Let’s face it, you can get all the online traffic in the world to your website, but if no one buys, you’re still not making any money. Conversion rates are what it’s ultimately about, so let’s look into what you’ll learn from this lesson on how to improve yours.
First, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right audience to begin with. There’s no need to make it harder than it has to be right from the get go!
Then you’ll need to ensure you don’t have any website flaws that could be putting visitors off before you even get a chance to promote your affiliate links to them.
There are certain types of content that really target those already looking to buy, so we’ll cover what those are.
It’s not enough to mention the features of a product you’re promoting: you have to explain how it’s going to benefit anyone who buys it.
The location of your links can change the likelihood of them being clicked on. It’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time, so we’ll give you some guidance on that.
Never leave your audience hanging! You always need to finish posts with a call to action, and there are a variety of them that can benefit your conversions.
Email marketing is an immeasurably valuable strategy for affiliates as it stands, but there are definitely ways to increase its effectiveness, so we’ll give you a few things to think about there too.
So let’s start at the beginning of the process:
You need to target a market with a lot of demand, and here's how:
You need to make sure that the affiliate programs you select already have a strong market demanding of them. The best ways to ensure this is to think about how urgently someone would want any given product. Does it solve a problem that many people would need a solution to?
A good indication of a product’s potential is whether or not other marketers have had any luck with it, which can be tested by the likes of the gravity filter on Clickbank. A gravity below 6, for example, would suggest that the product hasn’t proven itself enough to ensure a high money-making potential, especially for newer affiliates.
See whether your affiliate network has an indication of each product’s success to avoid wasting time and effort promoting an unproven product. There is a lot more information on this in the lesson, “7 Steps to Finding Profitable Affiliate Niches”.
The other way to check for demand is with your keyword research. Keywords that show high buyer intent will be the most lucrative, so developing a selection of these and then checking their search volumes should give you an indication of whether or not you will get the right kind of demand. Make sure to at least check search volumes for phrases that include words such as “buy” or “review” or “best price for” and then your product name or niche.
For more information on keyword research, there is another lesson in the market research section of Affilorama’s free lessons called, “How to do Keyword Research: 7 Techniques & Tools.”
Once you’ve set up the right product promotions for the right market, all you have to do is give them exactly what they’re expecting or looking for on your site, and you’ll be converting well. Basically, matching supply to a natural demand is a lot easier than creating demand to match a supply.
Next you’ll want to eliminate any pesky website flaws that could put people off when they arrive at your website – after all, the smoother the road you pave for them, the more likely web traffic will follow it.
The first problem that visitors would notice is a slow page load time. The Moz Blog relays some very interesting information from a Velocity conference on the correlation between page load time and conversions. The research that was presented showed that there was a 3 percent increase in conversions for every second page loading times reduced from 15 seconds to 7 seconds, a 2 percent increase per second from 7 seconds to 5 seconds, and 1 percent per second from 4 to 2 seconds.
Following that rule, by increasing speed from a 15-second page load to a 2-second page load, they had a whopping 30 percent increase in conversions. The most urgent goal for now is to make sure your page takes less than 7 seconds to load, as anything over that will have the most impact on your conversions. After that, you can aim for faster and faster times if you want to take it further. You can find out how to decrease your page load times in the lesson, “7 Crucial Site Building Mistakes You Need to Fix”.
In that lesson, you will also find the other methods to keep your website running more smoothly for increasing your conversions, including making sure your layout is clear and easy to navigate, optimizing your headlines to snag attention, and ensuring your website is mobile friendly. Using the lesson to improve these elements will help to pave that smooth path for traffic through to your affiliate links, so you miss out on fewer potential conversions.
There are many types of content that buyers are looking for, including:
If someone is thinking of buying, but wants to be sure of their choice, they will look for reviews to tip them one way or the other. If you can find quality products, and give genuine good reviews, then you will tip the scales in favor of the product and increase your conversions all at the same time.
Keep in mind that anyone looking for reviews has most likely already looked at the product’s sales page, so don’t just regurgitate that information. Look into what questions people are asking about it online, and answer them if you can. Give a new angle on it. Don’t lie, but find any positive angle you can, and don’t be afraid to mention a drawback. It helps the reviews seem more balanced.
Compare products that are similar, and talk about their differences. Thoroughly explore each one’s strengths and weaknesses, and explain whether one provides anything the other is missing, or vice versa. People appreciate honest information that will help them figure out the best option for them personally, and you get a commission either way.
Lists are an effective way to draw in the attention for someone seeking a solution, because you can give them a whole selection to choose from. X best products, tools, or guides to fix their problem. If you were in the dating niche for example, and someone’s problem was a vicious cycle of heartbreaks, you could offer an article called, “The 5 Best Guides For Assessing Compatibility Before Your Heart Gets Broken.” That way, you can provide not one, but several options for those looking into buying guides, and they have a variety to choose from.
