Affiliate marketers earn money by promoting a merchant’s product via their own platforms—like blogs they write or their social media. They earn commission when their audience members interact with those links in ways that create value for the merchant. Like a purchase or signup.
A familiar example would be Amazon product links included in a home improvement how-to blog. But affiliate marketing is used across all kinds of industries. Including search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO products an affiliate marketer might promote include platform software, keyword research tools, online courses on SEO strategies, and consulting services.
The benefit of affiliate marketing is you don’t have to create the product, manage inventory, accept/fulfill orders, or handle customer service. Your job is simply to promote the product and get paid.
If you already have an audience and a place to share links, easy earning could be within reach.
Today, you’ll get a closer look at how it all works.
What Is Affiliate Marketing in the SEO Niche?
Affiliate marketing in the SEO niche involves promoting and earning commissions from SEO products and services. Individuals or businesses, known as affiliates, partner with merchants that offer SEO-related products or services.
How does it work?
Merchants typically provide tracking links to affiliates. When someone clicks on your affiliate tracking link to access the SEO product—be it on your blog, social media, video, or another channel—the merchant can track the conversion, associate it with your link, and calculate your commission.
You don’t need to create the product or manage inventory. But you need to understand a few key marketing principles to earn money.
To be a successful affiliate marketer in this niche, it helps to:
- Have a strong grasp of SEO principles
- Have an online audience interested in SEO
- Know what it takes to create high-quality content
- Have experience promoting products or services
- Choose affiliate products that align with your audience’s interests, ensuring the promoted offerings provide genuine value
Advantages of Being an Affiliate for SEO Products
Being an affiliate for SEO products can provide a flexible and potentially lucrative means to earn income. Especially if you have an existing audience in the SEO space.
Here are some advantages of being an affiliate:
- Low barrier to entry: You can join affiliate programs for free. If you’re already creating content about SEO, adding affiliate links to that content can be an easy, low-effort addition to your existing workflow.
- Work from anywhere: Affiliates are not employees. They’re independent. You can create content with affiliate links in it and promote it from anywhere.
- Passive income: Once you create and promote content, it can generate passive income over time. Quality content can attract organic traffic and leads for years, which earns you ongoing affiliate commissions.
- Recurring commissions: Many SEO products, such as subscription-based software or online courses, offer recurring commissions. As an affiliate, that means you can earn commissions on the initial sale and on subscription renewals. This creates potential for a steady stream of income.
- High market demand: The demand for SEO services is consistently high. 53% of businesses surveyed planned to increase their SEO spending in 2023. As businesses look to improve their online visibility, there is a continuous need for SEO resources. That means demand for SEO tools.
- Many products and services to choose from: The SEO niche offers a wide variety of products, including: platform software, keyword research tools, online courses, consulting services, and more. Affiliates have flexibility to choose options that align with their expertise and their audience’s interests.
- Someone else handles customer service: Affiliates don’t handle customer support, order fulfillment, or product updates. Customer service is the merchant’s responsibility. You only need to focus on marketing their products.
- Opportunities to learn: SEO and affiliate marketing go hand in hand. Affiliates in the SEO niche have the opportunity to grow their understanding of SEO principles, strategies, products, and services. They can, in turn, use that knowledge to gain more visibility for their content and the associated affiliate links.
Affiliate Marketing vs. SEO
Affiliate marketing focuses on promoting someone else’s products in original content that the affiliate marketer creates and shares with their audience.
SEO is a collection of tactics used to improve a website’s visibility in search engine results. It’s often used as a marketing strategy to increase the visibility of a promoted service or product.
Affiliate marketing and SEO serve distinct purposes. And they complement each other.
As an affiliate marketer, you can use SEO strategies to improve the visibility of your content and attract more traffic. The more traffic you bring to your site, the more opportunities for people to see (and click on) affiliate links you share there.
Do Affiliate Links Help SEO?
Affiliate links don’t directly contribute to SEO performance. But if the links are relevant to your content and interesting to your audience, they can improve the user experience.
For example, if you’re an affiliate for a keyword research tool and have a blog post about keyword intent, including your affiliate link would be relevant and helpful for interested readers.
Positive user experiences can mean visitors hold your site in higher esteem. And attribute more trust in what you say.
Do Affiliate Links Hurt SEO?
Generally, affiliate links don’t hurt SEO performance. However, using links excessively or linking to irrelevant content could have a negative impact on search rankings.
For example, as an affiliate of a keyword research tool, including your affiliate link in content about pet grooming tips would be irrelevant and could confuse readers.
Market demand for SEO tools continues to grow.
In 2021, the global market size for SEO services was $46.7 billion. It’s on pace to reach $234.8 billion by 2030, growing at a 17.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
That’s because SEO is recognized as a critical component when creating a successful online presence. And businesses, website owners, and SEO professionals responsible for that critical component rely on tools to do SEO.
