The Benefits of Internal Linking (And How to Use This Technique Effectively)

While you work to create the best possible content for your readers, you may find yourself relying heavily on external links to provide depth and back up your claims. While these links certainly have their place, there are a number of things they can’t do effectively for your website, such as improving search engine rankings and promoting your own content.

That’s why you’ll also want to use internal links on your site. Doing so can provide a number of benefits that external linking alone won’t help you with. These include increased visitor engagement and better ranking in search engines.

In this post, we’ll first introduce you to the basics of internal linking, its benefits, and its typical uses. Then you’ll learn three tips for implementing internal linking effectively on your website. Let’s get started!

What Internal Linking Is (And How It Can Benefit Your Site)

Internal linking simply means adding links to your content that point to other parts of your own website. This is the opposite of external linking, which occurs when you link to off-site content.

Using internal links is important for a number of reasons, including:

In addition, internal links have a wide variety of uses, which makes them a versatile tool. For example, they can add further depth to your latest content, and expose new readers to your older (but still relevant) content. There’s really no downside to implementing them, as long as you follow a few simple strategies.

How to Use Internal Linking Effectively (3 Simple Tips)

By now, it should be clear that internal linking can provide your website with an array of benefits. Let’s take a closer look at how you can implement this technique most effectively.

1. Use Optimized and Relevant Anchor Text

Anchor text incorporated into a paragraph

As demonstrated by Kissmetrics, anchor links can be incorporated into your content to maintain flow while also providing value.

Anchor text is the text that ‘anchors’ a link, which readers click on to visit the linked page. Since most anchor text is incorporated into your content (unless, for example, it’s part of a menu), it’s important that it is optimized and relevant. This means the text should fit naturally into the words around it, letting the content maintain its flow. While you do want readers to click on your links, you don’t want them to be too distracting or seem forced.

To ensure that your anchor text is as optimized and relevant as possible, consider these tips when adding internal links:

  • Keep it natural: Aim to create anchor text from words that are already present, and avoid shoehorning in unnatural phrases (such as awkward keywords).
  • Vary your use of anchor text types: This will help you avoid generic anchor texts (such as “click here” or “find out more”), and will improve the flow of your content.

Finally, it helps to think of anchor text as a link descriptor. When readers scan your content, you want them to be able to look at the linked text and predict exactly what kind of content to expect when they click through.

2. Link to High-Quality Content

An example of a link to quality content

Neil Patel regularly links to quality content that backs up his claims and provides more depth for his readers.

In general, high-quality content is that which both contributes value and builds your site’s credibility. Linking to quality content enables you to provide more depth for your readers, as well as to promote other content within your site. In addition, the more links a web page has pointing to it, the higher its pagerank – this is a key factor in Google search rankings.

What constitutes high-quality content can be quite subjective. However, there are a few universal rules you can follow when choosing the best internal content to link to:

  • Focus on actionability: Actionable content provides more value to your readers. While you should try to make your current article as helpful as possible, you can also link to other actionable content on your site to provide greater depth.
  • Keep it relevant: This means linking to internal pages that are directly related to the content at hand, and that contribute further to your current article’s depth and value.

An easy way to get started is to first look at your site’s most popular content. While it may not initially be of the highest quality, you can further improve on it and use it as pillar content across your site.

3. Track Your Internal Links

Pretty Link Pro's "Clicks" screen

With Pretty Link Pro you can track user clicks, which makes it easy to keep an eye on internal link performance.

Tracking internal links is similar to any other link tracking process. Generally, the number of clicks on a specific link are tallied and made available for review. This is beneficial because it helps you figure out which links are performing well, and which should be altered or moved to a more prominent location.

Fortunately, when you shorten links using Pretty Link Pro, you can automate the tracking feature. That way, you can quickly start to benefit from the insight that link tracking provides. You can even create link reports and export them for further analysis. In no time, you’ll be implementing internal links that increase your user engagment and page rankings.

Conclusion

Internal links are just as important as external links when it comes to optimizing your site and encouraging visitors to stick around. Therefore, using these links on your website is essential if you want to improve its credibility. Plus, they offer further depth and value to your readers.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to the benefits of internal linking, and offered three tips for using this type of link effectively. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Use optimized and relevant anchor text.
  2. Link to high-quality content.
  3. Track your internal links with Pretty Link Pro.

Do you have any questions about how to effectively use internal linking on your website? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Tips for Effective Link Promotion on Niche Forums

Promoting links on niche forums is a great way to interact with your target audience. However, you may be poorly promoting these links. Needless to say, poor communication with potential customers can kill your business. Unfortunately, this is just one of the issues of poor link promotion.

The good news is that effective link promotion isn’t hard to achieve – in fact, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is! With a few basic tips, you could improve your linking efforts, gain more website traffic, and increase your conversions. You’ll be able to ensure quality engagement on your chosen forums, and your efforts will go some way in establishing you as a credible industry resource.

In this post, we’ll share three tips for effective link promotion. You’ll learn how to use each tip effectively, as well as how Pretty Link Pro can play a key role in effective link promotion. Let’s get started!

1. Choose the Right Niche Forums

Bodybuilding forum homepage

Bodybuilding.com is an example of a niche-specific forum – in this case, fitness.

A niche forum is an online community that focuses its conversations around a particular area of interest. When it comes to choosing the right niche forums to promote your links, there are two things you’ll want to consider. First, you’ll want to find forums where your audience hangs out. Second, you’ll want to select forums that enable linking.

For effective link promotion, choosing the right forums to participate in is important to receive suitable benefits (for example, by sending traffic to your website). This also contributes to your credibility – after all, your advice, insight, or product won’t be recognized if you’re posting in the wrong places.

To choose the right niche forums, there are a few techniques you can implement. For example:

  1. Explore the forums in your niche: Search “‘your niche’ + forum” in Google, then perform an audience analysis to determine whether the forum contains your key demographic.
  2. Use your website visitor demographics: Working in the opposite direction of the above technique, this will help you to find likely forums your audience uses.

