The first day of the Affiliate Summit expo welcomed thousands of affiliates, agencies, vendors, merchants and networks all converging at the Rio in Las Vegas for a jam-packed day of discussions, face-to-face meetings, and conferences. Some of the great benefits of the event for all those involved were:
Putting faces to emails: Being in the affiliate marketing industry, the majority of our communications with partners, merchants and networks is done via email and phone. In some cases, we have worked with partners and networks for several years, without ever meeting face to face. However, with the Affiliate Summit, AMWSO had an excellent opportunity to meet a variety of our long-standing partners and networks in person and put actual faces to the emails we contact virtually every week, such as Vinny Lingham CEO of Synthasite, Dan Foster, Account executive with Performics and Michael C. Jones, COO of Pepperjam Network.
Meeting new affiliates: A vital part of growing AMWSO programs is bringing new partners to our merchants and while many affiliates tend to be a quiet, rather secretive bunch, it was refreshing to have the chance at the Affiliate Summit venue to meet new affiliates in person in a wide range of verticals, who are looking to expand their revenue streams and bolster their commission incomes with the more than 35 merchants AMWSO manages.
Seeking new partnerships with CPA and up-and-coming affiliate networks: Another value from participating at Affiliate Summit is investigating new opportunities for AMWSO merchants that are not exclusive to their affiliate network, to reach out and expand their offering into the rapidly growing CPA and affiliate network space. Some of the interesting CPA and Affiliate networks at the event were Canadian Sponsors, an affiliate network focused on the Canada market and Revenue Loop, an affiliate network emphasizing transparency, and Affnet, a CPA network centered around financial and diet offers.
Regarding the conferences taking place at Affiliate Summit, one of the most exciting and interesting presentations was that of Will Reynolds, CEO ofSEER, who talked about “How to Futureproof Your SEO Efforts”. Here is a list of the helpful and mostly free tools that were recommended during the presentation:
SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool
Use this tool to start small and stay realistic in your SEO efforts.
MSN Ad Center Intelligence keyword research and optimization tool with Excel 2007 plug-in
Use this to create pivot tables and research popular terms with actual search volume numbers data and seamless integration with MS Excel 2007. (Note: the plug-in won’t work on older versions of Excel such as Excel 2003)
While Google trends doesn’t feature actual search and click volume numbers, it is a good start for identifying what people are looking for on SEs and what kind of content you can create to acquire new traffic sources.
One of the key advice from the presenation was to develop a “Digital Asset Inventory” such as videos. Use this tool to upload your video and distribute to many sites at once.
Yahoo Search Assist
This is a great tool on Yahoo results pages that include the terms and phrases you are looking for anywhere in the query. For example if you type in “Football” into Yahoo search assist, it will automatically suggest “Fantasy Football” because that is the most popular result clicked on for the term football.
While not quite as intuitive as Yahoo Search Assist, because it orders suggestions based on the first keyword typed into the search box, it also can offer keyword directions for your SEO research.
Touchgraph – Google browser
Use this tool to see how your site is doing in relation to competitors on Google
Use this tool to identify keyword volume on brand names
Although one of the only paid tools recommended, the price point of $49.95 is relatively reasonable considering it allows you to track changes in code on any competing website.