Do Not Make The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Mistake

Affiliate marketing can be really powerful when SEO and affiliate goals all push in the same direction. Yet it is also painfully clear that many affiliate marketers are missing out on substantial, sustainable growth by ignoring SEO or making mistakes that hurt the effectiveness of their affiliate campaigns.

Focusing on Keywords Instead of Solutions

A lot of affiliate sites plug keywords onto their landing pages without pausing to think about how their products benefit their customers.

The biggest mistake SEO wise is that they focus on keywords and not providing solutions.“Keywords are important because they are what have traffic, so use them as a base, but create solutions where your affiliate relationships will provide value and help solve a problem.

If you have a hardware or home repair site, don’t optimize for sub-pumps and drywall. Instead, optimize for how to fix a hole in drywall and incorporate the products in. With the sub-pump, think about the tools and the parts you’ll need to successfully solve the issue and use affiliate links for them.

Bottom line: Don’t just list your product’s bells and whistles or rely too much on keywords. Show your potential customers how much better their life is going to be after they buy your product.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 2. Relying on Affiliate Marketing as Your Only Revenue Stream.

Another common mistake affiliates make is treating affiliate marketing as a business model instead of a revenue channel.

There is nothing wrong with self-labeling yourself as an affiliate just do not treat your business in this manner, affiliate marketing is a revenue channel, if it’s the only channel you are using to monetise your traffic, then you may be doing it wrong.

Bottom line: Diversify your revenue channels and don’t put all your eggs in the affiliate marketing basket.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 3. Not Producing Original Content.

Too many affiliate sites are little more than contentless shells with lists of products. You can spur traffic to these sites with PPC ads, but what happens when your advertising dollars run out? Your site will sink.

A real site has real value and unique content for your visitors. Why would a search engine want to rank your site over a vendor or the originator of the content? Answer: they generally do not. Yes, there are examples of sites that do rank, but the vast majority of sites that duplicate content do not rank well. You have to add value in order for the search engine to want to rank your site.

Bottom line: Turn your affiliate site into a hub of useful information that will help it earn organic backlinks and keep customers coming back for more information as they conduct research.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 4. Forgetting to Delete Inactive Plugins and Themes

You need to be extra careful today about cybersecurity and customer privacy, which means one of the worst mistakes you could make is forgetting to delete inactive themes and plugins.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t update inactive themes sitting idly on your site. You also might not bother to delete them. Unfortunately, this poses a significant threat to your cybersecurity.

Themes and plugins that sit idly on your site are easy targets for hackers. Regular updates help keep hackers at bay; when you forget or don’t bother to update, they often find ways to exploit old code and create a backdoor to your site by hiding malicious code inside them. Hackers can also hide malicious code in your uploads directory, wp-config.php file, and your wp-includes directory.

So make sure you’re regularly combing your website for suspicious code, updating everything you use to the latest versions, and removing any inactive themes and plugins ASAP.

Bottom line: Make sure all of your themes and plugins are always up to date, and if you’re not using certain themes and plugins, delete them and make sure they’re gone.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 5. Missing or Duplicating Meta Descriptions

Here’s a simple recommendation that a lot of affiliate sites are missing out on: ensure your listings’ titles and meta descriptions are relevant and unique. These appear as snippets in the SERPs and go a long way toward setting you apart from your competitors.

If you don’t have the resources to write unique descriptions for every one of your products, here’s a simple hack: upload the first paragraph of each page. It may not be perfect or optimized, but it’s better than nothing.

You can also use popular plugins like Yoast SEO (the best WordPress plugin for basic on-site SEO) to create custom templates for your meta descriptions, which makes the whole process a lot easier, or you can try out a plugin that automatically generates meta descriptions, such as SmartCrawl.

Bottom line: Differentiating your products with unique meta descriptions will help your affiliate pages rise through SERPs and sets you apart from your competitors.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 6. Ignoring Mobile Optimisation

Most affiliate sites look awful on mobile devices. This is unfortunate because they’re missing out on a huge opportunity to possibly edge out big brands in mobile SERPs.

As far as mobile and SEO go, the biggest issues are site speed, especially because of images, plugins that aren’t being used and also forgetting to include ways to get to your website or landing page from an AMP version. If you’re an affiliate and you’re competing against huge brands, they often have red tape which prevents them from using proper image sizes, and they can have tons of excessive scripts weighing their sites down. By creating a faster experience that also provides value, you may be able to outrank them because of their red tape.