At this point, you should now have a narrowed list of forums on which to focus your efforts. However, before you jump in let’s take a look at the next tip, which gives you a better idea of what to link to.

2. Link to Purpose-Built Landing Pages

The List Building School landing page.

List Building School uses a landing page that highlights one product (in this case, their e-book).

A landing page is a dedicated section of a website that focuses on a particular product or service. In terms of niche forum linking, landing pages tend to be a more effective target URL than home page links, especially if you’re hoping for page visitors to perform a specific action (such as purchasing a product).

The main benefit here is that you’ll appear more helpful to forum readers. A specific link can offer more value (assuming it’s relevant), and this lends itself to credibility.

When linking to landing pages, you’ll want to follow two crucial steps to ensure your links are viewed as valuable additions to the conversation:

  1. Use relevant links. This means only adding landing page links that are directly related to the conversation taking place.
  2. Use a ‘pretty link’. Especially on public forums, where anyone can join and take part, it’s important that your links are descriptive and non-spammy. A pretty link (also known as a shortened or branded link) can help you to achieve this, as they enable you to add a detailed slug that directly describes the landing page’s focus (and, therefore, the link’s target).

In terms of credibility, providing relevant and shortened links is one of the best ways to go. Speaking of shortened links, let’s take a closer look at how to properly use them on your forum postings.

3. Use Branded, Shortened Links

A branded link as seen on PlayStation's Twitter page

Branded links can be used across the web, even on social media. PlayStation does so effectively on their Twitter page.

Branded, shortened links are those that are transformed from long and mysterious to short and focused. This is a crucial step in your link promotion efforts, as it makes your links (and you) appear more credible. This means more clicks on your links, which can mean more traffic, and possible conversions down the line.

In addition, branded links are also less distracting and more pleasing to the eye. Readers tend to scan websites, making branded links a great asset because they’re short and clear on what the link contains.

Fortunately, creating short, branded links is simple when you use a dedicated plugin – such as Pretty Link Pro:

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

Once you’ve purchased a plan and installed the plugin on your WordPress website, the link creation process consists of three main steps. After that, incorporating the links into your forum posts is a breeze. Simply copy the newly-created URL, and add it to the anchor text within your post. That’s it – utilizing shortened links on forums as part of your link promotion strategy is easy!

Conclusion

Link promotion is an effective marketing technique that can drive traffic to your website. Niche forums offer an optimal environment for link promotion, and provide you with both a target audience and platform for sharing your insights. In addition, they can also offer unique benefits – such as building authority and credibility for you and your business.

In this post, we’ve provided you with three tips that can help improve the results of your link promotion campaigns on niche forums. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Choose the right niche forums.
  2. Link to purpose-built landing pages.
  3. Use branded, shortened links.

Do you have any questions about effectively using niche forums for link promotion? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Techniques to Improve Your Business’ Branding

Many businesses fail to brand effectively, and because of this, they could be impacting their potential income. Unfortunately, this can lead to issues – both now and in the future – with brand awareness and credibility.

Fortunately, whether your business is new or not, there are a variety of branding techniques you can use to reinforce your business’ identity. These techniques are easy to implement and could be just what your business needs to become a recognized brand in your niche.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to branding and what it can do for your business, including a deeper look at its benefits. You’ll then learn four techniques you can implement immediately to bolster your brand’s awareness. Let’s get started!

What Branding Is (And How It Can Benefit Your Business)

Branding isn’t just about having a prominent, memorable logo. It’s a business strategy that is used to develop solid relationships with your target market and establish strong connections within your chosen industry. A  good branding strategy will increase the value of your company overall, and makes the acquisition of new customers easier.

Zappos homepage

Zappos is a well-reputed brand, largely due to their stellar customer service.

Branding has many upsides, but with a solid strategy in place, there are two key benefits:

  1. A growth in industry reach: Branding provides you with a way to stand out among your competitors.
  2. An increase in brand credibilityBranding can improve consumer perception and, as a result, credibility.

Often confused with marketing, branding is a related yet separate strategy. In a nutshell, branding is what remains after your marketing efforts have swept through. It is associated with the reputation of a company and how effective you are to deliver on the promises you’ve made to the customer.

4 Techniques to Improve Your Business’s Branding

Many businesses fail to brand properly because they assume its an overwhelming endeavor, or they simply overcomplicate the process. However, branding is simpler than you think, and with these techniques, you’ll be wondering why you never did this sooner.

1. Keep an Active Social Media Page

Zappos Facebook business page

Clothing company Zappos effectively uses social media to stay in touch with their customers, which build brands reputation.

An active social media page is one that your business uses regularly, both to talk to and reach customers. This is beneficial for branding because it provides you with a key engagement platform to generate leads and sales.

While keeping an active social media page isn’t difficult, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Share your latest content. While the ‘old-fashioned’ way of manual posting is perfectly fine, an automated tool (such as Buffer and Hootsuite) will be much more efficient.
  2. Get involved in the conversation. Use monitoring to keep an eye on popular topics of conversation, and use social listening for better engagement.

The power of social media is amazing, but its use can be time consuming. However, branding in the age of social media is extremely beneficial – making it a smart investment.

2. Use a Branded Email Address

Jorden Roper Writing Revolt contact page

Jorden Roper of Writing Revolt uses a short, branded email address to make contact easy.

A branded email address is one that incorporates your business’ name and URL. They are effective because they provide a sense of reassurance that your business is legitimate, they improve credibility, and they also provide a good first impression.

Here are just a few tips to keep in mind when creating your first branded email address:

  1. Keep it short and memorable. Use a simple username (the part before the @). Ideally, your username should be your name.
  2. Make it visible. Include your branded email on your website’s contact page, in the sidebar of your blog, and in the bio of your social media accounts.