Have you thought about telling a story, especially on your landing page? Don’t make up something that isn’t true, but if there is any way you can incorporate something personal into a page then try it out. The Quicksprout article “37 Conversion Rate Optimization Tips” #19 tip talks about how telling a great story can help increase conversions. It helps people to relate to the content, which personalizes it, brings it to life, and causes them to trust you and your recommendations more.
The article also mentioned that outlining who a product is for can increase conversions, in their case by 13 percent. If a customer sees a title that describes them, it’s a great big targeted “Here, this is MADE for YOU!” Just be careful not to be too specific, as you don’t want to exclude any of the product’s potential buyers. It’s like a horoscope: if you’re general enough and in the right direction, people will find themselves in it.
Whatever content type you use to draw attention to the products you’re promoting, it’s always important to explain the benefits, not just the features.
QuickSprout's article showed an example where creating a customer profile adds more consumer benefits to an online shopping page:
Just like the example above, convince people: tell them what they’re going to get out of it on a personal level. Explain what the product will really do for the customer. For example, rather than saying,
Just be careful not to make false claims. Look at the sales page of a product for inspiration on the benefits you can promote.
Of course, all of this is to get the site visitor to click on your affiliate link.
Because so many internet users have ‘banner blindness’, you want to avoid having big offensive flashy banners, but rather seamlessly and strategically place your links throughout your content.
Bath towels are less effective when placed in the garden. Both bath towels and affiliate links are at their best when placed where someone actually wants them.
Don’t be afraid to have an affiliate link near the top of your page. You should have one that is visible in the scope of the screen as soon as the page is loaded before any scrolling occurs. This is called “Above the fold.” That way you can still promote to the more impatient audiences, and it’s a good back up for web skimmers who don’t read right through your content.
Place a link within in the main body for your content IF there is a relevant place for it to go. Try this approach: If I were reading this, where would I think “hmm I could do with a solution for that”, and where would you be ready to buy? That’s where the links need to be.
The more cautious of online buyers will usually read down to the end of the page before deciding whether or not they’re willing to buy. Even for visitors who aren’t there with buying on the brain, you’ve got a page’s worth of content to get them into that buying mood. Once they’ve finished, you need to hand them that link on a silver platter, which brings me to my next point.
Telling someone to click through with an affiliate link at the end is only one type of call to action (or CTA) that you can use. You always have to give them something to do at the end of a post, or you’ll lose their attention. There are a couple of other main options for CTA's, including:
Encourage them to check out another post that could take them further with this topic, effectively sending them to another relevant page for an extended chance to build rapport and convert.
The last, but certainly not least, call to action you can use involves telling them to sign up for your newsletter with a conveniently placed sign-up form. And that brings me to the last point.
Email marketing is a crucial part of an affiliate strategy that makes the most out of each site visitor’s potential, and like all other areas of affiliate marketing, it can be optimized for conversions.
This next section is about optimizing your newsletter strategy for conversions, assuming that you already have one up and running. If you don’t, and you would like to learn more about email marketing first, you can do so in the email marketing section of our free lessons. Alternatively, AffiloJetpack has a full newsletter series already created for you with a variety of niche options if you want to make it easy for yourself.
Where do you place your opt-in? If site visitors don’t see it, you are missing out on a huge potential for possible conversions. Opt-ins belong on a squeeze page, on a landing page, and beside or below content. Make sure you have one in all of those places, and if you do use a pop-up opt-in, have it appear once when the visitor first loads your landing page, but not every minute! You want to be assertive so they notice it, but not so much that you put them off.
Is your opt-in enticing? Why should they sign up? The best way of convincing visitors to sign up is to offer an incentive, usually in the form of a free report. It benefits them to gain free information, and it helps to build your list. Win-win. The wording of the opt-in also has to be inviting and friendly, and make it clear how they will benefit by signing up.
If you are promising quality information, then that’s what you’ve got to deliver! Don’t just slam them with promotions; give them content that benefits them. The more you give, the more you are useful to your target market, and the more they will trust you, which is the ultimate path to higher conversions.
When you do add promotions to your newsletters, be smooth about it. Think about it:
If a guy were to walk up to a girl he’d never seen before, and dove straight into making a move, he’d more likely to get a snort of derision or a slap in the face than a date.
If he talked to her for a while first, let’s face it, he’d be a lot more likely to ‘convert’ into a date.
And it’s no different with marketing. You've got to give a little to get a little, and the mutually beneficial environment that comes from it is a solid business achievement. Promote as part of a newsletter where it is most relevant to the content, and provide quality information to come out on top.
So overall, if you want to increase your conversions, you need to start with a targeted market, eliminate any flaws on your website that will stand in their way, and focus on including some content types that really sell on your website. Explain the benefits, not just the features, and place your links where they will be desired. Never leave the audience hanging: drive your point home every time with a call to action. Use your email marketing strategy smoothly, and you’ll get so much more out of it.
If you struggle to optimize elements that are crucial for converting well, such as market research or content creation, try AffiloJetpack. It comes with research reports, a selection of good affiliate programs to promote, and pre-built content including a full newsletter series, nice and easy!