It’s a pursuit that stands the test of time. The demand for SEO tools is expected to stay strong for many years.
Affiliate marketing in the space could be a worthy pursuit with lasting gains.
Factors That Contribute to the Demand for SEO Tools
Here are several factors and trends that contribute to the demand for SEO tools:
- Increasing online presence: As more businesses establish themselves online, the competition for search engine visibility increases. And when that competition increases, SEO tools get sold.
- The role of competitive analysis: Savvy business owners strive to understand their competitors’ strategies. SEO tools offer features that let businesses identify strengths and weaknesses of their competitors, as well as opportunities in their industry.
- Growing content marketing budgets: There’s a growing recognition of the importance of digital marketing. 69% of businesses said they planned to increase their content marketing budgets in 2023 according to a Semrush survey of 1,700 marketers and business owners. Those budgets mean they can invest in SEO tools that provide actionable insights.
- The evolution of Google algorithms: Google frequently updates its algorithms to provide users with the most relevant search results. SEO tools help professionals stay informed about algorithm changes, so they can adapt their strategies and maintain their rankings.
- Focus on user experience: Search engines prioritize websites that offer a good user experience. To ensure customers enjoy their site, businesses prioritize the purchase of SEO tools that assist in analyzing various aspects of their site, such as page speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall usability.
- The impact of optimized content: Content remains one of the most important factors in SEO success. Tools that provide insights into keyword research, content performance, and on-page optimization help businesses create valuable content for their target audiences.
- Ecommerce growth: The growth of ecommerce has made it especially important for businesses selling products online to rank highly in search results. SEO tools are vital for optimizing product pages, researching keywords for product descriptions, and improving site performance.
- Global reach: SEO tools often cater to a global market. Businesses and website owners worldwide seek these tools that can help them reach a broader audience and compete in their industries.
- Diverse needs and goals: The market for SEO tools offers a wide range of specialized solutions that cater to specific SEO needs. There are individual tools available for keyword research, content optimization, backlink analysis, and technical SEO. Alternatively, there are all-in-one solutions for users looking for a more holistic SEO approach.
Selecting an SEO Affiliate Program
Ready to think about choosing an SEO affiliate program? We’ll guide you through the key factors to consider.
1. Commission Agreement
One of the primary considerations when choosing an affiliate program is the commission agreement.
You’ll want to consider two elements.
First is the structure. Different programs have different commission structures. The most common are:
- Pay-per-click: A commission is earned every time someone clicks on the affiliate link. It doesn’t matter if the click results in a lead, inquiry, or sale.
- Pay-per-lead: A commission is earned for every qualified lead or inquiry the brand receives
- Pay-per-sale: A fixed-fee commission is earned for every product sale, no matter the value of the order
Next, consider the commission rate.
If you’re a beginner, look for a program that offers competitive commissions. 20-30% commissions are common. But some programs offer as much as 50%.
Also consider the price of the product you’re promoting. 20% of a $1,000 sale is $200, but 50% of a $200 sale is $100. If the product you’ll be promoting has a higher price, it might be worth accepting a lower commission rate. But keep in mind that the higher the product price, the more marketing it will require to drive a sale.
There are also flat commissions, which are more straightforward. Some programs offer $100-$200 per sale. Others offer close to $2,000 for high-ticket items.
2. Cookie Duration
You may already be familiar with cookies.
Cookies are small pieces of data that a browser places on your device (computer, phone, etc.) when you visit a website. The next time you visit that website within the cookie’s lifetime, the browser sees the cookie. It remembers things about your previous visit. Like your preferences or login information.
In affiliate marketing, cookies track users who click on your SEO affiliate links. They help the merchant determine whether a visit to the merchant’s website was referred from your link. It’s what lets the merchant attribute the visitor’s transaction to you, and give you credit for the conversion.
Cookie duration refers to how long a cookie file remains on the visitor’s device before it expires. The visitor will need to make the transaction before the cookie expires in order for you, the affiliate, to earn a commission on the referral.
For example, if an affiliate program has a 24-hour cookie lifespan, a visitor sent to the merchant from your affiliate link only has 24 hours to make a purchase. Otherwise, you won’t get credit for the sale.
A longer cookie duration is favorable because it allows you to earn commission on a broader referral attribution window. Programs with extended cookie durations can increase your earning potential. Some programs offer cookie durations of just 15-30 days. Others offer 90-120 days.
3. Payout Arrangements
You’re considering affiliate marketing to earn income. Naturally, you’ll want to pay attention to how programs pay out.
Payment method is just one aspect.
Most affiliate programs offer payouts through bank transfers, paper checks, or digital payment platforms like PayPal. Choose a program with a convenient payout channel for you.
Consider the payment threshold, too.
