Planning an Affiliate Site 58 Comments
Planning an Affiliate Site

Recently I caught up with two of my internet marketing buddies and we had a good odd chat about SEO and planning an affiliate marketing site.

We talked about some really interesting aspects of affiliate marketing, and in this post I will be sharing with you one thing I found most helpful.

When you’re starting an affiliate website, and your intention is driving free traffic from the search engines, it’s vital that you plan the site out properly.

The most important aspect to get right is choosing the keywords that the pages of your site will target. Most of you will know what kind of keywords convert best and have a rough idea of the kind of competition you are capable of going after.

However I want to discuss another aspect of targeting keywords, that will allow you to get much more traffic in the long term, and ensure that Google loves your sites too!

OK let’s start with an example. If you have a site that sells mountain bikes, you might be targeting a particular model of bike as your keyword, such as “cell XC-1“. I haven’t checked if that phrase has any search volume, but it doesn’t matter as it’s for example purposes only.

If you were targeting “cell XC-1“, you would write an article about the bike and make sure it is monetized well and then go ahead and start getting some links to that page, so you can get top search engine rankings.

That’s nothing new to most of you I’m sure, however let me explain how you can make sure you are targeting that phrase for its true value.

When doing your keyword research look for phrases that are the longer tail version ofย  the phrase you are targeting. Taking this example, with the phrase “cell XC-1“, I could also potentially target cell XC-1 cross country” or “cell XC-1 cross country mountain bike” or even “buy cell XC-1“.

As you can see in the examples above, the core phrase of “cell XC-1” is contained in all the variations of the phrase.The longer phrase variations will have less traffic, however I will explain in moment what I am getting at.

Before I continue to explain though, I first want to explain the concept of “natural looking” link building. It’s no secret that Google prefers all link building to be built naturally, which is where people just decide to link to you. However in reality, if you rely on this you’ll struggle to get top search engine rankings.

So of course, everybody builds link themselves. However that doesn’t mean that when you are building links that you shouldn’t try and mirror what natural link building looks like as closely as possible.

starting-an-affiliate-siteOne way to do this is to have variation in your anchor text that makes up your links. I don’t go over board on the variation, however I think 20% of the time, if you have a slight variation in your links it’s a good idea.

Here’s the clincher, when you are adding this variation, you should use the longer version of your keyword phrase, with the original core keyword phrase embedded inside it, just like I showed in the examples above.

There are two major advantages of doing this, the first is that your links will look more natural to Google because your link anchor texts are varied, which is good for your search engine rankings, and also you’ll start to rank for these longer tail phrases eventually and get more traffic from them too!

But that’s not all, because you are still using phrases with the core keyword phrase in them, your rankings will still be boosted for that core phrase also.

I did this recently when I has starting an affiliate site, but I did it the other way around, and I went for the longer version of the phrases first, and when I got rankings for them, I then got my link builders to start building links with the shorter tail version of the keyword.

The cool thing about this was, because I had been building links on the long tail phrase that contained the exact shorter tail phrase inside it, I was already on page 2 for the shorter tail phrase anyway!

So when you are planning an affiliate site, or any site for that matter, where your intention is to drive free traffic from the search engines, it is a good idea to add variation to your links, using longer tail versions of the core keyword you are targeting for that page.

planning-an-affiliate-siteIMPORTANT NOTE: In the beginning of this post I mentioned that I caught up with two of my internet marketing buddies, both absolute experts at marketing online, and the great news is that one of them is giving away a free report for a limited time where he provides a detailed plan (with video) of his best affiliate marketing tricks.

I encourage you to grab it now, here’s the link:ย  ==>Free Report<==


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53 Comments to Planning an Affiliate Site

  1. July 16, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Great information. I have just launched check it out if you would and give me your feed back on what you think.


    Thomas S. Mills

  2. July 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Good tip for us link builders Matt, varying the anchor text a bit to look more natural to the search engines. Makes a lot of sense, so I’ll start doing this tomorrow!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Ally

    yeah anchor text variation is important indeed!



