Affiliate Marketing and SEO – An Introduction
Attention affiliate marketers, search engine optimization or SEO for short can bring you tons of targeted traffic and change your business (if you know what you’re doing and/or what to ask for).
If you are involved in any type of affiliate marketing or online business, SEO can be your worst nightmare if you don’t know how to do it properly or hire someone that happily takes your cash while doing basically nothing for your rankings and in some cases, actually hurts your site. SEO can also be your best friend if you understand how it works and use it effectively to bring in free traffic to your site day in and day out.
But, you probably already knew this…
In this lesson you will learn what SEO is and how to tap into this powerful traffic source so that you can get a rush of consistent (and free) quality traffic to your websites.
So What the Hell is SEO?
The easiest way to describe SEO is to take you on a trip to Google.com. Once you are Google, search for something, anything and take a look at the search results. On the left (below the ads) are what are called natural search results or natural search listings.
When you are using SEO methods you will not be targeting the paid advertisements, instead you will be taking advantage of the natural listings. The big difference between ads and natural listings are that the advertisements cost money, in this case the advertiser will have to pay a fee to Google each time someone clicks on one of the ads (pay per click or PPC).
The natural listings are free in that you don’t have to pay any money to be there but this does not mean you will not pay any money to help your rankings along the way. The practice of SEO is to use a variety of techniques to help your website pages rank highly in the natural search engines for the keyword that the visitor is searching for.
Example: Your site is www.allaboutdesertsurvival.com and you would like people searching for “desert survival” to find your site first when they type that keyphrase into a search engine.
There are two main factors that you need to understand in order to get your website ranked highly in Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
(“Hey! What about the other search engines?” Truth is that most people use one of these 3, so don’t even worry about the others for now. Plus, the techniques that you’re going to learn will help for all of them.)
These factors are:
On Page SEO Factors – These are specific elements of the webpage that you change and tweak on your actual website to help increase the perceived relevance to the search engines. Some of these on-page factors include: the page title, meta tags, description, QUALITY original content, H tags, internal linking structure, proper filenames for images, ALT tags for your images, etc.
Off Page SEO Factors – These are factors that you cannot control via your website. They are “off” page or “off” your website. The most important off page ranking factor is link building. This is the practice of getting incoming links to your website and the pages within it. For increased ranking power, get links from high authority, popular websites. Think of each link as a vote for your site, with some votes more important than others.
SEO does have both pros and cons to using it as a traffic source. I will list a few of these advantages and disadvantages so you get a more balanced picture of search engine optimization.
Advantages of SEO
Free Traffic – Unlike pay per click advertising, with SEO you don’t have to pay any money for the privilege of being listed in the search results. The traffic you receive from the natural search listings are totally free.
Low Risk Traffic – When you are paying for traffic, if you make a mistake, you can quite literally lose your house if you tie up a lot of money in your online budget. With SEO traffic you have a lower risk as you will not have large sums of money invested into your ranking.
Everyone Has A Chance – Paid advertising is not accessible to everyone and if you don’t have money to buy your rankings you will have to look somewhere else. If you have limited (or no) money, you can still use SEO techniques to drive traffic to your Website. This is one of the major advantages of search engine optimization. A caveat to this is that there are varying degrees of competition depending on the keywords that you target. More competition can sometimes mean that more money is being thrown at improving and dominating the rankings.
Cons of SEO
Time Consuming – SEO is not a quick process by any means. It can take weeks, months, even years to get a website ranking well for specific keyword terms. This is one reason people use paid advertising methods, it’s fast.
Effort – If you are doing SEO all by yourself without paying for any type of help or tools, you will need to put in a great deal of effort to get desired rankings. If you have a bad work ethic and you find yourself procrastinating all the time, you will want to hire this out.
So now that you know a bit about SEO you’re ready to take your first steps into the world of free traffic. Check out my other articles on SEO and always keep learning!
Let me know your questions in the comments below: