Sometimes It’s The Small Things!

I think we sometimes forget as affiliate marketers just how much the small actions we do can increase conversions or click through rates when it comes to our landing pages.  We always worry about split testing the main headlines, the big picture at the top, the call to action phrase or button, etc.  We focus on these huge things because just by increasing one of them we can possibly raise our conversion rate or CTR by 5% or even 10%.

However, there are only so many big things we can change.  When it comes to small things though, we have tons of little settings we can fool around with like colors we can change, or certain words we bold, italicize, or highlight, etc.  Each of these small things may only raise our conversion rate or CTR by 1% or even .5%, but if we do 30 of these small things we could raise our CTR or conversion rate by 30%!!!

So what exactly are some of the small things that we can test?  Did you know that certain fonts convert better than other fonts?  Did you know that certain background colors convert better?  How about the fact that by bolding or italicizing a couple words throughout your landing page could increase conversions?

Have I sparked your curiosity yet?  If so, then hopefully the list below can kinda be a checklist for you to help you remember to check the little things when you are split testing your landing pages…

Things to Split Test on your Landing Page:

  • Split test what font you’re using!
  • Have you split tested your background color?
  • Have you tried to bold or italicize certain words or phrases that could help sell users?
  • What about underlining certain things?
  • Are you linking to the offer page throughout your article?
  • Are you including a Go Back To Top Link at the bottom of your landing page or another Button or Link at the bottom to take your user to the offer page?
  • Don’t forget to add testimonials to help build trust with your visitors if your niche allows for them.
  • Can you include any endorsed by, affiliated with, or as seen (in, on, at) buttons?  For example, As seen on Oprah or Endorsed with the Good Housekeeping Seal!

The list above is just a couple of the “small things” you could be doing and adding to your landing pages in order to increase conversions and CTR’s.  If you aren’t doing them, you need to start!  If you are using them then good for you!

If you have any other “small things” that you know of that work well in increasing CTR’s and Conversions I’d love for you to share them with me in the comments below.  It’s the smalls things that sometimes make huge differences!

Your Landing Page Article is Your Opportunity to Sell

Most affiliates know that you need to have some text on your landing page in order to help yourself achieve a better quality score, especially with Google, and that this text must be related to your ads and keywords that you are using to send visitors to your page from the search engines.

Affiliates should include several articles in fact on their landing sites in order to make sure they are getting the best quality score they can from content.  Google loves to see plenty of content on sites and not just plenty but also fresh content.  So most affiliates not only have a decent amount of articles on their sites when they launch a niche, they also are adding new articles weekly.

If you’re an affiliate that isn’t, you could be shoot yourself in the foot, however, this article isn’t about that, so moving on my question for the day is this…

Is the article on your actual landing page the same type as the ones you’re using throughout the rest of your site for content?  If so, why?

I think affiliates have gotten so worried about their quality score that they have forgotten that their article not only needs to provide great “content” but also sell your visitors on your product or service that you’re offering!

Your Landing Page Article is Your Opportunity to Sell!

The article on your actual landing page shouldn’t even be referred to as an article in my opinion.  It needs to be referred to as a sales letter!  Of course, I’m not talking about those long sales pages you see for a lot of e-books unless that’s what you are promoting.  I’m talking about just understanding again that while some won’t read your article there will be plenty of visitors that do and based on what your article says you could keep and convert those visitors into cash or they could simply hit their back button and move on in the search results looking for something that will help them…

Even if you have the best product or service out there, unless you tell your visitors they aren’t going to know!  You must tell them what your product or service has to offer.  Not only should you explain what your product or service is and what it has to offer but your sales letter should also include these things.

What Your Sales Letter Should Include:

  • What exactly is your product or service?
  • What does your product or service have to offer?
  • What makes your product or service different than the 100 other ones out there?
  • Why should they purchase from you and not another site that offers the same product?  (Can you offer anything special or extra that other sites can’t like a free e-book on how to use the product???)
  • Make sure you use bold and italics just please don’t over do it!  And I don’t mean to try to rank for better keywords…I mean sell your visitors!
  • Make use of Headline Tags – Again not for SEO purposes but to help draw attention to important parts of your sales page to increase conversions!

Understanding and knowing that your landing page article is not only an article that should supply content but also an article that should sell your visitor will help you increase conversions and with a little practice you won’t lose a bit of quality score by doing so!

So in closing, I would just like to repeat on thing!

Your landing page article should not look or read like the rest of the articles on your site!!!

Monetizing Your Affiliate Sites

A picture of a girl with moneyThere are several ways to monetize your affiliate site besides simply linking a button or graphic to the main advertisers page that your promoting.  You can use contextual advertising like Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher Network, Adbrite, etc.  There are of course other ways to monetize your landing pages, but my question is, is it worth the hassle?

This blog post will hopefully give you the pros and cons to each which will allow you to make that decision to monetize your landing pages with other sources besides the main offer your promoting…..or not!

Contextual Advertising

Let’s start with contextual advertising.  I’ll be using Google Adsense, however, any contextual program can be used.

