You already know that every affiliate marketer needs an arsenal of tools to be successful online. When it comes to finding them, however, how do you know where to start?
In your search for the best affiliate tool, you’ve probably come across countless people claiming to be successful marketers selling a magic traffic platform online. You hit their splash page and then whoosh! you’re inputting your email on some strange site for some e-book that promises to bring in 300k visitors a month and $5 million in revenue your first year!
I’ve been there. When I first started out I didn’t know the basics. I thought I needed some shortcut to traffic and sales.
Unfortunately, these so called affiliate geniuses are likely just trying to rope you into dishing out your hard earned money for the “answer”. The truth is, there is no amount of money that is going to buy you raw, organic traffic overnight.
The importance of that organic traffic is that it converts. Organic traffic is the type of traffic that you want and need as an affiliate. The goal is to drive people to your site when they search for the keywords you write about. When they find what they are looking for, they click your links. When they click your links, they sign up or purchase a product. You receive commission and repeat.
Inorganic, fabricated, or fake traffic usually doesn’t click through affiliate links. There is only one tool that you need to drive real, organic traffic to your website. That tool is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Getting Started With SEO
SEO is not something that comes packaged up for you. While there are certain things that a good hosting platform can do for you (Site Speed, Image Optimization, etc) SEO usually is based largely on the quality, uniqueness, quantity, and frequency of published content on your website.
There’s a plugin provided by Wealthy Affiliate when you host on their platform that gets you started with the basics of SEO. Their SiteSupport and hosting services make sure that the engine of your website is operating smoothly and that the search engines don’t discover a slow, dinosaur site.
Making sure your site is up to date in terms of plugin updates, theme updates, and overall WordPress or writing platform updates is extremely important. Search engines reward sites with good user experience and good user interactivity, so step one to getting started with optimizing your site for search engines is to find a solid hosting platform.
If you want to follow up on your site speed, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This allows you to make sure that your pages are optimized for both mobile and desktop. When you have a high page speed, say in the 90-100 range, this establishes additional website trust and your rankings increase.
Here’s what the result looks like after you run a test:
As you can see, my hosting at Wealthy Affiliate has made certain that my site speed is at its maximum. Wealthy Affiliate makes it easy to increase site speed. All I have to do is turn on their SiteSpeed optimizer in my back end:
In addition, I have very few plugins installed in my back end which keeps my speed up as well. My images are automatically optimized by Wealthy Affiliate’s new SiteContent writing platform. This makes it easy, because all I have to focus on now is making my content itself rank. This is the part that may seem hard to most, however, there are a few content tricks you can employ that will help you land your articles on page 1 of the search engines.
Create Keyword Rich, Unique Content
We now understand that organic traffic is mainly provided by search engine optimization. You want to ensure that your content lands on page 1 of every search engine for a particular keyword because this generates clicks (most often readers don’t click through to page 2 or 3 in a search engine).
There are some tips that I’ve provided on finding the right keywords to rank favorably. If you want to read more about keywording and how it can benefit your website click here.
Once you’ve found a solid hosting platform, your site speed is maximized, and you have a firm grip on keywords and the metrics that make up good keywords. You need to develop your content to align with what search engines want.
The search engines scour millions of pages on the internet per day. If your content is too similar to an authority sites content, and you are not yet an authority site yourself, your ranking will suffer tremendously.
I have come up with 3 easy steps to make sure your content is unique:
1. When doing research on a topic, only write down the key points on a topic. If you only write down the keypoints and then leave the page with your own interpretation of what your research articles meant, you can then expand upon these key points in your own unique manner. This prevents you from regurgitating the information that was provided to you.
2. Establish a word minimum. You have to establish a minimum word count for each post that you create. Mine generally ranges, but depending on the complexity of the topic I can get up to around 2-3k words pretty easily. This usually keeps readers interested without overwhelming them. Word minimums help you make sure that you aren’t summarizing and that you are expanding upon a topic in a meaningful way.
3. Stick to your writing style. A lot of great content developers out there get stuck on successful sites writing styles. They believe that someone else has a better writing style, and they spend much of their time constantly trying to emulate this style. This usually is not a good practice, if you develop and adhere to your own writing style, your readers will connect with you on a more personal level and will return to your site in the future.
Beyond creating unique content, there are a few metrics you can keep track of that, if maximized, will increase your odds at ranking on the number 1 page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Publishing frequency is important to establish trust with the search engines. Shady sites that don’t regularly update content are often scams or built with the intention of sales only. These types of sites don’t fair well in search engines because they are not providing any type of service or information to their readers. Your site is deemed valuable when you provide something in return for your readers time and energy. Plus, it’s a great feeling when you help people reach their goals.
You may not like what I’m going to tell you, but publishing content once a month without fail might not necessarily result in a top ranking in Google. If you are pushing out massive articles (20k+ words once a month) I highly suggest splitting those into smaller articles and interlinking between different topics internally for the sake of publishing frequency.
My typical publishing frequency is typically 3-4 articles a week depending the daily flow of life and whether or not I already have keywords, titles, and descriptions set up. The more content you have on your site, the more you will be viewed by the search engines as an authority.
As you publish unique, quality content frequently you will see your word count on your site increase substantially in a short amount of time. This means that the number of keywords your site can be found or ranked for increases substantially as well. The more chances you have at ranking for a keyword, the better for your organic traffic results.
