1 Easy Way to Track Affiliate Links From Your Website

If you are looking for a simple way of tracking affiliate links from your website, here’s a simple one minute hack that will work.

Ugly URLs

Let’s face it, affiliate URLs can be as ugly as a yaks butt, with all those query parameters bolted onto the end.

http://somedomain.com/?clickid=234&ref=753hr2&linkid=09832kln2ij92l3jlkj32&out=https://someotherurl.com&affiliateid=444

Yuck!

This is a yak

Search Engine Ranking Penalties

There’s also the chance that Google may see too many affiliate links in a post or your site and think that the article isn’t high quality.

This result could lead to an overall decrease of your ranking value.

Yuck!

Ad Blockers

Browser ad blocking extensions have come a long way in the past 10 years.

They now actively search out for affiliate links and in some circumstances can block an entire website or at worst access to an entire site.

Yuck!

Solution: Use Redirections For Your Affiliate Links

Redirections are easy to set up in WordPress and allow you to set up a nice/pretty URL to redirect on.

Here are some examples of pretty URLs which can then be redirected to their associates affiliate link.

https://somedomain.com/go/hostingabc

https://somedomain.com/recommends/xyzhostinginc

By using redirections, you are effectively hiding the URL from within the content of your posts, therefore avoiding the issues outlined above.

Redirection happens dynamically when the user clicks the link.

By using a standard outro link format, you can track how many times users click on the link to see if it’s worthwhile keeping that affiliate link alive.

e.g.

/go/{affiliatename}

/recommend/{affiliatename}

/o/a{affiliatename}

Redirection Plugins

I use the SEOPress plugin to handle all my redirections.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-seopress/

The free version comes with redirections but I have upgraded to pro to replace my Yoast SEO pluing.

SEOPress redirects settings

As you can see from the above redirect I have the URL path go/wordify 301 redirect to my affiliate link for Wordify.

Any redirection plugin will work for this trick, such as Redirection with over a million active installations.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/

Google Tracking

Using the redirection method makes it super simple to see when and where people are clicking through to affiliate links in Google Analytics because they are all going through the same URL.

Further Advantage

If you want more proof that redircting to affiliate links is the way to go, cosider the scenario where your affiliate link changes.

Perhaps there’s a new client ID or more parameters to add on.

If you are just pasting affiliate links directly into yuor posts and pages then you have to hunt through and edit them all to update the links.

Using redirections, you only need to update the URL in the redirection setting once and bang, it’s changed all over your site!

Happy days!

Keep In Touch

Wil

Wil is a dad, consultant, developer, conference organiser, speaker and business mentor. He co-organizes the WordPress Sydney meetup group and has been on the organising committee for WordCamp Sydney since 2014. He speaks at many special events and contributes to the WordPress open source project. His likes are chillies, craft beer and electrogravitics.

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