Not all affiliate websites are created equal. Some sites attract tons of traffic and acquire new customers every day. Others seem to just sit around and collect dust. Why is this?
Well, let me ask you something...
Why do you buy from an online site? What makes you comfortable about making your purchase from the website you've chosen to do business with?
I think if you flip the scenario around and think about how you conduct your personal business transactions and why you buy, you'll find all the answers you'll need!
So today we're going to take a look at the things that sets these high performing affiliate niche sites apart from the rest of the world and what makes them convert so well. I'm going to show you a few simple things you can do to improve your existing sites and how you can design your new sites so they will convert like crazy!
Before we dive into the specifics, let's go back in time for a moment. You need to answer a few basic questions, but importantly, what is the purpose of your affiliate marketing business?
Why did you create your business in the first place? Did you put together any type of business plan or marketing strategy? Or did you just put things together as quickly as you could in order to get your business online?
Let's face it, no one likes creating business plans. But if you don't define your business objectives, how can you measure success? You can't. It's impossible. How do you know when you've crossed the finish line when you haven't even defined where it is?
If you want to give yourself the best chance of success, you need to have a basic plan in place. And this plan starts by answering the following questions:
These may sound like silly questions because the reasons are obvious, right? But the importance of knowing the answers cannot be overstated! These are the fundamental building blocks that you must have a grasp on to in order to ensure your online business and your affiliate website are on the path to righteousness.
Consider the answers to these questions as your basic business plan. It doesn't need to be any more elaborate than this. But you need to have an understanding of your why, how and who if you're going to be successful in affiliate marketing.
When I work with my clients, I always ask them these basic questions. Some students have a pretty good grasp on them right away but most do not.
A typical conversation will go something like this:
Q: Why did you build your website?
A: To make money.
Q: Okay, how do you plan on making money with your site?
A: By adding my affiliate links to the products I'm promoting.
Q: Okay, great. And who are you promoting your products to?
A: Anyone and everyone who is interested in my niche.
If you came up with similar answers, I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news but your affiliate marketing business will have little to no chance of success! Not having a well thought out plan to execute against will quickly doom your business to failure.
Again, how can you measure success if you have nothing to measure it against?
The good news is, now that we are aware of this we can work on fixing it. Many affiliate marketers bypass creating a business plan before they build their business.
Sounds crazy, right?
But it's true. And this means we have a huge opportunity to do things the right way and jump ahead of our competition!
By taking a few simple things into consideration, we will be able to make our site stand out from the crowd, drive tons of qualified traffic to our site and get ranked high with the search engines with very little effort!
One of the basic elements of affiliate marketing is that we are helping people find solutions to their problems. When they do any type of online search, they are looking for an answers to questions or information on how to do something, like learning to speak a foreign language for example.
This means a good answer to the first question would be, 'I built my site to help people learn to speak French.'
Now that the fundamental question of why your business exists has been answered, the making money part of it will take care of itself.
Our objective is to have these potential buyers get what they need from our site. So if we give them what they want, we drastically increase our chances of success.
Your customers could care less about what you want. They are not visiting your site in order to make you money. They are there to find what they want. If they don't, they will move on because they have tons of other options available to them.
All too often affiliate marketers design their niche websites with no other purpose in mind other than to sell their affiliate products. But what value is this bringing to your site visitors? What reasons are you giving them to trust you and ultimately make their purchase from you?
If your site contains nothing but tons of affiliate links to the products you are promoting, you are not adding any value! You are not giving them a reason to purchase from you.
Would you ask someone to marry you on the first date? Probably not! So why would you expect your visitors to buy something from you during their first visit to your site?
They don't know anything about you or how you can help them. Especially if all you are offering them is a ton of product links directing them to Amazon. If that's the case, they don't need you at all. They can get what they need by going directly to Amazon.
Let's say you have an affiliate website in the home appliance niche. And let's say someone visits your site because they're in the market for a new dishwasher. Luckily, you've got a section on your site that reviews the Top 5 Dishwashers of 2019.
Have you included a Buying Guide or information about what consumers should look for when purchasing a new dishwasher?
Have you attempted to provide value by educating them about how to make their purchase?
Should they purchase an extended warranty? Why or why not?
These are the types of things that gives you credibility and gives your visitors a feeling of trust and that you care about them. You're helping them make the right decision and they will reward you for this.
Most consumers are pretty savvy these days and will do quite a bit of research on products before making a buying decision. If you give them what they need, they have no reason to go anywhere else. You'll quickly earn their confidence and trust and they'll begin to consider you an authority in this space.
When this happens, you'll have a very good chance of earning their business as well.
Have you ever heard the expression, happy customers are repeat customers? Well since your objective is trying to attract and acquire new customers, you need to make sure their online experience with you is a good one.
The first step to achieving this is by structuring your website in a way that makes your visitors want to engage with your content and do business with you.
All too often affiliate marketers design their websites with nothing but pages and pages full of articles containing affiliate links. There may actually be tons of useful information there, but you need to give your visitors an idea of what your site is all about. Don't expect them to figure it out on their own. They won't.
For instance, if your site is all about discussing the best ways to make money online, let your visitors know this! Let them know that they can find the latest online program reviews, product comparisons and recommendations from your site.
If you just provide a bunch of review articles, there's a very good chance they will have no idea what problem they can solve by engaging with your content. You need to give them at least some basic information about how your site can help them.
