A redirect is when you visit a particular page or website and it automatically forwards you to a different address. In this lesson we show you how make your affiliate links safer and friendlier by investigating how to hide your affiliate link with redirects.
Instead of putting your (rather unfriendly) affiliate link into a page, you can create another page on your site that automatically redirects to your affiliate link. Then when you want to send people through your affiliate link, you can provide them with the (much friendlier) address of your redirect page on your website. This means that you can put this address inside emails/newsletters and it will look much more attractive to your readers. For example:
Instead of trying to send people to your ugly affiliate link (http://example123.rspanish.hop.clickbank.net/), you can instead send them to the non-intimidating http://example.com/recommends/rocketspanish/ address. This page automatically redirects to your ugly affiliate link anyway, but your visitors never have to look at it.
Redirects are also a useful way of "cloaking" your affiliate link so that other people don't see it and think, "hmm... I could click on this affiliate link, or I could join the program and click through my link instead and get the commission myself!" Redirects make your affiliate link less obvious to other affiliates.
By diligently setting up redirects for all your affiliate links, you're safe if the merchant ever changes their affiliate network or affiliate link system. You'll just need to change the link in one place, instead of going through all your web pages and newsletters to change the links. If you set up redirects for ALL products, not just affiliate products, you'll also be able to easily add an affiliate link if an affiliate program ever becomes available for that product. Handy!
The easiest way to do it is to simply paste the following snippet of code into a blank web page, and change it to point to the page you want to redirect to (which will usually be your affiliate link).
<?php header( 'Location: http://www.youraffiliatelink.goes.here.com' ) ; ?>
IMPORTANT: This code needs to go directly into your HTML in source view, and it must go into a completely blank page: There shouldn't be anything else on the page, not even <html> </html> tags. You also need to save the page as a .php file.
Another method you might see is the meta refresh. It looks like this:
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" content="0; url=http://www.youraffiliatelink.goes.here.com">
In this piece of code, the URL is the address you want to redirect to, and the "content="0; refers to the number of seconds the page should wait before redirecting. In this example, "0" means the page will redirect instantly.
This method is slower than the PHP method, but it allows you to add a message to the page if you want. Redirect pages traditionally have a "if this page doesn't redirect in 5 seconds, click here" message to be nice to older browsers. These days it's not really necessary, (and not really desirable for affiliates) - you're better off sticking with the faster PHP method.
In this lesson we've taken a look at some reasons for using affiliate link redirects, including:
We also looked at two ways you can create affiliate link redirects, including: