Working out traffic is that one defining point in an affiliate’s career. You either do it right and enjoy long-term positive ROI or struggle with low-quality traffic and deal with below expected, often soul-crushing results.
That’s the cold, hard truth for every affiliate out there, and no matter how much traffic is out there, it seems it will never be enough of it. But, and this is a big BUT - not all traffic is worth pursuing. Some traffic is time-consuming, costly, or just doesn’t deliver.
With this post, we look at some of the gravest mistakes that undermine affiliate traffic generation.
Your Traffic Source Is Subpar/No Good
There’s a lot to be said (and we will, later on) about why traffic generation fails to reach desired levels. However, the first and foremost thing in any traffic generation effort is to create a strong foundation that is and should be your primary traffic source. Sadly, this is also where most affiliates, together with a wide range of fellow advertisers, make an almost rookie mistake.
Whatever your traffic generation strategy is, it won’t work the way you want it to if the basis is shaky and prone to crumbling under pressure.
Your traffic source is the number one priority, and there’s no room for error. You need to pick one and learn everything you can about it. With affiliate marketing, it’s usually some form of paid traffic, most notably ad networks. Affiliates tend to spread themselves all across the board, from using costly and highly competitive AdWords to alarmingly cheap networks that have more bot traffic than real clicks.
In the proverbial middle are networks like SelfAdvertiser that have gained trust and established authority with years and years of industry expertise. For instance, ads on our self-service platform have a daily reach of 2 billion impressions, making it easy to find the right audience at the right time for every affiliate. Plus, we’re known as one of the strictest platforms around and have zero tolerance for fraud and fraudsters, something that’s a real pain in the backside for online advertising.
You’re Preaching to the Wrong Choir
Your traffic source doesn’t have to be subpar by default. In most cases, it has more to do with what you get out of it. Promote to a general audience -> get views -> get money. Seems like a straightforward formula that would work in an ideal world. Affiliate marketing is far from ideal (or other manners of online advertising, for that matter) and targeting the right audience is crucial.
It’s simple: target users who are not relevant to your offer and your chances for a high conversion rate will be very low.
Receiving traffic at a massive volume is one thing; getting targeted traffic at the same volume is a whole different ballpark. Apart from improving your ranking on several web metrics (in case you are promoting from your own websites), thousands of visits and/or clicks don’t mean much if they’re not coming from visitors who at least might be interested in your offer.
You need quality conversions, which you can only achieve if your message aims at those who want to listen to it (more like read it, but you get the idea). Otherwise, your offer will be shown to those who are genuinely disinterested in it, and they surely won’t click and go through the rest of the funnel.
You Think PPC is Everything
Let's delve deeper into traffic talk. Many affiliates tie themselves almost exclusively to PPC. Led by success stories seen and heard with Google AdWords, they put all of their eggs in one basket and effectively shut out other traffic sources. First of all, PPC isn’t easy to master and getting it up and running properly can be quite a challenge, not to mention costly. Don’t get us wrong - a fine-tuned PPC campaign can do wonders for your bottom line, but even the veteran affiliates and advertisers have often failed with paid advertising campaigns.
Secondly, the same sound principle behind a successful PPC campaign usually stands for other types of traffic. For instance, SelfAdvertiser offers Domain Redirect or zero-click traffic, as it’s often called, that undergoes the same basics for a money-making campaign: the relevance of keywords to the target audience and the quality of the landing page. Domain Redirect is considered to be a highly targeted campaign (there are numerous targeting options) and will usually generate very high conversion rates if set up correctly.
You can either target all such opportunities across the entire network (RON campaign) or roll your sleeves and do some serious targeting with the relevant keywords you define. This is considered to be a highly targeted, but also competitive campaign, which is why we also offer keywords inventory for top geos, as well as volume per geo. Domain Redirect is an excellent example of a traffic type that effortlessly delivers results if you know what you’re doing.
Source: Sivan Tech
Whatever You Do, Learn and Educate Yourself
These would be the main reasons why any affiliate campaign is doomed from the start if guided by these mistakes. We could go far and wide on this topic as there are always more factors that contribute to failure: from running too many campaigns to the very thinking things will go smoothly once you set up a campaign (or as we like to call it, the set-and-forget mode). All these practices, tactics, and strategies rely on how much effort you as an affiliate put in.
One great thing about the affiliate community is the sheer volume of available information and resources available to leverage on a daily basis. There are so many successful affiliates that share both their ups and downs, as well as forums where performance marketers of all shapes and sizes exchange ideas, experiences, and latest trends and news on this particular form of marketing.
Put some work in, research the best traffic source for your traffic generation effort and you’ll form a solid foundation you can build on. Help is just around the corner.