Affiliate marketing can be a very competitive business and when you compare your results to those of other affiliates, it can sometimes feel like you’re struggling, while they seem to be racking up the commissions. And that can be frustrating because after all, they’re doing the same things as you, right?
Maybe not! Most ‘in the know’ successful businesses are sticking to a well-thought-out strategy and proven tactics, designed to increase the money making potential of their online business and boost conversions. Are you doing the same?
Making a success from affiliate marketing as a business is much easier when you stick to the proven conversion boosting techniques, which are easy to acquire. This form of making money online has been around for over 20 years and there is plenty of advice available from highly successful marketers – you just need to use it.
Phil Coleman from ClickSure, a global self-service network for affiliates and advertisers, shares seven of the most effective, tried and tested website monetisation tips for your business.
1. Keep yourself relevant
Successful affiliates work in niches and you should too. One of the biggest mistakes many affiliates and even advertisers make, is to promote irrelevant products and offers on their site. Make sure anything you promote on your site is directly related to your niche. Sure, you can be creative with products but go too far off the wall and your conversion rate will suffer.
2. Act now
Many affiliates and advertisers choose to wait until they’ve built up some traffic to monetise their site, but this isn’t advisable! Monetising immediately will mean all of your visitors are exposed to your offers and returning visitors will be used to seeing them. Waiting will just prolong the time until your first sale and you’ll miss out on opportunities to get sign ups for your subscriber list and testing various aspects with your first visitors.
3. The pulling power of reviews
Anyone used to selling or promoting products online knows that one of the highest converting forms of content is a product review. Nowadays, 61 per cent of customers read reviews before making a purchase, so it’s a tactic you can’t afford to neglect. Make sure your reviews are well written, offer in-depth information and highlight the benefits of the product. Your products and promotions will be irresistible to visitors if they have a high quality review next to them.
4. Build trust with blogs
Blogging is a widely used affiliate tactic, in fact at least 60 per cent of affiliates use blogging as their primary method of driving traffic and 55 per cent of full-time bloggers are affiliates.
A blog makes it easy to use various forms of content and advertising to drive conversions. It’s also a great way to get multiple listing in the search engines, as you have multiple keyword based pages, so you can ramp up your traffic quickly.
To ensure your visitors buy the products you’re promoting, you need them to trust you. Yes, they have only just ‘met’ you, but you can easily build trust by sticking to a few rules. Tell them who you are and that your site is here to help them. Use your name and include and About Me page with your photo. Offer lots of really useful info, helpful tips and important niche news.
Be sure to choose your promotions carefully and only promote products you are sure about and would use yourself. You will retain and increase your visitors if they know you only promote quality products and you’re not just chasing commission.
You’ll be amazed at how these small things can improve trust and therefore conversions.
5. Videos convert…Fact!
Adding video to your site is a great way to increase conversions. The stats don’t lie: including videos on your page can improve conversions by 80 per cent while 64 per cent of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. Read those figures again, as they’re really important and facts don’t lie, so don’t fight it.
Again this is a marketing technique you cannot afford to neglect. Try video blogging or ‘vlogging’ if you’re feeling confident. Otherwise use a Powerpoint video, so you only have to talk through it. Even images and text laid out nicely on a Powerpoint style video, is better than no video at all. Once again, only use video to promote products that you would buy.
6. Don’t overkill
Use advertising banners, text links and Call To Action’s (CTA’s) on your blog, to get your visitors clicking through and hopefully buying the products you’re promoting, but don’t get carried away. Some sites are completely saturated with ads and banners and every second word is a link to a product. You don’t want to be part of that crowd! This will instantly turn off for your visitors and you will probably be penalised by Google since they look out for sites that have a high ad to content ratio.
7. Calls to action
Using all these techniques won’t matter if you forget to include good calls to action (CTA). Your CTAs are what you want your visitors to do, so make sure they stand out. For example, if you’re linking through to a product sales page, ensure your link stands out by using a different colour to the other text and background of your site. Also, TELL your visitors exactly what to do, as it can increase conversions. For instance a CTA saying ‘Click Here To See The Details Right Now’ will out convert a simple ‘Click Here’. Sounds strange but giving direct instructions and adding urgency is proven to work.
Drive traffic, increase conversions… Simple!
To become really successful as an affiliate marketer, you need to focus on just a few things. Good content and good offers, suitable for your audience for starters. Once your site is ready, focus on driving traffic and improving your conversions. The higher your conversions, the more sales you’ll convert from less traffic, which means higher earnings for you.
Finally, online marketing changes fast, so keep up to date with the latest trends, embrace trial and error and find the techniques that works for you.