Anchor Text Guide with Different Types

Anchor Text Guide with Different Types

What Is Anchor Text?

In short, anchor text is the clickable part of the text that links to another URL. This is for links on your website to your website or for any external links from your website or pointing to your website.

The anchor link is the navigation point between pages. Other than telling the reader what the link is about, it also represents a signal to Googles learning that websites trust each other based on the types of anchor texts used.

You get backlinks from other websites pointing to your site. They use anchor text to describe to their readers what the link on the next page is about kinda like a preview before the click.

You get internal links from your own websites pages when you want the reader to see something relevant about the topic or your brand.

But there’s more to backlinks than just the sheer number of them.

Authority of the referring URL matters a lot.

Relevancy matters too.

And finally, there’s the anchor text to every backlink that Google considers important as well.

This passage is direct from the Google Search Operators manual regarding anchor text.

“This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to. With appropriate anchor text, users and search engines can easily understand what the linked pages contain.”


Here are the different types of Anchor Text

1. Branded Anchor Text
Include your brand name. Public figures
associated with your brand may
be identified as branded.

Example: Learn SEO from ClickBucks

2. Brand + Keyword Anchor
Include your brand name (or branded
phrase) and a keyword.

Example: ClickBucks SEO Guides

3. Exact Match Link Text
Include the precise keyword on the page
you are linking to is targeting.

Example: SEO Guides or Learn SEO

4. Partial Match Words
Include your keyword phrase along with
other generic, random, or stop words.

Example: Get better at SEO if targeting keyword SEO

5. Long-Tail Anchor
Include your keyword along with
some related, descriptive, generic,
or branded keywords.

Example: How to become a better SEO Guide

6. Related Anchor Text
Link to a page using a variation
of the target keyword.

Example: Learn Search Engine Optimisation

7. Generic Anchor Words
Includes a straightforward CTA,
or draws direct attention to the link.

Example: Click here or Read more

8. Naked Link Text
Clickable URL placed into the copy
from the browser bar.


9. Image Anchor Links
ALT text for images is what Google
reads as the image’s anchor.

10. Random Anchor Text
Include phrases that aren’t quite
as generic as “click here”, but they
aren’t really related to the target
keyword either.

Example: Check this out or read an in-depth article

Exact match anchors

How do you use Anchor Texts in SEO?

You need anchor text variety to build relevance around the topic, your brand, your information and generally to help users navigate the World Wide Web.

This means you will need some branded anchor texts, you will need keyword anchor texts and you will need a mixture of the other types to help relate you to the topics that you want to rank for.

Some hardcore SEO nerds actually measure and monitor the anchor text percentages between them and their competitors and while it sounds like overkill, logically this makes hella sense to us emaths to outmaneuvere your competitors in the SERP.

You have to have a carefully measured approach because if you go hard on the keyword-targeted anchor texts then you may appear to have influence over where you get the backlinks from, Google gets grumpy when people do this.

You need to have some brand so people know you are real as a business a blogger or a subject matter expert. The brand matters but not nearly as much as the keyword targeting.

Below is from the maths nerds


 For some advanced sneaky tactics, there’s some stuff you can do with image overlays of different transparency that work as well, remember that Google is a machine and will process the information as it parses it.

Very sneaky image overlay tactic

The Takeaway

Keep natural where you can, but sprinkle in the odd targeted keyword anchor text. Be sensible and be considerate of the way you use them where you can control them.

You can influence what your website’s internal links will do and what the anchor text will say. This is your testing ground for finding a strategy that works.

As for people linking to your website you don’t always have control and therefore have to work with what you get unless you are paying them or bartering with them for the backlink or mention and may have some control over the anchor text.

Be smart, use maths and look at what your competitors are doing. The key to winning with this strategy is on the first page of Google for your keyword search terms. You just need to look around.

How to Use Blogs for SEO Gains

How to Use Blogs for SEO Gains

Blog FAQs

Choosing Between the Same or Different Domains for Your Blog

Deciding on the domain for your corporate blog is crucial for brand consistency. I recommend hosting the blog on the same domain as your main corporate site. This approach typically fosters greater trust among clients, as it aligns with common web practices. Straying from this norm can often lead to scepticism.

For small businesses, however, having the blog on a separate domain is more feasible than it is for larger corporations. The expectations in the market are not as stringent for them, partly due to their more personalized customer interactions. Large corporations, which often lack this level of personal engagement, need to rely more on established norms to build trust.

If you do opt for separate domains for your blog and main website, consider using similar domain names to maintain a connection, like “” and “”. Alternatively, you could use a keyword-focused domain for your blog while keeping your business name for your main website domain.


2. Implementing a Silo Structure Through Categories

Blogs are generally used in two ways:

a) As a primary website.

b) To supplement an existing website.

Each approach requires a different silo structure. Since this guide focuses on using blogs to support websites, I’ll outline the best silo structure for this purpose.

  1. Start by setting up your blog in the usual manner, with the homepage displaying a dynamic list of your latest posts.
  2. Adjust your permalink settings to include the category in the URL path. The format should be: /%category%/%postname%/. (Refer to the image on the right for guidance).
  3. Organize your blog content into silos that mirror the main themes of your website’s silo pages.
  4. Assign each blog article to a relevant silo category.
  5. Install a ‘related posts’ plugin, and if possible, configure it to link posts by both category and tag. This will strengthen the thematic consistency within each category.

Avoid using widgets for ‘categories’, ‘recent articles’, or ‘tags’, as they can weaken the focus of your thematic silos.

3. Effective Management of Tags

In the realm of SEO, tags can often be problematic if not managed correctly. To ensure that tags don’t negatively impact your site’s SEO, it’s essential to use a reliable plugin. Options like SEO Framework or RankMath are highly recommended. These tools enable you to effectively control the indexing of both tags and category pages, mitigating potential SEO issues that can arise from improper tag management.

the sitemap for a house

4. Creating and Managing Sitemaps

For an effective blog sitemap, I recommend using the “Google XML Sitemaps” plugin available on WordPress. You can easily find and install this plugin through the WordPress dashboard (Plugins → Add New → Search for “Google XML Sitemaps”). It usually appears at the top of the search results. Once installed and activated, its default settings are generally adequate.

As a side note, the SEO Framework is my preferred choice for a comprehensive WordPress SEO plugin.

After installing the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, you can access it via the “Settings” menu. Look for the ‘XML-Sitemap’ option. Initially, you might see a message indicating that the sitemap has not been generated. Simply click the provided link to initiate its creation.

By default, the plugin creates the sitemap at This location is optimal as search engine bots typically search for sitemaps at this address.

5. Maximizing Blog Impact with Theme Mirroring and Strategic Keyword Use

A common question is how to optimize the effectiveness of a blog. The key is to mirror the thematic structure of your main website, using well-aligned categories that correspond with your products or services. This synchrony enhances the coherence of your content across platforms.

Additionally, be strategic with your keyword placement within your articles, ensuring these critical points are met:

  • Variety in Title Keywords: Regularly alternate the keywords in your blog post titles. Use synonyms, supporting keywords, and occasionally other “LSI” (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords to avoid repetitive use of the same keyword.
  • Keyword Modification in Anchor Texts: Adjust the keywords used in your blog post’s anchor text links.
  • Consistent Links to Targeted Website Pages: Your blog posts should link to corresponding pages on your main website that target the same keywords.

