Are you confused whether you should pursue SEO or get a jump start with PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising) for your affiliate marketing business? Is this massive decision secretly stopping you from taking action? And are you trying to read as many articles as you can so you have the most information possible about both topics? And that will help you decide whether you want to go with SEO or PPC with your affiliate marketing business?
Well, good news for you my friend.
Today you will only need to read 1 article and that will help you decide which one you should choose. And if you are still wondering which article, it’s this one J
You see, after experiencing the SEO industry for half a decade, I have realized that when SEO is done well, it always delivers much better-targeted traffic at a better cost per lead than PPC. That’s just the fact.
But here’s the other side of the coin: It can be pretty hard for new businesses to get started with SEO. And if they want to fast track their progress, they can choose to go the PPC route if they do it correctly.
So by now, you might be realizing where I’m headed with this.
It all depends on your current situation and what your digital marketing strategy is.
But right off the bat, I will say this, combining both of these things will definitely give you a much better result. But then again it all boils down to your budget and how much you are willing to spend on marketing that affiliate product. If you are confused whether it will be profitable or not, make sure you check out this article in which I break down the math.
So, what I’m going to do, is help you decide the good ole’ Pros vs Cons way.
I will list down the pros and cons of both methods. And if you find more pros than cons in one method, then you pick that one and run with it.
Before we dive headfirst into this, I want to make sure that both of us are on the same page about what SEO and PPC mean.
PPC is the ads that you see on top of the page whenever you search for something. These are the ads that are placed above the organic listing that can be influenced by SEO.
Any traffic that you receive via PPC campaigns, you will have to pay for each click.
Any traffic that you receive via SEO is free.
Now that both of us are on the same page, let’s jump right into it.
Here we go.
So what are the pros and cons of receiving free traffic from Google? It might sound like heaven where there are rainbows all day long and in the night you don’t need a blanket but it’s mildly cold. That’s the weather that we all love, don’t we?
But trust me, the weather is always changing like the real world.
So, let’s begin with the pros about this amazing traffic getting method:
You will be getting visibility from the keywords that you target. But it is nothing different than if you were to go the PPC route. Both of these methods will give you almost the same amount of brand awareness. But one will last you longer even if you decide not to spend any money on marketing.
And I’m talking about SEO here.
When people start seeing your brand for multiple commercial and informational search terms that are related to your niche, it will have a massive positive branding effect. The first thing that will happen is that people will start to associate your brand with that niche. And they will also start considering you as an authority.
And once that happens, they will start to consider your website as the one-stop-shop for everything related to that niche. And that means they will start buying from you.
A ton of people use ad blockers so they don’t have to deal with pesky ads messing with their browsing session. And if there are people who are not using ad blockers, they just skip right through the ads and see the listings in the organic rankings.
And by having your website in the organic results can heavily influence the credibility and trust among your audience. By just being there without having to advertise is almost like a credibility stamp. The stamp that you have done the hard work to rank there and that they can trust you.
Obviously, the biggest benefit you will receive by ranking on page 1 for your target keyword is that you will start receiving more traffic. But this will also give you buyers more opportunity to find reasons about why they should buy from you and not from your competitors.
With SEO, the ROI can be massive. After the upfront investment of getting your website on page 1, you only need very little maintenance to ensure that your website stays there. Most of the time it is a lot less than what you would spend on PPC.
That is the reason why you might see someone making over a 100% ROI from their SEO efforts.
I know that in my previous point I just mentioned how massive the ROI is. But I have to break it to you, SEO is not cheap. And it is certainly not as easy as you think. However, if you can manage to get over the massive learning curve, you will see that SEO is much more cost effective than any other advertising method out there.
If it is relevance and traffic that you are looking for in a cost-effective manner, SEO is the way to go.
That is if you have the patience.
With SEO, you will never lose your rankings the moment you stop paying. You don’t have the same option with PPC.
What this means is that even if your business cuts back its marketing budget, you can still sustain those rankings you worked so hard on.
It is true that you will generally see a lot more people visit your website through organic rankings than through a paid advertisement. However, it is possible that in some niches this might not be true.
If you think that in the coming years you might be able to dominate almost every keyword in your niche, think again. There are so many new queries that people use to search things almost every day. And to dominate them, you will need to have a strong organic presence because you do not have a credit card with no limit.
So instead of paying for every new keyword that you come across, why not have better keyword optimization on your website and organically dominate it?
The best part about SEO is that it is never quick, nor easy. Both of them are good and bad.
Bad because if you are promoting an affiliate product and building a new website from the ground up, it will take a lot of time before it can start receiving any significant traffic from search engines.
But the good thing is that once you are established on page 1, your competitors cannot just buy their way into the organic results. So most probably they will use PPC or Paid Search, which means they will be getting lesser traffic anyway.
