SEO affiliate marketing: tips for affiliates to outrank competitors

“A flower doesn’t think about competing with the one next to it.” It blooms because it is beautiful.” Zen Shin.

Competitors keep us on our toes. Imagine content marketing with no competition. How would that impact content quality? Nobody would ever read another blog post again.

SEO is a cornerstone of any affiliate marketing strategy if your revenue depends on attracting targeted traffic. It is possible to make a difference between success or failure by learning how to rank higher for relevant keywords. This is especially important if you are promoting affiliate products within a saturated market.

Let’s start by discussing how SEO should be taken into account when selecting affiliate products. Then you will find useful tips to improve your ranking and outperform your competitors.

How to choose the best affiliate products using SEO

Take your time and carefully evaluate each product before you choose your affiliate products. It is not a good strategy to choose the most expensive products in hopes of making more sales. If there isn’t a demand for the product in your market, you don’t have anything to offer.

Add factors like commission rate and type, competition, program management, program management, and additional incentives (promotion codes, bonuses, marketing materials) to your assessment.

If you are a content-based marketer who is focused on driving traffic and sales to your affiliate website, adding SEO makes sense. SEO refers to optimizing your website and content in order to rank higher in organic search results for the desired keywords. This applies to affiliate products. You must choose products that rank well for the relevant keywords.

Keyword research: Assess your ranking potential

Keyword research is dominated by search intent, keyword difficulty, and search volume.

keyword research triangle consisting of intent, volume, and difficulty

Your most important piece in the keyword puzzle is search intent. The monetary potential of your topic is determined by the intent. You should focus on keywords that have purchase intent. If someone searches for tools that have been reviewed and compared in a particular niche, they are more likely to buy the tool than someone who is looking for general information on topics within the niche.

Tutorials and guides are great sources of information that can help you increase authority and traffic. Targeting people who are interested in buying the product, not just reading your content, but clicking your referral link is a must. For such traffic, review and comparison keywords are the best.

Keywords branded

You can target the bottom of your funnel with high-purchase intent keywords like “supermetrics review”. These prospects only require a little convincing to move on to the final step.

serp overview for keyword

Your potential pool of referrals will be smaller because the volume is lower. These keywords are more likely to be used to get visitors with purchase intent.

Keywords that are not branded

If you are promoting products such as Supermetrics, non-branded keywords like “best seo report software” can also bring targeted traffic to your site.

serp review for keyword

You should also pay attention to the difficulty score when there is more search volume. Take a look at the domain ranking of websites currently ranking on the first page of results for the keyword, as well as the number of backlinks linking to those pages. Consider your chance of competing with them.

Let’s now focus on the factors that directly affect your website’s authority, relevance, and credibility. You can rank higher for keywords and compete against other affiliates by improving these factors.


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How to rank higher and surpass your competitors

Rankings that are more favorable to authoritative websites and pages that users consider relevant will be rewarded. You must provide content that is relevant to users’ needs as part of a great user experience. Your user experience goes beyond what you put on the page. It includes factors like trustworthiness, speed and mobile friendliness.

Here are some SEO tips you can implement on your affiliate marketing website immediately. These tips are divided into three groups: technical optimization, on-page and off-page.

Optimization on-page

On-page SEO is a collection of activities that can be done on a website to improve its rank. It mainly deals with keywords and other elements of your page content.

1. Header and title tags

Once you have decided on your target keywords it is a good idea to include them in your title and head tags. These tags allow web crawlers to understand the content of your page and index it accordingly. It’s not necessary to stuff keywords in an unusual way.

2. Content freshness

When content has been published recently, updated or rewritten, it is considered fresh. Both users and search engines prefer fresh content because it is more likely to be correct. However, not all search queries require fresh content.

Check the publication dates to determine if your target keyword requires frequent updates. Consider, for example, the top 10 to 20 search results that match your query. Then calculate their average age. For Google to recognize freshness, you can’t simply change the publication date or the year in the blog title. It is necessary to take more time and make sure that your page has the most current content. This is if your keyword requires freshness.

published dates highlighted in search results for keyword

If your page is not ranked in the first place, updates are rarely enough to make you rank higher than others. This article explains what Google means by content freshness.

3. Image alt-texts

Alt-text is an alternative text that describes an image in a brief description. It can serve multiple purposes.

It aids visually impaired people using screen readers to understand your webpage. It aids web crawlers in understanding the image and indexing it correctly.

Add an alt text to describe the appearance and function for the image. While you should provide enough context to explain the meaning of the image, try to keep it short.

