This is THE blog post when it comes to affiliate links placement.
Here you will learn:
- Where on-page to put affiliate links for maximum benefit
- Where on-site to put affiliate links for maximum revenue
- Where to never put affiliate links
I’ve also researched some nifty affiliate link example usage you can copy/paste;
and I’ve asked for (and received) input from two pro affiliate marketers.
Come a newbie; leave a pro
Affiliate Marketing Banners- Are They Still Effective and Should You Use Them on Your Blog?
There used to be a time when this technique worked.
People would slap together any horrible excuse for an affiliate website, then they’d thoroughly plaster it with ads, rank it (often with black hat SEO which worked better in the past) and made money on autopilot and for years to come.
This worked because 20 years ago the internet was a shiny new thing and the concept of making money online was known to few lucky individuals only, and web users were not that savvy.
They’d click on anything you point them at.
But we’re not living 20 years into the past. Now and today- banner ads largely don’t work.
I say largely because there are exceptions (which I cover below).
How to Use Banner Ads Effectively on Your Site (7 Pro Tips)
#1- USE Banner Ads
When you keep on reading, you will see I sound really skeptical about banner effectiveness, but I admit that having a few ads is better than having none. It’s smart usage of your site’s real estate and will get you a sale or two here and there.
#2- Use Only a Few of Them
Go easy with banner ads.
They don’t work as they used to and if you overload your site with banners, you will drive people away. Folks are smart and they can tell when you’re more interested to sell to them, than to help them.
Also, you will get a search engine penalty if you go overboard as Google has a specific algorithm (Top Heavy) that targets thin affiliate sites that are a too focused on selling.
#3- Make the Banners Static and Elegant
Static means not moving. I say that because there are banners out here (I’m sure you’ve seen them) which are gif images and they move and dance and are quite obnoxious. This will never work and is like click repellent for your blog.
In other words: if you want to have 0 clicks on your affiliate links,then get flashy and dancing imagery and make sure you use it as often as you can 😀
Also, while basic logic suggests that you want your banners to “pop” so people notice them more, this can backfire big time as folks can already see your banners, know what they are, and will not click if are pushed to do it.
The word “elegant” is key here. Make your ad visible, but just a small part of the site and if someone’s really interested- they’ll click.
#4- Use In-Context Banners
Sidebar ads are very ineffective because people have developed a modern age eye disease called “ad blindness” However, those that’re embedded within the content get much more mileage. It’s because people often confuse them for native content and also because they’re hyper-relevant to the text surrounding them.
At least they should be 😛
Note: Just below you’ll see an awesome example of in-context ads done right.
#5- Design Your Banners Yourself
If you’re an affiliate for a popular merchant, then you should be making your own ads, and you shouldn’t use those supplied by the merchant.
Because popular merchants have thousands, or even tens of thousands of affiliates, and 99% of them use the same ads and banners over and over. Since they’re so prevalent folks learn to recognize them and they get ignored even more than a normal ad would.
This is a Wealthy Affiliate banner:
And I bet that if you spent any time on other Make Money Online sites, you’ve seen it before. Everyone promotes Wealthy Affiliate Program because they’re a great platform for newbie marketers; but everyone is using same banner ads, and are thus largely ineffective.
Also, by designing your banners yourself, you can make them fit the style of your blog and then they’ll easily mix and match with your content.
#6- Increase CTR With a Fixed Sidebar Banner
Did you know?
That you can have a sidebar banner that follows you as you scroll up and down and never leaves your sight, a nagging presence until you finally cave in and… click?
“Oh, I like that. I like that a lot! Where can I have me one of those”?
Click here to visit my content table guide. Once there use the table of content (how fitting!) to scroll down to the section that talks about floating content tables.
#7- Be Careful With Website Speed
Site speed is a Google ranking factor, and now that Google’s index is mobile-first, site speed is even more important to success or failure of your blog. So you need to be very careful with ads because banners are images, and images, even when optimized for speed, are still the “heaviest” elements on the page.
