A Compact Guide To SEO Affiliate Marketing

Updated: April 28, 2023
by Cristian Morales

Affiliate marketing on the internet has been around for decades, ever since it was first conceived and patented by William J. Tobin in the early 90s. Over time, it has elicited interest from brands looking to acquire new customers and marketers with skills to promote a product but have no products of their own. 

If you want to start a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) affiliate marketing campaign or improve one, you’ve found the right place in this compact guide to SEO affiliate marketing. 

SEO employs content strategies to get search engines to rank your website and recommend your content to users favorably. On the other hand, affiliate marketing is where you earn a commission by promoting a service or product offered by another retailer using an affiliate link, a URL with an ID, or the username of the SEO affiliate marketer. Therefore, SEO affiliate marketing combines SEO and affiliate marketing techniques to get the products or services out into the market.  

This guide will focus on SEO affiliate marketing. Read on.

A Compact Guide To SEO Affiliate Marketing


As of March 2023, the search engine market share worldwide still favors Google, which controls over 93% of the search market. Its closest competitor, Bing, holds less than 3%. For this reason, SEO affiliate marketing depends on the content standards Google sets to thrive.  

SEO affiliate marketing's combined approach involves adding product links to optimized content to maximize reach and deliver higher conversions. Ideally, the SEO activity increases the visibility of your brand and products, while the attached affiliate products utilize the visibility to convert into sales or business prospects. 

How to Make SEO-Affiliate Marketing Work For You 

Google records an average of 9 billion searches per day, which points to 375 million searches per hour, and 6.25 million per minute. All this traffic is to help people find the information they are looking for using the right keywords or key phrases. For you to take advantage of this foot traffic, you must have content that is of excellent quality and features the right keywords.  

To make SEO affiliate marketing work for you, focus on the following: 

1. Find And Focus On The Right Niche Products 

Affiliate Niche

While it’s a cliche by now, the term 'content is king' is as relevant today as it was in the budding ages of the internet. In SEO affiliate marketing, proper, quality content will determine how you rank on the search engine, which directly determines the conversion rate of your affiliate products. 

To write quality content, you must select a niche you know and are passionate about. When you’re an authority on a niche, other sites will likely link back to you, improving your ranking, and customers will probably pay more attention to your product recommendations. 

Also, the right niche choice will help you plan and strategize how to combine your SEO campaign with the affiliate product you are marketing. A niche will inform your target audience choice, which will benefit the segmentation and conversion prospects.

2. Invest In Keyword Research 

The keywords used in SEO affiliate marketing should convince a customer to purchase using your affiliate link. 

In SEO affiliate marketing, keywords come in three categories: Top of the funnel (TOFU) keywords, Middle of the funnel (MOFU) keywords, and Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) keywords. 

TOFU keywords intend to offer relevant information that addresses a need for the product and service you are marketing without focusing on sales. On the other hand, MOFU keywords position your affiliate products as the best solution for the site visitor's headache, while BOFU keywords go in for the kill. SEO content at the BOFU stage may involve case studies, live demos, trials, and the like. 

When choosing your keywords for an SEO affiliate marketing campaign, focus on keywords with 'products near me,' 'buy now,' and 'product-related keywords.' Products near me searches can include searches like 'dentists in [location]' while buy now searches may include searches like 'computers under [amount].' 

Product-related keywords could be a search like best running shoes or product categories like 'Halloween masks or face masks.' Make sure your keyword choice is as natural and organic as possible to convince customers to buy the product on offer. 

3. Select The Right Domain Name And Host  

How Many Domains Should You Forward?

The domain name you choose for your SEO-affiliate marketing campaign website must match the affiliate product niche you plan to get into. When selecting a domain name, keep it simple and memorable, and add a location if it is relevant. Don’t include brand names on the domain unless you own the brand. In addition, avoid trending catchphrases as they will lose popularity quickly. 

Among many factors, your web hosting will determine the time it’ll take for your SEO affiliate marketing site to load. If the site takes too long to load, it’ll increase the bounce rate, and your affiliate marketing campaigns will take a hit. Consider a reliable and secure host for your SEO affiliate marketing campaigns. 

4. Optimize Your Pages To Increase Online Conversions

You must optimize your website for conversions to get conversions and boost revenue in your SEO affiliate marketing campaign. 

Use the appropriate call-to-action buttons, ensure your product descriptions and subheadings are catchy, and the visuals used in your SEO posts are of high quality. Plus, ensure your website is optimized for mobile phones, as most internet users only browse on mobiles. 

The website and content layout may be the difference between you converting prospects to customers or utterly failing in your campaigns. 

How Do SEO Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

The payment terms depend on the agreement between the SEO affiliate marketer and the brand they are working with. Some of the standard metrics are: 

  • Cost per acquisition (CPA) includes sign-ups, downloading demos, and more;
  • Cost per sale (CPS) involves compensation after a customer follows your affiliate link to the brand's site and makes a purchase in line with the SEO affiliate marketing agreement;
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM);
  • Cost per click (CPC); and 
  • Hybrid payment combines several payment plans. An affiliate may receive part of their payment based on a fixed fee upfront and the remainder on a performance basis.

How Are Affiliate Links Tracked?

The most common tracking methods for affiliate links are client-based and server-to-server tracking. 

In client-based tracking, a cookie is stored on visitors' computers when they click the affiliate link. If the web visitor responds appropriately to the call to action, a small piece of code called a conversion pixel reads the cookie information and sends it to the brand's system, where it’s recorded. 

In server-to-server tracking, also known as cookie-less tracking, a transaction ID of the affiliate partner is stored in the brand's server. When a website visitor clicks on the affiliate link, the system sends a post with the transaction ID to the system, where conversion is tracked.

Tracking allows brands to point sales back to the affiliate partner to determine the success of the SEO affiliate marketing campaign.

Parting Shot

SEO affiliate marketing is a win for both brands and their affiliate partners. Effective SEO affiliate marketing campaigns help brands target and reach customers they may not have reached on their own while providing their affiliate partners with ample opportunities to boost their revenue and ranking on search engines. 

While there’s intense competition in the industry, leveraging the tips offered in this guide to SEO affiliate marketing will give you an edge over your competitors and put you on your way to a lucrative and fulfilling career.

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About the author 

Cristian Morales

Freelance writer and graphic designer with a can-do attitude. I became independent after spending 6 years in the hospitality industry and 5 years in banking & finance. I'm an all-rounder guy, open to working with like-minded people.

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  1. This is very useful information. I have been looking to learn SEO techniques especially for affiliate marketing. So you don’t know how much I appreciate your input. Thank you!

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