However, by the looks of the pros above, it may seem like it truly is a heaven in the SEO world. But it isn’t.
For starters, it is highly possible that for the keywords that you might target, you already have a ton of competition. And if you see Goliaths like Amazon, eBay, etc. then it is a better idea to go for a different keyword altogether because it can easily take years to outrank them.
Another con about SEO is that you will need a lot of content in order for your website to reach the level of credibility that you desire. And in 90% of the cases, new affiliate marketers do not have the resources to tackle this issue.
Another issue is that it is highly difficult to master the techniques of link building that will sustain through the coming years. Because Google is constantly changing their algorithm, you will need to make sure that you rankings stand the test of time. And in most cases, you will need expert support to achieve that.
The last con about this method is that a ton of traffic from this method comes in the form of pre-purchase queries. This means that the person has not yet made the decision whether he/she wants to buy that product. And they are currently doing the research to make the final decision.
But if you can manage to get them through the process by nurturing them and helping them along the way, you can close them. But then again, that will need content on your website from point A all the way to point Z where the person will decide to make the purchase.
However, that approach may not work for all the businesses out there.
We saw how well SEO can work if you have the budget and the patience to see your hard work come to fruition.
Now let’s see what PPC has to offer and how well it stacks in the face of SEO.
That might sound like a mouthful but let me explain. With paid search, your ads will dominate all of the content that is shown above the fold. This means, your ads will be the first thing the person will see when they search for something.
Even if they decide to scroll past the ads, your ads will still be getting the highest exposure and a higher chance of getting a click.
At the end of the day, PPC is a form of advertisement. Which means that you have control over everything a person may see.
From your marketing message and bullet points to locations and calls-to-action, you control everything. Your ads will be shown exactly the way you want them to be seen.
This is rarely possible with SEO. But with PPC, you can sell a product and Google will show the person the image of your product above the organic rankings. This not only helps grab the attention of the person, it also shows them what they are clicking on.
This can boost your click-through rate like nothing else.
With paid advertisements, people will always see your ad. Even though they might just scroll past, they will see your ad and that is more than enough. Because if they are constantly seeing the same website for the searches that they are conducting, they will soon start recognizing your website.
And it won’t be long when they start searching specifically for your website with your brand name.
If you are running on a very tight budget, welcome to the boat, my friend. Almost every affiliate marketer is running on a tight budget that they cannot exceed. If they exceed, they will have a loss.
And that is the reason why with PPC you can set your daily budget and how much you are willing to pay on a per-click basis.
Once your daily budget is spent, the ads and paused until the next day.
This way you are never spending more than you’re comfortable spending.
You can laser target your ads according to the type of your potential customers. With search advertising, you can not only target by specific keywords. You can also target them by language, the day of the week, time of the day, the device they are using and even based on things they have previously visited.
This is something you do not get with SEO. SEO is more like a blurred target in comparison to PPC.
SEO can take months and sometimes even years to start yielding results. But with PPC, you can get started in minutes and start ramping up your ads in just a matter of weeks. And before you know it, you are making affiliate sales hand over fist.
PPC is simply the fastest way to get in front of your customers and offer them what they want.
With speed comes blazing fast feedback.
Looking to test out your new product? Maybe it’s a new marketing message that you would like to test out before spending a ton of money on it. PPC is the way to go. It can get you feedback in just a matter of hours if you’re running a short campaign.
When you’re doing keyword research for SEO, you are never given the exact amount of volume or data about those keywords. They are mostly hidden between a certain range or completely hidden in the name of privacy.
But there is no such thing when it comes to PPC. You can know exactly how much money you are spending to convert that lead and at what percentage. Thanks to smooth integrations between conversion tracking and analytics (like Google Analytics), you can track all of that and optimize your campaigns and budget accordingly.
Oh if this isn’t the true fun than what is?
With PPC you can A/B test the hell out of your ads, landing pages, calls-to-action, you name it. You can test everything that is in your ad and outside your ad.
You get information in just a matter of hours about how things are working, and you can further optimize everything and start testing again.
It is possible to do the same thing with SEO, but at a higher risk.
Remember I said in the SEO section that one needs to be a master at link building? This is where it meets uncertainty.
Google keeps updating their algorithm for organic results. But the changes in their Adwords platform are much less often and they often do not carry the same consequences as SEO.
If you face turbulence with the new updates in the Adwords algorithms, you can easily manage them.
Despite the popular belief, it is possible to run PPC ads without having to break the bank. You just have to target and run your ads in a specific way with a small set of keywords and a highly targeted geographic area. You will find that you can easily generate more than enough leads/sales from that.
And over time, you can further optimize your campaigns and drive down the costs even more.
And now PPC might the one looking like it has all sunshine and rainbows out here. But then again, there is always a time when the sun has to set.
