Probably one of the most intimidating things a new affiliate can hear about are datafeeds.
The name on its own sounds scary but the actual ways you can use them aren't. Datafeeds are nothing more than excel spreadsheets with products, manufacturer numbers, price points, etc… in them.
You don't have to be a programmer to be able to use them. There are tons of free tools out there like Share a Sale's Make a Page tool or paid services like a company called Popshops. Both of these tools will build you storefronts without any major programming needed.
You do have to be careful though as datafeeds are technically duplicate content. They need to be worked on a bit to benefit your site.
To help you make the most out of your datafeed store front, here are some ways to use datafeeds to not only be SEO friendly but also help get you traffic that may convert.
1. Edit Your Descriptions
When you pull the feed and you take the merchant's description, you're getting the same exact description and copy as everyone else in the program. Even if you mix the feed with other merchants, you still have the same sentences, anchor links, etc…
So, rewrite each of the descriptions either in the HTML, if its static, or in your database, if you can update the cells. This adds unique sentences and phrases to your own page, maybe the URL you generate for it, the meta descriptions, etc.
Add detail. If you are selling blue widgets and the datafeed talks about the sizes they come in, try to include that information.
2. Download and Name Your Images
Although you probably don't own the rights to the images in the feed, they probably aren't named that well when you pull them.
Download all of the datafeed images. Size them to match so your page looks more professional. Rename them for SEO searches.
Use ALT and TITLE tags to help rank the images for image search. Image searches are huge for anything that has visual appeal; shoes, bags, accessories, furniture, small consumer electronics, etc. I have found that image searches can be very profitable.
3. Decide Which Fields are Important
Lots of datafeeds have options like description, price, retail price, refurbished, new state, SKU, and what not. It's tempting to use everything but keep your target audience in mind. Are they luxury shoppers or bargain hunters?
Think about your branding is, why the visitor is there and keep it relevant for them.
If you have people that enjoy luxury name the brand and the store name. If you have price conscious visitors show the amount they can save by displaying retail price, merchant price (sale price) and savings (in a percentage or dollar amount).
Datafeeds are an amazing tool (almost) every affiliate should try to use. Networks offer amazing free tools to generate store fronts and you can easily customize them to give them your own voice, look and feel.
Just remember that there are thousands of other sites with that same feed so write original descriptions, name and tag your images and make sure you use the correct fields to match the branding of your site. By doing this you are giving your site unique content, your website visitors a great display of relevant products and hopefully yourself some extra income.