Which is more important: the chef or the ingredients? Or the kitchen?
Ask the chef and he’ll have one answer, and ask others in the restaurant and they’ll say something else.
That’s akin to how a prosperous affiliate business works. There are several key factors that contribute to success. When building an affiliate website or site network, you should make sure to plan for all of those factors.
The Four Tent Poles of a Good Affiliate Website
Anyone starting an affiliate website should take notice of these four important core factors:
- Technical Performance
- User Experience
Let’s unpack these one at a time in more detail:
Usually, the first step is to develop the technical platform of your affiliate website. You’ll need to plan for website traffic by acquiring a web hosting account that will scale as you need it.
On-site SEO (search engine optimization) is also vital: how are you structuring your pages with keywords, how do your pages render on mobile devices? Be sure to adhere to best practices when building your affiliate site.
Google and other search engines demand that the websites they index are helpful to the user. That means the site must load quickly, must have good mobile performance, and that the content is reliable and useful. But more on content later.
Website User Experience
The user experience (UX) is how easy it is for visitors to perform important tasks on your affiliate site. For example:
- Can visitors easily find their way to registering for an account with your brands?
- Is it simple for users to subscribe to your email newsletter?
- Does your website have good navigation? Does it use standard best practice tools like top-down navigation, breadcrumbs, and is important contact information available on every page?
Also, be sure to adhere to industry standards so your user experience is professional and safe.
For example, include safe gaming information as required, and tell your visitors when they are being referred to an operator’s site or brand.
Also, be careful to only gather the information you need from visitors for email subscriptions, and tell your users when or if you will share that data.
Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Just because you have an affiliate website, doesn’t mean your work is done. With websites, there’s no such thing as “If you build it, they will come.” You’ll need to create a marketing strategy.
All affiliate programs and networks, big and small, need a comprehensive marketing strategy. This is important for prioritizing your marketing budget, identifying channels for communication, and launching content plans.
Above all, an affiliate network or website is using content marketing as its central strategy for generating traffic and ultimately maximizing revenue.
The term “content marketing” is two words for a reason: the content is important, but without marketing, it can’t succeed.
In addition to content marketing, your marketing strategy should account for email marketing, social media, broadcast medium, viral marketing, and so on.
A marketing strategy should set out a method for measuring your success, otherwise, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t.
Content for Affiliate Websites
Without content, your affiliate pages will not perform well. You won’t attract organic traffic, and you won’t convert visitors into paying players and thus earn revenue.
As with all websites, your web pages, blogs, email newsletters etc. should always adhere to the basic principles of content strategy:
- Educate (solve a problem for the user) OR
- Entertain the user
All content should include some form of CTA (Call To Action) that helps move the user through the customer journey. For an affiliate website, that means eventually getting them to make the decision to register with one or more of your partners.
How Important Is Content?
As you can see, content is the lifeblood of your affiliate website. You need the other three factors: technical performance, good user experience, and marketing, but content is at the center of your affiliate strategy.
You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions when planning your content strategy:
- What type of content will you publish?
- How frequently will you publish your content?
- Who will be responsible for producing, editing, and publishing your content?
In another article, we will address best practice when it comes to creating and deploying an affiliate content marketing strategy.