The first thing you have to worry about is that PPC can easily get expensive. While this is not always the case, it can easily become one if you are not careful. Not only that, your daily budgets can also add if you do not plan everything.
On top of that, if you are targeting entire countries, or running international campaigns, you should prepare yourself to receive a huge bill. Or you won’t see any meaningful results.
PPC is a pay-to-play game. It requires constant investment if you want to see an ROI. Once you stop paying for the ads, they go away and so does your lead-gen machine. As long as you keep the lead-gen machine well-oiled with your money, you shouldn’t have any issues.
But when you compare this with SEO, it will seem like a bad deal. Obviously, you will have to keep spending some money on SEO in the form of maintenance to keep your competition away from taking your spot, but it is usually much lesser than what you might end up spending on your PPC campaigns.
When it comes to search marketing, you will definitely end up in some bidding wars with other advertisers. And this can easily increase the amount of resources you would have to spend.
You should also know that when you are advertising, you are effectively taking a spot of the other advertiser. And by doing so, your PPC costs might increase.
In hindsight, PPC is very easy to imitate. When an advertiser sees that you are running an ad for a particular keyword, they will start running ads as well. Not only that, they can imitate your marketing copy as well.
And if that’s something you don’t like, prepare yourself for this one – they can also evaluate and copy your entire marketing funnel as well.
This is just the marketing landscape that we live in right now. And if you are not happy with that, maybe it is better to choose SEO.
If you want to successfully run PPC campaigns, you need to make sure that your ads are perfectly optimized and the accounts are properly maintained. By this, I mean monitoring your bids, the click-through rates, positions of your ads and also maintaining the Quality Scores of your ads.
It is possible to manage some of those things with scripts, but if you get lazy in this area, you can say goodbye to your entire marketing budget.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your unique situation and how would like to start marketing your affiliate products. It all depends on what your vision is for this project and what do you need right now.
If you want to quickly get some sales, then you can go ahead with PPC and start creating campaigns.
But if you have a more long-term approach in mind, and you have the patience to see your website slowly crawl its way to the top, then SEO will be the perfect method for you.
Remember, before you make the final decision, it all boils down to your short-term and long-term goals. Based on that, you can make a clear digital marketing strategy and see which option suits you best.
Now that you’ve been diving into the affiliate marketing world, you might have heard that the best way to promote your products is through email marketing.
And AWeber is one of THE most popular email autoresponder services available out there. But now you might be wondering, “how do I set up my email autoresponder in a way that will help me with affiliate marketing?”
Great question. That is exactly the reason why I am writing this article.
The best part about AWeber is that you do not need to have a ton of technical knowledge to set yourself up for success. Heck, most of their settings are based on a drag-and-drop method. And not only that, the whole thing words very efficiently behind the scenes without you having to even lift a finger.
So in this article, I will be going into great detail about how you should set up your AWeber autoresponder.
What the Heck Is an Autoresponder And Why Do You Need It?
An autoresponder is basically an email follow-up series that keeps running without you having to do anything.
This follow-up series is triggered when a new person subscribes to your email list.
If you have subscribed to an email list recently, you might remember that they send you emails on a regular basis. In 99% of the cases, this is done through an autoresponder.
They give you an impression that a real person is writing that email and sending you the email in real-time. And while that is 100% true, those emails are written ahead of time and scheduled to be sent at a particular time.
What happens is that once someone is done writing an email sequence (also known as the follow-up series), they then schedule the time when each of those emails should be sent to the subscribers.
Once that is done, the subscribers will keep receiving the email until the email sequence is over, or the subscriber unsubscribes from the list.
By now you might have already realized that having an email autoresponder is pretty important because it can save you a ton of time. Not only that, it can also ensure you that your emails are being sent at the appropriate times.
You do not want to send an email when your subscriber is sleeping. You want to send them at a time when they will be able to read your email before any other email. An autoresponder can do that for (although you might have to do some research and set the timings according to that).
In other words, an autoresponder can help engage your audience without you having to be present at every moment. And it can also keep them interested for a long time. And that is exactly what we are looking for.
So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Everything That You Can Do With AWeber
You can say that almost every other email marketer now uses AWeber as their autoresponder. You can do everything with it.
You can design and launch different campaigns for your email list. You can manipulate every aspect of email marketing there is. Everything from the signup forms where people enter their emails, to managing your subscribers and segmenting them into different groups.
You name it, they have and you can do it with ease.
But the biggest reason why the majority of the people love AWeber is because of its integrations. You can integrate this amazing autoresponder with almost every major Content Management System (CMS) out there, including WordPress.
Setting Up Your AWeber Autoresponder
You will obviously need to sign up to one of their current subscription plans. They do not offer a free membership. But they do let you take it for a spin for 7 days before you start paying for it.
I would highly recommend trying it out for a week and getting familiar with it.