This branding technique may seem inconsequential. However, even this seemingly small change can add an additional layer to your branding strategy.

3. Partner with Like-Minded Businesses

Apple and SAP business partnership announcement

Like-minded businesses, such as Apple and SAP, partner regularly as a way to improve their business operations and expand their target audience reach.

The main benefit of partnering with like-minded businesses is exposure to new audiences. This improves your business’ discoverability, and can significantly contribute to your brand’s credibility.

If you’re just getting started, here are a few ways to improve your odds of establishing such a relationship:

  1. Know what you want from a partnership. This means knowing exactly what you’d like to achieve by partnering.
  2. Know what you bring to the table. To begin, perform a SWOT analysis to get an understanding of your business (and perform one on your potential partner too).
  3. Contact the right people. Find the right people, and you’ll have a much easier time of being heard.

Even if you’re a startup, you’re bound to have something to offer to bigger brands. Therefore, it’s important to hone in on this from the very beginning and utilize it effectively.

4. Shorten and Cloak Your Links with Pretty Link Pro

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

A link management plugin such as Pretty Link Pro makes link shortening and cloaking a breeze.

Link shortening and cloaking are techniques that can be used to personalize business links. You can effortlessly improve brand awareness by incorporating your business’ name into each link address.

If you’d like to get started with shortening and cloaking your links, it’s easy to do with a link management plugin, such as Pretty Link Pro. This plugin – which offers more than simply link shortening – enables you to easily shorten and cloak all of your links. They can then be used on your website, shared across your social media accounts, and utilized anywhere else on the web.

Conclusion

In short, proper branding can skyrocket your business’ recognition. This can build credibility and, as a result, lead to more customers and increased sales. It’s such an important aspect that to ignore it could be the difference between success and failure.

In the above post, we’ve introduced the importance of business branding, as well as four techniques you can implement to grow your business from being unknown to becoming a distinguished entity. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Keep an active social media page.
  2. Use a branded email address.
  3. Partner with like-minded businesses.
  4. Shorten and cloak your links with Pretty Link Pro.

Do you have any questions about how to improve your business’ branding, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Reasons Pretty Links Can Help to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a big deal for online businesses. It can boost targeted traffic and improve website credibility, both of which could contribute towards significant growth in business conversions and sales. However, you may be undermining your site’s potential through the use of inefficient, outdated, or incorrect optimization tactics.

One way to improve your search engine ranking is with the use of  ‘pretty links’. These are shortened links with a customized URL that can improve the visibility of your brand, and they offer a number of benefits. When used properly, they can also provide you with the ranking boost you need.

In this post, we’ll show you three ways that pretty links can boost your search engine rankings. Then, you’ll learn how Pretty Link Pro can provide you with almost all of the link shortening features you could need, as well as how to set up pretty links with SEO in mind.

1. Pretty Links Provide Built-in Branding

Tech Crunch Twitter post with branded link

TechCrunch utilizes branded links on their Twitter posts.

Branding is a marketing technique utilized by all manner of businesses. It’s used to expertly position a brand (for example, your business) in the marketplace, and can help to establish you as a well-known authority within your niche.

Branding is an important part of marketing and can greatly influence search engine rankings – as long as you know how to leverage it. For example, a well-reputed brand will receive more traffic to their site, and gather more authentic backlinks as a direct result of marketplace exposure. This will improve your search engine rankings and place your site higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

When it comes to branding, pretty links can be an effective tool. In short, they replace the original link (the target URL) with a version of your own brand name (known as a branded link). These links can be recognizable in their own right (think of bit.ly or goo.gl, for example), expand your reach across the web, especially on social media, and improve your business’ credibility.

2. Pretty Links Help Pass Along Link Juice

ProBlogger guest post declaration

Guest posting is a popular way to receive link juice from higher-authority websites.

Have you ever wondered why backlinks are so highly regarded by search engines? It all comes down to ‘link juice’ and the power it possesses. Link juice is a term that refers to the passing of value from one website to another. When you link out to a site, you’re passing along some of your site’s value, and the same occurs (in reverse) when another site links to you.

However, ‘link juice’ can only be made possible with backlinks. These are essentially links to your website from another place on the internet. Websites with authentic backlinks rank highly on search engines. This is because the more backlinks your site has, the more likely it is that your content is valuable and of high quality. This will greatly increase your website’s chances of being on top in the SERPs.

Where pretty links come in is how they pass along link juice. Every link – pretty or not – passes along link juice, as long as it doesn’t contain a ‘nofollow’ attribute. This attribute is typically added to links on social media networks, and can mean the difference between building backlinks and not.

However, URL shorteners (including Pretty Link Pro) typically use permanent redirects, which bypasses any ‘nofollow’ attributes added to links. This is useful for building backlinks that are copied from your social media profile, or any other site that automatically adds a ‘nofollow’ attribute to links.

3. Pretty Links Are Easier to Share

Richard Branson Twitter post with pretty link

Pretty links, such as the one tweeted by Richard Branson, are easy to share across all social media platforms.

Aside from link juice, users who share links can also help to expand your reach by delivering your content to new audiences, which can contribute greatly to your overall growth.

While sharing isn’t a direct search engine ranking factor, it does heavily contribute to your site’s general standing. This is because a short, memorable link is easier to share and the more shares your link gets, the greater the number of backlinks you’ll receive, which will impact your ranking positively.

Pretty links are easier to share, mainly due to their size. For a start, the shorter the link, the less chance of transcription mistakes occurring. Of course, their size also makes them possible to share on social media platforms with character limits, such as Twitter. Even on platforms without character limits, short links could be better perceived by your target audience, and more likely to be clicked and shared.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Help You Boost Search Engine Rankings

Screenshot of Pretty Link Pro.

