The Guide To Affiliate Optimization
17 Ways To Optimize Your Site, Emails, And Ad Campaigns
Here’s a big key to your affiliate success: constant improvement.
See, just because you’re making money as an affiliate doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. You could be making a LOT more money. And once you start tweaking various parts of your sites and campaigns (and testing them), you may be surprised at how quickly your business grows.
So, with that in mind, check out these 17 ways to optimize your site, emails, and ad campaigns to garner a maximum response.
1. Test Your Site, Emails, and Campaigns
While this particular guide isn’t all about testing and tracking, we will start with this topic because it’s so important. Simply put, you don’t know what’s really working unless you systematically test and track various parts of your site and campaigns.
To do this the right way (and the easy way), you’ll need to get ahold of some reliable tools. In many cases, a simple A/B split-testing tool is all you need. You can search Google for these tools or use a platform like builderall.com, which has split testing included with all of their tools.
Finally, check your platforms to see if there are any built-in tools. For example, your email may have tracking tools, your ad platforms (like Google) may have tracking tools, and even page-building tools like builderall.com offer you tracking and testing capabilities.
2. Focus on the “Big Stuff.”
You can test and track 24/7 for the rest of your life if you so choose. However, your time, money, and energy are better spent by focusing on the things that will have the biggest impact on conversion rates.
Headlines, titles, and email subject lines.
Calls to action.
The offer you’re promoting.
The benefits you’re sharing/emphasizing.
The audience who’s seeing your content and ads.
The overall design/professionalism of your website, emails & platforms.
Video sales content versus text versus a combination.
3. Test One Factor at a Time
Unless you have experience with testing (and understand multivariate analysis), your best bet is to test ONE factor at a time while holding ALL other variables constant. That way, you can have confidence that any change in the conversion rate directly results from that one factor you’re testing.
For example, if you’re testing your lead page headline, you should create two identical lead pages, with the ONLY difference is the headline. Don’t test the P.S. at the same time, don’t test traffic sources, don’t rotate offers. Just test one factor, get your results, and then move onto the next test.
4. Don’t Stop a Test Early
The fourth bit of advice you need to know is to keep running your test to completion, even if it starts to seem obvious which version is winning. Generally speaking, you need about 30 actions (such as opt-ins on a lead page) before you can stop a test. However, most testing tools will tell you when the test is complete.
5. Understand the Law of Diminishing Returns
And now the final piece of testing advice…
When you get a winner between your two versions, that winner is called the control. You then pit the control against another version to see if you can beat the control. For example, you might be putting different email subject lines against each other to see which ones improve open rates.
However, at a certain point, you’re going to run up against the law of diminishing returns. When you’re only making tiny gains, then the best investment of your resources is to move on and test something else.
Now let’s switch gears and look at other ways to optimize your site…
6. Audit Your Site Regularly
The idea here is to check your site regularly to ensure you don’t have any of the following issues:
Coding that isn’t displaying properly.
Forms or other scripts that don’t work.
Search Google for auditing tools, as there are plenty of free tools around that will quickly check your site for these issues and give you information about how to fix them.
7. Check if Your Site is User-Friendly
The next thing you want to do is make sure your site provides a great experience for your users. The issues mentioned above are a good start. But you want to take it a step further to ensure your site is user-friendly. Ask yourself:
Are there any obstacles between your users and the action you want them to take? (E.G., do you make users fill in unnecessary information on your opt-in form?)
Is your site navigation intuitive and easy to use?
Is your site accessible to people with disabilities? For example, do you provide captions on videos and create coding that screen readers can easily access and read?
Is your site mobile-friendly/responsive?
Does your site render correctly across different browsers/platforms?
If you’re not sure if your site is user-friendly, then recruit a few people in your niche to go through and complete common tasks, such as filling in your opt-in form and finding a specific blog post. Then have them report back to you on how you can improve the user experience.
8. Be Sure Your Site Makes A Great Impression
The next thing you want to look at is whether your overall site design makes a good impression. Your visitors will gather their initial impression within seconds of arriving at your site, so be sure it’s a good one. Here’s how:
Use a professional, clean design. You can use a template, install a theme (if you’re using WordPress or another content management system), or you can even outsource the task to a designer.
Use standard fonts, font sizes, and colors. In other words, don’t make your users squint or struggle to read your content. For example, the light-gray font on a white background isn’t cutting-edge or cool – it’s hard to read, and many people will bail out of your site if they can’t easily read your content.