Assuming that you already have signed for an account, let’s keep going.
Step 1: Creating An Email List And a Signup Form For It
For every email list that you create, you will need to create a unique sign up form for it. This will let the autoresponder know which email subscriber to put in which email list.
Creating an email list is pretty straightforward. It will ask you some basic details like the sender’s name and email for the list.
Once you do that and click Next, you will then be asked to name your email list. This is the name that will help you identify the list in the future. So make sure that you name it something very close to the project that you are running it for.
For instance, if you are creating this email list for an audience interested in losing weight, you can name it as “Weight Loss List.”
After that, you will also need to write a brief description about your mailing list. Here you can write about the topics that you will be covering in your email sequence, etc. This description is useful to jog the memory of someone who is trying to unsubscribe from your list.
So when they do that, they will see this description and then have the option to either unsubscribe to stay subscribed. Basically showing them the reason why they subscribed to your list in the first place.
Once you click Next Step, you will almost be done creating this list. Here you will need to configure/write what you want to send to the subscriber for verification. This is a confirmation email where the subscriber will need to click on the link to confirm their subscription.
AWeber already has a couple of pre-approved lines that you can use. But my recommendation would be to use the subscriber’s first name in that email. It will personalize it enough to keep your confirmation rates high.
Once you are done with creating the confirmation email, you will have to click on Approve Message & Create List. Once you do that, you will be prompted to create a signup form for your brand new mailing list.
This is where you can customize the signup form to your liking. It all depends on the style of your website and how you want the form to look like. AWeber does have plenty of templates that you can choose from. So this should be a walk in the park for you.
If you feel confused, do not worry. They even have an in-depth guide on how you can integrate the signup form on your website.
Step 2: Customizing the Welcome Email of Your Follow Up Series/Email Sequence
Once you have created the mailing list and your signup form, you are all set to start receiving your first subscribers.
And once they confirm their subscription, this will be the very first “official” email from the follow-up series.
By this point, the subscriber is already interested in what you have to say. But you want to be extra sure about that and seal the deal. And a great welcome email goes a long way in doing that.
That will ensure that your subscriber eagerly awaits your next email because that’s how interested they will be if you can get this right.
So to craft your welcome email, you will need to go to your AWeber dashboard and then navigate to Messages > Legacy Follow Up Series. This is the section where you can create an entire series of autoresponders for your subscribers to receive.
The very first email of that sequence will obviously be your welcome email.
While creating a new email, you will have 3 options:
Personally, I would recommend the drag-and-drop builder because it is very easy to use.
Remember, at this point, you want to only focus on writing amazing emails. So the less you deal with other problems, the better.
Once you are done writing the email, you can save it by clicking on Save & Exit. Now you will be able to see your new email in a list of drafts.
Next, to it there will be a button that says Send Options. You want to click that button and then select Add to Follow Up Series.
Assuming that this is the very first email of the sequence, AWeber will send this email to every new subscriber as soon as they confirm their subscription. Simple!
Step 3: Adding More Emails to Your Follow Up Sequence
Congratulations! You have done it! You have created the first mailing list and have also sent them your very first welcome email.
Now, this is where the magic happens.
This is the point where you add more emails to your follow up sequence.
To do that, you will again have to navigate to Messages > Legacy Follow Up Series from your dashboard.
After that, click on Create a Message button. And now the same process will repeat again. You will basically be repeating Step 2 a lot of times until you are satisfied with your follow up sequence.
Once your next email is added to the existing follow-up sequence, you will be asked to define a schedule of when they should be delivered to your subscribers.
If you do not choose anything, the default setting is to send the emails one day after the previous one. Basically a new email every 24 hours. But you want to set this to something more reasonable. Something that wouldn’t annoy your subscribers.
I have found that a weekly email or even 2 emails per week are more than enough to keep them interested in your content.
You can also change this schedule for every email in the follow-up sequence by clicking the Edit button.
Another great thing about this is that you can select specific days from the week so that they are not counted in your schedule. Days such as Sundays.
We will be writing an in-depth article about what timings are the best to maximize your email open rates and engagement. So watch out for that. But as of now, you will have to do a little bit of research yourself and set that timing accordingly.
Once you save the changes for your new email, it will appear below the welcome email that you created.
And at this point, you can create as many emails in your follow-up sequence as you want. But not only that, you can also change the order of the emails as well by just dragging and dropping them. For me, that is the best part. It just makes the whole thing super easy for me.
By this point, you might already know how easy it is to use AWeber. And why it is easily one of the most robust and efficient email autoresponder services out there.
At the end of the day, it is all about staying on top of everything related to your email list. Because that is where you will be making most of your money from. And instead of spending an ungodly amount of hours manually doing everything yourself, you can just automate everything.
When you are stepping into the world of affiliate marketing you are getting into a fierce competition with every other person promoting the product that you choose. This is right at the moment when you make the decision to promote that product.
