Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Affiliate Program Update

The value and importance of websites are determined by the amount of the internet traffic they command and attract. These are the websites that were visited the most and where people spend much time browsing. Consequently, these are also websites that are valuable to online advertisers. Since these websites have frequent visitors, advertisements placed on these sites have a bigger audience. However, paying entire websites just to post a banner costs advertisers much. This forced them to look for other online marketing options. Thus, the popularity of affiliate programs soared because of this new development.

An *affiliate program* or network is simply an advertising tactic wherein advertisers offer individual webmasters payment in exchange for internet traffic. These programs have several advantages for advertisers. First, they are relieved of the hassles of looking for related content among different websites. They are saved of the effort and time in reading and browsing through sites just to find a suitable banner location. This is a necessary evil because their banner won't make sense if posted in a site with totally different topics. Second, affiliate programs increase response rates between websites. These benefit both the advertisers and their affiliates. The affiliate sites direct traffic to the advertisers by linking and vice versa.

Since affiliate programs contribute much to the growth of businesses, it is an essential move to keep them updated and current. The following are some ways by which advertisers and webmasters can improve their affiliate programs. Be reminded that these are just for improvement. It is also suggested that advertisers use other marketing strategies in tandem with affiliate programs.

First, maximize the potential of Exit windows. Some affiliate sites have visitors after only a few minutes. This frequency can be observed through logs in their web statistics. Web statistics show that people ignore or close pop-ups more quickly when these appear at the website's homepage. Presenting pop-up advertisements as people are signing off is a great way to gain commission on lost traffic.

Second, use pop-up windows with cookies. Pop-ups are annoying according to most internet users, especially if they appear every time they click on something. Some even say that annoying pop-ups are reasons enough to leave a site. This results in lost traffic. Alleviate this problem by using cookies. With cookies, pop-up ads will appear only on the users' first visits. On their return, the cookies will be recognized by the scripts. Pop-ups will not open because the users have been identified as frequent visitors.

Third, hide your links. This does not mean hiding them completely but camouflaging them by adding simple codes. Most people avoid clicking on pronounced links because they don't want to be directed to another site selling *celebrity bathing suits*. Cautious users also avoid links because of online security reasons. Camouflaged links have more potential in attracting users to clicking.

Fourth, never underestimate the power of the printed word. Yep, you don't need to limit your promotions to online marketing. Print business cards and hand them to prospective clients. This is also an efficient way to be within the reach of your clients even when they are offline. Promotions and advertising are so much better if used as partners.

Fifth, use inline frames. With their innovative features, they maintain site traffic while hiding affiliate links. Thus, there is no need to redesign whole sites just to accommodate a few banners and links. Advertisers and webmasters of affiliate sites are benefit from increased internet traffic for minimal effort.

Lastly, use colors and lots of it. People are growing tired of the black, white, and silver scheme of the New Wave trend. Make your website outrageous with stunning but complementary colors. Be reminded that there is no need to be garish. Another option is to provide visitors coloring pages with your URL. These are especially good if you cater to a suitable audience. Your site becomes popular and are still promoted offline.

Affiliate programs and networks great advertising tools. Aside from advertisement, these affiliate programs also promote networking. However, if you plan to use them, better make it a point to be updated about current online marketing trends. In the arena of internet marketing, those who are more innovative and interesting get the most customers.

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