The impact of SEO on affiliate marketing

It’s been more than a year since ChatGPT launched, and doing SEO has been a roller coaster ride for many affiliate marketers. Continuous change in the Google Search Algorithm has resulted in ups and downs in the rankings.

But there is one thing that remains constant – content is the king of SEO. AI has boosted the speed of content generation faster than ever we have seen in the history of the internet. Recent Google algorithm changes are driving affiliates crazy. According to one survey from AuthorityHacker, 25.1% of affiliate marketers have been impacted by recent changes in the Google Search Algorithm.

It raises a big question for affiliates: How to thrive in this ever-changing environment?

In this article, we will discuss What affiliate marketing SEO is, how SEO is impacting affiliate marketing and what are strategies you can implement to boost your rankings.

What is Affiliate Marketing SEO? #

Affiliate marketing SEO is the process of optimizing a website or online content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for targeted keywords related to affiliate products or services. The goal of affiliate marketing SEO is to attract organic traffic, which can be converted into sales, so affiliates can earn commission. 

How SEO is impacting affiliate marketing? #

➢ Increased visibility

70% traffic on affiliate sites comes from SEO. It is completely organic and gives you visibility to potential customers. This can lead to more clicks and conversions on your site organically.

➢ Targeted traffic

SEO is the primary source of traffic for 78.3% of affiliate marketers. With SEO, you can generate content that resonates with your audience’s interest. Focused on niche content can help you convert more traffic and increase your conversions with relevant content.

➢ Enhanced credibility

Affiliate websites that rank on top of SERP are usually trusted more than those that rank in lower positions. It enhances your credibility resulting in increased CTR and more users buying from your site. Since, the leads are high-intent leads, the average lead closing rate is 14.6%.

➢ Cost effective

SEO is organic traffic, so you don’t have to spend money on ads. Though SEO is a continuous process and still needs money, it is comparatively less costly than paid ads. 88% of marketers who already do SEO are planning to invest equal or more amount in SEO this year. Once your website is well optimized it can continue to generate revenue for your affiliate program.

➢ Long term ROI

Once you start ranking on top positions, you can maintain the traffic coming to your site with continuous content updates and make sure that your traffic converts into customers generating revenue for you. An average Affiliate SEO campaign generates ROI of 275%. Unlike paid campaigns that stop generating revenue once you stop campaigns, SEO keeps generating revenue on a long term basis resulting in better Return on investment (ROI).

How AI is impacting SEO for affiliate marketers? #

➢ Generate content at a faster speed

AI tools can create high-quality, SEO-optimized content quickly and efficiently. 85.1% marketers are already using it for generating content. By analyzing data and trends, AI can suggest topics, and generate outlines. 

➢ Predictive keyword research

AI algorithms can help you analyze search patterns and predict future search trends. It can help you optimize your content for keywords that are likely to gain traction in the near future. This approach can help you stay ahead of your competitors.

➢ Offer personalization

AI can help you create content based on user behavior, preferences and search history. This personalized approach can help you create content that is more engaging and can lead to higher conversion rates.

➢ Voice Search Optimization

Optimizing content for voice search is not a trend anymore, its a necessity. AI can help you optimize your content with natural language processing ensuring better visibility in voice-activated search devices.

➢ Predictive trend analytics 

AI when fed with the right data can help you identify trends and changes in consumer behavior. These predictions can help you create content that aligns with your audience’s interest to help you get better conversions and earn more commissions. 

Now, that you know how SEO and AI is impacting affiliate marketing, lets get into some actionable tips to improve your affiliate marketing SEO efforts.

For better understanding we will break it down into 3 parts

  1. On-Page SEO Tips
  2. Off-page SEO Tips
  3. Technical SEO Tips

Actionable Tips to improve your SEO strategy #

On-Page SEO Tips #

  1. Optimize for feature snippets

Snippets get the highest CTR of 42.9%. That is huge! You can’t miss this opportunity. Optimizing your content for featured snippets can get you a lot of organic traffic cutting your cost for acquiring customers. 

So, how can you optimize your content for featured snippets:

  • Most featured snippets that you see on the internet are displayed on search queries with questions. So, if you are writing an article, try to focus on 2-3 questions that summarize the content and answer queries as well. To further optimize your content, consider adding h2, h3 tags to questions to prioritize them in the content. 
  • Add FAQs into your articles and landing pages. Make sure you write answers to each question in less than 50 words to get higher chances of appearing on the People Also Ask(PAA) section. Do not forget to add schema for FAQ’s, as it directs the Google bots to add them in the PAA section.
  1. Don’t fall for faster content generation, focus on quality

AI content generation has been faster than ever we have seen in the history of the internet. But, Google still hates AI content. Let’s be real here, AI content generation tools still use content from the internet and it lacks the uniqueness that human content can offer.

