Affiliate Marketing Overview For Beginners

7. Driving Traffic to Your Website

promoting your website

Once your site is built and running it is now time to consider promotional methods to get traffic (visitors) to your site. Without traffic there will be no audience to convert and no money to be made.

Keep in mind that typically a 3% conversion rate is considered to be good, so do the math. For example, if you have 1000 visitors per month and a 3% conversion rate you are not likely to make much money, unless the affiliate commissions are very high.

Conversely, when you have 1000 visitors per week, that same 3% can be much more profitable. So highly targeted traffic, and lots of it, is critical to success.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a method of online promotion where website visitors subscribe to a particular email list, for example, to receive a weekly newsletter, or a weekly / monthly training course sent to their inbox. Email marketing is also called “list marketing” or “permission marketing.”

It offers an effective and direct line of communication between marketers and their audience and is one of the most trusted methods of online marketing for affiliates and otherwise. Considering its global reach, cost efficiency, and being fairly simple to implement, it continues to be a method preferred by marketers that will only continue to grow.

Email marketing offers a very high ROI (return on investment), $35 for every $1 in 2013 according to the Direct Marketing Association. In fact, most marketers agree that the ROI is better than social media, PPC and content marketing alike. Studies show that 66% of online consumers buy something through an email marketing message they receive.

Building a list is highly recommended for affiliate marketers, and right from the beginning of a website launch. As traffic comes in to the site they will be able to subscribe to your list and you will gain a relevant, targeted and interested audience for your marketing messages. It opens a direct line of communication between you and your prospects and leads which allows you to build trust and turn those leads into buyers.

Email marketing allows you to reach a potentially unlimited number of prospects with your affiliate offers and, by sending relevant and compelling offers to their inbox, you can increase revenue, site traffic and brand awareness.

To start an email campaign you will need an email marketing service, also known as an autoresponder…

Three Recommended Services:

  • Aweber
  • GetResponse
  • iContact

*I use GetResponse.

Once you have signed up for a service you will have access to what are called Opt-In forms that you can place on your site to engage visitors.

Typically you offer something of value for free to encourage prospects to sign-up to your email list. This can be an eBook, relevant information, training course, some type of software, in fact anything that is related to your niche and targets the proper audience for your site topic and the products you will be promoting as an affiliate.

It is critical that the opt-in gift be relevant as it will ensure that you target the proper audience which, in turn, will increase your conversion rates (no. of sales divided by no. of people who saw your offer).

Email marketing service providers offer all the other needed features to run a successful email marketing campaign, including automated email messages, multiple list and subscriber management, compliance with anti-spam laws and much more.

Now, don’t do what I did when I first started out in affiliate marketing and ignore building your list because you think it’s too difficult. It isn’t. And my ignorance cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue which I can never get back.

So, as a beginner, if you take nothing else away from this training, just remember that every successful online marketer has at least one email list, with the vast majority having several.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a marketing method that attempts to improve website ranking in organic search engine results pages (SERPS) for the site’s keywords.

Search engines use proprietary algorithms that determine the order that sites are ranked. For example, Google’s SERPS look different than Bing’s, though there is some overlap.

The coveted placement in SEO is Google page 1. Why Google? Because Google is the most used search engine and therefore yields the most potential for massive traffic.

Pitfalls Of SEO

One of the pitfalls of SEO when targeting Google SERPS is the fact that they are constantly updating their algorithm to weed out what they consider sites of poor quality. In the past few years there have been several major updates where many affiliate websites fell drastically in rankings or were de-indexed (removed from search results) all together.

Recent updates include the Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird updates, which were intended to weed out spam sites listed in their search engine and had resulted in many sites either falling very low in rankings or being dropped all together.

Google hates ‘thin’ affiliate websites — sites built purely to make money from affiliate commissions with very little content (posts, pages) and, where there is content, of very low quality and overly promotional. Google expects (and will reward) sites that have high quality, unique, fresh content that provides real value for visitors.

