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Five Important Rules to Keep Visitors Surfing Your Website
As an affiliate marketer what you do is send the visitors from your website to the merchant’s site, where these visitors can then buy a product, sign up for their newsletter and more. It's an amazing system where you carry no inventory, do not have to worry about customer service, and you don't even ship the product or provide the service.
You... are the middleman (or middlewoman)! If you're going to simply post affiliate links on your social media sites that's OK, however if you have a website where you're going to place affiliate links then there are a few things you should know. I went through my past experience and what I learned online all these years and I came up with five rules that will keep your visitors at your website and surfing.
The longer the stay, the more they surf the more chance that they will eventually see a link (your affiliate link) that interests them and when they click it and order a product or service or sign up for an interesting newsletter etc. Then BAM, you just earned an affiliate commission!
Five important rules of what to do or not do on your website:
1) Do not use website entry pages
Wesite entry pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at some websites. They used to be "cool" over a decade ago, however now they're just and old school irritation. They normally have a very beautiful image, colors, flashing borders, an inspiring quote with words like "welcome" or "click here to enter the website". In fact, they are just that - pretty pages with no real purpose except to impress. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the "back" button! Give them the value of your site up front without the entry page. When they arrive show them your website, not a distracting and waseful entry page. Give them what they came to see, don't give them... a pretty entry page and an extra step to get to the meat and potatoes of your site - your content!
2) Do not use excessive banner advertisements
Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements if there are too many on the page, and especially if many of them are animated. So you will be wasting valuable website real estate if your website becomes a banner farm with little to no valuable content. Instead, provide your visitor with valueable, educational, interesting and sharable content and then weave your relevant affiliate links and banners into your content, and let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of them feeling like they are being pushed to buy. And... you certainly don't want to put them into convulsions with 40 animated banners in their face either.
3) Have Simple and Clear Navigation for your Visitors
You need to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don't know how to navigate or if it's just too darned difficult they will leave your site. Set up your navigation with clear titles so your visitors can "click and go" with having to think about it... "Home", Affiliate programs", "Site advertising", "Privacy", "Contact" and others similar to these. Top is usually the best, however a left side menu is fine too. Thinking about that "I'm a rebel I'm going to do the right menu thing"... Don't. We read from left to right, if they don't see the navigation menu on the left then they'll go to the top. If they eventually have to navigate on the right for each of your pages, they will tire of something that just "seems out of place" and they'll bail from your site. Don't be original, don't experiment just do what 99.9% of what other webmasters are doing as far as navigation and you'll be OK.
4) Ensure your Visitor knows Where He or She is at
When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you'll want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment or what page they're on. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Don't confuse your visitors with just "pure content on the page" because confusion means "abandon ship"! So, be sure to add a simple title to the top of the pages themselves (a little larger font and bold) so all they have to do is glance and know immediately where they are. Use titles similar to: "How to Advertise Your Site", "Marketing Made Simple", "Your Privacy is Important to Us" etc. Yes we can all look at the URL up above the site and figure it out, but your goal as a Webmaster is to make their experience fun, simple and easy and keep them "in" your site, not looking around trying to figure out where they are right now.
5) Avoid Using Audio on your Site
If your visitor is going to stay a long time at your site, reading your content, you will want to make sure they're not annoyed by some audio looping on your website. If you insist on adding audio, make sure they have some control over it such as a button to turn it off or mute it. The best practice however is to NOT include automatic playing audio or music, this went out in the early 90's along with the big hair bands. YOU might like that particular clasical music or heavy metal tune, however there's a good chance your visitor won't like it and will find it very irritating. If they can't find your web page mute button fast enough and they don't immediately turn off or turn down their speaker volume then they will click out and leave as fast as ythey can. So, forget the automatic music at your site and focus on your content instead. They will stay because of your content, they will leave because of your "most cool" music.
Bonus Webmaster Information for Your Complete Success!
Your website is where your business resides - it's like the headquarters of an offline brick and mortar company. So, it's important to practice good design principles to make sure your site attracts and reaches out to the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible... your conversion rate. That only happens if they remain on your site and surf around a while. Some of the things you can do to increase your affiliate, product, service or lead conversion rates are...
Reduce the number of images on your website if they're excessive. They make your site load slower and more often than not they are very unnecessary and distracting. If you think any image is essential on your site just make sure you optimize them using image editing software (many online are free and operate perfectly from your browser) so that they have a minimum file size. With broadband these days image loading is normally not an issue, what I'm talking about here is the "number" of images on your site, or images that might not be related or should not be used with your content. If you said for instance "I'm a happy affiliate and I earn well", don't include an image of your family at Christmas dinner with their glasses raised and you circled in red, yes very distracting. Your visitor will want to see what's under the tree, is that ham or a turkey on the table, did that lady really buy those shoes. Next thing you know they bailed your site to go do some Christmas shopping! So in this case an image of a smiling person giving a thumbs up or something similar would be more appropriate and it won't be distracting.
Keep your text paragraphs at a reasonable length (oops I made a boo boo in the one above huh?). If a paragraph is too long, you should split it into separate paragraphs so that the text blocks will not be too big. This is important because a block of text that is too large will deter visitors from reading "all" of your content and it's possible they'll speed read to catch just the highlights (hey, you read the entire big paragraph up above completely word by word, didn't you?). Extra white space is NOT bad at all and in fact it's a good thing. It gives your visitors eyes and brain a mini mental break so they are then ready for the next amazing paragraph that you wrote for them.
Make sure your website complies to web standards at www.w3.org and make sure they are cross-browser compatible. If your website looks great in Internet Explorer but looks really bad in Firefox and Chrome then you'll lose out on a lot of prospective visitors and sales. It's a good idea (and I do it) to have all three main browers on your computer; Internet Explorer, FireFox and Chrome. Current statistics show that the majority of people are now using Chrome and it's growing, so when you're building your website ensure it works and looks great in Chrome first!
Avoid using complicated scripting languages on your site unless it is absolutely necessary. Use scripting languages to handle or manipulate data, not to create your most stunning visual effects on your website. Heavy scripts will slow down the loading time of your site and even crash some browsers or freeze them up completely, not cool. Also, scripts are not supported across all browsers, so some visitors might miss important information or content of yours and you sure don't want that.
There is one thing that I personally think is cute as far as scripting goes, and only near Christmas and only if the script can be stopped by me via a "stop animation" button on the website... it's those most cute falling snow flakes screen animation scripts, but again that's just me "personally" I don't recommend it just because I like it as it might be irritating to the other 99% of the human population, I don't know.
OK, that's it on this PR. It only took me 2 hours to write but it was a creative challenge as always, it was very fun putting it together for you and I hope you enjoyed it and learned something from it too. Plus, well it kept me out of the local bar. Just kidding of course, I live in a "dry" county where alcohol can not be sold and there aren't any bars here.
Wishing you the very best of success in business here at IBO!
Team Leader / Lotto Magic Network
Team Leader / Leased Ad Space Team
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