  3. July 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I agree that KW research is very important. Not a lot of people are aware of that.
    But Link Building is another level of marketing witch I found very hard to master. It is very time consuming! I hope that with your help will be able to see great results.
    Thank you Matt.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Ludmilla

    yes link building takes some practice and there is a lot to learn, but if you keep at it, it is well worth it!



  4. July 20, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    …and by varying the length of the keywords that you are using it makes varying the content you are submitting easier as well.

  5. July 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi there. I agree with you,Great tips and info here.Thanks


  6. Taylor's Gravatar Taylor
    July 21, 2010 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt, where do you get or hire your link builders?

  7. July 21, 2010 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Such good advice Matt!
    I have been wondering about the long-tail vs short keyword link but didn’t know that Google prefers the long-tail version so I have learnt something!
    I’m a real newbie, building my little website on my own so do appreciate your articles and blog posts.
    I’ll now download the report you mention at the end of your post. Thanks!
    Sherry ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Joe's Gravatar Joe
    July 21, 2010 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Great article and as I just checked, this article is in position 3 in Google for the term “cell XC-1 cross country mountain bike” and position 4 for “cell XC-1”, clearly showing how easy it is to get a page 1 ranking with a properly executed seo strategy and the right keyword.

  9. July 21, 2010 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks for another good tip Matt, I’m always leaning toward what google wants because as Matt Cutts said in one of his videos google makes about 200 changes a year targeting sites that try to take short cuts around google. We have to put so much work into a site I want mine to keep working for several years.

  10. Samuel's Gravatar Samuel
    July 21, 2010 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks for bringing this to your people. Google loves articles that contain synonyms that are related to your main keyword (LSI) but in this case, they must all contain your main keyword in them and while you are building your backlinks you can use the synonyms in your anchor link.

  11. July 21, 2010 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Hi, Matt–
    Another great post. I’d actually known this, but it’s great to have you articulate it so clearly and cleanly to help me make it a priority, not just something “good” to do.

    I’m enjoying your free videos a lot — HOWEVER, I’m not getting all of them, and getting some of the emails twice. Don’t know what’s going on there. But I’m smart enough to amend the URL and go back for the ones I missed. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. July 21, 2010 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Yes I’ve been using the variations of my keywords (because I thought it looked better on the page) now I know !!! Thanks!!!!!!!!

    I have a question??? How do I get my picture to show up on comments?

  13. July 21, 2010 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips on varying the text in links. I hadn’t given that much thought up to this point and will certainly be trying out your tip. Great blog Matt!

  14. July 21, 2010 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Great article about link building.

    I’m still in the early stages with a few of my niche affiliate sites and will use your ideas to create natural looking backlinks.

    Thanks for the tip.

  15. July 21, 2010 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    @Roger Gaelens – you need to link a picture to your email address using a service like Gravatar (its completely free and easy to do).

    Hi Matt, good post. I also throw in the odd “click here” anchor text just so nothing gets flagged in google. Do you think this is really necessary? or in your experience is it best to mix up the anchor text just using the long tail?

    Also, I have heard other internet marketers say that its best to predominantly get links without your keywords so that it looks really natural. Would you agree or do you always try and go for 80% keyword anchor text and 20% long tail anchor text?

    thanks for your help, I enjoy your training (esp the backlink blueprint)

  16. July 21, 2010 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    As always great content. I think sometimes we get caught up with ranking just for the keyword itself. I often will turn an easy to rank for keyword into a long tail myself. I say as long as it sounds natural than go for it!

  17. Viviane's Gravatar Viviane
    July 21, 2010 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Good idea to start with longer tail keyword phrases – I can see why it would work better. I tend to do it backwards. Thanks for the tip!

    I had a problem when I tried downloading the free report. Here is the message I got:

    This link was created by an affiliate of the ClickBank network who is not authorized to promote this product. Click here to continue on to the pitch page.

  18. Ian's Gravatar Ian
    July 21, 2010 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Great tips thanks Matt. Yes, need to keep remembering to make incoming links look more naturally created by varying up the anchor text.

    Good one too about going for the long tail keyword phrase first which will have benefits for the short tail version too. Cheers.

  19. July 21, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip Matt. I’ll implement your strategy with my inbound links.

