When I was in college, I kept a blog in which I wrote about the latest anime series coming out of Japan and all the merchandise released along with them. I kept track of my visitors using Google Analytics to see what posts received the most hits, how long they stayed on any one page, and most importantly, the phrases or keywords visitors were searching for when they stumbled upon my page. I had no idea then, but this little anime geek was performing tasks that SEO analysts get paid big bucks to perform today.




Understanding SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a function that every business web page should have in order to stay relevant and at the top of search results. As an affiliate marketer, this is essential for your web page since conversions can start at the search engine results page.

Good SEO takes time to perform because of the delicate balance between writing for real people and making the content search engine-friendly as well. While there are many resources available to learn the ins and outs of SEO, there are a few basic concepts to keep in mind.

Keyphases, Keywords and Content Research
All SEO starts with your layout, page formatting, html, and content production. Keyphrase research is something that can be done after an article is written. The purpose is to maximize the relevant key terms that can be used within the article. While it is possible to do it in reverse order, it’s best to write your content first, as you could become bogged down looking for terms before you even get started.

Keyword effectiveness index (KEI) is a way to rank keywords based on a formula involving search volume and amount of competition. Keywords with high search volume and low competition have the potential of being high revenue generators for affiliates. For members of the FlexOffers.com network, choosing your keywords has an added benefit.

Using the network’s new FlexSearch – Enhanced feature, publishers can match keywords pertinent to their site with relevant affiliate programs, products, banners, and other advertisements that are related to their prospective audience’s search queries. This makes it easier to adorn your website with the banners, advertisements and services that your web traffic is searching for already.

Remember to brainstorm a list of keyphrases and use a keyword research tool to find out which keyphrases are popular, how competitive they are, and popular misspellings of these words. Keyphrases require careful selection, fit, and maintenance.

SEO Copywriting
Online audiences don’t have time to wait around on your website, so you better have a good reason for them to stay on your page or they’ll move on to the next one without a second thought. That is particularly why good SEO copy is essential for increasing your rankings and your web audience.

Three basic rules of good SEO copywriting are:

  1. Writing for your audience first and search engines second. If your page is filled with over optimized content, your audience will know it, but more importantly, Google will know it and your website will receive low marks when it comes to rankings.
  2. Focusing on key phrases.
  3. Using interesting and engaging content.

The Data Behind Metadata
Metadata is basically the information contained “behind the scenes” of your web page. Before continuing, I should mention that because of the rampant abuse of this information, Google no longer gives it the consideration it once did. However, other search engines do use it to determine rankings, so it’s a good idea to still make sure this information is properly maintained. If you don’t, it’s possible that potential site traffic may surf right on by your site, which they would have found otherwise. Each page on your site should have a title with a description of what information is contained within that page. Just be sure to make it relevant, so don’t get creative with it.

Alt Text & Links
When Google’s algorithm searches your web site it looks at your content as well as your links and alt text. Every image you post on your pages should contain alt text or alt tags which describe the image on the page. This is helpful for those times when the image is not found on the server and it is also helpful for your visually impaired visitors. Optimized and descriptive alt tags will help your page improve with Google’s search rankings, so it’s in your best interest to include that information.

The Write Combination
If you want to be successful at the affiliate marketing game, you have to do your homework. You might think that being your own boss and working from home is a breeze, but the truth is that no one is going to make your website better if you don’t do it yourself. I tried that once and found myself in my jammies, covered in brownie crumbs, and the proud owner of a stagnant website. So do your research, write for your audience, and be sure to make your content fun, entertaining and relevant.