Is Affiliate Marketing The Same As SEO? (Explained)

Affliate marketing and SEO

I’m sitting here wondering, “Is affiliate marketing the same as SEO” So I did a little research on that.

And this is what I discovered. Affiliate marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are some of the best marketing strategies that most affiliates and businesses use to get their products and services in front of their ideal customers, generate leads, and increase their sales and income.

Is Affiliate Marketing The Same As SEO?

To put it simply – no, affiliate marketing and SEO are not the same, they’re completely different from each other and have different approaches and objectives.

Affiliate marketing is an activity or practice where you get paid for selling other business products or services via the Internet. SEO is all about optimizing your webpage for certain keywords to drive traffic to your blog, website, or affiliate link.

So, in affiliate marketing, you get paid for selling a product or service, and search engine marketing (SEO) helps you drive traffic to your affiliate website.

However, in general, both affiliate marketing and SEO strategies can be used to drive traffic, generate leads, sell products or services, and earn an income.

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

what is affiliate marketing and how does affiliate marketing work

Upon running a little research, here is a great definition I found online on “What is affiliate marketing”

Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement in which affiliates receive a commission for each visit, signup, or sale they generate for a merchant. This arrangement allows businesses to outsource part of the sales process. It is a form of performance-based marketing where the commission acts as an incentive for the affiliate; this commission is usually a percentage of the price of the product being sold, but can also be a flat rate per referral. Source.

My definition:

Affiliate marketing is a process or marketing strategy where you (affiliate, publisher) promote products or services created by another individual (or company) on your blog, website, social media, forum, etc.

And you (the affiliate) earn a commission or get compensated for every sale you generate through your unique affiliate link.

How Affiliate Marketing Works And How To Start?

Well, as I said earlier, affiliate marketing works when you sell a product or service created by another person and you get paid a percentage of the sale of the product.

To start affiliate marketing, you simply need to pick a niche you’re interested in and about.

Then pick a product or service related to your niche.

Then choose a platform where you think your ideal customers or audiences spend most of their time.

And promote your product or service to them and if they purchase the product through you.

You (the affiliate) and the merchant (the product creator) share the money.

What Is SEO?

what is SEO and how does SEO work

SEO is the process or practice where you optimize your website, blog, or webpage to rank higher in the research engine results page (SERP) like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc for specific keywords, terms, or phrases related to your niche or industry.

The key component of doing SEO is to: 

  1. Rank in the first results page of Google
  2. Increase traffic to your website
  3. Improve your site visibility
  4. Generate leads and increase product sales and revenue, etc

That said, SEO also involves technical tactics such as: 

  • Creating relevant content
  • Mastering on and off-page optimization
  • Link building, solving technical problems
  • Improving page speed
  • Mobile optimization, etc.

How Does SEO Work?

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO works by identifying keywords, terms, or phrases that have the potential to drive loads of traffic to your website or webpage.

And you place those keywords in a certain part of the web page or within your content (page title, metadata, headers, in content).

For example, if you wrote an article about ‘Affiliate Marketing’ you want to have the keyword ‘Affiliate Marketing’.

In the article page title, meta description, headers, and within the article.

That said, it’s important that the keyword you’re optimizing the page for has to be relevant to the content of the website.

Otherwise, Google may penalize your website for trying to game with its algorithm or system.

Key Differences Between Affiliate Marketing And SEO

the difference bwtween affiliate marketing and seo

There are many differences between affiliate marketing and SEO.

One of the key differences between these two strategies is the approach to generating traffic and sales.

Speaking of affiliate marketing, it relies solely on affiliate marketers to drive traffic and sales to the vendor’s website through their affiliate link.

On the other hand…

SEO, search engine marketing, focuses mainly on optimizing a website or web page to rank higher in the search results for a specific keyword to improve traffic and site visibility.


Another difference between “affiliate marketing and SEO” (search engine optimization) is the revenue model.

In affiliate marketing, affiliates earn a commission for each successful sale or referral they send to the merchant’s website.

While SEO does not have a revenue-sharing model, its objective goal is to drive or increase organic traffic to the affiliate’s website. 

And revenue comes from conversions or impressions (if Ads are run on the site).

Can I Use SEO for affiliate marketing?

can I use seo for affiliate marketing

There isn’t a definitive answer to this, some affiliate marketers promote their products and services without the use of SEO and are super successful.

