Guest Post: SEO Copywriting for Affiliate Marketers – Here’s Your Guide
As an affiliate marketer, you have a singular goal – to make sales for companies to earn your commissions. To do this, you have to market the products and services of those companies and drive potential customers to your website(s) where they can make purchases.
Given all of the marketing content out there (oceans of it), how do you attract and engage potential customers? How do you drive them to your website? The answer is the same for you as it is any marketer – SEO. Your content must show up on search engines when consumers seek what you are selling. The answer is simple. Getting there – not so much.
Exactly how do you make your content stand out, so that search engines take notice and index it well? It takes work, to be sure. But if you are up for the challenge and the work, here is how that is done – your guide to content SEO.
Search Engines Themselves Have Changed
The first and most important thing to understand is that search engines are far more sophisticated than in years past. In those days, it was a matter of stuffing in enough keywords that marketing content would be ranked high and show up on the first page of a generic search. You now know that SEO is a far more complex challenge, as search engine algorithms have become more sophisticated, too, and can separate “junk” content from the “real deal.”
So, let’s unpack exactly how your affiliate marketing content can get you the SEO results you need. If you use this as a guide, you will see results!
1. Focus on High Quality Content and Your Audience
How well do you know the audience for the products and/or services you are selling? What are their values and demographics? What is their sense of humor like? What do they find entertaining or inspiring? Where do they hang out online? And what value will your products or services bring to their lives?
You must do the research on all of the audiences you intend to engage. And it’s not about selling. It’s about crafting content that they find valuable and about making yourself look like an authority/expert.
When content is valuable, people engage, read, or view it, and will also share it with their communities. SEO bots notice.
Keep it simple. Today’s consumer doesn’t have the time or desire to read a lot of text, and certainly not text that is filled with long, complex sentences or tough vocabulary. If you must write a lot of text, break it up into sections and with visuals. And use some of the available tools to check your reading level. It should be at about 7th grade.
Remember, the goal is to engage consumers and to keep them interested. Research shows that people process visual information 60x faster than text. This should give you pause to think about the types of content you are creating to engage and keep your audience “with you.” There are plenty of examples of great explainer and “how-to” videos that you can review and see how you can promote your products and services. Check out this one from Dollar Shave Club. It addresses its audience’s pain point, provides a great solution, and ends with a call-to-action to get on board. All in 90 seconds.
Now, this video went viral. Yours may not reach those heights. But, you can easily create videos that will hold the attention of your audience, provide value, and give a call to action. Check out some of the easy video creation tools that require only a smartphone.
Videos don’t need to be the only visuals. You can use great photos; you can solicit photos from happy customers using the products and services you are marketing. Get creative and think about how you can avoid text in favor of media.
The key point is this: SEO factors in not just the number of “hits” you get, but also the time spent consuming your content and the sharing of that content with others. Your job is to keep those potential customers engaged, liking your content, and sharing it.
1. Now, About Those Keywords
Yes, keywords still factor into SEO marketing. They are no longer single words because that is not how consumers search for products or services. Search engine algorithms now are looking for long-tail keyword phrases that are far more specific. This presents a challenge for any content marketer. Here are some steps to take:
Come up with some long-tail keywords that relate to the products or services you are marketing. Do your own search on Google. What comes up?
Look at companies that are competitors to your company’s niche. What long-tail keywords are they using?
Use keyword research tools. You can plug in specific products or services and get the most popular keyword phrases in use right now.
A word of caution here: Once you have identified the keywords you plan to use, you must be certain that they are used naturally in the context of your content. Inserting them awkwardly just to get them in, or try to insert them too often in a piece of content, you will be penalized.
2. Add Captions to Images
These will be indexed well by search engines. And if you can naturally get a keyword phrase in, all the better.
3. Create Headlines/Titles Like a Journalist
If journalists want their article or story read, they know that the headline is 90% of the battle. You need to think in the same terms. And if you can possibly get a keyword in, all the better. What you are looking for is a title that will immediately intrigue your audience and “force” them to move forward.
If you are not the creative type, then look at some headline generator tools. Type in a couple of keywords, and see what they come up with. While you may not like the actual title options, they may get your own creative juices flowing.
4. Internal Links
If you can link to other content you have written about the products or services you are marketing, and if your readers/viewers link to that content, Seo bots take notice. Consumers of your content are engaged for longer time periods. You can even link to things you have written about a specific product or service with “get more details” CTA’s.
5. Monitor Load Speed of Your Content
While load speed may not have a direct impact on SEO, it does indirectly. When content consumers can access content quickly, they will stay. When they cannot, they will bounce. And SEO bots monitor time spent.
6. Craft Meta Descriptions for Every Piece of Content
This is a small snippet of what a consumer will find by accessing your content. And search engines use these to give consumers a brief summary of what is to follow. You want to provide a quick, compelling summary of what your content includes, along with an action verb with a CTA. It should be less than 300 characters, but the first 160 are the most important because those are what Google publishes. Here’s an example from Google about air fryers:
The entire meta description has been cut off, but look at what the writer got in, in those first 160 characters – the product, the value (eating healthy), and a CTA “here are the machines…”
Summing it Up…
This may seem like a lot of work. It is. But the more experience you have following this 9-point guide, the easier it becomes. You have to decide. Are you in this affiliate marketing business to make some serious money? If you are, then you will take this SEO business seriously. Don’t take this as the “end all” guide. There are lots of other tips and strategies out there. Review them all and take what will work for you.
Author Bio: Bridgette Hernandez is a content writerand content marketing consultant for a number of businesses, including writing services, such as Subjecto and Classy Essay. She has become an SEO expert in her own right. When not writing or consulting, Hernandez spends her time advocating and supporting animal rescue organizations.
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