Affiliate Program Management: How do I create effective links and complete a link audit?

When setting up and/or revamping links for an affiliate program, you need to figure out which links will get your visitors to the landing pages where your products are.
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Here is a basic list of the pages you should link on your site:

1. Highlight Sale/Clearance Pages
2. Categories
3. About Us


When creating links, you can use a variety of creative text... the most important thing, though, is not to be too wordy. Research shows again and again that people don't like to 'think' when they are online.. they want to get to their destination as quickly as possible.


Here is an example of a good link:
VIBceramics: Hand Crafted Gifts Shipped for Free from The Holy Land.

This link includes the site name, tells what they offer, including a perk, and tells why this link is worth clicking on ( a very unique gift).


Here are some examples of bad links:
Click here!
Shop Now!
VIBceramics: All products are hand-made by artisans in The Holy Land and shipped with love from Israel's Mediterranean seashore. Satisfaction guaranteed!

The first three links are too short and don't give enough information. The last link, though beautifully written, is too long. Remember, people don't like to think ( or read too much).

A link should be just enough information to entice someone to click and learn more.. once they click to learn more, they will be more open to the idea of reading ( and thinking )!


Link Audits
When you are managing an affiliate program, you'll want to make sure you complete a comprehensive link audit a minimum of monthly. When doing a link audit, you will want to click through every affiliate link you have to ensure it resolves on the correct page, and the information in the link is correct. It is important to do this because sometimes merchants change pages and forget to tell you, sales change, products can disappear from inventory, etc... .


Creating links that entice customers to click through to your site is vital to increasing your traffic. Once links are created, develop a maintenance schedule to ensure that links are evaluated and kept up to date for your affiliates. If affiliates see that links are not properly maintained and are sending people to the wrong pages, dead pages, or products no longer available, they will simply stop working to promote your products. Keeping links fresh and up-to-date is an essential element of effective affiliate program management.

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