How to rank in Google: 17 actions for Amazon Affiliate SEO

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When Amazon Affiliate think about their SEO, it’s crucial to understand how a post will rank in Google.

A good ranking will drive more organic traffic, meaning more potential customers to your website.

Your placement on search engines will have a significant impact on your commissions earned.

Let’s take a look.

Here is the Click Through Rate (“CTR”) for keywords where TableLabs is currently ranking.

Post with a higher Google rank achieve a superior Click through Rate
Better Rank = Better Click Through Rate = More Clicks

The CTR trendline, the dotted black line, looks like a skateboard halfpipe.

The CTR line converges rapidly to zero, dropping significantly the lower the Google rank.

In fact, for our 468 keywords not ranking in the top 10, for only five the CTR is not zero. That means, for 463 or 99% of our non-top ten ranking keywords, we get ZERO clicks.

Our top keyword has a 38% CTR, whereas a keyword like “amazontables” (7th position), the CTR is only 2.3%.

This means, for the same number of impressions, our top keyword gets 17 times (!) as many clicks.

For Amazon Affiliates, every click is a potential customer.

Theoretically, moving “amazontables” from 7th to 1st position, would multiply the commissions seventeen times.

Let that sink in for a second.

If you think about your return on investment, the breakeven here would be 17 posts in 7th position or one post in first place.

Google ranking is all about quality.

That is why we asked Affiliate Marketing experts on how to rank in Google.

Here are their best actions for Amazon Affiliate Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”).

Don’t focus on the lowest, but low volume keywords

For some keywords, it will be easier to rank in Google.

Some keywords are more competitive than others.

For example, “insurance” is one of the most competitive terms.

On the contrary, “TableLabs is the best Amazon Affiliate tool to create Product Comparison Tables” is arguably less competitive. Actually it’s not competitive at all and you would likely rank very quickly in a prime position.

However, no one ever searches for this specific term, a high ranking would yield a high CTR on extremely low volume.

While we want a minimum search volume, we want to avoid competition.

Finding the right balance between low competition but attractive search volume is the key to success.

“We struggled to build an audience until we focused on low-volume keywords. By focusing on less competitive keywords, we could compete against the biggest media sites as they don’t bother going after the low search volume keywords. It also allowed us to provide more personalized content to our audience, which converts very well.”

Natalia, Founder of Meal Kit Comparison

In general, the more words your keyword consistent of, the less competition there is.

Keywords containing more than three words, like “Amazon comparison Table”, are called Long-tail keywords.

Long tail keywords often fall into the sweet spot between not being competitive while still providing decent traffic.

“Even today many marketers want to go for the short-tail keywords that they use frequently, but you need to put yourself in the shoes (or rather, the search engine) of your users. Aim for those longer-tail keywords in individual blog posts, then build a comprehensive guide that links to all of them to really boost your traffic results.”

Reuben Yonatan, Founder & CEO of GetVoIP

Long tail keywords with limited search volume are generally not addressed by established bloggers and sites with high DAs. This gives you an early and easy chance to post a quality article on the topic and immediately rank. Yes, the search volume may only be 20 searches per month, but if you publish enough of these posts, you’ll start to build a respectable and sustainable traffic source. From there, as your DA continues to climb, you can start tackling more competitive keywords.”

John Ross, CEO of Test Prep Insight

Leverage Intent based keywords

Before even starting to write an article, Amazon Affiliates pick a keyword.

Your Google rank and for which search results your post appears, depends on the picked keyword.

Note that the ranking itself, is only half of the affiliate commission equation.

A higher ranking lands you more leads. But the quality of leads will be different depending on the keyword.

Your lead quality will influence the conversion from website visitor to commission, a crucial factor for your total commission earned.

Hence, you want to rank high for keywords with high quality leads.

Introducing – intent based keywords.

Let’s take a look an example:

“There’s a big difference between a searcher plunking into Google, “XYZ login page” and “XYZ cost”. The login page, they’re likely already a buyer and can’t seem to find the login page (or have it saved in their browser), whereas with the cost inquiry, they’re looking for buying advice. They’re ready (or thinking about) making a purchase, and they want to know how much it costs before grabbing their credit card.”

Bonny Albo, Business Owner, NetWriter

If your Amazon Affiliate content ranks for keywords with clear buyer intent, you are more likely to earn a commission from your leads.

“When I first started, I focused more on informational keywords, and those articles I wrote never made me any money. I started to make money money with my affiliate site when I started. going after transactional keywords like reviews, and lists posts. Since then, I have seen a huge spike in revenue without much increase in traffic to my site.”

