June 22, 2021

SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

The State of Affiliate Marketing & Campaign Management with Adam Riemer [Podcast] via @sejournal, @brentcsutoras

Share This :
, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs
, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

How does affiliate marketing tie in to SEO? More than you’d think. Google algorithm updates have led to mega affiliates and their listicles ranking higher than ever. How do you get your product or service in the mix?

Adam Riemer joins Loren Baker to discuss affiliate marketing, the state of the affiliate industry and crossing the streams of SEO and Affiliate Marketing.

Here is the entire transcript of the show (please excuse any transcription errors) :

Loren:

Loren Baker, founder of Search Engine Journal, and welcome to today’s SEJ show. With me, I have Adam Riemer. Adam, how’s it doing? How’s it going?

Adam:

Good. How are you? Thanks for having me.

Loren:

Good. Thank you. Good. For those of you who don’t know Adam, he is an affiliate marketing genius. So I’m really excited to have him on the show today to talk a little bit about the affiliate side of things, how that works with SEO and then yeah, how… Oops. I got a little bit of stream here, stuff going on in my back end here. Okay, back. How that works with SEO and how things are really changing in that landscape. But before we get started, I’d like to give a shout out to our sponsor, Awesomic. So Awesomic is sponsoring today’s episode of the SEJ show. That’s Awesomic.io. If you’re struggling with fresh visuals for your affiliate marketing offer, Awesomic has your back. So our friends are Awesomic we’ll cover your design needs for a fixed monthly fee. It’s a subscription service.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

So it’s all kinds of design stuff, very professional matching up their best designers with your needs for a small monthly fee, a fixed monthly fee. Just sign up, place a task and see first results on your next business day. No more hiring and no more stress to get those landing pages set up. So that’s all from Awesomic. Again, that’s Awesomic.io, and I’m going to be dropping a link in the comments a little bit later, but in the meantime, Adam, let’s talk affiliate marketing in the world of SEO and PR. What’s going on now? What are you spending most of your time doing? And also give everybody a little bit of a background on yourself.

Adam:

Okay. So yeah, I’ve just been dealing with stuff since… Well, my first website went up in the mid-nineties and then I’ve been doing this professionally since about 2002, 2003 and yeah. Affiliate Summit Pinnacle award winner twice for affiliate manager of the year, regular speaker at Pubcon Advance Search Summit now. I’ve been all over the world with big digital Adelaide, Australia, two shows in London, and just kind of me.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

Awesome. Awesome. So I’m really interested because you do kind of cross over a little bit. There’s not very many affiliate marketers that I know that are so ingrained in the world of SEO and then vice versa. So I really like connecting with folks like yourself that do a little bit of everything, that are great at what they do, but you also know how to speak SEO as much as you know how to speak affiliate, right? You do quite a bit on the SEO side don’t you?

Adam:

Yeah, definitely. I kind of really can’t choose the other place I love is lead gen and conversion rate optimization. So it’s fun to be able to play across all three industries pretty substantially.

Loren:

Yeah, it was pretty funny. I found myself over the past year or two, I feel like I’m more of a lead gen expert through the SEO channels and other channels versus an SEO that drives traffic that may or may not convert. Do you feel that there’s more, especially in the past, maybe the past five years or so, there’s more focus on actually the quality of the traffic, what they’re doing, what they’re doing after they convert then there used to be, especially from the SEO side?

Adam:

There is and to answer your first question about where I am with both, having the experience across all three of those really helps me substantially with my helping my clients succeed. So for example, I can take a program that has some great bloggers or maybe some up and coming people or influencers. And I can take a look at their site and be like, “Okay, well you have this fantastic list, but it’s only sitting in position eight or nine. Maybe it’s on the second page.” So I can then go in and use some of the SEO skills to help them install schema for list items and to say, this is this. And then there’ll be associations through same as, an additional type. So that way they can say, “Okay, this is the same as Cadillac,” if it’s a list of cars and then additional type and you go to the specific models or if it’s vintage or can reference the toys and that gives them the advantage.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

So that way, if I have a client that’s trying to show up for product X, Y, Z inside Google, now we can not only get that client ranking in the top position, but we can get positions two through five with affiliates, so now the number one result, no matter what, is my client, and they have just substantial power inside the search engines. The next part is by doing conversion rate optimization, I’m able to sit there and say, “Okay, we know that this works and this works for this file.” Then I can get the affiliate to give me their stats, what’s coming in from Pinterest or Facebook. We can say, “Okay, we know this traffic works this way from the client’s site. Let’s tweak the wording here. Let’s tweak the images here because we know this is what’s selling.” Or if we know that the affiliate has the color green, the green version of the product on their site, but we know that blue is converting better off their traffic, I can get them to change this.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

And those are certain things that come over from the conversion rate optimization that I can apply. And by having client data, I can also say, “We know that your traffic is more Facebook. Have you been Google [inaudible 00:05:28], for example. Let’s change the wording here to pre-sell it better for when it hits the client site here and that will increase overall too.” Then we can also use that learning to adjust the client’s site for a better overall traffic across the board. So it kind of just plays nicely together having that weird, unique skillset.

