, you will be able to easily educate your readers and simultaneously you can earn money by including your affiliate links.
Here are two tips I strongly recommend you to follow while writing product reviews to make more money.
- Always write unbiased product reviews. Don’t sugarcoat your words just to increase your sales. Also include all the downfalls of a product you are promoting. Once if your audience find you are not selling them hardly, they will trust you and buy stuff from you.
- Make sure to use the products before promoting. Never write a product review if you have never used it before. Firstly, grab your hands on it, use it for some time and write it only if you are completely satisfied. You can easily convince your blog audience if you are already getting good results from the products you use.
Informational keywords will help you increase your traffic (and educate your blog audience about the products you promote). Commercial intent keywords will help you increase your sales.
People don’t buy from strangers online
You may ask, “what if I only use commercial intent keywords?”
See, people generally don’t buy from someone who they don’t know. They simply won’t buy from strangers.
You need to build a blog that is helpful for your readers. You should educate your audience about the products you promote. That can be only done if you are using “informational keywords” such as “what’s affiliate marketing”, “how to make more money online” etc.
And you should also use commercial intent keywords whenever you find some golden keyword related to your blog’s topic.
Make sure to the use the perfect combination of both commercial intent and informational keywords to rank well on search engines and increase your sales.
Affiliate website SEO: 5 types of content to create to boost sales
Hands down, content marketing is the heart and soul behind every profitable affiliate website that makes a lot of money. If you want to improve your affiliate website SEO, focus on creating the right form of content and you’ll see a lot of traffic and sales.
Here are 5 major types of content you should be creating to improve your sales and affiliate website SEO in 2018.
Content type #1: Video tutorials
The best way to increase your sales is to create videos around the products you promote and start explaining about how to use your products by including affiliate referral links within the videos and description.
Not only you can optimize your video content for several keywords but you can convert more people into buyers through video form of content. Video content works like when you’re struggling with affiliate sales.
Look at people like Pat Flynn who often does videos around the products he personally likes. Pat knows he can educate well through video tutorials so why not give a try to videos as well?
Content type #2: Unbiased affiliate product reviews
Almost all of the affiliate marketers depend on one type of content that is product reviews. If you observe any affiliate marketer who runs a website or blog, you’ll notice they all write frequent product reviews for one reason: they work like a charm.
Not only product reviews help your target audience better understand about the products but they are less intrusive way to increase affiliate sales by including your affiliate links. Just make sure to write genuine and unbiased product reviews so your audience will decide whether or not to buy.
Here’s how an example of unbiased affiliate product looks like (unbiased SEMrush review);
Quick tip: Use Author hReview plugin if you’re using WordPress which helps you display star ratings for the products in SERP results. It supports only the editorial ratings submission (author rating) though but it makes your rich snippets look unique from the rest of product reviews in Google search.
Content type #3: eBooks
People love eBooks. Do you know why? They can be consumed at any time unlike videos or blog posts. eBooks can be read on any device such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop and so on.
eBooks not only help your audience to solve their problems but also give you a chance to include your affiliate referral links to boost sales. If you’re providing huge value with eBooks, by embedding affiliate links, you can easily persuade a lot of people to take action (that is make them buy from you).
Just make sure to use affiliate links disclosure within your eBooks so your audience will help you by buying from you instead of hating you for pasting affiliate links within your eBooks.
Content type #4: Case studies
A case study talks about a product or service in detail. It basically covers A to Z information about a particular product and converts really well. Although creating a detailed case study takes a lot of time but it is worth every single minute and penny you spend on it.
If you’re wondering about how to create case studies, just go have a look at this SEMrush case study to find out how it can be written.
Content type #5: Affiliate product comparisons
Similar to product reviews, product comparisons can also work like a charm in increasing your affiliate sales. Instead of comparing two dissimilar products, find two very similar products to compare and talk about their features, benefits, pricing, pros and cons and so on.
Also make sure to give your final verdict about the product comparisons so your audience can easily decide the best product among them.
Here’s how an example looks like;
Quick tip: While doing product comparisons, start using a table. If you’re a WordPress user, you can use Table Press plugin to easily create a table and compare two or more products by also adding a sign up link to the products.
Affiliate Website SEO Resources
Here are 3 SEO resources that will help you do better SEO for your affiliate website. I’ve been using all these 3 tools and they contribute a lot to my affiliate marketing success. So make sure to check them out if you want to make more money from affiliate marketing.
- SEMrush: SEMrush is the amazing tool that helps you spy on your competitors. It is not only helpful for finding the top performing keywords of your competitors but it will also help you figure out the right affiliate products for any niche.
