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7 Quick Wins To Rank Your Affiliate Content Higher

Jamie I F. July 10, 2023

The Role of International Expansion in Buying an Amazon FBA Business

It’s much more difficult to rank affiliate content than for informational keywords, and it takes far longer to write affiliate content that ranks high on Google.

I’m Jamie I.F. and I’ve grown my own affiliate site portfolio, and use these techniques to rank my affiliate content higher. I also head up marketing at Lasso, an affiliate marketing plugin designed to help you make more affiliate sales.

While it’s more difficult to take the number 1 spot for affiliate keywords, they’re very lucrative. My affiliate content earns $130 RPM on average, whereas display ads hover around $30. So, even though it is competitive now in 2023, it’s still very worth trying to rank.

Using these seven tips for optimizing affiliate content, I am confident you can increase your affiliate content ranking, increase your traffic, and even more importantly, convert better and earn more.

1. Improve your titles

The best titles optimize for both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and CTR (Click-Through Rate) – which is also an SEO factor.

Titles for SEO

Including the main keyword in your title is very important. It shows Google your article is clearly relevant for the keyword you want to rank for.

Having the keyword nearer the beginning of your title may also be a ranking factor, so take this into consideration.

Titles for CTR

While you want to get the keyword in, you also want to write titles that maximize CTR. Improving your CTR will not only increase your page views, but it’s also a factor in ranking higher.

If Google detects your page is getting disproportionately higher clicks versus what their baseline data suggests you should be getting for your current ranking, they may experiment by moving you to a higher position, to see if you belong there.

A higher CTR also suggests you’re best meeting the search intent of the keyword. Consequently, getting below-expected clicks can see your page fall, as Google does not see you as answering the searcher’s need.

How to write titles that get clicks

Write titles that answer your audience’s burning issues and pain points, so that in just a few words they think “Yes! This person understands me!”.

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So, if someone’s searching for the best cheap vacuum cleaner, what are they likely worried about?

You should research this to be sure, but my guess would be that they want an affordable vacuum cleaner, that still cleans reliably, and is durable enough that they won’t need to replace it after just a few uses.

So, to win the clicks, I would write a title like:

“7 Best Cheap Vacuums in 2023 (That Are Actually Reliable)”

Some other optimizations I recommend are:

  • Number of products in the title: studies have shown that odd numbers garner more clicks and that 7 has the highest CTR.
  • Use dynamic years in the title: Rank Math and other SEO plugins will do this for you, automatically changing whenever the year changes.
  • Use dynamic months: for the most competitive keywords, you can get an edge by adding a dynamic month, for example “Best X in June 2023”. It will automatically change every month.

2. Strong intro

A strong introduction is essential for top rankings, as you immediately meet the search intent of the article and show relevance in Google’s eyes.

Also, an estimated 40-50% of conversions occur during the buyer’s guide intro if you structure your content properly. I have previously written about the SPEAR framework for writing intros, which helps template intros that convert well.

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  • S: Search (user) intent
  • P: Pain points
  • E: Expertise
  • A: Audience:
  • R: Rapport

How to write intros that rank your affiliate content higher

For the S in SPEAR, the search and user intent, it’s key to again make the reader immediately think “Yes! I’m in the right place!”.

Google is stricter than ever about pages not meeting search intent, so you should immediately show you’re going to:

  • For single product reviews: evaluate the product you’re reviewing
  • For VS articles: compare the two products you’re comparing
  • For “Best X” articles: compare the different options over the factors they really care about

So, writing an intro that:

  1. Highlights pain points and then offers a solution
  2. Presents yourself as an expert reader can trust with that solution
  3. Builds rapport so they like you

You’ll both show positive user metrics that Google measures in ranking and convert better and earn more money.

3. Use affiliate displays (with the right schema)

Based on our tests at Lasso, we’ve found that using affiliate displays can convert up to 10-15x better than just text links.

They’re also better for your users. A text link doesn’t communicate as well where the user will go if they click the link, which can be a source of worry, so it’s a worse UX overall.

A visual affiliate display, with a price, star rating, and clearly showing you’ll be sent to a store such as Amazon or Best Buy, is a much more trusted user experience that your readers will appreciate you for.

How to create affiliate displays that convert

High-quality affiliate displays clearly show:

  • Product name
  • Price
  • Social proof via a star rating
  • Affiliate disclosure
  • Pros and cons
  • Buy button, in a contrasting color to the site theme to stand out
  • The user segment it’s best for
  • Any other supporting info that helps the reader make a decision

At Lasso, we’ve battle-tested our affiliate displays against all other options, and optimized them to be the best-performing option.

Our displays were shown to increase clicks to affiliate links by almost 50% for the biggest affiliate marketer in the Netherlands compared to the previous alternative he used, helping his sites earn seven figures per year.

How affiliate displays can affect rankings

While the main focus with affiliate displays is CRO (conversion rate optimization) and earning more revenue, there are also reasons to do this for SEO, especially with the schema they add.

User metrics and search intent are key ranking factors, and good affiliate displays induce more clicks to products, which is the exact intent behind searching a keyword like “Best Vacuum Cleaner” or similar.

If readers are taking action and engaging with your page, this should show positive signals that Google is measuring. However, other evidence disagrees that some user metrics are key SEO ranking factors.


For single product reviews, you can also add Product schema to your articles. Within this, you can assign a star rating, which will then show up in the SERP. These rich results can increase CTR by around 35%, with CTR considered a factor in ranking your affiliate reviews higher.

