As an affiliate, there is one thing that you have to fathom and master – SEO. What is Search Engine Optimization?
Scanning For Data and Indexing Information
A search engine is an automated robot that basically ‘crawls’ like a spider. This spider, or Googlebot as it’s more widely known, uses a massive set of computers to ‘crawl’ or scan billions of pages and then stores all the data in a massive database known as Google Index. As a webmaster, you want to make very good friends with Google Index.
You search, the spider crawls and provides. But how does it do this – how does it prioritize what information is displayed?
- Firstly, by using your browsing history as a point of reference to pull the most relevant results. For instance, if you’re a golfer and regularly search for golf clubs or courses, if you just search the keyword golf, chances are the search engine will pull up results related to golf the game and not the car. Now clear your browsing history and try golf again. Without your history as reference point, results will be vaguer, and you might see results related to golf the car.
- The second criteria is the weight of your webpage – Google being the ‘scale.’ What does that mean? How authoritative is your website/webpage? An example of an authoritative website is Forbes or CNN. They are both considered very credible sources, and usually, any piece of information that comes from them is taken as a fact and not hearsay, which inevitably leads to them being the most popular and highly ranked. Authoritative websites are a chapter of their own, so we’ll leave it at this and dedicate an entire article on how to make yourself a credible source and ultimately an authoritative online presence.
SEO Meets User Interaction
How a user demands SEO without even being aware of it…
As an affiliate, you’re creating content addressed to humans. Your aim? To meet their demands and get them to take action. If they feel fulfilled, you will too. So, with that said, what are people looking for or in more technical terms what types of queries are there?
‘KNOW’– ‘Informational Queries’ – User needs information on something – eBooks, blogs and so on.
‘GO’– ‘Navigation Queries’ – User needs an online presence, and Facebook is a perfect example of just this.
‘DO’– ‘Transactional Queries’ – Use wants to take action – almost anything can be bought online nowadays.
If you’re not meeting at least one of these demands as a webmaster; then your content is serving no purpose, and all the optimization in the world won’t save you.
The importance of SEO is undeniable, and of course, having a website that’s eye-candy definitely helps. The thing is though, all these basics still aren’t enough to get you to the top, and in the digital world, only the top dogs make it. People nowadays have a very short attention span, so rest assured a user isn’t very likely to go to Google’s second page. To be frank, a user isn’t even likely to scroll beyond the first four results, and that’s where the aggressive competitiveness begins. It’s a good time to point this out – Google doesn’t look at websites as a whole but webpages – so while your homepage may be on Google’s fourth page, a great article you wrote about American Politics may be on Google’s first page.
How can you make sure that your project gets attention and that you attract traffic with actual lifetime value? Like we said before, having a “pretty” website isn’t going to cut it. The objective these engines is to scour the internet for not only relevance but quality. What makes quality you ask? Google can’t define that, so it depends on user feedback for that kind of information. What defines a successful website at the end of the day is how much it’s being shared, talked about, liked and linked to. In a nutshell – engagement. We’re social beings; it’s in our nature to want to interact, so with that in mind are you ready to give your users what they want?
Stay tuned for the second part of our SEO Guide where we’ll be diving into keyword research and link-building.