5 Approaches to SEO that Will Yield Results that Last
Nailing your SEO strategy is vital for making more affiliate sales. Climbing up search engine rankings is one of the most effective, affordable, and sustainable ways to drive traffic to your content.
You’ll never fully know what the Google Algorithm rewards or be able to predict how it may change. However, there are several solid approaches to Search Engine Optimization that consistently yield lasting results.
With 15 years in the industry of buying, improving, and selling content sites, we have explored and trialed countless different approaches to SEO. Today we’ll share five of the most effective ones that have worked for us time and again. These strategies have helped us massively grow revenue from affiliate sales and create sustainable, authority sites in almost any niche!
And you are in luck. Implementing these SEO approaches is easier than you think, and once you nail the strategy, rinse and repeat.
Let’s dive in.
Reverse engineer your content
This method is one of our favorite approaches and one of the most intuitive. It is simple, and you can implement it without any expensive tools. Yet it is something that people often forget to do.
Try reverse engineering your content based on what is already ranking.
To do this, you should look at the top few articles ranking for the target keyword. Then you can break down the posts’ different components and essentially use these as a guide for your content. Take note of:
- The angle of the post
- The topics covered
- How many authority links it includes
- The ‘People Also Ask’ questions in Google
By using what’s there, you are eliminating guesswork and implementing a strategy that you know is proven. But how exactly do you go about reverse engineering an article?
Let’s break it down.
The angle of the post
So the first thing you can look at is the style of post that is ranking.
In this case, it looks like list-style articles or a guide is the way to go. The content mainly targets beginners, so you may want to angle your content to a beginner audience.
The topics covered
Next, you should check out the subheadings covered by the top articles, and it will give you an idea of which subtopics provide the most value to the reader. The secret is to make sure you cover all these topics and add additional value. This way, you can create better content than the top-ranking articles.
To add more value, you might:
- Cover additional subtopics (see the section on ‘people also ask’ questions below)
- Add more detail or examples
- Include more visual aids
- Include supporting video content
- Or anything else that will lift your content above the rest
How many authority links it includes
You can also use top-ranking content as a guide for things like how many links you should add to your post. If the article includes three links to external quality sites, make sure you have included a similar amount.
Depending on the niche, you might notice other critical details from auditing the top articles. For example, it is important to include references to medical studies and authoritative sources in the medical niche.
Use Google’s ‘people also ask’ questions
The ‘people also ask’ questions you see when you run a typical Google search are common user searches. Therefore, you know that the questions displayed are terms that real people search for regularly.
Adding any relevant ones as subheadings in your article is a great way to improve your rankings.
You can use the reverse engineering approach with essentially any quantifiable aspect of an article. It is not foolproof, but it certainly gives you an excellent framework for creating high-ranking content.
Implement content optimization asap!
Posting regular content is essential for your search engine rankings. However, improving and optimizing existing content is a powerful and underused SEO strategy that can boost organic traffic. Relaunching old pieces of content can be a great way to bring more traffic to your page and increase affiliate sales, all without having to write a whole new article.
Why does improving and optimizing content work?
Well, a piece written three years ago will seem like old news to any reader. Aside from the actual publish date, it is likely that it does not consider recent trends and new tools, and it may also include outdated information. Refreshing the content to make it relevant again will help drive traffic to your content and boost sales. Revising content is especially important for affiliate marketers as affiliate links must remain pertinent to the audience to generate sales.
How do you optimize and improve the content?
Improving content is not just about reposting something with today’s date. Instead, you need to identify anything outdated and improve these aspects. Some ideas are:
- Update any references to dates
- Remove obsolete information or strategies
- Add new and relevant information
- Add recent examples and case studies
- Change out images and screenshots
- Check all links, product recommendations, etc.
- Check if the angle of the post fits with the highest-ranking search results
Here, it’s a great idea to use the reverse engineering strategy above to check your content against top-ranking pieces. If it is off the mark in any area, you can adjust it accordingly.
Create a fantastic user experience
Google uses how long readers stay on your page to determine your ranking. While you can’t control someone’s ‘dwell time,’ what you can do is create an exceptional user experience. A great user experience will encourage people to hang around on your page, naturally boosting dwell time.
So how can you create a fantastic user experience when creating content? Here are some simple tips that work!
Provide value straight away
Some people disagree over where to place the critical information throughout your content for optimum dwell time. However, we favor the approach of answering the question right away.
If your keyword title involves a question, the user is looking for a simple answer.
For example, if a user searches ‘What is SEO?‘ and they come across your post ‘SEO Explained,’ your very first paragraph should briefly answer this question. If, on opening your page, they have to trawl through three contextual sections before getting to the point, they will likely bounce. If you answer their question straight away, yes, there is a chance they will read it and click away faster. But if they find it truly useful, they are more likely to keep reading.
We recommend the following structure:
Key facts summary
Main story breakdown
Readability is vital when creating a seamless user experience. With only a few seconds to capture people’s attention, opening a blog post to see a wall of text will deter most users. Content must be easy to digest, helpful, and engaging to have any chance of someone reaching the end.
So what are some guidelines for creating readable and engaging content?
