For anyone promoting merchants with a website of any kind (multi-niche; niche specific; brand specific; coupon codes etc.) there are a few free tools and solutions that you should be using and adding to your websites right now that will help you increase your affiliate revenue.
Starting with the basics:
Ramp up your site speed with a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Months ago, MoreNiche Managing Director Andy Slack wrote this lovely post on how to supercharge your affiliate wordpress website, which is all about loading speeds.
In his article he mentions Cloudfront (Amazon CDN) as a great choice. And while that’s true, it isn’t free and it might not be as easy to configure for someone not as tech savvy.
As an alternative, you may or may not have heard about Cloudflare. This is a free CDN (Content Delivery Network) that offers you a variety of tools including speed, caching and security.
As straightforward as they come; to setup Cloudflare you only need 2 / 3 easy steps:
- Create an account on Cloudflare and add your website as yourdomain.com
- When prompted to update nameservers, go to your domain registrar and update nameservers so they point to Cloudflare. This will load all your existing DNS settings, such as server ips and alias, so your site will stay up during the process.
- Wait until the DNS propagates (CloudFlare will tell you when)
From this point, Cloudflare will fully manage your DNS and if you want to change anything you can easily do it on their extremely user friendly platform.
One great thing is that it continues managing the DNS for free, even if you pause the speed, caching & security boosts they provide (if you need to – in reality you shouldn’t).
Getting the most out of Cloudflare
Cloudflare is plug-and-play in many ways. But there are a bunch of settings you can tweak to get the most out of it.
If you have time, go over every option on their dashboard to get a feeling of just how powerful this tool can be. But the essential bits are:
- Set Caching Level as Standard.
- Set Browser Cache Expiration as 8 days. This ensures that your site is locally cached on the visitors browser for over a week’s time (the recommended).
- Set Always Online™ to on. In reality, your server shouldn’t go down, but if it does, let Cloudflare keep it online for you.
- Turn on IPv6 Compatibility. This is the so called “next-generation protocol” of the internet and you want to make sure your site is accessible for anyone, regardless of their device or connection.
- Set your Security Level to Medium or Low to ensure only suspicious visitors get redirected to a “Challenge Page” to verify if they are bots. Up to personal preference, you can disable it or if you’re under a DDOS attack you can literally switch it to “I’m Under Attack”.
Curious on the difference it makes? Run your website on GTmetrix before and after to be amazed. As an example, here’s what I was able to achieve on my testing platform:
The results vary depending on your server as you would expect, but you will 100% be able to lift some of your site speed with the above suggestion.
In summary, here’s what you’re getting for free with CloudFlare:
- Easy to Setup
- Easy to Use
- Optimize Site Speed & Caching
- Provides your Site with a layer of Security
- Analytics to measure site usage
Stop Letting Your Visitors Go Empty-Handed!
Right, so you have a website (hopefully faster now) and all this good quality content that you either spent time writing or had to pay for.
Your visitors land on your site from multiple traffic sources (free and/or paid), read your content and some of them might actually use your affiliate links and go through to the merchant site – fantastic!
BUT, what are you doing with the ones that don’t?
To keep it short; you should be doing all you can to ensure you get something out of your visitors. Here’s how you can start doing that:
Step 1 – Get yourself exit pop-ups
Annoying aren’t they? I know.
Exit pop-ups can be massively irritating. Especially for those of us who are viewing websites for the sake of maintaining, building or improve them. But at the end of the day, that matters notting, since they work.
Recommended Tool: Get Site Control
If you have a look at the link above you can see that Get Site Control is free for one website and provides you with not one, but a variety of useful tools, some of which I will mention below.
After you set it up on your site (either by pasting the code into the header or by installing their plugin), you can start by creating a Promo Widget.
This is simplest and yet one of the most efficient exit pop-ups you can have. With a variety of settings on Appearance, Content, Behaviour and Targeting, you can set it up for virtually any kind of necessity.
On merchants websites managed by the Conversion Team at MoreNiche, we use it to stop customers leaving the site and abandoning their purchase by offering them a small discount.
To concept is fairly straightforward and we have tested it on multiple sites so far, with several thousands worth of revenue saved throughout the year, resulting in more sales for affiliates, us and merchants alike.
So, what can YOU offer?
Well, if you keep yourself up-to-date with the MoreNiche forum (as you should!) you will find that seasonal offers are usually posted with a few days notice.
In those cases you might get a discount code you can use to try and close the sale.
