Affiliate Strategies: A Powerful Technique to Test New Products- Part 1

Posted by: Simon Slade, Guest Blogger

A common promotional technique used by many affiliates is to build a website based around an interest they have and promote related products in that niche, relying on organic search rankings and in-bound links for traffic.

Keeping the products that are being promoted relevant to the site content ensures that visitors to the site already have an interest in the product. This typically results in a much higher conversion rate than promoting unrelated products.

But following this strategy means that if the affiliate wishes to promote a product in an entirely different niche, a new site must be built from scratch – and a new site takes time and resources to build. It takes even more time for this new site to receive organic search traffic and to build links.

When you stumble across one of those truly exceptional opportunities to pair a high-quality product with what you believe is a hot market, there is no question that you have to act quickly.

This leads to the following question:

What is the most effective way to bring an untested product to market as quickly as possible?

The following tactics can be used to test a new product on an existing site, which lowers your costs and can lead to quicker results.

  • If you have a number of sites, pick the site that is most closely associated with the new product. Think about the demographics of your sites’ audiences and how the new product could potentially fit into their lives. For example, if you were looking at promoting an eBook on “recipes for make-at-home, home cleaning products”, an existing site on dog training would be more complementary than a site on how to conquer World of Warcraft due to the demographic profiles. Use your judgment to match the new product with a similar demographic and appropriate existing site.
  • Research three to four key phrases with a minimum of three words each using Google’s External Keyword Tool, and find the lowest competition/highest search count you can get away with. Take into account factors like how often your website is updated, how much “weight” you have in the search engines (PageRank) and how many external links you have pointing at the pages on your site. Generally speaking, the stronger these factors are, the higher the competitiveness of the key-phrases you can target, the faster you’ll have your new page ranked, and the more likely it is you’ll see a top 10 ranking.
  • Build a promotional page on your existing site. This page could be in the form of a “Special Review,” a report on the new product, or simply an article on what the product you are promoting is about. Optimize this page to rank for the previously researched key phrases. This page should have obvious and well-featured links to the product you are promoting. Do not integrate this page into your existing site, and be sure to remove your standard menu from this page. However, include links to your homepage for those visitors that have reached this page from an internal link, and are not interested.
  • Link to this page from within your site. The link should be visually featured as something different and unique, making it stand out and allowing the standard site visitor to identify it as somewhat unrelated to the theme of the current site. If a visitor is genuinely interested in the product, they’ll click.
  • Build some links to this new page from external sources. Between 10 and 20 PageRank 1+ related links is ideal! This step is essential for emphasizing to the search engines that this new page is worthy of being taken seriously.
  • Optional: Supplement with paid traffic. This may take the form of Google Adwords, Yahoo! Sponsored Search, or one of the many other paid search networks. Bear in mind that bigger is not always better. Some smaller networks have decent search volumes and much lower bid prices. In some cases, click-through and conversion rates are even better! This step is not essential, but it does allow you to begin seeing some results faster. If your return on advertising investment is positive, continue to tweak your campaign and leave it running even as your organic listings start to appear. A special note for those using Google Adwords: You may want to add links pointing to internal pages on your site to avoid being “slapped” -be sure to spend time researching and use good judgment.

Depending on a number of factors, you should start to see your organic rankings appear anywhere from as little as a few days to a number of weeks.

Continue to refine and test this single page for as long as you need to draw a conclusion as to whether it is profitable and worth pursuing.

Tomorrow’s Part 2 will discuss how you can move your product promotions over to a new, more relevant website without losing the promotional “juice” you’ve been creating!

About the author

Simon Slade is the CEO of Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal that offers free video training, education and software tools to both beginning and advanced affiliate marketers.

Please note: Any opinions expressed here represent those of the author, and are not necessarily recommended or endorsed by ClickBank.