If you’re building your landing pages correctly, by correctly I mean adding fresh content via either a blog or by adding html pages to your site, then you should have tons of extra pages or blog posts of material in which you could place Adsense on.  You could also add Adsense to the main page of your landing site.  The question is, however, should you?

I personally believe that this varies from niche to niche, however, there are a few simple guidelines you can keep in mind that should help you at least give it a try.

The most important thing I would recommend is not placing Adsense on the homepage of your landing site.  I’ve never seen this work personally in my own tests, and I’ve also never really heard of anyone that was doing this successfully without losing conversions on their main offer they were promoting!

Note: While Adsense can very well bring you in some “pocket” change by adding to your inner pages of your site, I personally feel that the time it takes to not only place the ads on your site, but also, the amount of time to optimize the ads to make the convert the best may not be worth the time.  For example, on an offer that I consistently do $15,000 dollars a month in revenue, Adsense averages about $30 dollars a month by having it on the pages.  So, its a decision you need to make.  If your just starting out, every penny helps, but if you’ve been doing it a while, it may not be for you!

Direct Ad Sales

This is a subject that isn’t talked about much around the world of affiliate marketing, however, there is a very popular ebook called “Get Google Ads for Free” if you’re interested in checking it out.

Basically, you create a landing page just like you normally would, only on your homepage you’ll have several advertising spots.  Some people place these below their main call to action, some above, generally the higher up on the page the more you can charge from them and make a profit.

This method can actually work quite well, and in fact I use it for several niches that are really competitive where the bids are higher.  However, you will most likely see a drop in conversions to your main offer that your promoting, so you need to make sure this is something that would be feasible for you to do on your site and for your niche.

Again, if you want a very detailed breakdown of how this works, you’ll definitely want to check out the “Get Google Ads for Free” ebook.  It’s no huge secret, however, the ebook will show you exactly what to do step by step.

Offer a Free Product to Get Newsletter Signups

Another great way to monetize your landing page is to offer a free ebook, product, newsletter, etc in order to get your visitors to give you their email address.  Doing this will allow you to sell a single visitor multiple times over a course of time.

For example, I have a landing page/site setup for Auto Insurance and after they click the link to goto the offer page, I have a pop-under come up as well which offers a free ebook on how to make sure your getting the best auto insurance rate possible.  Of course, in order for the visitor to receive this ebook, they must enter their email address.

I’m then able to send the visitor a couple different offers in order for them to receive more insurance quotes from different companies and for each one the visitor completes, I get paid another commission.

This works extremely well and if done properly and in a non-obtrusive way, doesn’t seem to hurt conversions to your main offer very much at all, while allowing you to possibly for years sell to this visitor.  Of course, make sure you don’t over try to oversell the visitor.  I only send out 1 maybe 2 offers per month for them to check out.

There you have it!  Three additional ways you can monetize your landing pages to increase your earnings via affiliate marketing.  I hope this helps some of you out and I know if you implement them you can definitely earn more without spending more on PPC.

If you have any other suggestions on ways to monetize affiliates sites besides the main offer of course, please let me know in the comments as I would love to hear them!

Your Landing Page Sucks (here’s how to fix it)

A landing page or landing site is one of the most important aspects to an affiliate marketing campaign in my opinion. Your visitors can convert or leave based on your landing page. You control the conversion rate and can easily take a campaign losing money and turn it into a campaign that is a winner simply by your landing page. One simple way to do this is to split test your landing pages, however, unless you know what your doing wrong, split testing won’t do you much good because you won’t know what is causing the problem!

This topic will explain some common mistakes that people make when creating landing pages. Hopefully after reading this post you’ll be able to clearly understand the problems your landing page may be causing!

  1. Your Call to Action is below the Fold – Your call to action is what causes your visitors to go from your landing page to the offer or service your promoting thus the reason it’s called a call to action. This could be a big red button that says sign up for free, or a list of features with a sign up now button, etc. So, why would you want your call to action below the fold when you automatically lose ~30% of your visitors if they have to scroll down?
  2. Trying to Collect too Much Data – Trying to get a visitor to sign up for a newsletter is fine for future sales to an email list you put together, however, you may be hurting your conversions! The more information that you try to collect from your visitors the more likely they won’t end up completing the offer. Try to keep your data collecting to a minimum and only collect information that you truly need!
  3. Missing Testimonials – Testimonials can greatly increase conversion rates and instill trust in your visitors eyes. They tend to help the visitor realize that the product/service your offering is worth their time in filling out any necessary information or even whipping out their credit card. If you can use testimonials in your niche, your only hurting yourself by not at least trying them out on your landing page!
  4. Too Many Call to Actions – As said above you need to have a clear call to action above the fold. You shouldn’t ever have more than 2 call to actions on a landing page. Asking a user to sign up for an offer or service your offering would be one call to action, asking them to sign up for a newsletter would be another call to action. Asking users to subscribe to newsletters, subscribe to your RSS feed, give you a call, etc may sound like a great idea to get return customers and build up a great list, having too many can cause confusion and also end up making the visitor forget why they even came to your site, thus, you lose out on a commission!
  5. Not Split Testing Landing Pages – Another mistake I see people commonly make is to not split test their landing pages. I recently wrote an article about split testing landing pages, how to do it, what parts of your landing page to split test, etc. If you haven’t check it out already, you need to as split testing can greatly increase your profits and allow you to find out which landing page(s) work best!