So the more people promoting a product, the more competition you will have. But you also want to make sure that you are promoting a good product.
I see hundreds of people just jumping on the products on Clickbank Marketplace (one of the places where you can find great products to promote) that just have a high gravity.
High gravity is a great way to find out if the product is hot in the market. But then you run into the issue of having too much competition. Because if it is hot in the market, it definitely has a ton of people promoting it.
But then you might be thinking, “What if you choose to go for products with lower gravity?”
And that is a great idea. It will have less competition and could also give you some easy wins, in the beginning, to keep your motivation high.
But then there might be a reason why that product has a low gravity.
Maybe it is not as good of a product as the other ones.
Maybe the way the product was designed is not appealing to the market right now.
There could be a ton of reasons why.
And that is why I have written this article. To steer you in the right direction and help you choose the best products to promote with low competition.
So if you are going for low gravity products, then you absolutely have to spend more time and look a little closer before making the final decision.
Let’s get started.
While doing the research for this article, I found at least 50 products with low gravity that just displayed a ton of features of their products. I could not find a single sentence on their sales page or the sales video that tells me how it will benefit my life.
You want to stay away from these kinds of products.
Listing down the benefits of a product is one of the guaranteed ways to make sales. And not just making sales, it is also crucial for making a great product.
So why are these people ignoring the most important aspect of marketing?
Maybe they are not that experienced in the marketing world.
That could be the main reason why they focus on the wrong areas.
To drive this point to home, let’s take an example.
Let’s say that you like a product that teaches French.
Here’s what their selling points are:
Do you like that?
That is an example of a product just stating the features of their product.
Now here’s an example of the same product that focuses on the benefits:
You see how fun and benefits-focused the 2nd example is?
Which version do you think you would choose to promote?
This is probably one of the best marketing techniques that were ever created.
It has been tested thousands of times by online marketers and people who don’t use it can see a loss of up to 40% in revenue.
Although there are tons of ways scarcity can be used, the most popular and uncomplicated way to use it is the time-based scarcity.
A marketer can give the visitor a discounted price for the product, but only for a limited time. Once that time is over, the discounted rate is gone.
However, false scarcity can backfire.
If someone is offering scarcity, they have to stick with it.
If they are offering a discounted rate only for the next 24 hours, then they should stick to it.
This is because if the customers see that you are still offering the same discounted rate even after the 24-hour deadline, they will not trust you.
When someone is showing a ton of testimonials on their sales page, that is a sign that they are very confident in what they are selling. And not just that. The people that are buying that product are extremely satisfied with it as well.
There’s a certain personality trait called as “Amiable.” People with this personality trait look for positive and negative testimonials on purpose. Once they see a ton of positive testimonials, they buy the products much faster than people with other personality traits.
But you want to look out for testimonials on the products that you are promoting. This will give confidence to the people who you will be promoting this product to.
If you see that a sales page has Adsense ads or any other ads, or even a Google search bar included, run from it like a plague.
It is possible that they are not making enough sales from their product and they are using other ways to monetize their website.
The reason why you do not want to promote such a product is because if you are driving traffic to a page that has Adsense ads on it, it is possible that some people might click on those ads. And you are not getting any commission for those clicks.
Plus, just using ads on a sales page is not a great idea. That is a clear red flag that the product is not great and people are not buying it.
If you have been buying products online, then you must’ve come across one of these types of sales pages at least once.
They have a very strong and precise headline that just persuades you to continue reading. And the next thing you know, you’ve read/watched the entire sales pitch and now you are pulling out your wallet to make the payment.
That is what I’m talking about when I say that their sales page must have a strong headline.
It should be precise, and let you know what you want and what they have got. This will not only encourage the visitor to read further into the sales page, it might eventually persuade them to buy the product.
And if you promote a product that does not have a strong headline, then, of course, you will end up losing sales, conversions and eventually you will see lower profits.
If you are choosing your product from Clickbank, then every product is required to have a 60-day money back guarantee. So you don’t have to worry much about that. The people that you refer to those products will be covered.
But, if you do decide to promote a product that is not from Clickbank, then you will need to verify and ensure that they are offering a very strong money back guarantee.
Even though there might not be a ton of people asking for a refund, it does put their mind at ease when they are purchasing the product.
Again, if you are deciding to promote a product outside Clickbank, you then have to make sure that it is a great product through all the steps that I’ve laid down in this article.
Because at the end of the day you will be the one putting your reputation on the line to promote that product.
Packaging sells my friends. Whether you like it or not. People buy things that look good.
If the product you chose to promote has a sales page that looks like it was made by a college student in 1999, then chances of you having many sales from that product are very slim.
The product might have the potential to completely change the lives of your audience. But they have to feel like it will the moment they lay their eyes on the sales page for the first time.
