Written by Harvey Holloway
It’s not exactly breaking news…
Link building continues to be one of the most powerful SEO tactics for driving targeted traffic from Google search. While a great product or service will often speak for itself, all of your affiliate marketing backlink efforts can grow sales to scale your business. And how you grow your affiliate website or ecommerce store will determine your business growth, website domain authority, and Google search engine rankings!
It’s important to get this right. By having a strong backlink strategy, you’ll get more traffic, more leads, and most importantly, more sales!
In this post, we’ll look at how to build relevant backlinks to your affiliate website and reveal the key reasons why they are such an essential part of SEO!
Why Are Affiliate Marketing Backlinks So Important?
Affiliate marketing backlinks are simply links from other websites to your affiliate website. Backlinks point from a third-party website (such as a blog, website, forum, or social page) to your affiliate site, and they can offer some huge benefits:
- Grow organic website traffic. Affiliate backlinks are a great way to increase website traffic, improve Google search rankings, and drive organic traffic to your website with minimal effort.
- Improve authority. Having great brand authority helps build trust between you and your customers. The more high quality links you have pointing to your website, the greater your domain authority and brand awareness will be. Growing your business is easier when you’re an authority in your chosen niche.
- Build relationships. Increasing the number of quality backlinks to your website will help you reach a wider audience, allowing for the opportunity to develop valuable connections. The more people you can connect with, the higher your potential for driving traffic to your site and increasing conversions.
Affiliate backlinks are a marketing strategy that all marketers should be investing in. This type of strategy is commonly used to increase traffic, improve conversions, and build domain authority for your website. So, if you don’t already have a strategy in place to build links to your ecommerce or affiliate website, you should – and here’s how to do it!
How to Get Affiliate Backlinks to Your Site
According to Affstat, more than 69% of affiliate marketers use SEO to drive traffic. You’ve probably heard all kinds of link building strategies out there, from broken link building to asking for a link on unlinked mentions of your brand,.
These can all work well and should be part of your link building workflow. But while there are several ways to build affiliate marketing backlinks to your site, the best strategy is always organic. I’m talking about guest posting.
Guest Posts Are Ideal For Backlinks
If you’ve been in the online space for a while, you know that guest posting is one of the best ways to gain quality backlinks to your website. Not only do guest posts gain you links, but they’re also an effective way to reach new audiences and build brand authority. You get a double-whammy of new opportunities for people to find you, plus the associated link equity to help your entire website rank higher in search results. And the more respected and trusted the website you get published on is, the more authority your own website will gain from it.
Companies who actively blog receive 97% more backlinks to their site than those who don’t. Just like blog posts on your own site, each article requires time invested. So, choose your topics carefully and avoid recycling the same ideas over and over so you can maintain unique quality for your new audience.
Reputable publications and websites have no shortage of guest post pitches. So, the best way to stand out is by writing high quality content that is ideally rich with original research, statistics, and a unique perspective. Put yourself in the shoes of the company you’re pitching to – would you want to publish your content if you were them?
You’ll find a LOT more success when you make the content as helpful and engaging as anything you’d create for your own site!
How to Write High-Quality Guest Posts
The process of guest posting follows a simple sequence:
- Find websites that you want to pitch (they don’t have to have a guest posting program, but it can help).
- Read their submission guidelines, if they have any.
- Write a (tailored) guest post pitch and email it to those website owners or editors.
- While waiting for approval, start writing your guest post.
- Add custom images and visual elements to increase engagement.
- Send your draft to accepted sites or pitch to new websites.
- Make any requested edits and send the final version.
- Be sure to add a natural link within the content, in the author bio, or both (depending on their guidelines).
Match Your Backlinking Efforts with the Right Audience
Studying your website’s visitor demographics is a great way to clarify what your customers are looking for and how you can meet their needs best.
