Over the years, affiliate marketing has evolved into one of the most widespread and effective ways to monetize a website or increase eCommerce sales.
Using affiliate marketing, retailers can cultivate a network of affiliates who promote the brand’s products, thereby benefiting the company and themselves.
Because of how popular this discipline has become, Statista data on affiliate marketing shows that such spending is expected to increase to $8.2 billion by 2022. That’s up from $5.4 billion just five years prior.
However, increased sales are just one of the many benefits that can come from affiliate marketing initiatives.
Other perks include:
- Generating quality leads
- Increased website traffic
- Maintain a vast network of affiliates
- Keep most of the profits from affiliate sales
What merchants might notice about these benefits is that most of them serve to enhance a site’s SEO performance.
Given that the success of an affiliate marketing program is, in many ways, dependent on search engine optimization, it is critical for sellers to seek out ways to improve their SERP performance in every way possible.
Fortunately, wielding a robust affiliate marketing software platform can help sellers achieve that aim.
Let’s explore what affiliate marketing is, as well as how affiliate marketing software can enhance a brand’s SEO performance and accelerate SEO rankings.
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is a type of business relationship wherein individuals (affiliates) promote a brand’s product. In exchange, those people get paid when members of their audience take the desired action based on the affiliate’s recommendation.
As far as affiliates are concerned, one of the biggest benefits of this model is the ability to earn something of a passive income.
Where retailers are concerned, there are actually a myriad of opportunities for affiliate marketing brands.
On that note, let’s turn our attention to the benefits that can be reaped from integrating an affiliate marketing software into a company’s technological tools.
As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of SEO benefits to employing a good affiliate marketing software.
Some of the more pronounced of those perks include:
This is the point from which all of the SEO benefits of utilizing an affiliate marketing software stem.
A good affiliate marketing software can help retailers to quickly create and launch a network of affiliates that will help to enthusiastically promote a company’s products.
No matter if it is turning customers into affiliates or teaming up with trusted bloggers, promoters, influencers or the like, these platforms manage the bulk of the heavy lifting, thereby allowing merchants to focus on the partnerships that will grow their business and SERP visibility.
While this may not be an SEO benefit all on its own, it is the catalyst that facilitates all of the benefits listed below.
Increasing eCommerce traffic is an essential goal for all merchants as it not only will impact their sales figures, but it will also affect their SERP performance as well.
The great news about affiliate marketing is that most affiliates will already possess established audiences. Therefore, these partnerships pose fantastic opportunities for retailers to tap into audiences and markets that they otherwise would not have had the capacity to explore.
As a result, retailers are going to be capable of developing a strong online presence and achieving greater traffic levels to their sites.
At the same time, since affiliates are often handpicked by sellers, they can ensure that the traffic hitting their site comes from relevant, quality leads who are interested in what the company has to offer.
This is because affiliates that resonate with a brand will have folks in their sphere of influence who will find the business’s products useful, helpful or otherwise appealing.
Moreover, some of the better affiliate marketing software options on the market today provide users with affiliate marketplaces that can help bring these promoters to a company.
As sellers accrue affiliates and links from their sites and content pages, retailers are likely to see substantial gains in their eCommerce traffic, thereby aiding in SEO performance.
As mentioned a moment ago, retailers who employ an affiliate marketing software are going to naturally acquire a significant number of new backlinks from affiliate content, landing pages and the like.
This can be a massive SEO boon to eCommerce retailers. As Raj Nijjer, the CEO of affiliate marketing software platform Refersion points out:
“Affiliate link building affixes product links on coupon, reviews and editorial websites in exchange for a commission on referred sales. Building these partnerships with large publishers encourages backlinking by authoritative sites that rank high on Google and increases the likelihood that others may also link to your content.”
However, many will argue that since these links are paid, they will be nofollow links and are therefore worthless.
This argument is only half true.