Keeping this in mind, Google rolled out its latest update in March 2024, reducing 40% of unhelpful content

E-A-T is something that Google always prioritizes for ranking the content. If you write unique, high quality content with all the necessary details, FAQ’s and more, you get higher chances of ranking on top SERPs.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that you can not use AI for content creation, AI is here to stay and it is here to make you more productive.

Think of AI as a ghost writer that takes your written article as a rough document and turns it into a polished article.

Check here how you can use AI for boosting productivity while keeping your rankings up.

  1. Research keyword clusters

Most affiliates would be doing keyword research and writing articles about a specific topic.

But, do you really think that writing one article on some topic will give you E-A-T authority on the topic?

Well, that doesn’t really happen in most cases.

What you can do is research keyword clusters, use tools like SurferSEO.

SurferSEO will give you a list of related keywords, so you can create topics around it.

Take this for example, if you are writing about Keto Snacks, that would be your pillar page or you can call it your main page.

Now, you should also write about the supporting topics since they give you an opportunity to cover different areas in depth instead of just writing a small section in one blog. 

These in-depth articles can help you get that authority over the topic and send signals to Google about it to help you rank higher.

You can also do one thing that works really well, give backlinks to pillar pages from all your supporting pages. This will give more page authority to your pillar page and it will rank higher than other pages.

  1. Check existing rankings and optimize CTR

“I have been doing everything right, adding quality content, adding internal and external links, ranking on top pages but still why am I not getting clicks?”

Does that sound like you? Well, you are not alone, every SEO at some point, thinks the same and questions what is still missing and what can be improved.

The answer is META titles and descriptions. So, how can you improve your ranking and CTR?

It’s really simple, go to your Google Console and check for a specific queries ranking and CTR.

Now compare it with the industry average. If it is lower, they are underperforming. And it can cost a lot.

The number 1 organic result get more clicks than results 3 to 10 combined.

You can understand the importance of ranking in first position. 

What you can do is, create a sheet with formulas that can help you analyze underperforming pages in bulk. And then you can test your titles and descriptions and see which one performs better.

Like related topics that we discussed in 4th point, you can add related keywords in the title and meta descriptions to get higher ranking on SERP.

  1. Run a readability test to increase time spent on page

Check two articles below, and think which one you are more likely to read?

Your most likely answer would be 2nd one.

As human attention span is reducing, writers and SEOs are focusing more on segmenting articles in smaller sections and sentences.

This trend has been going on for a while now. The content on the right is less overwhelming compared to the content on the left. 

Try implementing this into your site, break down content in 1-2 sentences or less than 40-50 words.

It helps you keep your readers attention and reduce your bounce rate on pages. 

Look for pages with higher bounce rates on your site, implement this strategy and then see the difference. You will surely get better results.

  1. Optimize for voice search

Smart devices and assistants are gaining popularity in the market. Around 36% americans own smart speakers and half of US consumers use voice search on a daily basis.

And with the advancements in AI, voice assistants are getting more advanced so that they can talk and respond like humans. This creates a big opportunity for every SEO to optimize their content for voice search.

It’s not really complicated, you can implement these 3 tips to optimize your content for voice search.

  • Use natural language and long tail keywords in your content. Ask yourself, did you ever search something on Google Assistant, with a single word query? No, right! People usually use voice search to get answers for queries, so add long tail keywords to match the conversational queries
  • Since most voice searches are questions, structure your content with clear and concise answers.
  • Try adding keywords for location based queries. For example, “best VPN services in New York” or “Top hosting providers in the UK”. This way you can optimize your content for specific locations.
  1. Revisit and update old content

Check for content that is already ranking. Since, this content is bringing you some kind of traffic, it’s worth updating it with the latest information and more details to improve the quality of content and rank higher on SERP.

Google has increasingly started focusing on search intent and relation between search queries with related keywords. As mentioned above, you can use tools like SurferSEO to check intent and related keywords. 

Also, check for the content that aligns with the latest market updates. For example, your article on SEO strategies in 2022 might be ranking, but SEO has changed a lot since then with AI. So, update the content with the latest updates.

Look for statistics, are they outdated? If yes, update them as well with newer ones. 

Focus on low quality outbound links. If your article links to some website with low quality content, remove it and add links to high authority sites with detailed content.

  1. What’s your niche?

You very well know the answer to this, but do you really think your article will rank on the primary keyword like Fitness, Electronics, etc.?

Well, chances are it will but it will take you a very long time. There are brands and websites with higher authority that will rank higher. So, what can you do about it?