You can even go a step further and add Pros and Cons schema, which will then also show in the SERP with your highlighted pros and cons. Lasso has tools to automatically create Product and Pros and Cons for you within the affiliate display.

4. Basic SEO elements

Having the SEO basics in place are some of the quickest wins you can get for improving the rank of your affiliate content.

The key areas to get your main keyword in are:

  1. H1 / Title tag
  2. H2
  3. URL
  4. First 100 words (ideally first paragraph)
  5. Last 100 words

This is the 80/20 of on-page SEO.

Avoid keyword stuffing or over-optimization. For example, if you’re writing a product comparison article, and you’re comparing a Macbook M1 vs M2, do not structure your article like:

  • Macbook M1 vs M2: CPU
  • Macbook M1 vs M2: For Gaming
  • Macbook M1 vs M2: Operating System

Just write “CPU”, “For Gaming”, and “Operating System”.

It makes the article more difficult to scan and read, and there’s a point of diminishing returns where having more exact match keywords no longer helps, and can be considered over-optimization.

Putting the keyword in the first paragraph immediately shows the article is relevant for the keyword, and also having a good distribution of keywords and related entities throughout the article helps boost the relevance overall, so having the keyword at the end of the article can also help.

5. Segmentation based on audience

If you’re writing an article on the “Best Vacuum Cleaners”, then in trying to rank for a general term, you’re going to be appealing to a wide range of customer segments.

Some will want a cheap vacuum, some will want a professional option to start a small cleaning business with, some will want to specifically clean carpets or kitchens, and so on.

When creating affiliate content that ranks, you should therefore tailor each product for which audience segment it is best suited for. This helps readers understand which is best for them, and increases the chance that they’ll convert.

How segmenting your audience helps your affiliate content rank higher

1. Search Intent

For keywords like “Best Vacuum Cleaner”, Google wants to show pages that are most likely to meet the reader’s search intent.

By clearly recommending each product for a different audience segment, you appeal to as many of the different search intents as possible.

This should make your article the most likely to solve the reader’s problem, and best meet the search intents of searchers.

2. Long-Tail Keywords & Related Entities

Naturally, when you’re discussing these segments, like “best low-cost vacuum”, “best heavy-duty vacuum”, you’re adding other long-tail keywords.

This can help emphasize your article as a relevant article for this topic in Google’s eyes, as well as increase rankings for related keywords that bring in traffic.

6. Add a buying guide

The buying guide, also known as the “Factors To Consider When Buying” section, is a good way of making your “Best X” articles stand out and rank higher.

The buying guide summarizes the most important 3-6 things to consider when buying the product.

For example, a “Best Vacuum Cleaner” article might contain a section about “Weight”, as a lightweight vacuum is more portable and easier to move around the house with, requires less strain to move, and prevents issues such as backache from cleaning.

You can also recommend the best product for each factor, such as the lightest vacuum in the “Weight” section, or the fastest vacuum in the “Speed” section, and try to make an affiliate sale.

These sections help your affiliate content rank higher on Google as they make your article more helpful for readers looking to understand more about what makes a good product. You’re educating those who might not be ready to purchase yet, and then proposing a good product once you’ve helped them understand better.

Buying guides are especially important if there are some informational results in the SERP for the keyword, suggesting there’s a mix of search intent between commercial and informational results.

7. Add real product images, and speak in the first person

Google’s Review Updates have centered around deranking low-value-added affiliate sites, and prioritizing real reviews by real experts – hence also the move to add an extra E into E-E-A-T.

However, Google cannot read content exactly like a human and still relies on NLP and extracting entities and their salience to understand what the content is about, as well as trying to understand from the content whether this is a real review by a real person.

So, make it easy for Google to understand you’re an expert and really tested the products.

Speak in first-person and discuss in your product reviews how “I found that X product was…”, and use language like “During my hands-on testing…”.

How real product images help your affiliate content rank higher

While I could not find any concrete research online proving unique images outperform sites that just use Amazon product images, I do believe that the sites that use unique, clearly real product review images are far more likely to win in Review updates.

Add the best-quality real images from your tests that also show readers you tested the product, and you’ll convert better. The improved user metrics from more time on page and better engagement may also help with ranking.

Along with your real tests, discuss the intricacies of the product that only you, as an expert, can help your readers with.

This unique information will add to your information gain score, which may form part of how on-page E-E-A-T and the Helpful Content sensors are measured.

Final Thoughts

Writing affiliate content that ranks is much harder, and takes much longer, than writing informational content.

It’s not just a matter of researching the topic and writing. You really need to test the product to find out the key information that helps readers and understand the differences between different competing products.

Then, armed with this information, you can use your copywriting and psychology skills to present it in a way that encourages them to buy.

Using these techniques to differentiate your content from your competitors, and ensure you have everything in place that Google wants to see, can get you a leg up on your rivals, and dramatically increase your affiliate traffic and revenue.

And with that traffic, you can then maximize your conversions by using tools such as Lasso which are proven to increase clicks and conversions.

Higher-ranking affiliate content, and the increased conversions that come with it, will also increase the overall value of your business. When it comes time to sell your affiliate site, you’ll make a much more profitable exit.

If you’re ready to take the first steps towards selling your site, create your own Empire Flippers account, or schedule a call with one of our expert business advisors to learn more about the sales process.

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