Marketing basics for a prefessional web presence.
The first part of the equation, internet traffic, is possibly the most fought over and hardest part of affiliate marketing. It is best summarized as the quest to get those elusive surfers to your site. Traffic is the foundation of e-commerce and no website is successful without it. There are two fundamental ways people can find you online. The first and most popular is through a search engine.
When most consumers go online to find a product or service, they use a search engine. Popular search engines include Google, Yahoo, and Msn to name a few. Generally, the consumer will go one, maybe two pages deep in their search for a website they’d like to visit. Logically, the better your rank in a search engine, the more consumers that will come to your site. Because surfers won’t go 10 pages deep in a search engine’s results, site ranking is VERY competitive.
There are two ways to get ranked with a search engine. The first is referred to as SEO (search engine optimization). This is by far the most competitive (and profitable) route. Google, for instance, places a great amount of emphasis on your website’s links. The more links you have going out and coming into your website from other “like” websites, the more “relative” your site becomes. Consequently, the more relative your site is, the higher your page rank. There are numerous other ways to optimize your site for SEs. Our team will be happy to give you with this and point you to more resources.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
The second method by which a website can get ranked with a search engine is using a pay-perclick (PPC) campaign. Above, you can see the PPCs on the right side of the google page. Instead of competing for page rank, these listings pay to get listed here. PPCs are beneficial, because the owner of the ad ONLY pays when someone clicks on their listing. So you’re only paying for surfers to come to your site who’s interests were sparked by your ad.
Most PPCs allow you to write your ad and bid on different keywords of your choice. For example, if you are running a penis enlargement review site, you might choose keywords like “longer penis” or “penis extension”. You could then bid on the keywords, specifying that you’d be willing to pay $0.20 per click. Submit your ad and away you go. Again, a word of caution. If done poorly they can take you to the cleaners. A good rule is to make sure you get sales before buying PPC.
Alternative Traffic Marketing
There are virtually no limits to where you can get traffic for your website. You can set up reciprocal links with other like websites and trade traffic (this also helps your SEO). Email campaigns, as long as they are targeted and are not spam, can work well. Snail mail mailers, flyers, and traditional advertisements can also work. Just like building your site, be creative in its promotion. This helps you stand apart from the crowd and will lead to more traffic to your site.
So once you have the surfer in your site, what do you do with them? Your task is to get them to want to click on the links to our sites. Different affiliate programs have different ideas on how to do this. A lot of it depends on the products or services that they offer and the site having call to actions done correctly.
A big part of affiliate marketing is matching the products you promote to the site you run. If you can do this well, you can convert well.
The Informative Site
The second and more successful way to market a product is to build your website around it. An example of this is a review site. This kind website is devoted to giving the surfer as much information as it can. It gives information about the different types of products available and then reviews the different products that are out there. It will usually pick one of the products (the product with the best website – OURS!) to be its number one pick. Surfers will come to your site, become educated on the subject and move on through your link to buy a product.
This type of site is successful for a few different reasons:
1) People like to shop around. This site gives them the opportunity to shop around without ever having to leave.
2) Information builds trust. The more information you have in your site, the more the surfer will perceive your site as an authority. Trust = conversions
3) Penis Enlargement, for example, is possible. However a lot of people don’t believe it. Yet, they are still perusing your site in the hopes that it is. The more informative your site is, the more likely you’ll convince them that they CAN enlarge their penis. This will lead to more sales.
4) If you slap an enlargement banner ad on a website that has no relation to penis enlargement at all, the majority of your click-trough’s will come from surfers satisfying their curiosity, not because they are genuinely interested. The informative site mitigates this and ensures only quality surfers get through.
An informative site can be built for ANY product out there. It may take a little more time than throwing a banner up on your site, but your effort will be amply rewarded.
The Psychological Sell
The following tips are meant to help you sell your surfers on the products you are reviewing. The more you pre-sell them before they get to a product site, the higher your conversions will be.
