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When you create a new affiliate website for the first time, things get a bit chaotic. Especially as a beginner, it can cost you a lot of time to deal with the technology and to create good content.Nevertheless, you should never forget that it is extremely important for a successful affiliate website to get as many visitors as possible. And for most websites, most of them come from search engines like Google. Sooner or later, every website operator is confronted with the topic of search engine optimization, also called SEO.

The topic is very extensive, it is not for nothing that there are agencies that earn their money exclusively with search engine optimization. Therefore this article will not be able to explain everything about the topic SEO, but show you point by point the most important measures which are easy to implement for every newcomer. For search engines not only good content is important, but also the way they are structured and presented.

Most measures can also be carried out later. For example, if your website has been online for a while now, high-quality content still does not deliver the desired rankings.

By the way: Almost all the following measures in the checklist not only help to achieve good rankings in search engines – you can also improve the user experience of your website. This increases the residence time of the visitors, which in turn has a positive effect on the rankings. The importance of SEO is not to be underestimated.

1. Structure & Navigation

A clean and logically structured main navigation helps the search engine crawlers to capture your website as easily and holistically as possible. If you have many articles on your website, you can work with categories and tags in WordPress and other content management systems to structure them. It may also make sense to create another navigation in addition to the main navigation, which is then placed in the sidebar, for example.

Likewise, breadcrumb navigation (also known as breadcrumb navigation) helps crawlers to navigate your website and understand the context of each subpage. If your installed theme does not come with breadcrumb navigation, you can install it in WordPress with plug-ins like Yoast SEO or Breadcrumb NavXT .

For articles and pages with a lot of text, it makes sense to integrate tables of contents. These can also be created with plug-ins. For example, use Table of Content Plus or Easy Table of Contents .

2. Keywords, variations and synonyms in different parts of your content

Use the keyword for which your subpage should be found in search engines in different variations. Also use synonyms of the keyword. The keyword and its synonyms and variations should also be built into different parts of your content, such as text, headlines, and lists.

Keep in mind that you should not overdo it. Keep your own and natural writing style. In contrast to placing the keyword in content, pure keyword density no longer matters for good search engine rankings.

3. Talking URLs

The keyword for which your subpage should be found should also be included in the URL of the subpage. So you help the search engines to understand what is on the bottom. With content management systems like WordPress you have the possibility to define an individual permalink for every new page and every article.

Make sure to use it. Attention: This is a measure that you should not change in retrospect, but ideally considered from the beginning. The URL will also appear in search engine results.

If it contains the keyword entered by the searcher, this is shown in bold. This increases the chance that the searcher also clicks on the search result and thus gets to your website.

4. Headings

Use headings to structure your articles and pages and work with different headline types like H1, H2, H3 etc. Always keep in mind a logical order of headings. For example, never use an H3 heading directly under an H1 heading.

In between, a H2 header should always be placed. In addition, the first headline on each subpage should always be an H1. This shows the crawler of the search engine which topic is on the bottom.

Never use headlines to name or tag elements such as the navigation, sidebar or footer of your website. This confuses the crawler of the search engine, as it tries to recognize and evaluate the important content on your site.

5. Images: Dimensions, file size, file names and alternative text

Sure, you should enrich your texts with pictures to make the website more attractive and / or create more value for your visitors. However, before uploading a picture, keep in mind that this is data that must be loaded each time the page is opened.

First of all, make sure that the pictures are only as big in size as they are needed on the website. Similarly, you should try to keep the file size as small as possible, without the images suffer too much loss of quality. If you have no professional photo software like Adobe Photoshop , this is not bad.

The Gimp software does both of the above tasks very confidently and is completely free. Alternatively, you can use free online services such as befunky to optimize your images for use on the Web. The images should be saved in a compressed file format. The JPEG format (.jpg) is usually the best choice.

