Affiliate Marketing and SEO: Facts and Myths

affiliate seoIn today’s post I thought I’d take a break from the technical talk about how SEO works and instead focus on a more specific application of SEO principles: affiliate marketing.

The reason I want to focus on this topic today is because affiliate marketing is hands down one of the most common online businesses that people start, without necessarily knowing anything about how the online ecosystem works.

So, I thought I’d take a minute to dispel some myths about affiliate marketing and how it pertains to SEO.

MYTH 1: Affiliate Marketing is the Fastest Way to earn money from SEO

The first myth is really, really far fetched. Many people get into affiliate marketing because they think it’s the best home based business, when the fact is there are much faster and easier ways to start earning money online than to sit back and build affiliate sites.

The truth is that the reason this method of starting a business is so popular is because there are so many programs trying to sell you services related to affiliate marketing. These services range from online courses to various types of affiliate marketing software.

They try to sell you on the fact that you can start a website and in 30-60 days be earning a full time income from that website. The fact is that couldn’t be further from the truth, and there are many people who are duped into believing this, only to be frustrated about their process.

For example, this article from shows just how many Wealthy Affiliate complaints exist, and why people don’t usually talk about them.

MYTH 2: Affiliate Marketing Sites Only Earn Small Sums of Money

The second myth I want to dispel is about how much money affiliate marketing sites can actually earn.

For some reason, there’s an interesting contradiction in the beliefs of novice online business owners. While on the one hand they think affiliate marketing is a great way to get started online (as mentioned above), on the other hand they think that any single affiliate site can’t earn more than a thousand or so dollars a month.

To me, this doesn’t make any sense.

It is very possible to be very successful with affiliate marketing. I’m simply arguing that success doesn’t come overnight.

I know plenty of people who make upwords of $10,000 a month consistently from a single affiliate site. Think about it: if you can build a site and rank it for 10 terms that get an average of 3,000 searches per month, you’ll get about 10,000 visitors per month to your site.

If you’re selling a $100 commission product, and have even a 1% conversion rate, that adds up to $10,000 monthly.

If you know what you’re doing with SEO, that should be a very reasonable expectation to set for yourself.

Click here to learn more about how to do SEO in 2015, or click here to learn more about affiliate SEO best practices.


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Affiliate Marketing and SEO: Best Practices

Many internet marketers first stumble onto SEO through affiliate marketing. They’ve learned the basics of how to promote other companies’ products online, and are eager to cash in on their new found knowledge and rank a site that generates them a consistent passive income while doing so.

In this post I’ll go through a few of the best practices for affiliate marketing SEO, and what many newbs either overlook or forget.

It Starts With Content

affiliate marketing seoFirstly, I want to point out that no website will rank well if the content ultimately isn’t there. In my experience, you need to have a base level of content, and a few months age to a new site, before it will even begin to climb its way out of the sandbox and make its way towards good rankings

So, what is good content? Well, in the search bots’ eyes, good content is simply original content that includes a diverse array of media and interacts with the rest of the web.

That means that it starts with what you do on page. Writing your own articles and not spinning or copying existing material, including pictures and videos and, where possible, creating your own videos.

It doesn’t stop there, however. To the search engines, good content begins on page, but continues to how the rest of the web interacts with your content. In layman’s terms: it comes down to how people link to your content, how long they stay on your page, whether or not they share it with social media, etc etc.

While you can’t simply go out and buy a ton of links (that’s sure to get you caught on the spam radar by the spiders…), you can go out and market your content, networking with others in your industry and doing everything you can to get your links out there naturally and manually.

To learn more, watch this slightly amusing and very informative video from source wave.

Learning More about Affiliate Marketing

That should be enough to get you started for now, but obviously there’s way more to it than what I can share in a single blog post.

For more information, you should check out this Wealthy Affiliate University reviews from Knolpad, which goes through the basics of what’s included in one of the leading internet marketing courses.

You’ll learn how to get setup with your website, how to market that website naturally and manually, and how to create content that will make it easy to rank for your target keywords and dominate your niche!

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Why Long Tail Marketing Is Effective for SEO Rankings

One of the biggest errors that many businesses make when trying to design their SEO strategy is to focus too heavily on the high volume, broad match search terms, and ignore the long tail options that are available to them.

The Problem with Broad Keyword Terms

broad keywordsThe scenario goes like this:

A financial planning firm wants to get more clients, so they target key phrases related to their business:

  • financial planning
  • retirement planning
  • investing portfolio
  • 401k plans
  • opening an IRA

and so on and so forth.

There are several problems with this approach.

