Many affiliates feel that the more ads and banners they have stuffed on their pages, the better the odds that someone will “click” on a Google ad, or click a link that leads to a sale. It’s really tempting to put all of those ads and Click Here! Buy NOW! buttons at the top of your page where they’re impossible to miss, but it isn’t good for your business, your visitors, or search engine ranking. Why?
No one wants to feel as though they’re being chased by a used car salesman!
It’s natural that you want to make a quick sale, but this isn’t the way to go about it. When a visitor arrives and finds these banners and ads, the very first impression they get is that you’re trying to “sell” them. Kind of like having a used car salesman breathing down your neck, not really caring whether he helps you or not, just wanting to “make the sale.” This isn’t the impression you want to give your visitors, and you may just find your website dropping in the rankings if the section of your website “above the fold” is packed with affiliate links and ads. Why? Google wants to give the user the best possible experience – and a web page that screams “buy me” isn’t it!
You may not know it, but Google listens to what consumers have to say. When consumers tell Google they don’t like having to scroll down to the middle or bottom of the page to find content, Google listens. Their solution is to penalize websites that are packed with ads, banners and affiliate links by dropping their ranking in the search engine results. By the way, if you aren’t familiar with the term “above the fold,” this simply means the area of the page you can see when you land on a website, without scrolling down.
To show you a live example, check out MaidComfy.com. When I was looking for a maid service to come clean my home because I was just too swamped with other things, I found their website online. The first thing I noticed when I landed on their website is that their Unique Sales Proposition that stands out and a great client testimonial to the right of that. All of this was above the fold. There was also a nice, big button that made it easier for me to instantly book my cleaning online. I visited several other maid service website before them, but MaidComfy’s website was much different and provided a much greater user experience and that’s why I booked with them instead of the others. This is what you want on your website!
The truth is, consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to feel that it is their own decision when they make a purchase. What’s the solution?
This value is usually in the form of content, and not just any content. Your pages should focus on your visitor’s problem and provide information that helps them in some way. What you want to do with your content is to gently persuade your visitor to buy, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, explain the benefits of the product, and even touch on the “bad” points if there are any.
There are some situations in which it would be advantageous to have ads and banners above the fold on your website. For instance, if someone were to perform a search using the phrase “buy a cheap Smartphone,” they are evidently looking to buy. However, if someone searches on the phrase “how to lower high blood pressure,” they are looking for information, not ads. Google doesn’t mind an ad or two above the fold, but go overboard and you may just find that your rankings have slipped considerably.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, just be smart. Think how you would feel if you were the one searching for a solution to a problem and landed on your site. Put yourself in your visitor’s place – would you stay and have a look around, or would you run like the devil to find a site that offered valuable information? Come across as honest, sincere and genuinely concerned about your potential customer’s problem/need, and you will experience a much higher level of success with affiliate marketing.