And some affiliates use SEO to promote their product or service and are very successful.

So, choose one that you’re okay with and go all in.

That said, in my opinion, I think the best way to drive traffic to your affiliate product…

Is by optimizing your affiliate website for SEO, with proper SEO, you have a chance to achieve more than 80% of free traffic from Google SEO alone.

Which over time, can increase your conversion rates and sales.

So, yes, SEO can be used for affiliate marketing.

But I want you to take note of this – using SEO for your affiliate marketing promotion requires a different approach and strategy than normal (traditional) SEO.

And that’s, you need to create compelling content that’s relevant to your affiliate product or niche.

And properly optimize the content for both search engines and your audience.

NB: Don’t create content solely to sell affiliate products or services, make sure your content provides a solution to your audience’s needs and problems.

Then, gradually usher them to your affiliate product or service.

How Affiliate Marketing And SEO Can Work Together

The primary purpose of marketing is to reach ideal customers first and affiliate marketing and SEO can work together to help you reach potential buyers online around the clock while you’re sleeping or on vacation.

I mean, by combining both strategies, you can attract more qualified and targeted traffic or users.

…Generate leads and increase your affiliate income.

For example, you can create content related to your niche and optimize it for specific keywords or phrases, and include a link to your affiliate product or service.

Over time, you can start to attract tons of organic traffic and start generating more sales and income through your affiliate link.

Best Practices For Combining Affiliate Marketing And SEO

To effectively combine affiliate marketing and SEO, there are a few practices you need to follow.

  • First, pick a niche you’re interested in, passionate about, and knowledgeable about.
  • Second, research and pick an affiliate product or service that’s relevant to your niche and of great quality.
  • Third, do keyword research to figure out what phrases, and terms people are searching for online that are related to your niche and your chosen product.
  • Fourth, start to create valuable content around those search terms and properly optimize the content for that specific search term. (Place the keyword in the Page title, metadata, headings, and within the content).
  • Fifth, include your affiliate link in the part of the content where it makes sense and feels natural.
  • Finally, you want to track your affiliate links and measure your performance to see what’s working and what isn’t working and make immediate changes when needed.

The Relationship Between Affiliate Marketing And Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Affiliate marketing and search engine optimization have a few similarities:

Here are a few of them:

Affiliate marketing can benefit from using search engine optimization (SEO) by attracting high-quality and targeted organic traffic and generating more sales via affiliate links.

On the other hand:

SEO (search engine optimization) can also benefit from affiliate marketing by generating high-quality traffic and backlinks and increasing the visibility and authority of the affiliate marketing website.

Does SEO Help Affiliate Marketing?

what are the benefits of SEO for affiliate marketing

Yes, SEO can help affiliate marketing. 

SEO can help affiliate marketing, by optimizing your content for specific keywords, you can increase and attract more organic traffic to the affiliate links which will result in more affiliate revenue.

 Benefits Of SEO In Affiliate Marketing

Here are a few benefits of using SEO in affiliate marketing:

  • Cost-Effective Marketing: SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your affiliate product or service without having to spend money on advertising. By focusing on producing useful content that is SEO optimized, over time, you’ll start to generate free organic traffic to your affiliate link and reduce your marketing cost.
  • Long-Term Marketing Strategy: Focusing on creating quality and relevant content that is properly optimized for search can help you generate sustainable, consistent traffic and revenue over time for your affiliate marketing business.
  • It Helps Improve Search Engine Rankings: Another benefit of using SEO in affiliate marketing is that it can help improve your affiliate website rankings. And this can lead to more web traffic, and a high click-through rate (CTR) generates more leads and conversions.

PS. You can read more here on the benefits of SEO for affiliate marketing.

How To Do SEO For Affiliate Marketing

How to do seo for affiliate marketing

To do SEO for affiliate marketing, you simply need to follow some basic techniques of SEO and combine them with some basic affiliate marketing strategies.

