Newb Guide Pt 5: Landing Pages

This is part 5 of Nickycakes’ affiliate marketing tutorial.  Please read the previous parts if you have not yet.

What is a landing page?  “Landing Page” can have many meanings, but in the Affiliate Marketing world (and for the sake of this tutorial) it generally means a webpage built between the advertisement and the merchant’s page.  Rather than have an advertisement link directly to the merchant page, many people link to an intermediate page which has some kind of sales copy and/or other content, and a link to the merchant page.  Here are some of the reasons people use a “landing page” rather than linking directly to the merchant page:

Merchant Request

For some offers, the merchant requests that affiliates do not link directly to their site.  This may be because they don’t want to have their servers bogged down with a flood of traffic, or maybe they don’t want to be associated with some affilaites’ shady ad copy.

Google Quality Score

If you venture into advertising with Google Adwords, you will soon learn about Qualtiy Score, which is a score Google gives to the webpage you are advertising.  This score is made up by a bunch of factors including the content on the page you are trying to advertise.  Many merchant pages have crappy content and will get you a really crappy quality score in return if you link directly to them with a Google Adwords Search campaign, so creating an intermediate landing page that will give you a better QS may be beneficial.  There is much more to the QS story, but those are the basics.

Improved Conversion Rates

Sometimes you may find that making an intermediate landing page with a good sales pitch will increase the overall conversion rate of your campaign compared to direct linking.  Lets say that you direct link from the ad to the merchant page, and 1% of the people who click your ad end up signing up for whatever offer is on the merchant page.  Then you add an intermediate landing page that really gives some good reasons why people should sign up, and although some people leave the intermediate landing page without ever going to the merchant page, the OVERALL percentage of people that click on your ad that end up signing up for the offer ends up increasing to 3%.  Obviously the landing page is a huge improvement in that case.

Multiple Offers

Intermediate landing pages give you the option of advertising multiple affiliate offers on one page.  Some people make review sites, for example, where they have “reviews” of 5 different similar products.  Other people make pages that encourage the customer to go sign up for several offers.  This has proven to really increase profits if done properly.

Making Your Landing Pages

Nickycakes is not a design genius.  He’s made a few landing pages, but he is certainly no expert.  If you want to make a landing page, you can either do it yourself, or pay someone to do it.  There are plenty of starving designers out there who would be more than happy to whip up something for you for a fee.  If you decide to make it yourself, but can’t seem to come up with any good ideas for what your landing page should look like, go google whatever product it is you want to promote, and check out the landing pages others have already made for that product in the adwords ads you see.  Nickycakes does not advocate straight up copying the work of others, but you can’t copyright a style, so feel free to make something similar.  Keep in mind, however, that the page you’re emulating may be the work of someone as inexperienced as you are so it may end up a case of the blind leading the blind.  This is why you will need to frequently change your landing pages up in the future to try new things and improve conversions.

If you do decide to pay someone to make your LP’s for you, there are quite a few designers available.  Don’t bother with worthless retard designers on digitalpoint or similar crappy forums.  Wickedfire has some decent designers in the buy/sell forums.  One Nickycakes has personally used for landing pages is Jesse from Landingpower, who does really good fast work for a decent price (he does ad banner design as well).  Nicky requested that he whip up a simple free landing page for acai offers as an example for this post, which anyone can feel free to download and use here.  If you like it, please consider hitting up landingpower for future design work.

Also worth mentioning, some affilaite networks have in-house designers and will whip you up a landing page if you request it.  It’s worth a try =)

Next post is on setting up your campaigns.

Peanut Gallery

  • Great tips, esp that part with the hidden js.

  • I’ve always assumed that the second i promote any new site or campaign that i’ve designed/coded myself that it would immediately be stolen and used by the masses…. i’m not cocky, even or that good at design.. just that’s how it is in this biz. Now I’ve had just about every type of idiot rip my work, one who contacted me to ask how to swap out a sidebar, a few who didn’t even remove my own analytics code, etc…. but still, nothing beats being able to see how other people are marketing your own work. Any ‘normal’ person would look for things like js + tracking code before putting up a stolen offer….i tend to do pretty well with either throwing my own code in with another js file they NEEd for the LP to work (i.e. for the countdown or for the geo-redirect)…. or just via tiny pixel graphics that i try to hide in the css.

    Most the people i know who make LP’s always do something unique and hidden so they can find their stuff via google, even after you’ve renamed everything + changed the copy…..just this is the first i’ve heard of the blank .js idea… classic. :)

  • Another good one with JS is to include a “Current Date” script or some other JS element that looks like a good landing page element to increase conversion.

    In that script, have a piece of JS that checks to see which domain the page is being hosted on. If it’s not yours, have it send all clicks through your redirects/affiliate links.

    As long as they just copy and don’t remove the script. You can also have it allow 10-15 clicks to go to their affiliate links first in case they check their own tracking.

    In the end though, verbatim copying is a losing strategy and those douchebags go away eventually.

  • I’m especially amazed at how well the JS include works. There are some very lazy and/or stupid thieves around.

  • That blurb about “-hidden javascript” is pretty genius. I never thought of doing that, but now it’s top of mind :)

  • Wow that is a pretty genius trick — the hidden js file. It almost makes you WANT people to steal your pages :D

  • I’m not really a great programmer, but instead of doing a simple redirect through the external JS file — I imagine you could set an onClick right over their calls-to-actions.

    May be just a little harder for them to catch on; plus you may get a better CR. Good stuff.

  • I stole Andrew Wee’s landing page.

  • gotta agree, the hidden JS is sick. are you going to show how to do this?

  • Great post Nicky I have used the java script your talking about worked really well got me a lot of leads guy didn’t know till the second day where his PPC money was going lol!