The goal is to reflect your website’s theme on your blog. If your website page targets multiple keywords – including the main theme, synonyms, and supporting keywords – your blog post should focus on one or a combination of these, ideally within the same thematic silo. While it’s not always feasible to stick to one silo, especially in cases like breaking news or sales promotions, it should be more of an exception than a norm.

Ensure that the primary keyword of your blog post is included in the title and modified in the anchor text. Place it in the correct silo and then link it to the corresponding page on your website. If your blog post encompasses terms from several pages on your site, identify one primary keyword for the post and link it to the relevant page on your site.

When multiple keywords are involved within the same silo and you wish to link to all related pages, that’s acceptable. However, it’s crucial to have a clear call to action for your readers to guide them effectively.

video embeds

6. Leveraging Video for Enhanced Conversion

Videos are not just engaging content additions; they’re powerful tools for converting sales. It’s highly beneficial to include a video in as many blog posts as possible. Depending on your resources and creativity, try to maximize the frequency of video content.

Here are some best practices for using videos on your blog:

  • YouTube Publishing: Host your videos on YouTube. Make sure to include a full link to the corresponding blog post in the video description. Placing the link at the beginning ensures better visibility, as YouTube tends to truncate longer descriptions.
  • Linking to Your Main Site: Along with the blog post link, add a link to the relevant page on your main website in the YouTube video description. This not only drives traffic but also supports the SEO ranking of that page.
  • Optimized Video Titles and Descriptions: Incorporate the primary keyword of your article in the video’s title and description. A detailed description is beneficial – consider using a transcript or key parts of the video content for this.
  • Tag Usage: Utilize relevant keywords in the video’s tag field. These can mirror the tags used in the blog post, although they don’t have to be identical.
  • Local Business Focus: If your site represents a local business, set the video location as your business address.
  • Managing Comments: For most business-related videos, it might be prudent to disable comments.
  • Embedding in Blog Posts: Instead of just linking to the video, embed it directly in your blog post. This not only aids in faster indexing of your post but also enhances the page authority (PA) of the post.

By following these steps, you can effectively use videos to augment your blog’s impact and drive conversions.

7. Enhancing Blog Post Engagement with Images

The inclusion of images in blog posts is not just about aesthetics; it significantly impacts the time readers spend on a page. My experience has consistently shown that posts with images retain visitors’ attention far better than those without. The images don’t always need to be perfectly aligned with the content; even abstract visuals can add the necessary splash of colour to make the post more engaging.

To maximize the SEO benefits of images, follow these tips:

  • Descriptive Naming: Name your images using variations of the primary keyword of the post. This helps in aligning the image more closely with the content from an SEO perspective.
  • Alt Text Optimization: Use a different, yet relevant, target keyword for your image’s alt text. This not only improves accessibility but also contributes to the SEO value of the page.

Remember, the right image can transform the visual appeal of your post and enhance reader engagement, while also serving as an additional SEO tool.

8. The Importance of Including a Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is an essential element of every blog post. It guides readers on what to do next, aligning with the overall objective of your site and the specific goals of each post. Whether you want readers to subscribe to a newsletter, contact your business, download a resource, or simply follow your RSS feed, a clear and compelling CTA is crucial. Even if the action you seek is as simple as encouraging subscriptions to your RSS feed, make sure it’s explicitly stated. A well-placed CTA can significantly boost reader engagement and conversion rates, making it a vital component of effective blog content.

And once you have got through these points you should begin to add the fuel to the fire by building out your content footprint throughout your categories. Next start building links to your content and powering up your pages.

If you can do this your momentum will start snowballing and you will see growth on your blog. This is an overlooked tactic that still works, Content and links = Rankings it’s that simple. I hope you found this useful.

How to Grow Digital Agency Service Bookings

How to Grow Digital Agency Service Bookings

How to grow an agency/services to 20K recurrent per month.

Let’s look at this as a startup digital agency looking to secure their first paying clients. But the good news is that it works for existing digital agencies as well, the pricing and deliverables just need to be reviewed to fit your specific business existing COGS.

This is a simple business model, it works, it can be frustrating but it’s highly lucrative. WARNING It is NOT SEXY, this is a dirty business model called cold email outreach. Ive seen this work time and time again where businesses double down on this and go from nothing to something, it works.

Fun Fact: I worked at an agency where we had a team of 4 cold callers and 3 cold emailers who would gather, assess and then reach out to a database of potential customers. This team had to contact 1000 businesses per week as a KPI. They needed to sign 6/1000 as a KPI. They would average between 14-16 from 1000 successful conversions from cold calls and cold emails. I used to help them automate database scraping having a pool of over 6 million businesses for them to work through.

Here is the process of cold email outreach

You will be sending two types of emails

Email 1 is a value offer for your services that gets sent to a large number of businesses.

Email 2 is clever well researched and well crafted email dialled in for specific businesses that could be big clients.

We will look at email 1 where you send 300 individual emails per day. Period. (nothing else, nothing more)

Put the effort, put the hard work, 300 per day.

Warning: Boring, it sucks, not romantic, anti-sexy, literally a horrible experience for the sender and receiver.

Learn how to create email setups that can work and keep you safe when cold email blasting. Just firing emails all day can get domains blacklisted and you in some hot water with local spam laws. This method of using different domains keeps you safe.

Your goal is to get at least 6 answers that are saying “Maybe” per day so its 96% failure rate.

Your goal is to book 5 calls from those 30 weekly maybes per week.

From this pool of 30 potentials, you just need to close 2 clients to be a success per week.

That’s all.

The money: If you charge $2k per month minimum, in 1 month you have 8K recurrent revenue

This is where it gets interesting, In month 2 you should know what emails perform better, you can tweak the email copy, make the subject lines better and really start getting test data on open rates, feedback and have a good idea if your product sucks or just needs a small adjustment in the positioning of it to a cold contact.

This should help increase your conversion rate by 1% if you do better keep testing and tweaking it.

Also, you may land one of those Email 2 prospects as well to come in at whatever your rate is for bigger service packages let’s say $5-8k monthly retainers for the bigger clients. You now have some serious revenue coming in.

Rinse and repeat this.

Now to further improve this and what to do when not cold emailing. I believe in becoming the master of your craft in whatever you do even unsexy email outreach.

Start by studying the best salespeople in the business, and study the pricing models and hooks others use. Heck, my guys used to even study the mail-out catalogues from established brands looking for the language used, positioning of products and feature value.

I am not the sales master by any longshot, but there are some absolute masters of craft on YouTube:

– The Futur (Chris Do) YouTube Channel

– Jeremy Miner (this guy is a machine) – Instagram account

– Kévin Moënne-Loccoz content on Linkedin

That’s the crux of it. Stop posting on social media, stop replying in Facebook groups and stop overthinking, Nike said just do it. Do it so much that you wear the letters on your keyboard out. Thats how you grow. This is a grind.

when things are good

Recipe for Success by Hustling

One of my buddies has a secret recipe just like the KFC Herbs and Spices. It goes like this

He often helps new startup service providers learn how to go from zero to 10k revenue per month fast.