This can be a sentence or two describing the purpose (or mission) of your site. Remember the answer to the first basic question? This would be a perfect way to describe your site and tell your visitors what answers to their problems they can expect to find.
The other way to do this is by using a static home page and adding your product reviews on separate pages. This allows you to provide a ton of information about your site and the specific problems it will solve for your visitors.
This is the way I've built this site and pretty much every other website I've published. I am a strong believer in engaging with my site visitors and giving them an enjoyable experience on my sites. The more they know about me and how I'm trying to help them, the stronger my credibility becomes.
For in-depth information on how to design and build conversion focused web pages quickly and easily, check out my blog post on Insider Tips for Building Awesome Landing Pages.
Regardless of how you build your pages, your message needs to be presented in as few words as possible. Remember, your visitors have no interest in reading a full thesis to find out what you're all about. Provide it to them in as concisely as you can.
If your visitors have a difficult time navigating your site and trying to figure out its intent, so will the search engines!
Publishing fresh and relevant content with optimal keywords is a huge factor for getting high ranks in the SEO world. But if your site flow is confusing, contains a bunch of broken links or does not have a clear identity, the search engines will pick up on this and penalize you.
Your site structure should be laid out as simply as possible and be easy to follow.
You see how simple and structured the above site diagram is? Each page flows logically into another and each topic is well organized. This makes it very easy for the user to navigate and understand where the information they seek can be found.
Unfortunately, many affiliate marketing sites end up having the structure like the one above. In most cases it is not intentional, but comes as a result of not having a clearly defined business plan.
Without having a website design strategy in place, it's very easy to end up with a site that has links to pages and content that makes no sense. The point of creating this strategy is to make things easier for you to build your site and easier for your visitors to understand your content. So please take the time to map this out. It will be time well spent!
One of the best solutions I've found to help me design my web pages structurally correct and with customer focus in mind is with Thrive Themes. They literally take all of the guesswork out of the equation and provide you with tons of pre-designed templates and product modules that expedite your site building efforts.
You can read the full review and see a quick tutorial video of the product here, Thrive Themes Review.
Your visitors don't want to think about where they need to go to find the information they need. Make it simple for them to find what they want and design your site flow in a logical manner that makes sense.
Remember, your site visitors have different goals and objectives than you. This is why it's extremely important to clearly define who your customers are by having a detailed answer to the third basic question.
Knowing who your customers are and where to find them is a critical component to your success. And there's a right way and a wrong way to go about finding new customers.
One of my students recently shared an experience with me that many people can relate to. He wanted to drive more traffic to his site so he paid an online company that promised him hundreds of new site visitors by running some social media ads.
The good news is, it worked. He received tons of new traffic to his site over the next couple of weeks that followed. The bad news is, none of them converted! He did not acquire one new customer or make even one new sale!
Because the traffic was not qualified. Not one person that visited his site had any interest in what he was promoting! This is the wrong way to generate new visitors to your site and and you literally cannot afford to market your business this way.
Not only did he spend money out of his marketing budget in an attempt to drive new sales, he lost 100% of his investment. The online service only guaranteed traffic, so they delivered what they promised. But using this methodology of customer acquisition will put you on the fast-track to the poor house!
I'm not saying that purchasing traffic is a bad idea. But you need to know what you are doing. If you build your site correctly and use on-page SEO by making sure your content is relevant and original, the traffic will eventually find its way to you.
No one wants the dreaded Too Much Information when all they're expecting is an answer to a simple question, right?
When you need information you want it quickly and only as much as you need. For example, if you ask me what time it is you don't want me to tell you how to build a clock!
Your site visitors are exactly the same way. Give them the answers they need that solve their problem quickly, and you'll hit a home run. You can always give them the option to dig in deeper and get more detailed information. But let them decide how much information they want. Just tell them what time it is!
The most important considerations to keep in mind are that your site content is accurate and engages your visitors. You accomplish this by making sure it is fresh, original, thoughtful, well written and unique. Just because you provide content doesn't mean it will convert. It needs to align with the needs and objectives of your customers.
So, always be thinking about what information your site visitors are looking for. Keep their needs at the forefront of everything you do on your site. Make sure you are providing a solution (or multiple solutions) to their problems. And most importantly, give them a reason to engage and take action on your site so they become one of your new customers!
Affiliate marketing is an awesome way to make a living. But it requires tons of hard work and dedication. You cannot expect to simply throw a niche site online and sit back and reap huge financial rewards without putting check marks in the critical boxes that are required for success.
You need to be clear about the Why, How and Who of your business.
Why did you build your website? How do you plan on monetizing it? Who are your customers?
Knowing these simple yet important fundamentals will serve your business well and will be keys to your success. You simply cannot afford to throw darts with your eyes closed and hope to hit the target. You must have a basic business plan and an execution strategy in place to make sure your business can grow and succeed in this competitive affiliate marketing landscape.
Hopefully this information has been helpful and educational. I've attempted to share some critically important ideas that I have learned over the years that have greatly improved my success. And I've tried to keep this as informative as possible without sounding like a college professor!
I'd love to hear your thoughts about how you go about planning your niche business and the types of things you do to make sure your keeping things on point. How do you measure success and when do you know it's time to change things up? Please feel free to share your thoughts below and I'll be sure to respond.
Digital marketing has been a passion of mine for over 12 years. I am a successful online business owner and I have my own digital marketing agency. I love helping people learn just how amazing the world of affiliate marketing can be and I'm committed to helping folks make money online while avoiding the mistakes I made along the way.
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