The hand wringing by ecommerce sites, that have lost traffic, since the May Day Update has had me in stitches. For years affiliates have had to ensure they don’t get seen as a “thin” site and it only seemed fair that the rest of the web had to play by the same rules.
In fact the changes around May Day which seem to reward niche sites, that sounds like good news to a lot of affiliates and started me thinking about the other ways affiliates can take advantage of their niche authority to outrank otherwise authoritative merchants.
Make a list of the “most ‘quality x’ products” - Most merchants will have some kind of reviews of their products, spend some time reading a few of those reviews, in them they’re bound to refer to product qualities.
Maybe it’s the quietest, most reliable, best looking, or even the good old fashioned cheapest. Keep a pad near by and keep a list of the adjectives people are using to describe the products.
I guarantee you ten minutes reading reviews will give you ten ideas for lists based around these adjectives.
Are the Merchants listing multiple product variations on the same page? Only one page for every colour and size of iPod Nano? Separate each variation out, get some unique content for that product and optmise it accordingly. You’re closer to your niche and always take your pages at least one level lower than your merchants.
Create Comparison Pieces - whenever I’m making a purchasing decision I always find myself torn between two products, in an effort to decide which to go for I resort to Google and search on terms like “product x vs. product y” or “is product x better than product”
Normally I find a few pages covering these product decision and they are always in forums or on blogs and never on merchant sites. I see that as an opening for wise affiliates.
Answer Product Questions - ever been about to buy a product and your suddenly struck by a deal breaking question? Maybe you need to know whether it works with your PC? How long is the warranty? What batteries does it take? Where can you get it delivered from quickest?
It’s hard to anticipate what these questions, but if you can you are in luck, as in most cases these types of question come right before a purchase. As long as last click wins, that’s where you want to be as an affiliate.
Take it out of a PDF - Is the product supplied with a manual or info sheet that the merchant doesn’t have on their website and the manufacturer has hidden away behind a search query?
Work on ways to include that content in a search friendly format. This type of content will naturally contain obscure long-tail keyword variations but may also be the kind of content that people don’t take much convincing to link to.
Be prepared to criticise products - most merchants are to scared to criticize a product for fear of upsetting their manufacturers or suppliers. As an affiliate you don’t have to tow the party line in the same way. Is there a product everyone likes the idea of but has a well known fault, produce content optimised around these terms, discus them and offer an alternative without the flaws.