Here is a breakdown of his teachings:

  • Decide on what service you can offer that both 8 years olds and 70-year-olds can understand its value
  • This product / service can be yours or something a competitor does that you can replicate
  • Productise it so it’s repeatable and scalable
  • Know your COGS inside and out
  • Price this service so its affordable but still profitable
  • Buy a domain name
  • Setup a landing page
  • Option A go to Y Combinator – find startup founders and contact details
  • Option B Scour Yellow Pages or business directories – find contacts and emails
  • Prepare your value offer email template that you will be sending to these contact database
  • Know that you will have 98% failure rate from email, sending 50-60 emails per day
  • Your goal is to make contact with 300 people per week and to automate the funnel as much as possible
  • You will get 298 declined offers this is a standard in cold email outreach
  • You just need to close the 2 potential contacts, if you do 10-12 of these a month its momentum
  • Do this for 6 months and start presenting upsells to the clients that you have signed up

Thats your playbook from zero to $10k that anyone can do from right now. Cold email outreach is NOT SEXY at all its gross, its rude and you will be insulted more than once if you do it right. But it works and businesses book millions of dollars from cold outreach.

Its not that difficult but it requires persistence. Just do the maths saying that your service is cheap at $1000 per month, you get 10 clients a month that’s $120,000 per year business for a 1 person business with no complex skills required to get started.

NOW the real interesting part is what if you take your digital agency skills, your team, your resources and back the method with account managers, call center, trained to upsell sales people and a full delivery of the service. This becomes a powerful product.

*Your COGS will change having a larger workforce but like I said know your COGS. You just built a business that can scale.

Types of Digital Agency Leaders

In business, it doesn’t take long to build a successful business. But it does take a long time to be the person that decides to do it.

There is so much I would, I should do in the online business space, hustle separates the men from boys (figure of speech).

The ones in business crushing it are those who are obsessed with the game that they play in. The ones who are not crushing it is the ones making videos on TikTok, and YouTube, the ones posting all the time on social platforms. The hustle goes in and the deals get done quietly away from the spotlight of social media.

I see 3 types of Online Digital Agency Owners

  • The: I do this because I hate working for someone else and need freedom
  • The: I do this because I want to build special work with my partners and build a real team of talented people
  • The: I do this because they are trying to prove their abilities and eventually status to friends, family and circle of peers

The first is the hustler, always prowling for deals and opportunities

The second is usually the conference whore at every event, trying their hardest to get speaking gigs, trying to get their way into any deal to build their portfolio of associated businesses.

The third is so determined to succeed that they wouldn’t be reading this, messing about on social media and likely to be securing a deal right now and is booked into another deal-closing meeting in 40 minutes from now.

You get the picture. It takes all types to run the business and each type creates their own opportunities and dealflow by the natural personality.

Every agency leader is good raw talent, even if polished through courses, seminars, training and hours and hours of knowledge upskill they still need a second in charge behind them helping to push the team, helping to clean up the contracts in detail, and to help organise the rest of the team and work that needs to be done.

It isn’t hard to get deals that boost your agency book, not in today’s market. You just need to know how to find deals, put in the work and follow up and close those deals.

Competitor Research Masterclass

Competitor Research Masterclass

In the ever-evolving landscape of affiliate marketing, the key to triumph lies not only in your own strategies but in the insights gleaned from your rivals. Welcome to the realm of competitive affiliate research, a dynamic and powerful approach that unveils the hidden strategies, untapped opportunities, and potential pitfalls within your niche.

Just as ancient explorers navigated uncharted waters to discover new lands, affiliate marketers today embark on a thrilling journey of discovery, delving deep into the tactics, trends, and triumphs of their competitors. Join me as we chart a course through this captivating world, revealing the compass that guides your path to unparalleled success in the affiliate marketing arena.

Was this too much of an intro? 🙂 if you cant tell I’m excited to share my strategies for competitor research for affiliate markets. Competitive research is a crucial aspect of affiliate marketing that can help you gain a competitive edge and make informed decisions.

Make money or do right thing

As we delve into the nuances of competitive market research for affiliates, prepare to equip yourself with a comprehensive toolkit for success.

My competitor research stack

  • Google Sheets (Free)
  • Google Search (Free)
  • Ahrefs SEO tool (Free trial or paid accounts)
  • Similar Web (Free trial or paid account)
  • WayBack Machine (Free)
  • SimilarMail monitors domain email newsletters

Depending on the task at hand I usually have a web browser profile for different use cases loaded up with important bookmarks, browser extensions and presets so I can use laser focus to learn the dirty little secrets about my competitors websites and web traffic.

  • Affiliate Marketing broswer profile
  • Ecommerce & Dropship broswer profile
  • SEO and Paid Advertising browser profile

Each browser profile should have some key bookmarks of places and tools that you are monitoring and using. Maybe you also assign a different gmail identity to each browser profile for real segmented monitoring of these competitors.

affiliate profiles for broswer

Things That I look for in competitor websites

  • Web traffic and demographics
  • Placement of products
  • Linked products and networks used
  • Product pricing and review count
  • Marketing tactics like Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc and SEO
  • Do they use marketing pixels, tag managers and other code snippets
  • Any hidden subdomains

One of the most powerful command for Google search is *use their actual domain without the https:// parts or www. This will reveal all indexed pages and show some often forgotten pages where you might see a bit more than they want you to.

Take it a step further and use site:* to show any subdomains or landing pages they could be using for paid advertising campaigns. See below where the popular ClickFunnels software has several subdomains in use that you can not navigate to, this shows you more than they want you to see.

google search operator for sub domains

Discover how to decipher your competitors’ conversion strategies, unveil the nuances of their content creation, and strategically position your brand for maximum impact.

Here are the key topics to focus on when conducting affiliate marketing competitive research:

  1. Understanding Affiliate Marketing Competitive Research:
    • What is affiliate marketing competitive research?
    • The importance of competitive analysis for affiliate marketers.
    • How competitive research influences your strategy and tactics.

When we do competitive research on affiliate niche sites we want to be looking for tell tale signs that the niche site is successful. We want to know that this affiliate blog belongs on our competitor shortlist. If its just a rinky dink blog with less than 1,000 monthly web visits we dont bother monitoring it.

What you learn you can use to adjust your strategy and avoid targeting niches that are too small or just do not convert. Watching successful affiliates in action will help you see what they do, what they say, how they present the offers and how they close the sale. Never sleep on successful competitors.

2. Identifying Your Competitors:

  • Identifying direct competitors in your niche.
  • Analyzing both established and emerging competitors.
  • Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor.

You have to know who is a competitor and who is a bottom feeder. There are people who are successful and theres people who are not. Spend time assessing the successful people. You can find them by following this guide on affiliate market competitor research.

Keep tabs on the big players in your niche and any new up and comers. They may teach you new strategies and ways to promote the offers. Don’t hate on TikTok its worth a look, new tech and AI will help evolve your affiliate game to new levels.

3. Analyzing Affiliate Programs and Offers:

  • Researching the affiliate programs your competitors are promoting.
  • Understanding the commission structures and payment methods.
  • Evaluating the attractiveness of their affiliate offers.

Every affiliate niche blog guru will point you towards the Amazon Associate/Affiliate network as a starting point. But truth is you should avoid that steaming pile of monkey poop and unsubscribe from that guru asap. Look for more reputable networks.

Related: Ive written about the frequent drop in commission rates on Amazon previously.

