Your website is up and running. You have some traffic or maybe lots of it. You’re making sales. You’re adding extra content. So what else could you do to boost your income? Well, I have some suggestions for you!
TEST YOUR SITE REGULARLY
I will start with a very simple yet overlooked task that can boost your income: site testing. By this I mean the most basic sort of testing, for example checking for broken images, missing pages and ensuring that links work.
This can be done in different ways: either via a Google Analytics report if you have Analytics set up on your site, or by using third-party tools. You can search for free tools online by entering the keywords, “broken link checker” which will give a range of tools that will scan small to medium-sized sites for free.
Additionally, you can use online services such as SEMrush that include website checks. Alternatively, software programs like Screaming Frog https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/ offer a free version that will check up to 500 pages on your site.
It’s worth checking your site at least once a month as it could uncover some issues you wouldn’t notice yourself.
Next step – check your site on your mobile phone. If you can, try multiple brands of phones. Mobile overtook desktop quite a while ago, so it is likely the majority of your visitors and customers are on mobile devices.
But how does your site look and perform on them? Is the navigation clear? Does the text look easy to read on mobile devices? Can visitors find all the key areas and navigate to them? So grab your phone, load up the site and see if you can easily navigate around.
A good way to approach this is to start on the home page and navigate from there. Then check the most popular entry pages according to Google Analytics and see what they look like on the phone. Can visitors move around the site to your key sales pages? Are the links prominent and mobile friendly?
A common usability feature is a sticky menu. This means if you scroll down the page, the navigation menu should always stay at the top so the visitor can quickly click on the menu and navigate to another page whenever they want.
Additionally, make sure links on the mobile version are big and easy to spot. They should be almost like buttons. Nothing is more annoying than the need to zoom in to click that tiny ‘next page’ link or to go from page three to four.
Browse your website, then go to other websites, observe and compare, and then improve your site. ‘Easy’ is how it should be on a mobile site.
Also SPEED is very important for achieving a good user experience and Google rankings. While some website processes might be beyond your capabilities such as advanced setup by a designated server optimisation crew, there are basic things you can explore and try to handle yourself.
One example is oversized images. Here’s a simple tip – prepare your images at the right size. There’s no need to upload a poster 6 feet by 6 feet just to show it as a square inch-sized icon.
Use this free Google tool to check for some of these issues:
While this is in no way a comprehensive guide to tweaking mobile websites, it’s a good starting point.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS
It is no secret that providing customer reviews and feedback on your site will help with website conversion rates.
Warning: Do not copy exact testimonials from the original sites as it could result in duplicate content issues, instead consider taking a screenshot. Additionally, encourage your site visitors to leave feedback and comments – this way you will be strengthening authority.
A quick trick for those who don’t get that many comments is to hide the dates when they were posted. This way your page will look more current than having just two comments from December 2015.
Which reviews or testimonials to show?
This is a really good question and here are some good guidelines. Basically, you want to show a range of testimonials that covers your customer base. For example, if you know that a product is purchased by women only – just show female testimonials, but if the product has a 50/50 split, show both male and female reviews.
Also if the product is used by both 20-year-olds and 50-year-olds, make sure you feature the full spectrum of age groups.
Tip: A picture is worth one thousand words. So use a mix of text and pictures such as ‘before and after’ product usage, or screenshots of the product being used.
Tip: You can boost your income by strategically showing testimonials that feature people who have used the product for a long time. For example, while a young female who has used a product for two weeks and lost 3 lbs is a very good result, if your average customer is looking to lose 20–30 lbs, then featuring someone who has used the product for six months and lost 35 lbs will do a whole lot better.
Not only will your customers get the best guidance for the results they’re after, but also they’ll be buying bigger packages. So by carefully considering your review content, you could suddenly go from making $30 commission to $100 commission per sale.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Just as we’ve seen above how showing strategically targeted testimonials will lead to bigger commissions, showing price and general comparisons of products will also have the same effect.
Below is a simplified example that shows how buying multiple bottles leads to a reduced price and some nice savings while helping you to sell a larger quantity since the customer wants to achieve greater results.
So combining elements like these together will help you to gain bigger commissions.
Another tip to add here is to clarify any specific offers. For example, buy 3 get 3 free on Bauer Nutrition might seem obvious to you, but is not necessarily clear to the customer.
See if you can present this in the most straightforward way on your website, clearly explaining the value to the potential customer – it could then result in more commission for you.
Another good idea is to highlight the most desirable choice. See the screenshot below from the Unbounce pricing page. They clearly highlight the most popular option:
Giving prominence to one particular option subtly indicates to potential customers that this would be the best choice. So if they’re in doubt, they are more likely to choose it. This can be applied to both pricing and general comparisons of products.
Quite a few companies boast about their track record in order to impress potential customers; they’ll use stats such as, 5,000 customers, 8 million bottles sold, 10 billion banner impressions a month or $150,000/month in ad spend.
How can affiliate marketers benefit from using stats?
Depending on how big your website is, you could consider showing the following activity on your site:
- Option 1: Display “Currently this site has 178 visitors viewing this page” in your header – especially on desktop sites as there’s more room.
- Option 2: Use historic data: “This website has been visited/is trusted by 712,138 visitors.”
- Option 3: Use country data: “This site has been visited by visitors from 112 countries across the world.”
You could obtain these numbers from your Google Analytics or any other statistics tool you might be using. The larger and more impressive the number, the greater the effect it will have.
For example, 500 visitors is not that great in terms of people, but 100 countries sounds far more impressive, so depending on your situation, see which options you can use to your advantage.
Have you ever been on booking.com? If so, you’ve probably seen little notifications, like those below, announcing when someone has “just booked this hotel”, or “10 people are looking at the same hotel right now”.
