Affiliate Marketing SEO: Complete Beginner’s Guide

SEO stands for search engine optimization. When it comes to affiliate marketing, there probably has been more written about search engine optimization than any other topic.

To some affiliate marketers, SEO has almost reached the status of the holy grail of success. This is because the success of your affiliate marketing business largely depends on the search engine spiders successfully reading and updating the listing for your website.

What do we mean by “spiders”? Search engines like Google, Bing, Dogpile, and others send out spiders or automated software robots scouring the internet to read and update the listings for the search engines. 

So, for instance, if the Google spider goes out and reads your website listing but, because of poor SEO practices, can’t accurately and efficiently read the sitemap for your site, your site will be at a disadvantage to sites that do use good SEO practices.

Your ranking in the listings can mean success and affiliate marketing profits or get lost in the lower rankings at the bottom of page 1 or page 2, 3, or beyond, which means very few people will click on your site and you’ll net very poor if any, affiliate earnings.

In this article, we’ll share ten proven affiliate SEO strategies to boost your website traffic and improve your online sales.

What is SEO for Affiliate Marketing?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is about making your website more visible on search engines like Google and Bing. It involves improving your site so it shows up higher in search results when people look for:

  • Products you sell.
  • Services you offer.
  • Information you’re knowledgeable about.

The goal of SEO is simple: to attract more visitors to your site who might become customers or regular followers.

In affiliate marketing, SEO combines two strategies. Firstly, it optimizes affiliate pages so they’re easily found when users search for products related to the merchant’s offers. Secondly, it focuses on choosing the right products and affiliate strategies for promotion.

By enhancing a page’s search engine ranking, such as using appropriate keywords and building relevant backlinks, SEO helps your target audience discover your affiliate content, driving more traffic and conversions.

SEO affiliate marketing can seem daunting at first, but with practice, you can become successful and earn substantial income.

Benefits of SEO Affiliate Marketing 

Did you know that by 2024, approximately $8.2 billion was spent on affiliate marketing in the US alone? That’s a huge investment by businesses worldwide.

Here’s why getting into affiliate marketing can be advantageous:

1. Low Upfront Cost

With affiliate marketing, you can earn without spending upfront. You get paid either after generating conversions or even before promoting a product or service.

For instance, some affiliates receive payment in advance to promote a company’s product or service.

2. Online Earning Opportunity

Affiliate marketing is entirely online. You can work from anywhere, even remotely. You can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if needed to access certain sites. This flexibility means you can earn money from virtually anywhere.

Moreover, you don’t always need customers to make purchases for you to earn. There are various payment structures:

  • Pay per Sale: You earn a percentage when a customer buys the promoted product. For example, if you promote a $100 product and the commission rate is 10%, you earn $10 for each sale.
  • Pay per Lead: You earn when a lead takes action on the merchant’s site. For instance, if you convince a user to sign up for a free trial on the merchant’s site, you earn a commission.
  • Pay per Click: You earn by redirecting customers to the merchant’s site. If a user clicks on your affiliate link and visits the merchant’s site, you earn a commission, regardless of whether they make a purchase.
  • Pay per Install: You earn when a user installs the promoted software or app. For example, if you promote a mobile app and a user installs it after clicking your affiliate link, you receive a commission.

3. Easy to Start

You don’t need to create products or invest capital. Just learn about affiliate marketing strategies and tools. There are plenty of online communities, podcasts, and videos to help you get started.

For instance, you can join forums like AffiliateFix or follow podcasts like “The Affiliate Guy” to learn from experts in the field.

You can also check out our list of the best affiliate marketing courses

3 Foundational Building Blocks for SEO

Technical SEO

This focuses on fine-tuning your website so search engines can easily explore and list your site. To optimise for technical SEO, you need to 

  • Ensure your site is correctly indexed.
  • Optimize site speed.
  • Make sure your site works well on mobile devices.
  • Use XML Sitemaps
  • Check meta tags
  • Implement HTTPS security.

Learn more: Technical SEO Issues

On-page SEO

This is about improving individual web pages to rank higher in search results. To optimise for on-page SEO, you need to

  • Produce valuable and engaging content.
  • Use concise, descriptive URLs.
  • Include plenty of relevant internal links.
  • Link to authoritative and related external sites.
  • Write an enticing meta description.
  • Provide descriptive alt text for images.
  • Organize content logically with headings (H1, H2, H3).

