Affiliate Marketing SEO Case Study
Affiliate marketing allows marketers to earn commissions by promoting another brand’s product(s).
Commissions are paid out per sale, and can by either flat rate or percentage based.
Top affiliate niches can easily generate 6-figures annually.
Affiliate marketing SEO is the art of choosing products based on the potential search traffic available when analyzing niche specific keywords.
Affiliate SEO focuses on ranking a website for specific buyer intent keywords. This can be very lucrative, as you do not need to pay for ads.
Building A Website From Scratch
Building a website is an amazing experience.
Identifying your marketing, designing a brand you love and experiencing the excitement of launching your new site are all exciting.
It’s something we love, and we like to think we do it well.
Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and investment to get going.
Buying An Aged Domain & Website
Buying an aged domain, and an existing website with content can save you months of time.
The main advantage is that aged websites will react faster in the SERPS. They aren’t in the Google Sandbox.
Whether you would like to buy an established brand, or just a barebones website with content, this can be an excellent option.
Why An Agency Decided To Buy
Building a website is something we love, so why did we decide to buy?
- To experience what every other buyer experiences.
- To save the time and investment required to build from scratch.
- To test our skills within a niche totally unknown to the team.
What We Were Looking For
When looking for a possible website to buy, we followed our internal checklist to ensure we picked a site we believed we could improve.
The complete list is too long for this post. The primary four were:
- Minimum 6 months age & receiving traffic.
- Niche with potential for growth & scale.
- Already earning affiliate commissions.
- No active manual penalties in Google Search Console.
Buying An Established Website
The perfect starter site.
Survival Front met the criteria, perfectly. We checked off over 90% of our website buying checklist.
The website had a brand that was higher quality than you see on many affiliate sites. This will save us time, as we do not believe in non-branded money sites.
SurvivalFront.com had over 430 pages indexed, and it was getting traffic in Google.
It was even making a little money.
Looking For Easy Wins
Survival Front’s organic traffic had been crashing for nearly 8 months.
Analysis indicated the site had grown rapidly since launching the end of 2019, and then appeared to be hit with a Google penalty in May of 2020.
- Establish Brand Authority
- Easy On-page SEO Tweaks
- CTR Optimization
- Duplicate Content
- Structural Changes (User Focused)
- Interlinking Opportunities
- Highly Toxic Backlinks (Manageable Amount)
What Our Research Uncovered
First impressions suggested that Survival Front was being sold by an individual for an asking price of $8,000.
It was not until we were performing brand research that we uncovered another agency had built the site.
Lucky for us, they wrote a case study about the site too.
Total invested by March 2020 – $14,000.
What Were We Buying?
Survival Front was a well built base site.
What Was Included:
- Lightning fast, custom coded theme.
- TLD .com.
- Highly brandable name.
- 71 Published Articles.
- Over 140k words of content.
- All content is written in-house by a native speaking English SEO team.
- A mixture of round-up reviews, single reviews (automatically pulled from round-ups), and informational guides.
*Details as provided in website listing.
Reported Monthly Profit
Earnings reported were an internal area of conflict. The listing stated that the site made $224.00 a month.
There were two separate sets of numbers in the listing (possibly due to listing issues), however, proof of earnings were provided.
We had to take previous earning into consideration, along with the loss of over 1/3 of the site’s peak traffic.
Our Own Evaluation
Our assessment of the website’s earning did not align with the listing.
Calculating earnings showed the website was earning an average of $189 a month.
We believed the month prior to being penalized was artificially inflated due to toxic link building, & PR related to the site’s case study (possibly for much of the site’s history in fact).
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the large increase in traffic and sales.
Removing this month from the average, and considering the massive loss in traffic, we put the monthly earnings as low as $130.00 – 150.00.
The Offer & Negotiations
Internally the team at BOx Digital calculated what we thought was a fair price, and also what our maximum offer would be.
Typically, websites sell from 20x to 50x monthly profit. Knowing this, we would offer no more than $5k.
Our decision was based on provable earnings, and on worst case profit scenarios.
We initiated a conversation with the seller, and offered $4,500 USD to purchase Survival Front.
After negotiations, we successfully closed the transaction for $5,000.
Create Additional Income Streams
We like the idea of having additional income streams that do not require large investments of time to maintain.
We will increase the site’s earnings by increasing traffic & conversions, and also by moving to higher paying affiliate programs.
We believe that we can increase earnings to $500 a month within the first 60 days.
Additionally, we aim to grow the site to $3,500 – $5,000 per month by the end of the year 2021, while working on it part-time.
More Than Money
Yes, the goal is to first make money. Let’s be clear about that. That’s business.
However, we really want to know how we can perform in totally new niches.
We have ranked multiple 6-figure sites in other niches before.
We know we can do it, but how do we stack up against the competition?
Help Those Looking To Buy A Website
We believe that purchasing a website is a wonderful way to get started online.
Be it affiliate marketing, dropshipping, eCommerce or SaaS website; buying can save you months of time.
The problem is knowing what website you should buy, and how much you should pay.
BOx Digital would like to help make the process of analyzing and evaluating a website easier.
Position Ourselves As An Authority
We run marketing campaigns for eCommerce & eLearning websites, and now we want more!
Our team believes that the goal of any marketer should be to grow.
To do that we have chosen to test the waters in a totally new-to-us field, and to do it publicly.
We believe in our team, and it’s time for us to show off some of our work.
BOx Digital will document our experience growing SurvivalFront.com from day one.
Our next update will cover initial analysis of the website, and also what we are going to do to recover the site’s traffic.
We will continue to document our progress, and share our wins and losses with you.
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Whether you are interested in becoming an affiliate marketer, learning more about SEO or just want to follow for fun; we would love to share our story with you.
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