Loren:

I really like that approach. There’s a couple of reasons. And we’ll talk about this in a bit, but there has been kind of a blurred line in between affiliate SEO and PR. A lot of us know this, especially anyone that’s in the health space, but there’s multiple health sites, which are really affiliate sites at the end of the day, that have enough authority and equity and just authority halo over top of them where they’re ranking for just about everything. And a lot of it’s listicles, a lot of it’s lists that click over to products and things like that. Which is, from an organic SEO perspective, it’s what we’re working with. It’s an environment that we’re working within with Google. So one thing I’ve found myself doing much more of is looking at well, how does a featured image on that site, is our product in the middle? If it’s a listicle in the top 10, where’s my client’s product?

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

I might not be the person that is in touch with Healthline or health.com or shape.com or whatever it may be. But if I can talk to the affiliate manager or whoever the team is at that specific publication and get them to bump up or maybe get them a better offer, I know that search intent traffic at the end of the day, it’s going to convert better. It’s probably going to have a better long-term residual benefit, especially if it’s a subscribe and save type product or something like that. Therefore, it’s kind of my job to be on top of that as well as it is to rank the organic listing. And at the same time, it’s also my job, if the organic listing is ranking, one, to make sure it’s converting, and two to make sure that we’re tracking back that longterm attribution back to SEO.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

Because I think that SEO… I was kind of chatting with myself today about this on Twitter, but I was responding to Lily Ray about it, is I think that organic SEO is one of the only forms of marketing where that residual sale that long-term customer lifetime value is not always looked at by our industry. Instead, we’re looking at ranking, traffic and conversion, but what can we do after the fact to make sure that, hey, that high intent user, it’s clicked over, that’s found the answer of what they’re looking for is going to stay, and what is the real value of that at the end of the day?

Adam:

Yeah. Another metric that’s often overlooked is so email’s always one of the highest returns on investment for a company because the list is people that are already engaged with the brand. So one of the things that I like to do is I track the total email signups and newsletter signups and then the click-throughs after, and then conversions after that originated through affiliate or through organic search. Because if it’s growing that list, then you can more easily make a case on why these channels need more attention or more budget. Now it also depends on how your affiliate program is managed and the type of affiliates. If it’s just people like a coupon site jumping at the very end of the sale, that’s not growing your list. That’s just intercepting at the checkout, and sure, you might still get a sign up, but it wasn’t an introduction to your company overall.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

So the first tool that actually used to measure that was Convertro, years and years ago. I think they’re still around. It was an awesome tool back then. I hope they are. And that just led me down a pretty massive rabbit hole. Actually no, the very first one was when I was with a skills assessment testing company, I think it was Clicktales. Was that the name of it? Yeah. Years ago, about 2002, 2003, when I just got my first professional jobs.

Loren:

Was Clicktale the one that used to animate the entire, it almost had a heat map component, where it animated the entire affiliate process. Yeah.

Adam:

Yeah, gosh. Yeah. I think that was the name of it. God, there was a long time ago. Talk about companies that just kind of disappeared.

Loren:

Yeah. It is. I love diving into that and I think that as SEOs, we have to also remember that we’re also digital marketers. So yeah, I can deliver the customer on a silver platter, but I also want to make sure that you’re the one that’s serving them what they intend to get at the end of the day. We do have a question that came in. Tony wants to know where Frost is at. Do you have Frost with you?

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Frost is with his babysitter back at my condo. I’m in Philadelphia right now, visiting my PPC team.

Loren:

Awesome. Hey Tony, how’s it going? If you all have any questions on affiliate marketing or SEO just feel free to drop a-

Adam:

You make a good point about major media. So like CNN, which is one of the biggest sites in the world, they have an entire affiliate section. If you go to CNN underscore, every single thing in there is an affiliate [inaudible 00:10:37]. Now what’s cool is it has a lot of authority to rank on its own. But CNN underscored also has a major feature space right on the homepage of cnn.com and Buzzfeed… I keep thinking Buzzstream, that’s the CRM system I use for my affiliate outreach. I freaking love them. But basically Buzzfeed, they are… So weird to see people walking by.

