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| Posted in category Affiliate Marketing Google Search Engine Optimization

Funny CatIf you have never heard about affiliate marketing and money making then you’ve probably been offline for the recent 10 years or so. Plug your PC to www and get flooded with a non-stop flow of offers to “get rich with no efforts”. Is it really that easy?! Our answer is No. You do need to spend time and efforts to succeed. Read on for a few tips that might guide you in the right direction.

Typically, after you sign up for an affiliate program you get armored with powerful marketing tools. In many cases affiliate networks develop a few downloadable templates that you may use to run your own e-commerce website. The typical freshmen would download the script, set it up on their web server and being misled by the offer of easy money would wait for the skies to burst with a golden rain. As a result, Internet gets clogged with thousands of web pages that are as like as two peas. A 100% non-unique website has no chances to rank high and brings no additional value to the Internet community.

There are several things one may do to make an affiliate website look more appealing to search engines.

1. Create Unique URLs

The identical URL structure is probably the most obvious and easy to detect property of affiliate websites. Take a random URL from your affiliate website (lets omit Contact Us, FAQ, or similar pages) and make the following query in Google “allinurl: /product-name.html” (this is just an example). Don’t be surprised if Google returns several thousand results.

Look around the CMS of your affiliate web site for the ways to change default URLs. Another place to check is the .htaccess file. See an exemplary rewrite rule from .htaccess file for a products page (.htaccess of your affiliate website might contain something similar):

RewriteRule ^(/)?buy-(.+)\.html$ $1?product=$2&lang=en [L,QSA]

This string transforms a dynamic URL like http://www.mydomain.com/?product=2&lang=en into search engine and user friendly URLs, e.g.

  • http://www.domainname.com/buy-door-mats.html
  • http://www.domainname.com/buy-rugs.html
  • http://www.domainname.com/buy-ANY-OTHER-PRODUCT.html

Even without any knowledge of Apache URL Rewriting Engine (voodoo magic for ordinary users and piece of cake for web developers) you may guess that it’s possible to substitute “buy” with any other suitable word of your choice (e.g. “purchase”, “buy online”, etc). As the result your website will be generating a new set URLs that are unique in comparison with the websites of your fellow affiliate marketers.

2. Create Unique Page Titles, Meta Tags, and Alt Tags

That’s a ‘must do’ SEO activity. For more information refer to these tutorials on page titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags.

Create Unique Content

Ideally, the home page, products category pages, and product pages should have unique content. If the affiliate e-commerce site has hundreds of products listings it won’t pay you back to rewrite all the product descriptions. Primarily, focus on what is really important – the home page and products category pages. This is where you are going to channel the traffic from the search engines.

4. Hide Duplicate Content from Search Engines

Use robots.txt to prevent indexation of certain pages by search engines. If you are using a standard template provided by an affiliate network, then the following pages are very likely to have duplicate content and they should be on your exclusion list:

  • Contact Us
  • FAQ
  • Privacy Policy
  • Shipping Policy
  • About, etc.

Example of a robots.txt instructions:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /contact.html
Disallow: /faq.html
Disallow: /some-page-url.html

Despite the instructions contained in robots.txt, it looks like Google is in fact crawling the restricted pages. Such pages are included in the Google index but they have no snippet and cached copy, thus you may find them, only by the URL. This fact suggests that Google may use the information contained in restricted pages to evaluate your website and adjust the rankings respectively.

If you want to be 100% safe – make screenshots of duplicate pieces of content and insert them neatly instead of the respective text abstracts. Adjust quality and size of images to attain optimal page loading time.

5. Start Routine Link-Building Activities

No matter how search engine friendly your website is you are not going to achieve high rankings without good back links. Although it is the most time-consuming SEO activity, you may automate tedious tasks with link-building tools and save up valuable time for more creative tasks.

Good luck in your pursuit for crisp green bills! If you have more tips on how to optimize affiliate marketing websites post them in Comments section.



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