Building sites that dominate the search engines is one of the strategies that many of our most successful Affiliate marketers use to generate their online income. While building a website that does well in the search engines takes a lot of work, it is not as technically difficult as many people seem to think. This tutorial will take you through the basics of creating an Affiliate product page and then getting it to rank well in the organic search engine results.
There are three basic elements of getting a single webpage to rank well in the search engines. You need to do keyword research, on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
Key Word Research
After you have selected the Affiliate product that you intend to promote on your website, you need to do some research. The basic question you need to ask yourself is "If I was searching for this product, what would I type into the search engines to find it?" Make a list of likely keywords and phrases that a potential customer would use to find that product.
Now you need to go over to the keyword selector tool at Overture. This tool will give you an approximation of how many people searched on your keyword in their search engine last month. You will usually want there to be AT LEAST 20,000 searches on a keyword to make it worthwhile for you to try to rank well for it. If you want to get an idea of the competition on keywords, you might consider using a paid keyword service such as WordTracker - you will still have to follow the rest of the steps in this article, but it will cut down your keyword research time significantly and reduce the scope for mistakes.
When you have a keyword that you think would be good, go over to Google.com and type in your keyword. You will then see your competition for that keyword. You need to beat those websites in the search engines. Now you need to analyse those websites. You need to visit those websites and see how important they are. You can do this by using Google's Page Rank measurement. To find the Page Rank of a site, you can either download and install the Google toolbar or type the URL of the site into this tool. (Note: The toolbar will be more accurate.) You need to find out the Page Rank of the top 10 websites for your keyword. If they are all about Page Rank 5, then they will be difficult to beat in the search engines. If they are below Page Rank 5 then you might be able to beat them more easily!
On Page Optimization
Now that you have a keyword or a keyword phrase related to the Affiliate product you want to promote, it's time to build the page that will contain the product with your Affiliate link. This takes a little thought and planning.
Now, in order for that page to rank well for your keyword or keyword phrase in the search engine, you will need to include it several times in the webpage you are about to build.
It is generally best practice to name the file with your keyword or keyword phrase. That way, the URL of that page will be http://yoursite.com/your-keywords.com. Using dashes between-each-of-the-keywords is generally considered the best option.
Additionally, you should make the title of your page include your keyword or keyword phrase.
As for the written content of your page, your keyword or keyword phrase should appear in the first 25 words (preferably in the first 5) and in the last 25 words. As a total of the word-count on your page, your keywords should make up no more than 5%. It is also advisable to put your keywords in bold and italics if it can be done in a natural looking fashion. As for the amount of text on a page, there is a lot of debate on the ideal amount, but a page with about 250 words is very capable of ranking well for its chosen keywords.
It is also good if you can use your keyword or keyword phrase in the anchor text to link out. Anchor text is simply the text that you use to link - like this (where "like this" is the anchor text). In the case of Affiliates, it is best to use your keywords to link to the product with your Affiliate tracking URL.
If you wish to insert meta tags, it may be a some help, but their importance in the search engines seems to be declining. Usually, it is best practice to include them on your page, but be aware that their importance is not paramount.
If you are inserting images onto the page, such as the product image, you should also take advantage of that. It is advisable to make the "Alternative Text" of that image your keywords or related keywords. Something like "Picture of My Keyword" is fine.
Off Page Optimization
While On Page Optimization is important, the bulk of ranking well in the search engines is decided by Off Page Optimization. Off Page Optimization basically equates to getting links pointing to your webpage.
For starters, the links from other pages on your website that point to the particular page you are optimising for should have your keyword or phrase in the anchor text.
The same thing goes for other websites that link to your page. You need to have your keywords or keyword phrase in the anchor text of the links, if possible. As usually it's other website owners who will be linking to your page, this may not always be in your control, but if you are able to suggest the anchor text to them then it is worth your while to do so.
As for the type of pages that link to your web page, it is best if they are relevant and high page rank sites or pages on sites. If the pages linking to your site also contain your keywords then the importance that the search engines places on those links will be maximized. You can usually find these sites in the search engines by doing a search on your keywords. How you get people to link to your site is up to your imagination, but you may find extra advice on that in online webmaster forums. As a general rule, .gov and .edu sites will pass along more weight with their links than other sites, though it is usually extremely difficult to get these types of sites to link to yours. Even so, you need to try to get the best possible quality websites to link to your page.
Now, if you would like to know exactly how many links you will need to rank well for your keyword, then you need to research your competition. When you find the top ranking sites for your keyword at Google, you will need to do a back link search using Yahoo! to find out who is linking to them (Yahoo! is more accurate for search back links than Google). Then you need to go out and get a better quantity and quality of links than your competitors have. To do that just go to Yahoo! and type in "backlinks:http://xxxxx.com" without the "" and replacing xxxxx with the correct address of your competitor's site.
And now you have to wait! It can take up to four months to get ranked in the search engines (although if you get lots of incoming links it should be much sooner) so now you should build your second product page and start the whole process again! Also bear in mind that search engine algorithms change, but in general if you build pages with useful information then you will be fine.
If you build as many pages as possible with the techniques described in this article, then you will be well on your way to building a nice Affiliate income.
Note: Google is a registered trademark of Google Inc, Overture and Yahoo! are registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc.