Affiliate Marketing Resources
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of building and optimizing your website with certain principles and strategies in order to obtain the best possible rankings in the search results. You website can always be re-optimized, so its never a perfect science, but there are certain pieces of the puzzle that need to be in place to achieve better search rankings.
Here are some of the key SEO principles you should focus on:
Meta-tags: Your meta-tags should be present in each page of your site starting from the homepage. They are located in the code or HTML of each page and can be customized on a per-page level. You can view a pages meta-tags by right clicking on the web page in any white area and selecting view source from the pop-up menu.
There are generally 3 important meta-tags: Title tag, Keywords tag, and Description tag. If you are able to edit the meta-tags on each page of your site, through an admin or editing the HTML by hand, you can really customize each pages meta-tags to focus in on describing the pages purpose. If you have a blog you may not have the ability to edit the meta-tags on each page/post. You may have to use plugins to achieve individual page meta-tag editing with blogs.
Here is an example is well done meta-tags for a florist directory site
<title>Best Florist Locator – Find a Florist in Your Local Area Directory</title>
<meta name="description" content="Finding a good florist has never been so easy. We make locating a quality florist a snap by providing referrals in your area. Let us know how we can assist you with your needs.">
<meta name="keywords" content="florist, floral, flowers, arrangements, locate, find, seek, nationwide, directory">
<meta name="robots" content="all">
<meta name="distribution" content="global">
<meta name="resource-type" content="document">
<meta name="revisit-after" content="20 days">
Each and every page of your website can have custom meta-tags and should be optimized if possible. You can tweak your meta-tags to try to get the best result, but the changes may take from weeks to months to show positive results in Google so you have to have patience for the results.
So what does each section of this tag do exactly?
Description: This provides search engine spiders with a brief overview of what your site is about. Your description tag is somewhat like a thesis for your website. It should be short, but very informative about what your site discusses. Always remember to include relevant keywords in your description.
Keywords: A list of ten or so keywords that are very relevant to what your site offers. If you are unsure of what keywords to include in this tag, check to see what keywords in your niche get the most search volume.
You can do this using the WordTracker free tool located at: http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ or the Google External Keyword Tool: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal .
The robots and revisit-after tag talks directly to the search engine spiders that crawl your site. You want to use these tags to clearly indicate to them that they should index your entire website, and come back roughly once a month to rescan and index your content.
Keep in mind that your meta tags are used by the search engine spiders only as a broad guideline as to what your site contains. Your on-page content is what the search spiders are looking at to determine what your site is about. This will be covered in depth in the next section.
If you are running your site on the WordPress blog platform, which is always a great move in terms of SEO, you can use the All In One SEO plugin to easily manage the Meta tags on your site. This can be found at: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/
Using static HTML pages? There are numerous websites available that will help you generate your Meta tags step by step.
A few of these tools are:
Your on-page content is crucial to good rankings as well. Adding additional content to your sites pages can allow each page to rank in the search results under a larger variety of searches. The search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN are literally scanning and reading the content on your website. You content should be well-written and thorough. Never skimp on content when editing your site or adding new pages to your site. The search engines love original content, in fact they thrive on it. So you have to make sure to make your site is content-rich in order to gain good rankings when people run searches for topics. The more variety of possible search phrases you are mentioning on the page, the more times each page can rank under those phrases. For example, if a page or article is talking about remodeling a bathroom, and you add a paragraph about remodeling the sink, that page could pull rankings for people searching remodeling a bathroom and remodeling the sink. So the same page can pull multiple rankings and therefore get more traffic.
So why is on-page content so important?
As previously discussed, the search engine spiders are checking your site’s content to determine what your site is about. The more relevant content you provide, the more you emphasis your topic. It is ESSENTIAL to note that the content you place on your website should be unique to your site. This will help you achieve top rankings in your niche. Search engines are looking to give priority rankings to sites that are providing readers unique, high quality information that is very relevant to the topic of the site. This being said, by simply providing this information on your site, the search engines will reward your efforts.
Acquiring search engine rankings is only one of many reasons that on-page content is so important. When a surfer clicks through to your site after finding it in organic search rankings, they are going to land on your article. Keeping this in mind, your article content should be informative, but have a steady flow into your call to action. For example, after providing a page of quality information about remodeling a bathroom, you can easily flow to an affiliate (or any) link saying Now that you have the knowledge about the steps involved in remodeling your bathroom, click here to find a contractor that can help! Since you have provided the surfer with quality information, that was very relevant to what they were searching for, you should have no problem getting them to convert.
Having excellent content that is niche targeted can also be a big help in building inbound links, which will be covered in the next section.