Instead look at networks like JVZoo, Share A Sale, CJ (Commission Junction) and Max Affiliate. Theres plenty more but I spend time here with positive results. Get familiar with the payment rates, dates and any nuances about each program to stay compliant. I bookmark these and organise everything in a Google sheet with my affiliate links and all related details. Thats a good starting point

amazon affiliates dissappointed at commission reduction

4. Studying Affiliate Marketing Strategies:

  1. Invesring your competitors’ content marketing approaches.
  2. Analyzing their use of email marketing, social media, and paid advertising.
  3. Identifying the keywords and niches they target.

5. Evaluating Affiliate Websites and Landing Pages:

  • Reviewing the design and user experience of competitors’ websites.
  • Analyzing their landing page elements, such as headlines, call-to-action buttons, and testimonials.
  • Assessing the quality and relevance of their content.

If a niche site pops up on my radar and at first glance its structured well and has good content and CTAs Ill usually crawl it (using Screaming Frog SEO software) to understand the structure and linking patterns. Ill also take a look at the traffic and estimations on revenue.

Assess how the website is presented, words, headings, button text, colours and links. You can reuse their placement and wording if you have product offers that are not converting well. The benefit of monitoring others is that you can test and learn fast, they may be using conversion strategies and you can see them play out in the space of a week.

It’s also worth understanding if they use their website or a landing page strategy. Some promotions are best place on landing pages and with conversion funnels to help get that sale.

Related: How to Improve Conversions.

structure of internal linked website

6. Assessing Conversion Funnels:

  1. Mapping out the customer journey on your competitors’ websites.
  2. Analyzing their conversion funnels and sales processes.
  3. Identifying potential areas for improvement or optimization.

7. Understanding Audience Engagement:

  1. Monitoring your competitors’ social media engagement.
  2. Analyzing their audience interactions, comments, and shares.
  3. Identifying the types of content that resonate with their audience.

8. Exploring Affiliate Product Reviews and Recommendations:

  • Examining the products or services your competitors are reviewing or recommending.
  • Analyzing the tone, format, and depth of their reviews.
  • Identifying gaps in their coverage that you could address.

9. Using Competitive Insights to

  • Incorporating learnings from competitive research into your own affiliate marketing strategy.
  • Identifying opportunities to differentiate yourself from competitors.
  • Implementing improvements and optimizations based on your analysis.

10. Staying Ethical and Authentic:

  1. Avoiding unethical practices such as copying content or mimicking strategies directly.
  2. Using competitive insights as inspiration for your unique approach.
  3. Prioritizing authenticity and adding value to your audience.

When you set out its your mission usually, to provide the voice of reason in the affiliate space, never promoting scammers or bad quality products. And you can stick to that for a while but its very easy to assess products by their payout figures and ignore the rest. Stay true to you and keep your ethics and values. Highlight them in your product reviews and niche sites. Its refreshing to see people with values.

Some successful affiliate have used their stern beliefs and values to carve out a niche of followers that align with them and they use that to promote to some levels of success. Don’t sell out for the mighty $, stick to your beliefs.

I like buying products that I review. I enjoy taking my hobby a step further and helping others find solutions for their problems. I don’t mind getting paid to do that but I really at the end of the day just want a high quality product for a reasonable price.

11. Leveraging Tools and Resources:

  1. Exploring competitive research tools for affiliate marketers.
  2. Utilizing keyword research tools to uncover competitor strategies.
  3. Gathering data and insights from affiliate networks and forums

Bookmark interesting sites, people who are in similar topics as your market, and any cool creative or copywriting that you come across. Save it to your own mood board or swipe file of things that stopped your scroll on social media, online or in the real world. Secret sauce right now is I look at catalogues and bus signs for copywriting inspiration. You can too, the brands spend millions making ads why cant you leverage that tried and tested formula.

This 5 day lead challenge by ClickFunnels team is one of their most successful campaigns. They have x6 different creative banner designs and styles for this. The one below was one of the winners that they went on to scale spending millions on Google and Facebook ads. It’s worth analysing what they said, what they did, and what they presented to get the clicks that they did.

12. Continuously Evolving and Adapting:

  1. Recognizing that the affiliate marketing landscape is dynamic.
  2. Regularly revisiting your competitive research to stay updated.
  3. Adapting your strategy based on changing competitor behaviors and market trends.

13. Ethical Considerations and Best Practices:

  1. Respecting the intellectual property and copyrights of competitors.
  2. Avoiding unethical tactics and focusing on ethical competitive analysis.
  3. Complying with legal and industry regulations in your research.

By delving into these key topics, you’ll be equipped to perform comprehensive and effective competitive research in the realm of affiliate marketing. This knowledge will guide your decision-making, optimization efforts, and strategy refinement, ultimately leading to a more successful and impactful affiliate marketing journey.

keyword map

Market Research: A Guide

At its core, competitive market research is about peering beyond the surface and into the heart of your niche’s dynamics. It involves meticulously analyzing the playing field – from the affiliate programs your rivals endorse to the keywords they target and the platforms they dominate. This exploration provides a panoramic view of what’s working, what’s not, and, most importantly, the whitespace you can capitalize on.

Keyword Competitive Analysis

Keyword competitive analysis is critical if you want to earn money with SEO. If you want your website to rank highly for the top competitive search terms, you need to use every resource available to you. Keyword competitive analysis is an important step that needs to be addressed early on if you want to avoid missing out on future opportunities.

First, you need to decide what industry you are working in. These are the topics that your customers or clients will type into the search engines. Where you are working in is important to your keyword promotional strategy. The seller of anchor square widgets can sell the top ranking engine optimization company a dozen of handcrafted ranking powerhouses in their industry. What you are trying to do is find where a keyword based SEO opportunity can be realized in the competitive domains.

For example, “Suits” is a fairly vague keyword phrase. There are plenty of competitors for that word already. In contrast, maybe “Suits for people who like to shop around for the best offers” is a highly targeted opportunity. Now let’s look at the other group of keywords, like “nuggets”. Now fill in the other round of the criteria checklist. Which of the keywords is an industry specific term for “nuggets”?

Are each of the words in the keyword phrase formed into a sentence? Is the phrase in any way rhyming or overlapping?

Now start looking at the sites and pages indexed by the major search engines. If you aren’t already there, which keywords would you expect to be found there? Is it the general term for your business in your industry? Does the landing page of the organic result for the specific keyword phrase describe the URL in any way? If the site does not meet the keywords for which you are optimizing, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Include the URL in a Google ad word and you might be on your way to converting a visitor into a paying customer.

Related: Deep Dive Into SEO Fundamentals for Affiliates.

Once you have the keywords, it’s time to start analyzing the rankings of the major search engines. Keyword competitive analysis is a thorough process that requires onsite and offsite optimization. You need to consider any necessary changes for the visible content and structures of the site. You’ll need to create the content for the tags you need, write the page descriptions, evaluate what target keywords are being used quickest in the search engines, and find creative ways to pass these competitive pages.

Now you are ready to begin your keyword competitive analysis, which should be performed monthly or as often as you wish.

Once you know which keywords are in demand in the search engines and getting the right kind of traffic, your site will commence enjoying measurable improvements. You will also be able to figure out what type of competitive keyword is your future goal and which keywords to fine-tune-up on the fly, based on what works.

