Driving traffic to your Affiliate site

Having your own affiliate network website can be a very useful thing, as you can sell other peoples products and services on your website and earn commission by selling affiliate stuff.

The key to earning money from any website and to increase sales is traffic. When you have visitors and users coming to your website, it will definitely increase your sales and earnings. However, driving traffic to your site, especially an affiliate site can be a big problem. This can be due to several reasons:

  1. You are taking data directly from some affiliate network, in the form of XML Feeds or fetching and displaying it on your site using an API key.
  2. Your site has very little content and data of its own, so the website you have mainly has duplicate data from the affiliate network website like Amazon shop.
  3. Your Title Tags, Meta Tags and content is not unique, so most of your pages might end up in Google Supplemental Index (Supplemental Pages)

Such a situation can be problematic for your website and for its business. Duplicate sites and sites which mainly use some kind of feed to display and fetch data, like RSS Feeds sites, Affiliate network sites etc. usually suffer from these problems and hence have a hard time in getting traffic from the search engines.

More Traffic more Sales

There are various ways by which you can drive traffic to your website.

Paid Advertising

PPC, also known as Pay-Per-Click Advertising by using Google Adwords or similar program. This can be effective and fetch highly targeted traffic if you carry out a proper PPC campaign. However, over time it can get very expensive.

Website Promotion and Marketing

Online and Offline Marketing and website promotion can also drive traffic to a website. These methods include banner advertisement, link purchases, Press Releases and offline promotion like newspaper ads, hoardings etc. Please note that Paid Advertising like PPC is also a kind of online marketing and promotion technique.

However, the results for these are short term, and only last while you spend money on your advertising campaign. As soon as your advertising budget exceeds, and you stop the promotion, you lose all kinds of traffic coming to your website.

Search Engine Optimization

This is the most effective of all these methods and also leaves long lasting results. Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO involves changing your website pages in a way so that they become more Search Engine Friendly and hence achieve high rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages).

Some of the most important factors involved in SEO include:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Market and Competitor Analysis
  3. Creation of Landing pages for the website, and defining a directory structure for the pages which is search engine friendly
  4. Content Writing and Addition to the website, related to the Keywords and website theme
  5. Title Tags, Meta Description and Keyword Tags generation for all the website pages
  6. Search Engine Friendly URL writing for all the pages
  7. Website submission to Search Engines, Web Directories, Article Directories and Social Bookmarking sites
  8. Getting Links (One-way links to the website) with appropriate Anchor Texts
  9. Monitoring the website progress and ranking on the Search Engines
  10. Improving the website and optimizing it, adding more contents and getting more links on a regular basis

SEO is a time taking process, and a new site can take up to 8 – 10 months to start showing in rankings for niche and competitive keywords on Search Engines. However, the results you obtain after all the efforts are fruitful, after which you can enjoy traffic coming to your website directly from the Search Engines including Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Using Keywords in Anchor Texts

Before you start a links campaign for your website, or directory submissions, you need to decide the Keywords you will be targeting and the Anchor Texts which you will use for your links campaign. These anchor texts will use your important keywords in them which will help you in Search Engine Rankings for these Keywords.

Here are a few tips which will help you make your anchor texts.

1. Only use the most important Keywords in your Anchor Text

It is a good idea to do some Keyword Research using a Keyword Tool like Wordtracker to decide the most important Keywords related to the theme of your website. You should be using the popular search terms in your Anchor Texts which show up in the Search when you use the Keyword Tool.

You can find a very good Keyword Suggestion Tool at Digital Point.

2. Do not make the Anchor Texts too long

Long, rambling, keyword stuffed Anchor Texts make no sense and might actually harm you in Search Rankings. Search Engines might penalize your site for using a long keyword stuffed or spammy Anchor Text. Remember, your Anchor Texts should be short and to-the-point and should make sense.

3. Make your Anchor Text Useful

Don’t simply paste Keywords in the Anchor Text, separated by commas, like Keyword 1, Keyword 2, Keyword 3. This looks completely absurd and users won’t be interested to click on it. Your Anchor Text should be a coherent sentence or a short phrase which makes sense. Make your Anchor Texts natural.

4. Use Anchor Text variations

If you are targeting 5 or 6 important keywords, it is always a good idea to make 5 or 6 different Anchor Texts, each focusing on the targeted Keyword. You should use these variations when submitting your site to link directories.

5. Make different Anchor Texts for different Landing Pages

If you have several important landing pages in your site, which you want to promote using link building, make different Anchor Texts for each of these landing pages. Use a Keyword Tool and research for the Keywords for each of these landing pages. Then create 3 or 4 variations of Anchor Texts for each of these landing pages. You can then use these Anchor Texts to submit your site to Directories and Link Forms.

6. Relevance is most important

This might seem obvious, but relevance is the most important thing in Anchor Texts. If you are making Anchor Texts for a page for Blue Widgets, make sure you use Blue Widgets in the Anchor Text, instead of using keywords like Green Widgets, Cheap Widgets etc.

