balance (high resolution 3D image)In order to optimize the success of your site by making sure you’re placing affiliate links correctly, it’s important to first understand that the art of affiliate marketing is about finding a balance that works for your readers.

Not understanding how to maintain a sense of balance in your site is one of the top mistakes many affiliate marketers make.

There are a number of risks of including too many affiliate links on your site, but there is also a huge risk of losing potential revenue involved with not including enough offers. So how do you find the right balance of affiliate links?

Consider Reader Intent

The first step of finding the right balance for your affiliate pages is to think about the user’s intent when coming to your site. If a user is searching for specific product information (eg: “nikon slr reviews”) leading them directly to an affiliate page is appropriate.

However, if the user is looking for related information (eg: best cameras on a budget”) it doesn’t make sense to have a page stuffed with affiliate links. Instead, you should write a page that discussed multiple camera options, and then link from each of those options to a primary affiliate page.

I’ve posted a real life case study of this process, if you’re interested in how to improve your site.

Develop Primary Affiliate Pages

Developing primary affiliate pages is important maintaining the integrity of your overall site. Instead of trying to include an affiliate link on every page, redirect the user towards a series of promotional pages (usually one for each product you’re promoting).

This approach makes it clear to the user when you are promoting a product, and clear that if they click through from the promotional page, they’ll be taken to the partner site. While this may reduce the total number of clicks, it will drastically improve the ultimate conversions you get from those clicks.

By centering your affiliate content on just a few pages, you also create a focal point for your site. This result leads to overall better organization and pointed content, which in turn translates to relevant readers.

Most Pages will NOT have Affiliate Links

This last point is a fundamental misconception of many new marketers.

The goal of an affiliate site is NOT to have affiliate links on every, nor even most pages. The goal is to solve problems for your reader that are relevant to the products you’re promoting. The user will then be able to find relevant products at their own pace.

I’d go so far to say that less than 10% of your site pages should have affiliate links included on the page. Instead, focus on creating a flow that makes sense to the reader, directing them to your primary affiliate pages.

If you implement these techniques, you’ll find that you can develop a rounded, balanced site without hurting your sales. In fact, you’ll probably see increased sales, because you’re directing your readers to information that makes sense for them at the time.

What tactics have you used to develop a sense of balance with your affiliate links? What worked and what didn’t?