Sunday, August 13, 2006

Will Amazon Leave Affiliates DEAD?

Khairil Iszuddin Ismail

How To Increase Affiliate Click-Through Rate

April 17, 2003

When you join an affiliate programs, what is it that you want to achieve?
Of course, we want to gain commission from the merchant. How can we do
that? Commissions are gain when visitors that we refer purchase products
or services on the merchant's website. But when the visitors are at the
merchant's website, we don not have any control, do we? So, think again.
We want the commissions and commissions are only possible when we refer
visitors through affiliate links. In my opinion, our actual role as an
affiliate is to get visitors to the merchant's website through the
affiliate links. After that, it is all up to the merchant. There is a
special term for this, click-through rate (CTR).

CTR is page views versus clicks on the merchant's links. It is actually
an index that we can use to see how effective your website is in sending
visitors over to the merchant's website. When you have 1000 page views on
your website but you have 50 clicks to the merchant's website, your CTR
is 5%. That is already a very good CTR. Now how can you increase CTR on
your website? Here, I will walk you through 5 ways I use which boost my
CTR to 20% instead of 2%.

1 - Choose relevant affiliate programs

When you put up an affiliate link, make sure that the merchant has
relevant products or services to your content on that page. You cannot
write about shoes on your website and put up an affiliate link that sells

2 - Use text links instead of images

People are getting tired with banner ads. Let us get away from all that.
Reports on the affiliate programs that I join showed that text links
out-perform graphic links. But weave them nicely.

3 - Do not sell, recommend

Another thing that visitors don't really like is when you are
hard-selling the products or services. I have seen websites that goes
"Buy This" or "Buy That". Instead try "When I tried the trail Product A,
it has improve my bla... bla... [link]Download your copy


4 - Write clear phrase for you affiliate link

Affiliate programs would normally give you a URL address to link back to
them. It is up to you to write the phrases for your links. But give a
clear picture of what your visitors are about the see at the other end of
the link. Use phrases like "Download your copy here" or
" are selling them for $9.90".

5 - Do not let them escape

Now to do this, write clear stories and leave them with just one place to
go - your merchant's website. The key here is, put up one link and one
link only. Of course, at the top, you can have your navigational links.
But at the end of the pagel, do not cloud visitors with related websites,
or related articles, or any other links except you affiliate link. That
is where we want them to go right?

With these techniques, I see that my CTR increases from the normal 2% to
20%. On normal days, I should get about 10% to 15% CTR. But remember to
always monitor your CTR to spot the changes. Then, be sure that you
continue to fine-tune your website from time to time.



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