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How to optimize links in affiliate marketing programs (for merchants only)

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A great way for e-commerce businesses to drive traffic to their website is by utilizing online affiliate marketers.  As important as it is to your business to have visitors view your website, it’s equally as important to understand which affiliate is driving not only the most number of visitors but also the most number of conversions.  Having access to a platform that allows you to create individual personalized tracking links to monitor traffic and conversions is required. Using a platform that has the ability to redirect based on specific variables, do split A/B testing, show reporting in real-time, share reports and use your own domain as a tracking link is a real value add.  Though there are many options available to do all of this, consolidating the number of platforms to manage is the key to success.

Though ClickMeter is not a dedicated affiliate platform, the services and features it provides makes it a top choice for businesses looking to utilize affiliates to drive traffic to their website.  From the basics of creating tracking links, to the ability to share detailed granular reporting with individual affiliates, ClickMeter gives business owners a portfolio of powerful features to use when managing their affiliate network.

ClickMeter provides users with two options when creating tracking links (more info):

  1. A short domain link – which is a 4-5 character short domain like: 9nl.cc, 87s.EU, xs.gy, etc…
  2. A dedicated domain – which is when a user uses their domain or a vanity domain they own as a tracking link. This can be the URL of the business or a customized short domain they own. Using a dedicated domain builds trust in the tracking link as it includes a recognizable name. It also improves brand awareness and SEO. Eg.: Go.yourdomain.com

With all tracking links, the user has the ability to customize the link extension as needed. When using affiliates this allows users to personalize the extension by adding the affiliate’s name or by the user identification (UID) number. Eg,:

  • 9nl.cc/JOEG
  • 9nl.cc/affiliate_001

Not only does this personalize the tracking link for the affiliate, but it also provides the business owner with an easy way to identify which affiliates are performing and which are not when reviewing reports.

When creating a tracking link users have many tools to use with the tracking link. Tools like advanced redirect lets a user redirect visitors depending on their IP location. Read more info about geotargeting here.

  • Canada: example.com/product_English (destination URL)
  • United States: example.com/product_English (destination URL)
  • Portugal: example.com/product_ Portuguese (destination URL)

A user can also redirect visitors based on the type of click (more info):

  • First click: examp.le/Product_Shoe_Sale_Special (destination URL)
  • Second click: examp.le/Product_shoe (destination URL)

If the business wants to test out different landing pages, they can create a links rotator and test how landing pages perform. With four rotator methodology (random, sequential, weighted, spill-over), users can easily A/B test their landing pages.

With each tracking link created the user will need to associate the correct conversion to the link in order to track them.  Assuming the user will be using the most popular and widely used methodology for conversion tracking (HTML Code Snippet), they will need to embed the ClickMeter HTML code snippet into the thank you/confirmation page post call to action (sale, opt-in, download, etc…). So if the user asked guests to opt-in, in addition to making a sale, they will associate both conversions to the tracking link (two conversion codes will be created). You can find more info about conversion tracking here:

ClickMeter conversion tracking is dynamic. Business owners can include script to record product IDs, conversion sale totals and even the commissions due.

In the event you’re using a third party for a thank you page, you can still use our conversion codes to track these things: http://support.clickmeter.com/entries/55201813-How-to-add-conversion-code-in-some-opt-ins-services-thank-you-page-you-do-not-own-

Don’t worry if a visitor clicks on the tracking link and returns at a later time to complete the conversion. The initial click starts a 30-day cookie, which will pair with the conversion when it’s completed – whether it’s that same day or within 30-days of the click. It can also go up to 90 days if you decide to use this setting.

With ClickMeter, users have the ability to share real-time reporting with each affiliate through the sub-accounts or guest accounts. By sharing each tracking link, an affiliate can monitor how they’re doing in real-time.  This also builds trust between the user and affiliate since there is complete transparency on performance. Find more info here.

If you’re a business owner selling goods and services on the internet, using affiliates is an effective method to driving traffic to your website.  With ClickMeter, business owners have the ability to manage their affiliates and record their traffic and conversions with a portfolio of tools in one central platform.

 

Originally Posted: July 21st, 2015.

Post Updated: November 8th, 2017.

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Joe Gonsalves
Customer Success Manager at ClickMeter from San Francisco office. He is responsible for accelerating the product adoption of ClickMeter's technology.