- Use short paragraphs: Paragraphs of just two or four lines are optimal for a reader to digest.
- Keep sentence length short: Keep sentences to a maximum of 25 words.
- Avoid the passive voice: Switch out the passive for the active to avoid monotonous content.
- Use images and video: Content with more visual content is proven to rank more highly than just text. Don’t be afraid to use photos, screenshots, graphics, and videos.
- Include tables, graphs, charts: Use easy-to-glance comparison charts, tables, and graphs to show information visually.
- Add plenty of subheadings: Subheadings help your reader navigate the article to find the information they want, as well as make the post easier to absorb.
- Use bullet points: Choose bullet points where you find yourself listing something out.
Optimize content for on-page SEO
On-page SEO is a vast topic. There are so many ways to optimize your content for SEO, but let’s cover a few of the core techniques here.
Create short URLs with keywords
A study by Backlinko found that shorter URLs tend to outperform long ones in terms of search engine rankings. Also, top results on Google tend to be URLs that include the exact keyword.
Therefore, we suggest keeping your URLs to the target keyword along with one other.
Include LSI Keywords
Google rewards the use of many LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords in your content.
Wondering what the heck that means? Let me explain.
LSI keywords are simply related keywords to the target keyword. For example, you would not expect to read an article all about dogs without seeing the words fur, leash, tail, and puppy.
The more of these related words your content includes, the more likely Google is to boost your ranking.
Here’s a tip for determining which LSI keywords you should include in your content.
Type your target keyword into Google and scroll to the bottom of the results page. You will discover a section of related searches where you will find common LSI keywords that real people search for often.
Create thorough content
It can be a difficult task deciding how long to make content. But a good rule of thumb is to create comprehensive, longer pieces, specifically content covering a whole topic.
Why is this?
Long, in-depth content is likely to provide the reader with the most value and naturally include more LSI keywords. Ultimately, search engines favor longer content, helping it rise in search engine rankings.
What is long-form content? Anything above 1,000 words is typically long-form content. We advise producing content at least this length, but we also recommend creating 3,000 – 4,000 word pieces.
Linking still works. Make sure to include some internal links to your content to other published articles from your blog.
What are the best practices for effectively linking internally? Simply put, you want to link to content that needs a boost. Ideally, you will place links from pieces of content with lots of authority to ones with less. It is the most effective way to link and will give a boost to content that needs it.
Placing external links in your content still seems to curry favor with the Google algorithm. Therefore we suggest adding between two and five links to authority sources. Adding external links to pages of value that are already ranking well shows Google you are providing value to the reader.
Optimize your title tag for click-through rate
Finally, optimizing your title tag for click-through rate (CTR) is a bright idea. As more people click on your content, Google will boost your content rankings. Creating a grabby title is one of the most effective ways of increasing CTR.
How do you do this?
Here are some features of title tags that rank highly.
- Numbers: Titles that include numbers such as numbered lists, percentages, or data, consistently outrank content that’s purely text.
- Brackets or parentheses: Using brackets and parentheses also tends to boost the performance of title tags and achieve higher click-through rates.
Be smart about your keywords
So, of course, keyword research is a vital part of SEO strategy. Targeting the right keywords lays the foundations for lasting results. But many people don’t understand how to find the keywords they need. They head to a keyword generation tool, along with hundreds of competitors, which ultimately results in insanely competitive keywords. So let’s take a look at a keyword research strategy that will allow your content to rank highly in Google, whatever your niche.
Use long-tail keywords
A long-tail keyword usually consists of between three and five words. It is generally easier to rank for longer, more specific ‘long tail keywords’ than short ones.
Although there are usually fewer overall searches for long-tail keywords, there is significantly less competition. That makes ranking easier as you are fighting against fewer competitors.
But how do you determine which long-tail keywords are the right ones? The best way is to look for two metrics on each keyword.
- Search volume
- Competition levels
Where do you begin looking for keywords? There are several options.
One option is to use an online keyword tool such as:
Tools will help you generate a list of keywords around a relevant topic.
You could also DIY a keyword list using Google. As you type a search into Google, you will notice that Google suggests related keywords before you press enter. These derive from actual searches, so you know that people commonly type in those words. Create a list of relevant keywords by playing around with Google searches, adding spaces before the keyword search. You could also look for common topics on Reddit or Quora. Here’s what you might find searching the keyword ‘SEO tips.’
Once you have your list of keywords, what’s next?
You need to go through your keyword list and check each for its search volume and competition. We do this by using Semrush and their Keyword Magic Tool. The best keywords have high search volumes and low ‘competitive density.’
How to use SEO to boost affiliate marketing
So, there you have five simple and practical approaches to SEO that you can implement right away.
In short, here are your next steps. Don’t forget to use all the data available to you and reverse engineer your content based on what is already ranking in Google. Update and improve content regularly, optimize posts for on-page SEO, create an exceptional customer experience, and finally, don’t neglect your keyword research.
SEO should run at the heart of your strategy as an affiliate marketer. When done right, most marketers still find it the most effective way of generating more organic traffic and affiliate sales than any other method.
We continue to mix and match all of these techniques and others. Let us know which methods are your favorites or any that we didn’t mention.