As a premium URL shortener, Pretty Link Pro enables you to professionally shorten links. However, this plugin does more than just shorten links – it also enables redirects (including both permanent and temporary ones), and provides the ability to track and monitor clicks and other statistics.

To begin reaping the benefits of pretty links, you’ll first need to purchase a plan and install the plugin. Then, all you need to is follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to improving your website’s search engine rankings.

Conclusion

Pretty links provide you with a number of benefits, including a pleasing look and easy-to-implement link tracking. In addition, they can also help you expand your reach and boost your search engine rankings.

In this post, we’ve showed you three ways pretty links can boost your site’s search engine rankings. To quickly recap, pretty links can:

  1. Provide built-in branding.
  2. Pass along link juice.
  3. Make sharing links easier.

Do you have any questions about using pretty links to boost search engine rankings, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro (And Why You Should)

Traffic numbers can be a strong indicator of your business’ success. After all, the more eyes on your site, the more potential leads your business has. However, the tracking process can seem complicated, and you may find yourself overwhelmed by the steps involved.

Fortunately, Pretty Link Pro enables you to easily integrate a tool such as Google Analytics, and track traffic and other website metrics in a flash. With this information, you can make the necessary changes to your website and begin to improve your business’ competitive position.

In this post, we’ll first introduce you to Google Analytics, including why you should consider using it. Then, we’ll show you how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, and offer a few tips for using this integration to the fullest. Let’s get started!

What Google Analytics Is (And Why You Should Use It)

Google Analytics audience overview report

The Audience Overview screen is one of Google Analytics’ most popular tracking features.

Google Analytics is a free service that generates in-depth statistics about visitors and sources of website traffic, and also tracks measurable data such as website conversions and sales. This can be a useful tool for affiliate marketers, or any website owner who’d like a behind-the-scenes look at their website.

There is a wealth of information available to you with Google Analytics, but here are a few specific reasons to use it on your site. You can:

  1. Track traffic. A solid understanding of your site’s traffic sources can help you to better target your audience.
  2. Notice trends. Trends – such as web browser usage and bounce rates – can provide you with an understanding of your audience and their needs.
  3. Maximize marketing effortsWith a look at audience behaviors and other such data, you can alter your current marketing plans to get more in line with reality.

In comparison to its competitors, Google Analytics is a mature program, offering advanced features and extensive resources. And as we mentioned, it’s also free!

How to Integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro

For this step you’ll need to have installed and activated the Pretty Link Pro plugin first. To begin the integration process, download a suitable Google Analytics plugin to your WordPress site. Google Analyticator enables you to see your statistics within WordPress, and is supported by Pretty Link Pro:

The Google Analyticator plugin.

Next, go to Pretty Link > Options > Link Options within your WordPress dashboardTo enable Google Analytics, simply check the box next to the Google Analytics option, which makes the option available every time you create a link with Pretty Link Pro:

Enable Google Analytics in Pretty Link Pro link options

Finally, keep in mind that links can only be tracked if they are one of the following redirect types: cloak, pretty bar, javascript, and meta-refresh. Once you’re up and running, you can look to leverage your integration’s power and flexibility.

How to Get the Most from Your Google Analytics and Pretty Link Pro Integration (3 Tips)

Now you know how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, let’s take a look at three tips to help you make the most of it.

1. Understand What Google Analytics Can Do For You

Google Analytic's traffic source feature

One of Google Analytics’ many features is traffic source tracking.

Google Analytics has an extensive list of metrics, and discussing them all could fill several books! To use the tool optimally, you’ll need to at least be familiar with the basics. Some of Google Analytics’ most useful metrics for affiliate marketers relate to e-commerce, and you’ll also find handy features such as audience segment reports. However, there’s much more on offer.

If you’re unsure which metrics to pay attention to, here are a couple to get you started:

  1. Unique Visitors and Page ViewsTogether, they provide a clear indication of the true levels of traffic on your site, and tell you what visitors are looking at.
  2. Bounce Rate. Visitors who aren’t compelled to click through to links will ‘bounce’, so this metric dictates whether you need to reassess your content at a base level.

While the plethora of metrics and features on offer can seem overwhelming at first, time and experience will ultimately enable you to make sense of it all.

2. Integrate (And Track) Your Website Goals

Google Analytics create new goal page

In Google Analytics, you can create your own website goals.

Goals are a key element for your website’s success, and will provide you with clarity and direction. Google Analytics also include features related to goal setting and tracking – and they’re a breeze to use.

To begin, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create your goals in Google Analytics. In short, you’ll need to go to Admin > Goals on the left side of the Google Analytics dashboard. From here, click New Goal, then select a pre-built template or create a custom one. Select the goal type, enter in the details, and click Save.
  2. Track your goal’s results. By navigating to Conversions > Goals > Overview, you can look at your goal’s tracked results, and make adjustments as needed.

The more website goals you set, the better able you’ll be to meet your personal and business goals, such as higher traffic and more conversions. So it pays (sometimes literally!) to spend some time here.

3. Create Custom Reports

custom report creation page in Google Analytics

Custom reports are similar to goals, but with a bit more flexibility.

Simply put, custom reports are ones that you define yourself. They enable you to set specific parameters for your reports based on web browser, traffic source, and even location.

As with the other steps, creating a custom report in Google Analytics is simple:

  1. Choose the best dimensions and metrics. There are a variety of dimension-metrics combinations you can utilize. You can experiment and even change them as you go along.
  2. Interpret the results. This will help you to get an idea of where your site is currently, and make plans for the future.

Similar to goals, custom reports offer you a valuable look at the actuality of your current website situation. With this insight, you can then make the tweaks necessary to reach your goals.

Conclusion

Proper tracking of your website’s traffic – along with a few other analytics – can help you to better gauge your site’s goals (such as improving traffic sources and boosting your income). Overall, this can help you to make the changes necessary to meet and exceed them.