Valentine Okoronkwo, Founder of Passive Secrets

Be aware – Important to recognize is that you still have to answer the searchers intent in your post.

If you’re ranking for a great intent-based keyword, but your article lacks informative information, the results will be disappointing.

People do searches to discover product details or functionalities that will answer their question.

The information provided should correspond to the search intent of your target audience.

Keyword optimization

After settling on an attractive keyword, it’s time to do keyword SEO.

When writing commercial content, Amazon Affiliates often choose generic keywords like best ABC and then trying to repeat the term as often as possible.

However – especially for writing informational content, that same strategy would lead to a poor user experience.

If I want to educate myself on a particular topic, I don’t want to read the term over & over again. Your reader will have the impression that your content is of low quality.

This will lead to low engagement and time spend on your page, which will hurt your ranking. More on that later.

For now, let’s focus on best practices how to optimize your content once you picked a keyword.

Since the keywords you choose determine how users find your site, leverage key terms and phrases.

Placement and frequency will influence Google’s view on how relevant your content is for a particular search.

The earlier and more frequent a term is used, the more relevant Google will rate your article for that keyword.

“The foremost step to get views and build sustainable traffic is by making sure your keyword is at the beginning of your title tag, a method called frontloading. Google emphasizes keywords that appear early in your title tag and less attention to those that arise later. Secondly, make your content have at least 1800 words as longer content results in higher rankings. Finally, add the keyword a couple of times on your page to insist on Google that the page is about a particular query.”

Benjamin Rose, Co-founder of Trainer Academy

Amazon Affiliate SEO starts at making sure your article is clustered around your target keyword.

The more relevant your article is, the higher the ranking.

Google featured snippets: Stealing Position Zero

The first rank in Google is not what is always shown on top of a user search.

Since a few years, Google has started to show snippets first.

Snippets are short text boxes or tables that are relevant to the user query.

Since the boxes are placed ABOVE the search results, it’s even placed before the top ranking article.

Hence the action, steal position zero.

“One thing that I like doing and optimizing is trying to get as many featured snippets for my articles. You don’t have to do too much extra work to achieve it, since it’s mainly guesswork. And the results of getting it are insane.”

Stephen Montagne, Founder of NetHustler

There are three types of featured snippets: A paragraph, a list and a table.

These snippets are only shown to selected queries, like questions. To understand what snippet might be relevant for your keyword, you can check the Google “people also ask” box.

“Unlike most review articles found on Google which is low on usable information and content, I write long form articles that are around 4000-5000 words and include demos, FAQs etc. The objective is to get into the featured snippet of Google and when the article is full of information and has lists, Q&As etc. you can easily get into the featured snippet.”

Dilip Kumar, Affiliate Marketer & Foudner of DKSpeaks

Let me tell you why featured snippets are such a big opportunity for Amazon Affiliates SEO.

Most sites have a low domain ranking, making it difficult to land in one of the top spots.

However, just to land in the top ten, is far easier, a bit of SEO and a good article often suffice.

Roughly speaking, once you rank in Google in the top ten, you can be a featured snippet.

Yes, that is right. Our article in 7th position can steal position zero, allowing us to get substantially more traffic.

Traffic from a higher ranking that otherwise would be extremely unlikely to achieve.

Update underperforming content

Now that you learned a bit about optimizing keywords, it’s time to be active on your articles.

Best practices to rank in Google do not only apply to future post.

Quite the opposite. Your existing articles, that already rank, have a much shorter feedback cycle. Content changes are reflected in search engine rankings quicker.

While some of the updates might be more structural and applied across all articles, here is what you can do on an individual basis.

Most of you will have a library of articles on your website. Some less successful than others.

Start by identifying which articles have untapped SEO potential.

“We’ll look for pages that have a high bounce rate and see how we can make them more appealing to readers. This might mean adding more (or more interesting) images, breaking up walls of text with spaces to make the page more scan-able, or using simple formatting elements like boxes and highlights to give the page some visual appeal. We also look for pages that are positioned high in search engines but see relatively few clicks, and we give them new titles and meta descriptions to make them more interesting to potential visitors. In some cases, this helps us increase traffic by more than 20% in less than three months.”

Chris Zacher, a Content Marketing Specialist at Intergrowth

Revamping posts should be a routine task to squeeze every drip of traffic juice out of your content lemons.

Having a set of tracking metrics available, helps you to monitor the performance of your content.

Along website metrics, most Amazon Affiliate tools like TableLabs have an integrated tracking suite.

The tracking dashboard allows you to observe views and clicks of each of your Amazon product comparison table.

