I recently launched 2 new affiliate websites, with the hope of making some money, and also to hone my SEO skills in 2 highly competitive verticals.
Ideally, when entering into an affiliate marketing project, you try to carve out a niche that you can exploit. In this case, I’m taking on two large verticals with a lot of noise and websites directly in my way. So SEO is going to be paramount.
One of them saw immediate success, I’m sure simply due to the large number of daily searches in the vertical. The second one got a faint heartbeat initially, then murmured down to a trickle of traffic. But, it had made some sales, so it was time to see what was driving those sales.
Ironically, it seemed to be Google Image Search. Most of what you read on the internet tells you that Image Searchers are just browsers, not buyers. Or, they might be site scrapers looking for images for their own WordPress blogs.
In my case, they were clicking through my links, and buying product.
I started thinking about my product set, and I realized that Image Search is actually a GREAT way to find them. Savvy shoppers would indeed use Google Image Search to find the exact product they want, and quickly. The product is very visual, and they were definitely going to buy based off of a picture.
So, how could I maximize this?
The XML Image Sitemap for WordPress
Eric Nagel ( @esnagel on Twitter) must’ve been thinking something similar a few months ago, and made a wonderful little plug in called the XML Image Sitemap. It’s available for download via your WordPress admin interface, and sets up in, well, seconds. It’s really an amazing little plug in.
It even lets you submit your image sitemaps through the WordPress Admin interface. Done and Done.
The XML Image Sitemap Experiment
So, being the analytics nut that I am, after installing the plug in on the two sites in question, I made annotations in Google Analytics, submitted my WordPress Image sitemaps through Google Webmaster tools, and made note of traffic benchmarks, sales, etc. I’m ready to do some good science.
In 2 weeks, I plan on reporting back on my findings. If you’d like to stay in the know, drop a comment below, and then subscribe to comment follow ups. I’ll post a comment below as well when I publish my findings, and you can all drop what your doing, and come #getsome.