In this post, we’ve showed you how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, and optimize their integration. To quickly recap:

  1. Get acquainted with Google Analytics’ offerings.
  2. Integrate (and track) your website goals.
  3. Create custom reports.

Do you have any questions about how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

A/B Testing: What It Is and How To Do It With Pretty Link Pro

When setting up your website or sending out email campaigns, it can be difficult to know how readers will perceive different aspects of your design and content. This is true for many things, including link placement and usage.

With A/B testing, you can get as close to mind reading as possible. Ultimately, with a better understanding of your audience’s behavior, this technique will enable you to increase your conversion rate, and as a result, increase your profits.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to A/B testing, specifically using links. We’ll show you how to use this testing to get a better understanding of your audience, resulting in a boost to your business’ bottom line, as well as how Pretty Link Pro can be used to A/B test your links. Let’s get started!

What A/B Testing Is (And Why You Should Use It)

Pretty Link Pro A/B split testing

A/B testing set up in Pretty Link Pro.

A/B testing (also referred to as ‘split testing’) is a method used by marketers to test out different aspects of their marketing strategy and implementation. A/B testing is a more controlled form of split testing, where only two variants (A and B) are tested at the same time.

There are numerous benefits that marketers can reap through the use of A/B testing. Two of the mains benefits are:

  1. It gives you insights into target audience behavior.
  2. It helps you to tweak your current practices to better provoke desired audience behavior (e.g. making purchases).

While there are alternative techniques available (such as experimental design), A/B testing is one of the simplest and most direct methods for improving conversion rates. This makes it a good option for marketers, as it can provide you with clear results with very little effort on your part.

How to Use A/B Testing to Improve Your Business (3 Key Tips)

Whether you’re new to marketing or a veteran in the field, A/B testing can drastically improve your business methods. Let’s take a look at how!

1. Compare Link Placement Methods

As a marketer, you depend on your readers to click the links on your website and in your email campaigns. What you may not have considered is the importance of where you place such links. Consider, for example, that a 2016 study revealed how links placed in the “top-left region” of an email newsletter had a “higher impact” than those placed elsewhere.

Studies like the above are just the tip of the iceberg; you only need to consciously observe your own behavior on websites to quickly realize how link placement drives what you click on and what you choose to ignore (or even miss entirely).

Fortunately, A/B testing enables you to gain access to data that can show you where links should be placed for maximum impact. More specifically, you can test two different placements of the same link, and run a test that determines which placement attracts the higher percentage of clicks. Once you have concluded the test, you can adopt the optimal placement, and enjoy higher Click-Through Rates (CTRs) as a result.

2. Track Your Links’ Conversion Rates

Conversion rates tell you how many of your site’s visitors (or email readers) have picked up on the cues you’ve used in an attempt to ‘convert’ them. This may mean they click a link that brings them to a product’s sales page, or sign up for your email list, or even just follow your social media page.

Tracking these links is vital to understanding your readers. If you want to know what makes them click, you need to have solid evidence to back it up.

Among other things, A/B testing enables you to track link conversion rates. How can these results help you?

  1. It helps you to better understand your audience.
  2. It enables you to improve future practices, increasing your conversions easily.

Don’t make the mistake of relying on CTRs alone. Conversion rates are a more important indicator of your business’s success, and their tracking enables you to improve upon them.

3. Test Different URL Destinations

Not all landing pages are created the same. However, if you aren’t testing the destinations, you won’t know which ones are better for your business.

Testing different URL destinations – and variations of each – can improve your business significantly. Most of all, this can lead to:

  1. Increased understanding of visitor needs. The pages your sites visitors react to more positively will, ultimately, tell you what they’re looking for from you and your niche.
  2. More effective landing pages. A/B testing will show you which landing pages are more effective for sales or other conversions.

Landing pages are the main platform for your sales pitches. This is why it’s essential to tweak them to perfection based on your visitors’ needs and behavior.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Help With A/B Testing

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

As a link shortening plugin, you may think that Pretty Link Pro’s features end there. Among its wide variety of other features, Pretty Link Pro also offers A/B testing.

One of the greatest things about Pretty Link Pro’s A/B testing feature is how easy it is to set up! In just a few minutes, you can create split links for all the website and email links you would like to test. Then, once users have begun using the links, you can check out the results by clicking Split Test Report under the links you’re testing on the Pretty Link page.

Conclusion

Links are the foundation of your marketing efforts. That means it’s vital to know the best practices for their use on your website, on social media, and in your email marketing campaigns. With A/B testing, you can do just that by learning about – and taking advantage of – audience actions and behavior.

In the above post, we showed you how to use A/B testing to improve your business. To recap, you can:

  1. Compare link placement methods.
  2. Track your links’ conversion rates.
  3. Test different URL destinations.

Do you have any questions about A/B testing, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Link Disclosures: An Introduction and Best Practices


Links are the foundation of affiliate marketing. As such, some marketers may add paid-for links to their blogs and websites freely, without a thought to any repercussions. Unfortunately, undisclosed links of this kind can create a legal nightmare.

That’s where affiliate link disclosures come in. This practice enables you to link to affiliate sites without worry, and protects you – and the consumer – from unethical business practices.

In this post, we’ll first introduce you to affiliate link disclosures, including what they are and why their use is necessary. Then, we’ll provide you with three best practices you can easily apply to your website and blog.

Let’s get started!

What Affiliate Link Disclosures Are (And Why They’re Necessary)

Affiliate link disclosure example

An affiliate link disclosure as seen on Amy Lynn Andrews.

Affiliate link disclosures are an FTC-mandated practice. Essentially, whenever a link is used on your website that results in a commission, you must disclose this information to site visitors. This extends beyond affiliate links, and must also be done for endorsements, sponsorships, and the like.

