Optimizing your affiliate campaign and associated network is essential in the quest to drive revenue from conversions. To this end, we optimize various aspects of our traffic funnel and website. Unfortunately, there are some common factors that we tend to overlook in the process. In some cases, it is a case of “over-optimization” rather than neglect. Then, some factors seem innocuous but have a significant effect on your site’s ratings.
Let’s unpack the most common mistakes made in affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
To the uninitiated, affiliate marketing may be a strange term. In short, it entails marketing your product on a third party’s website. When a visitor clicks on this link, you get paid a commission to the site owner. This approach forms an integral part of the latest digital marketing strategies since it drastically improves your company’s scalability and reaches. Here, you can reach far more people daily than a traditional sales executive.
Affiliate marketing has many advantages, and effective affiliate marketing campaigns tend to increase an organization’s revenue and reach drastically. However, there are some noteworthy pitfalls associated with affiliate marketing.
Suboptimal Link Distribution
Having multiple links to your website and products spread across your site and affiliate pages is essential. This drives traffic to your site and, when done correctly, improves conversion rates. However, aimlessly “dumping” these links all over the place is detrimental to business.
Inserting too many affiliate links, and grouping them too closely together, detracts from their effectiveness. This could even have the undesired effect of deterring visitors from your site. Too many links indicate that you’re there purely to sell, not to help your potential customers. This is off-putting. An overload of links also breeds mistrust in visitors to that site, leading them to label your site as unsafe or undesirable.
Another example of link overload is pop-up ads. These could even harm your rankings in Google’s search algorithm if it deems your pop-ups to be intrusive content.
A better approach is to spread your links, inserting them in areas that integrate naturally with the page’s content. This natural flow leads the site visitor to your link in a way that feels intuitive, thus increasing the odds of them clicking on it. Here, content that feels natural is a great help.
When you prioritize selling over value addition, your site tends to lack high-quality content. This is generally off-putting, leading to a high bounce rate. In content creation, less is often more, primarily if the lower content volume represents higher value. Here, your content would be focused on the user’s needs, highlighting how this product or service would benefit them.
This point links to the previous one of suboptimal link distribution. If your sales tactics cause user friction, site visitors may click off your site and never return. Carefully vet your links, calls to action, and content to ensure that it flows naturally and correlates well with your potential customer’s needs.
Lack of Quality Content
This train of thought flows neatly into the following topic: your primary product is content as an affiliate marketer. Regular, high-quality content leads to recurring site visits. Your content should be relevant and focus on quality rather than quantity. One excellent, evergreen post is likely to drive revenue far more than ten mediocre posts. Fortunately, there are many tools available to assist in knowing what type of content to target.
The first step is identifying “easy wins” finding a topic that is likely to rank in online search results. A keyword search will indicate what you need to outrank the competition.
Other factors in determining are the number of domain backlinks, the average word count of top-ranking posts, and the number of images included.
Lacking Distribution Channel Diversity
Many affiliate marketers rely heavily on a single distribution channel to promote their affiliate links. Typically, this would be social media, blogs, search engines, or specific websites. While these channels are valuable and should be used, diversity is also essential in maximizing your reach.
Effective use of social media can increase web traffic threefold. Association with social media influencers also boosts revenue since someone outside your company vouches for your product or service. Maximizing this reach by partnering with various influencers is worth gold. This approach should be coupled with SEO (search engine optimization) and creating high-quality content. All these channels drive traffic to your website, potentially increasing revenue.
Ineffectively Using Mailing Lists
Your customer database needn’t be extensive, but it is essential to have a contact database that acts like a mailing list. Here, you would collect the email addresses of visitors to your site, sending them a regular newsletter. The regularity of this newsletter would vary depending on your industry and your customer demographic. When used effectively, this mailing list will increase your website traffic and enhance your SEO rating.
Not Utilizing Micro-Niche Markets
Precisely targeted affiliate links improve click-through rates and conversions. To properly optimize the gains from targeted links, it is essential that you maximize the impact made by micro-niche markets. Building content for and reaching these markets builds a reliable base of loyal followers or customers who will repeatedly visit your site and convert their visits into revenue.
To this end, you must experiment with content, determining which types of content drive the most site traffic and conversions. Once you’ve found these areas, expand them, creating more high-value content that meets your customers’ needs.
Lack of Customization
Following affiliate marketing best practices improves the potential success of your digital marketing strategy. Unfortunately, some best practices tend to be prescriptive, leading to standardization. While a uniform image of your company improves brand recognition, you should ensure that you stand out from the crowd. When following standardization too far, your brand will blend into the background, becoming part of the generic picture of your industry. This is not optimal since you are no longer memorable.
To ensure that your brand reaches your target audience and is captivated by it, you must customize your brand and approach. This means trying new things, such as changing your subscription form’s color and theme. You could send a personalized message to new site visitors or include extra information on your products and services in easy-to-find locations, such as the sidebars.
Overlooking Site Speed
Site speed is essential. Research (https://www.patahern.com/seo-mistakes/) shows that bounce rates increase 50% when sites take longer than 2 seconds to load. If you notice that your site’s load rate is slow, use tools such as GTMetrix.com to find and fix bottlenecks.
Typically, causes of slow loading sites are traced to slow server response times, large files, or suboptimal content delivery methods. If you have a WordPress site, there are specific plugins that can efficiently resolve these issues.
· Compress large images using Tiny PNG. This plugin doesn’t compromise image quality.
· Set up browser caching with WP Rocket. Note that this could affect website styling, so if you don’t have experience in this field, it would be worthwhile enlisting the help of an SEO expert.
· Speed up content delivery using Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network).
Improved site speed enhanced user experience, which translates into better rankings and greater conversions.
We live in an instant society, where people want small snippets of relevant information in a format that is easy to read and digest. If your font size is lower than 16pt and in the wrong font, visitors are more likely to click away from your page.
A rule of thumb is to use serif fonts for paragraphs since the serifs guide the eye along. For headings and anything else that is meant for quick reading, use sans serif fonts. Removing these decorative details allows our brains to process the text faster.
Readability further increases when using short sentences and paragraphs. Sentences should consist of fewer than 25 words, while paragraphs should be four sentences long at most. Studies indicate that most users prefer a readability level at the level of seventh- or eighth grade. With this in mind, avoid including words that you had to look up. Fortunately, there are readability calculators available online, assisting you in optimizing your readability score.
Affiliate marketing is an essential part of current digital marketing campaigns. Tools that track and collect web traffic data are freely available, allowing for optimization of affiliate campaigns. In this quest for optimization, we tend to make some common mistakes that decrease the effectiveness of our campaigns. This article outlined the most common ones, ranging from link overload on your sites to ineffective use of mailing lists. We realized that a technical aspect like site speed and a seemingly unimportant factor like readability could negatively affect our conversion rates.
When optimizing your affiliate network, bear these factors in mind. This will translate into greater web traffic and conversion rates, helping you rise above the competition.