This is an all-rounder SEO tool that every affiliate marketer should use. I’m an exclusive partner of SEMrush,click here to try SEMrush for free of cost for the next 30 days (worth $99).
- Google Keyword Planner: This is a free tool that is widely used by all types of marketers to find the keywords and competition. Just sign into your Google AdWords account and you will find a lot of keyword suggestions by entering any of your favorite keywords.
- Long Tail Pro: If you want to boost your search traffic, you should be using a lot of “long tail keywords”. Finding long tail keywords is extremely easy if you are using LongTailPro. It’s a keyword research tool that helps you find the most profitable long tail keywords for any market. Click here to start a free trail of LongTailPro for 10 days.
3 advanced on page SEO for improving your affiliate website SEO
On page SEO includes everything that you do at your website level such as including meta description, image alt tags, using h2 tags and so on.
If you’re into affiliate marketing for a while, you might be already practicing the basic on page tactics. That’s why we’re going to discuss few advanced on page SEO for improving your affiliate website SEO.
#1. Perform competitive content analysis
When it comes to on advanced on page SEO, one thing that really helps you is competitive content analysis. Find out the top ranking blog posts for the keywords you want to rank for and check out each one of the search results (for the first page) to see how well they are optimized for those keywords.
Here are few things that will be helpful;
- Are they using keywords in title?
- Are they using keywords in meta description?
- Are they using keywords in subheadings?
- Are they using keywords in URL?
- How many times your competitors are using the primary keyword within their copy?
By answering the above questions, you can easily get an understanding about what you can do to can get top results for those keywords.
You can use tools like SEMrush for doing content analysis, here’s how it looks like;
Use This Link to Get 30 Days Free Trial of SEMrush Pro Account worth $99.95
#2. Perform internal content analysis
Just like you did competitive content analysis in the above step, you should also analyse your own website pages and blog posts that are performing really well in search results. Go to Google analytics and find out your top 10 blog posts that are generating you the most traffic from search.
And ask yourself how optimized they are for certain keywords and why they are performing so well in Google search. By carefully analysing your own internal pages, you can come up with a foolproof idea to always rank well in search.
#3. Essential on page SEO things to do
Most SEO experts don’t talk about the above two things as much. Just make sure to focus on the basic and most essential on page SEO elements which are mentioned below.
- Use your primary specific keyword at least 3 to 5 times depending upon the length of your blog post (as a rule of thumb use your primary keyword at least once in 300 to 500 words)
- Use the keyword phrase in your title
- Add appropriate H2 tags throughout your post (it would be great if you can include LSI keywords within your h2 tags)
- Naturally use the primary keyword phrase within your content (if you find it crazy, just don’t use it, use it naturally)
- Use your primary keyword as the alt tag in your images
- Use your primary keyword in the URL
- Add an informative meta description by including your main keyword
You can use the CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to analyze your headlines because your headlines matter a lot when it comes to increasing your click through rates from search.
Quick tip: Install WordPress SEO by Yoast if you’re on WordPress. It’s the easiest way to optimize your blog posts for primary keywords.
Affiliate Website SEO: Do’s and Don’ts
If you want to make more money with affiliate marketing, you should spend some time on knowing the do’s and dont’s of affiliate marketing. Here are few do’s and don’t you must know.
Start small, get better over time: Most beginners start searching for get rich quick schemes. That won’t work if you want to make money successfully from affiliate marketing. First off, you should develop “selling skills” and you will get better at it over time. It takes at least one year to start making decent income from affiliate marketing. So smart small, act now!
Build an email list: Email list is the surefire way to build trust with your blog audience. If they trust and if you are able to better educate your subscribers about the products you promote, you will easily make a lot of sales each month. But you need to make sure you are sending seldom sales pitches. Only promote the best earning affiliate products if you want to get more out of it.
Don’t pick a broad niche: Beginners to affiliate marketing mostly pick a broad topic and they promote a large set of products on their blogs. See, you won’t make more money by promoting more products. Affiliate marketing won’t work like that. You make more money by promoting less and highly targeted products. So instead of jumping into a broader niche, pick a small and targeted niche and start promoting the right products.
Don’t promote products you don’t like/use: This is the common mistake most beginners make (that I already covered above in the same article). Never promote a product that you are not using. It sends false indications to your blog audience. That’s not a good sign if you are aiming to make money from affiliate marketing in the long run.
4 Proven Ways to Build White Hat Links to Your Affiliate Websites
Whether you know it or not, your affiliate website SEO largely depends on how many quality links you attract to your site. Without that, it’s really difficult to increase your search traffic and also sales.
