Affiliate sales do not have to mean you need to increase blog traffic. It is about strategically optimizing the traffic you already have and targeting them towards a successful conversion. Affiliate marketing is gaining popularity, mainly as more businesses are investing in SEO and digital marketing campaigns to succeed in the new normal economy.
An affiliate is a brand or company you can collaborate with since its product or service complements or is compatible with what your brand offers. You get to access your affiliate’s consumer market and vice versa. This synergistic collaboration helps both brands to provide cross-promotional discounts and generate traffic and conversions to both brands.
Strategic marketing strategies are saving businesses in the pandemic, and it includes affiliate sales or marketing. For instance, a micro-SaaS company in the new normal can collaborate with other micro-saas companies to augment the product or service they offer or enlarge the geographic area they can cover. Through smart SEO campaigns, both companies can thrive by helping each other through these changing and challenging times.
7 Steps to Boost Affiliate Sales
1. Extend the Life of Your Most Popular Blog Posts
Not all of your blogs may get equal amounts of traffic. Identify those that generate the highest web traffic and make the most out of these popular posts. You can log into your Google Analytics page, then go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to check out the web pages that are ranking for your site.
You can begin by monetizing these posts by searching for any brand with an affiliate program you may have mentioned in your post. If there is none, you can edit your post and include an affiliate program that is in line with what you are already mentioning in that blog. Begin to interlink these popular posts to affiliate links.
You can also extend the life of your post by sharing them on your social media accounts. You can grab an excerpt from your blog, include an image or a quote, and post it for your social networks to see. Don’t forget to provide a link to your original post for that crucial clickthrough.
Another way of extending the life of your most popular blogs is to include them in an email marketing campaign. You can create a teaser or sample of the blog to encourage your existing subscribers to follow you on your blog and even share that post on their social media accounts.
2. Build a Simple Sales Funnel for Conversion
Aside from these affiliate links, start creating a sales funnel to convert visitors into buyers or subscribers. You can begin by building awareness about your brand and the [product or service you are promoting through your blog.
Include clear descriptions and high-quality images. You can also put a link that leads them to a landing page, where you can show high-res images or even a short introductory video of what you are promoting.
When you communicate this simply and clearly, you increase your chances for a successful conversion. So not overdo it, though, like cramming your landing page with excessive information. Be strategic with your content, and just give enough to pique their interest, give them an idea of what you offer, and decide if they want to hear more or convert right there and then.
3. Optimize Traffic-Generating Keywords
You can check for what keywords bring the most traffic to your website by checking Google Search Console. Most CMS and SEO tools would also have this data readily available for you after a scan or two. Semrush and Ahrefs are some of the most popular CMS tools providing an all-in-one place to manage your website, keep its site health topnotch, and improve your SEO.
On your Google Search Console, go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics. You can also specify a blog post by selecting “Pages” and clicking on the post link. Click “Queries” on the next page to get traffic-generating keywords from that post.
When you identify what these keywords are, use them well. Edit your popular blog posts and check the content if you have mentioned it enough. SEO tools like the Yoast plugin or Semrush Writing Assistant provide valuable suggestions to improve your content’s SEO quality. Also include those keywords in your meta descriptions, titles, tags, and even alt attributes. The SEO tool you use would provide a warning if you’ve overdone using the keywords so that you will not be flagged as spam.
Besides your popular blog posts, try to insert inbound links in your other posts using these keywords as anchor text, leading to your most popular blogs. In this way, your popular blogs can affect and consequently improve your less-popular blogs’ ranking and traffic.
When you share your blog to social media, email marketing, and other avenues like forums, make sure you use at least your main keyword on the post via hashtags.
4. Add Value to Your Consumers
Sometimes, marketers are too focused on getting more traffic without considering adding enough value to their existing audience.
Besides generating new leads, you need to nurture the ones you already have by focusing on what you can offer to your audience. If you provide valuable products or services, coupled with equally valuable posts that further enrich their customer experience, you will not have to fight tooth and nail to make a sale.
Start by answering this question, “what’s in it for my audience if they purchase my product/service?” You can also try learning from customers to outrank competitors. Know your audience, what makes them happy, what contributes to a meaningful customer experience for them, and their feedback about your product or service.
Whether the feedback is good or bad, take it all as constructive and beneficial for your brand. Learn from where the experiences were not favorable, engage with them and communicate how you will work on the issue, and provide something better as you promised.
Additionally, offer some exclusive incentives for existing buyers or even to your top fans or subscribers. Happy customers should be the goal of whatever digital marketing strategy you use, especially in affiliate marketing, because you are not just carrying your brand name and reputation but that of your affiliates.
5. Show Targeted Affiliate Offers Only
Most of the time, we add an affiliate banner to the sidebar, which shows all blog posts. But a single affiliate banner can’t be relevant for all blog posts.
Apply Exact Targeting by showing only displaying a relevant affiliate ad on your blog’s sidebar. It should be a product or service that is already mentioned in your blog. If it’s totally unrelated to the blog, it will look suspicious or confusing for your audience. Avoid as much as possible to look like you are spamming your audience.
Here is an example of a blog and an affiliate ad from one of its affiliate sites, an official reseller of Microsoft digital products. Notice that the blog posted an affiliate link of the same product it talks about throughout the blog. It uses the main keywords on its title, introduction, and banner descriptions.
Promoting a different product will not be relevant to the article and might not produce successful conversions from that blog as this existing blog banner does.
Image Source: Softvire
Having targeted deals in the sidebar would undoubtedly boost your sales. To show a custom sidebar and make it sticky, you can use plugins such as Custom Sidebars and Q2W3 Fixed Widget. Other plugins on WordPress are also available to help you easily create sidebar ads relevant to your posts.
6. Avoid Over-Promotion in Your Blogs
Ensure you are not promoting more than two products at a time, especially if you are just starting your blog. You do not want to come off to your potential audience as spammy. It will also confuse your audience if you are promoting more than two products or services.
For instance, how would you feel if an affiliate is promoting not just your brand but another brand just like yours? So do not do it on your blog as well. Try to have a primary product or service to highlight in the blog and provide another product or service that’s complimenting so as the keywords don’t eat each other up in traffic and ranking.
At best, stick with one product or service, then provide additional links to its other features or variations. Whenever you are promoting an affiliate product on your site or asking an affiliate to promote your brand, make sure that your audience benefits from it, same as your affiliate’s audience too.
7. Improve Blog’s UX/UI Design and Speed
UX (User Experience) and UI (User Design Interface) are often overlooked, especially by new blogs. But UX/UI design is important because a bad or lousy design can turn off potential audiences and buyers.
Another main reason why bounce rates increase for blogs sometimes is their blog speed. The market today is highly active and on the go. They do not want to wait for your site to load.
They will simply jump to the following site instead of giving you the benefit of the doubt. Slow-loading sites can also be flagged as unsecured sites. Make sure that your website’s speed is optimized. Download plugins that boost your site’s speed, fix any bug issues right away, or optimize your content as needed.
Conclusion: Serve Your Customer’s Needs First
There are a lot of ways to earn more through affiliate sales. You can partner with the best affiliate networks for bloggers and see which affiliate network fits your audience best. Think about how it will benefit your audience first, before what benefits it could give you.
Remember that serving your customer’s needs will eventually bring in the sales and conversions you need for your website.
Benefits, not features, are the driving force of successful products. Instead of focusing on a product or service features, dwell on how it will benefit your audience the next time you promote (or create) one. It is one of the most straightforward methods for determining if a product or service is good or not. It is also the foundation for a successful affiliate marketing strategy.
MayleenMeñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.