Remember, no one wants to gamble with their money outside Las Vegas.
So try to choose a product that gives a great first impression. Because if it looks good then chances are, the visitors that you send to that page will give it a try as well.
If you want to see if a particular niche is healthy enough to promote the product that you chose, check if there are any eBooks on sales for that niche on Amazon.
If there are books written in that niche, that’s a sign that it’s a healthy niche. And that could potentially give you more choices of which products you want to promote.
You could choose to promote the eBook you found on Amazon. Or maybe you can write one yourself and sell it.
It doesn’t matter how much commission that merchant is giving you. You want to do the math beforehand and know how much money you will be making.
This will give you an overall idea of how much you are willing to spend on promoting traffic to the sales page of that product.
Remember, the more you spend on sending traffic, the less your profits will be.
That is when you want to see how much commission you are getting from the merchant.
There are a ton of merchants on Clickbank that pay 75% commissions per sale. That is great because then you have a lot of leeway to work with traffic.
But there are some that give lower commissions. And in those cases, you might want to resort to a different way of sending traffic.
Let’s break down the math here to make it easier for you.
Let’s say that you are getting a $25 commission for a product. Assuming that your conversion rate is at 1% which is very low (it can be higher if the product you choose is a good one), then to break even, you can spend no more than 25 cents per click.
But if your commission is more than $25, then you can increase your per click budget as well.
Obviously, you would want to be in the profit before you even start. So make sure that you do the math before you start your first advertising campaign.
At the end of the day, it is all about improving the lives of your audience. If you can successfully do that with the affiliate products that you promote, then those people will be loyal to you forever.
And for that to happen, you want to make sure that you choose the right products to promote. And this is how you do it.
I’m sure you have spent at least one-lifetime reading and listening about keyword density, meta tags, and stuff whenever you want to know something about on-page optimization.
But the problem with most of those “guides” is that they offer little to no practical advice that you can instantly use. And that is the reason why I am writing this article.
This in-depth article is full of practical information about on-page SEO that you can use right now on your website.
So without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.
This is the most important part of your website when it comes to on-page optimization. According to Google, your URL is given the most weight out of everything. And even my personal tests and my client websites suggest that is true.
If you are using your target keywords in your URL, it is much easier to rank for them.
You never want to use something like: marketingcourses.com/p=2756
Instead, use something like: marketingcourses.com/on-page-seo-guide/
Short and sweet + SEO optimized always works the best.
Also, avoid using long URLs like: marketingcourses.com/13/3/18/on-page-seo-guide/
Google doesn’t like that.
In your title, you always want to start with a keyword. If that’s not possible, then try to at least use the keyword anywhere in the title. That will let Google know what the content is about.
Simply put, the closer your keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the better your chances will be of having better on-page optimization than your competitors.
However, you don’t have to always start your title with your keyword. But if you really want to rank for a particular keyword, then it is better if you start your title with it.
It is always a good thing if you are adding modifiers to your title.
What are modifiers?
They are words like “best”, “guide”, “checklist”, “review”, “2018”, etc.
If you noticed, I have added multiple modifiers in the title of this article as well.
They not only help your content be unique in the eyes of Google, it will also help you rank for many more keywords, including long tail versions of the keyword that you are targeting.
These are the tags that you should always have in your blog posts no matter what. If you don’t have at least an H1 or H2 tags, you can forget about having your article rank anywhere above page 2 for your target keyword.
The good news is that if you are using WordPress, you are all set. That is because WordPress automatically adds the H1 tag to your blog post title.
But it doesn’t hurt to check and confirm because there are some nasty themes that block this setting. Maybe that is the reason why you are not seeing much increments in rankings.
People want to consume content in more ways than just text. So if you can add images, videos, and infographics to your blog posts, then you will easily become the authority in your niche.
Many tests have shown that blog posts that have images/videos/infographics in them have a very low bounce rate compared to blog posts that only have text content.
Remember, your bounce rate is one of the ranking factors that Google takes into account.
You want it to be as low as possible.
You always want to break your blog posts into different sections. That makes it easier for the reader to consume. And even if they are just skimming through the article, they will get an overall idea of what you are talking about.
And when you are using subheading, you want to make sure that you are wrapping them in H2 tags.
My tests have shown that when you are using H2 tags for your subheadings, they can make a difference in your overall SERP rankings.
And at the end of the day, we are trying to get every advantage we can on our on-page optimization.
While you are doing everything else I mention in this blog post, you also want to make sure that you are adding your keyword in the first 100 to 150 words of your article. The closer it is to the start of the article the better.
This might seem like common sense but you will be surprised to see how many people do not do this.
They usually start their articles with a very long introduction that does not include their target keyword.
You want to avoid that.
And when you have your keyword at the start of the article, it lets Google know what you are going to be talking about.