Inbound links are one of the most controversial topics in SEO. There is no doubt that having a ton of sites linking to yours used to juice up your site into great rankings 4 or 5 years ago. But is that really true anymore? They search engines have gotten a lot smarter and savvier about what site should ranking well or out-rank others in the same niche. The search engines do look at how many sites are linking to yours, the quality of the sites linking to you, and consider them votes for your site. Logically, if you have a lot of sites with clout themselves linking to you there must be a reason for it and therefore will reflect well on your site. But its only one factor in the overall algorithm. There are activities you can do to increase your inbound links.
Here are some ideas for increasing your inbound links without paying for anything:
Blog Commenting is one of the best ways to increase your inbound links. You have to do it well though, but leaving good comments, or your comments wont be published to the site and therefore you wont gain an inbound link. Some blogs are considered Do Follow and some No Follow which means the search engine spiders follow the links to your site from the blog. When blog commenting in general, I never worry about whether the blog is Do Follow or not because a blog comment and bring a click through to your site any ways. Google blog search is probably the best way to find niche blogs to comment on.
Following people on Twitter that post article urls in a particular industry is also a great way to have content pushed to you that can be visited and commented on.
Forum signatures can be an excellent source of inbound links, as well as relevant traffic to your site. Let’s say you are promoting a product about fitness, and you have established a niche site with high quality, unique fitness advice. If you make relevant, helpful and informative posts on fitness forums, you will build up a reputation as an authority figure on the topic. You will want to place a link to your resource niche site in the signature of your forum profile. When you do this, every time you make a post, your link is included. This is excellent for building reputation with search engines, as well as driving very targeted traffic to your website.
Social Bookmarking is another fantastic way to build very powerful links to your niche site. As long as you are providing quality, unique information you can submit your sites to social bookmarking hubs. This builds links from the social bookmarking site to your site. In addition, it will be listed on the directory for others to find.
Expand your web of resources. Once you have a niche site up discussing a particular topic you can still build other sites to link to this main one. You will want to set up an account on BlogSpot, Word Press, Squidoo, Hubpages and other Web 2.0 Properties. Any time you build a niche site, build one of each property on the topic and link them back to your main site. This will not only build link power, but it can also help with your traffic if one of the other resources get indexed higher in the search engines than your main site.
Building Social Bookmarking backlinks is easier than ever with http://AddThis.com Using this tool you give your surfers one-click access to social bookmark your content. This is highly recommended for any blog.
As mentioned above, building small pages on Web 2.0 properties is an excellent way to get quick, easy, high quality backlinks to your site.
No matter what type of site you have its a good idea to have an article directory. This can be achieved with a CMS or plugging in a blog and skinning it to match your site. Adding unique articles to your site gives the search engines something new to look at and index which basically means catalog the new page in their Cache or page repository. This allows them to stay on top of your content and serve it up quicker to searchers. Have an RSS feed of your articles or content allows you to submit your RSS url to RSS directories which can gain you subscribers to your content. When your sites RSS feed is added to a users Feed Reader, your content is pushed to them which creates repeat visitors to your site and therefore more opportunity to monetize that visitor with an affiliate banners, text link or other advertisement.
When you publish a blog, or other form of article directory to your site you are reaping all of the benefits that we discussed in the on-page content section. An excellent way to build rapport with your readers and the search engine spiders is to post on a consistent schedule. If you only have enough time to post once a month, do that. If you can post once per week be consistent. Ideally, you would like your blog to update daily. If it is not feasible for you to create content daily, post a week or so worth of content at once and have it update to the site one post a time. This can be easily done with WordPress blogging platform.
Each time a user comes back to your site you will have another chance to monetize them. A very simple way to get users back to your site frequently is to post frequently. Allowing your users to receive your content via feed readers as mentioned above is one excellent way to get them back to your site. You should also cater to your users who do not use this technology. There are many resources to deliver your posts to your readers other than RSS. You can use the free Feedburner service from Google. FeedBurner can help you with a tool called Email Subscriptions. What this free resource does is allow your readers to enter their email address and receive an email every time you have posted to your blog.
If you have a Twitter account (and you should!) you can use a wide variety of tools to automatically announce every time you make a new blog post. Some of these tools are Twitterfeed, HootSuite and Ping.fm
FeedBurner from Google : http://FeedBurner.com Will allow you to notify your readers of new blog posts via email. Can also ping social bookmarking sites after each post.
TwitterFeed: http://Twitterfeed.com - Will announce on your Twitter account after each new post you make.
