Affiliate marketing is a tricky game... If you don’t know what you’re doing it can get you in to a lot of trouble, without your knowledge or even consent at times. Some marketers are using the same old tricks, just as they did when they first started online. Things change fast with the Internet. You either adapt or die!
Today, I’ll cover conversion boosters and some simple ways to make more money online with associate programs. I don’t care if you promote health products like vitamins. I don’t care if you promote fitness like exercise machines, or even if you promote IM related items like ClickBank and WSO offers…
Even if you promote 2-tier and residual programs, these principles are proven to increase your conversion ratio. That means more money in your pocket, for as long as your traffic is relevant and targeted.
Before we go into the nitty gritty, I want to emphasize the importance of traffic and what you can do to earn more from it. Let’s say for every 100 unique visitors (not page views or hits) you get a sale. That’s $10 in general depending on what you’re promoting. What if you could increase your conversion and instead of one sale, you make 3. This will add up to $30. A whopping triple conversion rate…
Obviously there’s no guarantee you’ll be making 3 sales for every 100 visitors each time, as not all traffic is created equal. That’s a fact. What I’m trying to say is that on average, every 100 visitors should make you 3 sales, for as long as your incoming web site traffic is hot and people are actively looking for a specific product or brand name.
I remember years ago I was focusing on building AdSense sites. I was creating my properties in a better way than most of my competitors. If they were only publishing text content with no images, I ensured my content had not just text and pictures, but YouTube videos also. If their site had 5 pages, I wanted to make mine 15, 30 and even 50 pages. Yet, the most I could make was $100-$250 per campaign, and that’s even with 20-25k unique visitors a month.
I did some basic testing to increase conversion, yet income wasn’t much.
Long story short, after reading some case studies on how other bloggers and niche site builders were making hundreds with little traffic (a few thousand visitors) via Amazon, I decided to skip AdSense sites, and focus on Amazon instead.
One of my Amazon niche sites made $300 in DECEMBER 2013 with less than 6,000 unique visitors. The beauty of this is that 90% of the sales were generated by a single blog post/page where I was comparing multiple items in a very specific product category.
What I’m about to share with you next comes from my 10-year practical experience with both Amazon, AdSense, ClickBank and other associate programs.
#1. In-context Links
If you already have a micro site with a few pages or an authority blog (which is even better), then you already have what it takes to increase your conversion, for as long as you also receive traffic to your web property. If there’s no traffic or very little, what I’m sharing with you won’t help much. You need to be getting at least 20-30 unique visitors a day on average to make this work for you.
So, make use of links, in the context of your article. I’m not referring to blog roll links (those appearing in the sidebar), but in-context links. This is where you go into each blog post/article and start editing the relevant words/key phrases in your first sentence. If you find something related to your associate program, then you want to link to the product page/Amazon URL.
Do this just as you’d do with your keywords. You bold them in the first sentence, in the middle of the article and in the last sentence. That’s also what I do with in-context links. Usually the keywords I target are product names, so I make sure to link my presell sentences direct to Amazon products.
I did link the actual keyword to a product before, but John told me otherwise. He also coaches me and I follow his advice because he has been building niche sites (and making a lot) much more than I do with this model – ever since I first interviewed him back in 2005.
Some bloggers say you should use any of the Amazon WP plugins available on the market to track each unique visitor, shorten your URLs and increase your sales. I have EazyAzon, but haven’t started to test with it yet. However, this is one of the best tools on the web from my perspective, and I have gone through an extensive research and comparison process in the last few months.
Anyway, as a general rule, the more hyperlinks and in context links you insert within your article(s) the higher your chances to increase your affiliate program product click-troughs and earnings. However, I won’t load my article with nothing but links. I keep them limited and placed in a strategic position. Just as I’ve explained above, as well as closer to any images and videos you have in that particular post.
That’s the same method I use (and you should too) when inter-linking the inner pages of your site and make internal link juice flow naturally (an important Google ranking factor) to flood your whole site, not just its home page.
You know from an on-page SEO standpoint, you need to have images present in each post/page/article you have on your niche site. And each image should be saved by the name of the keyword you’re trying to rank for. Its ALT attribute should also be the same as the keyword title. This tells Google robots what your image is about and connects it with the relevancy of your page content.
Having images on your posts is not just for Google/SEO/traffic, but for your web site visitors in the first place. If you are adding n custom images, you can also attract a lot of new traffic from Google Image search – food for thought… Images make your content pleasing for the eye and provide your users with an interesting reading experience. Quality images placed strategically are like honey to bees.
On my Amazon sites I have product images which link to the product itself, and below each image I also have the “buy this product from Amazon” type of links. The idea is to give the reader as many “clicking” choices in order to increase our earning potential, without abusing it.
I used to get images from Flickr, completely free of charge, until I found out about http://www.photodune.net/ (non affiliate link) For $1 a piece. You can get higher quality images that you can use for as many sites as you want. Their collection is always growing, and if you want to stand out against your competitors (and build a quality site) that you can later sell, this comes highly recommended.
Most people use Google images… this method is like getting into hot water, as you don’t know if those images are copyright protected (which most of them are.) I’ve read about a law suit where someone used an image which was copyrighted and was fined with $3k after long talks with the lawyers.
So you know… these guys will use methods and tools to identify copyright images which are placed with or without your knowledge on a site, and ask for their money as a result of copyright violation. As far as I’ve read, it doesn’t matter if that image was placed on your site for a day, and then you removed it. Some lawyers can still lawsuit you, as they did in the case above.
Think twice before you place an image on your site, especially if you don’t know its copyright situation.
Read this article…
When I started to build my first site more than 10 years ago, I was thinking of a ‘clever’ idea. To feature as many banners as possible in as many places (at the top, at the bottom, sidebars, in context, etc.) Long story short, I’ve found that was the dumbest idea I ever had. The fewer banners you have on your site, the better. I recommend you place one banner in the sidebar (either right or left), and one more at the bottom of the article, on each post on your site, for as long as it is relevant.
Note: With AdSense sites, since it’s a contextual network, banners will be changing accordingly and each visitor will see a different banner depending on their search history/online surfing habit.
With Amazon and other associate programs – where you have control over the promo materials, you can select a specific product banner and place it in a relevant post.
Does it make sense?
It’s very important you control the ads and the banners on your site, as site conversion is a strategic move. Split testing for example is a method where you can test two versions of the same page, but with banners placed on the left sidebar (version A) and right sidebar (version B) – or whatever – and within a few weeks – or after a few hundred visitors, you’ll know for sure (if the tracking & testing is done right) which page version/banner position is bringing in more clicks/sales.
Read this article for further information:
Bonus tip: SEO / web page description
One way to increase your conversion is to look at your web page description. If you’re using WordPress as many niche site builders including myself and John are, then you want to check with your All In One SEO, Yoast, or Platinum SEO plugin (that’s what I’m using at the moment) for each article/blog post and change/edit your description accordingly.
Make it more compelling to attract the buyer. If it’s good enough, it’ll increase your clicks and page visits. Doubling this conversion could also double your web traffic and sale numbers.
See this video John did today here. At the end of video, he discusses this element and gives a good live example.
If you know of other conversion booster methods, please let me know on the comments.