Well, they do this for a reason; it creates urgency and this in turn means more SALES. The secondary effect is that it shows popularity and also localisation both helping to relate to the offer better.
Below is an example showing both localisation and popularity.
They tell me two things: someone from my country has booked the hotel today and secondly that there are quite a few people interested right now, so I’d better hurry as it appears to be popular and could be in high demand.
So if your website has enough traffic, then you could consider testing some similar notifications on your visitors.
While you might have 14 visitors viewing a page at the same time, it might perhaps be more impressive to show visitor numbers in the last 24 hours. For example, “789 visitors have viewed this site in the past 24 hours.”
Offering a live chat feature is another good way to increase your conversion rates and also to get to know your potential customers. There are quite a few live chat services that you could use on your site and most of them offer between 7- and 30-day trial periods.
This means you can add the facility to your site and get to chat and interact with your visitors before even paying for the service. This could result in making sales as well as discovering some of the most burning visitor questions. Make use of these questions by adding them to your product review pages in the FAQ section or address them in your copy, and you might boost your sales forever.
If you decide that the chat feature is too much of a burden, then you can discontinue it, or after a month run another trial and see what other concerns your visitors express.
Either way, this is one of the best ways to learn more about your visitors. Once you know who they are and what troubles them, you can provide them with solutions and this may include rewording your offers.
If you are using a mobile phone with any kind of apps, most of them will send you notifications – be it a new friend request on Facebook or a new email in your inbox. However, there are ways to achieve similar functionality without having an app. How? With push notifications. These work on both mobile phones and desktop computers.
Here’s an example of what you would see on a desktop when you visit a site that has push notifications installed.
A little pop-up will appear asking you to ‘allow’ notifications.
Once people click allow, you can start sending messages to them. For example, if you are running a fitness blog, you could notify them of new posts and product reviews.
This is an example of how it could look. You can select an image, headline, main text and target link that will be opened when a visitor clicks on the notification.
Usually between 5 and 15% of people will click on the links depending on the message and timing.
The key tips here are to try different headlines and images, as well as different content. Avoid boring headings like ‘ABC product review’ (unless there’s a big demand for it, thanks to a celebrity or massive TV ad) and focus on ones that could attract attention, e.g. ‘The all new six-pack training routine’ or ‘How to add two inches to your biceps’.
Play to the reader’s interests and they will click.
Another bonus is that you don’t necessarily need to point them back to your own site – you can lead them to third-party pages such as opt-in pages or even affiliate links.
One service to consider is PushCrew.com but have a look around, as in recent months there has been a huge rise in available providers, and some might be more affordable than others.
Another option to consider is email marketing. First of all you would need to provide an email capture on your site in order to generate a mailing list, and then you can send mailings reminding people about your site, content and offers.
Imagine you acquire the emails of 1,000 people who are interested in dieting and weight loss. You can then create emails with cleverly targeted product offers. Chances are, if they don’t like the first product, they might like the second or third.
For example, maybe they didn’t like idea of the fat burners in your first email, but your next email about appetite suppression might be spot on and they purchase that instead. Or maybe three weeks later they decide to take up the diet programme you reviewed in your weekly blog post.
Either way, having a substantial mailing list means you can communicate with potential customers many, many times at virtually no cost!
You can read about email marketing in more detail here.
Have you ever been on a site and then felt you’re being stalked with the product or offer following you to almost every other site you visit? We’ve all experienced this at one time or another.
Do you know why they are doing this? The answer is simple. It’s a way of making money! How come? Well, because they are showing their ads to someone who has already visited their site, read their product details and is familiar with their brand.
In some instances it could mean three to ten times more chance of a sale than from a new visitor who is not familiar with the product. This could apply to your affiliate site too. If you have a focused site with a lot of information, it makes sense to consider retargeting.
Retargeting is offered by dozens of companies starting with Google and Facebook, all the way to very specific niche ones. As the major players, Google and Facebook will provide the most exposure, but they are stricter with affiliate promotions so you might consider some other ones such as AdRoll.com or Revcontent.com
Each of the platforms has its various networks and reach range but the core principle is the same:
- You place a pixel on the site.
- Visitors get pixeled (i.e. the cookie is placed).
- Then you can set up ad campaigns showing these people relevant ads.
For example, if someone visited your bodybuilding site, you can retarget them with different offers on bodybuilding, such as an ad taking them back to your product reviews, or an ad for a free e-book in exchange for their email address, or a link to your blog with a relevant article that reignites interest in the product again.
All these platforms offer a range of targeting options, such as the pages visited, how many ads and how long to show them for.
Quick tip: Many platforms, by default, will give 28 or 30 days as the retargeting period. While it might work, it will be more beneficial for you to lower the period to between 5 and 7 days. The reason is simple – the shorter the time between the visit, the more chance the visitor will still be interested. This way you will have higher response and conversion rates.
As I’ve just mentioned, 30 days and even longer could work, but this depends on the particular industry and purchase cycle. It usually happens with higher ticket industries (i.e. expensive products and services) where the buying decision comes after weeks of research. For example, a $2,000 coaching programme or a luxury holiday abroad.
Now that I’ve given you all these ideas, you might think that you’re not technical enough, or don’t have the required copywriting or graphic design skills to follow them through. That’s fine. You don’t need to be good at everything. As long as you know WHAT you want to achieve, then rest can be sourced online – even retargeting campaigns.
This simple solution is called outsourcing. This is where you pay skilled people to complete the job for you. Everything from design to programming to e-book writing and video editing can be outsourced.
If you’re interested, you can read more on outsourcing here:
As you can see, there are many simple and effective strategies you could try to maximise conversion rates and boost sales on your affiliate website. Try some of these right now and let us know in the comments section below how you get on.