Conversion Rate Optimization: What It Is and How to Do It

businessman changes the direction of an arrow

If you own a business, it's probably safe to say you'd like it to grow and generate more revenue. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a common strategy used to increase web traffic and bring in more customers. However, if you find your sales still aren't increasing, you may need to switch tactics.

The answer may be to get more out of the traffic you already have. This is known as conversion rate optimization (CRO). CRO is a hot topic in marketing these days, but if you've never dabbled in it, it can seem overly technical and complex. Fortunately, that really isn't the case.

In this article, we'll demystify CRO. First, we'll explain what it is and why it's important. Then we'll walk you through a basic framework for optimizing your site. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

First of all, let's clear up some terminology. A conversion refers to when a user completes a desirable action on your site. This could be signing up for your email newsletter, creating an account, registering for a free trial, purchasing a product, or anything else that furthers your business' goals.

Your site's conversion rate is simply the percentage of users that complete one of these actions on your site. You can calculate your conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors, then multiplying the result by 100.

Say you have a landing page for a product. If 1,000 visitors end up on that page, and 100 make purchases, your landing page has a conversion rate of ten percent (100/1,000 * 100).

CRO is the process of adjusting your website and content to maximize your conversion rate. This typically involves combing through analytics and data to find opportunities for improvement, then implementing and testing those changes. This process of analysis, implementation, and testing is then repeated over and over in a continuous iterative process.

How to Get Started with Conversion Rate Optimization on Your Website (In 4 Steps)

Trying to understand what changes to make on your site in order to boost conversions can be intimidating. However, if you approach the process systematically, you can make modifications that are effective and deliver the results you want to see.

When you boil it down, CRO requires just four simple steps. Here's how to get started.

Step 1: Determine Your Goals

The first step to CRO is knowing what you're optimizing for. Start by clarifying your broad business goals. At this point, they will likely be fairly generic. For example, perhaps you want to increase revenue from a segment of your business.

With your broad goals defined, you can then drill down and get more specific. Take a look at how your website can contribute to your business goals, and set some narrow, website-centric targets to shoot for. This could be more purchases from a landing page, more signups for an email newsletter, or more registrations for an affiliate training program.

In short, it's important to leave the goal-setting stage with specific ideas in mind of what you want to improve. That way you can measure and test the results of your optimizations later on.

Step 2: Analyze Your Site's Data

With your goals set, it's time to look at how your pages are performing. CRO is a very data-driven process – at every step, you should be considering the concrete numbers, rather than guessing.

There are two places to gather data from. First, you'll want to do some quantitative analysis. Review your website analytics to see what your current conversion rate is, as well as which parts of your pages users are interacting with and where they're arriving from (social media, email links, organic search, etc.).

These details help you determine which parts of each page to focus on when optimizing. It doesn't make much sense to tweak the most-clicked call-to-action (CTA) on the page.

There are a lot of tools for gathering data, but Google Analytics is the most popular. It's free and can provide a tremendous amount of information:

The Google Analytics Acquisition pane.

The Acquisition and Behavior tabs of the Google Analytics dashboard will likely provide the most useful information. They'll show you where users are coming from, where they exit each page, and what other pages they click on during their visits.

In addition to reviewing analytics, it's smart to try to survey your actual users. Ask them why they make the choices they do on your site, what they feel its strengths and weaknesses are, and what points cause friction and prevent them from converting.

If yours is a WordPress site, consider using the tool MonsterInsights, which allows you access to all your Google Analytics data right from the WordPress dashboard.

Step 3: Make Your Optimizations

Now it's time to review what you've learned and make your optimizations. When doing so, the single most important thing to remember is to always follow the data. Gut feelings are nice, but for our purposes here, the numbers generally don't lie.

When making your changes, don't discount the little things. Even something as simple as changing the color of your CTA button can make a noticeable difference in how many people click on it. Other effective changes you could make may include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Making your CTA text more active and actionable
  • Tweaking the language you use to describe your product
  • Using a more inviting color scheme
  • Adding or removing content to make the page shorter or longer

This part can be overwhelming. To help decide what to focus on, use the PIE framework:

  • Potential: Which page, area, or element has the most potential to improve your conversion rate?
  • Importance: How valuable are conversions that occur on the page or via the element you're considering making changes to?
  • Ease: How much time and effort will have to go into making this change?

Higher ratings in these categories generally mean a change should be a higher priority. In other words, start with the easiest modifications, on your most prominent pages that are related to your most valuable conversion goal.

Step 4: Conduct A/B Tests

Finally, with your optimizations done, it's time to test. The most common method is known as ‘A/B testing' or split testing. This process involves using a tool to serve some users the old version of your site, while others see the updated version. You then compare the analytics of each to determine if your changes were effective.

There are a number of tools available to help simplify A/B testing. Whichever you choose, the most important thing is to be diligent in monitoring the data.

Run your A/B test for a period of time and compare metrics against the goals you set in Step 1. If your new version outperformed the old, replace it. If not, head back to the drawing board and try some different updates.

Remember, CRO is a continuous process of analyzing, optimizing, testing, and analyzing again. You'll get the best results by making it a standard part of your marketing strategy.

Conclusion

If you're growing your website traffic but find that your sales still aren't increasing, CRO should be your next step. This process is all about maximizing the potential of your site to generate more sales or signups from your visitors. Although it sounds complex, it's actually pretty simple.

Just follow these four steps and you'll be optimizing your site in no time:

  1. Determine your goals.
  2. Analyze your data.
  3. Make your optimizations.
  4. Conduct A/B tests.

Do you have any questions about CRO? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing Payment Models: A Beginner’s Guide

illustration of man looking toward a mountain peak

Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool for bringing in new business. We're talking about an industry worth $12 billion, so we know that affiliate marketing works. However, for your program to be successful, you'll need to choose the right payment model.

There are several payment systems you can use for your program, including offering commissions for leads or for successful sales. Which option you choose will depend on what your ultimate goals are.

In this article, we'll introduce you to the four most common affiliate marketing payment models, and talk about when it makes sense to use each of them. Let's get to it!

1. Cost Per Click (CPC) Payments

Cost Per Click (CPC) is one of the main metrics that you'll encounter when you engage in online marketing. If you publish on an ad network, for example, you usually pay for each click on one of your campaigns.

If you run an affiliate program, you can also use CPC as your primary payment model. Under this setup, you'd pay affiliates for every click they generate that leads users to your website, landing page, or product.