The fact of the matter is that Google will likely automatically tag these kinds of links as nofollow. Even if the company does not, it is wise for these links to be classified as nofollow as they are indeed paid.
That said, nofollow links are not at all worthless.
“One of the biggest ranking factors for Google is brand trust… But one of the key metrics Google uses to establish if your website is a trustworthy brand is whether or not you have any NoFollow, Sponsored or UGC links… The point I am trying to make is it seems as though Google expects to see nofollow links in your backlink profile, and if there are none, that potentially raises a red flag for an unnatural profile… We looked at #1 ranked sites in every niche, category, and industry and they all showed something very interesting about nofollow links. Did you know that #1 ranked web pages on Google have an average of about 20%-40% no-follow links pointing to that page? Sometimes even higher.”
What this means is that no matter how one chooses to look at it, affiliate marketing software can help sellers find affiliates that will help to generate a significant number of new links for the brand’s website, thus improving SEO performance.
Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness are all elements in Google E-A-T criteria. While E-A-T is itself not a direct ranking factor, there are other signals that Google uses to establish a site’s expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, which are ranking factors.
In a nutshell, this means that a company’s reputation can play a sizable role in its SEO performance.
Fortunately, by utilizing affiliate marketing software, retailers can team up with trusted bloggers, influencers and other authoritative voices online to help promote a company’s products.
As a result of these partnerships, companies can help to entrench consumer confidence in their offerings and solidify a positive brand reputation.
The fact is that when consumers are in the research phase of the buyer journey, buyers are far more likely to trust content, reviews and opinions espoused by third-party sources over content produced by the brand itself.
Therefore, teaming up with the right affiliates can lend credence to a brand and positively impact the company’s reputation and SERP visibility.
Naturally, as retailers should expect when engaging in an affiliate marketing program that increases eCommerce traffic, sellers can expect to see significantly more sales as well.
While sales are not something that impacts a site’s SEO performance on its own, when Google sees consumers visiting a retailer’s site and then opting to make a purchase, it sends positive signals to Google.
Ultimately, these positive signs can have a direct impact on the company’s visibility in the SERPs.
Plus, who is going to be mad at generating more purchases?
For those who are unaware, there are a multitude of reasons why user-generated content and SEO are inextricably linked.
This is fantastic news for those who employ affiliate marketing software, as this can allow retailers to delegate some content creation efforts to their affiliates.
The fact of the matter is that having too little content on a web page can negatively impact SEO results. However, while the importance of blogging and content marketing cannot be overstressed, the reality is that many sellers struggle to produce high-quality content consistently.
Therefore, utilizing an affiliate marketing platform can help sellers to coordinate content from affiliates such as blog comments, product reviews, testimonials and the like.
All of these types of user-generated content can have a positive impact on a company’s SEO.
As with any other type of marketing campaign, it is essential to measure outcomes to determine what elements of the effort are working, which need tweaking and which should be abandoned outright.
Affiliate marketing is no different.
Thankfully, a good affiliate marketing software will provide retailers with the tools they need to track traffic sources, unique coupon codes, personalized links and other affiliate materials that will be able to help sellers direct their efforts in the most beneficial way possible.
The bottom line here is that affiliate marketing can be a boon for eCommerce retailers in more ways than one. However, affiliate marketing software is the key to organizing, managing and optimizing efforts so that retailers can reap the SEO benefits that come from increased levels of awareness, traffic, backlinks and sales.
For brands ready to test the waters on affiliate marketing software, check out Refersion’s affiliate marketing platform and receive guided support from their performance marketing experts.
That said, sellers should not depend on affiliate marketing alone for their search engine optimization efforts.
Given how vital SEO is to eCommerce success, merchants should be pulling out all of the stops to achieve visibility in today’s hyper-competitive SERPs.
If your brand wants to optimize its online presence to the absolute fullest and take down the competition in Google, reach out to Visiture’s eCommerce SEO specialists.