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Chances are, when you hear the term affiliate marketing, all you see are dollars signs.
After all, creating a website with a cool WordPress theme is simple, adding affiliate links is easy too, and driving traffic to your site is just going to happen, right?
Though affiliate marketing does open you up to a lot of earning potential, especially if you use the WordPress CMS, you have to put on the time and effort if you want to make money.
Also, while you’ll find articles all across the internet full of affiliate marketing tips and tricks, all too often, experienced affiliate marketers fail to show people how to design their website so that it’ll be successful.
That’s why today we’re here to give you the inside scoop on how to design your affiliate website so that it will attract site visitors, keep them engaged, and generate you a profit.
1. How to Create a Profitable Affiliate Website: Create Killer Content
Your affiliate website should be made up of much more than just products and services you’re promoting and hoping to make a commission off of.
In fact, you should focus more on creating killer content for your website than the affiliate marketing itself.
For instance, in addition to participating in all-out affiliate marketing, the MoneySavingExpert.com also strives to provide people with expert advice on ways to handle money.
If you can engage site visitors with great content, and convince them you’re an authority, they’ll be more likely to follow your recommendations and invest in your affiliate products.
Here are some tips for laying out your affiliate website’s content in a way that will encourage people to click and buy:
- Understand your target audience and their needs so you can promote the right products and services
- Optimize all affiliate content for readers, not search engines
- Recommend products you use, so you appear more trustworthy to site visitors
- Aim to teach and entertain those that read your content, so they get something out of your content besides a CTA to buy
By adding great content to your affiliate website, even in the form of short, educational blog posts, you’ll begin the process of attracting the right kind of people that are actually looking to buy.
2. Keep it Simple
It’s easy to want to add every kind of link, image, and call to action you can think of to your affiliate website to maximize your earning potential.
But readers don’t want to feel they are being used to generate you money.
Site visitors also don’t want to be overly distracted when they come to your website looking for something of value.
If you really want to make sure your affiliate site is engaging for site visitors, and optimized to earn you affiliate sales, follow these best practices:
- Create Standout Headlines. The first impression site visitors get when they land on your site are the most crucial. Make all headlines for your blog post’s catchy, interesting, and engaging, so people read what you’ve written and click on your affiliate links.
- Utilize the Power of a Subheadline. Don’t overwhelm site visitors with lengthy headlines; instead, make use of a subheadline to further cement expectations and convince people to keep reading.
- Don’t Forget the CTA. If you want readers to click on affiliate links anywhere on your website (besides within blog post content), it’s essential you craft simple calls to actions that won’t scare people away.
Want to know what this might look like?
Check out The Wire Cutter, a review site for electronics, gadgets, and consumer goods.
Not only do they craft lengthy reviews on a variety of products, but they also add simple imagery and clear CTA buttons so you can make a purchase if you like what you see.
Here, loyal readers of The Wire Cutter have not only become accustomed to killer content about their favorite items.
They also know they can access any product that interests them with a click of a button.
3. Optimize for Speed
Website design is not always just about how your website looks. In fact, some will argue that how well your site performs is almost more important than its visual design.
And, seeing as how nearly 40% of people claim they’ll abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, it doesn’t matter how you feel about optimizing your site for speed.
It’s just something you have to do if you want to create a profitable affiliate website.
Luckily, there are several ways to maintain your site’s speed and performance, while you continue to add killer content and product images to your growing website.
Compress Your Images
Many affiliate websites rely on images to get people interested in buying products they recommend. That’s why compressing images into smaller file sizes is crucial.
Utilize a free online tool such as TinyPNG to compress images before uploading them to your website.
Or, if you prefer to automate image compression, try using the free WordPress plugin Smush It.
This plugin will create smaller image files that use up fewer server resources, all without sacrificing quality.
Use a Content Network Delivery
One of the best ways to increase the speed of your website is to get a CDN to reduce latency.
Using servers that span the globe, a CDN delivers site content to visitors based on their geographic location so your site loads as quickly as possible no matter where your visitors are located.
Monitor Site Speed
Optimizing your website does you no good if you don’t monitor your site’s speed regularly. To do this, opt for a free online tool like Google PageSpeed Insights.
Not only will you see how well your site performs on both desktops and mobile devices, but Google will also give you recommendations on how to increase your site’s speed.
4. Add Testimonials and Ratings
When people come to your affiliate website, they’ll need to trust you and your recommendations before parting with their hard earned cash.
And, while established affiliate sites have gained the loyalty and trust of their site visitors, for someone starting out this trust is hard to build at first.
People that aren’t familiar with you aren’t likely to believe your claims that a product or service is good, especially when they know you stand to make money off their purchase.
That’s why it’s a good idea to add customer testimonials and ratings to your site as added social proof that your claims are true.
Take for instance ShaverGuru.
They offer in-depth reviews of shaving products and include ratings of each product so people can get an idea of an item’s popularity.
Then, if they feel the review and ratings are enough to check out the actual product, site visitors can click the link that takes them to the Amazon product page where testimonials can be found.
5. Improve Your Keyword Research
Targeting the right keywords is the only way you’re going to get enough traffic to your site that wants to convert.
After all, while optimizing your site’s speed, designing a simple website, and adding testimonials and ratings to your site is good, these things won’t matter if you don’t have enough site traffic.
In addition to publishing consistent content on your site, work to target keywords that will improve your search rankings and drive more organic traffic to your site.
Not only will this increase your chances of securing affiliate sales, but it will also bring the right kind of people to your site that won’t abandon once they see what you have to offer.
Use a free online tool like Ubersuggest to help you with keyword ideas that you can sprinkle throughout your site’s content.
You’ll get a whole host of keyword ideas, including long tail ones, that can be used in your content to boost rankings, site traffic, and ultimately affiliate sales.
Also, you’ll see overall statistics such as the keyword volume, estimated cost-per-click (CPC), and keyword competition ratings that range between 0.0-1.0.
When you use this tool, keep in mind these tips and tricks:
- Aim for a competitiveness rate of 0.4, which is considered the sweet spot (not too competitive, but enough to drive traffic to your site)
- Always take into consideration local keywords (if the products and services you’re promoting are relevant to specific locations) by selecting the right language and region from the drop-down menu
- Take advantage of the “Filter Results’ feature to find ultra-specific keywords
- Opt to let Ubersuggest tap into Google Keyword Planner and Google Suggest for even more keyword ideas
In the end, getting keyword data to help you with your content creation is going to give you the edge you need to pull ahead of competing affiliate marketers.
Affiliate websites are really no different than any other website.
They need to be visually appealing to site visitors, offer an exceptional user experience, and target the audience most likely to buy what you have to recommend.
That said, you need to put some time and effort into creating a valuable affiliate website that site visitors will learn to rely on whenever they want to make a purchase.
If you do this and follow the above affiliate marketing tips and tricks for designing a profitable affiliate website, you’ll be well on your way to generating lots of passive income through affiliate sales.