Affiliate programs that use a CPC model can be very attractive, because getting clicks is much easier than closing a sale. However, this also means that you might end up paying more for fewer qualified leads.

If you're looking to get your website or offer as much traffic as possible, then CPC payments can encourage affiliates to drive that traffic to you. Once users are on your site, it's up to you to get the conversions you want.

2. Cost Per Lead (CPL) Payments

Paying for leads instead of clicks enables you to cast a more precise net, and get more out of your affiliates' work. Leads can come in many shapes, depending on what kind of product or service you're selling.

Three of the most common types of leads include:

  1. Email sign-ups. With this approach, you pay affiliates for every new email subscriber they refer to you.
  2. Free trial sign-ups. Convincing users they need your services becomes much easier once they have first-hand experience. That's why many companies pay for free trial sign-ups.
  3. Consultation calls. This approach involves paying affiliates for customers who reach out to you for a consultation call.

In any of these scenarios, affiliates usually have to do a lot more work to get leads than to simply encourage clicks. Once users sign up to your email list, for example, they become part of your sales funnel, and you can begin to nurture them:

An email signup form.

This affiliate marketing payment model is remarkably similar to the ‘Cost Per Action (CPA)' approach. With the CPA model, you pay for very specific actions, such as app downloads or free trial sign-ups. In most cases, the CPA model is all about collecting leads, which is why it falls into the same category as Cost Per Lead (CPL).

Since collecting leads takes so much effort, you'll need to offer higher payments than with the CPC model. At least, that's the case if you want to attract the best affiliates possible.

If you're interested in getting very specific types of conversions for your website, this is a fantastic affiliate marketing payment option. However, it also requires a sizable budget, as not every lead will translate to a sale.

3. Cost Per Sale (CPS) Payments

The Cost Per Sale (CPS) (or Pay Per Sale [PPS]) model is the bread and butter of the affiliate marketing world. With this system, you only pay when the affiliate's efforts result in a sale. This means that if you run the numbers properly, your affiliate program should never be in the red.

Let's say, for example, that you run an affiliate program to drive sales for your software:

Affiliate Royale's prices

If you sell your product for a one-time payment, your CPS costs should be lower than that price so that you can still make a product. When offering items or services worth hundreds of dollars, it's not hard to find a commission rate that attracts the best affiliates while also growing your business.

For subscription-based products, it's not uncommon to offer CPS payments that are higher than what you get upfront from customers. Hosting companies, in particular, tend to offer some of the highest commission rates for their affiliates:

Examples of hosting affiliate commissions

Other platforms, such as Amazon, pay their affiliates a small percentage of each sale they make. That approach may seem less attractive at first, but with a platform the size of Amazon, affiliates have so many marketing options that the program still remains competitive.

Ultimately, the CPS model works as well as the products or services you offer. If the quality is good, affiliates will be able to sell on your behalf, and both parties should reap the rewards.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing programs are only as successful as the rewards they provide. If you don't have a solid and transparent payment model in place, you'll likely have a hard time finding members. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent options.

In most cases, one of the following models should take you far:

  1. CPC payments: This approach is great if you want to get as much traffic as possible, and you're prepared to optimize for conversions.
  2. CPL payments: By paying for leads, you get more qualified users who are easier to nurture, although the costs tend to be higher.
  3. CPS payments: Paying for sales is perhaps the easiest way to scale your business, but you need competitive commissions to attract the best affiliates.

Do you have any questions about how to choose the right payment model for your affiliate marketing program? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!

Affiliate Fraud: 3 Ways to Prevent It

fraud alert

Running an affiliate marketing program is an effective way to grow your business and increase revenue. Unfortunately, there is also a risk of malicious activities, such as affiliate fraud, that can hurt your earnings and undermine your advertising initiatives.

The issue of affiliate fraud is a serious one, and it's on the rise. However, identifying the various methods used by bad actors and illegitimate affiliates can help safeguard you against it.

In this post, we'll explain what affiliate fraud is and discuss some of the most common types. Then we'll provide you with three key methods you can use to prevent it. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing Fraud

Affiliate marketing uses a performance-based approach to online advertising. A company enlists affiliate partners to promote its products or services through unique links and referral codes. When sales or conversions are made through those promotions, the affiliates are paid a commission.

Participating in these marketing programs provides a lucrative and convenient way for affiliates to earn a passive income. What's more, it's a cost-effective marketing technique for brands that want to drive conversions and boost revenue.

Unfortunately, the digital tracking and attribution model behind affiliate marketing is not foolproof. In fact, research shows that over 35 percent of digital ad traffic is fraudulent. Problems arise when fraudsters exploit or abuse the affiliate marketing system to falsely or unfairly claim commissions.

Put simply, affiliate fraud is when bad actors participate in or execute illegal activities in order to scam affiliate marketers or merchants. These scammers can implement a variety of methods to trick companies into paying them affiliate commissions that aren't actually valid.

Common Types of Affiliate Fraud

Affiliate fraud comes in many different forms. Some of the most common types include:

  • Click fraud. With click fraud, scammers can flood Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns with fraudulent or invalid clicks, often through bots or artificial activity that uses software to simulate real users.
  • Typosquatting. This refers to hijacking a URL that's similar to a company's name, in order to collect the referrals from redirects.
  • Traffic diverting. Fraudsters can use what's known as ‘parasite sites' to steal the traffic from a legitimate affiliate site.
  • Cookie stuffing. Browser cookies enable tracking of affiliate referrals. So fraudulent affiliates can place a variety of cookies on a visitor's browser to earn the commission if and when that customer does end up making a purchase.
  • App installs. Also known as attribution fraud, this is when thieves steal credit card information to install apps, in order to manipulate app tracking attribution platforms.

If you participate in affiliate marketing, these types of fraud can have devastating effects. As a merchant, you might end up paying for clicks that don't actually increase sales, or face unnecessary expenses that threaten your bottom line. Additionally, affiliate partners could be unjustly blamed or penalized for the black hat behavior of scammers.

Affiliate Fraud: 3 Ways to Prevent It

Now that we have a better understanding of exactly what affiliate fraud is and the various forms it can take, it's time to learn how to avoid it. Let's take a look at three effective methods you can use to prevent affiliate fraud.

1. Carefully Screen and Communicate With Affiliates

Adopting a strategic vetting process to make sure affiliates are legitimate from the start can go a long way towards preventing fraud. For example, you might consider implementing a multi-stage application process and configuring it so that you have to manually approve new affiliates:

The MemberPress Affiliate Program application.