This is the amount of money you’ll need to earn before the program disperses payment to you. Ensure the payout threshold is reasonable for the work you anticipate putting into your affiliate marketing.
For example, if the minimum threshold is $500, and you anticipate it’d take you a few months to accumulate that earning, the program might not be worth your time and effort.
4. Affiliate Support
If you’re a new affiliate marketer, having reliable support from the affiliate program is invaluable.
Look for programs that provide support in the form of access to a dedicated support team, helpful how-to resources, and timely responses.
Here are some other support benefits to consider:
- Quick resolution of issues: Make sure you can get prompt assistance with things like technical issues and payment concerns. Or clarifications about program policies.
- Guidance to optimize your strategies: You’ll want a support team that helps you optimize your affiliate strategies. They can advise on promotional methods, link strategy, or audience targeting to improve your performance.
- Swift updates on program changes: Affiliate programs regularly undergo changes and introduce new features. Make sure there are communication channels that alert you to these changes promptly.
- A reciprocal partnership: A strong relationship between you and the affiliate program benefits both parties. A good support team will build on your partnership by being responsive and helpful, ensuring that you feel valued as an affiliate partner.
5. Merchant and Program Reputation
Read reviews and testimonials from current affiliates to gauge the program’s reliability, transparency, and affiliate satisfaction. Look at the quality of the products you’ll be promoting. Do you enjoy using them? Do they get good product reviews? Are they products you’d proudly stand behind?
Opt for a program with a good reputation and products you believe in.
Other reasons a good reputation is essential:
- Payment reliability: Affiliates rely on timely, accurate payments. A program with a good reputation likely has a history of making consistent and reliable payments.
- Alignment with your values: Good programs share values like transparency, fairness, and a commitment to mutually beneficial affiliate partnerships
- Ethical business practices: A reputable affiliate program is likely to follow ethical business practices. This could include accurate tracking, ensuring you’re credited for your referrals, and avoiding practices that could harm affiliates’ interests.
- Long-term viability: A program’s reputation could very well indicate its longevity. Programs with good reputations can better withstand market changes, adapt to industry trends, and continue offering opportunities for affiliates.
6. Additional Program Features
Many affiliate programs offer additional features to consider.
They might include:
- Advanced reporting: These features go beyond basic analytics, giving detailed insights into affiliate campaign performance, customer behavior, and conversion trends. Look for comprehensive reporting capabilities that can guide your strategy and facilitate a deeper understanding of your target market.
- API integration: Programs offering API integration and automation capabilities can streamline your workflow. API integration makes it possible to seamlessly exchange data between the affiliate platform and other marketing tools (like an email marketing tool or your CRM). Automation means that data can move automatically, without manual intervention from you.
- Cross-device tracking: Cross-device tracking ensures you get credit for affiliate conversions even if a user switches between their smartphone, tablet, and desktop during their purchasing journey.
- Dedicated community: Interested in connecting with other affiliates in the program to share insights and ask for advice? A dedicated, collaborative community can be valuable for beginners wanting to learn from more seasoned affiliates.
- Exclusive discounts: As an affiliate, merchants may give you an exclusive discount or offer to promote to your audience. This can help you attract customers, giving them an extra incentive to convert via your affiliate link.
- Marketing materials: Creative assets can help your promotional efforts. They might include banners, images, ad copy, and other materials that align with the brand.
- Multi-tier affiliate structure: Some affiliate programs feature a multi-tier structure. This allows you to earn commissions on direct referrals and the referrals from affiliates you’ve recruited.
- Performance-based incentives: Look for incentives based on your performance. It could be extra bonuses, chances to win contests, or tiered commission structures that let you earn more as you increase your referral success.
- Real-time tracking: This lets you monitor your affiliate campaign performance in real time. You can make informed decisions, optimize your strategy, and respond to changes immediately.
The 13 Best SEO Affiliate Programs for 2024
Not all SEO affiliate programs are created equal. Some factors and benefits are more appealing than others.
Here are 13 of the best affiliate programs to consider for 2024.
1. Semrush Affiliate Program
Semrush encourages people in the following roles to become affiliates:
- Content publishers
- Marketing agencies
- Course creators
- Paid search specialists
- All-around marketers
The Semrush Affiliate Program is a top contender because ours is a high-quality product with wide appeal.
When you promote Semrush products, you’re promoting an industry-leading SEO toolset that’s used by over 10 million marketers and 30% of Fortune 500 companies. Semrush’s global user base means you have potential for diverse audience reach. And brand recognition lends you credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of your audience.
Another reason to consider the Semrush Affiliate Program is the industry-leading program benefits.
The commission is competitive. You’ll get $200 for every first-time purchase made by your referrals. And $10 for every first-time trial that’s started. Last-click attribution means you get full credit for any referral that clicked your link most recently before their conversion. And a 120-day cookie lifespan means you get credit even if that conversion happens four months after the click. Plus, there are opportunities to earn performance-based bonuses as soon as your first month.