Bottom line: Prioritise mobile optimisation. This is especially true since Google is switching to mobile-first indexing.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 7. Using Free Web Hosting Solutions

Word Press Engine as a hosting solution is good, but be wary of free solutions.

Do not use Wix or Squarespace or any other free web hosting solutions, this is not how you build a real site or business. These services can change their terms of service or even go out of business. You do not own the site design or architecture, and you have less control over elements that will assist with rankings. Own your site, content, and data, always.

Bottom line: Affiliates need to treat hosting solutions seriously. Cheaping out on a hosting solution could compromise your control over your site or worse, endanger your customers.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 8. Highly-Irrelevant Backlinks

Backlinks are the bread and butter of affiliate sites, but irrelevant backlinks are liable to get you in trouble with Google they may even be considered link schemes, which will do more harm than good.

The best way to avoid this? Ensure that your affiliate pages all add significant value to anyone who lands on them.

Try to get your affiliate links hosted on sites with a modicum of authority. You can use SEO tools to judge the quality of your backlinks and identify those that might be devaluing your affiliate site.

Bottom line: When reaching out to sites to host affiliate links make sure they’re relevant to your niche.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 9. Undefined Canonicals

Using canonical URLs will help you improve link and ranking signals for your content. It also makes life easier for your customers by syndicating your content which makes navigation simple and intuitive.

My best-practice advice when it comes to URL structure is to organise your site into silos. Introduce categories into your site structure and then clearly communicate those categories to your customers through the URLs they land on when they follow your affiliate links.

Check out the Google Search Console page for more information on using canonical URLs.

Bottom line: Canonical URLs are key for good content management on your affiliate site and improve your ranking signals.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 10. Pretending SEO Best Practices Don’t Apply to Affiliate SEO

You don’t get to ignore common SEO mistakes on your affiliate site. Broken links, 404 errors, duplicate content, thin content, and too many redirects are all issues that need to be weeded out.

Download a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that can check your site health for you. This will help you find and eliminate errors that impact your crawlability such as broken links, while also identifying and problematic content you need to correct.

SEO is a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth it not only will you clean up your site internally, but you’ll also improve your crawl budget, make navigation easier for your customers, and possibly improve your site speed in the process!

SEO for affiliates is not different than for a merchant or any other site, the search engines do not care, your site is valued on what you provide your users.

Bottom line: Affiliate sites need SEO just as badly as other websites, so don’t neglect regular site maintenance and clean-up.

Conclusion
Don’t underestimate the impact SEO will have on affiliate marketing in the long run.

PPC ads are a great way to attract early leads and get some attention to your affiliate site, but if you want to supercharge your conversions, grow your affiliate site over the long-term and cultivate strong organic links, then there’s really no beating SEO.

Discover how to dominate your niche

Get Targeted Traffic With PPC

I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ with web traffic it is no different! If you decide to use paid methods then you get quality targeted traffic in return.
So where do you start when you are ready to market your website with paid traffic? Well unlike traditional print ads and direct marketing, advertising on the Internet is a whole different ball game. Before you do anything else, you need to know just what types of promotions are available out there.
I am sure you have heard about Pay Per Click or (PPC) before, but if you have not, I can tell you it is probably the greatest way to get good value for money.

The Importance of Keywords

PPC can be a bit of a gamble unless the visitors are part of what is called targeted traffic this basically means people who are interested in your type of product. One way of helping you to determine what type of targeted traffic to direct to your site is by carefully choosing the most effective keywords.
Keywords or keyword phrases are a very important part of directing people to your site. Whenever someone is looking for something online, they do a ‘search’ on one of the major search engines, like Google, to find what they’re looking for, if you use keywords that are too general, you will get a lot of visitors, but they will not be targeted to what you are offering and they will just eat into your advertising budget. The key here is to find specific keywords or keyword phrases that will bring you the ‘right’ kind of visitors which are the potential customers you need to succeed!
As I explained earlier in the article marketing section, the new breed of keywords (Long Tail and LSI) will help you specifically target your visitors and minimise your costs.
Other keyword tools which will give you better long tail keywords are SEOBook keyword tools and also WordTracker Keywords.
Make sure that you implement all your chosen keywords into the content of your web page (there are more details on this in the SEO section) as this will use your Pay Per Click advertising to help move your site up the search engine rankings with all of those targeted visitors you’ve paid for. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to do your keyword ‘homework’ before you commit to any particular advertising strategy. Finding the right keywords will help to catapult your web site to the forefront of the search engines as well as earn you more money from targeted visitors and also save you money on your advertising.