Off-page SEO

This involves activities outside your website to improve its visibility in search engines. To optimise for off-page SEO, you need to

  • Analyze backlink profiles of competitors.
  • Earn high-quality backlinks from reputable sources.
  • Contribute guest articles on relevant platforms.
  • Engage actively on social media platforms.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews.
  • Conduct outreach to media outlets.
  • Distribute content through syndication channels.
  • Collaborate with influencers in your industry.

Best SEO Practices for Affiliate Marketing

Even though SEO strategies for online businesses can change, some methods have proven to be reliable over time. Let’s go over some effective affiliate SEO tactics that will help you get more traffic and conversions. 

1. Choose a keyword-rich domain name

Choose a good domain name that’s packed with keywords. This helps you stand out in search results and attract more visitors even before your website goes live. Here’s how to pick the perfect domain name:

  1. Keyword-Rich: Include a keyword related to your niche in your domain name to boost your chances of appearing in search results. Avoid forcing keywords into your name, though, as it can sound awkward.

  2. Short and Sweet: Keep your domain name concise. Long names are hard to remember, so aim for brevity.

  3. Simple and Easy: Make sure your domain name is easy to spell and understand. Complex names can confuse visitors.

  4. Memorable: Choose a name that sticks in people’s minds. A catchy, memorable domain name can lead to more visits to your site.

And don’t forget to aim for a “.com” extension if possible. It’s the most popular and trusted domain extension, making your site more familiar and trustworthy to visitors.

For example, “” is a great domain name because it’s simple, memorable, and tells visitors exactly what to expect from the site.

2. Focus on buyer intent keywords

If you want to boost sales quickly, focus on keywords that show a clear intent to purchase. These keywords target different stages of the customer’s journey:

  1. Top of the Funnel (TOFU) Keywords: These are general keywords used by people who are just starting their research process.

  2. Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) Keywords: These keywords indicate that the user is considering their options but isn’t ready to buy yet.

  3. Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) Keywords: These keywords show strong commercial intent and are used by people who are ready to make a purchase immediately.

To target quick sales, concentrate on BOFU keywords such as:

  • Product-related keywords like “Best hiking boots” or “Smartphone deals”
  • Buy now searches including phrases like “Purchase laptop” or “Discount codes”
  • Near me searches such as “Coffee shop near me” or “Hair salon nearby”

These keywords show that the user is ready to buy now, making them ideal for affiliate marketing campaigns aimed at driving immediate sales.

3. Outreach Link Building

To increase your website’s visibility, you need other sites to link to your content. This is where outreach link building comes into play.

To increase your chances of success, follow these tips:

  1. Connect with Others: Reach out to website owners whose content complements yours. Ask them to include your content in their posts. You can delegate this task to a freelance SEO or someone on your team.

  2. Use Social Media: Incorporate social networking into your workflow. Building relationships beforehand can increase the likelihood of a positive response to your outreach.

  3. Focus on Relationships: Instead of just chasing links, prioritize building relationships. This approach can lead to collaborations and introductions to key players in your niche.

  4. Create Outstanding Content: Your content needs to be top-notch for outreach link building to succeed. High-quality content is essential for attracting links.

  5. Offer Something in Return: Increase your chances of success by offering something valuable in exchange. This could be a link swap or providing free access to a useful tool or product.

Learn more: Link Building Strategies

4. Write High Quality Product Reviews

Creating valuable, link-worthy content is key to attract customers. Did you know, nearly 60% of purchases start with a Google search? So, if you want to boost sales, write helpful content that matches what people are searching for.

One great way to do this is by writing comprehensive product reviews. This helps your content show up in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. And the best part? Once you’ve optimized for search engines, you can earn money passively, without much extra effort.

Here are some simple tips to ace your review:

  1. Focus on benefits, not just features: Instead of just listing the dry facts about a product, explain how those features actually benefit your audience. Make it about the sizzle, not just the steak. This way, you’ll connect better with your readers and increase your earnings.

  2. Stay balanced and objective: Don’t just praise the product endlessly. Be honest about its weaknesses too. Authenticity is key to building trust with your audience.

  3. Go into detail: Longer posts tend to rank better in search results. Aim for around 2000 words or more. Dive deep into the product, covering every possible question your readers might have. This boosts your chances of ranking higher and attracting more visitors.

If you want to try outsourcing content creation, here are a couple of sites to try:

  • Fiverr: This was one of the first websites for freelancers. However, times have changed, and you can’t expect quality articles for $5. Check the rating for people you’re considering as well as their expertise and background. You may not find writers qualified or willing to write in your niche. Fiverr also offers a hand-vetted Pro level of freelancers who are available, although they charge more. Getting a Pro level writer may help you avoid some of the prequalification work.
  • Freelancer: The same caveats apply as with Fiverr. Check the writer’s rating, background, and expertise. A wide range of freelancers with a variety of skills is available. It may be a little more expensive than Fiverr.

