Tips For Making Money Online From Affiliate Marketing – Part 3

August 8, 2011 by  
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Tips For Making Money Online From Affiliate Marketing – Part 3


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Home Page > Internet > Internet Marketing > Tips For Making Money Online From Affiliate Marketing – Part 3

Tips For Making Money Online From Affiliate Marketing – Part 3

Posted: May 05, 2011 |Comments: 0
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Why Is Search Engine Optimisation Is Important In Affiliate Marketing

Making money online from Affiliate marketing is mainly about two things; acquiring and converting traffic. SEO, really just a subset of marketing is invaluable for making money online.

Affiliate partners and merchants rely on search engine traffic to generate visits, click-throughs and sales. To make money online through affiliate marketing SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) capabilities are essential for your success.

SEO maximises the traffic to your website from search engines via “organic” (“natural” or “algorithmic”) search engine results. The higher your site’s page rank, namely the further up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) it appears, the more traffic or visitors you will receive via search queries.

The same SEO principles apply to dedicated affiliate sites and other websites.  You therefore need to understand how search engines operate, particularly in the area of your products and/or service and finding out and using the terms your clients search for to find you.  

In summary, the most successful SEO tactics for affiliate marketing include writing a lot of useful, fresh, and informative articles on the relevant topic and getting a lot of inbound links from well ranked sites focusing on the same topic. Keyword research, key phrase placement in your content, formatting, and link building are all things you will need to be doing as part of an effective SEO campaign in addition to article marketing and blogging to get other links pointing back to your site or blog.

How Search Engines Work

When you do a Google search, Google returns a list of results from the web by finding web pages it deems best match your query, whilst also determining the order of search results. When users search Google, Google’s programs check their index to ascertain the most relevant search results to be served or returned to the user. Crawling refers to the process by which Google’s program, Googlebot (known as a robot, bot or spider) discovers your website and updates pages to be added to the Google index.

Google uses a secret algorithm to decide which sites to crawl, how frequently, and how many pages to retrieve from each site. When crawling new websites, it also notes changes to existing sites, dead links and updates the index. An index of all the words it sees and their position on each page is compiled, whilst it also processs information found in key content tags and attributes, like title and alt attributes.

Whenever users submit search queries the index is searched for matching pages it deems most relevant the user’s search, relevancy being determined by Google’s search, which consists of more than 200 factors. One of these is Page Rank, representing the importance of a page based on the relevancy and weight of incoming links from other pages.  

Whilst links to a page on your site from another site may add to your Page Rank, not all links are treated equally, and Google attempts to identify spam links and other undesirable ways people try to manipulate it’s search engine results. 

How To Get Your Site To Rank High In Search Engine Results

To rank well in SERPs, ensure Google can crawl and index your site properly. The Google webmaster guidelines contain some best practices and hints to help you improve your ranking and avoid getting sandboxed for a policy or other violation. 

Make Your Website Content Informative

One of the ways you can increase your site’s ranking is to make sure it contains rich information, including relevant keywords, used contextually, which accurately indicate the subject matter of your content.

Keyword Research

As previously mentioned, when searchers enter search terms or keywords in a search engine, the search engine looks for websites which best match those terms. Your webpage design should have the most relevant keywords present in all the important locations as well as all the important webpage elements.

Firstly, you need to determine what the relevant keywords or keyword phreases are for your product and how searchers find them before you do anything. You need the right keyword phrases to use for your site. Find out what keywords your competitors are using, and see if you can find keyword phrases that create a potential for entry into a market. You might be able to put a spin on some and create a brand new niche with them. 

For instance suppose you were promoting hotels in the Austrian alps. Searchers might be searching for general holiday and travel information, which gives you some insight on what keywords you might target. You can’t target the one keyword query holiday as it will return millions of hits, therefore use your imagination and type in “alpine ski resorts” which will yield relatively few results giving you a greater chance of ranking for the keyword.

Depending on the competition and the value of the keywords you may decide to optimise your webpage for this keyword phrase to increase your chances of obtaining a high ranking in the search engine results.  Keep in mind that it isn’t the sheer quantity of traffic alone that matters, rather the number of buying or returning visitors or  conversion rates. You want to attract visitors with online commercial intent.  

Devise A List Of Keyword Phrases

Before conducting your affiliate marketing campaign or even buying your domain name, do thorough keyword research using tools such as market samurai, google keywords and wordtracker to draw up a list of keywords which you will build your SEO campaign around. If you aren’t familiar with keyword research, the Keyword Academy offers a fantastic course on keyword research. 

