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  1. #1
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    How long should my marketing funnel be?
    Imagine I compare for my site visitors 3 products side by side and I find out for them which is the better product.

    Should the call-to-action button/link link then directly to an advertiser's shop or should I first link to an extra page on my site?

    What I want to put on this extra page (after the visitor clicked the call-to-action button) is:

    * Where to buy - guiding the visitor regarding best price.
    * Better buy - comparing different advertisers regarding reputation, experience, shipping/return policies, support quality, business quality (is it a BBB member...).

    So what do you think - should I beam the visitor directly to the advertiser or take up 2 more minutes of her/his time to give her/him an even better shopping experience?

    What will generate more sells?

    Would love to know what you think,
    J



    P.S - I can't split testing yet as my site still gets no visits...

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    If you asked this question last year, I would say link directly and get them to the merchant as fast as possible. But since then Google has changed and is really frowning on thin affiliate sites. If you added an option of e.g. "view more" AND linking directly, this way you are providing more in depth content thus satisfying the search engines, but also providing the visitors an option to go directly to the merchant.

    So your question: "What will generate more sales?" is the wrong goal for looking at creating a site. Ask the question: "What would be helpful to my visitors?" This way your site will generate value, and as result the sales will flow.

  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah View Post
    If you asked this question last year, I would say link directly and get them to the merchant as fast as possible. But since then Google has changed and is really frowning on thin affiliate sites. If you added an option of e.g. "view more" AND linking directly, this way you are providing more in depth content thus satisfying the search engines, but also providing the visitors an option to go directly to the merchant.
    Absolutely agree! The only thing that I would add is that having that extra page per product gives you more potential pages listed in the search engines. These are generally my highest ranking pages, you can't be much more targeted than one item per page.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  4. #4
    Newbie Louise M.'s Avatar
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    Or you can give them a clear choice: clicking on a link to a more in-depth review OR clicking on a link that goes to the merchant's page. So they know exactly where they're gonna land. If they want more info, you're sure they're gonna read your review and won't be bothered by the extra page (they clearly requested to see it) and on the other hand, if they want to see the product (and buy right away? ), they can skip the review thing and go on the merchant's page.
    That's what I do on one of my websites.

  5. #5
    Member bestwebman06's Avatar
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    in my case i use the other page and that page content very simple "How to buy/where to buy/ chick to buy/ get it now" button. don't let the users to spend more time cause they are buys that's why they are buying online and not going to the shops.
    make the medium page very simple. if it is possible then ad the button in this page only. direct linking can increase your conversion but its now prohibited by Google.
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah View Post
    If you asked this question last year, I would say link directly and get them to the merchant as fast as possible. But since then Google has changed and is really frowning on thin affiliate sites. If you added an option of e.g. "view more" AND linking directly, this way you are providing more in depth content thus satisfying the search engines, but also providing the visitors an option to go directly to the merchant.

    So your question: "What will generate more sales?" is the wrong goal for looking at creating a site. Ask the question: "What would be helpful to my visitors?" This way your site will generate value, and as result the sales will flow.
    Hi ladidah,

    I didn't know Google puts value into inner-site linking. When did that change? Do you have actual experience with it? - very interesting!

    I couldn't agree more on the: "...What would be helpful to my visitors?..." - I don't know what distracted my mind (greed?) when I was writing those lines. What guides my in my writings is giving REAL added value to my visitors.

    Sometimes I get frustrated - I see different landing pages that are either ugly or very shallow where people claim they make money with. So I am always in an inner fight about how much effort I should put into a landing page.

    Thank you very much for the interesting answer,
    J

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise M. View Post
    Or you can give them a clear choice: clicking on a link to a more in-depth review OR clicking on a link that goes to the merchant's page. So they know exactly where they're gonna land. If they want more info, you're sure they're gonna read your review and won't be bothered by the extra page (they clearly requested to see it) and on the other hand, if they want to see the product (and buy right away? ), they can skip the review thing and go on the merchant's page.
    That's what I do on one of my websites.

    Hallo Louise M.

    I think I will simply adopt your way of doing this
    It is the BEST of both worlds - nothing can go wrong by working that way.

    Thank you for your ideas,
    J

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Sometimes, I've found it more effective to have an extra step. Sometimes I've found it more effective to go directly to the merchant's product page. Sometimes (where the merchant has an add-to-cart link), I've found it more effective to go directly to the cart. A/B Testing is the only way to know for sure, although you do get a feel for which way to go after a while.
    Michael Coley
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justPlugIn View Post
    Hi ladidah,

    I didn't know Google puts value into inner-site linking. When did that change? Do you have actual experience with it? - very interesting!

    J
    Nope, that's is not what I said. I wrote "But since then Google has changed and is really frowning on thin affiliate sites".

    So the reason I said to add the link is so you are adding extra content to your website and the content will help with SEO as well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah View Post
    Nope, that's is not what I said. I wrote "But since then Google has changed and is really frowning on thin affiliate sites".

    So the reason I said to add the link is so you are adding extra content to your website and the content will help with SEO as well.
    Oh! - now I get what you meant. As I am a white hat kinda' guy, I try to fill up my site with valuable information. So I guess you and me are on the same side :-)

    Thanks,
    J

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Sometimes, I've found it more effective to have an extra step. Sometimes I've found it more effective to go directly to the merchant's product page. Sometimes (where the merchant has an add-to-cart link), I've found it more effective to go directly to the cart. A/B Testing is the only way to know for sure, although you do get a feel for which way to go after a while.
    Hi MichaelColey,

    Can I order 2 pounds of that "feel"?

    How can you split test if you send someone outside your page - this one I didn't get.

    Thanks,
    J

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the "feel" can't be bought. Only learned.

    Good question about split testing affiliate sales. Just send SID parameters (like "testa", "testb") in the affiliate links and check the total commissions earned for each group. With a broad enough test base (perhaps enough traffic to get 100+ sales in each group), it's pretty accurate.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justPlugIn View Post
    How can you split test if you send someone outside your page - this one I didn't get.
    When I first started split testing my pages, I kept track of everything (and still do) with an excel spreadsheet. This way I knew how many visitors came to my site on each day, of those visitors, how many clicked through, and of the ones that clicked through, how many actually bought. Depending on how much traffic you receive depends on how long you should test. I think I did about 200 - 300 visitors for each testing because when I first started out I didn't have that much traffic. I also tested about 3 different pages, Page 1 and 2 were completely different, and page 3 was a combination of both. Out of those 3, I picked which one gave me the most click throughs, and sales. Then I just tweaked the pages until I was happy with the ratios.

    Here's a breakdown of the formulas I used in Excel:

    CTR (Click Through Rate) = Clicks divided by Uniques.
    CR (Conversion Rate) = Sales divided by Clicks.

    Hope this helps.

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Sometimes it comes down to whether you can do a better job pre-selling the product than the merchant can. Some merchants just drop the ball when it comes to selling their own products. If adding a page on your own site can add an extra level if information, comfort and encouragement to make a sale happen then that page is good value added to the sales process. If the page adds nothing , then it is a wasted click.

    Also consider that the extra page can be used to present competitive products and therefore increase your chance of getting a sale by offering purchase options rather than a single choice. Ultimately time and testing will tell you what works best for you and the merchants you are promoting.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Last edited by Chris - AMWSO; February 2nd, 2011 at 02:58 PM. Reason: typos
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  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    What Chris said! My top fitness equipment reviewers do comparisons and then link to their product review pages. The product review pages direct link to the merchants product page. They trialed direct to cart links but changed back. Look for "treadmill review" for examples of what I am speaking about.

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