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.

4 Tips for Driving High-Quality Traffic to Your Affiliate Marketing Site

You’ve spent time and money building your affiliate marketing site, only to hear crickets when your site goes live. This is a frustrating reality for many new affiliate marketers, and one that can be difficult to face.

Such a reality, though, can be easily overcome by using the right traffic-driving tactics. These tactics, when used correctly, can bring high-quality traffic to your site, making all the effort you’ve put in worthwhile.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of high-quality site traffic. We’ll then introduce you to four traffic-driving techniques you can begin to incorporate today. Let’s get started!

Why High-Quality Traffic Is Important for Your Affiliate Marketing Site

In the context of affiliate marketing, high-quality traffic is that which helps you to meet your goals. If it converts (turns into sales), then it’s quality. If it doesn’t convert, then you have some tweaking to do.

As you can imagine, then, bringing high-quality traffic to your site is much more important than driving non-targeted readers. This is because while traffic numbers may be lower, your conversion rates and overall sales will be higher.

In addition, high-quality traffic can do good things for your site’s search engine rankings. Targeted readers are more likely to share your site’s content, increasing backlinks to your website.

4 Tips for Driving High-Quality Traffic to Your Affiliate Marketing Site

With a better understanding of high-quality traffic, let’s take a look at the ways you can drive such traffic to your own website.

1. Offer High-Value Content

You want the content on your site to be thought-provoking and actionable. In fact, that’s the very definition of valuable content.

Aside from taking pride in your work, high-value content is important if you want to drive traffic because it will be shared, get discussed, and boost search engine rankings as a result.

If you’re ready, take these steps to ensure you create high-value content every time:

  1. Answer questions that your target audience is asking. With the help of search engine results and social media searches, you can find the questions that are most plaguing your audience.
  2. Incorporate actionable steps. Provide your reader with a next step, enabling them to take action immediately.
  3. Use data and real-life examples. Give readers a glimpse of reality to really drive the point home.

The process of creating high-value content that attracts your target audience is often overcomplicated. In reality, all you need to do is consider what your reader wants, and then deliver for them.

2. Get Active on Social Media

Social media is a powerful source of highly-targeted traffic. After all, in one sense, social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are search engines in disguise.

There’s much to be said regarding social media as a traffic source. Here’s just a few tips to get started:

  1. Limit yourself. Rather than targeting every single social media network out there, limit yourself to a maximum of three (and even just one or two). Focusing your efforts narrowly will better ensure positive results.
  2. Pick the right platform(s) for your industry. When deciding on a platform (or platforms) for your niche, keep in mind that each targets a different demographic and choose accordingly.
  3. Stick to a consistent posting schedule. This will keep you accountable, as well as help you to grow a steady following.
  4. Experiment and measure results. With experimentation, you can find the right schedule and style for your audience so you can improve upon your social media strategy.

Of course, the most important rule to follow when using social media is to stay consistent. This means continuing to post, engage, and take part, even if results aren’t coming as quickly as you’d like.

3. Guest Post on Industry Blogs

As a strategy to grow high-quality traffic, guest posting can do more than drive traffic to your site. In fact, it can help you to build a targeted audience.

So, how can you further leverage guest posts to drive traffic to your site? Here’s a couple of tips to keep in mind:

  1. Guest post on blogs with a similar target audience. Posting on blogs that have a similar focus to your site – even if they’re not as big as alternative options – will enable you to target your ideal audience more effectively.
  2. Add links within your content. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of self promotion. Include links to your own relevant work within the post, and even add one to your author bio (if allowed).

Remember, the content you create is there to provide value. With this as your focus, you can create high-converting guest posts every time.

4. Optimize Your Site’s Links

As an affiliate, you know how important links are to your business. In short, optimizing your links can help to boost their effectiveness.

Link optimization includes the cloaking and shortening of links. This enables you to ‘brand’ your links, as well as make them easy to remember and share on social media.