Your aim is to win a high ranking for your family of selected keyword phrases. This all comes down to asking how people are searching for your products and/or services, which sites are winning those searches, and which searches you can win based on the data available. After identifying a number of search phrases that are potentially winnable, you are ready to create an SEO plan for your website

Buy Your Domain Name

When you have chosen your keywords buy your domain name and choose one which reflects your keywords.

Your Website

To get relevant links you will have commenced a blog or website about your keyword phrase. Link from it to your website or another blog and keep the content on both fresh and original. If you already have content on your website, review it to ensure it closely correlates with the keyword phrases you are targeting.

At a minimum you will need one page of well written, useful content for each keyword family you have chosen. Each page should be entirely focused on one keyword family.  For competitive keyword phrases, you will need to dedicate entire sections of your website to winning just one competitive keyword phrase.

You need to put the keywords for the page before your company name in the page title.  Make sure you use all the heading tags from one to six in the correct order and your most important key words are given priority. Don’t miss the opportunity for an image link to include your keyword message.

However for starters get your domain name hosted and put up a one page site about who you are and what you well, indicating to readers that more content will be coming soon. Either submit it to Google or link to it from another site.

Website Design

Try to keep the design of your website clean, simple and navigable to users. Use an external CSS file, clean up any Javascript which isn’t visible to search engines by referring to them off the page in an external file. Refrain from using frames and flash.

On-Site Optimisation

Try to feature your keyword phrase prominently by including it in headers and making it bold or in italic. Make use of all tags in your pages like title, description, keywords, header 1, header 2, alt of images by focusing on approximately 10 main keywords for optimisation. Design a website hierarchy and text links. Every page on your website should be able to be reached from at least one static text link. Effective SEO sometimes requires changes to the HTML source code and frequently the site directory structure of the site.

This is why SEO strategies are best incorporated into the website development and design phase if possible. Your website should be “search engine friendly” in it’s design, menus, content management systems and if you have an ecommerce shopping cart, it should be one which is easy to optimise.

Each website page should have a unique HTML title tag, meta keywords tag and meta description tag. Follow W3C conventions for HTLM document structure, starting with the body of your webpage with your keyword phrase and repeating according to the optimum keyword density. Use text rather than images for important content, names or links as google’s crawler doesn’t read text embedded within images. However we know that great image content is a good method of building traffic to your site. 

Where you do use images for text, use the alt attribute to include a few information rich descriptive words. The alt attribute describes the contents of an image file, and gives google information about the subject matter of the image which it uses to help determine the best image to return for a user’s query.

The page the image appears on and content proximate to the image including captions or image titles give search engines important information about the subject matter of your image. 

Review your site for broken links and accurate HTML. Use good text website navigation on your site, based on the importance of your keyword phrases, and use the keyword phrases you have selected as the links. If you can’t use text navigation, include a footer on every page using text links

Sitemap

Build a sitemap with a link to each of your pages, and sections of your website,keeping it up to date.   Sitemaps are a way to let Google know about pages on your site we might which may not otherwise be found through the regular crawling process. They can increase the coverage of your website. An XML Sitemap is just a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a sitemap ensures Google knows about all pages on your site. If you have many web pages you can install a sitemap script for your webpages and set a cron to update it daily if you want the search engines to crawl your site on a regular basis. WordPress has a plug-in which you can use to create one. .

Build your site by submitting to the quality major directories and then work on building your link popularity by  submitting to web directories, search engines and requesting links from related websites. Submit to as many quality directories, article sites and press releases as possible with unique content and anchor text.

External anchor text, the text pages you use to link to your site, reflects how others view your pages. Generally webmasters can’t control how other sites link to theirs, but you do have some control over the anchor text you use within your own site. Make sure it is useful, descriptive and relevant so that it enhances the user experience assisting them to comprehend a link’s destination. Make sure you don’t clutter up your page and don’t make the mistake of inserting too many links on your page. Try to control the number and placement of advertisements on your page.

If you use videos on your site incorporate descriptive text surrounding the video in html and consider providing transcripts to users which is visible to Google. Remember that webpages contains elements that aren’t crawlable by search engines such as rich media files other than Flash, JavaScript, or images. 