1) Identify your audience
Ask yourself who are they? Most importantly, why are they at your site? What are their fears and what are they hoping to accomplish? The answers to these questions will enable you to write your site’s text with your specific audience in mind. The more your text speaks to them, the more likely they are to buy.
2) Identify your audience’s problem and exploit it
It may sound bad, but you want to foster a feeling of insecurity in your surfers. You must include a section on the problem your surfer’s are there to fix and it’s hazards. Highlight what happens if the problem goes untreated and its detrimental affects. Convince you surfer that it is imperative that they fix this problem.
3) Assure them that their problem is treatable
Fairly self-explanatory, but let them know there is help on the way.
4) Include as much info as you can get your hands on.
The more in depth you go, the more the surfer will trust you as an authority and get lost in your site’s information.
5) Include specific information about each product you review
Again, gains trust.
6) Build their confidence
Once you have selected a product as your #1 pick, include information about it’s guarantee, the company’s reputation, etc. Shout from the rooftops why this is the best product out there. A word of caution – do not bad-mouth any product. It’s negative, amateur and unprofessional. Read “Website Development” for more website tips…
PPC Campaigns – Product Promotion the Easy Way
The benefit of this new system is that instead of having to build your own informative site, we’ve done it for you!
This system is now available to you to use in any way you wish. If you are using a PPC campaign, you can plug your affiliate code and special link directly into the PPC ad’s url. Surfers will click on your ad, go to our feeder site, move on to our product site, make their purchase and you will always get credit. You can also use our feeder sites as supplements to your own site. Add a link or menu option on your site and link it to our feeder. Our site will do all of the work for you by educating your surfer on our HUGE range of products. You’ll get credit on any product they buy.
There’s no arguing it, there’s a lot that goes into developing a quality website. Hundreds if not thousands of books have been written on the topic. Here, in a “do’s and don’ts” format, we’ll give you a few of the most important features your website should incorporate.
1) What is your mission? Every company has one and so should you. It doesn’t have to be complex, just figure out what you want to accomplish through your site. If you want to promote ClearPores with an information site, your mission could be something like this –
“Create a website that will inform consumers in a clear and concise format about how sleep works, causes of insomnia, the detrimental effects of losing sleep and include reviews and suggestions of products that are available that can help cure sleep disorders.”
2) Just like writing a paper in college, map out what you want to do first. Get a good idea of the layout of the site, where buttons and images will be located, and how you’re going to organize your information. Once you have an idea of this on paper, move onto doing the html.
3) Make information easy to get to and organized logically for your surfer. One word – usability. Nothing is more frustrating than being on a website and not knowing where to go.
4) Check out other product websites, including your competition, and see what they are doing well. The best places for website ideas are other websites.
5) Spend time on your text. Anyone who is interested in your website and wants to use it as a source of information will read your text. Make sure you spell check, grammar check, and use your words to your advantage. The text is what will sell your surfers on trusting you and using the products you recommend.
6) Post your site on forums and let other take a look at it. You’ll get some great advice on what you could do better.
1) Do not use too many colors. The more colors you use, the more amateur your website looks. Amateur = no trust = no conversions.
2) Do not use too many fonts, same reason as above.
3) Do not make a website that is one looooooooong page. Again, amateur.
4) Do not have HUGE blocks of text. Break up your text with key points. Use headers, bulleted points, etc. for the major statements you don’t want your readers to miss. Surfers will skim through looking for your main points and will be more likely to read your text if you spice it up and make it look interesting. Besides that, breaking up your text makes your site look better.
Alright, now you’ve got the basics. There’s a lot to know about this business and always something new to learn. It’s a dynamic marketplace and those who survive, learn to roll with the punches. Learning, changing and adapting are the keys to making it. If you’re trying something and it’s not working for you, stop, get some advice and try something else.
Charles has been working as a webmaster since 1998. Since then, he has had his hands in thousands of websites and has helped millions get online through a company he partially owns called Web Host Pro.