When screening a potential affiliate, you'll want to verify that they have an active, legitimate website and that their content aligns with your products or services. This can reduce the risk of a bad actor making their way in undetected.

Even once you approve of an affiliate, it's important to clearly communicate your terms and conditions. Having a lawyer look over your policies can help you ensure that there's no room for error, or potential loopholes that could lead to affiliate fraud or abuse.

2. Closely Monitor Traffic and Program Analytics

It's hard to spot illegal or suspicious activity happening with your affiliate program if you don't have a way of actively monitoring it. By regularly and closely tracking your affiliate marketing analytics, you're better positioned to identify a sudden surge in traffic, a concerning influx of redirect pages, or a questionable number of transactions attributed to a single IP address.

Fortunately, there are affiliate program tools and plugins you can use to make doing this easier. For example, our Affiliate Royale plugin provides a robust admin dashboard with link tracking as well as analytics and reporting features, so you can easily uncover anomalies:

The Affiliate Royale plugin website.

Also, because this solution integrates seamlessly with WordPress, you won't have to worry about juggling multiple platforms and tools. All the insight you'll need will be accessible from within your dashboard.

3. Block Suspicious IP Addresses and Remove Unethical Affiliates

Mistakes happen, and not all odd behavior or abnormalities that occur within your affiliate program necessarily mean that you have a cybercriminal on your hands. However, it's best to err on the safe side.

If the same user repeatedly demonstrates suspicious behavior or violates your terms and conditions, it's likely best to remove them. You don't want to risk compromising your entire affiliate program, or lose out on profits due to one careless, malicious, or greedy participant.

If you're an Affiliate Royale user, you'll have the convenience of doing this directly through the plugin. There's a dedicated section for your list of affiliates, and removing one is as simple as deleting a plugin from your site.

You'll also be able to use the plugin's settings to leverage a variety of other key features:

For example, you can disable the option to automatically add users, and turn on a setting to display your affiliate agreement. There's even a feature for modifying the number of days before an affiliate cookie expires. This can help prevent the fraudulent technique we discussed earlier that's known as ‘cookie stuffing'.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a popular, powerful, and effective way to grow your business, promote products, and increase revenue. However, it's important to take careful and proactive measures to protect your program and campaigns from scammers.

In this post, we discussed three ways to prevent affiliate fraud:

  1. Carefully screen and communicate with your affiliates.
  2. Closely monitor your affiliate program analytics and user behavior.
  3. Block suspicious IP addresses and remove unethical affiliates.

Do you have any questions about preventing fraud in affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: The Basics

Affiliate marketing is a popular and effective tactic for boosting conversions, driving sales, and ultimately earning a passive income online. However, considering that it's such a dynamic and expansive field, figuring out where and how to get started can feel overwhelming.

Fortunately, all it takes is some simple guidance and research. Once you understand the basics of affiliate marketing for beginners and how it works, you can use it to your advantage and increase the income you earn through your website.

In this post, we’ll begin by discussing what affiliate marketing is and its benefits. Then we'll explain how it works, and provide you with some tips for getting started. Let’s jump in!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

In short, affiliate marketing is a strategy in which a brand pays a commission to affiliates based on sales generated through their referrals. The key parties involved are:

  • Sellers (sometimes referred to as merchants, retailers, or brands) can range from individual entrepreneurs to global enterprises. They are the creators of the products or services being promoted and sold.
  • Affiliates (also referred to as publishers or advertisers) promote the seller’s products to their audiences by using affiliate links and ads. If their promotion or referral leads to a sale, they earn a commission from the seller.
  • Customers purchase the product or service from the seller based on the affiliate’s referral.

Essentially, affiliate marketing is a form of profit-sharing between sellers and advertisers. The commission earned comes out of the product price, so it doesn't create an additional cost to the customer.

Whether you participate in affiliate marketing as a merchant or an affiliate, there are many advantages when compared to other types of marketing. One of the biggest draws is the amount of control and flexibility available.

For example, a merchant can create an affiliate marketing program based on the products and services of their choosing, while affiliates can decide which programs to participate in. The shared goal is getting product promotions in front of relevant audiences who are likely to convert.

Affiliate links and banner ads are often used in informative, appealing, and engaging ways that are actually useful to users, such as through video tutorials or product reviews:

An example of a product review video that contains affiliate marketing content.

Affiliate marketing is also cost-effective. Most affiliate programs are free to join, and operate on a performance-based system. This means that commissions are earned only when a consumer completes the intended action (a purchase, sign-up, etc.).

How Affiliate Marketing Programs Work

When you sign up for an affiliate marketing program, you’re issued a unique ID and a trackable URL to use in your content promoting the merchant’s product(s). When a user clicks on your affiliate link or banner ad, it adds a cookie to the user’s browser.

If you click on an affiliate link or ad, you might notice the referral code or identifier within the URL. Generally, the link looks longer than it would if you were to visit the merchant’s page directly:

An example of an Amazon Affiliate referral code in the browser URL.

As an affiliate program manager, you would use these special IDs to verify the referral source of a customer. In other words, these codes are critical for confirming and crediting affiliate partners.

Not all affiliate programs operate the same way, of course. Some common commission models include:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC): Affiliates earn credit any time a consumer clicks on their affiliate links.
  • Pay Per Sale (PPS): An affiliate earns a percentage of the referred sale.
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL): If an affiliate’s link results in a qualified lead, they receive a fixed commission.

Ultimately, the structure and terms depend on whether you’re using a self-hosted program or an affiliate marketing network. Networks such as Commission Junction and ShareASale are popular places to get started.

These third-party services act as an intermediary between sellers and affiliates. Although they can help with finding and managing affiliate accounts, they don’t offer as much control or autonomy as self-hosted programs, such as what you can operate through Affiliate Royale.

With the latter, you can create your own program and exercise complete control — and it's simpler that working with a third-party service.

Tips for Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing

If you’re interested in getting started with affiliate marketing, the first decision you need to make is whether you want to participate as a merchant or an affiliate. The side of the affiliate marketing relationship you’re more interested in will influence your next steps.

For example, if you’re a blogger or have a large social media following, becoming an affiliate partner to other companies and brands can be incredibly lucrative. Not only will it help you earn money online, but it can also help to grow your confidence and familiarity with affiliate marketing programs, perhaps even paving the way to starting your own.

To begin, it's smart to make a list of the brands and products you're most passionate about, and brainstorm potential affiliate programs you might join. You can check the website of your favorite brands to see whether they offer an affiliate program (this information is usually listed in the footer):

The footer of the MemberPress website.

