The website is the heart and center of an affiliate marketing business because it presents a hub to publish content, collect a community, and drive your marketing. Not having one, in this day and age, means you’re missing a great opportunity to grow and evolve your business.
On the other end, operating a website that’s lackluster and void of value can actually harm your brand and potential because people are very quick to judge your character based on their initial impression of your site. It’s not fair to judge a book by its cover but we all do it.
This post will take you through five various actions and additions you could add and improve, on your website, to ensure it performs at top-tier level while standing out from the crowd.
#1: Use a Flexible, Pixel-Perfect Theme
It’s about time that you got around to updating your website from its tired, old look.
The web development industry has been shaken to its core because of the rise and popularity of CMS platforms, mobile web browsing, and the acceptance of tablet computing. This means that a fixed website aimed at just computer users no longer does the trick – you must adapt to these new mediums.
Consider purchasing a new website theme that comes packed with excellent feature such as shortcodes for easy formatting, widgets, full-width style pages, drag-and-drop editing, or any other element that your current website may be lacking.
Pay attention to the finer details – go with a theme that’s “pixel perfect” whereas the color palette, font, content formatting, and multi-media are all handled with precision and care. These little features may not be immediately apparent but the eye picks upon the details which give your site a professional appearance (and this matters, a lot, if you want to get your point across).
The good news is that many web developers have taken the niche approach to their designs so it’s very likely that you’ll find themes that match your industry and come packed with features that are specifically tailored to your audience (this removes a lot of the design work and development on your end).
A new website theme can be rolled out over the weekend for less than the cost of a small advertising campaign so don’t hold this off your list because this one improvement will drastically improve your website conversions.
#2: Remove the Clutter
Embrace the whitespace.
Your digital real estate is by no means limited as you would in print mediums; it’s okay if you have a long, scrolling website because if the information is good – people will view it.
Remove items that distract your visitor from completing your desired response.
- Use less advertising and focus on just one or two main promotions
- Change the CSS file to give your text room to breathe (line height)
- Only use multi-media when it adds to your work rather than for the sake of having it
- Go with a responsive layout which adapts to the visitors screen size
Strip away any unnecessary element of your website.
A great tool to discover how your users interact with your site is CrazyEgg; it’s a heat-map tool that tracks your users and displays reports showing where their attention is going and where they are clicking. Likewise, you could use Google Analytics to do this type of tracking and even run small scale A/B split testing if you wish to optimize the items you keep on the website.
Keep the most important information at the top but embrace the space between the elements. You’re not “wasting” this area so don’t clutter it with more junk. Trust in your designer.
#3: Fix the Navigation
If you do just one of the items mentioned in this post – please, please, please let it be this one.
The navigation of your website is one of the most crucial elements to get right because it’s the only way your visitors will find your content, message, and offers. A crummy navigation pointing to dead pages, outdated information, or just being clumsy and non-descriptive is the fasted route to failing.
Navigation should be:
The logical side of navigation means you shouldn’t include anything that doesn’t need to be there; less is more. Too many navigation options, on the surface, can create overload to which the visitor doesn’t know where they should go. Only after the initial start of navigation should you expand the filters and drill down but, as for the main navigation, keep it simple.
The intuitive side of navigation means that it should just *click* the moment you lay eyes on it. The navigation should be in a familiar area, react when a user hovers and clicks upon one of the links, and reinforce their choice through active states and breadcrumbs.
The descriptive side of navigation is as you can expect: the labels of each item are descriptive. Point people to your About Me page? Call it About Me. So on and so forth. You can expand on the navigation by including tool tips and sub-headings to each item that explains what the user can expect.
On that note, don’t forget that navigation also relates to your internal links. Cross linking should follow these three elements. Avoid using “here” or “click” for your link and, instead, link using a few words; this is the proper way to build an SEO strategy and optimize your user experience.
#4: Update the About Page
This is a quickie that can be done this afternoon when you get some free time.
It’s likely that your About Me page is now outdated. Go back onto that page and begin updating it with relevant, relatable updates which reflect your growth as an entrepreneur.
When reworking the About Me page:
- Omit the “accomplishments” that are overshadowed by newer, respectable ones
- Expand on your story and inject your unique selling point
- Include an email list opt-in form and social media links
- Share a “media package” of professional headshots and bylines for news media
- Consider adding personal contact details such as your phone number or Skype
People do look at the About Me page; it’s where they get to know you best and it’s the moment they decide whether you’re credible. Additionally, you may want to add a blurb and link to your website sidebar which places your face to the site every step of the way.
You’ll spend less than an hour working on this improvement but it will be worth it because building authority and branding is the key to success in an oversaturated affiliate marketing industry.
#5: Integrate Lead Generating, Pillar Pages
Do you know what you want the visitor to do?
It may be purchasing a product through your affiliate link or maybe it’s signing up to your email list. Whatever your desired response maybe be – the most effective way to draw out these actions come through the use of lead generating, pillar pages.
- A landing page for visitors coming from a guest post
- A tool set or resource list of the tools you use
- A “start here”, “best of”, or “popular posts” page
These types of pages are phenomenal in branding because they reinforce your message. Visitors with a firm understanding of your unique selling position will be more likely to take action on your affiliate offers because you’re delivering exceptional value.
A guest post landing page creates a connection with the visitors through familiarity; they see similar features and the tone of the page feels at home from where they came from. This familiarity welcomes new visitors and encourages them to poke around the website.
A tool set or resource page is great for long-time readers especially if you readily share your success (such as with an income report) and frequently mention which tools you use in your affiliate efforts within the content. People can jump over to this resourceful page, discover what you’re using, and get their start just as you’ve mentioned in your website content.
Add in the affiliate links for each tool and you’re good to go.
A start here, best of, or popular posts page does wonders for allowing newcomer’s to get right into the heart of your content and message. These pages are great for showing off your best information and its prime real estate to capture the visitor for your email list.
In all, roll out these pages and frequently reference them within your work and while networking; they will become lead generating pages.