Historically, website affiliate marketers have had to balance valued authoritative content with advertising. Too much advertising has had a negative effect with website visitors and also hurt in search engine rankings. This continues to be the principal taught in many affiliate marketing training programs, including Wealthy Affiliate, of which I am a member.
Is the historical view of website advertising mix correct?
Yes and no.
Certainly search engines still discriminate negatively against websites that are bridge sites to advertiser sites. Visitors who’s primary goal is to obtain information or learn new things are also likely dissuaded by websites with distracting and intrusive advertisements.
However, the growth of internet traffic and sales is an obvious result of the increased confidence of consumers to buy online.
Many who have cared little for the spurious and unverifiable content on the web are finding themselves increasingly drawn to e-commerce for convenience and comparative shopping.
Recently, I went on the web to find travel medical insurance. I have a terrible medical plan and was concerned about medical liabilities associated with long distance travel, where I might find myself unable to use network providers.
I found sites that explained the need for additional travel medical coverage, with little or nothing to offer from potential providers or sites full of multiple provider offerings with little assurance that any one of these policies could meet my needs. It was extremely frustrating.
How many website visitors are looking for something to buy?
Except for those looking for free information (who are often buyers in the early stages of their research), many are looking for convenience and/or values online. A failure to provide links to these values can become an affiliate marketer’s undoing.
Of course, we have all been to those websites on the other end of the spectrum who offer plenty to purchase but not much to assure us that our purchase would be a good one.
Why do consumers go into brick and mortar establishments to learn about products and then turn around and buy it online?
Consumers are looking for reasonable assurance that they are purchasing the right product or service. I have done this myself numerous times. I can look at the product or service, feel it and ask questions of a trained salesperson. This helps me overcome my hesitancy and/or fears.
How is an affiliate marketer to become successful?
The affiliate marketers must become the product or service expert in order to effectively address a consumer’s concerns or questions.
The really effective affiliate marketing websites perform this assurance function with succinct content, attractive imagery, sterling reviews and a genuine opportunity for the consumer to ‘look and see’ at little or no cost (ex: samples or money back guarantees.)