Target your Adverts

Besides keywords, another way to target your traffic is through your actual advert text. If you are using (and paying for) Pay Per Click advertising then you want to make every click count. Incorporating free downloads and links to other free information and resources is great for giving away to your paying customers, however, when you use Pay Per Click, you pay for all the visitors to your site, even those who stop by and download your free stuff without making a purchase. If you mention the price of your product or service in your ad content, it usually helps to discourage many of those non-productive browsers from taking advantage of you (and your wallet!).
One of the best advantages in using Pay Per Click advertising to send you the targeted traffic you need is that, for the most part, once you’ve initially taken the time to set up the qualifying parameters, it’s pretty much ‘set it and forget it’ or on ‘autopilot’. Of course, you will want to periodically monitor the click-through rate vs. the conversion rate (how many sales you get in relation to clicks made) to see if you still need to ‘tweak’ anything, especially in the beginning stages of advertising your business.
Your traffic now has that much needed boost and you have spare time to look into additional promotional resources for your business.
Pay Per Click, or any single form of advertising, should never be relied upon as your long term solution to establishing your business online. You know the old expression ‘Don’t put all your eggs into one basket’ these are words of wisdom to follow in life and in advertising!
Although I may be a bit cautious here, do not be afraid to use Pay Per Click as your initial promotional strategy, there is always a time and a place for everything, and Pay Per Click is an awesome, very effective, short term traffic generating tool to use to get your web site seen. Ultimately, you will need to rely on search engine optimisation (there are more details on this in the SEO section) as a more long-term advertising solution.
Here is a guideline to avoid the mistakes most newbie marketers always seem to make when using Pay Per Click:
Do Your Homework: Research what would be the best target market for you to attract to your web site. Get to ‘know’ your potential customers and what they might additionally want from your business.
Find the Right Keyword: Make sure you spend time choosing the correct keywords and keyword phrases, use the tools I have provided links to so you can get the best possible keywords to help your ads, here are links to the tools again – Wordtracker, and SEOBook Keyword Tools, if you want to delve into this further then I suggest you get expert advice like Keyword Elite.
Create Your Advert: Once you’ve selected your optimum keywords, it’s now time for you to start creating your own advert, use your keywords to help you structure your ad content, but always strive to keep your advert as clear and concise as possible. Even with targeted traffic, keep in mind that most visitors want to see what you’ve got as quickly as possible, so you want to get your message immediately across.
Keep to Your Budget: Instead of just throwing all of your advertising cash into one marketing campaign, decide just how much you are willing to expend on each promotional strategy and stick to it. Pay Per Click costs can creep up on you if you don’t set a limit and keep to your budget.
Think about Location: If your product or service is useful to only certain geographic areas, you will need to also take this into consideration. You wouldn’t want to promote something like beach holidays in Iceland or snow-boarding in the Sahara desert.
Monitor Your Results: You do need to monitor and track your results for all of your advertising campaigns at least at the start. This will enable you to see which of your keywords are most effective, you will also be able to ensure not being billed for any visitor clicks you did not actually receive.

Which PPC Program Do You Use?

There are quite a few Pay Per Click programs out there to choose from, but to be honest there are only a few that give you excellent results, the three main Pay Per Click programs are Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft Search Advertising.
I would stick with one of those if you want serious traffic, however, Facebook PPC is fast becoming really popular due to the popularity of Facebook and another great one is Bidvertiser. There are many others if you have the time and money to invest, like 7 Search, Kontera, and SiteScout to name but a few.

This is a small extract from Traffic Booster Pack

Yahoo Search Marketing

How To Generate Traffic Using Yahoo Search Marketing

Yahoo Search Marketing is the search engine’s pay per click
system which allows advertisers to bid on keywords for
advertising on their results pages.

Whilst the system is in the process of being phased out in favour
of running Bing’s Adcenter ads, the roll out of the new system
has been delayed in many countries, so there is huge opportunity
to pick up traffic.

The European market still uses Yahoo Search Marketing driven ads
on search results, and this is one market which converts
extremely well with the correct approach to PPC campaigns.

The system works by bidding on keywords to allow your
advertisements to appear next to search results for those terms
on Yahoo (and their partner networks).