When saving the images, make sure you give it a meaningful and meaningful file name. The file name ideally also contains the keyword of the subpage into which the image is inserted. Is it on your bottom, for example, coffee cups and your picture shows a coffee mug with dog motif call your picture “kaffetasse-hundemotiv.jpg”.

After uploading, give an equally meaningful alternative text for your picture. To stay with our example, you could then give here the alternative text “coffee cup with dog picture”. Both file name and alternative text are recognized by the crawlers of the search engines and thus underline the respective topic of the subpage.

6. Loading times & caching

Search engines Crawlers do not have time, because your website is not the only one on the internet that wants to be captured. So, like users, you like fast-loading websites. In addition to the amount of data (see also point 5), the loading time of your website is particularly dependent on the hoster and the theme used.

Serious problems with loading times are of course noticeable when you visit the website. Even better, however, is to express these in numbers. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed ​​Insights or webpagetest .

The benefit of caching helps you eliminate or at least ameliorate the problems of a slow loading webpage. For WordPress there are of course plug-ins with which you can implement a caching. Use for example WP Super Cache , W3 total cache or WP Rocket .

7. Internal links

Many content on your website will have certain connections in some way. You should also make this clear to the search engine crawlers. So use internal links and link your subpages together if it makes sense. So search engines will be able to understand the structure of your website even faster and better.

It is important that you always link to a subpage with the same or a closely related keyword as link text. Take the example with your page on coffee cups again. For example, you can link this page internally with the link text “Kaffeetasse”, “Kaffeetassen” or “Tassen für Kaffee”. You should not use a link text like “coffee maker” or “coffee grinder” because this will confuse the crawler of the search engine.

A good example of perfect internal linking is . Look at the internal linking of the individual articles and take them as a model for your own website.

8. External links

Many website operators are afraid to set external links. However, this is unfounded, because if external links offer your visitors meaningful, further information, these links are positively evaluated by search engines. To not lose the visitor with a click on the link, you can open external links in the new tab.

If the visitor then clicks on the link, the linked page will be opened in a new browser tab and the visitor will remain on your own page. Also in external links can be called as a good role model for your own page. Here you will find at the end of each article individual proofs with external links to the information contained in the article.

9. Meta Title & Meta Description

For every page and every article on your website you can and should define a meta title and a meta description. These are then displayed in the search results of the search engines. Regardless of the ranking of the respective sub-page, this information gives the users a kind of preview of the page that is behind the search result.

The Meta Title is displayed in the top of the Google search result and in blue color. It is limited to a character length of 50-60 pixels. Longer titles are automatically truncated by the search engine.

Under the title, each search result contains the green colored URL and below that the meta description is displayed. This is limited to about 156 characters and will be automatically shortened by Google as well. Technically speaking, the limitation in the length of Meta Title and Meta Description is based on pixels and not on characters, but we do not want to go into that at this point.

In WordPress you can use plug-ins to customize the meta information for each individual subpage. Use for example WP Meta SEO or Yoast SEO . These plug-ins also show you how your article or page is displayed in Google’s search results.

When formulating Meta Title and Meta Description, make sure you make them clickable. Make no promises that are not kept on the landing page. Because then the searcher most likely leaves your website again after a short time and this in turn has a negative effect on the placement in the search results.

10. Set up Google Analytics & Google Search Console & Submit Sitemap

In order to be able to measure and evaluate the important key figures of your website, you should use an analysis software. Google’s Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) services, developed and provided by Google, are ideal for this .

In order to use the services, you need a Google account with which you log in to Google Analytics. Here you create a tracking code, which you then embed in the header of your website. How this works exactly you can read here.

After you’ve integrated Google Analytics into your website, you can sign in to Search Console with your Google Account and add your website. To verify the website there, you can then use your Google Analytics account again. More information about setting up Search Console can be found here.

After setting up Search Console, you should submit a sitemap of your website. This is a kind of map for your website and it helps Google to better understand the structure of the content website. To create a sitemap you can use plugins like Yoast SEO or Google XML Siteamps .