On the other hand, if you are a business owner with existing products or services to sell, starting your own affiliate marketing program makes the most sense. If you do decide an affiliate program is right for your business, the next step is to launch your affiliate site.

Fortunately, our own affiliate program plugin can make doing this quick and easy:

The Affiliate Royale WordPress plugin website.

Built to simplify affiliate marketing for beginners, our all-in-one management plugin comes with all the features and functionality needed to set up and run an affiliate program. This includes a personalized dashboard for affiliates, shopping cart integration, banner and link creation, and more.

Conclusion

Whether you're interested in promoting other companies' products to earn a passive income, or you want to grow your own business through a network of talented publishers and advertisers, affiliate marketing can help. Although the structure, pricing, and terms vary by program, there are plenty of ways to get started.

As we discussed in this post, as an affiliate partner you have the opportunity to earn a commission every time someone uses your affiliate link. We recommend looking into affiliate or referral programs offered by your favorite brands. If you're ready to create your own program, our Affiliate Royale plugin can simplify and streamline the process.

Do you have any questions about getting started with affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments!

The 6 Most Common Mistakes When Starting an Affiliate Marketing Program (And How to Avoid Them)

man who just made a mistake

Affiliate marketing can be very profitable when done right. According to a Business Insider report, it accounts for about 15 percent of overall revenue in the digital media industry. However, there are some common mistakes business owners are prone to making when starting new programs, which can hamper long-term success.

By avoiding these stumbling blocks, you can maximize your income and build profitable relationships with your marketing partners or affiliates. Fortunately that isn't hard to do – in this case, a little foreknowledge goes a long way.

In this article, we’ll look at the top six mistakes commonly made when starting an affiliate marketing program, and talk about how to avoid them. Let’s get started!

1. Neglecting to Promote Your Affiliate Program

First on our list is neglecting to promote your affiliate marketing program. It’s nearly impossible to make your program a success if you haven’t generated any awareness about it.

Ideally, you'll want to begin advertising your program even before it’s launched. You can start by letting your existing audience know about it (for example, through an email blast), and by clarifying its benefits and how much they can earn.

In addition, it's a good idea to set up banners on your home page (or any other page with high visibility):

An affiliate program promotional banner.

Social media posts can also be an effective means for notifying both existing and new followers about your program. All of this content can lead interested parties to a dedicated page that explains all of the key details.

2. Forgetting to Vet Your Affiliate Partners

It’s tempting to indiscriminately accept anyone who applies to your affiliate program. This comes from a desire to grow it as quickly as possible. However, it’s smart to perform some due diligence and acquire basic background information for each applicant, since they'll be functioning as an advocate for your products or services.

Going into partnerships with people whose only goal is to make a quick buck can give your brand a bad reputation. Additionally, since these individuals may also be prone to spamming links and engaging in other less-than-stellar practices, your page rankings could be negatively affected.

Therefore, it's best to ensure that everyone you accept satisfies the following (at a minimum):

  • Has a quality content channel (blog, podcast, social profiles, etc.) that's regularly updated
  • Is a genuine business or has previous affiliate experience
  • Does not engage in spammy practices in their existing content
  • Is established within their niche and has the trust of their audience (as indicated by a highly-engaged following, a strong social media presence, etc.)

Overall, you'll want to focus on gathering a small but solid band of affiliates, rather than a sizable number who might do more harm than good.

3. Failing to Pay Enough Commission

The appeal of an affiliate marketing program is that anyone can earn money by promoting a brand’s products or services. While there’s certainly some work to be done, affiliates can bring in what's essentially passive income once the right structures are in place.

With that being said, the rewards will still need to be worthwhile in order to attract quality marketers. Since many businesses now have affiliate programs for promoting their offerings, it’s important to stand out or you risk losing to the competition. If your commission rates aren’t appealing enough, you may see few applicants.

An example of affiliate commission rates.

Admittedly, it may not be feasible to pay high rates for all of your products. However, it’s generally smart to have a list of high-commission items. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that payments are sent out as early as possible, and according to your affiliate agreement. Otherwise, your partners may lose their motivation for promoting your brand.

In the same vein, it’s important that you do not reduce commissions after sign-ups. This can cause your affiliates to stop promoting your products, or even leave your program entirely.

4. Not Tracking Affiliate Activities

Even your best efforts at vetting potential affiliates might be inadequate. You might find that you still have some marketing partners who overstep their bounds and engage in questionable or even unethical practices.

Therefore, you’ll want to set up a consistent schedule for reviewing affiliate traffic and sales for inconsistencies. Proactively monitoring your affiliates this way can ensure that they do not damage your reputation. It might even help you contain mishaps early on.

It's also very important to define the terms and conditions for your program before launching it:

An affiliate program's terms and conditions.

Then you'll just have to enforce them as needed, which can serve to deter further mischief.

5. Neglecting to Spell Out Acceptable and Unacceptable Marketing Strategies

We’ve established that some affiliates may engage in questionable marketing practices, regardless of your best efforts to vet them at the application stage. However, it’s also possible that you simply haven’t made your rules clear enough.

When starting your program, you'll want to create unambiguous standards about acceptable and unacceptable practices. For example, some companies forbid their affiliates from bidding on certain brand keywords in Google AdWords.

Consider including a list of allowed promotional activities in your affiliate terms, and forbidding everything else. This way, you can avoid the risk of your partners using techniques you’re unfamiliar with, and keep your reputation sparkling.

6. Failing to Treat Your Affiliates Like Business Partners

Affiliate partnerships are business relationships. Therefore, you’ll want to treat them as such. Although it’s your responsibility to lay down rules to ensure that affiliates do not damage your brand’s reputation, you'll also want to allow some flexibility and avoid treating them like employees.

To begin with, you should consider allowing flexible marketing techniques (within your established constraints, as discussed above). You'll also want to avoid creating too many rules, and generally being heavy-handed. The goal is to build and maintain solid working relationships with your affiliates.

Communication is a key factor in building such strong partnerships. Therefore, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open, listening to affiliates' concerns and suggestions. This might require scheduling regular meetings, as well as sending newsletters and educational content.

Another advantage of communicating with your affiliates is that since they’re often in direct contact with your end users, you can gain more awareness about what products or services your audiences want and are willing to pay for. Therefore, it's best to be proactive about soliciting such feedback, as your affiliates may unintentionally gloss over it. 

