Using Pretty Link for Affiliate Links

Pretty Link – Tidy Affiliate Links

Today I’m going to talk about a WordPress plugin called Pretty Link.  One of the problems with affiliate marketing is handling affiliate links.  In order to keep track of who is referring visitors to a product’s sales page, it’s essential for sellers and merchants to give each affiliate a unique link that indicates to their Website who referred a visitor to them.  That way, should someone make a purchase, the appropriate affiliate can get credit (and commission!) for the sale.

pretty link logo The problem with that is that affiliate links, by their very nature, are going to be ugly.  At best, they’re going to look like a normal link but will have a structure that makes it clear that the link is an affiliate link:

http://SomeProductSite.com/?aff=BobJones

at worst, they’re going to look strange:

http://eiu-9ddlkjdlfj.somesite.com

Neither format is likely to encourage people to click on them.  People actually do check to see where links are going before clicking on them and a link that makes no sense might scare people.   Others will avoid obvious affiliate links, thinking “I’m not clicking on that.  He’s just trying to make money from me.”  As an affiliate marketer, it’s vital that you get people to click on your affiliate links, because that’s the only way you’re going to get paid.  If no one clicks, you make no sales and thus, get no commissions.

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So, how can you get people to click on an affiliate link?  By making it look like something more visitor-friendly.  That’s where Pretty Link comes in.  Pretty Link is a plugin for WordPress that gives you the ability to take long, ugly or obvious affiliate links and make them look more like something your visitor would want to click on.

Pretty Link Overview

There are two versions of Pretty Link; Pretty Link Lite and Pretty Link Pro.  While the Pro version has a lot of useful features, it’s also somewhat expensive, at $97.  Pretty Link Lite, on the other hand, is free, and you can download and install it from within WordPress itself.  Just click Plugins – Add New in the menu on the left side of WordPress and type in “Pretty Link Lite” in the search window.  You can then click the link to install it and activate it.  It should just take a minute or two.

To use Pretty Link Lite, just click on the words “Pretty Link” on the left hand menu.  On the next screen, click “Add a Pretty Link.”  This will take you to the screen where you’ll enter the information to create your link.

pretty link setup screenUnder Redirection Type, leave it at the default of “307 (Temporary)”.   In the Target Window field, you enter your full affiliate link, including the http or https.  In the example shown, I’ve entered a pretty long and ugly link from Clickbank for a weight loss product.  In the Pretty Link field, you enter the nickname you want to give the link.  This will be the part that your visitor will see if they move their mouse over the link before they click on it.  In this case, I simply chose to call it “LoseWeight.”

For Title, you simply enter some text that will tell you what this Pretty Link represents.  I entered “Weight Loss Clickbank Link.”  There are a few other check boxes below, and you can ignore all of them except one.  It’s a good idea to look at the one under “SEO Options” and make sure that the box for “Nofollow” This Link is checked.  This will, in theory, prevent search engines from following the link to see where it goes.  While there is no obligation for search engines to abide by “nofollow” requests, most of them do and I’ll explain why you want to have Pretty Link do this.

There are several reasons for checking that box.  One of them is that your site may “bleed” pagerank if you link to another Website with a “dofollow” link, which most links are by default.  Pagerank is a measure by the search engines of the importance of your site, and a “dofollow” link from your site to another is considered a vote for that site and with that vote, you give up a bit of your own pagerank to the other site.  The other reason why you should check the “nofollow” box on the Pretty Link page is that it will hide the fact that the link is an affiliate link from the search engines.  Some search engines, particularly Google, are not fond of affiliate links or affiliate marketers.  Adding the “nofollow” attribute to the link probably won’t prevent Google from discovering that your link is an affiliate link, but it can’t hurt and Pretty Link can help with that.

The end result is a Pretty Link that will look more appealing to your Website visitors.  Instead of an ugly Clickbank link, for instance, we’ll have a link that looks like this:

http://www.YourSite.com/WeightLoss

If you’re talking about a weight loss product on your page and you introduce that link, your visitor will be more likely to click on it than if you just have a bunch of random-looking characters in your link.  One particularly good way to name your links is to name them for the product itself.  In the case above, if the link was for a product called Fat Loss Extreme, then you might use that in your Pretty Link and end up with something like:

http://www.YourSite.com/FatLossExtreme

That will give your visitors even more incentive to click on your affiliate link.  Another great advantage of using Pretty Link is that it makes it possible to change a number of links on your site at once.  Suppose, for instance, that you’re promoting a product from one company as an affiliate and you find another company that offers higher commissions for the same product if you work through them instead.  If your current affiliate link appears on your site 50 times, you’ll have to go through every page and change 50 links.  On the other hand, if you’ve been using Pretty Link, you only have to change the link on the Pretty Link setup page, and the other links on your site will automatically update.

Pretty Link Summary

Pretty Link is a great tool that makes it easy to keep track of your links and gives visitors more incentive to click on them.  And more clicks should lead to more commissions.

To learn more about managing affiliate links, you should consider joining Wealthy Affiliate.  This comprehensive training program was designed to help people make money online through affiliate marketing.  You’ll have training, free tools, free Web hosting and access to hundreds of other helpful members.  You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free.

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