An amazing 16% of online sales can now be attributed to affiliate marketing.
For businesses with something to sell, it’s the way to leverage someone else’s influence to drive traffic to your site. For those with a high traffic website, it’s the way to monetize traffic by earning ad clicks.
Affiliate marketing and SEO go hand in hand. But they don’t always “play nice”. To succeed at affiliate marketing, you have to know how to earn those clicks without threatening your ranking and traffic.
Let’s explore 7 common affiliate marketing mistakes you may be making and how to fix them.
1) Underestimating Your Competition
Your traffic can be here today and gone tomorrow if competitors edge in on the action and steal your market share. Competitor sites are always on the prowl.
If you’re successful, you will become a target.
If you’re just starting out, complete a competitor analysis. Look to see who’s in the running to usurp your throne.
As you continue to gain traction, keep a consistent side-eye on the competition. And stay on the lookout for new players.
Who’s targeting your keywords and trying to 1 Up your content?
Remember, it’s not all about you.
In the chess game of affiliate marketing, your competitions’ moves mean as much as yours do. And their move may require a counter.
2) Living in the Field of Dreams
Many aspiring affiliate marketers make affiliate marketing mistakes like expecting people to find their content without any help from SEO, social media or other strategies.
Upwards of 5 million blogs and other content are published each and every day. The Internet is filled to the brim with options. Why should anyone visit your site?
Without those visitors, you don’t have the opportunity to:
- Rise in SERPs
- Develop a following
- Earn those clicks that payoff
You need a solid strategy to drive traffic to your website. This should involve a combination of:
- Social media
- And possibly even your own participation in affiliate programs
Properly promote your site to make affiliate marketing worth your while.
As you begin to pick up steam, you’ll find that your website begins to do much of the work for you. But you have to take those steps to increase your traffic. And then maintain it to get results with affiliate marketing that pay your back many times over in the long run.
3) Mistreating Your Audience
Are your ads covering up the content? Are they slowing down the page? Is your page jumping around like a rat terrier who’s too happy to see you?
If you’re creating a bad visitor experience, this will negatively impact you and your SEO in several ways.
Google cracked down on intrusive advertising with its 2017 rollout of the intrusive interstitials update. Even if your website hasn’t suffered yet, this demonstrates their commitment to the user experience.
If you don’t value it, rankings will suffer both today and with future algorithm updates. You may even find your site penalized, losing all visibility in searches.
Second, people will bounce off your site further damaging your rankings. If they can’t enjoy your content because they’re overwhelmed with ads, why would they stay?
Finally, almost 2/3 of ad clicks are mistakes according to analysts. If your website is hard to navigate, you’ll earn more accidental clicks for your affiliates. They won’t want to keep their ads on your page long if they’re paying for nothing.
Value your audience. Invest some time into understanding who they are and why they visit your site.
Create compelling content that your target audience loves. Whether you’re writing blogs, producing videos or creation slideshows, give them a reason to stay, come back and share.
Don’t take visitors for granted.
Test your site for speed and navigation issues regularly to ensure it’s providing the right customer experience.
4) Disregarding the Law of Proportions
How much space do your ads take up? If they’re taking up more space than your content, your site looks like spam. That’s not the image you need for long-term success with visitors or search engines.
Create sufficient content to make them that appear to be the page’s primary focus. Keep ad space non-intrusive and limited. Having 20 ads on a page doesn’t do anything for your visitors or those advertising.
Studies have shown that fewer more relevant ads are more likely to get seen and get clicked. On pages with multiple ads, only about 31% of the ads are actually seen.
One highly relevant ad will be seen close to 100% of the time. Despite what some may taut, less is more in affiliate marketing. Bombarding your visitors with ads is among the top affiliate marketing mistakes that can destroy SEO.
Be mindful of content to promotion ratios. Keep them in perspective.
Don’t overwhelm your page with ads.
5) Choosing the Wrong Affiliate Programs
Haphazardly choosing affiliate programs makes you feel like you need more ads to get decent returns. This can cost you in lost revenues and ranking.
Some programs pay you for qualified leads even if they don’t buy on the click through. Some will pay a little for each click. Some are better than others at placing highly relevant ads on your page. Some are engaged in remarketing, which increases ad response by 400%.
That means more clicks and conversion for you to cash in on.
Make sure you know what they’re showing on your page and how they choose what to show. Be sure that you understand their payment structure.
Choose affiliate programs that offer you the best return for less ad space. Avoiding these common affiliate marketing mistakes creates a win-win-win for everyone.
6) Not Valuing Analytics
One of the affiliate marketing mistakes that can really cost you is not taking time to analyze your performance. How do you know what’s working and what isn’t? Are you in the best programs? Are you missing out?
Track and review your analytical data.
First, take a look at your website. You need to know things like:
- # of Visitors (organic, referral, social)
- Who’s visiting your site
- Top referring sources
- Average Site Speed
- Bounce rate
Additionally, you need to know how the ads are performing
- Click through rate
- Conversion rate
- Program-Specific metrics that impact payments
7) Not Optimizing For Success
Finally, one of the top affiliate marketing mistakes is failing to optimize. Some have a set it and forget it attitude. They never circle back to see where they can improve and what they can learn from their own unique affiliate marketing mistakes.
To fix it, review the analytical data. Determine what it’s telling you.
Do you need better content? Are the ads on the page lacking relevance? Determine what you need to do to fix the leak in your affiliate marketing boat to maximize your returns.
Learn From Your Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Get Results
Affiliate marketing can be very rewarding. But it does take some investment in the health of your website. The above mistakes can sabotage your SEO and your success.
Know your competition. Treat your audience well. And choose the right affiliate ad programs to succeed. Know what’s happening on your website.
If your site goes down, how can you earn through affiliate programs? We track your site’s up time and provide a detailed report. If you’re not currently tracking uptime, you may be surprised how often people can’t access your site.
Sign up for a free demo to see how it works.