Implementing An SEO Campaign

SEO is tricky these days; there are so called ‘experts’ who will try to sell you 1,000 links and promises Page 1 Google rankings in 3 days…they are usually scam artists. Don’t fall for the hype.

SEO used to be all about getting the most amount of any types of links to rank above the competition, in other words trying to game the system. This no longer works and, in fact, Google will actually penalize sites who try to game the system.

These days it is better to focus on engaging targeted traffic than focusing on mass amounts of links that can often lead to ranking penalties and complete deindexing.

The key to using this promotion method is to not rely on Google for all of your traffic. Diversify your methods so that if rankings are never achieved or fall you do not lose all your revenue. This is where marketing mediums such as email and social marketing are great weapons to have in your arsenal.

Social Media Marketing

This type of marketing revolves around attracting a following on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Brand and website promotion can be very effective through the use of social media to engage leads. In fact, 72% of all web users are active on social media with Facebook boasting an impressive 1.15 billion users, Twitter 550 million users, Pinterest with more than 5 million and Google+ that has 1 billion active accounts, at the time of writing.

Video Marketing

Research shows that sales pages that have videos convert 80% better than those that have text alone. People are obsessed with video, the enormous traffic stats at YouTube prove that…

  • YouTube has 1 billion plus unique visits with more than 6 billion hours of video watched each month, that equals to almost 1 hour of video watching for every person on Earth.
  • There are millions of new subscriptions happening daily.
  • YouTube’s reach is huge, with more US adults ages 18-34 engaged there than on any cable television network.
  • Subscriptions on YouTube have tripled since 2013.

As you can see, video marketing can yield impressive results in sending traffic back to your sites, especially when those videos go viral or are truly useful and interesting, as this increases the chances of them getting shared.

Submitting relevant videos to sites like YouTube, Vimeo and other video sites is a marketing strategy that cannot be ignored and will only continue to grow.

The first step is to set up a YouTube channel, consider your target audience, and strategize about the types of videos that can be most helpful in your niche. If you have no idea or no way to make videos, then check out Fiverr.com, a marketplace where people do various tasks for $5. There are a lot of video creation gigs there, making it a great place for beginners to get started in video marketing.

Mobile Marketing

About 2/3 of cell phone users today are using Smartphone devices to find information on the web. It is impossible to market online without considering the mobile market. Mobile friendly website designs and mobile advertising are important aspects to consider and implement within any online campaign.

Banner/Text Advertising

Another option is to advertise on relevant websites with banner or text ads. This method can yield impressive results in bringing traffic back to your site but the best ad placements, those on high traffic sites, can be very expensive. You will have to determine if the ROI is worth it for your marketing campaign.

There are various ad networks that connect publishers with advertisers and show the pertinent stats of advertiser’s sites to ascertain their value.

Some Ad Networks:

  • BuySell Ads
  • Bidvertiser
  • PulsePoint
  • Adsterra
  • RevenueHits
  • Puxee
  • BlogAds

Also, many times you can find individual sites to advertise on. Most will have this type of offering on their site. Contact the webmaster or look  in the sidebar for a widget that says “Advertise Here” or something similar.

Forum Marketing

Web forum marketing is still a viable and lucrative method to engage leads for affiliate marketing websites and email lists. The key is to not become a spammer but, instead, establish yourself as a trusted and useful resource on the respective topic. This can be achieved by posting helpful information and active participation on a variety of threads.

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC), also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), is another method of website promotion. This is a method where you pay for each click that is sent to your site in the paid search results section in Yahoo, Bing and Google. Automatic keyword bidding takes place which determines which sites will be listed first, second, third, etc.

This is an advanced marketing method that can be lucrative but can also lose a lot of money for those that don’t do it properly. Therefore, it’s important to first do the research and learn how to do it correctly from experts that understand how each component works. Here is one of the most reputable sources: http://www.wordstream.com/pay-per-click

Two of the most well-known examples of PPC marketing networks are Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

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