Remember, all these optimizations that we are doing is just to let Google know the keywords you are talking about. And that you have amazing content on your website that should be ranked on page 1.
In 2015 Google started penalizing websites that were not using websites that were mobile responsive. And if your website is not mobile optimized or at least mobile responsive, you can be sure that your website will be penalized as well.
I am still surprised to see how many websites are still not mobile optimized. Make sure that yours is.
Want a quick white hat SEO tip?
Start adding more outbound links on your website.
Outbound links to quality websites give Google the signal that your website is more of a hub that provides people with high-quality information. But not only just providing, it also links to other sources that provide high-quality information about the same topic as well.
A good rule of thumb is that if you have an article of 1,000 words, you should add at least 3-4 outbound links to high authority websites.
And while you are doing that, do keep in mind that the websites you are linking out to, also reflects on the overall authority of your website as well.
So make sure that you are linking out to high-quality websites only.
This is one of the most underrated on-page optimization techniques ever.
A ton of people thinks that by just adding a “Recent Posts” section on their blog can suffice this need. But it doesn’t.
Not many people know this but internal linking is a very important factor when it comes to the ranking of a page. And the anchor texts you use for internal linking also counts as the overall anchor text profile for that particular page.
So people either over-optimize their pages by internal linking with the same anchor texts. Or they rarely use it.
So make sure that you are using it in moderation. And when you do this right, you can see almost explosive results in an instant.
These are just 10 tips but if you can apply them in the right way (the way I mentioned), you will be all set to get your website on page 1.
Remember, the websites that rank on page 1 are one of the most informative, engaging and optimized websites in that niche.
So while you are creating content that your audience will love, you also want to keep these 10 tips in mind as well. It can never hurt to rank on page 1 while doing what your people love.
Back in the day, I used to do what thousands of other SEOs would do to find keywords. Go to the Keyword Tool, type some words and get a list of the keywords I would target.
But now, things are different. Now the keyword tool is completely different and long tail keywords are more important than ever. And on top of that, it is harder to know what people are actually searching for.
The rules of keyword research have changed and so has the game.
I won’t deny it. I still use the Keyword Planner. And let’s be honest, we all will. Because that’s Google’s data. And we are doing SEO to rank on Google. So we will take what we get.
But we will add our own techniques to find the best keywords outside of Keyword Planner as well. Just adding a little spice to the game and making sure that we are ahead of the competition here.
Remember, keyword research is one of THE MOST important steps in SEO and in Google Adwords advertising.
If you get this right, you have a very high chance of having a successful campaign.
First, we will cover the ideas and then we will cover some unheard methods of keyword research. So hold on to your chair because this is about to get exciting.
As SEOs, we like to think that the customer already knows how to use the right keywords to get the right results. And we couldn’t be more wrong.
We think in the form of “which keyword has the highest volume.”
The customer just wants to know where that restaurant is.
This is the reason why we end up finding a ton of keywords with a lot of competition.
You would be surprised to know that more than 18% of searches that are being performed on Google have never been performed before.
How’s that for a mind-blowing fact?
This is the reason why you need to start thinking like your customer.
What would you do if you wanted to find that restaurant? What would you search on Google?
Maybe you would search for:
Remember, at this point, we are just coming up with ideas. We are not focusing on the keyword volume right now.
My personal tip would be to completely get into the character of being your customer. Think about how your day might have gone and other commitments, etc. And then think about what you might want to search for to find that restaurant.
By completely putting yourself in their shoes, you will be able to know what they might search for.
It is very easy to lose touch with your customers when you are constantly working in an industry.
So it is always a good idea to have a chat with your customers and get feedback on whatever you are working on.
Having a face-to-face chat might not always be possible. But there are thousands of forums in almost every niche these days. You can just hop into one and start talking. And it’s not just the forums where you can interact with your customers.
You can talk to them in the blog comments sections, through autoresponders, etc.
You would be surprised what you uncover when you just have a simple conversation with a customer.
Recently I found out that the best way to get an SEO client is to give them certainty.
That’s the only thing they are looking for. If they can be certain that you can rank them for the keywords that you promise, they will be happy to give you their money.
And I got all of that from just a 5-minute chat. And now it has completely changed how I look at my marketing.
How easy was that?
User-generated content (UGC) and communities is the place where all of the information/content is generated by the users.
This is the place where people usually turn when they cannot find the answers they were looking for. This usually happens when no one has written any piece of content on that specific topic, but it has been talked about in these UGCs.
Now all you have to do is sift through these sites and just keep gathering a ton of keyword ideas that you can use later on. But that’s not it.
You will also be able to understand the concerns of these people and the questions they are asking.
These are the places where you will find ideas which you cannot find in any keyword tool in the world.
Now I know what you might be thinking, “But Nabil, most of these keywords do not have a high search volume. So they are of no use to us.”