Keyword Competitive Analysis

Finding products with related keywords is one of the best ways to market a product or service to a targeted market. In information marketing, you are the one who provides a solution or information, and carrying relationship with them and finding out what they want is the key to a successful campaign. You have to know how to market this much (and if you’re not completely aware of it, then it might be time for a keyword competitive analysis).

If you are an online entrepreneur, then the first step you must do is to research for companies that can provide the commodity, particularly online, to a targeted or specialized market. You get your competitors by typing a keyword (the action one is typing the word into a search-box like safelists, Google, Domains etc); again directed at your target audience.

If your keywords are too broad, you start to hit up with a ton of pages of results; each optimizing their own page to put their advertisements out there. If your keywords are to specific, you will find people looking for that. The drawback of a broad search is that your target audience will fail to find what they are looking for mostly because they are using the word to search.

When you are designing a keyword focused campaign, you have to put yourself in the minds of your market, and imagine whom they are, what they want, what words they will use to search for what they are going to find, and how they are going to get to you. Now, here comes the keyword competitive analysis and the two best keywords that they use to search.

Scrape your competitors URLs with a software like ScreamingFrog SEO analysis scraper.

After collecting a list of keywords, then take a close look at your list; you need to do some of your brainstorming and grocery list so you your organization. What are some of the broad keywords you have collected (you just typed in the word computer, so you have some competition for that already), next, how many people search each day, what rate of conversion are you getting, and what cost per conversion for the advertisers is this a profit?

The competitiveness of your keywords and your competition is very important to know, because it is important to find keywords that are easy to rank for, but that you can be profitable on too, because it is more hard to gain more traffic. One easy way to analyze your competition is to go to the source url of your competitor’s website; and look at how they are trying to get better page rank with Google. Look those over, where exactly do they rank to get page rank, what is the keyword rich title for their page, and how are their html meta tags?

Look to see what they are doing with content on their website. If you are interested in finding out what they are doing, and making sure that you are not doing the same thing, then do an analysis, look for the keywords they are using to get their page rank, and compare it to the keyword you are using to find the appropriate keywords. Be careful to run a free analysis as not all the good tools are going to carry. Even if it is the free kind, you always have the option to upgrade.

8 Quick wins for OnPage

1 Fulfil the searchers goal and satisfy the search query intent

2 Speed wins, if you aint first you last.

3 Keyword Targeting 

  • Title
  • Headline
  • In content
  • External anchors
  • Alt tags
  • URL
  • Img names
  • Internal links

4 Provide a positive UI & UX & boost trust and engagement

5 Review popups, side bars, banner ads, chat boxes and distractions

6 Targeting related topics

7 Optimise for the rich snippet – format, schema, publish date, instant answer

8 Unique Value + Amplification 

  • what makes this page better than others?
  • what value does this provide that other pages in the SERPs don’t?
  • why will this be hard for others to replicate or beat?
  • who will help amplify the and why?

Closing Thoughts

In the realm of affiliate marketing, success is intricately tied to your ability to outmaneuver competitors and capture the attention of your target audience. Throughout this guide, we’ve embarked on a journey into the dynamic world of competitive affiliate research, uncovering a treasure trove of strategic insights that can shape your path to excellence.

Competitive affiliate research is more than a mere observation of your rivals – it’s a calculated exploration that sheds light on the strategies and tactics driving their success. By dissecting their affiliate programs, content strategies, and engagement approaches, you’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and unique selling propositions.

Throughout our exploration, you’ve learned how to strategically decode your competitors’ messaging, pinpoint high-impact keywords, and capitalize on untapped opportunities. Armed with this knowledge, you now possess the tools to refine your affiliate approach, innovate your content creation, and position your brand for maximum resonance within your niche.

As you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of affiliate marketing, remember that competitive research is not a one-time endeavor, but a continuous process that empowers you to adapt, refine, and excel. By harnessing the power of competitive insights, you’re equipped to steer your affiliate endeavors toward new horizons of success, leaving an indelible mark in the world of digital marketing.

On-Page SEO Tips: Optimizing Your Affiliate Content

On-Page SEO Tips: Optimizing Your Affiliate Content

Today I’ll let you in on a little secret. I used to be a massive nerd for the SEO tactics and strategies that push web pages up through the ranks of Google and other search engines. The thrill and journey of taking a website that had either low grade rankings or was brand new and getting on the Google leaderboard (Page 1) for my targeted keywords was a pure satisfaction that not many people can understand.

It adds gravity of the accomplishment when money starts to correlate with those rankings. As an affiliate operator I would be looking to rank pages that help promote my product offers and have web traffic on my pages where I am running display ads. This all adds up and makes it highly valuable to focus on SEO instead of paid advertising for clicks.

So now let me take you on a journey to the depths of Search Engine Optimisation.

Title tags   

These tell both search engine spiders and human visitors what your page is about.  Your title tag should definitely include your main keyword.

This is what goes into your <title></title> HTML. Also known as your Title Meta. Most people use the popular WordPress Plug-In’s “SEO Framework” or “RankMath” to create individual titles for each page. 

You want it to be readable to the user and you want to use the keywords sparingly 

# Example: Apple Computers – Buy Them Here

Keep your title short, and to the point and each page should have a unique title.

Meta Description 

This specific html element falls under the category of a “meta tag,” and gives specific infomation about what your page is about.  You should use the meta description to convince people to click through your site.  Here’s what a meta description looks like in the Google search results:

Meta tags – these html elements live in the <head> of a web page, and basically tell the search engines what you page is about.  Meta tags can also entice people to choose your page, over another page in the SERPs.

H Tags 

These tags are used to structure the information on your page.  The search engines definitely use this as a ranking metric.  These are better known as “heading” tags, like <h1>, <h2> <h3> these are used to classify the topic h1 and sub topics h2 OnPage.

My preference is to use the plurals of the keyword example Hairdresser & Hairdressers

and use the one with higher search vol in the critical spots with the lower search vol in H2, image titles, content.

Here’s how to take advantage of H tags:

H1 – The role of the H1 tag has changed over the years.  Previously, “best practices” would tell you to always put your main keyword in the H1 tag.  But now, it depends on whether or not your are doing any link building.  Let me explain.  If you are NOT doing any link building (such as, you’re not using our RankBOSS service), then you should put your main keyword in the H1 tag. 

If you are doing link building (a.k.a. using our service), you should Not put your main keyword in the h1 tag. 


This will likely lead to an over-optimization penalty. 

So, with that being said, the rest of this email will be under the assumption that you ARE building links.  For the examples below, I’ll be using the “Apple Computers” keyword example. 

–back to that H1 tag… since you are building links to this page, you want to keep your H1 tag generic.  Use “branding” or “generic” keywords in the H1.  For example:

<h1>Check Out Our Full Selection Below</h1>  — notice there is no mention of “Apple” or “Computers.” 

H2 Tags – These are for the main sub-headings within your content.  This is where I’d recommend using your main keywords.  For example:

<h2>Our Apple Computers On Sale</h2>

<h2>The Macbook Air</h2>

<h2>Macbook Pro Retina</h2>


H3 Tags – Sub-sub headings.  Examples:



Other tags – You don’t really need them, but feel free to use them if you have an actual need for the structure.  If nothing else, they look good!

