If, as an affiliate, you’re using text links in your content to link to products of your merchants, there are two ways to approach the hand-off of the potential customer: major keywords and specific keywords.
There are two schools of thought. Some people would like to land on a merchant’s descriptive page to learn more about the company, and others would like to go directly to the page of the specific product. If you’re selling a high ticket product or service, it’s likely that the buyer will want to become familiar with the company, it’s specialties, product line, guarantees, return policies and the like. If you’ve reviewed a number of products, and have a link in the review, it make more sense to bring the customer directly to the product under discussion. This is the difference between sending them to www.thenameofthecompany.com and www.thenameofthecompany/9845hikingboot.com.
Affiliate network programs often have their affiliate links pointing at the home page of a company, so the buyer has to go through the process of searching for the item once he’s landed on the site. This is, of course, because they can’t make links for every product in their merchants’ inventories. It is something to think about when negotiating agreements with independent affiliates, as well as once you’ve had experience with an affiliate, and know that your site visitors are very interested in particular products. It is to everyone’s benefit for you to have direct links – the merchant sells more product with fewer dropped sales, and you earn more commissions.
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