Understanding the demographics of different websites is a great way to find suitable publications your target audience are most likely to read. Expert link builders can help find great opportunities for you that increase website visibility, attract organic traffic, and increase conversions.
SEO Content Collaborations to Earn Backlinks
Investing in link building partnerships with other bloggers is an effective marketing strategy that can complement your backlink profile. Content collaborations are a great way to gain links organically through guest posting.
But what makes them stand out from generic guest posts is the reciprocity of the relationship. A link for a link. The idea is that if you endorse someone’s content, they should endorse yours. Collaborations require time and investment, and they rely on mutual trust and offering value to each other’s readership.
A study by Ahrefs discovered that 43.7% of top ten search results contained reciprocal links.
Being active online is a great way to get noticed and show that you are open to collaboration opportunities. Commenting on blog posts, sharing articles, and involving yourself in forum conversations is an easy way to build brand credibility and authority within your industry.
For this to be successful, it’s important to be genuine and honest with your advice. Make sure to be thorough, offer value/solutions to problems, and stay approachable. The more authentic you are, the more likely others will reach out to you and be willing to collaborate.
How to Choose Content Collaborators
Finding people that are revenant to your industry, reputable in their niche, and willing to collaborate can seem like a mountain of a task. However, choosing collaborators doesn’t have to be impossible.
It’s easier when you pay attention to:
- Collaborator Relevance: There is no point in collaborating with people or websites that have no relevance to your industry. A collaboration should bring value to both parties, so it’s beneficial if you share a similar target audience.
- Domain Authority: If you want to attract collaborators willing to work with you, it is important to consider domain authority. Collaborators are far more likely to work with you if your websites have similar domain authority. An easy way to discover the domain authority of a website is to use a website authority checker like Ahrefs before you pitch a collaboration.
- Website Traffic: For an equal collaboration and content exchange, it also makes sense to collaborate with websites at roughly the same stage you are in terms of traffic. If you want to pitch to someone with a much higher level of traffic, you’ll probably need to bring your A-game in terms of content quality.
Affiliate Backlink Quality: Does It Matter?
A common question we get asked is whether backlink quality really matters. After all, isn’t quantity better?
Having a powerful backlink profile is crucial to drive sales and to increase domain authority – however, not all backlinks are created equal. It’s widely understood in the SEO community that the number of referring domains is a key factor, and that those with the highest number are correlated with higher Google rankings.
Every affiliate marketer is keen to win contextually relevant links from websites with high domain authority. However, building a profile of quality affiliate backlinks takes time and effort. It relies heavily on the quality of your content and the reputation you hold in your industry, as well as your collaboration partners and connections.
Choosing backlinks based solely on domain authority isn’t worth your time. After all, you need traffic to grow your audience, but you need conversions to earn affiliate commissions or ecommerce sales. So, we recommend aiming for the middle ground.
Prioritize links that are high quality, but don’t dismiss relevant opportunities just because some websites have lower-than-ideal domain authority. It’s good to have a varied link portfolio, and the best way to achieve this is to avoid getting hung up on metrics and simply aim for natural and topically relevant websites.
4 Link-Worthy Content Ideas
If you want to increase your chances of gaining backlinks from high authority websites, it is important to first having content worth linking to.
Ideally, there should be nothing else like your content. But in an online world, where thousands of articles are published every single day, that can feel impossible!
Don’t worry. We have some clever ways for you to create articles that stand out:
- Writing more in-depth content that’s packed with value
- Backing up your ideas with original statistics, research, or data
- Interviewing an industry leader or subject matter expert
- Creating infographics to make a complex topic more engaging
Imagine how much more valuable a piece of content would be with in-depth content, original data points, exclusive interviews, and custom images or infographics!
Your exact approach will depend on your expertise, industry standing, and website strategy. With all of these in mind, here are 4 content formats you can use to create linkable content assets!