Here’s how you might structure a page targeting the “Apple Computers” keyword.


Use Heading tags to organise the ideas in a page of content. The overall idea of the article can be expressed in an H1. Then major “sub-ideas” in H2. Ideas that are part of an individual H2 Topic can be expressed under an H3 heading, and if that idea goes more granular then that sub-topic can be titled with an H4 and so on

I always imagine it as a folder structure. Here’s how I visualise it:

The red box is H1

Yellow folders are H2

Blue folders are H3

Green folders are H4.

You can arrange these in a visual way, then make them linear as you put them down the page, planning your article.

For example:

  • H1. How to write an article
  • H2. Intro
  • Content 
  • H2. Section 1 – Folder A
  • Content 
  • H3. Folder A1
  • H4. Folder A1a
  • Content 
  • H4. Folder A1b
  • Content 
  • H4. Folder A1c
  • Content 
  • H3. Folder A2
  • Content 
  • H3. Folder A3
  • Content 
  • H2. Section 2 – Folder B
  • H3. Folder B1
  • Content 
  • H3. Folder B2
  • H2. Conclusion

Adding some structure helps readers and Google bots read and understand the hierarchy of your articles. This makes the experience on the front end more enjoyable and easier to follow along with.

keyword map

Optimise Pages For Multiple Keywords:

When it comes to OnPage optimisation, certain places are more valuable to have your keywords in than others. Based on my tests, in order of impact, from most valuable keyword real-estate to least valuable: 

  1. URL 

  2. SEO Title Tag (i.e.: <TITLE></TITLE>) 

  3. H1 (i.e.: Page title) 

  4. H2, H3, H4… 

  5. Content 
  6. Alt text

We can use this knowledge to our advantage, if we have multiple keywords that we want to target on a single page, which in our profession is standard operating procedure. 

Let’s say we have the following keywords we want to target on the homepage in order of importance: 

  1. dog training 

  2. dog obedience 

  3. puppy school 

  4. potty training for dogs 

  5. dog walking training 

We’ll start with our URL, making a branded domain, with an inner page targeting however many keywords we can fit in the URL without looking spammy. The following URL covers our two most important keywords. 


Now for the SEO title tag. Again, let’s try to get as many keywords as possible in there, remembering the rules  from the above. 

SEO Title Tag: Dog Training and Obedience School | Pet Pros 

Next comes our Page Title. Definitely get our top keywords in there, and lets also try to get some of the words that we haven’t included so far. Additionally, we’ll use a synonym “Canines” to get some semantic advantage. 

Page Title: Dog Training School for both Puppies and Adult Canines
Whatever we can’t fit, whether it be to length issues or it just not making sense for our sales copy, we can fit on 

H2’s and H3’s.
H2: Potty Training 

H2: Walking your Dog
Lastly, in the event that we have a long list of keywords, make sure to put them in the content somewhere. 

Pro tip: Let’s say you’re trying to rank for the keywords “____ review” and “____ reviews”. You’ll need to include both ‘review’ and ‘reviews’ somewhere on your page. If these are important keywords, then definitely drop them in the URL, SEO Title Tag, or Page Title. 

Keyword Density:

There is varied opinion about the exact number to aim for. My thoughts are between 1-1.8% for your main keyword. There is no magical number that is and represents the secret sauce every niche and keyword has competitive values that differ from others.

  • Pro Tip: Individual words of a keyword phrase matter too 
  • Many people come to me and ask if they’re over-optimised. They only have “dog training” on their page 4 
  • times, but “dog” is used 40 times and “training” is used 30 times. This has Panda-penalty written all over it. 
  • Pro Tip: Keep keyword phrases down to only 2-3 occurrences: 
  • once in a <header tag> and 1-2 times in the body of the content on the page.
  • Pro Tip: Keep individual words down to less than 15. What to do instead? Use synonyms. 
  • (The above recommendations are for a 500-word article.) 

I also suggest writing naturally and  for humans not Google robots.

Using Synonyms

Synonyms are the most under-utilised tool in the OnPage arsenal. 

Use synonyms to establish semantic relevance for a page without risking over-optimisation. 

In the dog training example, we can use the following words instead of “dog” and “training”: 

  • canine 

  • k9 

  • puppy 

  • pooch 

  • obedience 

  • learning 

  • instruction 

  • Since our page is going after “dog training”, we can use “canine” and “instruction” with no worry. 
  • We don’t care if we’re over optimised for these keywords because hardly anyone is searching for “canine instruction.” 
  • But ninja tactic is to  use these words to establish a high degree of relevance for the page. 

Content Word Count:

People debate over how many words per page is optimal. No one has the exact number, because this matters on a per-niche and per-keyword basis. 

For example, pages in the health niche (competitive), typically require more words to rank than others. 

However, based on my testing experience and recent studies, the minimum amount of words you want on a page is: 

  • Regular page: 500+ words 
  • Product page: 500+ words & Bullet points that highlight features
  • Competitive term: 1,500+ words
  • To be safe, I’d recommend writing any page you want to rank with 1000 words or more helping your cause.
  • This can not be achieved every time, some clients may have highly graphical pages.
  • Stuffing pages for the sake of it won’t look right, think of the UX stick to the rules above.
  • There are limits on how many words you want on a page and it depends on the niche. 
  • Imagine you are working on a local landscape clients website.
  • You have 3,000 words on the keyword target page, but every other competing ranked page has 700 words.
  • You my friend, are in overkill mode. Google likes content that is concise & to the point.

URL Structure (Permalinks):

Whenever possible, keep short and simple URL slugs, and have your keyword in the URL of the page.  For example:

This part is pretty dependant on your site and your CMS, but optimally you want your URLs as short as possible with as much keyword stuffing as possible.

go with /%postname% 

the shorter the URLs, the better – This also remove the trailing slash from every post and page. Make sure to set your custom URLs in your posts and pages though and don’t just use the title of the post/page or you’ll end up with massively long URLs. 


Types of breadcrumbs. I like to use location based.

Location Based Breadcrumbs

show the user where the current page is located relevant to the whole structure of the site.

example: See All Departments > Electronics > Auto Electronics >

In-Dash Stereos

Path Based Breadcrumbs

visualise the user’s path which brought him to the current page. These breadcrumbs are dynamic and are usually based on the search results. With this type of breadcrumbs one and the same page can be accessed through several paths:

Consulting > Services > Implementation > Service A

Consulting > Services > Optimisation > Service A

Consulting > Services > Upgrade > Service A

Attribute Based Breadcrumbs

list the attributes of the current page

Best Uses of Breadcrumbs

  • Only use breadcrumbs when they help a user: for large, multi-level websites. These are for user first of all; if they also help SEO – that’s an additional benefit. Don’t add breadcrumbs just for the sake of adding good internal anchor text.
  • Do not link the current page to itself (the last step in the breadcrumbs should be un-linked);
  • Do not replace main navigation with breadcrumbs (breadcrumbs visualise your website structure horizontally while the main navigation shows its vertical structure listing its other categories and content types);
  • Use breadcrumbs consistently (this makes the user browsing your website feel safer and allows him to faster familiarise himself with how the site is structured)
  • Do not use breadcrumbs in the page <title> tag (this makes the title too long and untargeted)
feeding the birds breadcrumbs

Here is a cheatsheet for building well structured web pages that will help your affiliate products get some traction with Google.

