3 Ways to Grow Your Affiliate Business
Caption: The U.S. affiliate marketing industry is growing steadily. (Source: Statista)
Getting into the affiliate marketing business can be as easy as slapping together a website with some content. However, actually growing the business to a point where you can earn a decent income is a different matter altogether.
Let’s be honest, the affiliate marketing industry is growing at relatively decent rates. Since 2015 we’ve observed a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 10%. As a whole, the industry is expected to hit $6.82 billion this year in the U.S. alone.
That’s a lot of pie to share — but the crowd clamoring for pie is growing even fiercer. Because of that, you need concrete strategies and effective tools to stay relevant in this space.
1. Focus on Matching User Intent
As affiliate marketers, none of us are unfamiliar with traditional keyword research. It forms the basis of not just how we build content, but also for our entire site. For this, we already have a formidable stable of weapons at hand.
On one end of the spectrum, we have free tools like Google Keyword Planner, Uber Suggest, and Google Trends. For the more successful, you can move on to premium SEO tools for greater depth, such as SEMRush and Moz.
In most cases, premium tools help affiliate marketers to plan more strategically by allowing them to relatively accurately gauge user interests in certain subjects and outline demand in the global market.
Yet the year is 2020 and these tools and strategies are now most readily available. As we advance, so too do the capabilities of search engines like Google. Take for instance the introduction of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.
Thanks to that, Google is now able to have a much firmer grasp on user intent and language. To advance your affiliate marketing business, you have to look towards building content that matches user intent.
Ignore the temptation to coast along on traditional keyword research. As we move along, even building content that feeds low competition keywords will eventually not be enough. Meeting intent isn’t necessarily difficult, but simply a change of concept.
Meeting User Intent 101
First of all, meeting user intent doesn’t mean discarding keyword research. It simply means you need to carry out an additional step after.
One simple thing you can do after you gather keyword data is to perform a search on some of your most critical keywords. Then see what type of content is ranking for the search terms.
1. Are there videos content in the search?
2. Are the result pages filled with special schema markup?
3. Are the websites ranking well using a lot of pictures in their content?
4. What about the length of the content? Are the results filled with long-form articles — or it’s something short and sweet instead?
Once you’ve answered those questions, you can check to ensure that your webpage meets these conditions. Just this small extra step will help ensure that you boost your probability of higher ranking for your target keywords.
If you can’t adequately meet user intent, you may find yourself ultimately wasting money building the wrong content.
As a small company running an affiliate marketing business, my team and I focus on Transactional content. This is where user action takes place. After all, we (all affiliates, not just us) get paid by driving users to take action, right?
2. Build Interactive Content — Increase Revenue and Raise User Interests
Which is more interesting — Staring at an immobile Rubik’s cube or actually fiddling with it and trying to figure out the puzzle? Realizing that will give you the answer to how interactive landing pages helps us to meet two important business drivers:
We always want to increase revenue and we always want users interested in the content we build.
Use of an online calculator is a good way of building trust with users. It also offers users instant gratification, which in today’s day and age is even better. These interactive tools can be used to capture user attention and most importantly — drive that last click.
He who captures the last click before a sale ultimately gets the credit for it.
Historically, at least half of all affiliate marketers agree that the consideration stage is the ideal place in the marketing funnel to use calculators. In fact, interactive content stats show that 51% of marketers say that online calculators are most effective in the “consideration stage” of the sales cycle.
In fact, Get Paid For Your Pad (GPYP) scored a stellar 41% conversion rate with an interactive calculator!
Raising User Interest
Caption: Over time, interest in quizzes has simply skyrocketed on Google Trends.
Commercial content is boring, that’s simply a fact of life. To make informed decisions, users need to know and digest things that are, unfortunately, mostly very dry. How many of you have ignored a product spec sheet, only to learn your lesson once you’ve bought something and it sucks?
This is part of the reason why many affiliates struggle with commercial content. Again, we look towards interactive content as a good solution. It helps by disrupting expectations and earning attention, engagement, and interest.
Let’s take for example the very traditional quiz. Even though quizzes have been around for ages, they have become one of the most shared types of content on Facebook.
Inventrom, an IoT platform used the Outgrow quiz maker tool to boost their marketing campaigns. With this quiz, they increased the dwell time of their leads on their content. In fact, they ended up generating more than 30000 leads!
Better dwell time = better search rankings = more search traffic
3. Collect More and Relevant Data
Finally, we come to the fuel that drives all of the above activities — data. For those of you sitting comfortably on top of your favorite tools, this isn’t about moving you on to another platform.
However, it is important to broaden your base.
Using more than one analytic tool on their site has proven to help many top affiliates. The reason for this is simply — diversity brings ideas and helps you expand your capabilities.
Let’s look at some ways this diversity can work:
Google Analytics — Another free tool, but use it effectively. Look past the basic numbers and use it as the name says — for analytics. Study the user engagement metrics on your site, but remember to hide search engine keyword data.
Outgrow — Some interactive content tools like Outgrow helps collect more data and adds the additional dimension of context to user engagement data. Outgrow itself is more than that though, it’s a complete toolbox for helping you increase user engagement.
WHSR Site Checker Tool — Study your competition and see if there are significant reasons why infrastructure or site utilities may be helping them capture more market share. It’s fast, easy, and free.
Matomo with Keyword Performance — Collect keywords searched for by your users and use it to help you plan your content. Matomo also helps with more things than Google does, including building visitor profiles and user experience analytics.
As increasingly large numbers of people get digitally connected, there is a higher chance that many of them will realize how big a cash cow affiliate marketing can be. At the moment, you have the initiative.
Even if your affiliate business is smaller, you’re here and now and ready to go. Interactive content is one sure way to offer your users greater value. You reap what you sow, and as you engage them, you’ll find users handing over everything from their email address to those coveted ‘last clicks’.
Remember to use the right tools though. Quizzes help collect user’s emails, while Polls, ROI Calculators, and other interactive content allows them to provide you with instant direct feedback.