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SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistakes that Online Marketers Make and How to Avoid Them

November 5, 2018

7 Min Read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

The world of SEO is replete with opportunities and challenges. Read on to learn some common SEO affiliate marketing mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.

One thing that any affiliate marketer would love is online traffic pouring down on their website. Every minor rise in the number of visitors uplifts the spirits.

Leveraging social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, and using email marketing are some very crucial strategies you as an affiliate marketer should employ to bring traffic to your website. You need to develop a thorough SEO strategy to win in the affiliate marketing landscape.

Not convinced? Here are some stats to kick off:

  • A whopping 93% of online experiences begin with a search. (Source: Search Engine Journal).
  • In just one second, there are 69,973 searches made on Google. (Source: Internet Live Stats).
  • 75% of users will not even go to the second page on Google. (Source: HubSpot).
  • Google’s first organic result gets clicked 33 percent of times. (Source: Search Engine Watch).
  • 40% of the people are using search only on smartphone. (Source: Think with Google).

Reading these stats, there should be no doubt regarding the importance of SEO. However, many affiliate marketers are still confused about SEO for promoting their products and services.

10 SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Should Never Make

Affiliate marketing and SEO can be a deadly combination. Mastering SEO can help you succeed in the affiliate marketing game.

However, it requires a lot of efforts and practice. As an affiliate marketer, you surely need to leverage the power of search. Let’s take a look at some common mistakes that affiliate marketers make when it comes to Search Engine Optimization:

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #1: Taking a Keyword-Focused Approach As Opposed to Solution-Focused

For Google, one of the top factors for ranking websites is ‘user-experience’. The value of any web page is defined by whether a visitor was able to accomplish the task he was there to perform. If that’s not the case with your web page, no matter how many keywords you insert, would not make any difference.

Keywords are extremely important. They are words or phrases your users type on search engines. However, you must understand their intent. They do not type these keywords so they can read your generic articles. They want solutions!

In the world of affiliate marketing, it’s all about building long-lasting relationships with people by providing value.

Here is one example of how a keyword has been smartly used to provide value to searchers:

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #2: Not Creating Original Content

Many affiliate marketers might ‘mistakenly’ believe that more content would bring better SEO results. They might employ amatuer writers or use some sort of article-spinning software. This type of content provides no real value to the end-user and hence, does not perform well on search engines. In fact, Google penalizes duplicate content.

Content is king, more so in the world of SEO. Google would never prefer a website with duplicate content over a website with original content.

Read Google’s own blog on the importance of high-quality, original content.

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #3: Not Optimizing for Mobile

In 2018, 52.2 percent of all of the world’s website traffic was generated through mobile phones. If these trends are any indication, the number of mobile phone users will continue to increase.

Image Source: Statista

With Google implementing mobile-first indexing, it has become all the more important to provide users with a mobile-friendly experience. Make sure your website is responsive. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to see how your website performs on the small device.

Not optimizing for mobile also makes your website look weird on these devices. You wouldn’t want that when you are looking to inspire trust and confidence in your users.

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #4: Getting Cheap or Free Web Hosting

As an affiliate marketer, you might be tempted to get an inexpensive or even free web hosting. Surely, you want to save costs.

Opting for a cheap or free web hosting service might be one of the worst decisions you will make as an online marketer. From server downtimes to high page load times, ordinary web hosting will prove to be a great headache.

Read our blog on how slow and unreliable web hosting service can negatively impact your website’s performance.

Choose a managed SEO hosting provider which will allow you to have full control over the design and architecture of your website. From 24/7 support to great uptime rates, it will give your affiliate business an edge.

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #5: Using Irrelevant Backlinks

For any affiliate website, backlinks are like lifeline. They are what tell Google that your website is relevant.

In the past, people would create blog posts and link them to their original website. This tactic would not work today as Google has become smarter.

For Google to take notice, you would want a website with high Domain Authority (DA) to link to you. Since a high DA website is linking to you, you must be relevant.

See how Zen Media’s CEO contributed to Forbes and got a backlink from them:

While you might not be able to get published on Forbes, find relevant, authority websites in your niche. You can use Moz to find out the page ranks of websites in your niche. For competitor analysis, SEMrush can be a great tool.

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #6: Not Having a Fast Website

Website speed is one of the most crucial ranking factors. That’s pretty obvious.

Imagine this: A visitor comes to your website to buy a product but the page takes too long to load. Online users do not like to wait. According to a blog by Neil Patel, 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load within two seconds or even less. Slow page load times surely do not help. Remember Google gives great value to user experience.

What’s more, just a second’s delay in page response can lead to a seven percent reduction in conversions.

Want to check your website’s speed? Use Google’s PageSpeed tool to get useful insights.

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #7: Not Migrating to HTTPS

Cybersecurity has become a serious concern for the internet users. As an affiliate marketer, you need to ensure that your website is safe for users.

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Using HTTPS, instead of the usual HTTP in the URL, tells the user that it is safe to use this website.

To get this security status, you will need to have an SSL certificate. Many hosting providers provide SSL certificates for free.

That HTTPS at the top is also a ranking factor. Google first announced this in 2014. In fact, in 2017, almost half of Google’s first page results were HTTPS. The idea is to make the web a safer place.

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #8: Skipping or Duplicating Meta Descriptions

You might have many pages on your affiliate websites. From blogs to product listings, you want to have a heavy website.

When there is such a large number of pages on your website, you might ignore or duplicate meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are snippets that appear below the title of the search result.

You need to make sure that you are writing meta descriptions for each page. Keep it under 160 characters and include your keyword as soon as possible in the meta description. Having a unique meta description for each page will set you apart from your competitors. Here’s how Goodreads, a book review website, has added a meta description to good effect:

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #9: Using Undefined Canonicals

As an affiliate marketer, you might have content and products on multiple URLs. Canonical URLs tell the search engine that certain similar URLs are exactly same. This prevents the duplicate content issue.

The canonical URL will give the preferred version of your website to the search engine. This enhances the SEO as the search engine knows about all the links of the canonical version.  A great approach would be to organize your website in silos. With well-defined categories, you can direct users to affiliate links in a systematic manner.

SEO Affiliate Marketing Mistake #10: Ignoring SEO Best Practices

As an affiliate marketer, you cannot get complacent on the fact that the product or service you are promoting is high-quality.

From thin content to slow websites, mediocre SEO will prevent you from succeeding. SEO is not different whether you are a multinational or an affiliate. All Google cares about is providing value to its users so that they keep turning to it.

SEO requires continuous hard work but once you get your website in top rankings, you will see that it was worth it. Research the best SEO tools and use them to your advantage.

Final Words

Combining affiliate marketing with SEO can be a great move for your online business. While your Pay Per Click campaign might get you quick leads, you need organic SEO to win in the long run. From optimizing for mobile to decreasing page load times, you need to ensure that you are doing SEO the right way!

Avoid SEO mistakes – it’s a process. You will learn as you go.

We at Cloudways are intent on helping you with your affiliate journey. We have on-board a team of SEO experts and professionals who can guide in every step of the way. From providing you with keywords to creating content structure, our web hosting affiliate program provides comprehensive solutions.

Were you making any of the mistakes mentioned above? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments’ section below.

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Ahsan Raza

Ahsan Raza is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He is passionate about digital marketing and the latest happenings in the tech world. Storyteller at heart, he loves to discuss books, movies and shows. His favorite TV show: ‘The Office’.

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