Using Site Links for Affiliate Marketing

So if you haven’t tried Site Links yet for Affiliate Marketing you are probably missing out.  With that said, site links can be your best friend and they can also be your worst enemy if your PPC skills aren’t up to par.  Site links are a semi new feature from Google Adwords that allow you to add in a few links below your main ad and use them to point to landing pages and deep links within your website.  They sort of look like the category links in SERPs when you have the top listing and they index deep links and category pages for you.  So why can site links be good and bad and why could they be a great option for PPC Affiliates?  Lets go into it and start with what to be careful of and then go into how site links with Google Adwords can be beneficial for you.

Why site links can be dangerous for PPC Marketers and Affiliates.

Site links attract attention to your ad.  They are big, they are flashy and they can be extremely relevant and give more click options.  Google Adwords Site Links can also show the large variety of products you have and offers you have.  Although this sounds great, you also have to remember that the more attention you attract, the more clicks and irrelevant clicks you may attract to your ads.

With the added attention that your new site links ads may attract, you may also attract unwanted clicks from people who may only be curious to why your ads look different from the normal sponsored results they see.  You have to really take a look at how your SERP results look with the same site links and evaluate which category links convert best for you, otherwise you may end up getting a ton of clicks that don’t matter and will eat up your budget.  For example, imagine if you have multiple categories going from one ad.

The end user may click one of your site links to go to that category.  If they don’t find what they want then they may use their back button on the browser and click another site link from your ppc campaign (if the site links ad shows again).  If the clicks are expensive ones, and you have to pay for multiple clicks, then you may now have to take the cost of that one customer into consideration with your PPC budget and your margins and if they click multiple times instead of just using your site navigation, your term which was once profitable from a targeted landing page may now be a net loss since it costs more to get that same customer back to your site.   This is why it is important to check click history and to track each site link with a unique tracking url that uses the root of the tracking url used within the ad.  This way you can tell which site link in which position drove sales and which did not drive any.  You can then remove non performers and replace them with links that do perform. This is only one way and a very basic way of monitoring and optimizing your site links PPC ads so that you can try to prevent some of the bad clicks from coming on board with your site.  Now lets go into something good about site links and an example of how to use them for a campaign using one of my Clients where it wouldn’t seem like they have a fit for site links, but they do.

How to use Site Links as an Affiliate.

Lets use Internet Direct Response whose Affiliate Program is exclusively on Share a Sale for this example.  Internet Direct Response uses landing pages for each product, sort of like a CPA network offer but better and much cleaner.  Each landing page has multiple payment options and multiple offers.  Lets use their prostate pills for this example.

If you look at the landing pages you’ll see that they have multiple product payment options on each page.  They also have multiple product offers within the same niche.  Suppose you have people looking online for a supplement that is similar to what they sell.  You can bid on terms like prostate pills or prostate supplements and because it is not 100% related to any particular product (If it was related to the product I would say you should show the different payment options and offers like buy 2 get three free or buy a 1 month supply and save 20%) and then drive the main link to a landing page which compares the different prostate pills and then use the site links to show a quick link to the different products and drive the end user through the deep links and to the landing pages within the micro site,  I don’t recommend driving DTM on these types of campaigns.

Once you have the visitor on your site you should make sure you have done a few things.  1.  Have a url that is rememberable and brandable, keyword rich is not neccesary.  2.  Have a newsletter sign up in place to try and get them to give you a way to remarket to them.  3.  Give them a way to share or bookmark the site so that they can return for more recommendations if they don’t like the first pill or product they try or if they decide not to go with the first one you recommend.

Now that they are on your site you can show them the different offers and recommend which one to buy, just like how you would normally presell a product and since you are running PPC you don’t have to worry about things like having prostate pills or diabetes pills in your url since that will start to come naturally with SEO as your content, backlinks and traffic indexes.  The goal is to get them to remember your site, not stuff it with keywords in the url.

Sitelinks are a great tool if used correctly for PPC marketing and even though I gave an example here, I did leave out a few key things on how I would run a campaign like this.  Although this is the basic building block of a site link PPC campaign, you may lose money if you follow this advice to the dot.  Think about what is missing from basic PPC within this post and then try to turn it into your own strategy.  If you need help or want me to go into detail about what is missing, please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question or write me directly through the about us or contact us page.  Please also remember that all comments are moderated and most are not published so your questions will be kept private and confidential and I will respond to your directly if a response is needed with the email you provide.

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