General Linking Methods and Tips

Banners are the obvious place to start. Use of these was partly covered on the “using an existing site” page, but I will put a little extra help here. Your aim is to get as many visitors as possible to click the banner, but there isn’t too much you can vary. Location is important: The higher up the page the better, as more people will see it near the top. Placing a banner next to a title or key phrase that everyone will look at will mean that eyes are naturally drawn to the location of the banner. Next to, or in the middle of the navigation is also a good place. Another option is to place a banner in the midst of text, which will make your page harder to read and more ugly. Generally speaking, people do not like banners, and so keeping them out of the way is preferable, even though this will mean less clicks. It is far better to use text links, buttons or logos, and preferably including a description of what will be found when the link is clicked.

Please make sure you read “using an existing site” if you have not already done so. This page explains how to beat banner blindness, which is something that all the following tips try to achieve.

Adding a link to your main menu, or site navigation bar will generate a huge number of click throughs. For example, at the top of each page you may have links like the following:

[Main Page] , [Introduction], [feedback], [message board], [reciprocal links], [link to us]
 

You could easily add a link to “marketing tips”, “free jokes!”, “web hosting” or “fine art”. You could link using your affiliate linking code, or link to a page on your site.

The click-through or trick-through concern should be considered here. Using your affiliate code will result in more people reaching the affiliate program site, but the quality of visitor will be lower. Linking to a page on your site is what people will be expecting, but it will have to be a well written page in order to cause people to click again and visit the affiliate site.

If you have the sort of menu that includes a description next to each link, then you do not have to worry about “trick throughs”. Experimenting with the description next to the link will help to optimise the effectiveness.

Getting Sneaky: If you are into the trick through approach, then there are a couple of way to hide the link destination. You know what I mean – when you put your mouse over a link, the destination appears at the bottom of the page (with netscape, I don’t know about explorer). To do this, and trick people even further, you can use javascript, or link to a page on you site which simply redirects to the affiliate site. You will have to do a little research for code examples, but it may be worth the effort. I prefer to link to a page on my site with some content on it that I have written.

Surfers are always searching for content. They want reviews and recommendations, so why not give them some? You know of a good web hosting company, you put a “web hosting” link on your site, and this goes to a page you have written about that company (with a link). There are various things that you could write. Various angles and styles to choose from, but why not just stick to the style of the rest of your site. Experiment with this sort of intermediate page, and you will notice a big difference depending on what you write!

Some of the best programs to use on a page of your site are the ones where you get paid when people subscribe to a mailing list, or do a search. These programs are designed to be used like this, but many people use them less effectively. There used to be an affiliate program called AutoJoker, which provided you with a panel to put on your site. This panel was big and ugly, but most people who use the program, will put it straight on their main page – another example of the ignorance of the masses. Why spoil a carefully designed page, when you could just add a link to your main menu or navigation bar. Many sites have a “site news” or “announcements” section on their main page, which is even better! A small link to “jokes”, or an announcement “we are pleased to be able to offer all visitors a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to a jokes magazine…” will capture people’s interest and build their anticipation.

When they click the link, they will be expecting more than just a sign up panel. Explain how pleased you are to be able to offer this new service. Say that you have been a subscriber for a week and are enjoying the jokes each day. Explain to the visitor that they only have to put their email address in the box then press the button to receive their free gift. Pad it out a little, and guide them through the sign up process! People like to be helped through even the simplest of processes, so take good care of them.

Jokes are hugely popular, and you should get a lot of people signing up whatever your site is about. You will not however make huge amounts of money with this type of program. They genuinely add to the value of your site, but only pay a few cents at a time. As they are the easiest to implement, they make a good starting place if you are new to this approach. It is often beneficial to walk before you try to run!

Other programs that can be used in this way include:

  • The CarPrices.com Free Price Checks (link directly to the forms).
  • The IMC Internet Marketing Tips Magazine (although you don’t get paid when people subscribe, you will get paid if a sale is made as a result of that free magazine subscription).
  • More Added All The Time – have a good look through!

If I get lots of feedback on these pages, then I’ll be updating them and adding more tips soon.

Discalimer: These pages contain only hints, tips and suggestions that I hope you will find useful. I give no guarentee that any of them will work for you, and will not be liable for the consequences of following the advice on this site. Do so at your own risk!