How To Make Affiliate Income From Search Engines

This post was guest blogged by Steven York of

People always assume that you need hundreds and thousands of visitors each and every day to make money on the Internet; while this certainly helps it’s not crucial. You need to maximize the potential of each and every visitor – but I bet you’re not even doing that.

Let’s look at the most obvious source of visitors and yet one of the easiest to manipulate: search engine referrals.

Look At The Numbers

Natural search engine referrals is one of the most sustainable, consistent and high quality sources of traffic. You’ll probably find that upwards of 50% of visitors find your website this way and they’re easy to leverage.

Why Are They High Quality?

Search engine users have an ‘information requirement’ that led them to your website. They’re after a piece of information and Google told them that you might have the answer. Whether they’re looking for a review of a product, instructions to do something or merely advice, this user is looking for the answer on your website.

So How Can You Help Them?

An obvious way to leverage this information requirement is to work out what they were searching for when they found you and present them with more options related to it. Supposing I landed on looking for a review of a specific laptop, it’d make sense to have a region of “you might be interested in…” where you can promote similar pieces of content. I’ve written a tutorial on how to do just that on my web development blog, and I recently implemented this on too; while it’s too early to give any statistics, it does appear to be working nicely.

How Can I Profit From This?

While this method can be used to increase page views and offer a more useful experience to search engine visitors, it can also be used to make money. Once you know how the user entered your website, you’ve got a piece of contextual information to tie in to. So (using the above example): if I land on searching for “EEE-PC review”, it makes sense to use that information to your advantage – show advertising for the Asus affiliate scheme.

Use Analytic, work out your popular entry terms and sort out affiliate deals for each of them.

So supposing you’ve got 15 keywords that are consistently popular on your blog; find an affiliate scheme for each of them. The next step is to sniff the referral keywords (using my tutorial or one of the others on the Internet) and work out whether one of those keywords was used by the current visitor. If they are, show the relevant ad.

This means that you’ve got a much higher chance of converting because you’ve identified that the user already has interest in the subject matter. It’s all about working more efficiently. You don’t need 100,000 visitors a week to generate a decent level of income, you just need to target the ones you do have (be that 100, 1000 or more).

The Dark Side

I recently wrote about a slightly black-hat practice that could also be used to efficiently target advertising… It’s possible to manually define a list of URLs and use Javascript to determine whether the user has visited them or not. Viably, if you could research enough URLs you could target specific websites and show corresponding affiliate ads. For example, if you know the visitor has been to, you could show the affiliate campaign for Text-Link-Ads.

It’s all about making your content and advertising contextual to the user; that way you don’t need millions of visitors to make a decent return – because almost every one could lead to a sale.