The holiday shopping season is just around the corner. From previous years’ experience, I can safely predict that traffic to my Amazon Affiliate websites will likely increase 10x during the months of November and December, and if I make the right preparations, it is not unrealistic to expect earnings to increase just as much.
Here are 3 tips on how to get ready for the increase in online shoppers.
1. Check your Amazon Affiliate Links
It is not uncommon to find that products you linked to last year no longer exist. Amazon often keeps old product pages in their database, but if there are no sellers for the product, your readers can’t buy it.
A normal broken link checker will spot 404 errors, but it will not find links that point to out-of-stock products because the page still exists, even though the product doesn’t. For that, you need an Amazon-specific link checker which actually checks each product you link to.
If you use WordPress, you can automate this task with the Check Amazon Links WordPress Plugin. It will automatically search your website for links and it will alert you of links to out-of-stock products. It tells you what post(s) or page(s) it found the out of stock links on, and then you can easily update the link to a similar in-stock product. With the jewelry and clothing categories especially, often you will find the same product available on another Amazon page, so you just need to update the ASIN to the correct one.
The Check Amazon Links plugin also looks to see what affiliate tag you are using, which makes it easy to spot any links with missing or incorrect affiliate tags.
There are some things you need to check for that can’t be done automatically. To maximize your conversion rate with Amazon links, you should make sure that the links point to products that meet the following criteria:
- The product is the newest model or edition
- The product has positive reviews
- The product has a competitive price from trustworthy sellers
Some links need to be updated every year. For example, if you link to a calendar, you will have to change the link to next year’s calendar as soon as it becomes available. No one is going to buy last year’s calendar. You can search your blog for the keyword “calendar” and then correct all posts that link to calendars.
Likewise, electronic items often have new models every year. Sometimes, last year’s model is actually quite desirable, but in other cases, the old model lacks sought after features and is not likely to sell. You will have to manually inspect each link and decide which model your readers are most likely to purchase.
Your job as an Affiliate marketer is to make life easy for your readers. If you point them to what they are most likely looking for, you will be more likely to make the sale.
2. Optimize your Website for Search Engines
Now is an excellent time for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s true that search engines like good content, but if you write content without thinking about search engines, you might be missing out on traffic.
Your page should be formatted in a way so that your title, meta description, and headings all contain your keywords. The Yoast SEO plugin makes optimization of the description and title for each page easy. It shows you a preview of what your page might look like in the search results, like this:
In addition to optimizing your website for your target keywords, you also want to check how your site is doing with two technical issues: website loading speed and mobile friendliness.
Mobile friendliness is a factor that Google uses to determine you search engine ranking on mobile devices. Google provides a tool to test your website for mobile friendliness. If your site doesn’t pass, then you will likely need to make changes to the HTML & CSS. If you are using WordPress, you may need to edit your theme or install a new one.
Your site’s loading speed is also an important factor in how well your site ranks. Google has this tool for testing page speed.
3. Consider Upgrading your Hosting Plan
If your site is slow, you may want to upgrade to a faster hosting plan before the large increase in traffic that comes from holiday shoppers. Personally, I’ve noticed that sometimes big sites become slow during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the days right before Christmas. That tells me that they weren’t ready for all of the traffic.
So are you ready for 10x the traffic? You could ask your hosting provider what would happen if you got a 10x increase. If you are using shared hosting, the traffic that other sites on your server gets also effects you.
Think about all of the money you could lose if your site goes down during these popular shopping days. I think it’s better to be prepared. Spending a little extra money on a better web host or hosting plan can really pay off. Personally, I use SiteGround and I have been happy with how their SuperCacher speeds up my websites. Also no downtime! I guess there is a reason that they list at the top of many web hosts comparison charts/surveys.
What are your suggestions?
Are you an experienced Affiliate Marketer? Do you have some tips for beginners? Please post a tip or two, either about affiliate blogging in general, or something specific to holiday sales. Thanks!