An Affiliate Marketers Dilemma: Local Landing Pages
Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, the best affiliate marketing programs aren’t successful because of the product or service they market. They’re successful because their affiliate marketing websites are optimized to win.
What does it take to win?
Two things really. Great content and a LOT of traffic.
Creating high quality content is relatively easy, i.e. as long as you have the right partners in this endeavor, content creation shouldn’t be too much hassle. Anyone that’s ever hired our team for content writing services would vouch that getting great content is simple.
However, getting tons of high value, qualified traffic to your affiliate websites is the real challenge.
Doesn’t Great Content Result in Great Traffic?
It definitely does!
Professionally written copy, optimized for short and long keywords, is bound to help you rank better on search engines. But the problem is that there is immense competition in affiliate marketing. So you’ll need to do a few more things to get better results for your affiliate marketing efforts.
Let’s go through an example. Garcinia Cambogia extract is an increasingly popular weight loss product. It’s also a product that thousands of affiliate marketers are making good money by promoting.
When you look up Garcinia Cambogia on Google, here’s what you get.
There are two things to take notice of from this screenshot.
First and foremost, almost three million pages for Garcinia Cambogia exist! Any affiliate marketer that’s trying to sell the product has to compete with all these pages in order to get make it to the top of search results.
The second thing to notice is that there are two paid ads in the search results. Paid ads ALWAYS show up before organic results.
These two factors make it difficult for affiliate businesses to rank higher on search results. Garcinia Cambogia is a highly competitive term and ranking on the first page is a huge feat in itself. The good news that it isn’t impossible at all!
So what’s An Affiliate Marketer to Do?
It’s no secret that an affiliate sites that rank in the top 5 search results are money-making gold mines. Unfortunately many marketers think they can cheat search engines by slapping together thin affiliate site and start link building using cheap automated tool that promises to “have your site ranking in 24 hours.”
Let’s get one thing straight, there is NO overnight success in search marketing and landing page SEO is a deliberate, well-thought set of strategies that can take several months to deliver results.
So instead of going that path, take a look at these sure-fire tips that will help you get results with 3 to 6 months of honest efforts. Here’s what you should do to get the best results from landing pages.
Focus On Your Cash Cows
Figure out what towns, cities, or states you would benefit most from. If you have a purely online based business, like most affiliate marketers, you need to use analytic tools to figure out what cities have the highest search numbers for the product you’re marketing. It is after all, a numbers game.
Unique Content That Adds Value
Every page of your website needs to offer value to the visitor. You can’t just switch a paragraph or line here and there. Templates are a big no. Focus on the quality of the content rather than the quantity.
150 words that are unique perform better than 500 words of which only 50 words are unique.
Slow And Steady Wins the Race
Try not to run before you can walk. Take your time and deploy local landing pages as you complete them.
Don’t rush them. Get a unique landing page created for each page without compromising on quality of the content.
Optimize For Success
Different keywords rank differently in different cities. So make sure you research keywords separately for the cities that you’re targeting. You won’t get the results you’re looking for if you target the same keywords for each of the landing pages for your website.
A Quick Word about What NOT to Do!
Arguably the most used strategy for affiliate marketers is the creation and deployment of “doorway” localized landing pages, by the dozens! This is where a marketer is ranking for several locations, but all these links lead to the same page.
Take a look at this screenshot:
As you can see, the phrase that was searched was “garcinia cambogia springfield” and “garcinia cambogia falls church”.
Notice the highlighted meta tags in both the instances. What’s interesting is that these seemingly separate links take you to a page from the same website.
Smart strategy? Maybe for now.
So In a nutshell, the marketer in our example created and posted one promotional ad saved in a .jpg format on hundreds of unique location-based pages. As a result, the marketer is able to get clicks from hundreds of unique visitors on a daily basis. However Google is on to such backhanded tactics. The Doorway Pages Update targets such local landing pages and penalizes them heavily.
Here’s why the Surf-In-The-Spirit strategy is a loser.
- There’s no unique, geo-specific content in any of the webpages uploaded on the website’s domain. Local pages are good only if they are relevant for a specific location.
- Google really does not like Doorway Pages. In fact, they are working on an algorithm to penalize The example shared above is, in essence, a doorway page that’ll take a huge turn for the worse once the algorithm is rolled out.
- Try looking up the search string for a major city. For example we tried looking for Washington DC and New York for this same marketer. You guessed it; the website failed to show up on the first page.
- Perhaps the biggest red flag is that each page is essentially a clickable image that takes users to a different domain. Most savvy internet users don’t click on such images on sites they don’t know. Additionally, a lot of internet security software will recommend users not to load the site if their security settings are high.
Local landing pages can get great results, when done right. But you should invest in long-term SEO content marketing for organic results.
When you think about SEO, don’t even think about engaging with cheap tricks and black-hat strategies that promise results in “a day”. You‘ll end up doing more harm than good to your affiliate marketing efforts. The reality is that slow and steady wins the race for search results dominance. If you want your affiliate website to rank first overall for a money-making terms, you’ve got to come up with a site that’s better, faster, more engaging and infinitely more interesting than all the rest. Quality is what counts.