Here are 4 proven methods to attract high quality links to your affiliate website in 2018.
White hat link building method #1: Competitive link research
There’s a reason why we put competitive link research in the #1 list to build white hat links as it works in almost every industry. All you need to do is to use a tool like SEMrush and enter any of your competitor website’s URL to find out all their backlink sources.
Here’s how it basically looks like on SEMrush;
Quick tip: For Bloggers Passion readers, you’ll get access to SEMrush pro account FREE for 30 days using this exclusive link.
Once you’ve access to all of their backlink sources, you can use various methods mentioned below to start building quality links.
- Guest posting
- Broken link building
- Email blogger outreach
- Skyscraper technique and so on
White hat link building method #2: Expert roundup posts
Here’s an excellent example of expert roundup post that we did for SEO tools. Expert roundup posts work like a charm in bringing you more sales, traffic and also online buzz.
If you’re wondering about how expert roundups work, here’s how the work:
- Create a list of experts in your niche (quick tip: use a spreadsheet)
- Come up with an interesting topic to ask experts in your niche (such as “Your favorite SEO tool?”)
- Start working on the post by making it as useful as possible
- Let the expert know about your post once it goes live
- Make sure to email them to link or tweet about it
So what are you still waiting for? Start working on expert roundup posts to increase your affiliate website SEO in 2018 and beyond.
White hat link building method #3: Guest posting
Almost every successful affiliate marketer uses guest posting to build links even today. People like Zac Johnson, Neil Patel writes a ton of guest posts because they know guest posting is the best way to build white hat backlinks.
Do check out this post on top guest posting sites to find a verified list of high quality and top notch websites in almost every industry.
White hat link building method #4: Create super long and valuable content
Although the above 4 strategies work great when it comes to building white hat backlinks but the best way to improve your affiliate website SEO is to create great content. Nothing beats it.
What’s the point of creating 500 word blog posts that don’t fetch you any results? Gone are the days where you can drive a ton of visitors to your site from creating mediocre content. Now, your content needs to be 10 times better than your competition.
If you’re creating 2000+ blog posts, you can surely attract a ton of backlinks which will be helpful for your overall affiliate website SEO (as more links to your site increase your overall domain authority and search signals).
As you can see from the above illustration by Buzzsumo, 2000+ word articles attract more social shares and links over short articles.
Practical Tips to Make Your First $1000 In Affiliate Sales
Are you curious to know how to make your first $1000 in affiliate sales in 2018? If yes, here are few quick tips for you.
Create multiple optin offers
Building and growing an email list is the single most effective way to increase your affiliate sales. If you want to make your first $1000 in affiliate sales, make sure to build an email list of at least 1000 people so that even if you can get 1% conversion rate by selling $100 commission products, you’ll be earning $1000 on your first email itself.
The best way to grow your email list is to use use multiple optin forms and create a wide range of freebies to offer on your website. You can give away anything from;
- Products and so on
Just make sure to collect as many “highly qualified leads” as possible and make sure to create an email newsletter sequence that teaches your audience about the products you promote.
Don’t sell and pitch your affiliate products from day 1. Instead you can do much more sales by educating your audience first and promoting your products next.
Prepare for special days
If you’re reading our blog for a while, you might already know about one thing: we often write yearly traffic and income report for Bloggers Passion. At an average, we earn $8000 every month from affiliate marketing alone.
We use special days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to our advantage where majority of the product creators offer huge discounts up to 99% where you can easily make more sales. So prepare well in advance for such special days by creating deals only pages and make them go live when the deal happens.
Choose products with recurring commission
If there’s only one tip that we can offer you exclusively, it is this: find a product that pays you recurring commission. That means, find and promote an affiliate product that pays you until the end of the buyer purchase cycle (until a year or 10 years), not just once.
Here’s how it works basically;
If you’re wondering about where to find those products, this post will help you where you can find useful recurring affiliate programs.
How I Made Over $16,433 from ONE Product?
Making thousands of dollars from affiliate marketing is not hard if you know how marketing works. If you are good at selling without sounding like a sales guy, affiliate marketing is definitely for you.
Thanks to both Bluehost and partnership with Harsh Agrawal from ShoutMeLoud. Because of them I was able to generate over $16,000 from Bluehost. I’ve been lately using many other affiliate products such as HostGator, Dreamhost, SEMrush (recent), Long Tail Pro etc but Bluehost is my top affiliate product resource that helps me make more money.