Pay-Per-Click Search Engines:
The search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN has made it easy to get your website to the top of the search results, but it will cost you ever time someone clicks on your sponsored ad. Click costs can range from .10 to several dollars per click, so you have to be very careful when setting up your paid search campaign. The good news is the search engines have made it easy to control your daily spend. Research keywords to use to trigger your ads is a process of compiling lists of phrases people are searching for. Building out a large list of popular search phrases is a good way to make sure you are coming up for a large variety of search phrases. There are tools that tell you what people are searching for, such as the Google Keyword Tool, which is free. Keyword research can yield obscure phrases and what are known as long-tail search phrases, which are 3, 4, and 5 word search phrases. Sometimes, you can reserve these phrases and get cheaper clicks when no one else has reserve these phrases. Over the years, as paid search has grown it has become more competitive and you have to be really good to achieve ROI with it. It definitely is the best way to drive the most traffic to your site, you just have to convert the traffic better than others in order to truly capitalize on the search volume.
What makes this traffic so effective?
The benefits of PPC search traffic are limitless. By having the ability to know exactly what a searcher is looking for (since you are targeting keywords,) you can cater to their needs. This will lead to not only a high click through rate on your advertisement, but high conversions on what ever offer you are promoting.
Another great advantage to this method of promotion is that you are only paying when a surfer expresses enough interest in your ad to click it. If they read your ad, and determine you do not have what they are seeking, they can simply skip it and move on. In this situation, you do not pay.
To start a Pay-Per-Click campaign you will need a list of keywords that you are looking to target. Establishing this list of keywords is not very difficult.
Using the Google Keyword Tool, we can see which terms are popular and getting a lot of searches. This is a good indication that a keyword is lucrative. However, if too many people are targeting that specific phrase is too popular, too many advertisers will bid on it leading to a high cost per click. In this situation, it becomes harder to turn a profit. You are looking to find a good balance between search volume and competition. This balance is your key to dominating PPC.
NOTE WELL: Google AdWords determines the price of your clicks based on a rating called Quality Score. The higher your Quality Score (or QS,) the cheaper your clicks will be.
So how can you go about boosting your QS?
One thing you will need to know is that since this is implemented, it has become increasingly harder to direct link from your AdWords PPC ad to the Advertiser you are promoting. Ideally, you want to create a page on your own hosting service to send the traffic to. Since this is where your surfers will be arriving it is known as a Landing Page.
Your landing page does not need to be fancy! What it will need, is to have keyword dense, relevant content on it. For example, if your PPC ad is discussing a specific brand of luggage, and you link to the LuggageGuru.com home page, you will not see an attractive QS. If, however, you link to a page of your site that discusses all the specifics about that piece of luggage, and maybe even a review of it AND THEN you link to Luggage Guru, Google will reward you
This may seem frustrating at first, but you can use it to your advantage to get lower click prices than your competition!
Google Keyword Tool: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
This can be one of the most difficult areas of affiliate marketing to navigate. Over the years there have been numerous site builders that have cropped up, but most of them have been hard to work with and not easy to use. Therefore, a great deal of time is wasted messing around with layout, design, and the HTML, and not enough time spent on actual content production and generating traffic.
Blogs have really provided a medium for regular people to post content and articles online and generate traffic. Mainly because there is no HTML code to have to play around with. Each blog has a particular structure, which of course can be changed or improved to look the way you want it to. Word Press and Blogger are two of the leading free blog platforms that have really allowed people to post content to the Internet, build up a following, and generate traffic with the content they post online.
When starting affiliate marketing, you are going to want to research and choose your niches which as basically different industries or topics that you want to target with your sites. One way to choose your affiliate niches is to apply a bunch of Advertisers affiliate programs on your favorite affiliate network and then see who approves you. Once you are approved you can start your keyword research to see what search phrases are popular. Keyword research is important so you can tailor the content and page titles on your site/blog based on the most searched for phrases. Another techniques is to go after long-tail search phrases that are more obscure. The reason for going after long-tail phrases is there is probably less websites ranking under the more obscure phrases and there you are achieve good rankings in the search results for these phrases.
Coupon Code shopping Portal:
Coupon code based websites are a very popular form of affiliate marketing website. Advertisers on affiliate networks will often releases coupon codes or promo codes that can be posted on your site. Coupon codes sites are a great idea because many people search for coupon codes before making an online purchase, especially in a tough economy where people are looking to save money at every turn. Some Advertisers will even make a vanity coupon code for your website that uses your site name as the coupon code word. This can be great for building up visitor loyalty with your website. Consumers are likely to remember the site where they found the coupon code and then return to your site in the future to obtain more coupon codes.
Listing building is something that everyone that owns either a website or blog should be doing. Most blog platforms have plug-ins that allow your site visitors to sign-up for your newsletter in order to receive special deals in the future from your site. AWeber.com is a popular, low-cost email list building software that many affiliates use to build and email their list.
Social communities have been on the rise for several years because of many good reasons. Some popular types of communities are forums and social networks. Putting a forum or social community is not very hard at all really.
Creating Your Identity
Social Network Building Strategies
Word of Mouth Referrals
Content and Article Strategies