Wirecutter has to be on every short list of websites that affiliate marketers look up to and try to draw inspiration from. Its impact on product choices from its in-depth reviews is so high that there’s even a term called “Wirecutter effect,” describing recommended products selling out quickly once the review goes live.
As of May 2022, the website drives almost 12 million organic search clicks in a month (spread across roughly 3,000 pages):
Site Explorer overview of Wirecutter
Screenshot from Overview report in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.
The website is now part of The whatsapp number list New York Times, which acquired Wirecutter in 2016 for about $30 million. The investment most likely paid for itself within three years, as the Times made more than $20 million from Wirecutter in 2018 alone.
Wirecutter is simply a huge affiliate marketing success story that we can all learn from. We’ll go through the following five tips based on Wirecutter’s SEO efforts that you can apply regardless of your affiliate website’s size:
Send great E-A-T signals throughout website
Provide great user experience
Leverage your category pages
Keep your content up to date
Have a solid content distribution plan
Let’s dive in.
1. Send great E-A-T signals throughout the whole website
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, a 172-page document used by human quality raters to assess the quality of Google’s search results.
recommended name is what makes affiliate marketing such a powerful pillar of digital marketing.
Google’s objective is to provide the most relevant and accurate results for every search query. If you’re looking up cat memes, then it doesn’t really matter which pages show up at the top. But it’s a completely different story when you shift to serious topics like finance or health.
This is where E-A-T signals come into play. It has the most impact on these YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics. And showing the world that you’re an authoritative and trustworthy expert source on a certain topic never hurts.
Now the importance of E-A-T for affiliate websites will differ. It likely won’t be that important for, let’s say, travel websites. But Wirecutter covers a wide range of topics, including some that fall straight into the YMYL topics: