How to Properly Place Affiliate Links for Maximum Click Through
Matching your Affiliate Product Link to your Article Seems simple, but it’s often overlooked. The most proven and effective marketing strategy is to place your affiliate links in context with the theme of your site. If your site is about Baseball History it makes sense that you have collector memorabilia on your site. Don’t just throw up links about Baseball; target the location based on the context of the page. A page about Baseball Cards should have links to card dealers. A page about Baseball Uniforms to Uniform Auctions. The point is make the article fit the product you want to sell. There is no point in having mismatched links, or writing about a product in which you can not place links. Are you marketing or just writing?
Put your Links where they will be Clicked
Don’t hide your links; don’t make your visitors look for them. Blue is the most recognizable linking color because it’s what people expect to find. Don’t reinvent the wheel. If blue looks awful on your site design then don’t use it; otherwise blue is the rule.
Savvy Internet Marketers understand product placement is essential to generating sales. The key is to organize your affiliate links on your site in a way that is natural and accessible to your target audience. You want Your Visitors to become Your Customers. Again make it easy – affiliate links are an integral part of your site, and you want them not only to click on the links, but also to take ACTION after the click.
First Impressions and Advertisement Placement
Placement strategies based on “Heat Maps” (Studies done to see where people most commonly look when they first visit a website) are valuable only for first impressions. If your site doesn’t make a good first impression then you had better place your links in the most common places.
Upper left (Where the average person expects to find a Navigation Menu), Upper Center (Where they expect to read the first headline) and directly after the conclusion of your article in the center. If your site makes a good first impression, and the visitor stays around to read then your best bet is to place your affiliate links within the context of articles.
I can tell you from experience that people become “Banner Blind” (They expect certain locations to contain ads so they are “programmed” to ignore them). If a banner area is dead then its time to take corrective action. Don’t put a banner up just because it fits a space. A dead banner is a dead banner. The Internet is not new folks, most people have some experience and most people know a banner when they see them. On the flip side if your site is extremely targeted to a specific product niche; common banner areas can work. Because people know what to expect and if the ad meets their expectations they will use it.
Use Text for Higher ROI (Return on Investment)
Whenever possible incorporate TEXT (Yes Plain Old TEXT) into your linking strategy as much as possible. People that are annoyed by banners will not be annoyed by properly placed text links because you are giving them the option to click without interrupting the flow or look of your site. Do it right and you create enormous value for your visitors.
Overuse of Advertisements
Never overwhelm your visitor by placing links all over the page just because there is available space. Much like a book the “White Space” can make or break the visitors opinion of your site. If your site looks like a bunch of unreadable glare your visitor will simply leave. Give your visitors a reason to stay and read your offers.
Open your Links in a New Window
Make sure your Affiliate Links open in a new Browser window! If you are going to send people away from your site to investigate an affiliate offer you’ll have a better chance of them returning if the existing window doesn’t close behind them.
Most (but not all) affiliate code allows for the link to open in a new window. If not you can often use the target=” _blank” command in your Affiliate URL (avoid target=” _new” – it behaves differently; just trust me here explaining it in this context is irrelevant). Don’t just use the Affiliate companies default link as it is almost always set to close your site!