Here are some basic steps to do SEO for affiliate marketing:

  • Step #1. Pick a niche: A niche is simply a topic you’re interested in, passionate about, and knowledgeable of.
  • Step #2. Select An Affiliate Product: As you’ve decided on your niche, next, you want to research and pick affiliate products or services relevant to your niche and sign up with them.
  • Step #3. Build A Website: As you have the above-mentioned, next, you want to build a website for your niche and affiliate product. A website is simply a platform where you’re going to be marketing your affiliate product.
  • Step #4. Conduct A Keyword Research: As your website is up and running, next, you want to research and identify keywords, terms, or phrases that are relevant to your niche and your affiliate product.
  • Step #5. Create High-Quality Content: As you’ve figured out what people are searching for that’s related to your niche and affiliate product. Now, you want to start creating high-quality, valuable content related to your targeted keyword and include your affiliate links within the content.
  • Step #6. Build Backlinks: Build high-quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative websites in your niche. This can help improve your website visibility and rankings.
  • Step #7. Promote Your Content: Use Social Media, niche-related forums, and other marketing channels to promote your content and affiliate links. This can help you reach more audiences and increase your conversion rates.
  • Step #8. Track Your Performance: Use tracking tools to track your website and your marketing campaign performance and make changes when needed to improve your rankings and conversion.

How To Use SEO To Increase Affiliate Marketing Sales

How to use SEO to increase affiliate marketing sales

To increase affiliate sales using SEO, you need to focus on optimizing your website and content to rank higher for relevant keywords, terms, or phrases that are related to the affiliate product or service you’re promoting.

But you need to understand this, SEO is not an overnight success. 

Optimizing a site to rank higher in the search results is a long-term study process that takes a ton of time and work.

With a good effective SEO strategy in place, you can start getting results in about a month or two and gradually improve over time as you establish your search ranking and start to dominate your keywords.

Here are a few tips to follow to use SEO to improve your affiliate sales:

  • Conduct Keyword Research
  • Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Focus On Creating High-Quality Content
  • Improve Your Website Speed
  • Leverage Social Media
  • Build Quality Backlinks To Your Site

1). Conduct Keyword Research

Use keyword research tools like SEMruh, Ahrefs, or Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords and phrases that people are searching for online and that are related to your niche and affiliate product.

Then, you want to look for keywords that are high-intent and have low competition, I mean focus on keywords that are likely to convert to sales.

2). Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Ensure your website is optimized for search engines by using targeted keywords in the page title, meta description, URL, and in your content.

This helps to ensure that potential customers can find your website when they’re looking for a solution to their problem.

Also, you want to use internal links to connect related pages on your website.

And also, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, loads quicker for visitors, and is easy to navigate.

Add high-quality images, videos, and customer reviews and ratings to increase your website visibility in search engine results.

3). Focus On Creating High-Quality Content

Create consistent high-quality, targeted, engaging, and informative content that addresses the needs and the pain points of your targeted audiences.

This content can include blog posts, product or service reviews, how-to-guide, and tutorials.

And other types of content that provide real value to your ideal customers or audience.

That said…

Creating helpful and quality content that helps solve your audience’s problem will help improve your website rankings.

And attract lots of visitors to your website and keep them longer on your content.

And the longer time visitors spend on your content, the more likely they’re to convert to potential customers.

4). Improve Your Website Speed

If your web page does not load faster, a lot of time, visitors will bounce back from your website, you want to make your website load faster for visitors.

Also, page load speed is a ranking factor in SEO, so, just ensure it loads faster.

5). Leverage Social Media

Use social media platforms to drive traffic to your website and your content.

Share your content to relevant social media groups, engage with people, and build relationships.

Social media platforms can be a great way to increase your brand awareness and sales.

6). Build Quality Backlinks To Your Site

Building quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites in your space can help increase your website’s visibility and authority.

Which over time, can lead to more sales and revenue.


As SEO can help improve your website visibility and traffic, however, you must understand that it’s not an overnight success. 

I mean, SEO is a long-term strategy and you won’t see immediate results and it’s important to be patient and consistent in your effort.

However, by implementing the above-mentioned tips, over time, you can start to see an increase in traffic and sales.

What’s The Best SEO Strategy For Affiliate Marketing?

The best SEO strategy for affiliate marketing is to create high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that’s optimized for a specific keyword. 

And then includes affiliate links in the part of the content where it feels natural or makes sense.

Addiction, you should also focus on building quality and relevant backlinks from high authority sites in your industry.

