Affiliate marketing is one of the few industries that has withstood the COVID-19 virus well. Forbes recently published an article about the topic and concluded that some affiliate businesses had seen some great results during the pandemic. However, the author mentioned that not all affiliates had fared well, but affiliation as an industry is coping brilliantly compared to the 12 other major industries.
This raises an interesting question. What sets successful affiliate marketing businesses apart from the ones that aren’t coping so well? We think the answer is online presence. With that in mind, let’s explore the best approaches to setting up your affiliate website.
The planning stages
Affiliate marketing is like any other business – to get into it, you have to plan a lot. To keep things short, let’s assume that you already know your niche. Start-ups typically have two choices for turning their vision into a reality: they can either bootstrap their idea or create something completely unique.
Bootstrapping is easy when you use WordPress, WIX, or other generic Web CMS tools to create your affiliate website. Some of these tools enable you to essentially copy-paste an entire affiliate website and then change its content to make it yours. WordPress requires some more work and more advanced skills, however. Still, WordPress and WIX are both great options; WordPress is just a lot better when it comes to Search Engine Optimization.
Creating something truly original requires a lot of planning and thought, however. Since we can’t just “set a theme,” as with WordPress, we have to plan every bit of detail from design to hardcoded features, functions, and individual item attributes such as alt-tags for images.
Setting up a custom CMS is a long process that will create a new set of problems further down the road if not perfectly planned. Done correctly, it’s the superior choice, however.
We stumbled upon an interview article on Marketwatch about a Finnish Affiliate start-up that is making waves in the industry. The publication is about a new affiliate start-up in the highly competitive online casino industry, mr-gamble.com. During the interview, a company representative said that the company develops everything in-house. He elaborated that this results in a much faster page load speed and provides full flexibility and control over the smallest details.
But having a great CMS isn’t enough to turn your affiliate marketing business into a successful one. That’s why it’s important to also consider some finer details.
Details that affiliate marketing start-ups should consider
Any new business should start by researching their industry and competitors. You might already be very familiar with your industry, but businesses evolve, and customers and their preferences change.
That’s why it’s crucial that you stay on top of information, such as your affiliate website and your competitors’ site metrics, incoming links, natural keywords, organic traffic, keywords, keyword variations, long-tail keywords, voice search keywords, search frequencies/volumes, and industry trends. Once you figure out what your competition is up to, you can tackle the situation head-on and beat your competitors. The best way to find out what your competitors are up to is performing an SEO audit of them. Auditing your competition enables you to understand what they’re doing well, and then you can replicate their efforts.
But just understanding your competitors won’t turn you into an overnight success. Being SEO-savvy is also vital for success. This applies as much to coding as it’s easy to forget about SEO when deciding on coding languages. With a generic CMS, all coding is automated, which can be both helpful and harmful. Of course, the code can be altered with plug-ins, but that will hurt your website’s page loading speed and your bottom line in the long run.
You should also remember to differentiate between seemingly unimportant attributes such as Bold-tags and Strong-tags when using custom CMS. Granted, the inexperienced SEO specialist won’t understand the difference between Bold and Strong tags. But understanding this difference could determine whether your page ranks 1st or 11th on Google.
This is just a singular example of the importance of SEO coding. These features are already in place with a generic CMS, but you’ll have to ensure that all functions are available in all the intended places when you use a custom CMS.
How to monetize a affiliate website after launch
A vitally important factor to consider is how people engage with technology and which technologies they use. Nowadays, smartphones are the primary gadgets of use. More Google searches are done on mobile devices than ever before. Rumours have it that a Google employee spilt the beans and said that65% of all Google searches are made on mobile devices. This means that all successful websites must have a Mobile-first approach with a well-thought-out UX-design if they wish to succeed in today’s world.
Once your affiliate website framework is set, it’s time to start filling it up with content. You should have found some obvious keywords with high search volumes and reasonably low keyword difficulty during your keyword research. These are your main pages’ topics, and these keywords are the foundation of all your content requirements. It’s important to find a writer who is familiar with SEO writing.
“Content is King” is an old expression in the SEO world, and it has never been more true than today. Google is shifting more towards “relevancy” (rather than keyword accuracy) with each new “core update” that they roll out. This means that we cannot just spam keywords to rank high on Google, and we have to understand the real intention behind our customers’ search queries. However, this topic is beyond this article’s scope, so I will leave it for you to investigate further.
The King is nothing without his Queen
Content subsumes a lot of things. Content includes texts, images, and videos on your website, and it should give your website an identity that your visitors or customers can easily recognize. And while it’s true that content is King, a King always needs his Queen. In this example, the Queen is Off-Page SEO. After covering the most critical aspects of SEO, your new mobile-friendly affiliate website is on its way to becoming a profitable one.
Affiliate marketing business is not only lucrative, but it adapts to changes remarkably well. When you establish your affiliate start-up business, there are many important aspects to consider, from checking out the competition to fine-tuning your website to meet your users’ needs. All these steps are essential, however, and completing them carefully from the start saves you a lot of trouble later.
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