Holiday Affiliate Marketing Advice: Take Notice of the Trends and Search Data

For all the affiliate marketers out there, you already know that the
holiday season is one of the most lucrative and competitive times of the
year. For anyone that is still doing guesswork on the data, you can be
certain that it will be a whole lot less lucrative unless you have some
ESP skills you’re hiding. But for the rest of us, this just means one
thing: it’s time to track the Experian Marketing Service reports to find
out which holiday gifts are trending this year.

Affiliate Marketing During the Holiday with Trends

And while it certainly might be getting a little late to turn a big
profit on Black Friday and Cyber Monday if you haven’t done your
research, you can still cash in on the Christmas market by looking into
the trends. As of the month leading up to November 9th, marketing
trends gathered from search data analysis points to a few dominating
terms that every affiliate should be looking into:

  • - Game consoles
  • - Mobile devices
  • - Fitness gadgets
  • - Techie gear and gifts

This is good news for affiliates that already have some of these
products in their network, but might be bad news for those who gambled
on other items. Still, none of these are exactly ground-breaking so if
you don’t have them this year, you’ll know for next year. These aren’t
changing anytime soon.

Trending Christmas Products and Name Brands

There are still some products out there that affiliates can make money
off of. For example, while tech gadgets did haul in 7 out of 10 top
spots on the holiday gift trending list, the overall winner was none
other than Uggs. Ugg boots are readily available on many shoe sites as
well as on Amazon. They’ve also been wildly popular for years (hint for
next year on trends!).

Regardless, here’s what people are searching for over the past month.
As you can see, it’s a little more than tech-heavy. It’s a tech
convention!

- iPhone 5s
- iPad Air
- iPhone 5c
- Xbox One
- PS4
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3
- Microsoft Surface Pro
- FitBit
- Kindle Fire HD
- Nexus 7

Basically, you can take away from this list that Apple is still top dog
with electronic retail stores, landing their iPad Air, iPhone 5s, iPhone
5c in the top three spots, followed by Xbox One taking the early lead
over the PS4.

Santa’s Sleigh Full of Toys

Of course, Christmas time is nothing without the children so you should
already have some of the hotter toys in your affiliate network. Most
people already know that Skylanders Swap Force (a video game) is number
one, but the number two hottest toy search over the past month might
surprise you. According to Experian, rubber band bracelets are number
two, followed by Razor’s Crazy Cart Riding Toy. Yes, rubber band
bracelets.

Some simple research like this will help key you in on the holiday
trends. Of course, if you can’t get cracking on these now, just keep a
mindful eye towards future times when online shopping is heavy. Doing a
quick background check on the most popular video games or the latest
fitness gadgets will clue you in on which affiliate partners to join up
with and which to run far away from.

Facebook is Trying to Make You Promote Your Posts – Some Simple Ways Around it

Have you noticed your Facebook views per post declining? Does it feel
like you’re getting only a smaller proportion of the reach that you used
to? Chances are, it’s not the way you’re posting or even the content
you’re posting. Rather, it’s Facebook cutting down on the reach of
pages through tweaks to their Edge Rankings to make it more difficult to
get organic reach. This “coincidentally” coincides with the increasing
presence of the “Boost Your Post” pop-ups and notifications.

Why Boost Your Post?

Of course, there certainly is no denying that boosting your post on
Facebook will gain you more reach and thus, a bigger audience. You’d be
surprised at how many people aren’t even seeing your posts until your
run a boosted post campaign. That means that there really are some
times that you should boost your post on Facebook.

- New product or service release – Important updates to policy – Big
sales or special promotions – A post that you’re certain will go viral -
Any news releases or clips that makes you look amazing

Essentially, when you’re getting excited about posting something, you
should consider boosting the post-even by just a few dollars-so that
other people can get excited too. Of course, much like Pay-Per-Click
ads on AdWords, this will only get you a short-term gain unless you have
a larger system or network in place that will keep your audience’s
attention once they click on your post’s CTA. Boosting every post is
just going to cost you a lot of money.

Alternatives to Boosting Facebook Posts

Of course, this means that you’re going to have to find other ways to
make your Facebook posts more visible to increase your reach. Luckily,
there are a few tips and tricks that social media experts employ to
increase your reach and get your message out there to more of your fans.