Alternately, if no discount codes are available; you could easily remind your customers of offers a particular merchant has in place. You will often things like these on merchant sites:
- Buy X Get Y Free
- Free Product/Guide
- Free Shipping
- And so on…
Or take it one step forward…
By now you have probably heard the Affiliate Management Team mentioning email marketing several times. And there’s a reason for that, so stop finding excuses to not do it!
If done somewhat properly, the conversion rate you will get from email traffic will be higher than your content traffic. And there’s a simple reason for it: your visitors gave your their trust.
You can easily integrate both these tools together by following this steps:
- Create a MailChimp account
- Create a list within MailChimp (e.g: weight loss; bodybuilding, …)
- Create a Subscribe Widget in GetSiteControl
- Configure Appearance/Content/Behaviour/Targeting and Integrate with MailChimp (as seen on the image below)
- Once you have some numbers in your list; start sending our REGULAR campaigns
Regular campaigns (when you have new content, when you have offers, etc) will ensure that some of your visitors will keep coming back to your site regularly and improve the health of your lists (cleaning out uninterested people and keeping people who are clearly interested in what you have to say).
Ultimately, you will be growing a bigger list of people who will trust you when you tell them “I recommend that you buy this!”.
Get Live Chat Running
With GetSiteControl, you will also be able to create a Live Chat widget.
Live Chat can be an incredible weapon to have on your arsenal. Case studies have shown that regardless of being online or offline, live chat gives visitors a sense of trust and higher likelihood of ordering anything.
In your case and with the help of GetSiteControl, you can setup a simple yet efficient live chat that will allow you to help your customers with their queries in real-time (making them more likely to buy). Here’s what the chat platform looks like:
You can see a bunch of useful information such as their e-mail (if provided) and the page they are on, which in most cases allows you to be one step ahead of the game and ready to answer their queries.
Don’t have time to be providing live support? GetSiteControl has a built-in option to display an offline message requesting the visitor’s email address so you can reply later, at a more suitable time for you.
Have good content? Abuse it to get traffic and ranks!
Do you have a nice and brandable website filled with good juicy content that people WANT to read? Besides the obvious usage of it for more visitors to merchants and email subscriptions, you can also use it to get more traffic and rank your article better!
As an example; let’s say I have an article named “Best Legal Alternatives to Dianabol”. If this is a good article, I will most likely have the following in it:
- Some text about what Dianabol is (benefits, side effects, etc.)
- Some text with the best alternative products (D-BAL Max, CrazyBulk’s D-BAL, etc.)
- Plus some extra useful information that visitors will be more than interested in
So if you add a segment of text at the bottom of the article with “10 tips for getting the most out of Dianabol alternatives”, your visitors will WANT to read it.
Abuse that by setting up a Social Locker.
Recommended Tool (WordPress only): OnePress Social Locker
With a plugin like the this you can easily lock part of your content (such as the one suggested above) until your visitor has liked; shared or tweeted your article.
In the free version you can only get yourself Facebook Likes; but that’s fine to provide you with the following benefits:
- Make your article more credible (liked by real people)
- Get more online “word-of-mouth” traffic from friends of those who liked it
- Boost your social channels (great for brandable websites)
- Get better engagement and possibly add SEO value with social signs
So you get better conversions, more social traffic and possibly (room for discussion – only Google knows the answer) improve your organic ranks for that particular article.
Make use of the latest technology
Have you come across sites with a pop-up asking you to allow notifications which then (provided you permitted) send you little box notifications in the corner of your browser?
They are using a tool called Pushcrew.
With it you can be one step ahead of all those affiliates who aren’t reading this article and didn’t come across “Push Notifications” before.
Pushcrew enables you to setup a pop-up on your website and collect up to 500 subscribers free. Once you have some subscribers (which is fairly simple as you don’t ask for any information) you can start sending them push notifications.
You shouldn’t be spamming, since you will just get unsubscribes, but you can easily send a pop-up each time you have a new and interesting article or a seasonal offer to promote.
The main beauty of it is that subscribers will see these notifications regardless of where they are on the web (it will pop-up on their browser, even if they are watching live BBC). And even if they aren’t online, it will show up on their browser when they open it.
As a new technology, there aren’t a lot of Case Studies out there for Pushcrew, but the few that are have impressive results. So go on and make use of it while it’s fresh!
The above tools are no-brainers for any affiliate who wants to increase their revenue (which of course you do!). They are very simple to use, quick to implement on your site, and best of all, they are all free so won’t cost you a penny. So what are you waiting for? Add them to your site today!