Avoid the Sandbox and Read Google Webmaster Guidelines and SEO Forums

Follow the Google webmaster guidelines and suggestions which will help Google find, index and rank your website and avoid you breaching Google’s policy guidelines. Don’t use black hat SEO techniques. Black hat SEO consists of using any method to get higher rankings that the search engines disapprove of, such as keyword stuffing, doorway pages, invisible text, cloaking and other tricks.

Follow white hate SEO for enduring success. People who use black hat SEO are eventually de-indexed, such as in porn, gambling, and Viagra markets.

Create Content

Ideally try to create over thirty pages of authentic, original content on your site. This will give web spiders something to crawl and you will have the opportunity to be seen in the search engine results for a variety of keyphrases.

Page Size

The less bandwidth your webpage uses the better, particularly with regard to your home page. Make sure your page loads quickly to create a user friendly experience. Most people now have high speed internet however mobile phones may not. You could lose visitors by not checking the loading of your site and the rendering of it in different browsers and on mobile phones.

Update Content

Add a page every 2-3 days, of approximately 200-500 words of original content. The need for fresh content periodically updated cannot be underestimated.

Competition Analysis

Find out which sites are linking to your competition using tools like wordtracker and market samurai. Alternatively if you don’t purchase these products you can use Yahoo Links to see the backlinks of your competition. After you discover this information try to get links from the same sites as you direct competitors or supplant them.

Submit Your Site To Directories

Submit to directories like dmoz.org, yahoo local and other appropriate directories within your field. After 3-4 months, check to see whether you got into the directories and if you didn’t submit again or write an email to the editor asking why you weren’t excepted. check that you got into Dmoz.org and all of the other directories that you submitted to. Find new directories that would be worthy of your submittal time and submit to them.

Blogging

Start a blog about your industry and write a new entry at least once a week. Allow visitors to comment or put content on your site and will keep people coming back regularly to see what is new

Get Links From Other Sites

Submit your website to appropriate sites, asking that they link to your site as a reference because it will benefit their visitors. This can be time consuming. Don’t spend too much time as if your content is good and original, they will find you and link to you naturally.  Linking is the key to attaining good Page Rank, however stay away from bad link partners, link farms and scams and unnatural links.  Remember as mentioned above, Google tracks when you get a link, how long you have had a link, who links to the site that links to you. It doesn’t treat all links equally.

Statistics

Make sure your server has a good program from which you can track your visitors, who they are, where they come from, how frequently and other metrics. Use this information to learn and continually refine your website. After 60 days you will have sufficient statistics to analyse your traffic to determine where your visitors are coming from,  Which search engines they use, the queries they type in, what pages on your site they visit the most, the entry and exit pages on your site, the typical path they follow in browsing. Use this information to tweak your site. For instance use the most popular page to encourage the visitors to make you money.  Modify the paths they use to send them where you want them to go and work out why they leave from the exit pages.

Look at the  search terms people use to find you, and fine tune your keyword phrases. If you targeted “white chairs”, but your visitors are finding you with the query “white vinyl chairs”,  start creating content about “vinyl chairs”

Be a Visionary In Your Field

Stay informed of new trends and forecasts in your area. If a new product is coming out in the next season, write about it now. Obtain first mover advantage and the search engines and linkers will reward you.

RSS Feeds

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is a powerful tool for internet marketers as you can quickly and easily add fresh content to your website. Article feeds are updated often, so you can give your visitors and the search engines fresh content. Use RSS to promote new content such as new pages, articles, blogs, press releases and reports.

Press Releases

A press release is a written communication you submit to journalists in the mainstream media (newspapers, radio, television, magazines) used to make newsworthy announcements. Create press releases announcing publication of any new articles, business information or products. If it is interesting/original enough, a journalist may write an article about it and your website address may get published in a newspaper.

CONCLUSION

SEO is a vast and dynamic evolving field. You may need to engage an SEO expert to assist you but it is a good idea to try to keep abreast of changes so that you have control over your site and eventually understand how you can leverage SEO and SEM to make money online from affiliate marketing. Webmaster forums are a great place to tap into the expertise of those who work in this field. In the final analysis there is no magic bullet and it takes a lot of hard work, determination and persistence to build and continually refine an effective SEO to assist in your efforts to make money online through affiliate marketing.

 

 

 

 

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Adele Pace holds a masters of law and writes in the field of online business and ecommerce. For more resources on online business and ecommerce visit www.pacelegal.com.au.

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