Luckily, I am provided a publishing frequency analysis by Wealthy Affiliate that tells me whether I need to post more frequently or if I am doing okay. Right now, as you can see, my publishing frequency has suffered tremendously (thank holiday travel).
Pay that no mind however, because I have established my site as a trustworthy site within the search engines. As soon as my publishing frequency goes back up, and it will, this metric will be back to 100%. If any rankings have dropped as a result of my holiday travels, I will get those back as well.
As you can see above, there are other metrics that contribute to overall site health and in turn your SEO and rankings.
Visitor engagement is a metric that search engines also hold in high regard. I do advise that you focus on achieving all of the above metrics as content is king prior to drilling down into engagement. However, there are a few things that can prove to a search engine that your content is engaging and sparks reader input.
Comments! Some website owners like to turn comments off because they don’t want to allow controversial viewpoints or spam comments. Yet, spam is easy to filter, and controversial viewpoints are welcomed by those who believe in the products they promote or the training they provide.
As you can see on any of my posts, I have worked to make certain that I provide a call to action for readers that asks for engagement. This can be something as simple as asking for an opinion in the comments below, or allowing readers to insert their own experiences with a product, process, or discussion.
You will want to make sure that you, as a writer and online business owner, respond to any and all comments. Even if you respond briefly, the search engines will realize that you are engaging your audience, answering questions, and providing additional insight.
This is also a great opportunity to add additional keywords, content, and uniqueness to your website. I usually try and get other keywords involved here, link users to other internal articles that I’ve written on a topic that they seem curious about, and provide a certain level of interactivity to them.
Generally speaking, this is also a solid opportunity to provide them with your affiliate links to external platforms that you think might interest and benefit your readers. This can lead to additional affiliate commissions that you may not have received if you didn’t engage your audience.
We have established the MAJOR contributors to Search Engine Optimized content, and content that ranks. Before I conclude, I would like to offer you a couple last minute tips that lead to quicker indexing, and in the long run can help boost ranking within a search engine.
Final Quick Tips
Utilizing Your Meta Title and Meta Description
Something that is provided by the All in One SEO Tool in WordPress (the plugin that I use) is the ability to insert a clear Meta Title and Description. The Meta Title is what the search engine sees as the primary topic of your article. This Meta Title will appear as your title in Google, Bing, or Yahoo and is what is presented to your user. Here’s an example:
This what I have referred to as my Meta Title. The Meta Description will be a bit more detailed description of what your article is about. This will also be displayed in the search engines, and generally is what readers will use when they make a decision to click your website or another. You want to clearly outline your content in a captivating way for someone who is looking for a particular subject. A Meta Description for the same article shown above is:
Now that you have thrown in your Meta Title and Meta Description, the search engine will understand what your article is about and how it wants to present the information to readers. Here’s what it now looks like on page 1 of Google:
Aside from adding a Meta Title and Description to each post, you’ll want to make sure you utilize the power of social media.
Posting New Content to Social Media
Sometimes, you may not rank on page 1 for a particular keyword. However, social media sites have A LOT of ranking power on search engines. If you don’t believe me, Google your own name (or mine I don’t care) and see what pops up. Likely your Facebook Profile, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn will be at the top of the list.
The same can happen with your website articles. Your keywords, if included in your post with your link will be registered on whatever social media platform you post to. Since the search engines crawl social media sites much more frequently than a non-authority site, you may actually see your Facebook post rank before the actual article.
It’s happened to me before, and I have actually received affiliate commissions because of it. Make sure that everything you post gets immediately posted to Google +, Facebook, and Twitter at the very least. Also make certain to include your keywords. Here’s a Facebook post associated with an article I wrote on Jaaxy:
As you can see, I’ve included my Meta Title and Description in the post itself to make sure that a search engine, when crawling, grabs this information. I’ve also woven my keyword throughout the content and told a bit of a story as to why I believe Jaaxy is the number one keyword tool out there. This helps with user click through and ultimately affiliate commissions.
The absolute best thing you can do for your website’s ranking is to…
A large part of your site’s ability to rank in search engines is time. The search engines generally don’t promote you to page 1 after a couple of weeks. If you develop unique, quality content consistently over a longer period of time you will establish more and more trust with the search engines. Suddenly, you will be ranking on page 1.
Keep your head down and stick to it. The fastest I’ve ever gotten a new site off the ground and actually gotten it to rank on page 1 for a particular keyword is around a month and a half. If you can make it that long, you can make it years. You’ll be driving affiliate commissions from organic traffic in no time flat. Keep working hard and remain patient.
Now that you understand Search Engine Optimization, and why it is the absolute best tool for affiliate marketers, you can work to continue developing content and increasing your rankings. You may want to learn a bit more about SEO, how to rank, and there really are a lot of additional steps that you can take to make sure that when readers are looking for a particular keyword that relates to your niche, your site is the one they find first. If this sounds like something you’re interested in I would be happy to help!
There are two easy ways to get in touch with me. The first is to leave a comment below. Ask me questions about SEO, getting indexed, site trust, site speed, whatever you feel like!
The second would be to head over to my profile at Wealthy Affiliate by clicking my photo on the right. You can send me a PM if you sign up for a free account. I spend a lot of time on the platform because I usually write my content utilizing their new SiteContent center. If I see a PM from you I’ll usually answer within a couple of hours.