Should I use SEO or PPC for affiliate marketing

You can use both SEO and PPC for affiliate marketing, and the choice solely depends on your interest, budget, goal, etc.

But before deciding on which one is best for you, let’s take a look at what each of these strategies does for you.


  • SEO is a long-term marketing strategy and it takes a ton of time and work to see results.
  • It can drive dozens of traffic to your affiliate offer (when done right)
  • Longer ROI.


  • It is a short-term strategy and you’ll see immediate results (When done correctly).
  • It requires a budget and it’s more expensive in the long run.
  • ROI (when done right).

With SEO, as long as you target the right keywords and implement the right SEO strategy, you’ll start to see results in a few months or longer.

With PPC as long as you conduct the PPC campaign properly, you’ll start to make decent profits.

Both SEO and PPC can work great for affiliate marketing. Using both together, you’ll have more and better results but if you’re just starting out, SEO will always be better than PPC, as your SEO starts to kick in, your affiliate business will grow exponentially.

But whichever one, you want to go after one that you’re okay and familiar with.

The Benefits Of SEO For Affiliate Marketing Are:

  • SEO Results Are More Permanent.
  • It Helps Increase The Credibility Of Your Website.

The Benefits Of PPC For Affiliate Marketing:

  • It Gives Quick Results

Benefits of Using Both SEO And PPC For Affiliate Marketing:

  • Both Give Better ROI
  • Help Increase Traffic
  • Increase Brand Awareness

What Should You Not Do In Affiliate Marketing?

In Affiliate marketing, there are so many things you need to avoid. You must avoid spammy practices that can harm your reputation, and incredibility and violate the terms of use of the affiliate company you partner with.

Below are a few things you should not do in affiliate marketing:

  1. Promoting products or services that are not of good quality and relevant to your niche.
  2. Spamming your audience with promotional and unsolicited emails.
  3. Violating the terms of service and conditions of affiliate networks and merchants.
  4. Using misleading marketing strategies to get people to click on your affiliate links.

What Should You Not Do In SEO?

In SEO, you must avoid using SEO black hat techniques trying to manipulate the search engine to rank higher.

Below, let’s take a look at some of the things you need to avoid in SEO:

  1. Using keyword stuffing or over-optimizing for certain keywords to improve rankings.
  2. Buying links for other websites to improve your site visibility and rankings.
  3. Participating in irrelevant link exchange


What Is Affiliate SEO?

Affiliate SEO refers to the practice of optimizing a web page or online content to rank in the first position for a specific keyword with the goal of generating traffic and sales through affiliate marketing. This involves SEO strategies such as keyword research, content creation, and link-building techniques to attract organic search traffic to your website or content.

SEO Vs Affiliate Marketing

SEO (search engine optimization) and affiliate marketing are two different digital marketing strategies that can be used to promote products to services online. In comparison, SEO is a digital strategy where you optimize a website or webpage to improve its visibility in search engine result pages. affiliate marketing on the other is a performance-based business model where you promote products or services in exchange for a commission.

Does Affiliate Marketing Need SEO?

While SEO can help affiliates generate targeted traffic to their website which can be a valuable source of attracting potential customers or buyers to your affiliate products. It’s not a requirement for affiliate marketing. Not all affiliate marketers invest heavily in SEO, some affiliates rely more on other promotional channels such as social media, email marketing, paid advertising, etc.

However, adding SEO to your affiliate marketing strategy can provide additional benefits and help you build a more sustainable and diversified affiliate business.

Do Affiliate Links Help SEO?

Naturally, affiliate links do not directly help SEO. However, they can indirectly contribute to SEO when affiliates promoting your product or service on their website link back to your website, it can improve your research engines rankings.

Do Affiliate Links Pass SEO Value?

No, affiliate links do not pass SEO value directly, as they are often considered to be no-follow links.

Wrapping It Up!

It’s time to wrap this is affiliate marketing and SEO the same, while “affiliate marketing and SEO” may share some similarities, they are not the same – there are differences between the two in terms of their focus, strategy, and goal.

Affiliate marketing is the process or practice of earning a commission by promoting or selling products or services created by another individual (merchant) in exchange for a commission.

While, SEO focuses on optimizing a website or page to rank higher in search engine results.

Understanding these differences is extremely important as it can help you know how to effectively leverage both strategies to drive success in your online business.

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