Prerequisites: Affiliate Marketing 101 Course (free!)
Guess what? You graduated! As of right now, we’re moving out of the content and website phase of being an affiliate, right into the traffic part of the course!
I can’t tell you how many emails and comments I’ve fielded saying, “Thank you for all the great training, but I already have content done… I need traffic!” And boy do I get that!
Before making the jump right to getting traffic though, I need to give you a bit of a walkabout. I need to bring you up to speed on the way things work in the search engines so you can move your sites and your articles up the ranks as quickly as possible.
Keep in mind, this stuff changes OFTEN! Every other month, Google is levying some huge update that renders some sites useless, while skyrocketing others. We’re going to do our best to keep you updated by testing stuff out for you, but know that just because something works now, doesn’t mean it will forever.
Free Traffic vs. Paid Traffic
Free traffic is characterized by website visitors that you don’t pay money to get. They click a link, visit your site, and hopefully take some action that you want them to. The most common form of easy, free traffic is from the search engines; namely Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Paid traffic, on the other hand, can be anything from Facebook Ads to Google Adwords, banners on SiteScout to BuySellAds, and everything in between. There are countless ways to pay for traffic online – not all of them will work for you.
So, at first, we’re going to stick with the one thing we know works where you can invest a little bit of time and get traffic for months (or years even)!
That one thing is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
Search Engine Optimization 101
To do that, there are 3 things that you need to concentrate on:
- On-Page SEO – This is everything that happens on your site… Articles, keywords, images, linking structure. The good news is that if you followed the 30-Day Challenge up until this point, then this part is already done!
- Off-Page SEO – Off Page SEO is everything that happens outside of your site… The links pointing to your site. The linking text. The quality and quantity of links. This is the part we’re going to be messing with through the rest of the Affiliate Website section of the Challenge!
- Social SEO – Social SEO is still pretty new, but is taking hold as we speak. Basically, search engines are looking for ‘human interaction’ when it comes to content. Things like comments on your article, Facebook Likes and Shares, Twitter Retweets, Youtube Views and Comments, LinkedIn Shares, and all the other various forms of likes, shares and pins. In short, Google is looking for humans to vet content for them.
There are over 200 different major factors in the Google algorithm, spanning everything from incoming links to keyword density to social interaction… So, to get a handle on it, we’ll break it down one by one in the coming lessons.
Your #1 Priority = Be Natural
- If you build links too fast, you get slapped.
- If you build only one type of link, like from article directories or social bookmarks, you get slapped.
- If you build only low quality links, you get slapped.
- If you write content that isn’t specific to one keyword, you get slapped.
The goal is to build a solid foundation for your site to stand on, as naturally as possible.
Let’s go for a little hypothetical tour of what Google is looking for.
Let’s say some random, new site is launched. This is about what happens:
- The site goes live and puts up a few articles. Chances are, they might get a few links, maybe 2 or 3.
- The site owner shares an article on Facebook and Twitter and they get 10-15 shares.
- A week later, they get some media converge, where they get a few more incoming links from bloggers, like 15-20.
- Because of that blogger coverage, they get added to some social bookmark sites so people can reference them later.
- One of the people who was following a friend’s social bookmarks works for Time.com and needed to write a story about a cool startup, so they covered the new website.
- The Time.com article gave the website an authority backlink, and exposure on 100 or so brand new blogs (creating a lot of low level links, as well as a few upper level links…)
What you just read is natural SEO at it’s finest. It’s what Google expects to see when a new site is launched. They expect to see a bunch of different kinds of links, as well as backlinks from low profile and high profile sites alike. Google also expects to see some social interaction, like Facebook Shares or social bookmarks.
Nowadays, it isn’t about who has more links or who has better content. It’s about who has a better backlink profile!
So, our job as affiliate marketers and search optimizers is to make Google believe that what they’re seeing with our site is the same natural profile as they’ve come to expect… That’s what gets the rankings!
Plus, if you do this… If you build naturally… You won’t EVER be slapped. How could you? You’re doing the exact same thing as the biggest, most prolific sites in the world. The only difference is that you’re doing it yourself rather than waiting for someone else to find you!
By the time we finish the affiliate website section of this challenge, you will know how to build each of the different kinds of backlinks we talked about above. You’ll know how to get:
- Article directory links
- Social bookmarks
- Social votes
- Blog comment links
- High PR links (authority sites)
- Press release links (these are HOT right now!)
- Youtube links
- Open linkwheel links
In the comment section, please let me know that questions that you have about SEO, and I’ll try to make sure to address it in the coming lessons. It might be about article marketing, blog commenting, anchor text, or whatever else.