5. Optimize for Featured Snippet

To get more people to visit your website from Google, try getting your content into the Featured Snippet box at the top of search results. These are short summaries that Google shows for some searches. They can be paragraphs, tables, lists, or videos.

Studies show that the page with the Featured Snippet gets over half of the clicks for that search. So it’s worth trying to get your content featured there.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Use “Summary” Paragraphs: When you’re writing a long article, add a short summary at the end that answers the main question. Keep it to around 40-50 words, as that’s the average length of a Featured Snippet.
  2. Answer FAQs: Google often shows questions related to searches. If you’re writing about a topic, answer those questions too. Keep each answer brief, around 40-50 words, to increase your chances of getting featured.

6. Do Keyword Research

To get more website traffic, you need to plan what you’ll write ahead of time. In other words, you have to put some time into keyword research. 

My favorite trick to find 20 topics for blog posts in under an hour is using Ahrefs. It’s a powerful tool for finding links and keywords. It costs a lot, but it’s the best tool I’ve found. If you use it right, it can really boost your blog’s traffic in the long run.

Deciding which keywords to target depends on what you want to achieve and what people are searching for.

Are you just trying to get more people reading your blog, or do you want to find keywords that will directly help your business? Either way, Ahrefs can help.

If you just want more readers, look for popular keywords that your competitors are already using. Here’s how:

  1. Filter Results. Ahrefs allows you to filter the results to identify new keywords that your competitors are targeting. For example, I personally keep track of my competitors and set up email alerts on Ahrefs to notify me when they start ranking for new keywords.

  2. Identify Relevant Keywords: Once you’ve gathered the data, sift through it to find keywords that are relevant to your blog’s topic or niche. Look for keywords that align with the themes and subjects you typically cover in your content.

  3. Evaluate Keyword Potential: When selecting keywords, consider factors such as search volume and competition. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, I generally prioritize keywords that have over 1,000 searches per month.

After identifying promising keywords, incorporate them into your content strategy. Develop blog posts, articles, or other content pieces that specifically target these keywords.

Keep track of how your content performs for the targeted keywords. Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor traffic and engagement metrics for each piece of content.

7. Embed Affiliate Links in High-Performing Posts

You don’t have to start from scratch when trying to earn more affiliate commissions. You can leverage your existing posts. Here’s how:

  1. Check your analytics: Look at your Google Analytics or similar tool to find which pages are bringing in the most visitors.

  2. Find relevant keywords: Go through these top pages and identify places where you can naturally include affiliate keywords.

  3. Update your content: Make small tweaks to your content to incorporate these keywords seamlessly.

For example, Smartblogger saw that their blog post about blogging tools was popular.

They added affiliate links to it and even featured it prominently on their website, leading to more clicks and ultimately more earnings.

Smartblogger insert affiliate links

8. Make Your Website Easy to Read

In today’s busy world, people have short attention spans. Marketers face the challenge of keeping readers engaged amidst countless distractions. Here are some tips to help:

  • Break it Down: Make your paragraphs shorter. Short paragraphs (1-2 sentences) are less overwhelming and keep readers interested. Test this on pages with high bounce rates and check the impact after a month.

  • Cut the Extras: Avoid unnecessary words.Adverbs weaken your message. Simplify your language for better understanding. Tools like Hemingway can help break up long sentences.

  • Design Matters: Invest in good content design. A well-designed website builds trust. You don’t need a huge budget; consider including screenshots in guides, using relevant images, and working with developers for easy content insertion.

Remember, keeping it simple and visually appealing enhances the overall reader experience.

9. Improve Your Site Speed

Google says the speed of your site is one of the most important SEO factors. Today, if your site doesn’t load fast, people become impatient and just click away to some other site, and you lose a visitor and potential affiliate income.

Here are some tricks to double your site speed in less than an hour:

  1. Compress Images: Reduce image file sizes on your website. Use tools like TinyPNG to compress images without compromising quality.

  2. Use Next-Gen Image Formats: Serve images in modern formats like WebP and AVIF. This enhances loading speed and improves overall performance.

  3. Enable Browser Caching: Set up browser caching to store frequently used resources on visitors’ devices. This reduces loading times for returning users.

If you’re using WordPress, consider using plugins like Imagify and WP Rocket. For Shopify users, request access to Convertly to cut site load times in half.

