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Affiliate Marketing Basics: 4 Critical SEO Techniques to Boost Your Search Rankings

Become an Affiliate

There’s a saying in the world of search engine optimization (SEO): if you’re not on page 1, you might as well be invisible. Now, if you’ve never done any SEO work before, this simply means virtually all organic traffic from any Google keyword comes from the first page of search results.

In fact, the top three results often receive at least half the traffic on any given Google search keyword. The top search result pulls in about a third of all clicks on many searches.

But let’s be honest: SEO is complicated. When you’re doing SEO, your goal is to outwit or win over algorithms and people working for one of the largest companies on the planet.

Google is worth a trillion dollars because it’s really good at showing people what they need whenever they’re looking for it. You’re not going to trick Google into ranking your site above established sites with well-developed comprehensive articles...

But you can win Google’s favor if you’re willing to put in the work and take the right steps towards building your site’s authority. We can’t promise it’ll be easy, but it’s often worthwhile to rank on Page 1. Many top affiliate marketers earn millions of dollars every year from organic search traffic to their sites. You might get there one day if you follow these tips...

1. Choose your domain name (and brand) wisely

It’s always better to control your content. We recommend setting up your own domain name on a web hosting account you fully control — one that offers enough bandwidth and support to continue helping you as you grow.

What domain name should you choose?

That depends on your niche, which you’ve hopefully chosen before reading this guide.

You might name your blog in plain English — for example, if you’re promoting CBD affiliate offers, you might use “CBD” as part of your domain. You might also use a brand name that doesn’t immediately convey its niche, but which is nonetheless easy to remember and search for — like MaxWeb, for example.

Take care to avoid choosing brand or domain names that might send spammy signals to Google and your audience. Use your own common sense. Don’t make your domain look like a spam email, with numbers instead of letters and amateurish spelling errors. If it looks at all like anything in your Spam folder, it’s a bad idea for your domain name.

2. Don’t neglect the technical stuff

People don’t want to wait around for your site to load. If it glitches on them, they’ll bounce. Google knows this, and it will penalize you if it crawls your blog and finds sloppy code and slow loading times.

Most blog sites are on WordPress, and yours might be as well. If you’re doing things yourself, make sure you read the reviews of any themes and plugins you’re considering for your blog. Persistent complaints about bugs and slow loading times are major red flags, while positive reviews noting speed and stability should move an option to the top of your list.

You can check your site’s loading speed and “search-friendliness” on several free analytics sites like GTMetrix, or via Chrome plugins like Lighthouse, which is one of Google’s open-source web development tools. These services will tell you how fast your site is (or isn’t), but more importantly, they’ll show you why your site has problems and can recommend simple fixes.

3. Keyword research is king

Every SEO strategy begins with (or at least requires) strong keyword research. You should already know what you’re selling, but keyword research will show you how to sell it, by highlighting keyword opportunities you can target for less effort and greater returns.

Tools like Ahrefs are your best options for keyword research. There are many ways to get started. Ahrefs’ new free tier of service should help you collect enough information to build a great site.

With keyword research tools, you might look up keywords you believe will be most relevant to your niche. You can check competitors’ sites, to see what they’re already ranking for. You can even analyze the key features of top-ranking pages for any keyword — such as their navigational style, design, structure, linking strategies, etc. — to better understand why those pages rank, and how you can beat them.

You want to find relevant keywords with high search volumes but low competition, represented in Ahrefs as a keyword’s “difficulty level.” These high-volume low-competition keywords are your best bet for ranking with a brand-new blog. Competitive keywords tend to have well-established category leaders, which are usually quite difficult to dislodge from their places atop the search rankings.

Do keyword research for every post. Make keyword research a core part of your blogging strategy. Your conversions (and bank account) will thank you.

4. Think quality over quantity when creating content

There are two main ways to rank a site or post on Page 1. You can provide great content, or you can pay a lot of other websites to link back to yours in a way that won’t set off alarms in the Google algorithm. I’ve worked with companies that provide the latter service — it’s expensive.

Google prefers sites that have expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT). It’s a lot easier and less expensive to provide EAT in most niches than it is to buy your way into it. Building EAT naturally isn’t as hard as it sounds, but buying links effectively is harder than it sounds, and it’s a lot easier to mess up a link-building campaign than a blog post.

Keyword research should have helped you find your biggest and most threatening competitors. You’ll be able to see how they’ve targeted your desired keywords because you’ll be able to read what they’ve already posted. That gives you a fantastic advantage. You’ll be able to figure out what hasn’t been covered, what hasn’t been covered well, and what was covered so long ago that it’s no longer relevant to today’s searchers.

High-quality content isn’t more likely to rank well just on its own merits. Writers for other sites and blogs will recognize your quality and be more inclined to link to it as references for their posts.

This is especially true if you use data and/or statistics that aren’t widely available — one of the most reliable ways to rank well is to provide original and compelling data that helps people understand something new and interesting about a niche or topic.

If you’re not a big fan of writing detailed blog posts, consider hiring an experienced SEO writer. I promise it’ll be cheaper than buying links back to your blog.

If you’re looking for an affiliate network that helps you make more predictable revenue more often, you might want to consider MaxWeb. We’re currently the #1 fastest-growing affiliate network, and we specialize in maximizing results for both affiliates and advertisers. No exaggeration. We focus on carrying only the best offers and provide maximum commissions—you’ll get payouts up to 3 times a week. Click here to learn more and see if MaxWeb might be a good fit for you.

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