Today, one of the best ways to increase your sales online is to use an affiliate program and get a lot of people helping you for a small commission. As an SEO manager, I always try to look at everything from SEO point of view and I have to admit that such programs carry a lot of benefits for the overall strength of the website.
However, there is something very important to consider when planning your whole affiliate program and it is the behavior of your affiliate partners. Since I am pretty sure that since you are reading this article you had already spend some time and did proper research, I will not spend any time covering what are the most common practices that affiliates implement and what are the dangers for you.
In this article I will underline what affiliate practices should be approved by your business if you want to prevent all damage done to your website and also try to explain what makes some certain affiliate programs better than others.
To start with, here are all of the ways your affiliates can use to drive traffic to your website and gain income, but not hurt your overall website strength:
Write Press Releases and/or Articles – Although, many people think that article marketing is dead, many affiliates still use it as a mean to drive targeted traffic to a particular website. If all the content is written properly, submitted in quality directories, you don’t have anything to worry about. Furthermore, you can easily monitor what articles your affiliates are writing by using backlink analysis tools such as MajesticSEO and Opensiteexplorer.
Include Affiliate Link in Email Signature – This is another popular way for affiliates to drive traffic to your website and I have to admit it is also one of the safest among all. However, in order to avoid low quality traffic, you should create special terms that apply in such cases.
PPC Advertising – Beside Google Adwords, there are a lot of advertising platforms available on the market and I can assure you that your affiliates are considering about using them to drive more traffic. This is one of the safest and most efficient ways, which will help you to increase your website’s traffic and also it will allow you to save money on your own advertising campaign.
Communities and Blogs – Almost all of the professional affiliates have blogging contacts or are members of some particular communities. This can be really beneficial for you since you will get a lot of links from those places to your website. This will not only drive more relevant traffic to your blog, but also can help you increase the overall authority of your website. It is a good idea to add to your terms and conditions that your affiliates should place links only on relevant blogs.
Those are only some of the ways your affiliates can use to drive traffic to your website, so before launching your affiliate program make sure you have properly created Terms and Conditions. A good example is available here.
Another important issue is how you are going to pay your affiliate partners. When you were doing your research to determine how does the similar affiliate programs work, you had probably noticed that there are many payment methods available.
However, the main issue for you as a company is how you are going to explain those expenses to your accounting department. The best solution that I strongly recommend is to make all of your affiliate partners send legitimate invoices to your company every time you release your payment. Once you do this, you can contact your accountants and determine what date is best for making the payments.
After reading all this information, you are ready to launch your affiliate program and not only increase your sales, but protect your company from unreliable affiliate partners and increase the overall authority of your website.