Affiliate Site Marketing and Optimization

Nov 15, 2005 - 5:43 pm 4 by
Filed Under PubCon 2005

The affiliate session moderated by Cat Seda.

Adam Jewell, Search Engine Marketing Specialist NetPlus Marketing Inc. is first up. How can affiliates adapt to the changing marketplace; pay attention to seasonal and lifestyle trends, find new merchants to hot markets, promote niche merchants, bid on low volume high conversion keywords, promote expensive products, get the merchant to grant permission to use their TM, build your own site with unique landing pages. Affiliate keyword and creative strategies; buy tens of thousands of very specific keywords, use exact match extensively, link to product level pages, buy every misspelling you can, only bid what you can afford to pay. AdWord Creative Development Strategy; create singular and plural keyword groups, group keywords by length, develop a short call to action, mass produce ads that read as if a human wrote it. What should merchants consider when making policies? Prohibit bids on brand terms with direct links to your site, consider allowing bids on brand terms with affiliate landing pages, restrict amount affiliates can bid on brand terms, consider allowing direct links for all other keywords, consider opening up TM use to trusted affiliates. What's the bottom line? AdWords affiliates can still mint money in some areas, find unique ways to promote expensive products, exploit every possible special, discount or coupon, merchants can generate significant incremental sales, not every industry is suited for this type of affiliate marketing, affiliates should start building sites with unique content and landing pages for long term growth, and ppc straight to the merchant site helps to identify keywords to target before investing time and effort in building sites.

John Coronella, OnlineMarketer is a full time affiliate marketer. The freedom of affiliate marketing; you have no brand to protect, URL's cost $7, banned = penalized it doesnt matter, so have some fun. His best programs and sites: etc.... He is private about the sites he owns. Find killer affiliate programs; CJ is the best place to start because they list merchant by pay out, Overture - hunt for bids and volume, who is buying text links, spam in your email inbox, what is rumored to pay big - usually does. It's all about quality content that adds value to the user, naturally collected backlinks, no sneaky redirects, and avoid keyword abuse. He then made a joke and said, if you look at the slide (previous line I used) and you will see its cloaked and scraped from someone elses presentation --- funny. Volume, keyword volume, # of sites, content volume. Risk versus reward; he shows a chart with low risk versus high risk, and site life time. Lifespan of a spammy site; yahoo average 3 to 6 months, MSN TBA, and Google 2 years ago 3 months, 1 year ago 3 weeks, and now 3 days (nice job Matt). Affiliate content; self/employee/contractor generated, user generated (ratings/reviews/ etc), merchant generated (datafeeds, apis, etc.), summarize other works, auto generated. Datafeeds and duplicate content; datafeeds sites do not last long. Cloaking; increase your conversions 1000%, can decrease the life of your site accordingly, many types (javascript, css, ip, referer, useragent). Link building; where do you get your links? Text Link Ads (paid), friends, directory listings, blog spam. Build on your success; try the same product from different merchants, multiple networks with same merchant, ask for higher payout, aff managers have a wealth of information.

Elisabeth Archambault, Freelance Affiliate Marketer Buckworks next up. Advantages of affiliate marketing over e-commerce direct. You can get paid for clicks, leads, and sales. Promote other people's stuff or sell your own? Page design, site design, graphics, copywriting, seo and so on overlap with non affiliate stuff. You do not need to know everything, any skill you can find, someone out there has it. Ecommerce requires inventory management, physical plants, order fulfillment, staff management, customer service, credit card fraud, and higher cash flow needed. E-commerce is tangible, more hassles but often and often has higher margins. Affiliates can work anywhere, anytime, no boss and no limits - freedom. Its easier to diversify and expand, freedom and flexibility, not tied to a specific location. Affiliates have narrower margins, income fluctuations, bands dont understand affiliates and none else understand them either. How does content serve an affiliate; content is not a king, its your best servant. Content is key to long term web presence. Content is real info for real people, entertainment works too, quality does count. Content helps with link development, more spontaneous links, more offline merchants and more spider food. Good content does get stolen, watch for theft, and learn the DMCA process. How to monetize; banners (dont overdue it), text links are more effective, contextual ad programs, and link to product/promo pages. You need to understand how pagerank flows, what spiders like, accessible design and semantic markup. Relevancy is key, thousands of merchants have lots of choices, promote by product and demographics. It all boils down to targeting.


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