While this may seem like a hassle, there are two very big reasons that disclosures are necessary:

  1. They ensure fair business practices. This gives all marketers an even playing field, and gives buyers the chance to purchase from marketers they trust.
  2. They provide transparency to your site’s readers. Trust is important for marketers, and can only be achieved through complete transparency.

Remember, disclosures aren’t punishments. Instead, they’re a practice used for the benefit of consumers and marketers alike.

3 Best Practices for Affiliate Link Disclosures

Affiliate link disclosures are fairly easy to implement, but there are ways to optimize their use. Let’s take a look at three practices that – when used – result in FTC-compliant disclosures.

1. Place Disclosures in Obvious Areas

‘Obvious’ can be quite subjective, but all this means is that any disclosures on your site must be in open view, easy for visitors to see.

An example of obvious disclosure placement.

For all blog posts containing affiliate links, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents places a basic disclosure at the top of the post.

This practice builds trust. Disclosures that are hidden in page footers or on a separate page look as if you’re trying to comply without actually doing so. This doesn’t fly with the FTC, and it won’t go down well with a lot of readers, either.

To ensure that you’re following this practice, here are two key tips for disclosure placement on your website or blog:

  1. Always add your disclosure at the top of blog posts. This gives the reader a chance to bounce from the page if they aren’t fans of affiliate links, and it protects you from accusations of deception.
  2. Place a reference to your disclosure near affiliate links. You don’t have to interrupt your post’s flow to do so. Simply add an asterisk or other indicator near the link, then repeat the disclosure at the end of the post.

Your readers shouldn’t have to do any extra legwork in order to see the disclosure. If you keep this in mind, it’s fairly easy to determine the best placements on your site and blog.

2. Be Proactive in Disclosing

You may sometimes find yourself wondering whether a disclosure is necessary. To avoid legal troubles, it’s best to be proactive and disclose.

Here’s a few guidelines to help you determine when to disclose:

  • Disclose when you’ve been paid. This includes sponsorships, paid reviews, and links to products that aren’t your own (i.e. an affiliate product).
  • Disclose on each page a link is used. Even if you’ve previously disclosed a particular affiliate link, it’s necessary to do so again when it’s used in a different area of your site.
  • When unsure, disclose anyway. This won’t cause any harm, and may actually prevent legal headaches down the road.

The main takeaway is that proactive disclosing is best. You should disclose whenever possible, and be open about your practices from the start.

3. Use Clear Language

Clear language ensures that your site’s readers understand the relationship you have to affiliate sites.

Again, this really comes down to transparency. Clear, direct language shows that you respect your readers, while complex language can confuse and drive away potential customers.

To ensure that you’re writing clear affiliate disclosures, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Be direct. Keep the disclosure short, and don’t beat around the bush.
  2. Use ‘trigger words’. It’s best to use words that let your reader know immediately that you may receive compensation from your links. These words include “compensation” and “commission”.
  3. Avoid niche jargon. Avoid the use of words that the general public may not know, such as “affiliate”, “pay-per-click” (in reference to ads), etc., unless you also provide a direct explanation for them in your disclosure.

You can also create a disclosure template, enabling you to provide readers with a consistent experience across all website pages.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Help You Disclose Your Affiliate Links

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

If you’re ready to implement affiliate disclosures on your site, then Pretty Link Pro can help. More than just a link shortener, this WordPress plugin has plenty of features to help you manage your site’s links. These include the abilities to redirect and share your links, as well as automate the processes involved in their use.

The best part is that setting up affiliate link disclosures is simple. In just five steps, you can have this feature set up across your site.

Conclusion

Affiliate link disclosures are a legal necessity, but their use can also build reader trust in both you and your affiliate products. With a link management tool such as Pretty Link Pro, you can create affiliate disclosures for your website in minutes, and you can even automate the process.

In the above post, we provided you with three affiliate disclosure best practices. To recap:

  1. Place disclosures in obvious areas.
  2. Be proactive in disclosing.
  3. Use clear language.

Do you have any questions about affiliate link disclosures or how to set them up with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Tips for Building an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

Whether you’re a business magnate or just learning the ropes, it’s not uncommon to run low on customers from time to time. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know how to reach potential customers effectively.

However, with social media marketing, you can reach prospects, build your business, and make a name for yourself within your niche. Best of all, there are a number of techniques you can employ to ensure that your social media marketing strategy is solid and effective.

In this post, we’ll offer up some highly effective tips for building a social media marketing strategy. You’ll learn why each technique is important, as well as how to utilize them most effectively. Let’s get started!

1. Create Clear Objectives

Without clear objectives, you may have a general idea of what you’d like to do (e.g. grow your business through the use of social media), but no idea how to get there.

Fortunately, clear objectives aren’t difficult to create. In fact, here’s two tips that will get you on the right track:

  1. Be specific and realisticAvoid vague goals; instead, create ones that are specific (such as gaining 1,000 Twitter followers in 90 days) and realistic.
  2. Ensure your objectives are measurable. The only way to know whether your objectives are being met is to create objectives that are measurable. Measurable objectives should ideally be quantifiable (such as the number of followers you will gain).

Objectives are the foundation of your social media marketing strategy. It’s important that you put a lot of thought into your goals and objectives, and revisit them regularly.

2. Target a Specific Audience

When you create content, you should do so with a specific audience in mind. This helps you narrow your focus and target only those who are interested in your products.

In order to target your specific audience effectively, we’ve broken the process down into three simple steps:

  1. Find your audience. This is one of the more difficult things you will do, but when executed correctly, the rewards are huge.
  2. Pick the right social media platforms. Pick the platforms your audience most frequently uses. This will save you time, and give you a better chance of reaching your targets.
  3. Speak to your audience’s needs. You need to create a sense of urgency in your followers. This is why you must speak to their needs and let them know that you have the answer.

Social media is the perfect place to engage your target audience. It gives you a platform to share content that’s catered specifically to them, and to create relationships that can lead to future sales.

