There’s no way around this fact, so I’ll just say it: in order to succeed, you must have good content.
That does not mean you have to be a great writer, or even that you have to do the writing yourself.
And before anyone packs up and leaves, let me further qualify and explain what I’ve just said.
First and most importantly, the Internet runs on content. Nobody goes to a site that doesn’t have good content or provides the information they’re looking for, at least not for very long.
The entire foundation of your affiliate marketing business is a topical website to which people with interest in that topic can go, and get something out of it.
In other words, your website must be one for which a visitor can say “I got something out of it and it was worth visiting”. Without that, you will not succeed.
The content of course is made up of words and phrases. It’s these words and phrases that will drive traffic to our website: the search engines will figure out which words and phrases are relevant for our site, and then rank us according to how we stack up next to other sites using those words and phrases.
For a long time, this led webmasters to focus much of their energy on optimizing their sites specifically for the keywords that would drive traffic. It also set up that conflict of interest where keyword optimization rather than content quality was what brought visitors to the site.
The search engines have undergone a profound change; while not perfect, the changes have gone a long way towards reversing this trend and correcting them in balance.
Not everyone has caught up with the changes, and there are still legions of webmasters attempting to game the search engines through optimization efforts that used to work but no longer do.
That’s great news for us; less competition.
In order to succeed today, the most important consideration is 'Content Focus' - by which we mean NOT 'Keyword Focus'. Your content MUST focus on the topic you are writing about.
Content optimization efforts should be applied to being descriptive & informative, using variations, synonyms, alternative phrases, alternative meanings, etc., and NOT focused on specific keywords.
It’s taken long enough, but for the most part search engines are starting to understand content and relevancy, and so don’t need to be force-fed keywords.
Whether we create our own content or outsource it, here are the MUSTS:
- All website content MUST be 100% original, and 100% grammatically correct;
- NO 'spun' content;
- NO 'scraped' or copied content
To summarize, we want our articles to be based on topics within our niche, rather than based on specific keyword phrases.
Optimizing Your Content
In earlier versions of the course, this was a big section. It isn't any longer. Why? Because "content optimization" no longer works. We used to optimize our content in order to manipulate Google for rankings. This no longer works.
What does work, and what everything – and I really mean EVERYTHING – should revolve around, is optimizing for visitors.
Optimizing For Visitors
One of the most significant 'fall-outs' from Google’s “Panda” updates is that almost the entire ranking 'landscape' has changed, beginning with content. And it isn't just about an article or page; 'low-quality' content anywhere on your site can hurt your ranking efforts everywhere.
If we want to manipulate Google for rankings with our content, there is a new, "cutting-edge" tactic: well-written, focused content.
This doesn't mean we don't include our primary keyword phrase in the title of our article, for instance. We do. But that's because this would occur naturally in well-written, focused content.
And that really is the key to "content optimization". Include appropriate keywords where it would be appropriate to include them: in the title of an article talking about the subject of that keyword. Anything beyond that and the determining factor must be "appropriateness". It's appropriate to use a target keyword in the title when the contents revolve around that keyword.
This means that your content, what visitors actually read and react to once they arrive on your site, must be worthwhile. It doesn’t need to be the best on the planet or Pulitzer prize-winning material. It doesn’t even need to be great or extraordinary. But it does need to be good and worthwhile.
There is a concept in marketing called
The idea is a simple one: create a ‘profile’ of the ideal customer/visitor/consumer. If the profile is accurate enough, you can use it to help fashion your marketing, your products, really everything, and to ‘test’ your efforts against.
For example, we developed a site a while back around the topic “Nursing School Programs”. We created a mental profile of the target visitor: female, 18-25 years of age, high school graduate, etc.
We could then target that person when designing the site, developing content, promoting offers, etc.
If our profiling was valid – and it was – we would see very high conversions on the site. We did.
The more you understand your target market, the better off you’ll be, not just for creating content, but for everything.
Fortunately, there are many ways to accomplish this. Of the hundreds of marketers I’ve worked with directly, and the thousands who have been on our private forum, I have yet to meet a single one who could not fulfill this requirement, either using some of the methods below or by outsourcing.
There are three basic things we need to cover here.
- How to create content that converts visitors to buyers. I know too many people with amazing sites that look great and are “well-written” and make no money. There are “emotional buttons” we need to push to move people through the sales funnel.
- How to format for SEO effectiveness. This is NOT the big deal it used to be.
- How to organize your content wisely, so that people and search engines can find similar material.
Understanding the demographics of your target market is hugely valuable, on numerous fronts. But how do you find demographics when you don’t yet have any visitors?
Fortunately, it’s quite easy.
There are online resources that can give you fantastically valuable demographic information based on websites: you input a website, they tell you everything there is to know about its visitors.
Simply search Google using your niche topic(s), then use the top-ranking sites to ‘feed-in’ to these resources!
Being the top-ranked sites, this is EXACTLY the information you want, and the people you should be targeting & profiling.
- Quantcast – http://www.quantcast.com/
- Alexa – http://www.alexa.com/
- Google (DoubleClick) Ad Planner – https://www.google.com/adplanner/ (you’ll need a Google account for this one)
- Compete - https://www.compete.com/
- SimilarWeb - http://www.similarweb.com/