Here’s an example.

alt=”Trigger form to segment customers in an email campaign based upon cta clicks.”

trigger form for segmenting customers based on cta clicks

4. Meta description

A meta description is an HTML element that describes your page’s contents to search engines and users. It should be concise and clear. Your meta description is important for SEO because it appears in search results. This can impact your CTR. A well-written meta description will help you attract more people to your site.

meta description example for

5. URL path

Both search engines and users will appreciate a concise URL that follows a logical structure. Don’t make your URL too long and include your target keyword.

example of good url

Off-page optimization

Off-page optimization techniques are any activities that enhance your website’s ranking. This includes backlinks, but it also includes endorsements and brand mentions on social media platforms.

6. Backlinks

Quality and quantity of links linking to your page are strong indicators of page quality to Google. Although PageRank isn’t the only algorithm Google uses for organizing search results, backlinks are still a key metric that can impact your rankability.

Good content is the beginning

Content that is well written attracts backlinks naturally. It is worth putting in extra effort to increase your backlink profile, especially if affiliate products are being promoted in a competitive niche.

You need high-quality content to get backlinks. Organic search is best for long-form, detailed content that offers practical tips and fresh perspectives.

It would be foolish to solely rely on quality content. Backlinks can be generated organically by many merchants who can rely on the brand power of their brands. Affiliates don’t have this luxury. The same applies if you don’t count cards in blackjack. If the dealer has an edge, the playing field is even.

Guest posting, content and link collaborations are the best ways to create backlinks. For example, you can submit your thoughts to a HARO question and have them published in a roundup article with links back to your site.

How much bargaining power your website has in these collaborations will depend on its traffic and DR. The more quality of your content, the greater your chances of being published on authoritative sites. If you are able to do original research in your niche, this is a great way to build your brand and become a thought leader.

Ahrefs is an SEO tool that offers many backlink features such as this Link Intersect.

link intersect feature on ahrefs

This will show you which websites are linking to your competitors, but not your site. It is a great way to find potential link collaborators. You can also search for links building communities via social media platforms or communication platforms like Facebook and Slack.

Our article on link building will provide more information about how to create backlinks to your affiliate site.

Technical optimization

Technical SEO is the process of fixing and improving technical elements that make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site more efficiently. The bots use the index they’ve gathered during crawling to rank the results. They then sort the search results according to how useful the pages are for their visitors.

Although content quality and relevance are important factors, technical factors can also impact the page experience. These include, but aren’t limited to, loading speed and other essential web vitals, non core web vitals like mobile friendliness and HTTPS and having no intrusiveinterstitials as well as internal links and layout and other navigation-related elements.

These technical elements can be optimized by following these steps:

7. Site speed and page speed

Core Web Vitals is part of Google’s page experience signal that deals with loading, interactivity and visual stability. This category includes site and page speed. These metrics can be used to measure how fast users can view and interact with your pages.

Your ranking will be affected if your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This is because it’s not user-friendly. If your page takes longer than 3 seconds, 53% mobile site visitors will abandon it. While page speed is an important ranking factor, slow loading speeds can also impact your ranking by indirectly increasing bounce rates and decreasing dwell time.

Start by checking your website speed. You can also use Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom’s Website Test to test your website speed. These tools give you valuable information about your speed on mobile and desktop, and offer tips to improve.

Here is an example GTmetrix performance report. This report will give you a summary of the most important issues that are affecting your performance. It will help you to narrow down the elements of your website that need optimization.

gtmetrix performance report example for supermetrics pricing page

These tools allow you to see how browsers build your page. They provide a waterfall chart which shows how each page element is loaded into the browser.

waterfall chart example for supermetrics pricing page

URL redirects, large media files like uncompressed images and missing files are all common page elements that need optimization.

It’s not uncommon for an affiliate marketer to be the sole responsible for all technical improvements. You must be a web designer as well as a content marketer, SEO expert, graphic designer and an SEO expert all at once.

8. Mobile friendliness

You may have heard the term “mobile first indexing” which means that Google crawls your site primarily from the mobile version for indexing and ranking purposes.

You’d be amazed at how many people read blog posts on their mobile devices if you don’t know much about website analysis.

data about clicks and impressions according to device categories

Google Search Console offers the URL Inspection feature that allows you to test your page’s mobile-friendlyness.

mobile usability feature on google search console

Before publishing your page, make sure you preview it on mobile. WordPress and many CMS platforms include a mobile preview feature that lets you see how your page looks on mobile.

To view a mobile preview of your webpage, you can simply open the developer tools in your browser. To change your view to mobile in your HTML source code click the Toggle Device Toolbar button.

mobile view on chrome's developer tools

You want your website to be easy to navigate and mobile-friendly.