3. Set Up a Posting Schedule

Buffer

Tools such as Buffer can make social media update scheduling a breeze.

To build a strong social presence – as well as feed your content-hungry followers – you need a consistent and solid posting schedule in place.

To set up a posting schedule that’s right for your audience, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Be consistent. Pick a posting schedule you know you can stick to. Consistency is much more important than volume – especially in the beginning.
  2. Mix it up. Promoting new content is important, but consider adding in a few of your older blog posts to provide your followers with a helpful blast from the past.
  3. Automate the process. Popular social media automation tools include HootSuite and Buffer, and they enable you to plan your social media posts well in advance.

If you’re starting small, slowly work your way up to more posts per day, but never sacrifice quality of content for quantity.

4. Cloak and Track Your Social Media Links

Link cloaking involves changing the URL your followers will see into something that is better branded for your business. Cloaked links can be easily tracked to see which ones are working for your business. This is beneficial for a number of reasons, and it can serve your business well when done correctly.

In order to begin, you will need the help of a link management plugin. We recommend our very own Pretty Link Pro, not only for its cloaking and tracking abilities, but for its variety of other link optimizing features, too.

Getting started is easy. After purchasing your plan and installing the plugin, all you need to do is create a new link (choosing Cloaked as the Redirection type), enable tracking in the Advanced Options dropdown, and then use the link on your website and social media profiles.

Once the link has been in use for a while, you can then check out the stats on its use by going to Pretty Link > Clicks:

Pretty Link Pro's "Clicks" screen

Here, you’ll see an overview of each link’s stats, including the number of clicks and the referrer (if there is one).

Conclusion

As a solid source of potential customers, social media provides your business with endless growth possibilities. Of course, you must know how to utilize those possibilities to their fullest in order to see the best results.

In the above post, we offered four tips for building an effective social media marketing strategy. To recap, they are:

  1. Create clear objectives
  2. Target a specific audience
  3. Set up a posting schedule
  4. Cloak and track your social media links

Do you have any questions about building a social media strategy to grow your business? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to ‘nofollow’ Your Affiliate Links

Affiliate marketing can provide a welcome income boost to your business through a few well-placed links. However, search engines often crack down on affiliate sites that contain too many paid links and penalize them where it hurts – their search engine ranking.

Even so, there are ethical ways around this. They enable you to still promote affiliate products without being read your virtual rights – it all centers around the concept of ‘link juice’ and how it’s apportioned.

In this post, we’ll discuss how search engines track affiliate links and why this can be bad news for your business. We’ll then provide you with two simple solutions based on the nofollow attribute – a manual method, and the Pretty Link Pro way – before explaining how you can use each to protect your site from penalties.

Let’s get started!

Why Search Engine Bots Track Your Affiliate Links (and What nofollow Means)

Affiliate links are no doubt an important part of your business. However, search engines often don’t take kindly to a plethora of affiliate (i.e. paid) links on your website. However, before you give up affiliate marketing altogether, it’s not as cut and dried as it first appears.

When you add a link to your WordPress site, it’s automatically classed as dofollow. This means the linked site will receive some of your site’s link juice. However, when you have too many links pointing to affiliate sites, you make it appear as if they are directly paying you for an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boost. This is what leads to penalties, including the loss of your hard-earned search engine ranking.

You can avoid this with the nofollow attribute. By adding this to your affiliate links, they won’t be included when search engine bots crawl your site. Essentially, the attribute does what it says on the tin – it tells the bot not to follow the link or pass on any of your site’s link juice.

There are two ways to go about ensuring affiliate links aren’t tracked by search engine bots. The first is a manual process within the WordPress editor, and the second involves link cloaking with Pretty Link Pro. Let’s take a look at each.

How to Manually nofollow Your Affiliate Links

Now we’ve covered the importance of nofollow, let’s show you how to add this attribute to your own links. You’ll need to be within the WordPress editor for this, and initially it doesn’t matter whether you’re using either the visual or text editors – whichever one is more comfortable for you. However, once you’ve added a link, you’ll need to be within the text editor:

WordPress Visual and Text Editor

Here, you’ll see the underlying HTML code of your post or page, and you’ll need to scour your content to find the link in question:

WordPress editor text pane link

To manually nofollow the link, we’ll need to add some code. Firstly, place your cursor between the closing double quote and angled bracket. Next, add a single space, then type rel=”nofollow”:

nofollow link example

Once you save your changes, that’s it! This option, while effective at preventing search engine penalties, can be tedious if you have a lot of links. Fortunately, there’s a much quicker way to get the same results.

How to Cloak and nofollow Your Affiliate Links Using Pretty Link Pro

While Pretty Link Pro is certainly the leader in link shortening, it offers a variety of other features such as the ability to cloak your links and set nofollow automatically. What’s more, the process is very straightforward.

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

However, let’s firstly discuss link cloaking. This is a process that enables you to change the look of a target URL. So, instead of a lengthy and unappealing affiliate link that could be mistook as something not worth clicking, you can instead cloak it with a pretty URL such as http://www.yoursite.com/productname. In addition, it will still redirect to the target URL, will look cleaner, and can also be branded to include your website’s address.

After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll find a new option on the left side of your WordPress dashboard. To add a new link, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link:

Pretty Link Pro Add New Link

You’ll be brought to the Add Link screen. The first thing you’ll want to do is choose Cloaked from the Redirection drop-down list:

Pretty Link Pro Redirection Cloaked

Next, enter the target URL (including www). This will be your original affiliate link. Next, add the ‘slug’ you’d like to use for your cloaked link to the Pretty Link field, then add a title and notes for your own reference if you wish:

Pretty Link Pro target URL

To make this link a nofollow, expand the Advanced Options section and tick the No Follow checkbox:

Pretty Link Pro Advanced Options

You can also add new links from within posts and pages. To do so from within the WordPress editor, select the star icon from the visual editor’s toolbar:

Pretty Link Pro icon WordPress editor

You’ll be greeted by a pop-up menu, which enables you to enter your link information as you did from the Add Link screen. You can also select the redirect type, and nofollow from within this pop-up, as well as enable link tracking:

Pretty Link Pro editor popup menu

It’s a handy, code-free way to nofollow, cloak, and track your affiliate links, all from your WordPress visual editor!