And I write unbiased reviews about Bluehost and its discounts on my blog to help people choose a better web hosting for their sites. As you all know, your web hosting largely affects your loading speed of the website.
So if you are using a reliable and faster web hosting service like Bluehost, you are giving great experience to your users. As a side note, I’ve never encountered any issue with Bluehost over all these years. That’s the reason why I always suggest Bluehost to my readers.
Top 3 SEO Mistakes Most Affiliates Make
Avoid the following 3 SEO mistakes and you’ll be better than most affiliate marketers in the world.
Mistake #1: Targeting keywords, not topics
We often say keyword research is the quickest way to increase your overall website’s traffic from search engines like Google. But you should also know one more important thing: don’t target keywords.
By targeting keywords, you might increase your search traffic but you won’t get much conversion rates from that traffic. For affiliate website SEO, it’s so important for you to attract the RIGHT kind of traffic that turns into sales.
So what can you do?
You can focus on topics instead of keywords. For example, if you want to increase your sales for a particular product (say SEMrush), instead of targeting SEMrush product related keywords, you can get more value by targeting the topic itself (which is SEO tools).
For example, instead of targeting a broad and highly popular keyword phrase like “SEMrush review”, you can get more benefits (and sales) by target the topic like “best SEO tools you should use in 2018” and discuss about SEMrush in detail.
Mistake #2: Ignoring website speed
Whether you know it or not, your website speed plays a key role in user experience and improving your search rankings. Google gives a lot of weightage to the sites that load faster and avoids those sites which are not mobile optimized or taking forever to load.
So improve your website speed and find out how fast your site is loading. As a rule of thumb, make sure your site loads within 2 to 3 seconds.
You can use tools like Google page insights, Pingdom tools, GTMetrix etc to easily find out your website performance along with suggestions on how to improve your website speed.
Here are few quick tips to improve your website speed.
- Resizing images and use a standard image size (we use 650 px wide and 400 px in height)
- Optimize image sizes (there are so many image online compressor tools which optimize your image size)
- Leverage browser caching
- Enable compression
- Use a CDN
- Use less plugins if you’re on WordPress and make sure to update your themes, plugins often
Mistake #3: Not using a proper hosting
When it comes to picking a hosting, most beginners go either for cheap or free hosting. If you’re really serious about making tons of money from your affiliate website SEO, you should invest money upfront.
When deciding a hosting service, it all comes down to your budget and website requirements. Reliability and uptime is what matters in case web hosting with respect to it’s pricing though. And for that we highly recommend you to give a try to WPX hosting once as it is the best choice when it comes to hosting.
Here are some of the benefits of using WPX hosting;
- Free site migration
- Super fast customer support
- Excellent pricing plans (even monthly plans are available)
- Super fast website loading times
- Free SSL certificates, backups and so on
FAQs About Affiliate Website SEO In 2018
Here are few important questions you might want to know if you really want to boost your affiliate website SEO and sales in 2018.
#1. How much money can you make from affiliate marketing?
There are people who make over $100,000 in affiliate commissions every single month (Pat Flynn) and there are also people who earn thousands of dollars every single week, so it really depends on a lot of factors which include;
- Your experience
- Your skills as an online marketer
- Your ability to sell online
- Your niche
- The type of affiliate products you promote
- The ability to attract highly qualified visitors and convert them into sales and so on
#2. Can I do affiliate marketing without a website?
Yes, you absolutely can. But having a website gives you an edge to increase your sales. Without a website, you’ll have to rely upon things like email list, social media, paid ads and so on but when you’ve a website, you can merge all of those things and have your own brand to make more sales as an affiliate.
#3. Do affiliate links hurt SEO?
No, not at all. But you need to make sure to nofollow all your affiliate links. You can either use a plugin to nofollow all of your external links including your affiliate links or you can manually add a rel=nofollow tag to tell Google crawlers not to follow those links. This is a good SEO practice you should always implement.
Final thoughts about Successful Affiliate Website SEO
Making money from affiliate marketing becomes easy if you are getting decent amount of traffic from search engines. You should be really focusing on using a lot of both informational keywords and commercial intent keywords to increase your organic traffic and sales. So make sure to spend quality time on keyword research.
Doing SEO for an affiliate site becomes easy if you have access to the right tools. So don’t forget to grab your hands on the affiliate friendly tools like SEMrush, LongTailPro etc if you want to get the most out of affiliate marketing.
If you find this affiliate website SEO guide helpful, please share it with at least one friend so he can benefit from it. Also let me know what you think about the post in the comments below, make sure to ask questions if you have any. I’d be glad to respond to all the comments.