Elevate your SEO game by implementing the following advanced techniques that not only sidestep spammy practices but also leverage Google’s sophisticated semantic synonym recognition to enhance your page’s relevance to a specific topic.

  1. Mastering URL Structure:
    • Incorporate your primary keyword once within the URL.
    • Prioritize brevity while ensuring keyword representation.
    • Recent experiments indicate that shorter URL slugs deliver superior results.
    • Opt for concise, impactful URL structures both for homepage and inner pages.
    • Effective:
    • Less Effective:
  2. Strategic Title Tag Placement:
    • Embed your keyword in the title tag, positioning it towards the beginning.
    • Optimize for conciseness and relevance.
    • Recent studies highlight the superiority of shorter title tags.
    • Delay the use of “click bait” words until achieving higher rankings (#1-#5).
    • Optimal: Dog Training Guide for Beginners | Obedience Tips
    • Suboptimal: Dog Training – How to train your dog – Dog Training Tips
  3. Maximizing Meta Description Impact:
    • Leverage the meta description to enhance click-through rate (CTR).
    • While Google doesn’t directly rank meta descriptions, they indirectly affect rankings by influencing CTR.
    • Craft persuasive descriptions that entice clicks from search engine results.
    • Employ curiosity-invoking strategies to engage users and prompt clicks.
    • Experiment with capitalization and trigger words to stimulate interest.
    • Aim for a meta description length of no more than 156 characters.
    • Compelling: These sneaky Dog Training Tips will work on ANY dog. You’ll DEFINITELY want to check out our FREE …
    • Bonus Tip: Enhance intrigue by adding a “…” (dot dot dot) to incite curiosity and drive clicks.

As you wield these advanced techniques, remember that your affiliate marketing journey is an evolving process. By harnessing the power of precise URL structuring, impactful title tags, and enticing meta descriptions, you equip yourself with the tools to amplify your affiliate efforts and rise above the competition.

fast virtual servers

Page Speed 

Fast sites rank better.  But even more important, your visitors will not stay on slow sites for very long waiting for the page to load.  There are many things you can do to increase your site’s speed.

First, check your site’s speed.  Go here:, or  Get a baseline of where you’re at, so you’ll know how much you’ve improved.  You really want to see your site loading at least 80% better than other sites (as measured by Pingdom), and a total loading time of less than 2 seconds.  You can work hard to make your site even faster than < 2 seconds.

If your site is slow, Pingdom will give you suggestions on how you can improve it.  If you’re on WordPress, you’re in luck!  There are some dead simple steps you can take to get some massive speed improvement within three minutes. 

How to drastically improve your (WordPress) site speed in 3 minutes or less:

First, do basic site clean up, ie empty the trash, delete duplicate or unused images from the media library. Install a good caching plugin like W3 Total Cache. Install a great compression plugin (I use G-Zip Ninja Compression, which is free and works great). Literally install and activate, nothing more to do for this. 

1. Install the W3 Cache Plugin & Activate it.

2. Once it’s been activated, in the WordPress dashboard, go to: Performance > General Settings

3. Enable “page cache” and “minify”  Save it.

4. Now check to make sure your site is working properly.  “Minify” can sometimes mess up a site.  If it DID, deactivate “minify” and the problem should be solved instantly. 

5. Check your page speed again to see your improvement, and how quickly your site is loading.

Pingdom Tools or GT Metrix will show what is causing the latency and is good to run before and after to gage results. 

If your site has a lot of images, they could be really slowing your site down.  Here are some things to consider:

Image Size: 

Make sure your image file sizes are compressed (not necessarily the size of the image, but the file size.  This will make your site load fast. 

Use to compress the size.  Or use for .png images. 

Alternatively install a great image optimiser (ideally, images should be optimised before uploading to the library but let’s face it, not many of us do that). I use Tiny PNG plugin, free for up to 500 compressions per month, and it works awesome. Install, activate, leave the default settings as they are. Register as a user and insert the API code that is emailed to you into the plugin settings. 

Hover over the media library in the dashboard, select “bulk optimise” and let it do its thing. I’ve brought sites down from 22 seconds to under 3 seconds with just these 3 free plugins that take maybe 5 minutes to install and run. 

Something to remember: using smaller images (the size of the image, not the file) will help with load times as well.  Huge images are just SLOW.

If you have a lot of images, check out the “lazy load” plugin (  This plugin will delay the loading of an image until a visitor scrolls toward that image.  So, say you’ve got a nice, long post, filled with images.  By using the lazy load plugin, the page will load quickly, displaying only the images at the beginning of the post. As the visitor scroll down the page, those images further down the page will load.  This means that the page can load quickly, and will load images a few at a time, instead of trying for all at once.  


Adding alt text to images is often overlooked but we know better and can use these to take advantage of the extra room to describe our website images. 

Important – Alt text keywords DO contribute to overall page word count and  keyword density.

For example, if you had the word “dog” in your content 10 times, and “dog” was in two alt tags as well, then your total count is 12 times.

Use alt text as if you were describing the image to a blind person. Don’t keyword stuff but you can include long tail or synonyms into the description.

Avoid having images that have “_” or “|” and instead look at using “-“ to seperate words.

What are alt tags actually for? Alt tags were designed for screen readers that help visual-impaired folks read webpages. 

When the screen reader comes to an image, it reads the alt tag to describe what that image is. 

Essentially, Google wants us to simply describe the picture. 

If it’s a picture of a girl smiling, then label the alt tag “picture of girl smiling.” 

Using the alt tags as intended is another reason I mostly choose not to optimise them. Think about your SEO strategy if you do optimise alt tags or not.

Geo Tag Images:

In local search we want to provide our clients with the best local relevance that we can. Using geo tags to add location points into the exif data of images will help us do this. 

There is a significant amount of traffic that comes from google images search, and google maps images just look at the GMB insights of your clients. Don’t be surprised and instead act on this as a source of traffic others may not be exploiting. In some cases 5% or less traffic will result from images so in that scenario you can de-optimise the alt text so you only worry about keyword density OnPage and not on two fronts.

The bad news is geo tagging will be stripped when you compress images, a choice needs to be made to have more geo tagged images or faster loading websites.

Tip: add geo tagged images to Google my business and maps and leave compressed images for the website. 

Process > Geo tag images then upload to GMB > Then compress and upload to the website.

Images OnPage:

Opinions differ about the specifics that there should be a specific ratio of HTML code (namely images) versus raw text, in order to make the search engines happy. 

Based on my tests, I have never concluded on a magic number of how many images should be present per a given word count. But I do indeed recommend a simple rule of thumb that I’ve garnered from extensive conversion rate optimisation and split test experiments: 

Never have a wall of text on the page. 

There should never been a segment of your page where all the reader can see is simply a top-to-bottom block of text, with no graphics or structured markup (e.g.: table or list). Following this rule will keep you within safe bounds regarding both: 

  • 1)  Keeping the search engines happy 

  • 2)  Keeping your visitors interested in your page
the sitemap for a house


the Google XML Sitemaps plugin on WordPress sites. 

To keep it simple create a sitemap, if you can go advanced then split the sitemaps into into categories, priorities & frequency aren’t a must but make sure you use change dates.

