Most of us doing affiliate marketing have some kind of tear stained love-hate relationship with SEO. I got my first ever commission after ageing several years, wrinkling over slightly, and finally converting a long tail search term.
When I think of SEO, I think of ballbreaking keyword research and a drawn out link building program that could reduce a grown man to tears (or just a Black Hat manual). But the more money you spend on PPC, the more glaring it becomes that you’re paying to get your shit advertised alongside a bunch of free listings that are spitting out pure profit.
Now I know what everybody says. Link building? Writing articles? That, is the work of slavery, and damn near offensive to many.
Even beyond the attitude that it’s time consuming, boring work, and a waste of market knowledge – some affiliates seem to assume that it simply isn’t possible to catch up with the top rankers. Well, maybe you can’t work as hard as an army of Indian kids spinning out articles for $1 a pop. But you definitely can work smarter.
Through PPC, you can rapidly discover the keywords that produce regular sales. You do this by busting out your Adwords account, setting the crosshairs on a bunch of search terms, and then letting rip with your own money. Sure, you might lose money. But you can’t buy the knowledge that comes with knowing what sells.
Say you’re one of these organic search guys who lays down the foundations of an SEO campaign before a single sale has been banked. A good SEO campaign requires good targeting and good groundwork. You might spend 6 months optimizing a site of 300 pages to reach the top of Google for term “xxxxx”.
What if “xxxxx” doesn’t convert? Those 6 months would have been better spent on Redtube.
Coming from a PPC background, you can test the waters and find exactly which terms are converters. Get yourself 4 or 5 super targeted keywords, spin a domain out of them, and do your own SEO groundwork accordingly.
There’s no point wasting your own time on articles. But Christ, you wouldn’t believe how many affiliate marketers are so tight when it comes to paying a kid in Asia a small fee for getting some work done. If you’re truly enjoying the high life, employ a genuine professional and you’ve already got a competitive advantage over many of these top ranking sites.
Most affiliates build a successful campaign and ask themselves “how can I scale this bigger?”. Not many ask themselves “how can I reduce my costs?”
Reducing your costs will usually make a campaign more profitable than spreading your net and scaling upwards. I realized this after I noticed that I was making more money from a few organic sales than I was from 25 PPC sales in a day.
Fact is though, if you’re going to build long-term sites for your affiliate business – you’ve got one major problem.
How do you build a long term site for a short term product?
When I log in to Convert2Media, I see about 25 different Google offers. It looks a bit like this:
Make Money on Google
Google Money Profits
Profiting on Google
Google Money Income
So how do you even think about building a site to rank naturally when the name of the shit you’re slinging is gonna change before you’ve opened the FTP to publish it?
I should say first of all that if you’re actually using the term “Google” when you push bizopp rebills, you’re walking in to a firestorm of legal problems. It’s blatant infringement on the Google brand. Even though the actual advertisers do it, why do you think we have so many Google bizopps in the first place? Rinse, say sorry, and repeat.
If you want to promote any kind of CPA rebill, you’re going to have to build your own brand and focus only on the terms that don’t change over time.
Sure, “acai burn” might be a popular search term today – but there’s no guarantee that it will be tomorrow. “Cure my fat ass” on the other hand, is always going to be a go’er, because let’s face it. America is fat.
For long term success, you need to be targeting the keywords that are here to stay. Ranking takes time and it isn’t really a good fit for the cut throat nature of the CPA industry.
The safest way to build a long term future in affiliate marketing is to target sales instead of leads. You can’t fuck with the quality of a sale. But that doesn’t mean we all have to bend over backwards and become bitches of Commission Junction. There’s still money to be made from long term sites pushing short term offers. That’s if you get it right from the beginning.
I see quite a few guys trying to build review sites for dieting, cleansing and whatever else is pulling a $37 commission. I can only imagine that they’re PPC burners, because it doesn’t make sense as a long term goal otherwise. These CPA offers are getting rebranded practically every day. You need to target the needs of the market, not the product on the shelf.