Optimus Performance Marketing is one of Europe’s leading Affiliate Marketing agencies, and one of the most frequently asked questions we get from our partners is how to make the most of the opportunities provided by being part of an affiliate programme. Put simply, for a website to generate the best possible affiliate revenue it requires two very basic yet elusive things; high traffic and a decent conversion rate.
Sadly, achieving these things is far from easy. All websites that covers similar topics and subject matters are vying for the exact same traffic and as sprawling as the internet is, web traffic is far from being an unlimited resource. A lack of traffic has an obvious knock-on effect, namely that it is impossible to achieve a high conversion rate if there are no site visitors to convert.
The only answer is to do everything possible to not only achieve a high quantity of traffic, but also the right quality of traffic. This is because only those visitors who are truly interested are likely to click on referral links and then go on to convert. In our experience, search engine optimisation is the best means of achieving the quality and quantity of traffic required to see noticeable and consistent improvement in affiliate revenue.
The reason for this is that SEO affects more or less all online traffic, with the exception of direct web traffic. Organic traffic may be the only kind directly affected by it, but paid traffic is indirectly influenced through the AdWords Quality Score and other similar algorithms that use SEO as a contributing factor in their decision making process. Moreover, a significant portion of referred traffic is very likely the result of SEO practices, being as organic external link building is a popular SEO technique.
In short, as approximately 80% of all web interactions begin on a search engine, SEO is one of the most reliable ways for affiliate partners to increase web traffic in a way that will maintain good affiliate revenue.
SEO Techniques To Optimise Affiliate Revenue
Because it has such a widespread impact, even websites not interested in becoming an affiliate partner ought to do what they can to ensure their SEO is as good as can be. The following SEO techniques are not guaranteed to get a site onto the first page of Google, but they will ensure there is a foundation of solid White Hat SEO to build on.
Proper Keyword Usage
When carrying out keyword research, many websites make the mistake of going too broad in order to cast a wider net. This is ill-advised for two reasons; the first being that broad keywords alone are simply not specific enough to bring in the right kind of visitors, and in the best case scenario you’ll end up with quantity but very little quality. The second issue is that broad keywords tend to be the short-tail keywords that make up part of a long-tail keyword, therefore, even those sites that are using more narrow targeting parameters will be competing against you.
In essence, poor keyword usage invites greater competition, and demands more work for inferior results.
Avoid Black Hat SEO Techniques
Black Hat SEO is frustrating in that it does provide results early on, leading many to believe what’s harming their website is actually helping it. These malign SEO techniques essentially try to trick Google and other search engines into believing that a website is more relevant to a particular search term than it actually is, which usually results in a sharp uptake in traffic followed by an even more remarkable fall.
Search engines are constantly improving and updating their algorithms in an attempt to prevent sites from being able to mislead them. Whilst there are still some techniques that may be able to fool them temporarily, the websites that use them will not get off scot-free when their duplicity is eventually uncovered. It is possible for Black-Hat SEO to be carried out accidentally by those who do not know any better. If you’re not sure whether the SEO being carried out on your site is a help or a hindrance, check our list of Black-Hat SEO techniques to avoid.
Create Content That Is Engaging
Google wants to make sure the service it provides in second to none, which is why it tracks how users behave once they have clicked through to a site from its SERP. Bounce rate, pages per session, average visit duration, and more are all metrics that Google uses to determine visitor engagement, which is why it is essential for websites to engage their visitors and encourage them to explore multiple pages.
Blog posts, such as this one, are just one example of how websites use written content to engage those who visit them, but they are not the only tool in a digital marketer’s arsenal. Videos and images, especially infographics, are fantastic alternatives as they engage viewers aesthetically as well as intellectually. A well put together 2-minute video can tell you just as much, if not more, than 4 pages of text; and be honest, which would you find more engaging?
Versatility and variety are key, as only through the use of various means and media shall a website be able to engage with its maximum number of visitors.
Don’t Forget Metadata
As well as being the first thing about a site that many visitors see, Metadata is used to help inform search engines with regards to a page is about and how relevant it is to the site as a whole. Metadata primarily consists of Meta-Titles and Meta-Descriptions, both of which should include keywords in order to effectively relay the page’s purpose.
To tell if a website has paid any thought to its Metadata, all you need to do is check the Google SERP. If the meta-title and meta-description are the same as the content on the site, then it has clearly been neglected and Google is simply pulling in the first content it comes across. For guidance on how best to create Metadata, read our beginner’s guide to Metadata standards & practices.
Author: Alem Al-Khamiri
The head of SEO, PPC and digital content at Optimus-PM, Alem is Google AdWords certified and has years of digital marketing & website management experience.