Have too many of them and your site will be slow as molasses and invisible in Google search.
Note: Here’s a WordPress speed optimization guide that can help you get up to speed with the modern web.Banner ads Done Right! #affiliatemarketing #affiliatemarketingtips Click To Tweet
Bonus- 3 Awesome Examples Of Banner Ads Done Right!
- everybody else;
we all learn best by example, so here are 3 websites that didn’t let banner ads slow them down, but are using them to their advantages.
a) Smart Affiliate Success
Take a look at this:
This is a website of my good friend Jerry Huang. Here on his right sidebar there a huge banner that’s rather enticing, I gotta admit.
It promises to show you the secret of how Jerry went from washing dishes in a fast food joint; to working on a bench with a laptop.
The ad is well designed, inspires curiosity and speaks to every person’s dream to be financially independent.
This is an excellent example of a banner that pulls all the psychological triggers and that simply screams to be clicked.
Also it’s a sticky sidebar which means the banner follows you as you scroll down.
This site uses both sidebar and in-content banner ads. Ads are relevant to me but irrelevant to the text, which make it apparent the’re advertisement.
What do I mean?
I mean I get ads from Grammarly. Some algorithm obviously calculated I’d best resonate with an ad about pro grammar checker. They must know I’m a word nerd 😛
So, the ads are relevant to be but are not as effective as I can readily tell they ads and most people won’t click out of principle.
It’s much better when banner are disguised, so they look like native content.
Which brings us to…
c) Yahoo Finance
This is one of the world’s top finance portals and is primarily monetized through clever ad placement.
But look how the ads are disguised so you almost can’t see them.
It’s almost as if you have to know Yahoo Finance monetizes with ads in order to see them.
In-Content Text Affiliate Links- What Are They and Do They Work?
Text affiliate links are links embedded within content and are links that look like normal outbound or internal links. They do work and they work the best long term
Because of 3 reasons:
They are disguised as normal links. Even people who hate affiliate links with passion will often miss that something is a promotion and will click, earning you a potential sale.
They are helpful- great affiliate links are always helpful to the reader, and never an afterthought. Superb affiliate links feel like an integral part of the post and almost as if the article would diminish in value were it to suddenly be stripped of its affiliate links
They are trust-based– what I mean is, is once you build some rapport with people by giving them ample value, then even if you tell them “hey this is an affiliate link” folks won’t mind as they will trust you and your recommendations.In-Content Affiliate Links Work Best- They Can Get Clicked Like Crazy! Click To Tweet
3 Quick tips on How to Write Awesome Affiliate Links
Note: I have a whole guide on the topic- check it out!
#1- Isolate Your Affiliate Link
Affiliate links work best when they don’t have to compete with their external and internal brothers. So when you want to promote something with an in-content affiliate link do it in a way that link pops off the page, simply because it’s the only one in the field of vision.
#2- Make it Descriptive
Writing descriptive affiliate links means the average reader should be able to look at a link, and tell immediately where it’ll take them if clicked.
#-3 Make it Relevant
I talk here about in-content affiliate links but that “in-content” doesn’t jut mean surrounded with other words. It also means that the affiliate promotion needs to be relevant to the article that hosts the link.
How about an example?
In my Wealthy Affiliate Review I have quite a few affiliate links, elegantly and strategically dispersed throughout the page.
Do you see how that link is:
- Isolated and eye-popping
- Relevant to the article
That is my link and it helps me and not you.
But if you want to be helped and get your affiliate links clicked some more- than you need to heed my advice.
And pardon my posh language here;
couldn’t resist it, eh! 🙂
Best places for Affiliate Links on the Page- Frequently Asked Questions
a) How Do I Add Affiliate Links to My Blog?
First, you need to get your unique affiliate link from your merchant.
I promote Wealthy Affiliate so I’d need to log in to my account and copy one of the affiliate links they assigned to me.
Then I’d need to return to my WP dashboard and fire up my Thirsty Affiliates plugin.
