Regardless as to whether or not you plan to spend money on paid ads, SEO is hugely important for your site. In its simplest explanation, search engine optimization means setting up your site so that search engines can quickly and easily find it, index it, and understand the subject matter of each page.

In order to do that successfully, there are some common practices you should always follow. Here are a few tips on how to create a successful SEO strategy for your affiliate website.

Start with Keywords

Every successful SEO strategy starts with in depth keyword research. Look for terms that customers use when searching for the products you are promoting. Don’t go for the general one or two word terms like “dog food, or “organic food”. These types of keywords are hard to rank for, and large companies and brands pay millions of dollars each year to dominate them in search. You should instead aim for long tail keywords to attract a more targeted audience.

Optimize Images with Alt Tags

Always optimize your images with alt tags. This is an area where many fail at SEO. Search engines look for keywords and text associated with an image to help understand the subject of a page. This is a very important step in optimizing your site, and one that should be implemented with every blog post and page that you want indexed. If you have a page with multiple images, create a new alt tag for each one, using the keyword separately.

Fill out Meta Descriptions

Your meta description is like a course introduction. It should be keyword rich, and tell people what to expect from the landing page. You only get 156 characters of space, so try to keep this description short and sweet. Take the opportunity to use all the characters so that your readers will have a good understanding about the page topic.

Use Keyword Plugins

If you’re using WordPress, there are several plugins available to help you maximize on SEO. The Yoast SEO and All-in-One plugins are two of the more popular ones. Get into the habit of filling in each field for every post and page. The goal is to make sure that the proper information gets back to the search engines so that they’ll direct the right user to your website. Plugins can help ensure that all of your pages are properly indexed.

Create Internal Links

When pages and posts cover similar topics, link them to one another in the content of your site. This is called internal linking, and it’s a strong indicator to search engines about the topic of your site. Internal links help them understand the subject matter, and helps your visitors find other relevant pages that they otherwise would have missed. This keeps them on the site longer, increasing your chance of a conversion.

Use Keywords When Creating Content

Your blog posts and page content should be centered on the search terms that customers look for when Googling your products and services. Your text should not be littered with them, but used sparingly and naturally. Search engines also look for similar terms with the same meanings, so don’t think that you need to use the same words repeatedly in order to rank for your search terms.

SEO is so  important for every website, no matter how big or small. It’s essential for being properly indexed and attracting the right visitors. By utilizing the best keywords in the right manner, maximizing your internal link strategy, and filling in all meta data, your affiliate site will become a beacon for search engines to crawl, index, and refer quality traffic.