Remember, Search Engines also give importance to Relevance. If your anchor text has Blue Widgets in it, and your page also used the Keyword Blue Widgets in the Title, Content and Body of that page, the anchor text will work perfectly with that page.

These tips are useful for all sort of anchor texts, whether internal or from other websites. When you link to an internal page of your site, always use some meaningful anchor text like ‘Find more details for Blue Widgets‘, where Blue Widgets should be the link, instead of ‘Find more details for Blue Widgets here‘.

You can also find more tips for Anchor Texts by following these links:

Better Anchor Texts by John Chow

Anchor Text Optimization Tips

Too many Blog Comment Links can be Harmful

Many webmasters and website owners today have changed their focus from reciprocal links to non-reciprocal / one-way links due to the importance Search Engines give to one-way non-reciprocal links. There are a number of strategies that can be adopted to increase the number of one way, incoming links to a website. One of these, which you’ll come across, while reading many link building and development guides, is Blog Comments.

Leaving Useful Comments on blogs related to your niche is no doubt a very good idea to get links and users to your website. It is the easiest and most targeted method through which people will find you and will link to you if you provide useful comments and are a regular visitor to those blogs.

However, there is a very fine line in using Blog Commenting the ‘Ethical Way‘ and the ‘Unethical Way‘. If most of the incoming links to a website are from Blogs, and specifically from Blog Comments, Search Engines might end up penalizing your website.

Search Engines now consider websites that have a high percentage of links from Blogs as ‘Bad Neighborhood‘ sites. Domains that have a high occurrence of links that appear to be from blogs may be penalized by Search Engines. It may be normal for blogs and forums to have lots of incoming links from blogs, but for many commercial websites, a large percentage of links from blogs could indicate an attempt to increase search engine rankings through blog comment spamming.

So if you have a new website, and you plan to promote it and bring traffic and users to it through blog comments, make sure you have some other methods of attracting links to your website also, to even it all out. Incoming links from Blogs only can be harmful for your website.

Killer Link Building Strategies Mini Guide

I finally took out the time to write my own guide for some great link building strategies. The guide is now online at Killer Link Building Strategies. It still needs a lot of additions and I need to cover more topics in more detail. I’ll keep updating it regularly and make it the ultimate guide for link building for all the newbies out there learning link building and how to collect links for their websites.

I’m also thinking of making an even better and detailed version and maybe put it on my site in the form of an e-book.

Get Rid of Blog Comment Spam

One of the blogs I manage had started getting lots and lots of Comment Spam. I tried a number of spam protection techniques, including Math Comment Spam Protection Plugin, but it didnt work out. Even disabling ‘Add Comment’ and making it available to only registered users didn’t work out. The number of Comment spams to the blog increased to 5 comment spams every 5 minutes, which was really annoying.

I finally found the solution to all this when I came to know that most of these Blog Comment Spams are generated by Trackbacks and Pingbacks.

You can use the Simple Trackback Validation Plugin to get rid of Comment Span, or simply un-check the check box for Trackback notifications from your WordPress Admin panel under the ‘Options >> Discussions‘ tab. This will disable pingbacks and trackbacks on any new posts that you add to your blog.

Once you’ve updated the options, you’ll need to modify the pingback status for your old posts by running a simple SQL query in the SQL Tab of phpMyAdmin after selecting your Blog Database:

UPDATE wp_posts SET ping_status=’closed’ WHERE ping_status=’open’

Alternately, you can run the simpler version of this SQL query

UPDATE wp_posts SET ping_status=’closed’ 😉

This will set the ping status for all your previous posts to 0 and will help you get rid of thousands of unwanted spammy Blog Comments.

Website Promotion Tools – When To Use Them?

I recently came across a blog promoting SEO Elite as one of the best SEO and Website Promotion Softwares out there. Having tried the software myself, I also agree that the software has great potential of getting you up in the Search Engine Rankings and Top positions and also to get traffic to your site.

Then I visited the official site for SEO Elite and read all what they had written on their main page:

“Learn how I use this revolutionary software to consistently average over 15,000 visitors to my websites, per day – Using only FREE search engines traffic from Google, Yahoo, and MSN!”

After reading over some of the material, I realised that these softwares are worthwhile if you already have a website with some useful content on it, or you have something which you can sell to your customers to be able to actually benefit or earn from the traffic that these tools drive to your site. Such tools and promotion softwares are no good for newbies, who do not have any established sites yet.

So my tip for all the newbies out there is to focus on making a website first. If you have a website, which you regularly update daily and have been doing so for a few months, then these softwares can be very helpful.

If your site is very new and has very few useful content on it, much of the traffic you drive to it using these softwares won’t be helpful. In fact, the visitors will come and visit your site and loose interest and might not come back again.

Ways to Promote your Blog

Have you recently launched a weblog and are looking for ways to promote your blog?

Listed below are links to blog link directories, and blog feed submission sites. Links to other useful blog promotion articles are also given.

Also, these articles and links for Blog promotion will be helpful:

If you have any more links, please do share with our readers.