Conclusion

Starting an affiliate marketing program can be an excellent way to increase your revenue. When done the right way, you can build long-term relationships with partners who will help create more awareness for your brand. You can also gain deeper insights into the needs of your target audiences.

Along the way, it's also vital to avoid these six common mistakes:

  1. Neglecting to promote your affiliate program.
  2. Forgetting to vet your affiliate partners.
  3. Failing to pay enough commissions.
  4. Not tracking affiliate activities.
  5. Neglecting to spell out acceptable and unacceptable marketing strategies.
  6. Failing to treat your affiliates like business partners.

Have you made any of these mistakes, and how have you fixed (or how do you plan to fix) them? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Create a Chatbot for WordPress (In 4 Steps)

You can have a well-structured website with plenty of useful information. However, your customer and website visitors will still inevitably have questions or need help using your site.

Chatbots are a powerful automation tool WordPress users can implement to provide better customer service through their websites or social channels. As an alternative to live chats, chatbots let you quickly answer common questions as well as add a bit of personality to your site.

In this article, we’ll explain what chatbots are and why they’re beneficial for your website. Then, we’ll walk you through the four steps of creating a chatbot for your WordPress site. Let’s get started!

Are you ready to start your own online business? Get started with Affiliate Royale!

The Benefits of Creating a Chatbot for Your WordPress Site

A chatbot is essentially a robot you can use on your website to carry out text conversations with visitors. Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa are examples of sophisticated chatbots.

There are different kinds of chatbots. A popular type is social media bots. For example, businesses can use Facebook Messenger as a chatbot on their business profile pages.

These automated chat systems take the place of a live customer service representative. The chat interface can help deliver better user experience, drive calls to action (CTA), and collect data from site visitors.

Adding a chatbot to your website can save you time by answering repetitive questions for you. It can also help infuse your site with a bit of personality.

Amtrak virtual assistant chatbot.

Chatbots can be particularly beneficial for affiliate marketing programs. In addition to being a useful lead generation tool, they can also display affiliate links.

While the artificial intelligence technologies behind chatbots are impressively capable of mimicking human speech and conversation, there's no actual human on the other end. Chatbots are effective for answerings FAQs, but they can't handle all tasks. You'll still need a support team to handle some visitor requests.

How to Create a Chatbot for WordPress (In 4 Steps)

Adding a chatbot to your WordPress site doesn't require a lot of technical knowledge. In fact, you can do it by following the four steps below.

Step 1: Sign Up for a Chatbot Tool Such as Botsify

There are many plugins and tools you can use to create a chatbot. We recommend Botsify because it's easy to use and it doesn't require a plugin (though there is one available if needed):

Botsify website.

This chatbot tool integrates well with WordPress and includes a lot of customization options. Thanks to its drag-and-drop feature, there's no coding required.

You can choose from two different pricing plans. However, you may consider signing up for a 14-day free trial so you can test the tool, see how it works, and whether you like it before committing. Once you sign up for your account, you'll be emailed instructions on getting started.

Most chatbot tools are similar. So, if you decide to go with an alternative, such as WP Chatbot, the following instructions will be similar.

Step 2: Choose a Template for Your Chatbot

After you log into your account, you'll be prompted to fill out a series of questions. The first is to choose a template for the chatbot. You can choose an existing template or create your own (which is what you'll want to do if you're creating one for your site).

When it asks what you plan to use Botsify for, click on Generate Leads for your Business from Website:

Botsify template options.

After you select Proceed to Next Step, you'll be asked to answer additional questions about what information you want your chatbot to collect. Then, you can name your bot, customize the greeting message, and choose an avatar:

Botsify chatbot name and avatar settings.

A preview of your chatbot will appear in the right-hand corner. Once you're satisfied, you can click on Save & Continue. Remember, you can always come back to change these settings later.

Step 3: Customize Your Chatbot's Messages

To change what the messages will say, you can go to the Botsify dashboard. On the left-hand side, under the Chatbot AI drop-down menu, click on Basic Messages:

There's a lot of information and many options in this section. To keep it simple, you may consider starting with the Greeting Message and Default Message sections. Under the Default Message section, you'll find generic responses you can use. Under Common User Questions, you can input your answers for some of the most frequently asked questions for chatbots.

After you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the messaging options, you can move on to “teaching” your chatbot what to say. The options for doing this are located under Chatbot AI > Story:

Botsify Story settings on dashboard.

This is one of the more in-depth steps of the process. However, Botsify offers a comprehensive guide on how to train your chatbot that you can use as a reference.

Step 4: Add the Chatbot Code to Your WordPress Footer File

When you're done customizing the messaging, you're ready to add the chatbot to your WordPress site! You can do this by embedding a snippet of code to the footer.php file of your WordPress site.

There are a couple of ways to go about this. On the left-hand side of the dashboard, click on Publish Bot > Connect to Website:

Botsify publish bot settings.

If you want to manually add the code to your site, you can do so by clicking on Install the Code yourself. You can then copy the embed code that appears to paste into the footer.php file of your site.

However, if this is something you're uncomfortable or unfamiliar with doing yourself, you may consider using the Botsify Chatbot Widget plugin instead:

After you install and activate the plugin on your WordPress dashboard, click on Botsify. It will bring you to a page where you can simply paste the API Key provided under the Publish Bot options:

API Key field for Botsify Chatbot Widget.

Once you paste the API Key, click on Save Changes. That's it! Now, if you preview your website, you'll see the chatbot appear in the lower right-hand corner.

Conclusion

You want your website to be a valuable resource for your business. However, you’re not always available to answer visitor questions or inquiries. Chatbots are virtual assistants that serve as an effective alternative to live chats.

As we discussed in this article, there are four steps to creating a chatbot for WordPress:

  1. Sign up for a Botsify account (or similar chatbot tool).
  2. Choose a template for your chatbot.
  3. Customize your chatbot’s messages and stories.
  4. Add the chatbot code to your WordPress site.

Help your affiliate program reach new heights with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

Do you have any questions about creating a chatbot for WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

3 Black Hat SEO Tactics You Need To Avoid

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help boost your site’s page ranking and garner more viewers. However, search engines are designed to punish sites using “black hat,” or spammy, SEO tactics. You can get caught in these filters unintentionally, even if you’re not spamming on purpose.

Luckily, there are clear guidelines you can follow to avoid inadvertently using black hat SEO. Following these guidelines will ensure your site is not being pushed down in the rankings by factors within your control.

And understanding how search engines operate can help you to get more viewers for your affiliate website.