This makes it easy to spot the low conversion posts. Underperforming posts that volunteer for an update.

Along updating your content for conversion, time plays an important role for your Google rank as well.

Search engines want to display up to date content.

Most blog post show the publishing date by default.

An older date does not only scare Google – but may also scare your visitors.

Who wants to read a best practice guide from 2003.

Make sure that you periodically, at least once a year, to update your content. Even if it’s still relevant, simply re-publish the same post.

One more piece of advice for older websites: Google takes your whole website into consideration when determining your domain ranking.

Therefore, not only focus on your new, shiny guides, but also find a solution for your remains.

“If your business has been around for a while, or even if you’ve had a stop-and-go relationship with your blog – even if you are putting out solid stuff now – you may not even realize that earlier, poor quality content is affecting your overall ranking. So you’ll need to do an audit. Once you find some of the culprits you have a few options; delete the content, improve the content, or “noindex” the post so Google doesn’t factor it in.”

James Parsons, founder and CEO of Content Powered

Updating, republishing and format standardizing helps you to sustainably rank in Google.

Increase time spend on page

If you think about how Google would assess which websites are better than others: What would you consider?

Let’s look at a metaphor.

Put yourself in the shoes of a restaurant critique. You’re passing a number of spots.

In the first restaurant, you see people sticking their heads in & leaving immediately. In the second restaurant, there is an extremely long line, and even more people try to get in.

Based on that, you would probably assume that the second restaurant has better food. You might only settle for the first restaurant if you are in desperate need of a bite.

In the same way, Google assesses websites by looking at average time spend on a webpage.

Since there are too many website for them to try out, they rate website based on traceable metrics that approximate quality.

Therefore, if you want to rank in Google, make your customers stay.

User will stick around if the content delivers answers to their search query. Vice versa, user are trained to exit popups and low quality sites quickly.

When you think about Amazon Affiliate SEO, most people just think about keywords. There is more to it.

Given that it’s very easy to track, the time spend on page will have an effect on how your article will rank in Google.

There are obvious blockers to time spend on your page. Bulky advertisements, non-catchy intros and overall discomfort with the website appearance come to mind.

To leave you with one piece of actionable advice: Mobile traffic is on the rise. As Amazon Affiliates are used to write long form content, the user experience on mobile is sub optimal.

To enable your visitor to jump to the part of the article that is relevant to them, make sure you give them a clear intro and a table of content.

“I added a Table of Contents to the top of each article. On desktop, I always had one in a sidebar, but this was disabled on mobile for the longest time (because of my site template) so adding it as a separate widget was successful.”

Matt Oney, Founder of Zenmaster Wellness

Reduce page load time

Speaking about busy restaurants. While a long line is an approximation for quality, it is not a great sign for user experience.

When deciding which articles should rank in Google, the page load time is another important metric.

After all – who enjoys waiting in line. Similarly, don’t let your user wait to see your content.

Along regular SEO, make sure that your webpage loads quickly. The larger your website, the longer the wait.

What usually bulks up websites are images. While images are a great addition to any content, make sure that the image is compressed and as slim as possible.

“Extensive load times and absurdly long pages negatively impact a website, not only because those who reach it will feel annoyed and leave but also because it actually prevents Google from promoting it. Thus, the one thing I do to fight this and that has given me great results is using one of the best web hosting plans and always optimizing the images I use (reducing their size whenever possible, trying to only use JPEG, etc.)”

Sharon van Donkelaar, CMO at Expandi

Along images, extensive web scripts and hosting can also cause longer load times.

“Site speed, for me, is an essential aspect of a website as it influences the rankings. If the site speed of a website is fast, then the user experience is enhanced as all the text, videos, images, and other elements of the website load quickly and smoothly. In addition, it increases the chance of the user to stay on the page and link it to others.”

Avinash Chandra, Founder and CEO of BrandLoom

Increase domain authority and topic relevance though backlinks

Backlinks are the bread and butter to rank in Google.

Imagine all of your friends tell you that one particular restaurant has amazing food.

You would probably assume it’s quite good and would put it on top of your priority list.

Similarly, Google determines your website rank.

The more influential websites refer to your page, the higher you are ranking.

But – not all backlinks are created equal. The two key factors to determine how valuable a backlink is, are domain authority and topic relevance.

Domain authority approximates the influence a website has. The New York Times will have a higher authority than your local newspaper. Thus, a link from the times is more valuable.

Topic relevance helps Google determine your influence in a niche. If you have an Amazon Affiliate website about running shoes, a backlink from Adidas will be more valuable than from the New York Times. Even if the times has a higher domain authority.

