Check 'em off one-by-one

Search Engine Optimization is an ever-changing field of theory but there many elements of a website that hold true no matter where the search engines take you. The following is an essential checklist of SEO factors you must employ as a new affiliate.

Groundwork

First and foremost, do your keyword research as thorough as possible to obtain the greatest rewards for your efforts of applying SEO in attempt to gain higher rankings and search traffic.

Your main (and secondary) keywords (short or long-tail) will ultimately determine the quality and quantity of your website traffic and potential earnings so don’t skip out of this important process.

On-Page

The following are the most important items on your website – check them off as you build or optimize your affiliate website:

  • Main keyword is within the URL
  • Main keyword(s) within the Home Page title
  • Secondary keywords are used within sub-page titles
  • Meta description is relevant (to the page) and optimized with main/secondary keywords
  • Main keyword repeated in the <H1> tag
  • Secondary keywords repeated in the <H2/H3> tags
  • The content is unique and at a minimum of 300 – 400 words
  • Content contains keyword phrases for long-tail traffic
  • Internal links point to sub-pages using relevant keywords to destination page
  • Content is frequently updated
  • Page does not include black hat elements (pixel links, hidden links, keyword stuffing)
  • Web page is well coded and loads fast
  • Website does not contain duplicate content
  • Multimedia includes titles and alt text for search engine and visually impaired readers
  • Website navigation is effective and uses keywords
  • Web page URL’s are short and include main keywords or phrases
  • Website does not use excessive Javascript and Flash
  • Website does not contain broken links
  • Website is on web hosting not flagged for spam or malicious behavior

External

  • Website has a high Page Rank (build over time by trust and relevance)
  • Built a wide range of backlinks from relevant websites
  • Domain name has age behind it
  • No periods of long downtime and accidental re-indexing of dead pages
  • 301/302 redirects to updated or changed pages
  • Does not contain “bad” links from “bad neighborhoods”
  • Created and submitted a Robots.txt and XML sitemap
  • Joined social media websites and claimed publisher ownership of brand name
  • Developed an external content & social media strategy to build brand awareness

SEO, especially in Google, is a pseudo-science because of the secrecy of Google’s search algorithms yet the items mentioned above will keep you within the best practices and have you well upon your way toward gaining higher rankings, higher traffic, and higher earnings.