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Introduction to Affiliate Marketing SEO

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Introduction to Affiliate Marketing SEO

2008-09-11 11:06:52

One potentially huge source of traffic is from the search engine, but to take advantage of it you need to be ranked highly in the search listings. One way to improve your ranking is by employing either PPC or SEO methods. In this lesson we are going to introduce you to an overview of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What is search engine optimization?

When you search for something in a search engine you typically end up with two sets of results. One is the paid listings which appear down the right hand side of the page and, occasionally, at the top of the page. The rest of the results on the page are the "natural" or "organic " search listings. Appearing in this list doesn't cost the website anything - these are the results that the search engine considers to be the most relevant for the search term.

For a lot of affiliates, having their site listed in these free ("natural") results is a cornerstone of their business, since it results in a lot of free traffic to their site.

However, while it's pretty easy to get into the natural search results, if your website doesn't appear in the first few pages you're unlikely to get a lot of traffic from it - in fact most web searchers don't bother looking beyond page one of the search results, let alone page two, three or further!

The term "search engine optimization" (or SEO for short) refers to the things you can do for your website to help it appear closer to the top of the search engine rankings for your important keywords. The closer to the top you are, the more traffic you will get; the more traffic you get, the more money you make - that's an equation that makes a lot of sense to affiliates!

The important thing to note about the natural search engine listings (as opposed to the paid search engine listings) is that there is no way you can artificially raise yourself up the rankings. Unlike paid listings, where you might bump yourself up by paying more, the natural search engine results leave you completely at the mercy of the search engine algorithms. As a result, you spend your time doing things to convince the search engine that your site is the most relevant site on the Internet for a particular keyword – these actions are collectively called "Search Engine Optimization"

So how do you "SEO"?

The things you can affect to help improve your search engine rankings tend to fall into two categories:

  • On-page factors are things that you can do on your website to increase your perceived relevance. These include things like using your keywords on your pages, using HTML headers correctly and linking your pages together correctly.
  • Off-page factors are things that help your site look more relevant but aren't actually built into your website. These include things like getting links to your site from other websites, making sure those websites are popular and relevant to your topic and having links to your site written in specific ways.

Pros & Cons of SEO

There are advantages and disadvantages to investing time in using search engine optimization as your primary method of getting traffic to your website.

Good points include:

  • The traffic is free. The traffic you get through natural search results is free traffic, and that’s very important.
  • The traffic is lower risk. Because your traffic is free it’s less of a risk than if you were paying for traffic – you aren’t under as much pressure to start turning a profit, because you aren’t losing any money.
  • SEO is democratic. Your ability to rank well in the search engines isn’t directly related to how fat your wallet is, unlike the paid search listings.

However, disadvantages to investing time in SEO include:

  • It takes a lot of time and effort.This is probably the biggest one for a lot of people – with SEO it might take six months of solid effort before your site approaches a first page listing in Google (of course it also might take less time than this - it all comes down to your market and how hard you work.) If you’re looking for a quick buck, then you aren’t going to like search engine optimization.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson we've learned what SEO is, why it's important, and what some of its good and bad points are.

What are natural (organic) search engine results?

  • Free listings that are compiled by the search engines, displaying what they consider to be the "most relevant" results for a particular search term.
  • You can't choose where or how your site appears, but there are things you can do to increase your "relevance".

Why is SEO important?

  • Search engines are often your biggest source of traffic.
  • Traffic that comes from the natural search engine listings is also FREE traffic!
  • You need to be in the first three pages of the SERPs (search engine results pages) to receive any significant traffic from the search engines.

Increasing Your SEO involves attention to both on-page and off-page factors.

On-page factors include: keywords on your page, correct linking and proper use of headers.

Off-page factors include: getting links to your site from other websites, making sure those websites are popular and relevant to your topic and having links to your site use certain text in the links.

Pros & Cons:
Pro: Free traffic
Con: Takes time & effort to see results


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Questions & Comments + Add a comment

So that means if you have paid traffic, pressure means you will end it up having the same results as if you get free traffic?
Cecille Loorluis
I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean. Paid traffic is not the same as free traffic in that it is more targeted to your market.

The results of paid and free traffic aren't the same. You're more likely to get a lot more and a lot faster using paid methods.

Hope that helps. All the best!
Search Engine Optimization

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