Firstly, each of these terms is insanely competitive. The chances of a single business being able to rank for all of them is extremely low, unless they’re willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars on their SEO and content strategies. For most small firms, even for deep pocketed industries like financial services, that’s simply out of reach.

The second problem is that it’s unclear whether it will even help the business to rank for these terms. Just becaouse someone is searching for 401k plans doesn’t mean that they’re looking for a financial services provider to help them with it. They could be looking for any number of things.

Fortunately there’s a better way.

Why Long Tail Is Effective

long tail keywords and seoThe answer lies with the long tail. Long tail searches (keywords that are more specific, with lower search volume), tend to perform better for most small businesses.

It is not only cheaper to target and rank for a collection of long tail phrases, but it also tends to yield a larger increase in revenue than their broad match cousins. That’s because long tail phrases give marketers an opportunity to uncover user intent.

It’s no longer just about “401k plans” it’s about “how to diversify a 401k portfolio with medium risk.” That gives the company a much better opportunity to answer the user’s question, and provide meaningful, helpful information. That, in turn, leads to a higher conversion rate, and a better opportunity of securing the customer in the long term.

You can read more about the long tail with this bestselling book.

But What About Search Volume?

The number 1 objection that businesses have to the long tail approach revolves around volume. They look at the tens of thousands of searches achieved by their broad keyword, and the several hundred searches for the long tail, and think the chance of getting to the 100,000 a month term is better.

Well, firstly, ranking in spot #67 for a 100,000 searches/month keyword won’t get you very much traffic…if any.

Ranking #1 for a 200 searches/month keyword will get you about 40% of the traffic, or 80 clicks a month. Right off the bat, you’re doing way better.

But, the trick is to remember that a long tail strategy doesn’t look at just a single keyword. It aggregates dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of long tail keywords in order to get the traffic volume you need.

So, what happens if you rank on the first page for 500 keywords that get an average 200 searches a month? You’ll have your 100,000 searches a month target, but you’ll actually be ranking, which means you’ll get traffic. It quickly adds up to thousands of new, targeted leads a month.

And who wouldn’t want that?

Visit Web Service Media to learn more about how an SEO services company can help you grow your business.

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How To Do SEO in 2015: What Works and What Doesn’t

Whether you’re new to working with SEO or have been at it for years, you need to know that the game has changed for 2015 and beyond.

We’ve seen a number of shifting trends, beginning with the Panda and Penguin updates of 2012 and 2013, and continuing through the more recent PBN-slaughter of 2014 and mobile change just last week.

In this post I’ll go through what you need to know to be successful with SEO in 2015.

Key 2015 SEO Trends

Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the key 2015 SEO trends.

Links Still Matter

pbn backlinkingPerhaps the most important thing to note is that links are still hugely important to SEO and SEM strategies. Many SEO experts decried links, and PBNS in particular, after getting slammed by Google in the Fall of 2014.

While Google did do a major crackdown on public and shared linking networks, that doesn’t mean that links are dead.

Instead, back linking strategies simply need to account for more advanced algorithms, and buying mass or “easy” links will no longer get you very far.

The key is to have natural links. In order to that, you can either build yourself a large, private network of sites, or you can go out and network with others in your niche.

By far one of the best ways of getting good SEO links is to go out and do guest blog posts for others that are in your field. That gives you a chance to show your authority, expand your audience, and get a link.

In other words, its marketing that focuses as much on driving new readers to your website as it does in just trying to get a link for linking’s sake.

Social Signals

social signalsThe second trend that’s skyrocketed to the top of SEO’s radar this year is something called social signals.

While personally I’m still on the fence as to whether or not this has a big impact on rankings, the logic is certainly compelling. In today’s world, it’s next to impossible to have a “real” or authoritative site that doesn’t get shared on social media.

So, social signals is a method of boosting the number of times your website’s content gets shared. This is distinct from a social media strategy, because the goal with social signals is not to target new users, but simply to show social media activity. The quality of the user sharing is less important than the share itself.

The reason I’m on the fence about this is because of Google’s conflicting statements. A few years ago, back in 2011, they announced that social media activity was an indicator used in their algorithm, but then in 2013 they explicitly stated that it wasn’t.

So, why the discrepancy? It all has to do with business politics. Google no longer has firehose access to Twitter and Facebook streams, making it more difficult for them to accurately assess the number of signals and shares a site receives via those networks. And, without the big 2 giving direct access, well…what’s the point?

Regardless, it’s clearly something that doesn’t hurt, and there’s no denying that sites using social-integrated strategies are killing it this year.


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