One of the best ways to get customers it through a personal recommendation, but setting up a system that can generate regular referrals can be difficult, so one way to simulate this type of situation is by building a community of affiliates that will help promote your business, and, hopefully, send customers your way.
When you’re looking at potential affiliate partners you need to make sure you’re very careful. These companies will be representing you and your brand in the same way a salesperson would, so you should take as much time vetting them as you would a new hire.
If you’re starting from scratch a good way of looking for potential affiliates is using a keyword tracking tool to see where the traffic is going for the keywords you’re focused on. Tools like SEMRush will help you identify where people are already going. Then you can look through the list and exclude all of your competitors websites. What you have left are potential affiliate partners.
Once you’ve found the companies that you think you could work with from a business point of view, you need to find out how trustworthy and ‘white-hat’ their SEO practices are. You don’t want to build a relationship (or links) with websites that have bad SEO. One tool we like to use is LinkResearchTools. This helps give us a ‘health check’ on any potential websites that we build links with. If a site has a high PowerTrust score it’s usually a good sign that they are following the right SEO path, and working with them won’t damage your online reputation from an SEO standpoint.
After your detective work is over it’s time to get back to old fashioned business and start building relationships and negotiating an affiliate arrangement that will work for both sides. Do you have affiliates sending business your way? We’d love to hear how you pick the right companies to work with.
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