9. HTTPS

A website’s security is indicated by the extra “s” after the URL. HTTPS websites (Hypertext Transportation Protocol Security) have an SSL certificate. This SSL certificate allows for encrypted connections between a web server, and a browser. The SSL certificate activates the padlock, and the HTTPS protocol allows for a secure connection.

example of https protocol

Your page will not be served over HTTPS if it isn’t. This signals to search engines and users that your site’s security is not up to par. Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal in 2014.

Even though the correlation between HTTPS ranking and higher rankings may not be significant, HTTPS could serve as a tiebreaker if all other trust signals for different search results are the same. Without HTTPS, users may not be willing make purchases or to insert additional data on a website.

To avoid an unnecessarily high bounce-rate or a lower ranking because your website doesn’t have HTTPS, you can learn how to migrate your website to HTTPS.

10. Intrusive interstitials

Google considers having no intrusive interstitials a page experience signal. This refers to avoiding annoying pop-up advertisements. A lot of popups that block your page or make it difficult for users to access your content can lead to poor user experience. It’s crucial to your SEO.

Affiliate marketers are not afraid to use ads to monetize websites, especially if they have a high monthly traffic volume. There’s always the risk of overpromotion when you have affiliate links embedded in your content. This can have a negative impact on the user experience. Google can also penalize you for inappropriate use of pop-ups.

You don’t need to block your page with time-based or action-based overlays. Instead, you can use non-intrusive ads and keep it to a minimum. This is true if you are going to use paid advertising.

These images are from Google Search Central. The image to the left shows an example of intrusive popup ads, while the image to the right shows a banner that takes up a fair amount of screen space.

intrusive interstitials example

11. Links to internal resources

You can build context relevance and create a site hierarchy with internal links. This hierarchy makes it easier for search engines and users to find the correct pages, improving user experience on all pages. Internal links can be used by web crawlers to help them properly index and analyze your content.

Topic clusters are a popular way to organize your internal linking structure. The pillar articles are those that cover the most important topics within your niche. Subtopics can then be created to support these pillar topics. You can create multiple topic clusters, and many interlinked articles within each cluster. Your pillar articles, which should make the most money for affiliates, have more link value than any other articles.

Our Supermetrics blog has an affiliate marketing category that covers four major topic clusters. Each cluster has a pillar article that covers many subtopics of each topic. Each subtopic article links to both the pillar article as well as other articles within the same cluster.

example of topic clusters in affiliate marketing

User-friendly site hierarchy is one that all links are related to the same topic. Google is more friendly to sites that are friendly to users than to Google. Regular site audits are a must, so make sure to check for broken links and unnecessary redirects.

12. Site navigation and layout

Your visitors’ behavior is affected by how you design your affiliate site. A bad design can turn off prospects and cause damage to important metrics like bounce rate, average page time, scrolled depth and clicks as well as engagement-related metrics like conversions, bounce rate, average length on page, scrolled deep, clicks and scrolled depth.

These metrics allow you to monitor your performance and assess the impact of changes like a redesign on your site. You have many options for tracking page activity. Google Tag Manager allows you to create new tags for specific events.

Let’s suppose you are interested in finding out what articles visitors are reading. You can select a variable to trigger your scrolled-depth trigger, such as 75% vertical scroll depth. When an event that matches the trigger definition is detected (e.g. If someone scrolls down 75% or more of your blog post the trigger will tell the tag to fire. Your tag will send the data to Google Analytics.

example of a trigger for scroll depth in google tag manager

For measuring the sticky content of your content, you can use both the time on page and the depth rolled. It is also worth keeping track of other key events, such as outbound links clicked and submissions.

A well-designed navigation system that links to pages and sections of your site helps both web crawlers and visitors find them is ideal for SEO. Don’t overload your visitors with too many links. Keep your main menu simple.

Final thoughts

SEO is a key component of content-focused affiliate marketers whose success depends on traffic to their website. You should consider this when selecting affiliate products. SEO is just as long-term as affiliate marketing.

It takes time to climb up the search results pages for targeted keywords. Long-term success is achieved by persevering and improving your affiliate website each aspect at a given time. This is an ongoing process that will require constant improvements and updates. These tips will help you get started in SEO.

Our Ultimate Guide will teach you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing. Join our Supermetrics Partner Program to Earn 20% Recurring Commissions on Every Sale

bout Johannes Rastas

Johannes is the Supermetrics Partner Marketing Manager. He focuses on growing the Supermetrics program and working with existing partners. He is also involved in content and SEO on a daily base. You can reach him via LinkedIn.

12-Minute Affiliate

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