The State of Affiliate Marketing & Campaign Management with Adam Riemer [Podcast]


How does affiliate marketing tie in to SEO? More than you’d think. Google algorithm updates have led to mega affiliates and their listicles ranking higher than ever. How do you get your product or service in the mix?

Adam Riemer joins Loren Baker to discuss affiliate marketing, the state of the affiliate industry and crossing the streams of SEO and Affiliate Marketing.

Here is the entire transcript of the show (please excuse any transcription errors) :

Loren:

Loren Baker, founder of Search Engine Journal, and welcome to today’s SEJ show. With me, I have Adam Riemer. Adam, how’s it doing? How’s it going?

Adam:

Good. How are you? Thanks for having me.

Loren:

Good. Thank you. Good. For those of you who don’t know Adam, he is an affiliate marketing genius. So I’m really excited to have him on the show today to talk a little bit about the affiliate side of things, how that works with SEO and then yeah, how… Oops. I got a little bit of stream here, stuff going on in my back end here. Okay, back. How that works with SEO and how things are really changing in that landscape. But before we get started, I’d like to give a shout out to our sponsor, Awesomic. So Awesomic is sponsoring today’s episode of the SEJ show. That’s Awesomic.io. If you’re struggling with fresh visuals for your affiliate marketing offer, Awesomic has your back. So our friends are Awesomic we’ll cover your design needs for a fixed monthly fee. It’s a subscription service.

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Loren:

So it’s all kinds of design stuff, very professional matching up their best designers with your needs for a small monthly fee, a fixed monthly fee. Just sign up, place a task and see first results on your next business day. No more hiring and no more stress to get those landing pages set up. So that’s all from Awesomic. Again, that’s Awesomic.io, and I’m going to be dropping a link in the comments a little bit later, but in the meantime, Adam, let’s talk affiliate marketing in the world of SEO and PR. What’s going on now? What are you spending most of your time doing? And also give everybody a little bit of a background on yourself.

Adam:

Okay. So yeah, I’ve just been dealing with stuff since… Well, my first website went up in the mid-nineties and then I’ve been doing this professionally since about 2002, 2003 and yeah. Affiliate Summit Pinnacle award winner twice for affiliate manager of the year, regular speaker at Pubcon Advance Search Summit now. I’ve been all over the world with big digital Adelaide, Australia, two shows in London, and just kind of me.

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Loren:

Awesome. Awesome. So I’m really interested because you do kind of cross over a little bit. There’s not very many affiliate marketers that I know that are so ingrained in the world of SEO and then vice versa. So I really like connecting with folks like yourself that do a little bit of everything, that are great at what they do, but you also know how to speak SEO as much as you know how to speak affiliate, right? You do quite a bit on the SEO side don’t you?

Adam:

Yeah, definitely. I kind of really can’t choose the other place I love is lead gen and conversion rate optimization. So it’s fun to be able to play across all three industries pretty substantially.

Loren:

Yeah, it was pretty funny. I found myself over the past year or two, I feel like I’m more of a lead gen expert through the SEO channels and other channels versus an SEO that drives traffic that may or may not convert. Do you feel that there’s more, especially in the past, maybe the past five years or so, there’s more focus on actually the quality of the traffic, what they’re doing, what they’re doing after they convert then there used to be, especially from the SEO side?

Adam:

There is and to answer your first question about where I am with both, having the experience across all three of those really helps me substantially with my helping my clients succeed. So for example, I can take a program that has some great bloggers or maybe some up and coming people or influencers. And I can take a look at their site and be like, “Okay, well you have this fantastic list, but it’s only sitting in position eight or nine. Maybe it’s on the second page.” So I can then go in and use some of the SEO skills to help them install schema for list items and to say, this is this. And then there’ll be associations through same as, an additional type. So that way they can say, “Okay, this is the same as Cadillac,” if it’s a list of cars and then additional type and you go to the specific models or if it’s vintage or can reference the toys and that gives them the advantage.

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Adam:

So that way, if I have a client that’s trying to show up for product X, Y, Z inside Google, now we can not only get that client ranking in the top position, but we can get positions two through five with affiliates, so now the number one result, no matter what, is my client, and they have just substantial power inside the search engines. The next part is by doing conversion rate optimization, I’m able to sit there and say, “Okay, we know that this works and this works for this file.” Then I can get the affiliate to give me their stats, what’s coming in from Pinterest or Facebook. We can say, “Okay, we know this traffic works this way from the client’s site. Let’s tweak the wording here. Let’s tweak the images here because we know this is what’s selling.” Or if we know that the affiliate has the color green, the green version of the product on their site, but we know that blue is converting better off their traffic, I can get them to change this.

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Adam:

And those are certain things that come over from the conversion rate optimization that I can apply. And by having client data, I can also say, “We know that your traffic is more Facebook. Have you been Google [inaudible 00:05:28], for example. Let’s change the wording here to pre-sell it better for when it hits the client site here and that will increase overall too.” Then we can also use that learning to adjust the client’s site for a better overall traffic across the board. So it kind of just plays nicely together having that weird, unique skillset.

Loren:

I really like that approach. There’s a couple of reasons. And we’ll talk about this in a bit, but there has been kind of a blurred line in between affiliate SEO and PR. A lot of us know this, especially anyone that’s in the health space, but there’s multiple health sites, which are really affiliate sites at the end of the day, that have enough authority and equity and just authority halo over top of them where they’re ranking for just about everything. And a lot of it’s listicles, a lot of it’s lists that click over to products and things like that. Which is, from an organic SEO perspective, it’s what we’re working with. It’s an environment that we’re working within with Google. So one thing I’ve found myself doing much more of is looking at well, how does a featured image on that site, is our product in the middle? If it’s a listicle in the top 10, where’s my client’s product?

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Loren:

I might not be the person that is in touch with Healthline or health.com or shape.com or whatever it may be. But if I can talk to the affiliate manager or whoever the
team is at that specific publication and get them to bump up or maybe get them a better offer, I know that search intent traffic at the end of the day, it’s going to convert better. It’s probably going to have a better long-term residual benefit, especially if it’s a subscribe and save type product or something like that. Therefore, it’s kind of my job to be on top of that as well as it is to rank the organic listing. And at the same time, it’s also my job, if the organic listing is ranking, one, to make sure it’s converting, and two to make sure that we’re tracking back that longterm attribution back to SEO.

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Loren:

Because I think that SEO… I was kind of chatting with myself today about this on Twitter, but I was responding to Lily Ray about it, is I think that organic SEO is one of the only forms of marketing where that residual sale that long-term customer lifetime value is not always looked at by our industry. Instead, we’re looking at ranking, traffic and conversion, but what can we do after the fact to make sure that, hey, that high intent user, it’s clicked over, that’s found the answer of what they’re looking for is going to stay, and what is the real value of that at the end of the day?

Adam:

Yeah. Another metric that’s often overlooked is so email’s always one of the highest returns on investment for a company because the list is people that are already engaged with the brand. So one of the things that I like to do is I…



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