“Building backlink profiles needs strategic planning of who to reach out, what to offer, and how you can get a mention with dofollow from their website. To increase domain authority, one’s site should maintain decent backlinks. When higher sites link to your website, then the domain authority will get boosted remarkably. As someone said ” Having 10 high DA backlinks is better than having 1000 low DA backlinks. The relevancy also plays a vital role in getting higher DA.”

Suresh Vurity, Full time blogger at Way2Earning

So how do you get backlinks in order to rank in Google?

There are three main ways to get– organic (someone quotes your website), outreach (you ask to be included in someone else’s website) and guest blogging (producing content for someone else).

“In order to rank high and increase your domain authority, strive to produce content that is useful and quotable. This includes blog posts, e-booklets, brochures, charts, graphs, really anything that a journalist can use as an addition to their story.”

Maya Stern, Head of Marketing and PR at Creative Navy UX Agency

“Guest blogging offers many advantages for business. By sharing your expertise on other companies’ websites, you can establish yourself as an authority figure within your market, build relationships with other thought leaders in your field, and expose your brand to a whole new audience.”

Oliver Andrews, Owner of OA Design Services

In summary, link building is an essential piece to your SEO ranking.

Our key advice – Quality beats quantity.

Spend time on getting the top authorities in your space to refer to your website, rather than trying to get as many links as possible. It will take time and effort, but it will also move the needle.

Leverage the power of internal linking

When Amazon Affiliates do SEO, improving to your internal linking strategy can be a quick win.

Connecting your content, has two key advantages, which are more information for your user and passing on link juice.

Firstly, Giving you user more to read, makes it more likely for them to stick around.

That not only increases time spend on your website, but also with every piece of content, it increases the chances of someone following your product recommendations.

Secondly, internal links pass authority juice.

If you have skyscraper content (a post with a lot of great backlinks), you can pass on authority to your other post by referencing them.

Internal links helps you to increase ranking for post that might otherwise don’t get backlinks. Import her is to use a relevant anchor text, which should be similar (not always the same) as the target keyword.

“The golden nugget for me to rank in google was Internal linking. It reduces the bounce rate (increasing a visitor’s average time spent on your site). It also helps in spreading link juice and Page Authority throughout your website. Finally, interlinking will allow both users and search engines to navigate your website easily.”

Miranda Yan, Co-Founder of VinPit

In contrast to receiving backlinks, internal linking is rather easy since you just have to edit your own post.

Create Topical Clusters

Beyond SEO, your Google rank is dependent on your site’s topical relevance.

Topical authority is different from domain authority. While domain authority represent your overall websites standing, your topical authority is your influence over a specific topic or keyword.

You will notice, that for a given keyword, the top ten post will not be ordered by domain ranking.

Beyond the quality of the content itself, topical authority is part of the reason.

For Amazon Affiliates SEO, it’s vital to make sure your content is clusters.

Google does not like if you go astray, with content from various fields.

Specifically, for those working with agencies, Affiliates sometimes focus too much on pumping out posts after posts.

Keyword planning not only entails assessing keyword volume and competitiveness, but also topical relevance.

Along organizing your posts around a relevant theme, you should pay attention to your competition.

What you can do is looking at what other keywords competing posts are using, as Google will deem those relevant.

For example, if competing posts for a running shoe review all contain words like “marathon” or “regeneration”, it’s best to include those in your post as well.

Certain SERP tools like Thruuu are of great help when doing this analysis.

Leapfrog your competition

Let’s build on the concept of looking what happens around you.

Once you assessed your competition you can an immediate feel how easy / difficult ranking in Google will be.

Competing post serve as a benchmark.

Like high jump, you will succeed if you are getting over the bar.

This is one thing that Amazon Affiliates underestimate when they do SEO.

Google tells you what they think is good through their ranking.

Identifying post where you don’t have to metaphorically jump as high, make your life easier.

“Gauge the Lowest Performing Content on Competitors Sites. This method means that you leverage your fullest where a bigger, better, and more high-ranking competitor is lacking considerably. One such tactic I find by researching is to look at high-DA affiliate sites, scour there content box, and pick up those entries that are:  Not clearly defined / Lack actionable advice or suggestions / A little short of words / No proper internet-linking or backlinks.”

Will Cannon, CEO of Signaturely

Timing

Or: Don’t be too late!

Content creators focus on the what, but less on the when.

The when plays an important part in your Google rank as well.

Search engines are able to recognize trends and will display results accordingly.

Let’s take the Super bowl for example.

