Here's a scenario you don't want to happen:
You've spent hours and hours researching the best most profitable keywords for your particular affiliate web page. You chose these keywords because they have good demand, people are searching these terms yet they are not so competitive that they are impossible to rank well for within the top 2 pages of Google or Yahoo.
You've also gained a few quality inbound links via reciprocal link partners and writing a few relevant articles that have inbound links pointing at your target page.
The search engines have rewarded your efforts by giving you a top 20 listing this popular search term.
You notice an increase in traffic to this page. No doubt due to the exposure in the SE's.
After a few days you notice your page is dropped like a hot potato and your top 20 ranking is gone you're now on page 11 buried... never to be found!
Let's back track to see what might have happened.
1. Web surfer types in your popular term into the SE (MSN, Google) (great!)
2. Your listing displays in the first two pages of search results (great!)
3. Visitor reads your description which seems relevant and decides to click and visit your page (great!)
4. Visitor enters your page and quickly leaves (Not great!)
You did everything correctly in leading the visitor to your page with good keywords and off-page optimisation, but they left because your web content was not compelling, relevant or interesting enough to grab and keep their attention.
You will eventually lose SE rankings if the major SE's detect this pattern of visitor behaviour, that is, where the visitor finds your site through legitimate keyword search yet quickly clicks back to the search results page and continues looking.
Because the SE's will deem your pages not relevant for that particular search term.
Remember, there is a correlation between web content - higher search engine rank and increased online traffic.
It is therefore critical to write compelling, interesting relevant content especially for affiliate type websites. Do not try to hard sell the affiliate products you are trying to get visitors to click on (your merchant site). Instead, pre-sell them with the best information stressing in real terms what the benefits are to the visitor. You want them to willingly click on the merchant link with an open to buy mentality.
There is an art to writing content to pre-sell your visitors.
Here are a few tips:
Stress the Benefits Early.
What you say will greatly effect if the person stays or leaves your web page. This seems like the most obvious thing yet so many web sites get it wrong. You must quickly within the first few seconds (remember this is internet time) establish the benefit of whatever your page is promoting and how it is useful to the visitor.
Leave the 'I ' and 'About Us' pages out of site until the visitor has gained trust looking for what they want whether you're providing information or actual products.
Read Your Page From the Visitors Perspective.
Sure you understand what you are saying, you wrote it! But is it really clear to a first time visitor? Strive to make the complex sound simple that's what communicating is really about. Hopefully your website topic or theme isn't about something inherently complex however you still need to stand back and reread it.
Don't assume the visitor has great knowledge about what you are writing about so don't leave things out that you think are unimportant. Make sure you define any jargon or industry related terms that may confuse the visitor.
Make sure your content flows logically. Avoid the scattered thought syndrome where ideas are all over the page. Reread.
Make sure your page navigation is consistent from page to page. If the visitor gets lost a good site map can solve this problem; make sure this link is included with your main navigation.
We hope you will achieve your objectives! All the best to you!