Internet Analytics for Affiliate & Partner Marketing

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Internet Analytics for Affiliate & Partner Marketing

There are many good techniques for qualifying a partner or affiliate. Beyond the commercial terms, though, there are some independently discoverable and objective factors that can significantly improve your negotiating position. Your potential partner may not disclose them to you or, more likely, may not even be aware of them themselves. But some useful “negotiating levers” are out there on the Internet in the shape of the ranking signals that determine the overall online strength of your potential affiliate’s brand. And because they’re raw analytics mined directly from the Internet, they’re easy to verify and cannot be fudged.

Organic SEO and social media impact paid and referred traffic

It may come as a surprise to some in the paid traffic-and-customer world that many of the attributes normally associated with organic SEO and social media are highly relevant to paid advertising, paid search and affiliate. Not only are they relevant, in some cases they now have a direct bearing. A poorly optimized site will, firstly, pay more for keyword bids and will receive lower positioning than a well configured site and, secondly, have a harder time attracting the visitors from search engines to make the click throughs to yours that you’re relying on. In short, if a potential partner’s site performs poorly from the perspective of search engines and other agents, they’re going to have a harder time fulfilling your commercial expectations unless they’re spending heavily on PPC and other paid traffic streams — which is far less effective than organic traffic.

Useful competitive intelligence analytics include:

  • How strong is their domain — is it taken seriously by search engines?
  • What’s their footprint in the category relative to yours, your other partners and your competitors?
  • Is their site sociable and their content easily socialized?
  • Do their social profiles support the website they’re committing to your deal?
  • Could anything in their link graph get you penalized?
  • What about their server environment might pass through damage to you?
  • How do they perform for the non-branded keywords you’re optimizing for?
  • What are the main user queries driving traffic to their site?
  • Are their pages, particularly landing pages, high quality and optimised for organic rankings independent of PPC?
  • Are they active on social platforms and online communities important to your brand and topic?
  • Which users and websites have declared relationships to theirs in the social graph?

There’s a wealth of analytics on the Internet that can benefit even those who rely exclusively on paid search or affiliate traffic because, irrespective of how visitors arrive there, Google looks at those sites just as it would any other.

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