Affiliate marketing is by far one of the most popular and easiest ways to monetize your blog. You don’t have any inventory to keep up with, you don’t have to do anything with regard to the transaction, and yet you get paid a percentage of every sale that is made with your affiliate link. It’s a thing of beauty.
Unfortunately, it can also be incredibly obvious to your visitors if you’re not careful.
Most people have become aware that any ads on a site are there for the sole purpose of making the site owner money. Most people are fine with that to an extent. But when you have more ads on your site than you do content, your site begins to look junky and your visitors get turned off.
Identifying the Imbalance
When you’re looking to improve your Google SEO, you have to maintain a delicate balance of quality content, on-page SEO, keyword insertion, backlinks and other factors. It’s the same when you’re doing affiliate marketing. In order to be seen as a credible, trustworthy site, you have to strike the right balance between ads and content.
The trouble is that there always seems to be one more place you could squeeze in a banner ad or a clickable graphic. There’s always room for one more small text ad, and the sidebars are just begging to be filled. You know that you have a greater chance of conversions if you have more items for people to choose from – or at least you think you do.
The Problem with the “More” Philosophy
When you fill up your blog with a ridiculous amount of ads, you could be shooting yourself in the foot in a number of ways. You could:
- Make your visitors think you’re an amateur or more concerned with making money from ads than providing useful information.
- Cause your visitors to tune it all out if they do decide to stick around.
- Confuse your visitors with so many products that they decide none of them are worth looking into further.
Besides all of that, too many ads just look tacky and cluttered. Depending on the type of ad and its source, they could even slow down your page load times, which Google and your visitors absolutely hate.
Restoring the Balance
If your site is so full of affiliate ads that you’re squirming in your seat right about now, don’t worry. After all, you put them there, so you can certainly take them back off. This isn’t to say that you have to take every single ad down and start over, although it might not be a bad idea to begin with a fresh canvas.
What it does mean is that it’s time to put your blog on an ad diet. The good news is that you can still find ways to saturate your blog with affiliate links without making it look like the world of internet products blew up on your site. You can:
- Choose one or two tall ads with graphics to display along your sidebars, depending on if you have a two or three column setup.
- Create small text boxes to display along your sidebars, around three lines each.
- Choose one very nice, long banner ad to display along the top of your page and perhaps another for the bottom, depending on how long your pages are.
- Take advantage of your text! You can hyperlink strategic anchors using your affiliate link. You’re still getting your links up, but they aren’t overwhelming your visitors’ senses from the moment they land on your site.
Follow these tips and you are sure to create a successful and tasteful affiliate marketing campaign.