Before the game, people will search “kick off time”, “line up” or “predictions”.

Therefore, Google will also rank results containing these keywords higher for the plain “super bowl” search.

After the game, searches for “highlights”, “results” or “review” will be more prominent.

Therefore, the plain “super bowl” search will now display completely different results than before.

The “when” has a tremendous effect.

Amazon Affiliates SEO entails optimizing the timing of the post.

Firstly, prior to significant sales events like prime day, winter holidays or singles day, your title should be a “preview”. Whereas after, the title should say “highlights”, like those were the best deals.

Secondly, remember that it takes a few months for you to rank in Google. If you want a comfortable spot for xmas, get in line three to six months earlier.

That means having your post published before September and then regularly updating it.

Don’t reinvent the wheel – leverage SEO tools

Raking in Google requires analysis.

Volume for individual keywords their competitiveness.

Understanding website rankings and the competitive landscape

Optimizing technical SEO through website optimization.

For those and more, there are existing tools that are easy to use.

Trying to build your custom solutions or doing manual research is not as scalable nor a good return on your time.

Luckily, the SEO is an established field. A path already developed.

Just check out this review of the best tools Amazon Associates can leverage.

Not all the tools will be necessary. We would only recommend to leverage those tools that are absolutely essential for your workflow and use the free tiers for the reminder.

Consistency

Remember that Google assess your overall website.

Search engines assess your good, your bad and the ugly.

Penalties can be given your individual posts that Google deem spam.

What that means to you: Your amazing post does not rank because one of your old, forgotten posts is pulling you down like dead wood.

If a post does not meet your quality standards: Don’t publish it.

That holds true for older posts as well. We all start out somewhere. In contrast to sentimental value, older low quality posts can have a negative value.

Being consistent is the secret to build a sustainable audience. Balance between pushing content regularly, but also maintaining a minimum quality level.

Unfortunately for all of those who want to get rich quick, consistency takes time.

Take the time – it’s worth it.

Query-based keywords

Commercial content, like product reviews, are often centered around intent-based keywords, like “best ABC”.

However, most of the search volume are query-based terms, like “how to XYZ”.

Questions are the new gold mine. We already talked about stealing position zero as one of the advantages to incorporate questions focused paragraphs.

Don’t be afraid to use questions in your titles and anchor keywords.

With the emerging of voice, query’s revolving around a question will further increase.

Thinking three years ahead, this will be even more important.

This gives you a chance to rank in Google with informational content.

“What are the most searched items over all search engines? The answer is simple, questions.. Queries and questions rank highest amongst any other form of searched item. Incorporating these questions in your content will divert a lot of traffic on your website. You can do this in two simple ways, either section your content in a question answer format, or discuss questions at the end of your article in the form of FAQ’s”

Hitesh Patel, Founder of RRPJewellers

A good format to deliver questions based answers on your website are FAQ sections.

That allows you to bundle “what people also asked” onto one webpage. That way you only have to market one page for a number of queries.

Passive link building through Skyscraper content

The dream Amazon Affiliate SEO is Skyscraper content.

Content so good, it draws visitors like bees to honey.

Visitors and backlinks pilling in without you have to do anything.

Wouldn’t that be great.

Well – it’s not that “passive” of a strategy as some might want you to believe.

Quite the opposite. Skyscraper content probably takes the most effort in research, writing and going live.

In essence, skyscraper content refers to a post that relevant sites would like to link to. They like to link to you because you have a fact, functionality or word of wisdom that other’s don’t.

Simple examples are currency converters, rent calculators, white papers and industry research.

For the most part, unique statistics are the needles in the haystack, that people are looking for.

“A better way to get links is through creating content that attracts links passively. Some types of content I’ve had success with before include statistics posts, industry studies, or industry surveys – anything that others in your industry would want to reference or point to in their own articles.”

Brooks Manley, SEO Agency Owner

When in doubt – EAT

After a long day of SEO to rank in Google, who couldn’t deny a delicious snack.

In this case, EAT stands for the guiding principle of search engine ranking.

EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Whenever you have a question or are unsure how to optimize your content, refer back to EAT.

While only few people know what happens under the hood of Google ranking algorithms, the guiding principles approximate their workings.

Expertise is a proxy of your topical relevance and standing in your niche.

Authoritativeness represents your websites overall importance.

Trustworthiness gauges how reliable the information you provided actually are (or if it’s plain spam).

When you published an article or a revamping your website, use the EAT framework as a checklist.

Make sure to be confident to check every box without doubt.

That’s it. Any best practices that we missed? Let us know in the comments !!

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