SEO Battles : SEO vs Affiliates

About the speaker

Lillian Haase


 - Searchmetrics

Show Notes

  • ? 01:38
    Defining affiliate marketing channel
    ? 02:46 -Risks of having affiliate marketing and how it creates competition with in-house SEO efforts


  • “In general, affiliate marketing is anybody promoting your stuff gets credit for it. They are like salespeople but you also dont know who they are, theyre using a network, they have a link, and everything that is generated in terms of revenue or leads that comes from their efforts to that link they get a commission on the result.” -Lillian

  • “Affiliates, that channel where you just tell random people to do stuff for you and you pay them when it happens.” -Ben

  • “The problem with affiliates other than sometimes it could be hard to understand who could be doing what is that oftenit can cannibalize with some of the things that you want to do in-house.” -Ben

  • “There are pros and cons. You do have some benefit of cannibalization when youve got different websites ranking for the same keyword but theyre all selling your product. But yes, it could compromise some of the work youre doing as SEO if youre doing affiliate go rogue, so to speak.” -Lillian

  • “A big challenge for people who manage affiliates is to help them stay within the brand guidelines and their own guidelines theyve set up when they agreed to work with you or sign up to sell your product. This is certainly an investment in time.” -Lillian

  • “Youre inherently incenting marketers to create content for you and that impacts your SEO performance. You dont want to be in a situation where for your highest ROI keywords, youre artificially creating competition that even though youre going to get the sale, you have to pay the affiliate fee for because its going to impact your ROI.” -Ben

  • “On the flip side, you have the ability to have your affiliates create content and provide more coverage for you and potentially box your competition out of the key placements for given keywords. To me, this all becomes an exercise around understanding incrementality.” -Ben

  • “Its also a great shortcut when you are short-staffed. So it definitely relates to content marketing as well. You can leverage that enthusiasm from affiliates in a smart way.” -Lillian

  • “Honestly the big concern with affiliates is if you turn over a rock you never know what youre going to find in terms of what their marketing practices are. There are two things I think about with affiliate marketing, whats your business relationship or what are you actually paying for. Is it traffic, is it conversion, is it an incremental conversion.” -Ben

  • “The theory is that youre really looking at your baseline vs. what happens on the affiliates on board, to seeing what changes, if any and judging their performances if you have more than one, diffusing the data to show you whats going on for your business in general because of doing this activity and looking at it from different touchpoints.” -Lillian

  • “With affiliate marketing, its generally not a great channel to come out of the gate with where you dont want to launch a new product or service and have the affiliates do all the marketing because you dont really know how much value they are driving. You really need a baseline to understand the incrementality and mostly when it comes to your content marketing, you want to understand how much traffic, what your rankings look like so when you launch an affiliate program you can see how you are impacted as opposed to giving them credit for everything that is content-related to your site.” -Ben

  • “It is using data to make the decisions, the data you have even if you dont have a lot of organic traffic. Use it, learn from it, and also analyze your competitors. Looking at the company goals can determine whether or not you need to invest more in paid channels.” -Lillian

  • “I think about SEO as a channel that can provide a brand lift. It can provide direct response results, but its also a channel where you dont have to pay for your medium and so that makes it incrementally valuable, the longer that you are investing in the channel. Now it does take a long time to cultivate SEO and it can be enhanced by working with some of your content production partners, your brand marketing, your PR.” -Ben

  • “But at the end of the day when I think about where SEO lands, it kind of sits in the middle of all your marketing where it grows the more that you invest into it and you dont have to pay for the media and you can really use the data that youre getting from SEO to help with your performance marketing channels.” -Ben

  • “In reality when youre putting your marketing mix together and when youre working with your cross-functional partners, it is not meant to be a battle. These are channels that overlap, can be complementary but you have to be realistic about the time it takes for the channel to cultivate, about the resources, about the way how the channel works, and how it should be measured.” -Ben

About the speaker

Lillian Haase


 - Searchmetrics

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