Fortunately, there are plugins, such as our very own Pretty Link Pro, that enable you to perform this function from within WordPress.

Once you’ve purchased a plan and installed the plugin, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link. This can be found on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard.

At this point, all you need to do is add in the target URL (that is, the not-so-pretty affiliate link) and change the Pretty Link to whatever you’d like.

Pretty Link Cloaking Add A New Link

Then, click Create. Now, you can use this link wherever you’d like, and it’s not only easy to remember, but also bears the name of your website for branding purposes.

Conclusion

The quality (or lack thereof) of your site’s traffic can make or break your affiliate marketing business. But, as frustrating as it can be to attract high-quality traffic, there are a number of techniques you can use to improve results and bring in targeted leads.

In this post, we outlined four ways to drive high-quality, targeted traffic to your site. To recap:

  1. Offer high-value content.
  2. Get active on social media.
  3. Guest post on industry blogs.
  4. Optimize your site’s links.

Do you have any questions about driving high-quality traffic to your site? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Reasons to Use Temporary Redirects on Your Site (And How to Get Started)

User experience and SEO page rank are two factors that you may consider to be most important on your blog. Sometimes, however, you may find yourself needing to perform tasks, such as site maintenance or A/B testing, which can negatively impact one, or even both.

This can be avoided, though, with the help of temporary site redirects. A temporary redirect is just as it sounds, offering non-permanent redirection from one URL to another. There’s a number of reasons you may require this technique, but no matter the reason, plugins like Pretty Link Pro can effectively help you to implement it.

In this post, we’ll discuss temporary redirects, when to use them, and three reasons why they are used. Additionally, you’ll learn how to implement temporary redirects with Pretty Link Pro. Let’s get started!

What Temporary Redirects Are (and When You Should Use Them)

temporary site redirect setup in Pretty Link Pro

An example of a temporary redirect as seen in Pretty Link Pro. With this set up, users will be redirected to the target URL (http://targetsiteURL.com).

URL redirection is a technique used to make web pages available at more than one location.

There are two main redirection types – temporary and permanent – that each serve their own purposes. Permanent redirects, for example, are great for permanent website moves. Temporary redirects are better for short-term events, such as site maintenance.

Both work in the same manner, redirecting search engines and site traffic to the newly-established link. The key difference, though, is that during a temporary redirect search engines will continually refer to the original URL. Once that URL is back in use, the original connection will be reestablished and search engine crawls will continue as normal.

3 Reasons to Use Temporary Redirects on Your Site

With a better understanding of temporary redirects, let’s dig in to a few reasons for using them on your site.

1. To Implement A/B Testing

When you set up your web pages, you may not always be sure you’ve created the best version possible. That’s where A/B testing comes in.

Simply put, A/B testing is a process where two different versions of the same web page are compared. 50% of the page’s traffic will be sent to Version A, while the other 50% will be sent to Version B. Comparisons are typically made regarding conversion rates, though other stats, such as bounce rate and time spent on page, can also be used.

A/B testing is a great way to learn how to improve your site. And, with a temporary redirect, there’s no harm to your site’s search engine rankings during testing.

2. To Maintain or Update Your Site Without Disruption

Site maintenance keeps your site running smoothly, keeps security tight, and ensures that SEO is up to date. The maintenance process, though, can be a bit involved. This can put your site out of commission for a few hours during the bulk of the process.

With temporary redirects, however, you can perform site maintenance while also limiting site unavailability. This means that site visitors will not be put out by the downtime, and search engine bots will hold off on site crawling until the temporary redirect has been removed and the original URL is restored.

3. To Create a Page Without Impacting SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process involved in effecting website and web page position on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

While you typically like to have your web pages available for search engine bots to crawl, there may be a few reasons to block such activities.

One of the main reasons is site testing or development. During the early stages of a web page’s creation, having it rank for SEO may not be particularly helpful for your site. Another common reason is client feedback, enabling you to create a page without it being included in your site’s rankings. This is commonly used by website developers, but you can also use this technique if you’re a content writer, copywriter, or other creative.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Help You Implement Temporary Redirects

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

While the main feature of Pretty Link Pro is link shortening, it has a variety of other features, including both permanent and temporary redirect options.

