Have you recently started Affiliate Marketing? Or your dream is become a successful Affiliate Marketer?
Affiliate Marketing is something, most people have started doing like you and me to generate passive income!
Are you familiar with the term Affiliate Link Cloaking? No?
Then you are missing something very important, Guys! Affiliate Link Cloaking has many advantages! Want to know? Keep reading to know more!
Importance Of Link Cloaking
Link Cloaking is a method to convert your long ugly looking affiliate links to short and pretty links. It is basically masking your affiliate URL, and once any visitor clicks on the cloaked links a 301 redirect will be performed to your affiliate links, and you can easily earn your commissions.
Affiliate Link Cloaking takes a couple of minutes to hide your affiliate links from the eyes of Search Engines. Affiliate links are generally long and ugly and most importantly it is difficult to remember.
Here is an example of how you can cloak your URL:
You can see how ugly the above link looks. Link Cloaking helps you to replace the ugly looking link into a beautiful affiliate link, which is more clickable and trustable for your viewers. You can’t deny that any business stand on the pillar of trust and loyalty:
Now you say which of these URL’s looks more clean and trustable according to you? The first URL doesn’t seem to be clickable right?
Ask yourself if you are buyer and you visit my site which one of them would you choose? I will definitely go for the second one, and I think you too!
Let us now discuss what are the reasons, that you should go for Affiliate Link Cloaking:
- Want Clean URLs
- Links are easier to share
- Better managing affiliate links
- Easy tracking and reporting
Most of the affiliate marketers have a wrong perception that link hiding helps them to earn more commissions and no one can steal the affiliate link id from them! But guys, this is not only the reason you should cloak your affiliate links.
Link Masking helps Search Engines to check whether a affiliate link is spamy or not! You know guys, affiliate links are like ugly and nonsense looking, sometimes it is hard to understand!
Let us have a look why affiliate link cloaking is important and advisable for most of the affiliate marketers:
Benefits Of Affiliate Link Cloaking
1. Easy to track affiliate Links
Most of the affiliate programs don’t help you to track their affiliate links. Here comes the role of affiliate link cloaking that allows you to track all the affiliate links of every affiliate program you use.
2. Boosts Click Through Rate(CTR)
If your links look spammy your website visitors may think that it is a tainted link and eventually it will decrease the click-through rate of your affiliate links. Link cloaking helps you to create genuine affiliate links with a 301 redirect without losing your viewer’s trust and also boosts your CTR in the long run.
3. Reduction in Commission Loss
Sometimes affiliate associates warn affiliate marketers against malware attacks that can return your affiliate link with theirs. This may cause you a reduction in commission. So, it is advised that cloaking your affiliate links is the safest option against this kind of spyware attack.
4. Easier to share
If you ask me, I will definitely recommend you to cloak your affiliate links as neat and clean affiliate links look more trustworthy. Don’t you agree? Genuine links engage more users and surrender more revenue! No need to search for individual links and share them to your affiliate associates.
5. Easy management of Affiliate Links
Have too many affiliate links on your website? Tired of managing them all? Here comes affiliate link cloaking to rescue you from this severe link management process! Affiliate Link management software comes in two different forms- WordPress Plugins, Software as a Service(SaaS). WordPress Plugins is easier to handle compared to SaaS products!
Link management is the most crucial part if you want to be a super affiliate marketer. Suppose a user clicks on your affiliate link and it redirects to a 404 error! This results in a bad user experience. Thus, it is advisable to use these link management plugins for easy affiliate link handling.
6. Bypass Ad Blockers
There are various Ad blocking browser extensions available on the web. Ad blocker check each links on your website and marks long ugly looking affiliate links as spam as Google doesn’t want long affiliate links in SERPs.
7. Tracking and Reporting Affiliate Links
One of the most crucial reason you must cloak your affiliate link is you can track clicks and conversions which is not possible with affiliate program link. Now it is easy to track your merchants conversions and the source of each conversion as well!
With an advanced affiliate link cloaking system, you can track the number of traffic visits on your merchant’s web page and also track which source results better! I know SEO is widely accepted for organic traffic, but can you track how many conversions are there in a month? If you really want to earn passive income from your affiliate associates then you should definitely mask your affiliate links!