Make sure once you’ve setup this plugin, that you submit your /sitemap.xml to Google’s Webmaster Tools – This is the main sitemap, and Google will then index each sub-sitemap on it’s own, you don’t need to submit each sitemap this plugin makes. 

You’ll find the settings for this plugin here: 

/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=google-sitemap- generator%2Fsitemap.php 

Crawl Rate Optimisation:

Googlebot is on your site for a couple of seconds at max at a time. Remove any unnecessary files that don’t need to be on your site – You want the pages you want ranked to be crawled, and having files like backups & unused PDFs just hurts your crawl rate.

Each website has a crawl budget per month and its important that if a client makes a lot of updates and changes that the crawl budget be spent wisely. This means fetch and render only when you need too. 


Don’t Use The Default Robots.txt 

Here’s the WordPress Robots.txt file that I use to keep these pages hidden.

User-agent: *

Disallow: /wp-admin/

Disallow: /wp-content/

Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php


You can also add in any link checking bots you want to block via this pastebin. 

You’ll have to manually upload a robots.txt file with this code in to overwrite the default WordPress one. 


Turn On Pingbacks 

Don’t allow people to post pingbacks to your site, but notifying other blogs when you link to them helps get traffic and visibility. 

Go here: /wp-admin/options-discussion.php  for WordPress.

And check the “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article” box. 

Link Functions:

An essential way to establish relevance for a page is to link out to an authority page in you niche. 

What’s an authority page? Think,, etc. Something with Domain Authority 70 or higher. 

The ranking benefit of linking to authority sites is in the user reading enhancements. You are providing more value. 

Pro tip: Don’t use Wikipedia for your authority links. This is what every other SEO on the planet is doing. Remember, Google doesn’t like SEOs, so don’t look like one. 

For every page that you’re trying to rank, throw up an authority link somewhere past the fold. Putting it anywhere above the fold increases the chance that the reader will actually click on it and bounce from your page. 

There’s considerable debate about whether or not to make the link dofollow or nofollow. The nofollow team wants to keep all their link juice on their site and refrain of leaking it off the page. 

Since it hasn’t been empirically proven which one works better, I opt to keep it dofollow since the disadvantage of having no authority link on the page wouldn’t be worth it. If you’re worried about ranking another page, simply link to an authority page (DA 70+) that doesn’t rank higher than you already, or isn’t on the first page. 

Pro tip: Create your authority links to open in a new window. This keeps your bounce rate low; in case the reader decides to click on the authority link. Example: <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a> 

Using a Macro vs Micro OnPage Focus:

Macro – This refers to what you’re doing at the site level, such as your site structure, levels, links etc. This is the overview of your site from a crawlers perspective, as well as the perspective of the user.

Good Macro on-page revolves around making good decisions for both UX and SEO. You can use data to back up a lot of your decision making here, and it’s often THE MOST overlooked aspect of on-page with some of the bigger sites.

When we’re working with eCommerce clients, this is often what we’re spending hours and hours on in the first few months.

When auditing the macro level you need a human eye to find areas that are weak, and need improvement.

Micro – This refers to what you’re doing on the page level, this is what most on-page tutorials, articles etc talks about. Using the right markup, longer content – you know the drill. This is often where most people get things right, however there’s a tendency to focus on the wrong things.

At the micro level you can improve rankings for a specific page and linked pages, opposed to macro level where you’ll often see sitewide ranking improvements.

When auditing the micro level you’ll often use tools to achieve this such as ScreamingFrog.

Broken Links and 404’s

Use browser extension (chrome) broken link checker to check your pages for broken links. 404’s and broken links are a negative ranking factor as the user experience is not enhanced but disadvantaged by the browsing problem.


Double check index with Screaming Frog

Finally, check your site for major errors by running a search using the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool.  It’s free, and an awesome, powerful tool.  There’s TONS of things you can look for, but the most important will be making sure the status codes say either “200” or “301.”  If you see anything else, then you or someone you know more knowledgeable should take a look at getting those fixed.  They can cause really big problems.

Ninja Tip – Embed google properties on your client website, Google loves Google and embedding a Google property on a website is one way to tell Google the page/site exists. Think Youtube videos and Google Maps.



Check your plugins.  If you have a plugin installed that you’re not using (even if it is deactivated), delete it.  Plugins can slow your site way down. 

For some recommended plugins (WordPress) see the resources at the bottom of this document.

Content Delivery Network

If you’re not afraid of something slightly more involved, then looking into a content delivery network (CDN), such as CloudFlare or MaxCDN.  Using a CDN can give your site a big speed boost right away.  Here’s how: a CDN distributes your content to multiple servers around the world.  When someone visits your site, a server closer to their location can serve the page. 

CDNs are not complicated; I really recommend you set one up.  Seriously, the set up time will be like five minutes.  If you’re running a media rich site, switching over to a CDN can cut your load time in half.  HALF!

Managed Hosting

If you’re using WordPress, you absolutely should be using a service like WP Engine to host your site. 

Why?  An all-in-one managed WordPress host can speed up your site instantly.  Caching and CDNs are built into the hosting service.  It’s also completed managed for you, so you’ll never have to deal with another WordPress upgrade again.


Should your website have SSL – Secure socket layer

If your client website takes payment online or collects personal data of its users then the answer is yes.

Note: October 2017 Google will show all http websites as insecure in the search results to add to the update from March 2017 where they began to show the browser URL as “Not Secure” for http websites where the https websites were shown with a green “Secure”.

Review Stars:

Another type of rich snippet is the review star. Having review stars on an affiliate product review page, for example, can be a significant factor in stealing clicks from the SERPs. 

Example of review stars: 

Getting review stars is extremely easy. I simply use the WP Structured Data Schema for WordPress. As of the time of this writing, review stars are only available for inner pages. 

Warning: Google has been passing out manual penalties based on spammy structured data. As of now, most of the reports I’ve seen have been about manipulating location using schema, but I’m sure using fake ratings is a hot spot too. 


I’m a big believer of testing and having test “sandbox” sites to test techniques on that mimics real world client sites. Creating a mirror site to test on, not an exact replica but very similar but more lightweight.

BONUS: How to Rank Images in Google (Step by Step)

Ranking images in Google is very similar to ranking a Youtube video.

In fact ranking images is actually easier because the competition is lower (not many people are intentionally aiming to rank photos).

Here are the steps to rank an image…

  • 1) Alt text: The alt text of the image needs to match or be a partial match keyword to what you’re aiming to rank for.
  • 2) Content: The content surrounding where your image is hosted needs to be closely related to your target keyword.
  • 3) Authority: This is relevant to the competitiveness of the keyword you’re trying to rank.
  • 4) Syndication: Taking your image and embedding it on a network of websites, social media sites, image sharing sites and other web pages helkps boost the relevance of your keywords and image topic. This has helped me drive thousands of extra eyeballs to my product offers and view my display ads on my niche blog.

Think of sites like Flickr, Pinterest, Diig, Google Images and many more that all help push the relevance of the image. Monitor your progress and don’t stop with 1 image. If you can blanket Google Images search results with your image target thats a big opportunity that you should not waste.

SEO is a powerful strategy to use for your affiliate niche blogs, ecommerce websites and dropship stores. It might sound technical and a bit spammy but it gets results and it takes less money to start than advertising. Don’t sleep on SEO.