Re-Directing Your Affiliate Link Through a Domain
This guide is suitable for those who promote on Facebook, Skype, E-Mail, and other social media platforms. This isn’t really suitable for those running websites with lots of affiliate links. This guide would be perfect for someone promoting a direct sales opportunity, a work from home business op or anything where you’re only going to send prospects to 1 or 2 different places, such as a landing page.
In short, we’re going to take long links you promote, make them short, snappy, clickable, and re-visitable.
Whatever you’re promoting, you should use a domain name. People are hesitant (For good reason) on clicking long links like a lot of basic affiliate links are.
Another annoyance is the clued-up user who tries to bypass your affiliate link just for the sake of it, which, just sucks if you’re a hard working marketer.
But by spending a little bit on a domain name for your marketing efforts, you can not only increase the number of people who click on your link, but you’ll also lose fewer customers who re-visit. Say you gave someone your affiliate link and they looked at it and decided they would sign up another time on a different device or computer. When they eventually sign up, they don’t re-click your link, and instead go to the website direct and sign up with no referral link. This would lose you commissions. By only giving them www.your-domain.com, they’re a lot more likely to remember to type that into the URL bar when signing up later on. It’s not 100% foolproof, but it helps a ton.
Which Domain Extension? (.com, .co.uk, .org, etc)
You can pick up a simple domain for very cheap now. The cheapest one’s I would suggest are .info’s as they’re approximately £8 for a years worth of use, and they look pretty safe to the majority of users, unlike the crazy amount of new ones being added like .website or .london. The new one’s are safe, but people are naturally wary of clicking the first few times they come across it. People are skeptical enough of clicking work from home adverts or sales-like adverts. You don’t want to give people any more reason not to click.
How to Pick a Domain Name
You want to pick something short and snappy, 3 short words are usually my limit when picking a new one out for myself. Everything with just one word is going to be expensive or taken, hence the need to get a little bit creative if you’re on a budget.
When you’ve thought of an idea, type it out in a search to make sure it’s readable when all crammed together. Make sure that none of the words roll into the next and confuse anyone. If it looks good, search and see if it’s taken.
How to “Make it work”: Setting up Forwarding
Once you’ve picked out a domain name you like and have purchased it, you’ll want to go into the management settings of the domain and use forwarding with masking. This makes it so that when someone enters your URL, they’re directed to your affiliate link and the address bar stays as your URL (As opposed to just forwarding where the URL will change back to what it was once they’ve landed on the page). I suggest masking because so many commissions are lost when someone clicks your URL and decides to join later, by just going to the original website. This technique lets them see only one URL that they’ll remember… Yours (If you’ve followed the short and snappy rule as well of course).
You’ll need to choose between Temporary or Permanent re-direct. Without going into too much technical jargon, if you’re likely to use to domain name for a different link in the future, click temporary. If you’re passing your link around on Facebook, it really doesn’t matter too much which you choose because this option is more to do with ranking in search engines like Google.
You may also be asked if you’d like to update your “DNS to reflect this change” – Click yes.
Masking CautionA word of caution: Masking can sometimes not track properly with some affiliate programs. Always check the FAQ and ask support if unsure. Some affiliate programs may also bar you from altering the appearance of links, so be sure to check for this too.
To re-cap, here’s what you do…
- Find short, snappy but cheap domain name
- Buy it for 1 year
- Go into Domain Settings/Management
- Set up “Forwarding” or “Re-Directing” to your affiliate link using Masking.
- Click Yes to updating DNS changes if prompted
Idea’s to Consider
Buy a domain for webinar registrations. For example, you could have a domain name that has the keyword you’re using for your main affiliate link, but add webinar so “YOURBIZ-webinar.com” and regularly update it with the latest webinar registration link for your prospects. (Use Temporary re-direct)
You can re-direct to any web page you want, even your social media profiles, YouTube channel, or an opt-in page/landing page – Which is what many people to do!
Learning what you have on this page can also be used as a first step to building your own website. If you’re interested in building one at some point then you’ll want to know a little about domains and re-directs!