Let’s say you are an affiliate in the fitness industry promoting Plant Protein.

Now, if you write on plant protein, there are tons of articles, and options for readers to choose from.

But if you write for a specific brand, let’s say XYZ plant protein.

You can review it, add details and cover each and every pro and con. This article is more likely to rank as there will be less competition on specific brand names compared to just “Plant Proteins”

It’s very generic and high in competition. So, if you go into specifics of products, you can do well in SEO. Also, E-A-T will be considered here, given the details that you add in the article.

Off page SEO tips #

  1. Don’t fail to follow your competitors

This is the most common thing that you or any SEO would be doing. Checking your competitors site, looking for ranking keywords and writing content around it.

But, how can you optimize this content for better ranking?

Go to your competitors site, look for ranking keywords and check which page or article is ranking on specific keywords.

Now, analyze the content, and look for content with low quality, lack of depth, and less meaningful backlinks.

By doing this, you get an idea of what needs to be improved, for example if the article is missing actionable tips, you can add those. 

By doing such small yet effective tweaks in the article, your chances of ranking higher than your competitor go up.

  1. Focus on link building 

Google link building guidelines are changing and it is taking down articles written with the purpose of manipulating linking and ranking signals.

Recent changes in Google’s link building guidelines will impact affiliates who are focused on ink building efforts to bring traffic to their site.

Google is reducing emphasis on links and focusing more on quality content. So, you should consider focusing on engaging your audience with high quality, and engaging content.

It doesn’t mean that link building is dead. Nearly 92.3% of top 100 ranking domains have at least one backlink. Authentic and high quality links are still here to stay. But outdated and spammy link building tactics won’t work with this Google Algorithm update. 

Consider keeping track of inbound and outbound links and make regular changes. Generate reports regularly through SEMrush or Ahrefs and make sure that you don’t get penalized for spammy or dead links. 

  1. Reach out to your social media followers

Leverage social media to bring traffic to your blogs. Social media is a great way top get instant attention from readers. SEO takes time and it might take you 3-6 months to get top ranking on your articles.

So, what you can do during this time is bring readers from social media, go to quora and other forums to answer questions related to the topic. This will help you get those extra eyes on the content, before it even ranks on Google.

It will also help you optimize your content by looking at session time. You can make your article more engaging.

  1. Start guest blogging

Guest bloggings will give you the most important links that you need for your website. Links coming from external sites have higher weightage than your own site. 

It’s not written anywhere, but every SEO knows this. Guest posts don’t just help you get backlinks, but also help build credibility and reputation in your niche.

It can drive traffic if you get to post on some really good sites, so ensure you write high quality content. 

Don’t just copy paste what AI gives, just because it is being posted on other site. Fact check and add your experiences, that is something readers love to read and are more likely to take your word.

  1. Reach out to influencers

If you are considering spending on ads to bring traffic to blog, reaching out to influencers might be a better option for you!

Ads are expensive, I am not saying influencers are cheap but you might get an influencer in your budget that can bring quality traffic.

You can do barter deals with influencers but that’s not possible with ads. For example, you can offer 5% of your commission for every sale they bring. 

This won’t just give you traffic but will also help you bring your sales figure up.

Technical SEO #

  1. Check your site speed

Remember how we discussed above, about our reducing attention span?

That is exactly what’s happening here.

If your page takes 2 or more seconds to load, your bounce rate can increase by 50%. You are losing customers here just because your site took load time long enough to blink your eyes twice. 

So, focus on reducing your site load time by 2X by implementing these simple strategies.

  • Compress image file sizes(use tools like TinyPNG)
  • Use image formats like WebP and AVIF
  • Set browser caching
  1. Optimize your website structure

Structure each and every page and article on your website in such a way that it shows a clear hierarchy of pages. 

Remember how we talked about clustering keywords using SurferSEO, you can use the same strategy to build topics and pillar pages to set hierarchy. 

Read HubSpots article on What is Pillar page and how much it matters in SEO.

  1. Use mobile first approach

It is a known fact that Google uses a mobile first indexing approach, so ensure your website is designed for mobiles. 

It is clear from the graph above that sites get more visits from mobiles than desktop. So, it is always good to consider mobile first when adding images, text, graphics or any other element. 

Make sure it loads faster and if needed, create a slightly different design for mobiles- ditch few elements(sections if required), to make it look better and more readable.


SEO in affiliate marketing SEO evolving, with AI and continuous changes in search engine algorithms. To thrive in this dynamic environment, you should focus on creating high quality and relevant content that resonates with your audience. 

By implementing above mentioned strategies, you can boost your credibility and increase your commission earnings with organic traffic. You can save on paid ads and invest in other aspects of your business to increase your profitability and ensure long term success.