This article was originally featured on PerformanceIN.
Across the internet, there are over 1.5 billion* websites and those who continue to do well, keep investing time and effort in their product or service. So how can a new affiliate looking to start out in the industry, stand out from the crowd and ensure they build enough brand awareness? Finding a niche that will work is not an easy task. In the affiliate industry, sites like voucher code and cashback were stemmed from an idea to help consumers become savvier with their shopping habits and earn money whilst shopping online. Whilst, technology companies like Skimlinks invested their efforts in building a product that could help mass media partners monetize their links and earn additional income.
Finding an idea, that’s the hard part. Ensuring that you do plenty of research is also important. It helps if there is something that you are passionate about or have prior knowledge. Often the best websites have identified a problem and found a solution for it. Utilise Google Trends to give you an idea of what people are searching for and look at the keywords that are associated with the subject of the new website.
Whatever your site focuses on, there are key factors to consider that will help with the overall success of your site and ultimately help to drive more traffic.
Domain and rankings:
Ensure your domain is as relevant as it can be. This helps in organic search when users are looking for a topic, or interest. Generally, the Click Through Rate will be higher if the URL is associated with the topic or focus area of your site. Another thing to take into consideration when purchasing a domain is whether you want to scale into other geographies? If you are you trying to engage with a global audience then a “dot.com” domain would be better. If you’re trying to reach a UK audience then a regional domain is best and will help your site appear on google.co.uk. Finally, when building the site, have relevant and useful links to improve SEO rankings with Google. This is important for Google to consider your site as worthwhile. To rank higher on Google, ensure your content is fresh and contains a balanced mixed of keywords that will help when users are searching. Who doesn’t love free traffic?
Any new brand should utilise best practices in paid search to maximise brand awareness and traffic to your site. It’s important to ensure that your site is not violating any brand infringements and be sure to negative match advertiser brand names in your paid search activity. Keep testing different keywords to optimise your strategy; it can become expensive if you don’t keep an eye on what’s not performing well. Look at what terms your competitors are ranking on and think about how you can improve the content that they are appearing higher for. To provide some context, if you had a review site about pushchairs, look at what’s appearing using different search keywords. Are you able to provide better and more comprehensive content than what’s currently available? Would it provide the necessary information for a user to purchase a pushchair from the site?
When launching any new site, social media presence shouldn’t be forgotten. A large proportion of traffic can be delivered through channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a great way to keep your target audience engaged with your website and encourage a loyal user base. Always keep social channels updated on a regular basis and engage with well-known public figures or organisations that relate to your niche and site content. Once you have an engaged social following and they share and retweet your content, this will help to increase traffic levels to your site and overall brand awareness.
How to enter into the world of affiliate marketing:
Once the site is built and there is a decent amount of content, plus an engaged audience, you can start to look for affiliate programmes that would be suitable to add to your site. These should be complementary to the site and add value to your audience, a user would expect to see links to relevant brands based on the type of content on site rather than having lots of links that are completely unrelated.
Here are my top tips to maximise advertiser relationships in the affiliate channel to build a profitable partnership. After all, most affiliate programmes partner with hundreds of websites and your application needs to stand out.
The devil is in the detail:
When registering your affiliate account with a network, it’s important to ensure you give as much detail as possible and try to tag your site as best as you can. Some clients have automatic decline filters to help them with the volume of applications. When you first apply to an affiliate network it can be that your site gets rejected by advertisers. Networks and SaaS platforms provide advertisers with basic performance metrics about affiliate sites and if they can’t see any performance they tend to decline. If so, email the network or the client and explain what the site is about and what you are hoping to achieve. More importantly, highlight the benefits of why they should work with your site.
Sell your vision for your site:
There is an increasing request from advertisers to work with content-based affiliates. If your site has a good synergy with brands, then always reach out to the advertisers providing reasons why they should invest more of their budget into your site. In my experience, it really helps advertisers get on board with sites if they go the extra mile to ensure that when contacting advertisers, they have pre-prepared a thorough proposal. People often buy into the person and their passion for a topic.
Attend networking events:
Networking events are a great way to meet clients face to face. Face time is so important and helps build those important relationships. It is also a great opportunity to give greater detail on your site, it’s USP’s and why it’s a good fit for their brand. You may walk away with ideas that make your site even better.
You might be lucky and find the first website you built does well. Often, it takes several attempts to get it right. Building a brand is very important and you need to ensure that you get a balance of affiliate links on site and unique content onsite. It will take several months of hard work and dedication before you see efforts paying off. The affiliate industry is a great platform to try new things, test and learn and you may find brands are open to testing with you since they only pay on performance.
Would you like to find out how our team of affiliate marketing experts drive better affiliate marketing for the world’s largest brands? Get in touch today to find out more.