Hiding your affiliate link is essential to making sure you get credit for every sale. Affiliate marketing can be very cut throat, and there have been a lot of instances of marketers stealing other affiliate's commissons. Readers are also more likely to click on a page if the link does not look associated with an affiliate product. This is also true for links that are very long. Most affiliate networks (at least the popular ones anyway) make sure to take care of this issue for their affiliates, but that may not always be true for every affiliate. A regular link looks safer and friendlier than an affiliate link. You don't want the reader to know you are getting paid if that person clicks on the link, even if you are. |
Hiding links will also stop commission hijacking. This is one of the main problems with affiliate marketing. Even though it is getting better, you can never stop this. Redirects will make sure to cloak your link to hide your affiliate ID. What happens is a person can see your link, join the same program the product is offered and click through the link and claim the commission. Redirects will also hide your Id number from other affiliates. This will end up saving you a lot of time, money and heartache. Also, you won't have to edit as much. Instead of having to edit each link every time the merchant decides to change their link system, you won't have to be worried. All you have to do is set up redirects for all of the products offered. Here are a few methods:
Use PHP Redirects This is probably the easiest way to hide your links for newbies. Basically, you paste a simple piece of code into a blank web page. You change it so that the page will redirect to your link.
Another thing to note, is that you want to make sure this piece of code goes directly into the HTML (which can be opened using source view). It must go on a page that doesn't have any other piece of code in it or any tags. When finished, you will need to save the page as a .php file.
Another option is to use meta tag redirects. Here is a small example: For this piece of code, the URL that says “youraffiliatelink” is the address you want to redirect to. The other piece of code, “content=0” refers to how long it will take before the page redirects. You can change “0” to “3” for the page to redirect after three seconds.
So as you can see, the main reason it is a good idea to cloak your links is to make it look friendlier, and to stop others from stealing your commissions. You will also save a lot of editing time when the merchant of an affiliate program decides to change their link system. The two easiest way to achieve this is by using meta tag redirects and PHP redirects.
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