1) White Papers
In-depth reports like white papers are a fantastic way to gain quality backlinks to your website. This type of content is full of independent research and valuable statistics that other websites will happily link to. The obvious downside to white papers is they take a lot of time to research, write, and design. But, if you have the time and want a truly linkable content piece, these are some of the most useful content pieces you can produce.
We often use special reports like these in demand generation and sales campaigns to attract B2B prospects. Before you commission an entire white paper, it’s important to know your audience well and create a report based around what they care about.
2) Statistic Roundup
If you don’t have internal data or exclusive research you can use to build links, statistic roundups are another good way to gain high-quality backlinks. To achieve this, collect as many statistics as you can about your chosen topic and list them in your article. You provide the benefit of curating these statistics all in one place.
Why is this helpful? Companies needing to reference a statistic will often choose your article to link to, because it offers a helpful summary of the industry where it’s at through a list of useful statistics.
Statistics roundup articles can give your website incredible returns, gaining tons of natural links to your site over time as people cite your article as their source.
3) Long-Form Content
Long-form content is another way of describing content that goes into great detail on a particular topic, usually as an epic blog post or pillar post.
Today, the average blog post consists of 1,269 words, according to Orbit Media:
With 77% of internet users reading blog posts, long-form content targeted for relevant competitive keywords can help you reach a wider audience, increase traffic, and boost conversions.
Long-form content shows that you’re the best resource on a subject, reinforcing to other site owners that your content is worthy of their valuable backlinks (when they reference your page as a valuable source of information). Aim to make your guide a definitive resource for that specific topic – think of what you’d have to say to walk your readers through everything from start to finish.
The more stats you use to back up your points, and the more in-depth information you share, the more you will come across as an expert in your field and attract new links naturally.
4) Downloadable Resources
Backlinks can also be earned by providing users with a downloadable resource. Whether it be a product manual, a reference guide, or a cheat sheet, downloadable resources earn links to your website and make for a great long-term link building strategy.
Do affiliate links count as backlinks?
The simple answer is yes – affiliate links do count as backlinks. However, they’re typically “nofollow” links, because they’re generally not used to provide link equity.
Where can I get content for affiliate marketing?
We have mentioned some of the best types of content you can create to gain affiliate backlinks. Who actually writes the content is up to you. You can write it yourself, or you can call on the expertise of a copywriter or a marketing agency to boost your chances of successfully gaining quality backlinks.
What are the tools needed for affiliate marketing?
There’s a multitude of tools available that can be used for affiliate marketing and SEO. One of the tools we always recommend is Ahrefs. We also endorse Voluum for tracking affiliate marketing metrics and Sendlane for affiliate email marketing!
Final Thoughts on Building Backlinks…
We know that affiliate marketing link building works! However, it’s also time-consuming, especially if you don’t have much experience building links. That’s why you need a deliberate strategy to help you gain affiliate marketing backlinks that add value to your website and grow your business.
I recommend a two-pronged strategy of “offense” and “defense.” On the offense side, go conduct outreach and try to arrange for guest posts and content collaborations. On the defense side, continue creating linkworthy content – this will come into play when you find publications to link back to you and need something they’ll be willing to link to.
Last but not least, it helps to focus on “deep links” to your most valuable content pages, as opposed to your homepage or product page. Yes, it’s more valuable to get links to your product pages directly to help them rank, but you may find collaborators reluctant to link to your sales page compared to a helpful resource.
In that way, your content pages can serve as an affiliate bridge page of sorts – a useful piece of content that contains your affiliate links or links to your own product page, but also adds plenty of value to serve as a magnet for backlinks.
Whether you didn’t know what affiliate marketing backlinks were or you have been building links for years, we hope you’ve gotten some actionable advice here! By following the tips listed above, you should be able to acquire quality affiliate backlinks to your website that boost your marketing efforts, increase website traffic, and grow your conversions.
Let us know how you get on – we never get tired of hearing your success stories! And for more information to grow your affiliate business, be sure to check out Spark!