You can answer multiple queries that are similar. And when you add up the search volume for all of those keywords, you will see that it is something that we probably shouldn’t be missing out on.
The world thinks of Wikipedia as some undeniable encyclopedia.
I think of it as another keyword research tool in my arsenal.
If you have never heard of using different types of search parameters in Google, now might be the time to look it up. Because that’s what we will be using in this method.
The process is pretty simple and straightforward. But when you do it in front of other people, you will be an SEO God in their eyes.
Here we go:
Step 1: Go to Google and then type “inurl: Wikipedia your topic”
Obviously, you should remove the quotation marks from the search. Once you do that you will get a completely different type of search result than you are used to.
Step 2: This is where you will be looking for the most relevant terms and possible keywords that you can use.
Step 3: Now open the Wikipedia entry and repeat the same process of identifying the relevant terms and finding possible keywords that you can use. If you want to make this process quicker, just sift through the first couple paragraphs and try to make out the keywords from them.
You can also try to morph the keywords you have found into a couple of long tail keywords. This will only help you further with your campaigns.
Step 4: Also identify other potential keywords from Wikipedia’s table of content list.
Step 5: See if there are links to any other associated subjects. If so, click on them to find even more keywords that you can use.
Wikipedia ranks as the 6th most popular website in the world.
Remember, if Wikipedia has a page about a topic, then you can be damn sure that people are searching for it. You can mimic what they do and give the people the information they are searching.
Obviously, it will be pretty hard to outrank Wikipedia. But you can definitely rank for some long tail keywords and pull in your piece of the traffic.
Ever noticed that Google tries to predict what you are going to type by giving you a couple of suggested queries?
This feature has been around for such a long time but I see so many SEOs skipping out on this method. They are just in too much of a hurry to even notice that this is just another opportunity to find out what people are searching for.
These autocomplete suggestions that you get are completely based on real queries that were searched by real people.
Not only that, these suggestions can vary based on your geographic location and language.
This is one of THE most accurate representations of what the people are searching for out there.
If you haven’t been using this to do your keyword research, then you have definitely left a ton of money on the table.
But it is time to start using it. Because nothing can be better than this.
Step 1: Start searching for any keyword you want more ideas for. The autocomplete suggestions will start giving you some of the most popular keywords that people have searched for.
Step 2: You will also get long-tail suggestions which is the main reason why I love this so much.
Step 3: All the suggested keywords are ranked by the freshness of them. Meaning, keywords that are more popular (popular during the time of your search) will appear first, aka, rank higher in the suggestion list.
Step 4: You want to make sure that Google is not autocompleting your queries based on your previous searches. So to avoid that you should open a new “incognito” tab and then search.
Step 5: Type your main keyword or the long tail keyword that first comes to your mind. For instance, “garage door repair.”
Step 6: You will start seeing suggestions appear. You will want to write them down.
Step 7: You want to see more relevant keywords. So you will type “A” after your main keyword and write down the suggestions that you see. For example, you will type “garage door repair A.”
Step 8: Repeat Step 7 until you have enough keywords that you think will suffice.
Or if you are too lazy to type all of that in the Google search, there is a tool that can give you all the suggestions you will need. Basically, this tool will add the alphabets after your main keyword. After that, all you will need to do is copy and paste that keyword in Google and see what it suggests you.
The tool is called Ubersuggest. It is a pretty nifty tool.
If you do choose to use it, do keep in mind that it does not suggest keywords based on popularity. Only Google does that.
We all agree that Google is the almighty G of the world because it is the biggest search engine in the world. So, we need to start taking more cues from its algorithm and use it to our advantage.
Although it might be a little daunting for some of you, the rewards are better than what you think. Because it is highly possible that your competitor might not be using these methods to do keyword research.
More money for you.
So, here’s what you do.
Step 1: Search for any keyword that is relevant to your niche in Google.
Step 2: Scroll down to the very bottom of the page. I want you to ignore everything in between. Just focus on the keywords that are just above the number of pages.
That is where your reward is. All these keywords that are highly relevant to what you are searching. Just sitting there for someone to pick them and start optimizing for them.
These keywords are similar to what you get in the autocomplete suggestions. But these are different because Google is mixing up the keyword you searched for with other keywords.
But make no mistake, those keywords are related to each other in some shape or form.
And believe, throughout my SEO career, I have found some mind-blowing keywords with this method. Not just mind-blowing, but wide open for total domination.
Keyword research is a basic skill that every SEO has. But it depends on how they use that skill to their advantage and are able to deliver it either to their clients or for themselves. That is what sets them apart than others.
Remember, you do not need to have expensive tools to find untapped keywords. You just need to be creative about your methods and very soon you will have hundreds of keywords that you wouldn’t know what to do with.
What are some of your most favorite ways to find amazing keywords?