For everyone else, follow these steps:

  • Compress images with TinyPNG
  • Set up browser caching
  • Test new plugins to ensure compatibility with your website

We found the most helpful site to be GTmetrix. A free account allows you to analyze up to three URLs. You can set up your free account so you’re emailed reports once a week. Analysis of your URL includes 26 different PageSpeed factors. You can click on each factor to get suggestions for improvement.


Some solutions are easier to implement than others. So go for those you can easily correct, and as your knowledge grows, you can correct some of the more difficult ones.

10. Make your website voice search-friendly

Voice search is a big deal – half of all searches are done by talking. If you want your affiliate website to do well, you’ve got to make it work for voice searches. Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Chat, don’t write a formal letter: Voice search is like chatting with a smart machine. So, write your content in a friendly, casual way. Forget the stiff, formal style – voice search likes natural talk, not boring keyword-packed stuff.

  2. Ask and answer a bunch of questions: People using voice search often ask questions. Stuff like, “Tell me a fun fact about elephants.” To show up in voice searches, throw questions into your content. Put them in blog posts and even make a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for your top products.

  3. Use more specific keywords: Voice searches are longer, up to five words. Make your pages voice search-ready by adding lots of words related to your main keywords. Tools like Amazon Keyword Tool can help you find these extra words.

  4. Go for longer content: Long-form content isn’t just good for getting links, it also attracts voice search engines. When you dive deep into a topic, you naturally use a bunch of long-tail keywords. So, go big on your content!

11. Use Pain-Point SEO for Better Results

Addressing people’s problems can be a powerful way to attract attention. Pain-point SEO focuses on using specific keywords related to common issues that people want to solve right away. Unlike regular high-volume keywords, these low-volume high-intent keywords are chosen for their effectiveness.

Here are five types of content that work well with pain-point SEO:

  1. Pricing Pieces: Discuss the cost of the product or service you’re promoting. For example, if you’re promoting a fitness app, break down its pricing and highlight the value of personalized workout plans. Compare this with other apps in the market, showcasing why yours is a budget-friendly yet high-quality option.

  2. Comparison Posts: Compare your affiliate products objectively to leading products in your field. If you’re promoting noise-canceling headphones, create a post comparing their features, comfort, and price with other popular brands. Provide a balanced view to help readers make an informed decision.

  3. “Alternatives To” Posts: Help searchers find alternatives to popular products or services. For instance, if you’re promoting a skincare product, create a post exploring alternatives to expensive spa treatments, emphasizing the effectiveness and affordability of your recommended products.

  4. Use Case Posts: Describe typical scenarios where your affiliate products can be used. If you’re promoting a productivity tool, create content detailing how freelancers can streamline their work using the tool. Highlight the tool’s features and benefits in the context of solving freelancers’ organizational challenges.

  5. Best Products Posts: Create lists of the best products in a specific category. If you’re in the tech niche, compile a list of the top gaming laptops, placing your affiliate product within the rankings. Clearly explain why each product is a top choice, positioning yours as a reliable and competitive option for gamers.

12. Write Guest Posts for Popular Niche Sites

Guest posts are a great way to get more links and visitors, but lots of people are doing it wrong. If you want to use guest posting in your affiliate marketing, do it right.

  • Create Original Content: Avoid using the same old ideas. Editors like fresh, original pitches that add value.

  • Pick the Right Sites: Choose popular sites in your niche with lots of traffic. Don’t just go for any site – make sure it’s where your potential customers hang out.

  • Link Smartly: If possible, put links to your content in the guest post. Make sure they add value and are relevant to the topic.

  • Use Your Author Bio: Editors are more flexible with links in your bio. Take advantage of it and link to the pages you want to promote.

Editors might not like too many links in the post, so be smart about it.

  • Don’t Force It: If a link doesn’t fit naturally, don’t force it. Editors can tell when a link is out of place.

  • Make the Most of Your Author Bio: Your bio is your chance to shine. Use it wisely to guide readers to the pages you want them to see.

When you get traffic from your guest post, don’t send them to your homepage.

  • Create Landing Pages: Direct your guest post traffic to a dedicated, distraction-free landing page.

  • Tailor Your Offers: Make special offers on that page to increase your chances of converting visitors into customers.

Remember, it’s not just about getting links – it’s about making those links count!


Affiliate marketing and SEO work great together. They’re like a perfect team that can really help your business grow.

Try out these SEO strategies to make your online presence better and increase the money you make through affiliate marketing.

Because SEO results build up over time, you can keep seeing big profits in the long run.

If you need more guidance, sign up for my online business coaching.  

Interested in receiving one-on-one mentorship for building an online business? Join my online business coaching program.

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