Conclusion

If you’re an affiliate marketer worried about search engine penalties, you have nothing to fear. With the use of nofollow and Pretty Link Pro’s cloaking feature, you can be sure to keep the search engine police away from your virtual door, and retain your hard-earned ranking.

In this post, we’ve discussed the negative impact that uncloaked affiliate links can have on your marketing website. However, there are two things you can do to avoid search engine penalties. To recap, you can:

  1. Use the manual nofollow attribute on your affiliate links.
  2. Use Pretty Link Pro to cloak and nofollow your affiliate links.

Do you have any questions about the nofollow attribute, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Use QR Codes to Expand Your Reach and Maximize Your Marketing Efforts

If the majority of your business resides solely online, it can be difficult to imagine expanding it beyond the web. However, what if there was a way for you to bridge the gap, and bring your online affiliate marketing business to the real world?

Enter Quick Response (QR) codes. This nifty technology enables you to share web links to anything – portfolios, landing pages, social media pages, and more – so you can easily invite potential offline customers to your web-based business.

In this post, we’ll explain what QR codes are and why you should consider using them for your affiliate business. Then, we’ll show you three different ways to use QR codes, and how Pretty Link Pro can help. Let’s get started!

What QR Codes Are and Why You Should Use Them

Ralph Lauren QR Code

QR codes are used by a variety of companies, including those in the retail, entertainment, food, and hospitality industries.

QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that are recognized by the camera on your smartphone. Once scanned, they link to a dedicated page and offer you information based on the business in question.

There are a variety of reasons you should consider using QR codes for your affiliate business. For example:

  1. They enable you to share almost anything without taking up much space (such as on a poster or billboard).
  2. Their versatility enables you to link to different forms of media, such as images, videos, and PDFs.
  3. They can be utilized by anyone with a smartphone.

With 77% of US adults using smartphones today, there’s really no reason not to utilize QR codes for your affiliate business. Let’s see how you can leverage this technology.

How to Use QR Codes to Expand Your Reach and Maximize Your Marketing Efforts (3 Methods)

Now you have a better understanding of QR codes and how they can be beneficial for your affiliate business, here’s a look at three specific ways you can utilize them.

1. In Place of a Business Card, or as an Elevator Pitch

QR code business card example

You can add QR codes to your business cards, or forgo them altogether by saving the QR code to your phone.

The purpose of a business card is to provide a snapshot of your business and contact information. With a QR code, you can easily share this information from your smartphone without the need for business cards.

Implementing this is quite simple:

  1. Create a QR code that links to an About page or social media platform.
  2. Save the code to your smartphone by downloading the newly-generated code, or taking a picture of it.

When you’re next asked for your business card, you can offer up the QR code for scanning. To expand on this idea, using a QR code to optimize your elevator pitch is just one more way to set yourself apart. For example, you could link to a personalized video that represents you and your business, or even create a link to an infographic that outlines who you are and what you do. Again, you can save the QR codes to your device for easy access when needed.

2. To Promote Your Products or Services

QR Code apparel

QR code apparel is a great way to pique curiosity and promote your business.

Being able to meld your offline and online marketing is one of the largest benefits of QR codes, and they can help you offer an inside look at your business to potential customers.

You have a few options when you take this approach:

  1. Print out QR code stickers and attach them to physical affiliate products you use. Once you pique the curiosity of customers, you can immediately provide a link to more information.
  2. Create apparel with QR codes printed directly on them. If they’re displayed prominently and promoted correctly, you’ll likely attract potential customers to your business.

The more creative your ideas, the easier it is to promote your affiliate products in the real world – and the only practical limitation is your imagination!

3. To Offer Exclusive Discounts and Deals

The Make Stickers website.

There are plenty of companies who will make QR code stickers in all manner of designs.

Discounts and special offers can make even the most unlikely of customers a potential buyer. QR codes will enable you to reach the offline bargain hunters as well as your online ones.

To get the most from this strategy, consider these tips:

  1. Target the right audience by displaying your QR codes in relevant places. For example, you could target a gym for health products.
  2. Link to a landing page that requires customers to like your social media page or follow your blog before gaining access to the offer.

Everyone loves a good deal, and having access to customers who wouldn’t normally learn about your online deals can open up a big gap in the market – and entice them to check out your site.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Get You Started with QR Codes

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

Pretty Link Pro is a leading premium WordPress plugin that offers easy link shortening and tracking. However, alongside its wealth of functionality, the plugin also includes a QR code generator. This enables you to create pretty links to all types of posts and pages, then generate a unique QR code for them.

While there are an abundance of free QR code generators on the web, link tracking is what makes Pretty Link Pro stand out as a superior choice. In addition to tracking your links, you can also track the QR codes you’ve created – all from your WordPress dashboard. What’s more, using this feature is simple, and two steps are all it will take to set it up and put it to use.

Conclusion

QR codes are a marketing aspect you can’t ignore, and they provide affiliate marketers with a number of benefits. What’s more, with a tool such as Pretty Link Pro, generating and implementing QR codes is a piece of cake.

In the above post, we’ve offered three ways to use QR codes to expand your reach and maximize your marketing efforts. To recap, you can use them:

  1. In place of a business card, or as an elevator pitch.
  2. To promote your products and services.
  3. To offer exclusive discounts and deals to customers.

Do you have any questions about QR codes or how Pretty Link Pro can help you set them up? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credits: Max Pixel, Pixabay.