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SEO Battles: SEO Vs Affiliates


Episode Overview:

Join host Ben as he wraps up SEO Battles Week with Searchmetrics’ Director of European Marketing Lillian Haase discussing how SEO compares to affiliate marketing. Together they define affiliate marketing channels and how SEO plays a part in it.

Compared to PR, affiliate marketing needs to be utilized carefully otherwise it could negatively impact your SEO efforts. When you manage affiliates familiarize them with your brand guidelines to set the direction for how they sell your products on their platform. Without brand alignment your mixed messaging and branding will get lost among your consumers and damage SEO efforts.

Affiliate marketing isn’t the best channel to use when you’re marketing a new product. Understanding an affiliate’s marketing processes are needed to realize how they obtain and drive traffic. Great affiliate marketers exist, but their methods need careful evaluation before they even get to work on your brand and products.

Lillian Haase

Lillian Haase

Lillian has been working as a Digital Marketer since 2008. She started out as an affiliate marketer then moved on to become a consultant when business owners discovered she could help them ‘get found on the internet’. She progressed to become an Account Manager in two Digital Marketing agencies followed by working as Team Lead in an international PR agency and Head of Marketing for a private University. She is now CMO at Searchmetrics.

One thought on “SEO Battles: SEO Vs Affiliates

  • Speaking with 2+ years of affiliate background (in-house and agency), and switched into an SEO role (in-house) earlier this year, so I was excited to see this episode.

    There’s an unspoken assumed stance in this podcast that affiliate and SEO overlap a lot more than they really do. At the agency, we’d vet any potential publisher for an advertiser according to brand guidelines and take into account anything that other marketing channels (SEO, SEM, re-marketing, etc) told us was off limits. It’s also standard to add these policies into the initial contract: if no publisher is allowed to bid on any brand terms, you can bake that in, and if they break it, you reserve the right to kick them out of your affiliate program and refrain from paying out commission. Cannibalization could still be an issue, but we’d aim to get ahead of that if possible.

    There’s also a misconception about the role of content in affiliate. The largest revenue drivers (and therefore the easiest sells to advertisers) are relationships with coupon/deal and cash back sites, rather than content publishers. Since the bulk of the relationships yield merchant pages or dynamic placements that are short-lived, the keywords these coupon/deal and cash back sites rank on (ie “brand promo code”) are likely ones that the in house teams aren’t concerned about.

    All that said, I’ve seen the majority of affiliate marketers’ ignorance around SEO. Few think about ensuring that links are nofollow. The lack of cross-channel understanding also allows publishers to attribute lack of affiliate performance as “SEO issues,” which affiliate marketers don’t have the knowledge to press publishers about.

    Thanks again for this episode – affiliate and SEO are both near and dear to my heart, so it was a fun listen.

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