This article will go over what black hat SEO is, the factors search engines use to decide whether content is spammy, and how you can fix three black hat tactics you might be using unintentionally. Let’s get started!

Ready to create the affiliate program you've been dreaming of? Try Affiliate Royale today!

A Primer on Black Hat SEO

It’s important to understand black hat SEO before you can learn how to avoid it. First off, you might be wondering what it is, and why it’s called that. The term originated with reference to the black hats that villains often wore in old movies, especially Westerns.

One example of a black hat SEO tactic might be intentionally overloading your text with highly searched keywords in an attempt to game the system, a practice known as “keyword stuffing.” This tactic generally creates hard-to-read, unnatural sounding articles.

In contrast, the positive use of SEO techniques is referred to as “white hat.” The white hat alternative to keyword stuffing would be to write text focused on what’s important to your readers, working keywords in when it is natural to do so. However, how do search engines differentiate between the two? We’ll discuss that in the next section.

How Search Engines Judge Your Content

You might be wondering where and how search engines draw the line between black hat and white hat SEO. The primary difference between the two is in the value you’re adding for your visitors. Search engines favor fresh, original content. They penalize tactics that may be scamming the system, trying to boost a page’s ranking without necessarily offering additional value.

That isn’t to say that black hat SEO is always malicious. You may be using some of these techniques without being aware of it. However, search engines use an algorithm to determine rankings – so whatever your motives, you should make sure to avoid black hat tactics, as they will likely lower your ranking.

Lower rankings mean that viewers will be less likely to find your site via organic search, which can cause your page views to tank. In turn, this may hurt your affiliate sales.

In the next section, we’ll go over what some of these methods are and how you can avoid them.

3 Black Hat Tactics You Might Be Using (And How to Avoid Them)

Now that we know why black hat SEO is undesirable, we’ll go over three of the tactics you might be unintentionally using on your affiliate site, and how you can replace them.

In general, to avoid black hat SEO, you should focus as much on quality as you do on optimization. However, following are three of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid:

1. Keyword Stuffing

We briefly touched on keyword stuffing, the practice of overusing keywords, especially when they’re not relevant to your content. Keywords are commonly searched words or phrases, kind of like internet buzzwords.

When you abuse keywords, it creates bloated text that’s hard to read. Worse, if you use keywords that aren’t related to your text, you may be leading your visitors down a hole toward content they aren't looking for.

Search engines detect keyword stuffing by finding frequently repeated words or phrases or lists of keywords without any context at all. This practice harms your site because, aside from lowering your search rankings, it makes your site harder to read.

If your site is hard to read, visitors may flee, increasing your bounce rate and negatively affecting your page views and your profit as an affiliate site.

You can avoid keyword stuffing by focusing on writing natural-sounding text and mentioning keywords only when necessary. You also want to be providing valuable content.

For example, if you were selling a 100% silk sweater, it’s not enough to repeat the phrase “100% silk sweater” over and over again. You might want to write a description about the organic, eco-friendly conditions the silkworms were raised in, or a blog post about 12 outfit pairings that are cute for spring, and work in mentions of the sweater as you can.

2. Abusing Anchor Text Links

Another spammy tactic is overusing anchor text links. Anchor text links are any links attached to text – like the red text pictured in the above screenshot.

Text links can be beneficial in link building, the process of increasing external links to your site to improve SEO. If you're writing an article, and it touches on the content you’ve already written on your site, it’s fair game to post a select number of links to that content.

However, text links can also be used for advertisements, such as when another company has paid you for links to their site. It's fine to post high quality paid links in moderation, but it constitutes abuse if you're overdoing it.

Behavior that’s interpreted as spammy includes having many links containing the exact same text or having many sites link back to your website using the exact same anchor text.

Stuffing text with links can tank your site’s SEO. As an affiliate site, your reputation is important. If your site looks spammy, businesses may not want to be associated with your brand.

Having an overabundance of links to low-quality content (especially the oft-hated pop-up ads) can lower your brand’s reputation and its overall influence.

You can avoid this tactic by only including links where relevant. Even if you want to link to your affiliate content, you should make sure to work these links in naturally. It helps to only choose affiliates that match your niche as closely as possible.

For example, if you’re trying to sell a power drill on a makeup site, you might have a problem naturally working in links! But you shouldn’t have a problem working in one or two links to a new blush or mascara on the same site.

3. Copied Content

Copied content is another SEO killer. Remember back in college when you were required to produce original work or risk expulsion? SEO is similar to that. Duplicate content can lower your rankings.

Some website owners will copy text point-blank from other sites. That’s a definite no-no. However, even if you’re not doing that, the algorithm might still pick up your site as copied content.

For example, if your site has multiple links for the same content, it may show up as a duplicate. This can happen if you have one copy of your website with the www. extension and one without, or if you have a mobile version of your site and another version for desktop.

To avoid this, one solution is to use canonical links to tell search engines when you have multiple versions of the same content on your website. This way, you can tell search engines when you have intentionally created duplicate versions of pages, as for a mobile and desktop site.

Start an online business you can be proud of. Create an affiliate program with Affilitate Royale now!

Conclusion

Using the best SEO practices is vital to the success of your affiliate program. The lower your SEO, the less likely it will be that anyone sees your affiliate site’s content – including the ads for your business.

However, you can easily implement strong SEO practices. Make sure you avoid these three tactics, which mirror black hat SEO:

  1. Keyword stuffing
  2. Repeated or overused Anchor Text Links
  3. Copied content

Do you have any other questions about the best SEO practices? Let us know in the comments section below!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

How You Can Set Out Terms and Conditions for Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Creating clear terms and conditions for participation in your affiliate marketing program is no easy task. There are legal and behavioral standards to consider when designing them, which can be complicated for many business owners.

However, by following some practical tips, you can define your ground rules and ensure they meet certain legal requirements. In turn, you can inform your affiliates of their responsibilities as well as mitigate risk to your business.

In this article, we’ll first explore the value of setting terms and conditions for your affiliate program. Next, we’ll offer tips on how to create them by using clear rules and procedures, outlining behavioral standards, and including clauses that cover intellectual property rights. Let’s get started!

Why Your Affiliate Marketing Program Needs Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions outline a set of rules users must follow in order to continue using a certain company's products or services. This is a popular practice for many types of websites and online platforms, not just affiliate programs.

You're probably familiar with the concept from using various online services yourself:

The Terms and Conditions for Apple Media.