The key to success with any pay per click campaign is tracking
results as extensively as possible for analysis.

By continually reviewing performance at the keyword level, you
can identify which search terms are providing a strong return on
investment in order to expand further into that area, and those
which are under performing so than you can try to improve them or
delete them completely.

Using simple techniques such as regularly rewriting ad copy to
split test can create much more powerful click through rates over
time, which will mean more qualified traffic for less cost.

All of the main search engines have a primary focus on relevance,
so by focusing on providing searchers with the solutions to their
needs, you will be able to complement the intentions of Yahoo
themselves, and create a sustainable advertising campaign.

Proper tracking from ad impressions on the search results through
to conversions on your website (and even repeat purchases in the
future) can enable you to have a huge advantage over your
competition, as few companies track this performance fully.

Only by fully analyzing your pay per click performance in Yahoo
Search Marketing will you fully exploit the value of the traffic
available, which will translate in more revenue and repeat, loyal
customers for your business.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click (PPC) Website Advertising

Advertising your services or products on the Internet is both extremely effective and extremely competitive. There are several ways to go about attracting traffic to your website; Pay Per Click is one of the options you can choose from, along with developing an SEO, or search engine optimization campaign.

Both pay per click and SEO are targeted to get your website placed as close to the top of search engine results as possible. One of the differences is that it takes minutes to set up a pay per click campaign versus months for a good SEO campaign.

Pay Per Click is a simple type of paid advertising that most search engines, including some of the largest ones, now offer. It requires a bid for a “per click” basis, which translates to your company paying the bid amount every time the search engine directs a visitor to your site.

There is the added bonus that when a per click site sends your website traffic, your site often appears in the results of other prevalent search engines. As with all marketing campaigns, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you understand the process and monitor your pay-per-click campaign frequently, it can be very effective. One of the greatest advantages is that you never have to tweak your web pages to change your position in search engine results, as you must do in a typical SEO campaign.

What you do have to do in a pay per click campaign is pay a fee. Another advantage is the simplicity of the pay per click process. You just bid and you’re up and running. It doesn’t demand any specific technical knowledge, though the more you know about search engines and keywords, the easier – and more effective – the process will be.

The downside is that pay per click is essentially a bidding war.

A higher bid than yours will lower your position on search engine results. This means that you will have to raise your bid to regain your position – which can obviously become quite expensive, especially if you are bidding on a popular keyword. In order to determine if pay per click is a cost effective form of marketing for your business, you must do some computing to figure out how much each visitor to your site is worth.

You can compute this value by dividing the profit you make on your website over a given period of time by the total number of visitors for that same time period.

For example, if your site made $5,000 in profits and there were 2,500 hits, each visitor would be theoretically worth 50 cents. The basic formula is profits divided by visitors. The figure of 50 cents per visitor is the point at which your business breaks even.

The idea, of course, is to show a profit, not to merely cover your costs. Therefore, you are aiming at a figure less than 50 cents per click. Be aware that the most popular keywords often cost considerably more than 50 cents a click.

The only way around this is to bid less for these phrases or you will be paying too much for each individual hit. The key (pun intended) to success is to learn everything you can about search engine keyword research.

The good news is there isn’t a limit to the amount of keywords you can add to your bid because additional keywords do not add additional cost.

This translates into a lot less hassle for you because there is no need to optimize your site to index a particular set of keywords. Obviously, some keywords are much more effective than others are, but they will not cost you anything except time to set-up your account in your pay per click bid.

Of the popular search engines that offer pay per click, one called Google Insights provides an online tool that will give you the data on how often particular keywords are entered into their search engine.

They also offer suggestions for keywords after you enter a description of your site. In pay per click, this written description is crucial. You must understand that the object of your description is not to generally attract visitors, but to be as specific as possible so that only those visitors who are likely to buy your service or product go to your site.

You must use expert marketing copy to guarantee that your description is both precise and enticing to attract the most ideal candidates to your site. This description is your most powerful tool to insure that your bid is profitable.

Another essential element of pay per click advertising is that you constantly monitor your bid. It is very important that you bear in mind that the results of the top search engines providing pay per click advertising, which is Adwords by Google, usually appear on other popular search engines. Because of this, the competition for top ranking is intense, and very often you will find that the bidding price balloons too high for pay per click to yield a profit.

If this happens, it is advisable to withdraw your bid on that particular keyword and try another one. Remember: when you pay too much per click to make a profit, you are in essence losing the bidding war.

