Combine Affiliate Marketing and SEO for e-commerce sites

Affiliate Marketing and SEO are easily two of the most common marketing strategies for any marketers out there. However, some only see them as two individual methods that have nothing to do with each other. If you look at it that way, you may have been missing out.

In short, affiliate marketing aims to generate revenue by promoting products through third-party publishers, while the purpose of SEO is to improve your website visibility on search engines. 

That being said, the combination of the two, SEO affiliate marketing, can bring out the best of both worlds. By implementing SEO techniques to your affiliate marketing campaign, you can drive more traffic to your website and eventually generate higher revenue.

Therefore, learning how to harmonize affiliate marketing and SEO is very important for any affiliate marketer. In this article, we will walk you through some SEO techniques that can bring your affiliate campaign to the next level.

1. Choose Your Suitable Niche

The very first thing to do is to decide on your niche. Identifying a niche is of utmost importance for any business since it helps to define your targeted customers and set your business apart. 

The key to choosing the best niche for your business is the alignment of the 2 factors: what you like and what the market needs.


First, try to pick a niche that you are interested in. It’s always enjoyable to spend time on something that you like. It gives you the motivation you need to become a specialist in the field. 

But that is only halfway through. If the niche you pick does not seem to be of many people’s interest, you need to consider another one. Your business can hardly prosper by selling something that the market does not need.

Therefore, our advice to you is, let’s first make a list of niches that you like. Then, research those niches to find out the one that is the most popular and attracts the most customers. That should be your ideal niche.

For the research, you could start by checking the search volume of the niche’s keywords. Tools like Google Keyword Planner or KWfinder should be of great help.

2. Find A Relevant Domain Name

Domain name plays a vital role in your website’s success. If you want to deliver the best branding, you must also put some effort into the domain name. It contributes to customers’ first impressions of your website, so you should make it memorable.

One of the common tips when naming a domain is to incorporate keywords. Your domain name should include the keyword of the field you are operating in. For example, you could add “boutique” if you run a clothing business or “travel” if you are a travel agency. 

However, remember that too many keywords could also make your domain name sound bland, generic, and even untrustworthy. Therefore, you must use it wisely.

Another tactic is to include a product name in your domain name. Although it may narrow down your business opportunities, it is highly effective in case you want to promote the product or to keep up with an ongoing trend.

Lastly, ensure your domain name is easy to read and spell. Try your best to avoid using hyphens and numbers as well as double letters. Keep your domain name short and be creative. These are the widespread tips for domain naming that you should follow.

3. Do Keyword Research – Focus on Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases that are high in word count and low in search volume. These phrases are unpopular and come in many variations. They are usually 3 to 5 words long and contain short-tail keywords within themselves.

Despite being low in search volume, long-tail keywords are precious for your SEO campaign. Let’s look at the chart below from Ahrefs to understand why.



Here we can see that the orange and yellow portions represent keywords that have high search volume. Those are short-tail keywords like “computer” or “lipsticks”, “flight ticket”. They take up 60.67% of the search demand. However, they only account for 0.16% of the total number of search queries. Such a tiny portion is not worth that much competitiveness. The other 99.84% that consisted of long-tail keywords is where you should focus on.

Since long-tail keywords are low in search volume, they also come with low competition. That means they are easier to rank in the SERPs, which helps you to save your cost. Long-tail keywords also have a higher conversion rate, since they are more specific than short-tail keywords and more likely to meet customers’ exact demands.

It is also pretty easy to research long-tail keywords. You can make use of the Google search engine by typing the primary keywords into the search bar. Good long-tail keywords shall appear anywhere from the suggestion dropdown list to “Related search” or “People also ask” areas.

Other tools like Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, or even Youtube should come in handy as well. These tools are of great use when it comes to helping you pick out your ideal keywords.

4. Optimize Your Website Content

Let’s not forget about website content since it is the quintessence of your site. If your content is not attractive enough to make customers convert, what’s the point of driving more traffic to your website? This is where you need to upgrade your content for better conversions.

The first tip we want to share is to write for your customers. Many marketers pay too much attention to the search engines ranking criteria when writing content. Although this is an appropriate practice, you must bear in mind that visitors are those who will directly interact with your website, not all the algorithms and computer calculations. Therefore, your content should always be reader-oriented, first and foremost.


Your website content should be value-rich, educational and entertaining. It must be able to provide visitors with what they need, answer their questions or entertain them. Only in that way will your visitors find your website useful and may convert into customers.

That being said, you must not forget to optimize your content in a way that meets SEO criteria. Pay attention to other on-page SEO elements like URL slugs, meta tags, headings, subheadings. Try to incorporate keywords in articles, headlines and URL slugs enough for Google to understand what you are talking about, and not too much for your website to look like a keyword mess.

When optimizing your content, put effort into the visuals as well. Decorate your website by placing high-quality images and videos at appropriate spots (in articles, etc). Pay attention to your website layout and set up ads banners where suitable. You can use A/B testing to figure out what works best for you.

5. Optimize Link Building – Set Nofollow Affiliate Links

Nofollow links, unlike Dofollow ones, are backlinks that do not pass on authority to the website that they are linked to. They do not generate link juice and therefore do not affect the website’s ranking.

When you first set up affiliate links, they are classed as dofollow links. The problem is, Google considers affiliate links to be paid links. In search engines terms, paid links generate inorganic authority. Therefore, if you leave your affiliate links as dofollow by default, your site is likely to be penalized and it negatively affects your website’s ranking.

For this reason, you should always set your affiliate links as nofollow links to avoid penalties. Google itself has suggested in its Webmaster Guidelines that all affiliate links should be tagged as “nofollow”. Furthermore, setting up nofollow links positively affects your SEO efforts in the long run. Although they do not generate link juice, nofollow links can still drive more traffic to your site and they are still indexed by Google bots, which will affect your backlink portfolio.

The good news is, affiliate links are different from paid links in a few aspects. For paid links, you have to pay third-party domains for them to set up backlinks that lead to your website without an assurance of conversion or traffic. On the other hand, affiliate links make sure that you only have to pay commission whenever a visitor clicks on the link and purchases your products. If the visitor accesses your website through the link but does not convert, you don’t have to pay and still gain traffic to your website. This put merchants in a win-win situation. You can both earn backlinks to improve your SEO and increase conversion rate through the deployment of affiliate programs, all at the same time.

6. Continue to Follow the Best Affiliate Marketing and SEO Practices

The fact that SEO could become a great aid to your affiliate marketing campaign has proven its fortes. It is the key to the growth of your brand, especially for those who do business on e-commerce platforms like Shopify or Magento.
However, SEO marketing is a long-term strategy that requires deep knowledge of search engines mechanics as well as thorough research of the market. Business owners need to familiarize themselves with SEO knowledge to make the most out of it. SEO done wrong can significantly harm your business and make your marketing efforts go to waste.

If you happen to be a Shopify e-commerce businessman who wants to level up his SEO game, check this article out for more SEO techniques on Shopify: 8 EASY steps of SHOPIFY SEO optimization to TOP 1


Affiliate marketing and SEO are two marketing strategies that would go great together. This is a great example of combining different marketing methods to achieve the best outcome. Marketers should always try to expand their uses of different methods instead of sticking to one, since all marketing techniques share the same goal.

Is there any other combination of marketing strategies that is worth a try? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.

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1 Comment

  • Herman
    Posted April 13, 2022 at 1:06 pm 0Likes

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