10 essential SEO tips for affiliate marketers
When you’re kicking off your new affiliate marketing business, just remember one thing. No matter how cool your website and how hot your niche might be, people need to be able to find you.
If you were setting up an offline business, it would be easy to get noticed. You could make sure you were located somewhere near a place where lots of people who want to buy stuff pass by — a strip mall, a downtown street, or a table at a flea market.
But when you’re an online-only business, you can’t just set up a website and expect buyers to find you. That’s where your search engine optimization (SEO) becomes important. With the right SEO, you can conquer Google’s search engine results pages. Without decent SEO, you’ll be sitting alone in front of your computer, waiting for the traffic to come.
Here are 10 essential SEO tips that will help you get traffic and prevent you from becoming a wallflower. Follow these, and you’re on on your way to page one:
1. Start with keyword research. You need to make sure you’re targeting the right terms for your niche. You can do this through Google Trends, Alexa, search results on Bing and Google, and tools such as WordTracker and Google’s Keyword Tool.
2. Know what terms relate to your primary keyword. Use Google’s Wonder Wheel to find this information. To use it, do a Google Search and pull down the wonder wheel ( you’ll see it by clicking ‘More,” then “All Results” on the left.)
3. Make sure your your keywords are in your site’s copy. You should use your keywords in about 1-2 percent of your site’s body copy. Any more than that, and it might appear to search engines that you’re “keyword stuffing.” And that will lead to your site being penalized for overuse of a keyword.
4. Use long-tail keywords. Don’t just target “Internet marketing” or “shoes.” You won’t be able to compete for those terms when you’re starting off. Stick to long-tail keywords (3-4 word combinations) that have less competition. If you check the Google Keyword Tool, you’ll see that “Internet marketing education” has fewer searches than “Internet marketing.” But it also has less competition, which means you can make it to page one much faster, if you’re doing everything right.
5. Use headings correctly. Use your keywords in the page titles, meta-descriptions and HTML headings (H1-H6). Optimize, but don’t stuff your keywords in these areas.
6. Write your meta-description tag and title with the reader in mind. These tags are pulled by Google when users see your site in search results. Use your keywords, but write the copy with the reader in mind. What would make you click through and visit a site?
7. Stay focused. Have you ever heard the quote: “A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it”? That’s also true with your keywords. Focus, aim and throw in order to hit your target. Make sure you’re targeting no more than 3-4 keywords per page and make them as related as possible.
8. Capitalize on your images. Images add interest to your site in many ways. In addition to making your site look more polished and professional, they help explain your subject for visuals learners. In addition, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the alt-description and alt-title tags of each image, providing descriptions of the image that also include your keywords.
9. Keywords belong at the beginning. Google has an easier time figuring out what your keywords are if they’re at the beginning of paragraphs, early in your content, in the front of your headline, title tag, and other places.
10. Don’t overdo it. With keywords and SEO, you can have too much of a good thing. Don’t forget you’re creating content for people to read and enjoy. If you’re only focused on optimization, and cramming keywords into every possible location on your page, you’re going to have a tough time getting your readers to come back to your site. If you’re having trouble writing content that’s keyword-focused, just forget about it. Write content that’s appealing to your audience, then go back and lightly sprinkle your keywords into the content.
Keywords are just one piece of the puzzle
Always remember that your keywords are only one piece of the SEO puzzle. You’ll also want to make sure you’re developing a site that’s easy for Google to spider, that your link structure is correct, your hosting provider is great, and your site loads quickly. We’ll cover more about those topics in future articles.
What SEO tips do you have for those who are starting an affiliate marketing business? Let’s discuss in the comments below!