Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online. Many people focus on getting traffic for their websites and there is nothing wrong with it, but managing and tracking how our affiliate links are performing is an important step in understanding our readers’ preferences and making more money online. One of the crucial to-do for affiliate links management is analyzing how your link is performing.
In order to have a potential sale, a visitor need to click on an affiliate link. There are usually 2 reasons why readers click on a link:
- he wants to find out more about the product
- there’s nothing else interesting on your blog
If he doesn’t click, that means
- he is not interested in the product you want to promote
- it is irrelevant with the content you posted
- he already had a (similar) product
- no money
1. Statistics & Performance
That’s why understanding the statistics of your links is essential. Gain insight on how many clicks each affiliate link is getting. Even if you are ranking tops on the search engines, it is the number of clicks on your link that matters. Promote those posts that are getting lots of clicks.
How about those links that are getting little, or no clicks? Maybe it’s high time to relook at your content, sales angle or promote a product with higher conversions.
Group your links too, so you can track which category of links are popular with your blog’s audience. By knowing your readers’ preferences, you can branch out further into that category.
Having more affiliate links may make more sales, but that’s only when the products are relevant to your blog. If you own a health or bodybuilding blog, then you should only stick to health, food, and bodybuilding promotions
3. Cloaking, Redirecting, and beautifying your Affiliate Links
Most of the time, affiliate links are ugly. Visitors also hestitate to click on them because they are not sure where it is going to lead them to. Even bit.ly shortener links can look suspicious and avoided by readers.
Another reason why you should cloak or use a redirect for your affiliate is to protect your commissions from being hijacked
Increasing the click-through: Beautifying and shortening a affiliate URL can give your visitor an idea where he’s heading to, and to click or not.
Depending on your strategies, additional stuff you can do include making your link a Do-Follow or No-Follow, highlighting/bold the anchor texts, and opening it in a new window.
Use a spreadsheet to tabulate all your affiliate link, login details, statistics and performance. This helps when you have over 10 affiliate networks (e.g. Clickbank, Comission Junction, e-Junkie, Amazon, etc), and/or having 1000s of links. For those with an established website, or with many blogs, you really need to tabulate, and organize all your links properly to be efficient and productive. There have been blogs and posts that I have visited, clicked on a banner/link, only to find it broken and not working – that’s a potential sale lost. There should be a monthly routine to check the “health” of your links. This can be a very time consuming affair especially when you have many links spread on multiple networks, but it’s a necessity and worth the time and effort.
Link Management Software
For internet marketers having a significant income from affiliate sales or starting out, you can consider using paid or free affiliate link management tools to achieve some of the factors mentioned above. Although free and limited in features, most of them work well. For WordPress bloggers, you can find them at the plugin directory here. Do beware of those that secretly insert their affiliate IDs and steal your commissions. If you have many clicks, and way below industry conversions, this can be the reason. I use Thirsty Affiliates for link management, and I recommend it to you too. Read the review here and find out why.
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