With Pretty Link Pro, setting up temporary redirects are simple. To begin, head to Pretty Link > Add New Link on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard.

First, add the redirect URL (the URL which all traffic will be redirected to) to the Target URL box.

Then, add a custom slug to the Pretty Link box. This is the link URL which will be requested by site visitors, but they’ll be sent to the target URL instead.

Now, keep in mind, if you already have a page in your WordPress site with the desired Pretty Link slug, you will have to edit the original page’s URL. This is because Pretty Link Pro will not allow the creation of an identical URL. Don’t worry, though, as the slug can always be changed back once you’re done using the temporary redirect.

Conclusion

As we’ve discussed above, temporary redirects can be helpful for a number of reasons. Fortunately, such redirects are easy to implement with a link management tool, such as Pretty Link Pro.

In the above post, we discussed three reasons to use temporary redirects on your site. To recap, they include:

  1. To implement A/B testing.
  2. To maintain or update your site without disruption.
  3. To create a page without impacting SEO.

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

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Pretty Link Pro

Whether you’re a blogger, a social media maven, or an affiliate marketer, link shortening and redirection are important marketing elements to get right. However, without the proper tools, you’ll likely be left frustrated at the time-consuming nature of the process.

Fortunately, there’s an answer for those who need a simple, all-in-one link management tool – Pretty Link Pro. Our premium WordPress plugin offers almost all of the link automation, management, and customization tools you can practically think of, and more.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to Pretty Link Pro. You’ll learn how to get started with the plugin, including how to add it to your site and customize its settings to fit your needs. What’s more, you’ll be introduced to three of Pretty Link Pro’s main features and how you can use them effectively for your own linking needs.

Introducing Pretty Link Pro

The Pretty Link Pro home page.

Pretty Link Pro is a premium plugin that makes it easy to shorten, cloak, share, and even track your affiliate links – all from the WordPress dashboard, and with much more functionality than your average link shortener.

While there’s a Pretty Link Lite version of the plugin, the premium version offers a myriad of additional redirection types, conversion reports, and a wealth of automation and sharing tools to supercharge the way you present your site’s links.

Key Features:

  • Offers default link options to help speed up the process of link creation.
  • Enables you to customize reporting options to track important information.
  • Lets you create link groups based on product, affiliate, and more.
  • Provides a social media network bar for posts and pages, enabling readers to share pretty links directly.

Price

Pretty Link Pro starts at $47 per year, and you can find out more from the website.

How to Get Started With Pretty Link Pro

To begin reaping the benefits of Pretty Link Pro, you’ll first need to purchase a subscription plan. Next, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin on your site, before registering it with your license key. To do this, navigate to Pretty Link > Activate Pro on your WordPress dashboard. From here, paste in the license key and click Activate.

At this point, you’re ready to get started shortening, redirecting, and managing your affiliate links. To add a new link, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link on your WordPress dashboard:

Pretty Link Pro Add New Link

You’re now ready to delve into what Pretty Link Pro offers, so let’s take a look!

3 Key Features of Pretty Link Pro (And How to Use Them)

Pretty Link Pro is packed with practically all of the link management tools you could need, and has three key features that make it run. Let’s begin with its bread and butter – link shortening.

1. Link Shortening

The long, complicated links typically used by affiliates are not only a hassle to manage, but they can also make site visitors wary and discourage clicks. However, with Pretty Link Pro, you no longer have to worry about your affiliate links scaring possible customers away.

From the Add Link screen, you’ll be shown a number of options, although to begin, you only need to focus on a few:

Pretty Link Pro redirect and shorten links

First, add the link you’d like to shorten into the Target URL box. Next, edit the four-letter slug within the Pretty Link field in any way you’d like, and add a title to easily find it again later. Finally, choose the redirection method (we recommend 301 (Permanent)), then select Create at the bottom of the page.

