The Affiliate Doctors Live – A4UExpo

Tue 13 October 2009 17:35, Sam Murray

The Affiliate Doctors Live – A4UExpo

So here I am, in the press room, blogging about a session at the A4UExpo.  I must admit in terms of SEO, this is as Rock n Roll as it gets, an assortment of free sweets , coffee and a selection of fizzy drinks prepared in a comfortable room. Probably not the requested rider of rock star but the caffeine & sugar intake makes up the high. 

Every session so far has been educational and very well received; the audience are a mix up who specialise in affiliate, social media and SEO, so learning spreads across the genres. 

The Affiliate Doctors Live session was no different. The session featured leading affiliates who gave frank advice on issues within affiliate marketing, start-up strategy, how to improve the conversion rates and SEO.

The session was very refreshing as it was entirely based around case studies (members in the audience previously sent in their websites to be evaluated) and the members of the panel highlighted areas of weakness and how they thought they could improve. 

An interesting question which was posed in the Q&A was when setting up a site is it better to have a keyword rich domain name or a brand name?.  All panellists agreed that it depends on the competitive nature of your sector.  If you happen to be in a niche you can afford to build a brand name whereas if your sector is very competitive a keyword rich domain would help to get you ranked within the search engines. On the other hand, in a niche a keyword rich domain name complete with a strong SEO campaign could help you dominate the SERPS (but this is just my thinking as an SEO) Duncan Jennings, the moderator, made a good point that a brand name is only important at a certain point. This is when you have put all your hard work in and you are beginning to get noticed that a brand can take you to the next level. 

Some of the main points that we should take from the session:

Significant factor of success in terms of affiliate sites is obtaining a constant stream of returning visitors. You have worked hard to promote and build awareness of your website so converting returning visitors cuts you some slack.

A lot of affiliate sites have thousands of pages of content. The key to obtaining traffic from search engines is to ensure this content is unique. Do not reproduce the content on similar affiliate sites as this will be deemed duplicate content and affect your ability to rank effectively. Kieron Donoghue made a good point about not just finding and replacing locations within your content and keeping the rest of the content the same.  The need to create sticky content is crucial.

Do not write about a subject, write for an audience. Ensure your content is topical and relevant to what the customer wants and this will in turn improve your returning customers. 

Assess your business model and see if another one would be more profitable. If you currently have a good amount of visitors to your site but are not making a significant or relational profit then maybe think about leveraging static ads that are sold directly to other brands instead of using just adsense.  

The landing page of sites you are driving visitors is critical to converting visitors into customers. Capture their attention with images, price comparison or product reviews. The first thing they see can’t be adsense advertising. 

Utilise call to actions. Once you obtain visitors to your web page filter them through to the conversion pages that will be profitable. 

Try to make display ads look part of the site to improve clicks through rates.

 Now I am off to the next session... Please follow @sammurray or @Searchcowboys for continuous updates!

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