  20. elf's Gravatar elf
    July 21, 2010 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Your tip is right into the money. I have been trying this technique
    and its really works. Outsourcing this work kind of linkbuilding
    is way to go. A lot of work but will pay off in the long run.

  21. July 21, 2010 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this Matt. Alot of people when designing websites still don’t realise the importance of SEO and taking the time to do your keyword research to help the site get a high page ranking. There’s no point in having a beautiful website if no-one can find it…

  22. July 21, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt, Great information this is going to help!


  23. July 21, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink


    Great ractical advice for natural link building to help Google domination. Thanks for the tips and the report. All the best


  24. July 21, 2010 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    A good article about using variations for anchor texts in our link building exercise. Your suggestions about a good mix of long tail keywords is a great idea.

  25. July 21, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this linking strategy. I have been using variations, but not with keywords inside keywords. It makes so much sense.

  26. July 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I love your post and I am one of your permanent reader. I already got some of your products like rapid rewriter and it helps me a lot too. Thanks for sharing great ideas and keep up the good work…

    Looking forward or more tips and tricks…

  27. July 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Great tip on embedding the key word in a long tail keyword. Saying and doing are sometimes hard to do though. I’ll keep trying.

    Love all your content. You’ve got the best link-building tips!


  28. July 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t deleted ONE of your emails you sent me because the info you share is priceless! What I’d like to know is who does your link building & how much does it cost?
    The other thing is that I’m trying a technique whereby I use related search terms that I get from Google and use that as my anchor text. I think it makes sense seeing as though Google is all about content relevancy!

    Last question: What’s better for keyword research, Google Adwords Keyword tool or Google external Keyword tool?

    Keep it coming! Thanx

  29. July 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink


    This is just another great post. I’ve used so many of your tips and tricks and I’m already on page #1. Thanks heaps.

  30. July 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info Matt, I had problems with a keyword phrase that began with ‘non words’ then the keywords, will have to try again as maybe with anchor text it doesn’t matter.

  31. Ken's Gravatar Ken
    July 22, 2010 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all of the great info. This is a great post. Also would add building sites on WordPress because Google likes the platform.


  32. July 22, 2010 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    Great info! My blog is all about using
    natural alternatives as opposed to Dr. prescribed
    medicines. And the few times I used well known celebrities
    in the titles, my page rankings always seem to land on the first
    page of Google listings.
    So please Matt,
    talk more about the importance of titles.

    J. Gibson!

  33. July 22, 2010 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt
    That’s another good tip – Thanks
    I’ve got good search engine rankings for long tail keyword phrases but am struggling for the main keywords German Shepherd Dogs.
    I’ve heard that instead of using just your name when making comments – you should use ‘anchor text’ using keywords.
    i.e. Graham@ German Shepherd DogsToday or GSD training
    Is this right – What do you suggest?
    I’m still confused about this.

  34. Karen Perese's Gravatar Karen Perese
    July 22, 2010 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Awesome tips again Matt, I was actually doing a lot of that with CWS not fully realising its actually a good thing as indicated with your post. Im totally enjoying your SEO Link building tips on your blog!! Its so intresting as well, reading how other people are developing and actually getting all round tips there as well. Place to be thanks Matt.

  35. Karen Perese's Gravatar Karen Perese
    July 22, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Matt is Rapid Rewriter still available please? Would this assist me in CWS?

    Cheers Thanks Karen.

  36. July 22, 2010 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips, Matt. Great job as always. Thanks to your help I have one keyword on page 1 and another on page 2 and climbing.

  37. Nicholas's Gravatar Nicholas
    July 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Find reading your blog is like attending a well taught class, always something of value to learn. Your fine education, for me, fills in many blank spaces; thank you.

  38. July 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    More good advice. Thanks for sharing.

  39. July 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt
    very nice post. Nobody teaches that. I am glad that you break it down in a way that makes sense. I do outsourcing for my backlinks and I am not seeing that much a difference. i do go after EDU or GOV. and some of those blogs don’t even make any sense .So is there an easy way to go about it? Once again thank you for all the great content


  40. July 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Long tailed keywords is really powerful in terms of driving free traffic from search engine because they are less competitive. I often read this information in some of my blogging friends.