You also get stellar support to help ensure your success.
Seasoned experts guide you every step of the way as you establish your referral links, begin attracting audiences, and optimize your reach. Educational content—including webinars, articles, and other training materials—help enhance your marketing skills. And detailed reference materials make it easier to describe the value of Semrush products to your audience.
You’ll get access to robust tracking and analytics tools to monitor your performance and adjust course for better results. You even get pre-designed, high-converting promotional materials to aid in your marketing efforts.
To learn more or apply, visit: https://www.semrush.com/lp/affiliate-program/en/
2. The Hoth Affiliate Program
Promote The Hoth’s 20 SEO, content, and PPC services and you’ll get 50% of the total sale amount for every purchase (up to $1,000 a month). This program offers affiliates a 120-day cookie window.
To learn more, visit: https://www.thehoth.com/affiliate-program/
3. Serpstat Affiliate Program
Promote Serpstat’s 30 tools for SEO and PPC professionals and you’ll get up to 30% commission from the first and all subsequent referral payments. The cookie window is just 15 days, but the top affiliates earn $75,000 annually.
To learn more, visit: https://serpstat.com/referral/
4. NinjaOutreach Affiliate Program
Promote NinjaOutreach’s influencer marketing tool and you’ll get 20% monthly recurring commissions for each customer referral.
To learn more, visit: https://ninjaoutreach.com/Affiliate
5. Link-able Affiliate Program
Link-able’s platform connects businesses with freelance experts. Promote it to get recurring commissions for the lifetime of your referred customer’s account, up to a maximum payout of $500 per customer referred.
To learn more, visit: https://link-able.com/affiliate-program/
6. Authority Hacker SEO Affiliates Program
Authority Hacker’s training courses teach people how to create online businesses. Earn up to $1,979 per sale by promoting them, plus lifetime commissions when your referral buys other products.
This affiliate program is designed for those with existing audiences of at least a few thousand people per month. Authority Hacker is looking for affiliates with high-quality traffic that will convert.
To learn more, visit: https://www.authorityhacker.com/affiliates/
7. SEOreseller SEO Services Affiliate Program
Promote SEOreseller’s suite of services to earn 6% per transaction and 1% per sub affiliate. The average client buys services for 12-18 months, which means you could get commissions for over a year. Commissions are paid out every 14 days. And affiliates benefit from a lifetime cookie window.
To learn more, visit: https://www.seoreseller.com/affiliate-program
8. The Money Robot Affiliate Program
Promote Money Robot’s link-building tool and earn $100 commission for every sale. They’ll even credit your affiliate account with $25 just for signing up.
To learn more, visit: https://affiliates.moneyrobot.com/
9. AMZ Watcher’s Affiliate Program
AMZ Watcher monitors the functionality of Amazon affiliate links and product availability. It helps users increase their own affiliate revenue by showing functional, relevant Amazon links to their readers. Promote the tool and earn a 20% commission every month your referred customer remains a member.
To learn more, visit: https://amzwatcher.com/affiliate-program/
10. The SEOPressor Affiliate Program
Promote the SEOPressor WordPress SEO plug-in and get a 50% recurring commission for the initial sale and every month your referred customer pays.
To learn more, visit: https://seopressor.com/seopressor-connect-jv/
11. SEO PowerSuite Affiliate Program
SEO PowerSuite is an all-in-one SEO software package. Promote the platform to earn 33% commission on all orders your referrals make (including yearly subscription renewals) up to $165 per sale. The cookie window is 120 days.
To learn more, visit: https://www.link-assistant.com/partners/affiliates.html
12. ProRankTracker Affiliates
ProRankTracker provides its users with SERP rank tracking for Google, Yahoo!, Bing, YouTube, and Amazon. Promote the rank reporting system and earn 20% recurring commissions on the lifetime of referred accounts. The cookie window for this program is 90 days.
To learn more, visit: https://proranktracker.com/affiliates
13. Long Tail Pro Affiliate Program
More than 2,800 affiliates worldwide promote Long Tail Pro’s SEO research tool. They get a 30% commission for every person who subscribes through an affiliate link and for all future recurring payments.
To learn more, visit: https://longtailpro.com/become-an-affiliate/
Starting Your Semrush Affiliate Partnership
SEO affiliate marketing offers a wealth of opportunities for you to make money online.
If you’re a content creator with SEO expertise, affiliate marketing is a great way to earn passive income by adding links to content you already create. And there’s no shortage of SEO affiliate programs to consider.
If you’re familiar with Semrush and our products—or intrigued by the capabilities of our tools—we encourage you to apply to join the Semrush Affiliate Program.
If accepted, you can earn $200 for every sale and $10 for every trial.
Learn more or apply at: