Guide to Affiliate Links and Banners

While content drives visitors to your website, it's your affiliate links and banners that will lead your site visitors to the merchant, and eventually your earnings.

It is important that affiliate links and banners are properly coded so your referrals are properly recorded, tracked and credited.

Code it right

Affiliate links may vary from program to program, but they are usually coded in this format:

Here's the code explained:

  • - the affiliate network's domain or the merchant's domain to set tracking cookie to visitor browser
  • 1=A - represents your affiliate ID, or your affiliate number (number "1")
  • 2=B - represents the link to a particular product or service offered by the affiliate network or merchant
  • 3=C - represents the type of creative used - a particular banner or text link

Some affiliate networks also include a small pic code (or tracking pixel) together with the affiliate link code count number of views (text links).

The golden rule is to read and follow all the specifications provided by the affiliate network so all referrals can be properly credited to your account. There have been quite a number of instances where webmasters were not able to earn their commissions because their links were not properly formatted and the clicks were not properly tracked.

Some affiliate networks offer a free code checking tool to test if you have the properly formatted codes. Don't be afraid to use this tool.

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to contact the technical support of your affiliate network.

Design, of course, is a matter of taste. How your banners actually look would depend on your target audience. But here's a general guide on affiliate banners.

Unobtrusive yet catchy

How many times have you left the site because the ads prevented you from reading the content that you want read? For a time, interstitial ads were the rage (ads were shown before the content), but where are they now?

Make your banners as unobtrusive as possible, yet very catchy to attract site visitors to click while reading your content.

Right place

Putting your banners and links at the right place is crucial. And there is still a continuing debate on where is the best location to place banners. But you have the best answer!

In your website's analytics, look at your navigation summary to see which links or banners are getting the most clicks. The best gauge will always be your own website!

Fast Loading

Your ads are unobtrusive. They are located in the right place. But you're not getting any clicks because site visitors have already finished reading your content and left. That's why banners, like your web pages, should load fast. Online visitors have very little time to read content, let alone stick around to wait for your banner to load.

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