In the context of your affiliate program, your terms and conditions outline guidelines your partners must follow to continue receiving compensation for promoting your brand.

One key reason to include these ground rules for your affiliate program is that they set expectations for your partners in advance. A common practice is to require them to agree to your guidelines before they begin promoting your products, which helps define their responsibilities and yours.

Another reason to create official terms and conditions is that they can limit your legal liability in certain situations. You can include a clause that states you are not responsible for your affiliates' actions or content, including whether it's accurate, complete, or suitable for any purpose.

Finally, you can enforce terms and conditions through termination clauses. If one of your affiliates is deliberately breaking your rules, you'll have the power to revoke their account.

How You Can Set Out Terms and Conditions for Your Affiliate Marketing Program (3 Key Tips)

If you find creating terms and conditions for your affiliate program overwhelming, don’t worry. Here are three key tips you can put into practice to help make it easier.

1. Specify Clear Rules and Procedures for Compliance with Government Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an agency of the United States government that sets out regulations businesses must follow. To be compliant with FTC guidelines, you need to ensure your affiliates disclose that they receive compensation for promoting your products in an obvious way, such as tagging affiliate posts on social media with “#ad”.

Merchants are responsible for ensuring their affiliates follow these disclosure laws. Breaking them can lead to hefty fines for your business. To protect yourself, it's wise to include a clause in your terms and conditions requiring affiliates to adhere to FTC guidelines in order to continue participating in your program.

2. Outline Behavioral Standards to Uphold Your Brand's Image

Your terms and conditions can also enable you to set behavioral standards for your affiliates. This lets your partners know what’s acceptable when promoting your products and what will not be tolerated.

For example, you can include clauses that prohibit users from spamming third party blogs or social media with their affiliate links. You can also ban unethical marketing practices such as cookie stuffing, which is the practice of embedding affiliate cookies into web pages without a visitor's knowledge.

These standards can help you maintain your brand's positive image and authority, and prevent the negative repercussions of such practices from falling back on you. Plus, your affiliates may be less likely to try underhanded activities if they know it will put their accounts at risk.

3. Protect Your Business Against Intellectual Property Claims

Finally, your terms and conditions should include a clause about intellectual property. This includes copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Your contract should state that affiliates are responsible for all intellectual property right claims that may arise from their content.

By doing so, you can avoid potential lawsuits as a result of your affiliates using copyrighted images, logos, or other content when promoting your brand. This is also another chance to educate your partners on laws they should be aware of to legally market your products or services.

Conclusion

Creating the terms and conditions of your affiliate marketing program can be overwhelming due to the number of factors you must consider. However, by following a few key tips you can ensure you're on the right track to help protect you and your partners. 

In this post, we covered why your affiliate marketing program needs terms and conditions, and three important clauses to include:

  1. Specify clear rules and procedures for compliance with FTC regulations.
  2. Set behavioral standards of how you expect your affiliates to promote your products to uphold your brand's image.
  3. Protect your business against intellectual property claims.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about how to create terms and conditions for your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Ways Your Affiliate Program Can Prepare New Recruits

Recruitment is a core aspect of an affiliate marketing program's success. However, without an effective onboarding program, new partners may struggle to make sales or even violate Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules.

That's why it's important for your affiliate program to prepare recruits. This process may include orientation, sharing comprehensive guidelines, and supplying partners with tools to help them flourish in their role.

In this post, we'll take a look at the importance of onboarding recruits. Then, we'll offer practical tips on how you can support your affiliates and prepare them to drive sales. Let's get started!

The Importance of Affiliate Onboarding

Successful onboarding is hugely important for affiliate programs. Just like any type of work, if a partner isn’t prepared well, they may struggle to make the impact you were both hoping for.

For instance, inadequate onboarding (or a complete lack thereof) may lead to poor productivity and gradual dissatisfaction. This could result in your new recruit not settling down or fulfilling the goals that they had set for themselves when they joined.

Even worse, weak onboarding could result in retention issues and high turnover. After all, if your partners don’t feel engaged, they may perceive themselves as expendable. In the end, losing recruits will prevent you from building a stable affiliate program.

It isn’t just about welcoming them to your business, either. If new affiliates aren’t aware of legal requirements, such as displaying disclosures, they could incur fines from the FTC. This is bad for them, but could also reflect poorly on your program.

With onboarding, you can give your recruits a solid impression of your brand’s scope and values. When they understand your objectives, targets, and what their role will be, they’ll be prepared to effectively implement affiliate marketing to their own benefit and yours.

3 Ways Your Affiliate Program Can Prepare New Recruits

Fortunately, there are a number of options when it comes to methods for supporting your recruits. Here are three ways you can get your partners up and running from the get-go.

1. Have Orientation Training In Place

One method of getting recruits ready is providing a formal orientation. It’s easy to get lost in a new environment. Without the right support, your new partners could quickly become overwhelmed.

When you create your training process, it might be smart to cover topics such as how to create and share disclosures, navigate your affiliate dashboard, and track commissions. To help guide them through the process, you could assign mentors to each of your new partners.

This might be a generous affiliate with plenty of experience under their belt, or someone from your own marketing team. Mentoring can help develop a sense of community and nurture strong relationships that may help individuals feel valued in your program.

Ultimately, communication is important when it comes to orienting recruits. Regular email updates are a solid start, but there are other options. A solid welcome message is not only easy to create, but can direct recruits to further resources they may need.

To set one up using Affiliate Royale, navigate to Options > Dashboard. Here, you can write your custom welcome message:

Dashboard settings in Affiliate Royale.

Click on Update Options to save and publish it. 

2. Provide Affiliates With Clear Guidelines

Guidelines can help new recruits seamlessly integrate into your program. Your directives should cover your values and best practices, such as adding disclosures and maintaining your brand's voice.

Clear guidelines can be especially valuable to ensuring your program is in full compliance with the FTC. Such safeguards may be just what you need to protect your brand and against serious consequences if your affiliates violate disclosure laws. 

Of course, building up a series of guidelines is an on-going process, and it can be a lot of information for partners to digest at once. Given this, try to keep your guidelines simple and remember to notify partners of any updates.

Also, look to break up text with media, such as screenshots, infographics, and videos. Consider using examples to illustrate key guidelines. You can also organize content in a resource hub on your website to centralize your materials.

Finally, you might want to use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as another means of directing new partners to your guidelines. An FAQ page can provide vital answers no matter when your affiliates find themselves needing information.