  • Great tricks. Thanks for sharing. I learned a lot.

  • Newbies won’t make money reading this guide. It should be much more specific and full of real examples. Otherwise newbies just won’t be able to follow you.

    How about “Advanced Guide to Affiliate Marketing”? It would be much more interesting and actually useful to some of us.

  • I wish I had resources like this when starting out. Good job Nick!

  • The JS trick works. I also like to do the same thing using flash and have both on the page to catch people who might have JS turned off.

    I wrote a general post awhile back when you posted your anti-aff script. /technical/people-stealing-your-landing-pages/

    Definitely needs an update though.

    peace

  • I’m not sarcastic at all. This guide is too lame for the average affiliate and too complicated for the newbies (lack of details).

    It’s like reading TylerCruz or JohnChow, no kidding.

    I will wait for the Advanced Guide to Affiliate Marketing. Thanks in advance!

  • If being spoonfed answers like this is too hard for you to understand, I suggest you unsubscribe and go back to digital point where you belong. If you’re an “average affiliate” then you don’t need a guide for information. Any newbie who can’t wrap their head around this shit won’t make it anyway.

  • I tend to agree with the Cakes here…

    This is a good guide for anyone new, it isn’t giving out all the answers because there aren’t any. Its covering all the basics and then some to help someone get started.

    I see too many comments for people askin for specific examples. Go and fucking try something, cakes giving out his campaign details and keyword list isnt going to help anyone.

  • Thanks Cakes! Good guide, definitely better than the last one ;p

  • There isn’t a single example of a real campaign on the whole Internet! I guess that’s because “it isn’t going to help anyone”.

    Cakes is a good affiliate, right? And he is trying to help people make some money by promoting affiliate products / offers, right?

    Here is what: if you’re really so interested in helping people why don’t you take 10 hours and create a campaign from A to Z. Don’t forget to record every step (Camtasia Studio maybe?). Publish the video on YouTube and you will become the second most famous person on Internet after Matt Cutts.

    10 hours!

    Then again I don’t really believe any professional affiliate is interested in more competition. Just pretending to help people is offending.

  • If you want to waste 10 hours on a gay camtasia video, go ahead. This is how I do things.

  • @AlmostNobody

    If you are interested in step-by-step/A-Z instruction via camtasia video of a campaign being built start to finish, then you should get Jeremy Palmer’s Black Ink Project. It’s the most complete noob aff mktg start up info assembled, imo. I went through it when it was free but he’s now selling it for a few bucks.

  • Cookie stuffing hot linked images is also fun.

  • On a related note, you may find this interesting, for finding out when your AM is sharing your stuff with other affs:

    http://www.jordankasteler.com/utah-seo-pro-blog/guest-superstar-2/

    Loved the resources and ideas in your post Nick!

  • Great post!

    I appreciate that you actually offer useful advice on your blog as opposed to people like Shoemoney who post useless crap like photos of their new American Express “Black Card.”

  • Hi Cakes,
    Thanx for the post. I need a presell review writer on my landing page. whom do u recommend?

  • Nicky this looks like a great e-book in the making. great useful info without ego or self promotion.

  • Good points you pointed out(<-hehe) thanks for sharing

  • Hey,

    I’m just beginning my PPC adventure thanks to the help of Nicky and Wickedfire.

    Got 6 months off of university so can put near enough 12 hours a day into getting this working!

    Great guides so far, not earnt a penny yet though, 6 months to go though! If I make enough I may just have to get Nicky another “breitling” as he refrenced in his other post … !

  • Great guide. I can’t understand comment poster who are bitching about it..

    1 thing would have been nice: some links to killer landing pages (doesn’t have to be yours..), or links to landing pages which just doesn’t work.

  • outing other peoples landing pages is about the gayest thing you can do, and i’m sure as shit not giving you any of mine.

  • The JavaScript part is filled with epic and win. I bow to your mastery as a coder.

  • Cool tips. I’m going to implement a few of these, thanks!

    -Paul

  • LOL @ the hidden javascript.
    Great blog this, full of useful tips for n00bs like me.

  • I get why giving links to good and bad landing sites is a crappy suggestion. But for us newbies – how about some techiques or advice or bullet points on what makes a GOOD landing page? Or a suggestion to another website that might provide this kind of information? Thanks. (Great information, btw. I’ve had so much SEO sh*t rammed down my throat that I’m suffering from analysis paralysis!)

  • The hidden JS file is genius. Thanks for the idea!

  • Awesome post Nicky. Really appreciate the info and I’m sure it helps out a lot of IM’s whether they’re noobs or not.

    Putting all that time into building out a landing page and optimizing it takes a lot of work and time. The hidden JS file is pure genius and great for having a thief working for you.

    Do you have another post that includes the hidden JS file and how to place it?

    Frank

  • Awesome guide Nicky, cheers.
    Its nice to have the foundations set out without having someone try and explain every little detail on the best way to do things. I like your style.

    One question regarding your landing pages during testing. Do you buy a separate, domain for each one? As a beginner, crazy lots that could get pricey(ish). Would it be ok to just purchase one generic sounding domain, make subdomains to test each campaign and landing page, and then purchase individual domains if/when it becomes profitable and you really start aiming to raise your conversion rate.

    Or is there another alternative?

    Regards

    Tom

  • These are great tips regarding landing pages. I would be cool to include tips on how a landing page should be set up, like what makes a landing page convert well, like headlines, how long, structuring and so forth.

  • Just getting started – Great info yo give to get going
    Q: Trying to get on LPLockdown left the email for an invite and we are waiting can u give any help

  • Either I am completely blind or you probably edited this article. What’s this hidden JS file the other comments are talking about? I’d love to hear about it.

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