So there you have it, five reasons your landing page may suck! Get to work and correct the problems on your landing pages and immediately see the results. You’ll be amazed at what a few simple things can do to your conversions!

Split Testing Landing Pages – It’s Easy!

We all hear about split testing when it comes to affiliate marketing. When we normally hear someone mention split testing, they are talking about split testing ads. In this article however, I want to talk about split testing your landing pages.

Split Testing is basically the process of testing different variations of Ad Copy (Ads), Landing Pages, Your Price, etc. The reason that we split test and especially in affiliate marketing is so that we can increase our conversion ratio or ROI (return over investment). Basically what that means is this…

Let’s say you start a campaign for dating. Let’s also assume that for every one dollar you spend on advertising via PPC you make two dollars. Now by split testing you can increase how many people that come to your landing page convert. By doing so, now when you spend one dollar on advertising via PPC, you make 3 dollars!

Split Testing allows you to make more without spending more!

Now, I’ve already wrote an article on Split Testing Ads which you may also wish to check out if your completely new to the idea of split testing or just want a refresher course.

Okay, now that I’ve explained what split testing is, let’s dive into why you should split test your landing page, the benefits of split testing your landing page, and how to split test landing pages.

Benefits of Split Testing Your Landing Page:

The benefits of split testing are numerous but I just want to touch on the most important in this article. So without further adieu…

Increased Conversion Rate – The single most important reason for split testing your landing page is to increase conversions. Increasing conversions allows you to spend the same amount of money, yet increase your revenue while paying the same amount for advertising if your using PPC (pay per click).

Quality Score – Another benefit although not always as easy to test, is the ability to increase your quality score that you receive from Google Adwords. Again this is hard to test as the quality score can take a couple days or even weeks to recalculate each time.

Again, there are several other factors that split testing can accomplish, however, in order to keep this article short and to the point I’ve decided to only list the top reasons in my opinion.

What should I split test?

Okay, so you now realize the benefits to split testing landing pages, but how do you do it? Which parts of your landing page do you change? Do you have two completely different landing pages or two similar ones with only certain parts changed?

The answer to this question is that there really isn’t a right or wrong way, although if you do use two completely different landing pages for your testing, once you find one that works well, I would recommend moving on to the latter.

So, in reference to that, below is a list of things you may want to consider changing to increase landing page conversions.

  1. Split Test your Heading! Your heading is the first thing that people notice when they come to your site. Thus, people could stay or leave your site based just on that one main headline! In fact, people will leave or stay based on your headline. I’ve seen a headline instantly increase conversions by three hundred percent to five hundred percent!
  2. Split Test your Sub-Headline! Your sub-headline is probably the second most important thing you should split test following right after your headline. Again, by creating another landing page with just simply your sub-headline changed you could increase your conversion rate by one hundred and fifty percent to two hundred percent!
  3. Split Test each Paragraph! Split testing your paragraphs can take a lot of work, and most of the time you really only need to focus on split testing your first paragraph. Personally I only worry about the first paragraph when I’m split testing and very seldom split test my others. I will however rewrite the rest of my paragraphs once I have split tested my first paragraph and know what works for the niche I’m currently working on!
    TIP: Using 3-5 bullets stating the main points of the offer/service you are promoting generally works extremely well for your first paragraph! This is probably because most internet users will skim pages instead of taking the time to fully read each paragraph.
  4. Split Test your Call to Action Line/Button! Does a green button work better than a blue button? How about a red color one? Does Order Now or Order Today work better? Can you use the word free? Your call to action button can make a customer leave your site even if they’ve read and looked over everything else. Your heading, sub-heading, and article/description could be perfect! Yet, you’ll still lose visitors if your call to action doesn’t well….call the user to perform an action!

As you can see, there are several factors to test when your split testing your landing pages, and hopefully the above steps will help you get started!

Okay, so now your wanting the code in order to do this easily correct? Well the code below allows you to test two different landing pages and each time a visitor comes to your site it will randomly send them to one or the other. Then you simply switch out the worse performing landing page with a new one every couple of days.

PHP Code for Split Testing Landing Pages


<?php
if(rand(0,1) == 0) {
header("Location: http://www.example.com/split1");
} else {
header("Location: http://www.example.com/split2");
}
?>

In the code where it says split1 and split2, you would replace that with whatever you call your two filenames.  Make sure you also put .html or .php after the filename depending on which extension your using.  Also, don’t forget to change www.example.com to your sites URL!

So, there you have it!  Now get out there and start increasing your ROI by split testing your landing pages!