That’s all there is to it, but let’s take a closer look at the first drop-down in the list.

2. Link Redirection

As seen above, redirection plays a crucial role in link shortening. However, there are other ways to utilize Pretty Link Pro’s redirection feature. Link redirection offers a number of benefits to marketers, including a potential increase click-through rates and the prevention of ‘link theft’.

To use this feature, add a new link as you did before. Pretty Link Pro offers a number of redirection types (including permanent and temporary), as well as some more advanced choices such as Cloaked, Javascript, and Meta Refresh:

Link redirection types

Once you’ve decided upon the type you’d like to use, select it, continue creating your link as in the previous step, then click Create. It’s really that simple!

3. Link Management and Automation

It can be difficult to keep track of all of your links, especially when you have a number of affiliates working for you. Fortunately, Pretty Link Pro has link management and automation baked in.

To manage the links you’ve created, navigate to Pretty Link > Pretty Link and select the link you’d like to edit. You’ll see options including link expiration and keyword automation. These options are found within the Pro Options drop-down on the Add Link screen:

Pretty Link Pro pro options

Link tracking is another handy feature, and it enables you to keep tabs on your affiliate links from a dedicated reporting panel. To track your links, first enable the tracking feature in the Advanced Options drop-down on the Add Link page:

Advanced Options enable tracking

Then, navigate to Pretty Link > Clicks on your WordPress dashboard. Here, you can see an overview of each tracked click, including the URL, referrer, and the link:

clicks and link tracking

Additionally, from the Pretty Link > Pro Reports tab you can create link reports that can be exported for use elsewhere.

Finally, you can also automate a number of link tasks. We’ve already mentioned link expiration (which can either be on a specific date or after a predetermined number of clicks), but you can also automatically turn keywords into links, and even automate the social media sharing options available within the plugin.

Conclusion

The importance of affiliate link tracking and management cannot be overstated. This is why a well-built and full-featured linking plugin is a must-have for affiliate marketers everywhere.

In the above post, we’ve offered you an introduction to the Pretty Link Pro plugin. You’ve learned how to add the plugin to your own site, as well as its three main link-focused features, which include:

  1. Link shortening.
  2. Link redirection.
  3. The management and automation of your links.

Do you have any questions about getting started with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Affiliate Marketing Tactics That Will Improve Your Sales Strategy

You’ve likely spent countless hours developing your affiliate marketing site. If you’ve put your heart and soul into bolstering your business, only to hit a brick wall when it comes to your current marketing tactics, you’ll know it’s not a fun situation to be in.

Fortunately, improving your strategy and boosting sales isn’t an impossible feat to achieve. There are a few small steps you can take that will have a big impact on your business – and you can begin to implement all of them today.

In this post, we’ll first cover the importance of having a solid sales strategy. Then you’ll learn four affiliate marketing tactics you can incorporate into your business to boost sales. By the end, you’ll have some new, solid tips to integrate into your affiliate website – which will no doubt provide some positive results!

What a Sales Strategy Is (and Why You Need One)

In its simplest terms, a sales strategy is a plan you create and implement to gain an edge against your competitors. It includes your roadmap for customer acquisition and engagement, as well as for product promotion and brand awareness.

For affiliate marketers, a solid sales strategy can provide numerous benefits:

  1. It focuses your team to the task at hand.
  2. It can provide guidance in the event of any issues that may arise during its implementation.
  3. A well-created strategy can you save time by clearly outlining the the steps you should take next.

In short, a sales strategy enables you and your marketing team to work smarter, not harder. Keeping this in mind, while a basic strategy can prove valuable, enhancing it by implementing a few additional marketing tactics will potentially see your bottom line soar.

4 Affiliate Marketing Tactics That Will Improve Your Sales Strategy

Once you have a sales strategy in place that you’re comfortable with, you’ll find these four affiliate marketing tactics to be particularly helpful in supercharging its effectiveness. Let’s take a look!