8. Easy to No-follow Affiliate Links
Search Engine scowl at do-follow affiliate links and your blog can even be penalized and which finally results bad SEO ranking. What is the solution if this arises? I have a solution which is also used by me! Simply hide your affiliate links from the eyes of Google!
I know it is very frustrating to add rel=nofollow every time you create an affiliate link here comes the role of Link masking! Affiliate link cloaking helps you to cloak your link once and that can be re-used several times on your blog posts. Cool, right?
9. Improves email delivery rate
Have you used your affiliate links in your email marketing campaign? I know you face a problem! Your long affiliate links activate spam filters in emails that is why your email gets blacklisted. Better you cloak your affiliate links before you add them to your email marketing campaign.
How To Track Affiliate Conversions?
Methods Of Tracking Affiliate Conversions
There are two options you can track your affiliate conversions. See below:
- Tracking Pixels
Let us have a detailed discussion below:
A Postback URL is a URL that is created by a conversion data platform and the URL is then called by an affiliate network whenever a conversion takes place. See below an example of it works:
Postbacks is the most commonly used for affiliate conversion tracking and is considered trustworthy for every time your conversion takes place. Postbacks allow servers to communicate with each other directly.
Postbacks send a signal once activated by a source platform( affiliate network or tracker) and send information to the target platform( a tracker or a traffic source). Postbacks are more elastic in nature compared to tracking pixels!
Tracking Pixels is mostly used in Facebook’s Ad Platform and it sends a signal whenever a web page loads. Basically, a Tracking Pixel is an HTML code snippet that is loaded automatically when a visitor visits a website or opens an email. It is considered very useful for tracking user behavior and conversions. Most advertisers gather data for online marketing, web analysis, or email marketing with the help of a tracking pixel.
If you ask me, I would definitely recommend you to go for Postbacks as tracking pixel is totally web-based.
If your affiliate program doesn’t support tracking conversions, you can support your vendor with a conversion tracking pixels that help you to track and measure conversions.
Let us now jump to the next part and see what are the link cloaking software that allows you for affiliate link cloaking!
Detailed List Of Link Cloaking Software
There are various WordPress Plugins, and Affiliate link Management System helps you to cloak your affiliate links. We all are familiar with most popular CMS(Content Management System) that is WordPress which most of the affiliate marketers use to promote other affiliate programs.
It doesn’t mean that if you have a WordPress Plugin you can manage conversions at the same time any kind of link cloaking services may not have a WordPress Plugin! Wondering what should you do now?
Here is the list given below for better understanding:
|Link Cloaking Software||WordPress Plugin||Conversion Tracking|
|Pretty Links Pro||Yes||No|
|Thirsty Affiliates Pro||Yes||No|
|Easy Affiliate Links||Yes||Yes|
|Affiliate Link Manager||Yes||Yes|
There are many Pretty Links alternatives that are free to use with a handful of features where you can easily cloak your affiliate links and serve with the URL you want using Affiliate Link Cloaking.
Out of the above mentioned list, I do recommend you to use Easy Affiliate Links which is one of the best free to use WordPress Plugin to insert links into your WordPress blog posts. No matter what you affiliate associate you are using, it allows you are affiliate link cloaking as well as helps you to manage all your affiliate link management from one single dashboard!
To wrap you, I would definitely suggest that Affiliate Link Cloaking is always a better choice than keeping your links naked! Most of the affiliate marketers don’t know the importance of link masking and that to help them from losing their affiliate commissions.
Are you still nervous that this link cloaking practice is a fraudulent act? No guys, it is not exactly! Everything has a positive side, just think yourself as an user and think of those ugly looking affiliate links!
To be a successful affiliate marketer, I would highly recommend you to cloak your affiliate links before you add them to your blog posts.
Hope this article has helped you for your decision making and changed your misconception regarding affiliate link cloaking! Now what do you think about Link Cloaking? Do you still think it is misleading to use in your articles? Let me know in the comment section below if you have any suggestions!
In the meantime, you can read our other blogs here!