Since losing is not acceptable, you must have a plan in place to closely track the effectiveness of your keyword. It is advisable to monitor your keywords on at least a monthly basis.

Not only is careful monitoring important, but the analysis of visitor behavior can produce invaluable knowledge about consumer motivation, habits, and trends.

Expert monitoring and consumer analysis is essential to your overall business needs, and will also insure that your pay per click campaign is a success.

PPC Advertising

PPC Advertising (Pay Per Click) on the Internet is both extremely effective and an extremely competitive way to promote your brand and services. There are several ways to go about attracting traffic to your website; PPC advertising is one of the options you can choose from, along with developing an SEO, or search engine optimisation campaign.

Both PPC advertising and SEO are targeted to get your website and placed as close to the top of search engine results as possible. One of the differences is that it takes minutes to set up a pay-per-click campaign versus months for a good SEO campaign.

Pay-Per-Click is a simple type of paid advertising that most search engines, including some of the largest ones, now offer. It requires a bid for a “per-click” basis, which translates to your company paying the bid amount every time the search engine directs a visitor to your site.

There is the added bonus that when a per-click site sends your website traffic, your site often appears in the results of other prevalent search engines. As with all marketing campaigns, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you understand the process and monitor your pay-per-click campaign frequently, it can be very effective. One of the greatest advantages is that you never have to tweak your web pages to change your position in search engine results, as you must do in a typical SEO campaign.

What you do have to do in a pay-per-click campaign is pay a fee. Another advantage is the simplicity of the pay-per-click process. You just bid and you’re up and running. It doesn’t demand any specific technical knowledge, though the more you know about search engines and keywords, the easier – and more effective – the process will be.

The downside is that pay-per-click is essentially a bidding war.

A higher bid than yours will lower your position on search engine results. This means that you will have to raise your bid to regain your position – which can obviously become quite expensive, especially if you are bidding on a popular keyword. In order to determine if pay-per-click is a cost-effective form of marketing for your business, you must do some computing to figure out how much each visitor to your site is worth.

You can compute this value by dividing the profit you make on your website over a given period of time by the total number of visitors for that same time period.

For example, if your site made $5,000 in profits and there were 2,500 hits, each visitor would be theoretically worth 50 cents. The basic formula is profits divided by visitors. The figure of 50 cents per visitor is the point at which your business breaks even.

The idea, of course, is to show a profit, not to merely cover your costs. Therefore, you are aiming at a figure less than 50 cents per click. Be aware that the most popular keywords often cost considerably more than 50 cents a click.

The only way around this is to bid less for these phrases or you will be paying too much for each individual hit. The key (pun intended) to success is to learn everything you can about search engine keyword research.

The good news is there isn’t a limit to the amount of keywords you can add to your bid because additional keywords do not add additional cost.

This translates into a lot less hassle for you because there is no need to optimize your site to index a particular set of keywords. Obviously, some keywords are much more effective than others are, but they will not cost you anything except time to set-up your account in your pay-per-click bid.

Of the popular search engines that offer pay-per-click, one called Google Insights provides an online tool that will give you the data on how often particular keywords are entered into their search engine.

They also offer suggestions for keywords after you enter a description of your site. In pay-per-click, this written description is crucial. You must understand that the object of your description is not to generally attract visitors, but to be as specific as possible so that only those visitors who are likely to buy your service or product go to your site.

You must use expert marketing copy to guarantee that your description is both precise and enticing to attract the most ideal candidates to your site. This description is your most powerful tool to insure that your bid is profitable.

Another essential element of pay-per-click advertising is that you constantly monitor your bid. It is very important that you bear in mind that the results of the top search engines providing pay-per-click advertising, which is Adwords by Google, usually appear on other popular search engines. Because of this, the competition for top ranking is intense, and very often you will find that the bidding price balloons too high for pay-per-click to yield a profit.

If this happens, it is advisable to withdraw your bid on that particular keyword and try another one. Remember: when you pay too much per click to make a profit, you are in essence losing the bidding war.

Since losing is not acceptable, you must have a plan in place to closely track the effectiveness of your keyword. It is advisable to monitor your keywords on at least a monthly basis.

Not only is careful monitoring important, but the analysis of visitor behavior can produce invaluable knowledge about consumer motivation, habits, and trends.

Expert monitoring and consumer analysis is essential to your overall business needs, and will also insure that your pay-per-click campaign is a success.