Affiliate Marketing Reviews And SEO
I can see you shaking your head already at the idea of writing a review with search engine optimization in mind.
You’re afraid – rightly – of coming up with an unreadable review… perhaps even one that Google will penalize.
You’ve quickly learned that relevancy and keeping it “real” is what reviews are all about. “You should never write for the search engines!”
Actually, that’s quite true. The most important aspect of any review is to create an honest one that speaks directly, friend to friend, to your reader.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use your review format intelligently and boost your SEO a little in the process.
After all, part of the whole principle of “being the best you can be” involves doing everything you can to achieve strong results.
Let’s start with a really overlooked component of your review – your introductory paragraph.
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It’s an axiom in creative writing that one should always throw out the first paragraph because writers tend to take too long “warming up”.
The same thing applies to write affiliate marketing reviews. Get down to business straight away.
Open with a punchy sentence that makes your reader blink – but then, straight away, tell him which product you’re going to be reviewing.
Add a sentence or two about what, who, why, and where. (Sounds like a press release, doesn’t it?)
This is one of the few times when creative writing and marketing reviews run parallel courses for a harmonious moment or two.
Generally, when a reader is buried in a fiction novel, he likes surprises.
When someone is earnestly seeking the solution to a problem, however, they like to know what they’ll be getting – so they can decide if reading your review is going to be worth their time.
A good introductory paragraph fulfills all these requirements – and sets your reader up for a useful and enjoyable use of his time.
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Give Pros and Cons in Affiliate Reviews
Okay, I was just being a smarty with my title. The truth is, there are no “cons” to presenting pros and cons in your affiliate marketing reviews.
There is, however, a real downside to presenting only the “pros”.
Offer your readers a review stuffed with nothing but glowing tributes, and you haven’t given them a review at all – you’ve hit them with a sales letter.
Since they were expecting an honest, unbiased review, they’re going to like this even less than people usually like sales letters.
Your reader is trusting you to present them with a realistic evaluation of the product in question:
Make it obvious you’re more concerned about pushing through a sale, and that reader is going to instantly lose all faith in you.
In fact, he’s going to be gone before you can do more than the proverbial blink.
Show him the product, warts an’ all. Tell him why the product is good for him – or not. Point out flaws, if you think the flaw is something your reader will need to carefully consider.
Gaining your reader’s trust is not the only consideration here. You’re also preventing your vendor’s refund rate from climbing.
And refunds can not only mean chargebacks for the vendor (each costing about $20) but holdbacks on your affiliate commissions too.
But What if you Never Purchased the Product?
How can you present pros and cons when you’ve never actually purchased the product you’re promoting… er, I mean, reviewing? How can you ethically do that?
Quite simple. Don’t pretend. Instead, take a different approach.
Present your review as more of a “profile” – actually a pre-sell. Let your reader know upfront that she’s reading facts you’ve gathered together from sources other than personal experience.
Better yet, contact the vendor and “interview” him, and present that interview as part (or all) of your product review.
Ask the vendor questions dealing with why his product would be ideal – or not – for your list or market.
Ask him what he thinks the “pros” and “cons” to his product might be. And finish off with a “call to action” instructing readers to find out more by visiting his sales page.
One of two things will happen: Either his answers will help you disqualify a portion of your readers – they’ll realize from the comments you’re faithfully reporting that the product actually isn’t right for them – or you’ll be the helpful “go-to” person who brought them an expert, “insider” peek into an exciting new product that’s going to be just right.
Either way, you’ve just built up your reader’s trust in your ethics and expert status.
And there are no “cons” to doing that!
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Some Clickbank Basics
You have to be somewhat in the know to even have heard the name “Clickbank” much less know what it is.
This is funny because the truth is that Clickbank is far and away from the largest internet marketplace for digital products and affiliates who want to sell them on the entire internet.
That puts Clickbank in its niche on a par with Amazon or eBay and yet few have heard of Clickbank. It just keeps running smoothly serving the internet community without fanfare.
When Clickbank came along, it really stepped into a nightmare scenario of online marketing and smoothed out the rough edges. In the infancy of internet marketing getting set up as an online marketer meant you had to find someone to handle credit card payments.
To do this you had to have what was called a “merchant account” with an actual credit card company and the requirements to qualify for such an account were out of reach for most new internet merchants just trying to get established.
As an example, if you got your internet business up and running, you could not get a merchant account unless you were running a minimum of $1000 a month through your business.
Of course, it was almost impossible to get that kind of business moving through your site if you could not offer credit card payment so you were stuck.
But from the credit card company’s point of view, they were protecting themselves if you sold something online and there were a lot of refunds to be processed which made the entire relationship unprofitable for them. So it was a lose-lose situation for the credit companies and even more so for the new internet marketer just trying to catch a break in the business.
ClickBank responded to this market need with the business goal of creating a marketplace where sellers and buyers could work together selling digital products with greater ease to benefit everybody. And considering that since then Clickbank has grown to represent over 10,000 products and serve the needs of over 100,000 partner affiliates, they certainly have been a success in their business mission in life.
They even stepped in and solved the merchant account problem by handling all the money movement collecting sales for the products they represent and distributing it to vendors easily and with no fuss so a vendor can quickly get a product out on the marketplace with very little cost or effort and see that product begin to return profits very quickly.
ClickBank knows that to continue to be a success they have to make doing business through their marketplace simple and profitable for vendors with products and affiliates who want to sell those products. They offer a smorgasbord of tools especially to affiliates to study products to see which ones to broker and to see statistically which ones are already a successor on a trend toward greater success soon.
For the affiliate this means a lot of help figuring out how to be a success and then tracking that success every step of the way and making adjustments to your product mix quickly and easily. For the vendor, this means that affiliates have a natural mechanism to pick up their product and get it out on the internet markets quickly.
That means quick sales with little or no effort in the marketing process for the vendor.
This is not to say that ClickBank is internet marking for idiots and it certainly is no place for scam artists.
The regulations for both affiliates and vendors are complicated and you need to understand them. So take some time when getting signed up with Clickbank to understand what is expected of you. Make no mistake, Clickbank is a marketplace like any other. Your product will stand and fall on its own value so you will have to offer something of value to customers.
But as a genuine market, its one of the best the internet has to offer and the huge success in terms of products sold and satisfied affiliates attests to that.
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