Learning how to successfully generate traffic and convert leads is something that every affiliate marketer needs to master, especially when it comes to extremely competitive niches.
People can be rather unpredictable, however; which makes conversion rate optimization quite a task. It requires patience, skills to identify patterns in the customer journey, and a will to try out different things until you find a formula that works for your target group.
Fine-tuning your content, the look of your website, and completely focusing on the needs and expectations of your relevant prospects is only a small portion of the practices that surround CRO.
You may be noting success even if you’re not deploying these CRO techniques, but rest assured—you are missing out on a lot of opportunities in that case. Investing an effort will pay off for sure.
But let’s start from the beginning.
The Fundamentals of Conversion Rate Optimization
The power of recommendation is invaluable—and that’s something on which affiliate professionals monetize. They use their credibility and online visibility to direct their audience’s attention to certain brands that want to be perceived as trustworthy, fun, valuable, and interesting.
Think about it: With so many brands out there offering more or less the same type of services or products, it’s becoming harder for customers to decide who should they trust, just as it’s becoming harder for brands to differentiate themselves. You need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and make your values transparent. Otherwise, you will either fade into the oblivion or spend a fortune on acquiring new customers/users.
This is where affiliate marketers enter the picture. As an affiliate marketer, your job is to assist online dating brands in this never-ending process of generating new members. Every time you help a brand get a new person to register on their site or conduct any defined action of value, you get paid a commission.
These actions are called “conversions.” What constitutes as a conversion depends entirely on the industry and on the individual company. For example, in online dating, a conversion usually refers to a new member sign-up.
Even though these actions seem simple enough, they’re often a lot harder to achieve than you might think.
The cost of getting people to conduct desired actions needs to be lower than the money and effort you invest in this process. This is why optimizing your conversion rates has to be on top of your priority list.
To do this right, you should constantly monitor your efforts, test your assumptions, and adjust your practices for the best conversion rates.
Don’t know where to start? Here are the main things to have in mind.
Do a Website Checkup to Improve Your UX
If you own a car, you certainly take it to regular technical inspections and checkups to ensure everything is running smoothly. Looking under the hood can help you prevent bigger issues in the future. Plus, you’ll see which tweaks are necessary to help your car operate better.
Similarly, your website needs a checkup, too.
Maybe you won’t see any issues if you just glance over your website or analytics data. However, it often happens that the most dangerous problems are hard to notice as they lurk in the background and damage your conversion rates silently. Needless to say, you need to take a closer look.
When doing a website checkup, you should:
- Search for technical vulnerabilities (ensure your site is properly indexed by Google; use tools such as Screaming Frog to see if there are any broken links or pages)
- Take a closer look at your website design and readability
- Optimize your page loading speed
- Ensure mobile responsiveness
Both visual impression of your website and the user experience you offer mean a lot in the context of conversion rate optimization. There are a lot of elements to think about here: colors, fonts, gridlines, overall aesthetics, pictures, etc. Also, creating a navigation menu that’s intuitive and logical helps your site visitors find their way around your website. If you manage to create an eye-catching and engaging website visually and produce equally interesting content, you can increase your visitors’ dwell time. This is great both from the perspective of CRO and SEO.
Page loading speed is also very important. Fast loading websites have become a standard and modern consumers are now accustomed to speed. Leave them disenchanted and they will simply go to a different website, without ever looking back. The fact is, if you manage to decrease your page load time, you can definitely increase your conversion rates; even fractions of seconds can be helpful.
Also, as you probably know—Google has rolled out the mobile-first index, meaning it will take in mind first mobile versions of the websites when indexing content. So, if you don’t have a nice version of your website adapted to mobile screens, you’re likely to lose your ranking positions and potential leads who might have converted.
Identify Content Weaknesses and SEO Opportunities
Conversion rates are directly tied to the experience your website provides. You need to listen to your audience and learn to communicate the value you offer in the right way that suits them. Content is your most important weapon here.
Looking at Google Analytics can help you identify content weaknesses and adjust your strategy straight; set event and goal tracking to pinpoint the pages that convert the best.
When conducting your content audit, you can use a variety of different tools. Start with Google Analytics and then move on to SEO tools in order to see if your content ranks well on search engine result pages. For keyword research, you should explore tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, Ubersuggest, and Google Keyword Planner, and here’s why: User experience matters for conversion rate optimization, but there is also a possibility you will fail at attracting new audiences altogether. With low traffic, you miss tons of opportunities but using some basic SEO tactics is a budget-friendly way to make the tables turn.
Smart affiliate marketers know taking advantage of basic SEO techniques as “low-hanging fruits” can mean a lot for their conversion rates, so here’s what they usually do:
- With Google Analytics, they see which type of content performs the best
- They separate the wheat from the chaff and see which content has brought them the biggest ROI
- They edit this type of content and re-optimize it with relevant keywords in order to ensure more visibility
- They select a few content pieces and repurpose them into another format (you should always strive to introduce content variety to your audience, especially video that has incredibly high conversion rates)
This requires minimum effort and can bring a lot of fresh traffic to your website. More people in the consideration/purchase phase of the sales funnel means more chances of generating new conversions.
In addition, you need to see if your call-to-actions are in the right places on your web page and if the copy that follows them is “bombastic” and inviting enough. It needs to create urgency. Also, test your website structure; maybe the fold prevents your site visitors from even seeing your CTAs and they navigate away from the page before you even get the chance to redirect them to your partner’s website. These drop offs can seriously wound your business.
Over to You
We hope you’ve learned a couple of things regarding conversion rate optimization and that you’ll try out the above-mentioned techniques. As you know, affiliate business is all about trial and error. After all, you deal with people and they can be unpredictable. This is why it’s good to establish a monitoring system and act timely if you notice that things might go south. Use analytics, SEO tools, and be sure to take advantage of A/B testing in order to see which type of content you serve to your audience resonates the best.
With time, you should be able to distinguish which techniques are worth pursuing and which simply don’t work. Educating yourself about different ways to optimize your conversions is a smart thing to do, but don’t get discouraged if someone else managed to pull something off while it doesn’t work for you. You’ll get there, just be patient and persistent.