Format for easy readability. Be sure your content has short sentences, short paragraphs, and plenty of white space, so it’s easy to read.
Here’s the next tip…
9. Study Copywriting
To optimize ALL of your content – from ads to blog posts to emails to social media blurbs – it’s a good idea to study and apply copywriting principles. Learning how to craft good copy will help you create content that resonates with the reader, engages them, and persuades them to take a specific action.
Where to start? You can start by studying the masters, such as David Ogilvy, Victor Schwab, John Caples, Joseph Sugarman, and similarly respected copywriters. Their works are usually widely available, especially on sites like Amazon.com.
10. Focus on Benefits
Whenever someone lands on your website or other platforms to start reading your content, they’re going to have a voice in the back of their mind asking, “What’s in it for me?” Your content needs to answer that question by putting the benefits front and center.
This goes for any piece of content, whether it’s your homepage copy, your lead page, or even just a blog post. Start by putting your biggest benefits in the title or headline of the piece, and then follow up by telling your reader all the other reasons why they should take action (meaning keep reading, purchase a product, watch a video, etc.). In other words, how will it benefit them?
E.G., “If you’re struggling to shake off those last 10 stubborn pounds, then lean in to discover the absolute easiest way to fire up your metabolism and melt the fat fast…”
11. Create “You” Oriented Content
We’re all a little bit self-centered (or, in some cases, a lot). Your reader is no different. So, when they’re browsing your blog, emails, or other content, they’re not really interested in you except as it relates to how you can solve their problems.
With that in mind, you want to create “you” oriented content that keeps the focus on the reader, not on yourself. A quick and easy way to do this is to make sure you’re using words like “you” and “your” in far greater numbers than you use words like “I” and “me.”
For example: “I’ll share my home-buying secrets” is about YOU (the marketer). You’ll want to rewrite it to make it about the reader, like this: “You’ll discover home-buying secrets to save you tens of thousands of dollars!”
It’s a subtle change, but it makes all the difference in engagement when your content is focused on the reader rather than yourself.
12. Define Your Goals
Before you write a single word for an email, a blog post, an ad, or any other piece of content, you need to define your primary goal. That is, what do you want your reader to do when they finish reading the content? Once you are crystal clear on your goal, then craft every word of your content with that goal in mind.
For example, if you want people to click on a link and buy a product, then create content that showcases the benefits of them taking that action. Tell them why they need the product and why they should want it. Get them to imagine the benefits of using the product. Overcome objections and provide proof that the product works. And then call them to action by telling them exactly what you want them to do next.
This brings us to the next point…
13. Handle Objections
Whenever you’re asking your audience to do something—such as buy a product – they’re going to have objections (i.e., reasons why they shouldn’t do it). Your job is to identify these objections, raise them in your content, and handle them.
For example, a common objection is, “the product won’t work for me.” You can handle this objection by:
Sharing testimonials from satisfied customers who say it does work.
Doing a case study to prove the product works.
Giving your own endorsement as a trusted person in the niche.
Reminding people that the product comes with a guarantee.
14. Offer Proof
People are a little skeptical of what you’re telling them, especially when selling an affiliate offer. You can boost your conversions by offering proof of your claims, such as a case study.
15. Focus and Specialize
If you’re a jack of all trades, then you’re a master of none. If you try to portray yourself as an expert in every single facet of your niche, your audience isn’t going to believe you (rightfully so). Their trust in you will decrease, and along with that, so will your sales.
That’s why you’ll want to focus on and specialize in one specific portion or topic of your niche. Not only does this help set you apart from the competition, but it also makes you the “go-to” person in your niche, establishes you as an expert, and in turn, it helps boost your sales over the long term.
16. Get Feedback From Users
Let your users tell you how to improve your site. You can send out periodic short surveys to your email subscribers, blog readers, and other visitors. You may even offer an incentive to get more and better responses, such as a gift card to the first person who recommends a specific improvement that you decide to implement.
17. Offer Good Customer Service
Even if you become known in your niche to provide excellent information and only promote the highest quality products, you can destroy your good reputation pretty fast by offering shoddy customer service. In turn, this will significantly impact your sales.
You can avoid this unpleasant outcome by making customer service a top priority. Be sure to handle any inquiries coming into your site promptly and professionally. If you’re outsourcing this task, then select your customer service reps carefully and train them well.
As you just learned, Affiliate Optimization like testing and tracking is an important part of optimizing your conversions and sales, but there are many other things you can do too! Put these tips and ideas to work in your business, starting right away while they’re still fresh in your mind.
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