We spend so much time, as affiliates, searching for the recipe for success. I can count endless hours of optimizing campaigns and ditching the sites that don’t meet my ROI expectations.
I was taking a look at my stats package this evening. It bundles together site statistics for every single website that I have in my inventory. Except this time I wasn’t paying attention to the sites that are handling active PPC campaigns.
I decided to collaborate some traffic analytics from the various sites that I’ve stopped running PPC traffic to. I’ve gotta say, I was pretty surprised. I’ve been totally underestimating the ability for even the flimsiest of one page landers to accrue some natural long term search rankings over time.
My domain portfolio is way beyond what I ever imagined it would grow to. Three figures and counting. Most of them are shitty .info domains that I’ve snapped up in the past to test an offer. It helps to have an idea of what converts before committing to a long term project.
Anyway, just counting the hits from natural search listings – I was pretty surprised to find that I’m driving just under 30% of the traffic I’d usually buy in PPC on a daily basis. Admittedly a lot of the search terms are long tail non-converters that I wouldn’t waste a cent on if you held a gun to my balls.
That’s a lot of clicks that I’m getting for free every day. And as you’re probably aware, free traffic makes Baby Jesus smile.
So I checked back over my old sites and whilst laughing at how bad my sales copy used to be, I noticed something pretty alarming. A fair old number of these defunct landing pages are linking to offers that no longer exist.
It’s the way we work in the CPA world. An offer is here today and gone tomorrow. If you’re not switching your links, and your network isn’t redirecting your offers, your profits are gonna pull an Air France 447 real quickly. I consider myself to be pretty well trained when it comes to the affiliate marketing basics, but this is a blatant newbie mistake that I’ve since gone and corrected.
The thing is, I don’t WANT to have to go back and re-route my offers across xxx number of inactive sites. If I have to start spending my work day redirecting offers from all around the web, I’m going to end up wasting as much time as the average reader of this blog does on image searching for porn on Bing (Michael Arrington, where is the coverage?).
So anyway, going forward, I’m hosting all of my offer redirects on a single generic domain. Instead of having a separate subfolder redirect under every new site that I create, I’m going to point them all at one singular index.php.
By doing this, you can make one small change to one file – and it’ll sweep across your entire back catalogue of websites. So any freebie traffic that comes your way, you stand the best possible chance of converting. Don’t forget the golden rule of Internet Marketing as you grow your campaigns. Every site has to pay for itself.
Keep your neglected scambait in mind if you’re one of those guys who recycles domains per Google QS slap.