There are many companies and brands out there who bring in a lot of revenue through their affiliate programs. Affiliates can be great for generating a lot of traffic to your site, but often, affiliates websites don’t actually give you any SEO love. That is, search engines often interpret the links back to your site from your affiliates as advertisements or other content that doesn’t really count toward your organic SEO rank. But you can change that. And here are a few ways you can get your affiliate links to boost your search engine optimization.
Although many of your affiliate links lie behind structure that Google doesn’t crawl, whenever you have a chance to share a link, make sure your link is clean. In other words, make sure that the URL is easy to understand and uses real words not symbols and gibberish. Use URLs that look like this: “mysite.com/products/st-johns-wort.htm” And not like this: “mysite.com/hggt546-prod/stjohn66-ytr78.htm” and you’ll be much better off.
Form time to time, you’ll want to rearrange your site. Or you may have products that you stop selling or products you begin to sell. As you move your site around and update it, make sure that you keep your affiliate links current. If you are redirecting URLs, make sure that you aren’t redirecting to a redirect, etc. IN other words, make sure your original redirect isn’t pointing toward another URL that will redirect again, and so forth. And it’s never a bad idea to update your affiliate banners and links. Just make sure you alert your affiliates and ask them to update their links, buttons, and graphics.
One of the reasons your main website isn’t getting any SEO love from all your affiliate links is that the links are hidden behind graphics and banners, so the search engines don’t crawl them. One way to get around that is to wrap your banners and graphic links in an HTML envelope that contains a link to your main site. For example, if there’s a video you want your affiliates to post to their sites, or you’re giving your affiliates something contained in an iFrame, put the framework or player inside a HTLM tag and add some text like “Visit MySite.com” or “Sponored by MySite.com” that way, search engines will recognize the link and attribute it to your site, giving you some SEO love.
Using affiliate marketing can drive a fair amount of good traffic to your site, but you’ll still want to boost your website’s organic SEO by getting as many of your affiliates as possible to link back to you in ways that Google can read and understand.
Brad Anderson is the Executive Director and Founder of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association