    This SEO technique is a must for every blogger who targets their audience from search engine.

    Thank you Matt for reminding me. This is a co-incidence because I just read this post while I am doing my keyword research in for my niche blogs.

    – Blogging

  41. July 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Your article about longtail keywords is true. Keywords inside of keywords is a good thing to utilize.

  42. July 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Valuable content from you as always.

    Thanks a lot,

  43. July 25, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I was wondering about that. I’ve heard varied your anchor text and I’ve heard focus on a main keyword as a percentage of your total back links.

  44. July 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I like to use this strategy as well. The 80/20 rule seems to work best for me also. I loved your 12 part video series by the way!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Justin,

    Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the free video course of mine.

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.



  45. Joe's Gravatar Joe
    July 25, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Just curious…Have you tried the Market Samurai keyword tool and if so what do you think of it?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Joe

    Yes I have tried it and I think its pretty decent



  46. July 26, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Not being into SEO I had to read it several times over before I could understand it…. but makes sense

  47. July 26, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    good points made here, I totally agree with varied anchor text but I do have great success by working ona sigle keyword at a time but by getting links froma a wiiiiide variets of places.

  48. August 3, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Amiable brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you for your information.

  49. August 3, 2010 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    I really like seo generated traffic, and mainly for the obvious reasons, which is, it’s FREE!

    The other great thing is you only really have too concentrate on, on and off page seo once. Off page seo you may from time to time try and get a few more back links to your site, but that’s not essential if you have got yourself ranked well to start with, with your initial off page seo.

    My keyword research is just as important as back linking, or more so!!
    Because if you pick wrong keywords then you may never rank well enough to show on page 1 of Google, and ideally you want to be in the top 4 positions. Any lower than this your efforts are in vane, so if you manage to get onto page 1 but are towards the bottom of the page, just stick with back linking a little more as it will pay off and pay off big!

    I myself don’t bother with paid traffic tools, as I’ve found that they all drag content from various areas anyway! Mainly being Google AdWords tool.

    I like to use Google ‘Wonder Wheel’ which is excellent in finding those keywords that you didn’t know about!

    If your looking at promoting Affiliate Products then I suggest using WordPress which is an excellent blog/website to get very well optimized, and is quickly put together! Plus our friend ‘Google’ love it!!

    For how to get started and even for the Advanced Affiliate Marketer, you must check out;
    Super Affiliate Sniper

    To all your Success,

  50. September 11, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Once again Matt, you have some great tips here that clearly come from first-hand experience. Writing for people tends to automatically make the backlinks you get to your site very natural, but this is a great reminder to vary it up a bit when doing backlink work.

    By the way, I found a great place for your readers to outsource some of this work without having to hire someone full-time or from elance.
    You may have heard of it, it’s called and I had some backlink work done for 5 bucks!

    Thanks again for the informative post. I am an avid reader of all your posts and I have subscribed and put some of your tips into motion with great results.

  51. September 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    very useful. I was only discussing the other day with my partner whether this kind of link building worked for both the longer tail and the shorter phrase too.


  52. September 28, 2010 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    usefull stuff u got her Matt. About the affilorama blueprint: This is where I learnt a lot about affiliate marketing, very recomandable.

  53. Dani's Gravatar Dani
    February 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for valuable content!
    I have one question on the topic. I read In one of your reports that it is recommended to use the keyword 3-5% of the article size.
    Let’s say my keyword is “how to do something” and article is 400 words. The keyword is 1% of the article (4 of 400). Should I use my keyword 3-5 times or treat it as one unit and use it 12-20 times?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Dani

    I would treat that whole phrase as one occurence of the keyword, and to be honest I don’t get that conerned about the exact numbers for this anymore, I just aim for 3-4 somewhere in the article.



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About Matt

Hey, Matt here, I'm a full time Super Affiliate, 33 years old, and live in New Zealand with my wife and son.

The internet is a brilliant way to make money. I encourage you to sign up above and start with my free 12 part affiliate marketing video course, and follow on facebook