There I’d create my custom affiliate link that is much prettier than raw version but that’s also cloaked, so I don’t get into trouble with the search engines.
I’ll stop here but if you need more info, either read my Thirsty Affiliates review, or my affiliate links cloaking guide.
Or both! 😀
b) How Do Affiliate Links Work?
Affiliate links are clickable elements on the page with your unique affiliate id embedded within. When someone clicks on your affiliate link, the merchant’s system records the click along with your unique code tag.
Fiverr affiliate program is a great example as they have their own software you can use to make links and especially deep links (deep links are those that link to specific Fiverr gigs, not the homepage)
That is how they know the click came from you and if the person buys something you get your sweet reward.
c) Can I Have Affiliate links on All Pages on My Site?
Yes you can!
There’s a widespread myth that google hates affiliate websites, and that they especially hate it if you serve up affiliate links everywhere.
That is simply not true.
As long as your blog post are valuable and solve your visitor’s problems, then you can have affiliate links on every page and it won’t hurt your rankings in the slightest.
d) Do Affiliate Links Work? Do Folks Actually Click on Them?
People do click on affiliate links and many folks can’t really tell the difference between link types.
But those that can tell a difference will gladly click on your affiliate links if you helped them first.
If you solved their problem or if you pointed them to the solution they need; they’ll gladly follow your suggestion with a click, and they’ll be thankful for all your hard work saving their precious time.
e) Can My Affiliate Links Be a Button Instead?
Yes they can. Buttons work small wonders but they do their best work in moderation and not when competing with other links.
f) How Can I Easily Track My Affiliate Links?
First what you shouldn’t do. Don’t track your links in Excel or Google Sheets grid. It a pain.
Instead, use a link cloaking plugin. I recommend either Pretty Links or Thirsty Affiliates.
g) Can I Use Affiliate Links on My Newsletter?
I can’t give a direct answer to that because some email autoresponders strictly prohibit affiliate links, while others generously allow it. I suggest you check user documentation of the autoresponder you’re subscribed to.
But if it’s allowed, then best practice for you is to first warm up your subscribers with a tonne of value. Send then a dozen emails, each solving a particular problem, and ask for nothing in return. And then your eleventh can contain an affiliate offer.
Which coincidentally will solve your money problem 😀
Do it and watch your sales soar.
h) Can I Use Affiliate Links in Photos?
If you think it will draw in a click- go right ahead. Though I suggest you also let people know the image is clickable.
Otherwise most will assume it’s not and you will lose potential sales.
Bonus #1- What is the Best Place On Site or Blog to Put Affiliate Links?
The best way to make your affiliate links more visible is to create a resource page on your site and to collect all your promotions there.
Here are 3 simple reasons why:
That page will be in the menu so highly visible and ever-present across your site.
That page will be highly authoritative. Because it’ll be in the menu and because all other pages will link to it, a lot of Page Rank will flow to that page giving it excellent chances of ranking highly in Google Search.
Especially if you also build links to it!
That page will be your resource page, so thing and tools that made you a success story you are today. Folks who admire your work will want to emulate things you did to get there. So they’ll want to use tools and services you’re using in your online biz.
Now, I don’t have a resource page on my site… yet.
But here’s how my friend Hassaan does it on his site.
Bonus #2– What do the Experts Have To Say About Proper Affiliate Link Placement?
At the start of this article I promised you that I’d get some expert affiliate marketers to share their secrets with us all.
Well, here they are!
- Janice Wald
- Anil Agarwal
- James McAllister
My guide just went from good to great; and I couldn’t have done it without you 🙂
Conclusion- The Best On-Page Places to Put Affiliate Links Are…
Posts and pages where you’ve given tremendous value and where links and banner enhance you content and are themselves part of that value.
There’s your answer and I hope my article has helped you.
If you still have questions, leave them in the comment section below;
thank you 🙂
Note: Some of the links to products on this blog are affiliate links. It simply means, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you click through and buy any product.
Thank you for your support 😉