3. Supply Your Partners With Relevant Materials

When a recruit is fully equipped with relevant marketing tools, they’re more likely to hit the ground running. With that in mind, providing affiliates with helpful materials can ease the transition into your program.

For instance, you might want to share lists of recommended resources – such as specific WordPress plugins – for your new partners to utilize. By gathering them together on a readily available page, you can ensure that your affiliates won’t waste time searching for tools to improve their marketing skills.

Similarly, your affiliates may not feel comfortable creating graphics to promote your products. To give them a leg up, you can share some visuals they can use through your resource hub.

With Affiliate Royale, the process of uploading banners and ads is easy. To do so, go to Affiliate Royale > Links & Banners. Next, click on the plus sign:

Add Links & Banners page on Affiliate Royale.

From the dropdown menu, select the Banner option. Then, it’s just a matter of uploading your file, adding explanatory info, and providing a target URL:

Option to upload a banner on Affiliate Royale.

Finally, click on the Update Links & Banners button. Once that's done, your affiliates can access your materials and incorporate them on their websites or in promotional content.

Conclusion

Attracting new recruits is an integral aspect of managing a thriving affiliate marketing program. However, once they've joined, you need to ensure they're fully prepared to succeed.

In this post, we shared three ways you can prepare your affiliate program's recruits:

  1. Create orientation training for your new members.
  2. Ensure you have clear guidelines to help direct your partners.
  3. Supply them with resources and materials they need for a solid head start.

Do you have questions about how you can ensure that your recruits are properly prepared for your affiliate program? Ask away in the comments section below!

4 Ways You Can Create Engaging Product Pages for Your Affiliate Program

Creating engaging product pages for your business is an essential but sometimes difficult step. There are many aspects of design and user experience (UX) to consider which can make building these pages more complicated than you might expect.

Fortunately, there are some proven ways to make your listings stand out to visitors as well as potential affiliates. As a result, people will be more likely to sign up to become ambassadors for your brand and drive traffic to your product pages.

In this article, we’ll start by explaining why professional product pages matter to your affiliate program. We’ll then discuss four tips for optimizing yours. Let’s get started!

Why Engaging Product Pages Matter to Your Affiliate Program

At first glance, it may seem like your product pages and your affiliate program are two areas of your brand that have little to no overlap. However, the way you display your merchandise online is actually highly important from a recruiting standpoint.

When potential affiliates assess your site, they want to be assured that your listings have a reasonable chance of converting visitors into customers, as this is how they earn commissions. If your pages are lacking in this area, you may find it difficult to convince people to promote your products.

Similarly, affiliates who've already joined your program may grow frustrated if they're working hard to send customers your way but aren't getting paid. Optimized product pages can keep them happy so your retention rate stays high.

4 Ways You Can Create Engaging Product Pages for Your Affiliate Program

Optimizing your product pages requires a few key components. Here are four strategies you can utilize to make yours stand out to potential affiliates and customers.

1. Use Informative and Clear Descriptions

An informative description clearly defines what a product does and the benefits of using it, along with any pertinent details. This is a vital part of your pages, as 20 percent of shoppers will not purchase an item if they feel there's missing or unclear information.

On the other hand, comprehensive, well-written content can help customers make fully-informed purchasing decisions. Likewise, affiliates may use these details to promote your brand and improve your conversions.

When creating your product descriptions, clearly state the item’s intended use and how customers can benefit from owning it. It’s also important to list other relevant information such as dimensions, weight, and variations:

An example of an Amazon product description.

Depending on what types of products you sell, bullet points or subheadings may be useful for breaking up key details into readable chunks.

2. Include Calls to Action (CTAs)

A CTA prompts site visitors to act. You'll find examples on e-commerce pages that feature a Buy Now or Add to Cart button:

An example of an Amazon CTA.

CTAs for product pages are important because they guide customers toward making a purchase. Not only that, but 90 percent of visitors who read your page titles will also read your CTA copy, which underlines their importance.

For optimizing your CTAs, consider the following tips:

  • Apply text on your buttons that compels users to act, such as “Try Our Free Demo” or “Buy Now.”
  • Experiment with different color choices for your buttons. Choose one that matches your site's design but still stands out.
  • Use large and legible text. It should be big enough to read and capture users' attention right away.
  • Create a sense of urgency to improve click-through rates. You could try: “Sign up today and get 30% off!”
  • Place buttons above the fold so visitors can see them without having to scroll down.

Beyond e-commerce, you can also craft CTAs to encourage shoppers to sign up for your email newsletter, or even to prompt potential partners to sign up for your affiliate program.

3. Feature Excellent Photographs

High-quality product images are key to accurately depicting the items you're selling. Customers and affiliates should be able to clearly see details, such as stitching, up close. Great photos replicate the experience of in-person shopping:

A product image showing an up-close look at a USB C cable.

Photos are also important because they're often the first thing people pay attention to when a page loads. When shopping, people want to be assured your product matches what they're looking for. Assessing the item visually is a key step in that process.

In fact, shoppers cite product photography as the number one thing they want more of from online brands. Delivering on this front could help you stand out from your competition.

There are a number of factors that contribute to creating excellent product photographs, such as:

  • Using a consumer DSLR camera or modern smartphone
  • Showcasing multiple angles
  • Using a white background
  • Saving your images in the ideal dimensions specified by your WordPress theme

In some cases, it may be worth your while to hire a professional product photographer to create your store's images.

4. Ensure Your Pages Load Quickly

According to Google’s mobile page speed study, a site’s bounce rate increases every second it takes for a page to load. The same principle also applies to desktop versions of websites. Additionally, 47 percent of online shoppers expect webpages to load in two seconds or less.

Optimizing the performance of your product pages is therefore key to maximizing conversions and keeping your affiliates satisfied. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your site's loading times, including:

  • Compressing your image files
  • Minifying your site's code
  • Implementing browser caching
  • Employing a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Removing unused WordPress plugins and themes

Platforms such as Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Tools can test your current loading times to provide a baseline to work from.

Conclusion

Creating engaging product pages for your brand is not an intuitive process for most website owners. There are many aspects to consider and experiment with, which can make the process feel overwhelming.

In this post, we covered four ways you can create quality product pages to help your affiliate program succeed:

  1. Use informative and clear descriptions on each page.
  2. Include compelling CTAs to boost conversions.
  3. Feature excellent photographs to showcase your products.
  4. Ensure that your pages load quickly to reduce bounce rates and increase sales.

Do you have any questions about product pages and how they relate to your affiliate program? Let us know in the comments section below!