1. Set Up a Squeeze Page

Squeeze pages are all over the web. They’re on news websites, blogs, and business websites, and their main purpose is to collect information from your site’s visitors (mainly email addresses, but essentially any information you require).

However, squeeze pages aren’t always a separate page on your site. For example, on ProBlogger it appears as a pop-up:

ProBlogger Squeeze Page example

This technique enables you to collect emails, which in turn helps you to build a relationship with your readers. In addition, you also have easy access to your target market (i.e. those already visiting your site).

To get started, you’ll need either a dedicated theme or plugin. With the right content elements, such as an engaging headline and a strong lead magnet, you can be well on your way to creating a highly-converting squeeze page in no time.

2. Optimize Your Lead Generation Forms

Lead generation forms are one of your website’s most valuable tools. As your site’s main method of collecting lead information, it’s imperative you have one. Of course, the more leads you receive, the potential there is for a sale to take place. However, not all lead generation forms are created equal, and some are more effective than others.

Melyssa Griffin lead generation form example

Melyssa Griffin’s lead generation form offers a bold headline, an enticing offer, and a bright submission button.

While squeeze pages are a type of lead generation form, there are other types too. However, what they all have in common is the offer of value to the reader. Often, you’ll provide a content download or free-trial period in exchange for their details, and it’s a great way to build your email list quickly and consistently.

You’ll likely already have some kind of lead generation form on your site, so it’s worth thinking about how to optimize them for maximum impact. Even simple formatting and compelling copy will increase the quality of your forms.

3. Write for Your Audience

Even if you aren’t a content writer by trade, it’s still important to write like a professional. This includes writing with your audience in mind. However, it’s not just about writing in a specific style or tone, but also anticipating your readers’ questions and fears, then offering them solutions. By doing this, you’re setting yourself up as an authority – and the rub you get from this could skyrocket sales.

Neil Patel's squeeze page.

Neil Patel writes for his audience, which goes some way to explain why he sees more than 100,000 visitors every month.

However, this isn’t something that’s out of reach – here’s how to get started:

  1. Create some target reader personas.
  2. Practice conversational writing.
  3. Keep text and image formatting simple and easy to read.
  4. Visit niche-related hangouts, such as Facebook groups, to find content inspiration.

When you write for your audience you create a connection, and will naturally compel them to engage with your services. Of course, these are the ideal conditions for increasing conversions and sales.

4. Shorten and Cloak Your Links

It goes without saying that affiliate links are the lifeblood of your marketing business. Unfortunately, uncloaked links can impact your revenue. For example, a URL such as www.affiliates.com/products/?product_id=1975684&affiliate=13765 is less easy to read, and could set off alarm bells for some readers who believe it’s a spam link. Instead, a pretty, cloaked URL such as www.yoursite.com/recommends/productname is more likely to be trusted. It’s short and descriptive, which are two of the many positives of cloaked affiliate links.

The manual method of link cloaking isn’t too complicated, but it could be overwhelming for some. Fortunately, WordPress users can use a solution such as Pretty Link Pro, which offers a variety of invaluable features.

To begin shortening and cloaking your affiliate links, purchase a plan, then install and active the plugin. Next, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard:

Pretty Link Cloaking Add A New Link

From here, add your original link to the Target URL box, and you’ll receive an editable four-letter slug. Once you click Create, you’ll be able to use the link wherever you choose – simple!

Conclusion

Creating a successful affiliate marketing business takes time and persistence, and many times you’ll feel as if you’re not doing enough. However, although a solid sales strategy is the first step, there are a few additional tactics you can employ to maximize your revenue.

In this post, we’ve offered four additional ways to improve your sales strategy. To recap:

  1. Set up a squeeze page.
  2. Optimize your lead generation forms.
  3. Write for your audience.
  4. Shorten and cloak your links using Pretty Link Pro.

Do you have any questions about setting up an effective affiliate marketing sales strategy? Let us know in the comments section below!