Google rewards websites that represent expertise in a given subject, a go-to Internet property on a particular topic. Relevancy is vital to SEO success. Does the content and theme of your site relate to a specific keyword or phrase? And, do other web owners recognize your site as being a subject matter expert (SME)?
SEO success is made up of many factors, content being preeminent. However, to be truly recognized as relevant is best realized from your peers.
And just how do your peers recognize your web site as a SME? By linking to your site from theirs; known in the SEO industry as "linking" strategy. Next to content, linking strategy is one of the most effective means of naturally promoting your website. To be effective implement a linking strategy in a manner as follows:
- The site that links to yours should be relevant to the site's topic or keyword/phrase.
- The anchor text of the link to your site should contain the keyword or phrase that you are trying to be listed and search engine ranked.
- The link should be mono-directional, not reciprocal, from their site to yours.
Affiliate Marketing can support linking strategy. Affiliates, by their very nature, are mono-directional links to your web property, often with text/alt tags that describe your service. Great, except I can hear you point out two drawbacks to this strategy:
1) Affiliate links often go through an intermediary, such as Commission Junction.
2) Affiliate websites may be highly generic or not tightly relevant in relations to your own.
So how do you implement an Affiliate SEO strategy?
- Use a direct link from the affiliate to the merchant site, where the affiliate network supports a pixel based tracking strategy. The visitor clicks direct to the merchant, which then fires up the pixel tracking, which is placed on the merchant landing page, to the affiliate network.
- Approve affiliates that are "on-message" or relevant. If you want to have a large cast of affiliates, provide the direct link to the highly relevant sites, and the regular intermediary tracking code for all others.
In this way, relevant affiliates help support your SEO linking strategy, while driving business to your website. A winning Internet strategy for your business.