- Put previously shared links in comments. One of the biggest changes
I’ve noticed to the Edge Rank algorithms Facebook uses is that sharing
the same link over and over again will really cut your reach down
drastically. This is bad news for those that are trying to draw
attention to a landing page as the more you post it, the lower the reach
gets. When you boost these posts, it will show on the top of newsfeeds,
but to get around it, simply make a post with some media, and then throw
the call to action link in the first comment. This doesn’t count
against your Rank, so your post will receive no penalty for the
re-shared link. – Create events, but share in comments. Similarly to
shared links, all of your events should be shared in the comments
section. Facebook has made event making garbage otherwise. – Post
interesting content. Of course, we’re not saying that you aren’t
already, but post things that garner more attention naturally. Text
really doesn’t, but pictures and videos are sure to do the trick.
Remember, not every picture or video has to be directly about you, but
can be indirectly about your product, service or idea as well. For
instance, a restaurant might post a link to their favorite recipe every
once in a while, but will really do well with pictures of their food
dishes. – Hashtags. If you aren’t already using Facebook hashtags,
start using them now. They work just like Twitter hashtags, so make the
most of them.

Google Hummingbird and Keyword Changes and How they Change Internet Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or avoiding your computer the
past few weeks, you’ve probably already heard about the latest changes
Google has made to their search algorithms and the way they deliver
data. But what you may not have noticed is that the Hummingbird update
and the encryption of all searches has a farther-reaching impact when
taken together-an impact that should have all internet marketers sitting
up and taking notice.

Of course, if you’ve been following Google’s trend of cracking down on
black hat SEO and spammed content, your sites should be okay since they
are already filled with user-centric content which provides high value
to your visitors. But if you haven’t been keeping up, there has never
been a better time to start gearing your site towards Google’s rules
than right now.

The Buzz Surrounding Hummingbird

Perhaps their biggest overhaul to their algorithms in over a decade,
Hummingbird eclipses both Panda and Penguin, despite ironically being
named after a smaller bird. While it was estimated the previous two
updates affected only a small percentage of websites and queries, the
Senior Vice President of Google, Amit Singhal, said that Hummingbird
affects 90% of all search engine requests sent in to Google. This is
quite telling about the severity of the overhaul, especially since the
goal was the same here as with previous updates-to bring users the most
relevant results possible for their queries.

The biggest difference between this latest Google update and previous
ones is that the focus was put on the semantic search. Anyone who has
been preaching the value of LSI keywords for a while, stand up and take
your bow-you were right. Google just made concepts, intent and meaning
ranking factors that are on par (or perhaps greater than) individual
keywords.

This change takes place because since people are more used to Google
search functionality, they are entering longer questions and search
queries, not just keywords. So in the end, it is absolutely beneficial
all around since your keywords aren’t as great an indicator on how your
customers are finding you anymore. In fact, Google’s Chrome browser
just rolled out a “conversational search” function where queries are
submitted in the form of sentences and questions, not keywords.

Plus, since this “conversational search” fits right in with the high
growth rate of mobile users, it’s clear that more complex search queries
are going to arise, forcing content marketing to now focus on answering
questions and providing information and educational guides to attract
viewers.

They Took Your Keywords!

And seemingly to drive their point home on how keywords are a diminished
factor in modern SEO, Google has encrypted all searches, even if you’re
not signed into your Google account. This means that unless you’re
getting ad clicks, you’re not getting anymore keyword traffic data in
your web analytics (it shows up as “Not Provided”). So if you want
those keywords, you now have to pay up with AdWords. But is that even
necessary with Hummingbird?

Keywords aren’t as important as they once were, so my advice is to not
go for more PPC campaigns than you normally would-at least not with the
sole purpose of getting keyword data. Google is smart, they know that
people will freak out about not getting keyword traffic data and will
immediately turn to AdWords rather than evolve with the algorithms. But
this isn’t going to help your SEO. Stay calm, don’t panic and simply
find other ways to measure your campaign’s success. This can involve
checking your referring traffic, analyzing the tracking information from
automation tools and paying more attention to your Webmaster tools (e.g.
search queries, anchor text ,etc.). You should also set up internal
site search analytics.

The bottom line here is that this trend has been heading this route for
a long time-it’s nothing new.