Search Engine Optimization - Optimizing Affiliate Program Web Sites
Everybody, including me says sign up for affiliate programs and promote your affiliate link to make money online. How do you perform search engine optimization when you have no control over the content of the site and search engines aren't interested in it anyway!
Search engine optimization is relatively simple when you own your own website. However, if you have signed up with some affiliate program and have been handed a URL for your affiliate link and it has seventy-two characters, a question mark, looks exactly like the website everybody else got, and you have no control over META tags, content, or appearance, how do you optimize that?
However, there are some steps you can take to perform many of the search engine optimization tactics and techniques so that you can enhance your website traffic.
CREATE YOUR OWN, RELATED, WEBSITE(S).
One simple way to kick off the process is to simply register your own domain name, create a website that provides valuable content related to your affiliate program and send information seekers from your website to the affiliate link you were given. Since you own the website, you DO have control over content, META tags, linking, and all the other normal tools of search engine optimization.
FRAMING, POINTING, AND REDIRECTS.
The actual techniques of creating frames and redirects is a little more complicated than I can get into here. However, a frame shows your URL, title, description, and so on, but the page that is actually seen is the affiliate page. When you register a domain name, with GoDaddy.com, for example, you are allowed to "point" that URL at a website. Like a frame, when someone clicks on your URL, they will be shown whatever page you have pointed it to. A redirect will simply, as the name says, re-direct the visitor to whatever site you have selected when they click on your URL.
While many more search engines and directories at least like these better than the affiliate link itself, they have no real substance and are still not quite as effective as a "real" website. The good news is that you at least can have some control over the title and META tags and this, combined with the selection of a good domain name, can give you an edge over the affiliate link itself.
I make this a separate topic for two reasons:
1. Most people make doorways the wrong way and make the search engine gods angry, and...
2. A website such as the one I talked about in the previous section on creating your own website should be content rich, nice looking, and have all the SEO bells and whistles. A decent doorway can be a simple information site, doesn't need much in the way of graphics or website design prowess, and can even simply be one page.
When most people create doorways, they are trying to get something for nothing. Most doorway software will create either a simple page stuffed to bursting with keywords and phrases with the description META tag sprinkled throughout the page. You will normally be asked to provide a phrase or paragraph relevant to the topic, and then the software creates umpteen thousand pages that look exactly alike. Most search engines are on to this and you can do some serious damage to your search engine optimization efforts by trying this tactic.
You can calm the search engines down by one simple tactic...make sure each doorway page has its own unique, valuable , relevant content. Search engines don't really care how many pages you have, they just want them to be of value to their customers and not all look exactly alike. I personally like to use the doorway script at ismy.net, but where they ask for a paragraph about your site, I usually simply put in a statement such as "PUT INFO HERE" or "WE ARE SORRY, THIS SITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION".
Once I have uploaded my pages to my website, I then go to each individual page and place specific information there which is relevant to the subject of the site and the keywords used on that page. I will often change banner links throughout the site and crosslink pages using anchor text on each page. Once the the site is complete, I create a sitemap and submit that to Yahoo and Google. I then put down a reminder to myself to come back regularly and make small but constructive changes to the site.
LINK TO YOUR AFFILIATE SITE.
When you own your own website, you can promise someone a link in return for one on your site. You can even possibly get someone to link to your site without a reciprocal link if your site is valuable enough. However, most people will not want to provide a one-way link from their site using an affiliate link. It can be done if you look around hard enough. You can also use an affiliate link in signatures on some forums, and in the signature on your emails. There are still many directories around which do not use a spider to gather data from your website, but rather ask you to type in the title, description, and keywords for your webpage. I am lazy and use a software package that allows me to type in these items one time and them submits them to several hundred directories if I do not have control over the website. It will also extract these items automatically if they exist and then allow me to submit to search engines using spiders and directories which don't.
If you write articles relevant to the subject of your affiliate site, you can sometimes include your link in either your author's resource box or, occasionally, in the body of the article itself. However, many article directories will not allow an affiliate link itself in the body or resource box, nor will some even allow a redirect or frame. These will require you to get your own site and then hope that your site is persuasive enough to drive traffic through to your affiliate site.
Article Tags: Search Engine Optimization, Affiliate Link Itself, Search Engine, Engine Optimization, Affiliate Program, Affiliate Link, Control Over, Meta Tags, Domain Name, Search Engines, Link Itself, Most People, Affiliate Site
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donovan Baldwin is a Texas writer. He is a University of West Florida alumnus, a member of Mensa, and is retired from the U. S. Army. Learn more about search engine optimization and internet marketing at http://www.donovanbaldwin.com/businessarticles/ .