I’ve recently delved into the world of affiliate marketing. I’ve seen the stuff for years, but never really gotten into it. The idea is simple enough, you get paid a “commission” for selling someone else’s “product.” These products can be anything from ring tones to dating sites to tuna fish. The key to all of this is getting traffic to the offer for less of a cost than what you are being paid – easier said than done.
I’ve studied this for some time now, but am far from educated on it. You could say I’m very low on the affiliate-marketing-street-smarts scale. However, here’s a few of my very simple observations on the methods people use to get the traffic and make the moolah.
The Brute Force Method
Send as many people to your landing page as possible (even if it sucks) and a few are bound to complete the offer and earn you some coin. This is by far the easiest method. You don’t have to have a good offer. You don’t have to have a good sales/landing page. You don’t have to have a good domain. You just have to have traffic.
This problem is, how do you get that traffic? One of the primary ways of generating traffic in affiliate marketing is through PPC advertising. Well, if your offer or your landing page stinks, you’re going to be paying out the you-know-what for junk traffic. Operating at a loss isn’t the most profitable position is it?
The only way this works is if you can drive hoards of traffic without paying for it – usually not an easy task. I read the blogs of many who have run this route. Their final conclusion is usually that affiliate marketing is a scam, no one makes money in it and Santa Clause is a lie.
The Look-At-Me-I’m-a-Fricken-Genious Method
Sending a few interested people to a targeted offer with a well done landing page is a much better way to go. This keeps your costs much lower as you’re not paying for hundreds or thousands of clicks and your conversion rate higher as the people comming to your sales page are actually interested in what you have to offer. Lower advertising costs plus higher conversions equal higher profits.
But, if it were only so easy. This method requires two very important things (and two of the closest guarded secrets of affiliate marketers) – great keywords and a great landing page. Both of which take a lot of research and experimenting to get. That’s more work than most people are willing to put into it and come to many of the same conclusions that the ‘Brute Force’ people come to.
Are you and idiot?
Obviously one of the two methods above isn’t going to win American Idol (or County Star Idol or Canadian Mountie Idol.) The thing is, most people try to succeed in affiliate marketing by using Method A. Sure, they’ll tell you that their keywords are targeted and they’ve spent hours stealing other people’s landing pages. But, their stats say otherwise.
Which category do you fit into? Honestly, most of us are fooling ourselves. We have to look at this stuff objectively. Affiliate marketing is a tough business, but if you’re really willing to put the work into it, it can pay off in big ways.
June 19, 2008 1 Comment
As with any type of business, succeeding in affiliate marketing requires having access to information about your audience and your sales results. However, the affiliate reports generated by merchants and networks are often incomplete, which can seriously impair your ability to track your progress and make improvements to your affiliate marketing strategy.
While much of your competition relies on the reports provided by their affiliate networks, wouldn’t you like to have the competitive edge? Web analytics are the key to generating the vital information that you need to achieve real and lasting results in affiliate marketing.
What Is Web Analytics?
Web analytics is the study of website user behavior. The data used to track this behavior is gathered in a number of different areas, including the total number of site visitors, page views per session and link click-throughs.
Why is it so important to assess this information? By looking at how customers utilize your website, you can customize your content and marketing strategy to appeal to your target audience. This can dramatically improve website traffic, affiliate sales, online branding and overall profits.
Important Web Analytics For Affiliate Marketers
While the various statistics you choose to track depend largely on your business goals, there are a number of different data sets that you shouldn’t overlook. Fortunately, much of this information is relatively easy to understand, even for the novice statistician. As you develop your web analytics strategy, be sure that you understand the following numbers:
Total Page Views
This number provides important information about how many times your website was visited over a specified time period. Typically, you will want to keep a careful eye on daily, weekly and monthly traffic totals. Don’t be alarmed to notice major differences in total page views from day to day, week to week or even month to month.
However, use this information to establish traffic benchmarks and set goals for future traffic. When it comes to affiliate marketing, more traffic is usually better. If your numbers are low, start focusing on marketing strategies to attract new visitors to your website.
In addition to knowing how many views your pages received, it is also important to understand which pages served as “landing pages” for your site. Never make the mistake of believing that all visitors use your home page as a starting point. Optimize every page on your website to serve as a basis for exploring the rest of your site and for promoting your affiliate marketing offers.
Page Views Per Session
The number of pages each visitor looks at per visit is an important indication of the “stickiness” of your website. Essentially, your goal should be to keep viewers on your site in order to promote your affiliate offers. If web analytics reveal that your page views per session are low, focus on linking between related content on your site and improving navigation in order to motivate users to remain on your site.
Improving Your Affiliate Marketing With Web Analytics
Of course, web analytics will accomplish little, unless you learn how to use them effectively to benefit your affiliate marketing. In many cases, this may require a bit of experimentation on your part in order to find strategies that work best.
After you identify a potential problem using your web analytics program, start making changes to a few select pages. Then spend some time tracking the impact of those changes. This may take some time, but the information you gain will prove invaluable both now and down the road.
May 21, 2008 No Comments