Affiliate Websites and Essential Pages
When you build a Website, in theory, the site is yours to do with as you please. You can create a blog, post photos, include nothing but text, embed videos and pretty much add whatever content you like. For the most part, there really aren’t any rules, provided that you’re not violating your Web host’s terms of service. Those usually include restrictions against pornography or hate, or anything that is libelous or defamatory. Aside from those things, you can do what you like and make your Website your own. That’s the beauty of the Internet; we can all have our own little space and utilize it as we see fit.
That’s not necessarily the case with affiliate Websites. While affiliate marketing Websites come in all shapes and sizes and with all kinds of content, the people who build them all have one thing in common – they rely on the search engines to bring visitors to them. Unless you’re planning on spending a fortune on paid advertising, you, too, are going to rely on what is known in the industry as “organic search results.” That means – “people using search engines to find you.” Organic search results are how most of us find everything we’re looking for in the course of the day and for affiliate marketers, staying in the good graces of the search engines is vital.
When it comes to search engines, there are rules that need to be followed. The major search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo!, all have certain expectations regarding what they expect to see when they visit your Website. Among those expectations are that certain pages will be present on the site. Putting these pages on your site will not, of course, guarantee that the search engines will include your site in their search results, or SERPS, as they’re known, but leaving these pages off of your site will pretty much guarantee that the search engines ignore you.
I have had Websites that the search engines refused to put in their index in the past, and trust me, it makes it almost impossible to get any traffic to your site!
Affiliate Websites – “Must-Have” Pages
What are these pages? What do the search engines expect to see when they visit you? Let’s take a look:
About Us – This is a basic page that tells the search engines, and prospective visitors, who you are. Nobody likes to visit a Website that doesn’t disclose who owns it, or why it’s there. Transparency is important, and if you’re calling yourself XYZ Marketing and you have built affiliate websites about blue widgets, then you should create an About Us page and put in a paragraph that says, “Hi. We’re XYZ Marketing, and we think that blue widgets are the greatest invention since sliced bread. We’re so enthusiastic about blue widgets that we just had to build this Website to tell you more about them.” You don’t need to go into your life story or devote thousands of words to this page, but having a brief paragraph about who you are, where you reside (city and state or city and country is sufficient) will go a long way towards establishing credibility with both visitors and the search engines.
Contact Us – Along with knowing who you are, the search engines and Website visitors want to know how they can contact you. This means that you should have a simple page with some method of contacting you listed on it. If you have a phone and want to include a phone number, that’s fine. If you want people to send you letters via mail, you can include a mailing address. Most people just include either a Web form for submitting email or an email address at which you can be contacted. Since spammers tend to scan Websites looking for email addresses, it’s not a good idea to list your email address on your Contact Us page in the form of regular text. You should either create a simple image that displays your email address or use a contact form. Contact Form 7 is a very simple plugin for WordPress that lets you set up a simple contact form on your Website in just a minute or two. We’ve been using that plugin for a while and it works quite well.
Earnings Disclaimer – If you are promoting any sort of product that purports to help people earn money, you must include an earnings disclaimer. This is a page that states, emphatically, that you cannot promise or guarantee that the use of your site or the product(s) you are promoting will help anyone make any specific amount of money. We know of one product that proudly advertises that buyers can make anywhere from $1000-$10,000 per sale and they charge thousands of dollars for this product. Their earnings disclaimer page, however, says that such results are not typical, and that the average customer for this product earns less than $200 per year from its use. In the United States, an earnings disclaimer for any kind of moneymaking product is mandatory. Don’t leave it out.
To learn more about building effective and profitable affiliate marketing Websites, you should consider joining a training program like Wealthy Affiliate. Their in-depth training, helpful user forum and tools, including free Web hosting, make it easier than ever to build a business from home. You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free.
Again, while having these pages won’t guarantee that the search engines love you, leaving them out will cause them to treat your site as though it were toxic. Always include these pages whenever you build an affiliate marketing Website.