Adam:

But Buzzfeed, almost every link on that site now is also an affiliate. What’s pretty cool is they also combined in magic links and some other things. So as they’re advertising realistic ones across their own site, you’re actually able to see what came through organic search and what’s coming through their own ad efforts. The same thing applies to CNN underscore as they run ads. So they have their new Mother’s Day ad going up soon. Today.com from the Today Show, that is now almost all affiliate links. So it’s no longer just PR. PR Needs affiliate to ensure that they’re going to get that coverage. So it kind of just works hand in hand.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

We had Bosna on the show previously, who’s the product manager, or I believe that’s her role, at CNN underscored and was really talking about how SEO has become such an important component of that. I was not necessarily aware of, and I didn’t even think about this, about how much these publications are promoting this within their own ecosystem as well, which is a huge benefit. I’m thinking about how we do stuff at SEJ where we’re always promoting things via our email newsletter, via popups and everything else on the site. That is a nice benefit on the major mass media side of things. So speaking of PR and SEO and affiliate all kind of rolled into one, should these be siloed anymore? I think there’s going to have to be some communication between the SEO teams and the PR teams and the affiliate teams, if one or the other, or the ability for all to work together is going to get a product or brand featured on a CNN or a Buzzfeed or Rolling Stone, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

So the interesting thing is you don’t have to silo. You don’t have to merge it. You can keep it siloed, but there is some cross pollination here. And some of the ways that I like to measure that is if you go into the code on each page, it might say it was published… Let’s see. Today’s the 16th, on April 16th, but you can actually go into the source code and you could see that it was actually published three years ago in March and then it was updated. So then you go into the cache or the way back machine, you see where you moved up higher, where you added to this page originally, and that could now be PR talking to the specific editor, or it could be the affiliate manager working with the ad team there. And there’s a lot of different ways. It goes publication by publication.

Adam:

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Some publications you’re allowed to send product to, and it’s a natural pickup with the editors. Hearst Media is very famous for that. They’re very strict where the editors do have control. It is pure journalism and editorial. Now at the same time, you can do advertorials and you can reduce the costs with affiliate links. The same thing goes for Buzzfeed and with Penske Media Company and all of the other big ones, Meredith Corporation. But some of them have more journalistic integrity, where the editors do have full control, the ad team doesn’t. But the ad team can say, “You must include these brands. They’ve paid for it,” and the journalism will. Similar to doing advertorials in newspapers years ago, where they would label it’s an advertorial, it would just be kind of hidden.

Loren:

Yeah, speaking of Hearst-

Adam:

Well the New York Times, for example, they are still very much journalistic whether you agree with them or not, but Wirecutter is almost purely affiliated at this point. So it’s a big part of the New York Times, but it’s their affiliate side. So they’re making money serving ads, they’re making money off affiliate likes. They’re making money with a lot of different things.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

Really interesting. So speaking of which, and speaking of journalistic integrity when putting together these product reviews and these product lists, Google rolled out an algorithm update, or more so an announcement more than likely, last week about product reviews, best practices for product reviews. What’s important from the Google side, what shouldn’t be done. I’ll drop a link in the comments for anybody out there. What are your thoughts on Google’s announcements or their algorithm tweak around product reviews? Do you see any movement on that side or you think it’s something that commerce, it’s just kind of more of a hey, we’ve noticed this is a big deal. This is what you should be doing on this front.

Adam:

I think it’s just, you should have been doing this from the first place anyways. If you were just writing thin little things like this is a great product, it’s not ever going to move the needle and you’re eventually going to fall. If you actually take the time to update your product reviews with correct information and you sit there and you fix things that weren’t correct, or you add new details as features go if it’s something that updates software wise, that’s going to help users. So it’s just still providing the best experience. If all you do is add paragraph after paragraph and there’s pros and cons, they’re lumped into a big bulky chunk of text, try breaking that out under a pros and cons list.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

If it’s a comparison product review where you’re comparing and you have a section that compares maybe an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy phone or something like that, then why not, instead of just doing paragraphs, do a table. It’s all still about providing the best possible user experience, combining different features that make it easier to absorb and accurate details. The better you can do without just drowning people in nonsense is the better your content is going to do in the search engines. I’m not expecting to see any actual changes unless you only wrote really bad reviews or things that weren’t factional. Sorry, what’s the word? Fictional, I guess. Yeah.

Loren:

Factional, fictional, nonfictional/.

Adam:

And that’s your own fault for taking shortcuts.

Loren:

Agreed, agreed. It’s kind of like when Google rolled out EAT guidelines, we’ve been doing Eat for years. But there are some tweaks-

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Writing content or digital PR. Now has the word digital in front of it. Nothing’s changed.

Loren:

The blurred line is kind of interesting though. I have been on meetings where we’ve had our PR team or a client’s PR team or another PR vendor kind of get on and be like, “Oh, we got you this win on Buzzfeed. Or we got you this win here.” First of all, sometimes they’ll list things as wins that were a result of the link acquisition work that we do. So that’s always a little bit of a conflict that’s interesting. And they roll out the, “Hey, this publication, HuffPost gets like 24 billion unique views a month metric.” But at the same time, I have been on meetings where the PR teams are listing the successes that they’ve had and we’ve looked and they’ve been all affiliate links. So is that still a success from the PR side? How does all of that work at the end of the day? Who gets attribution? How do you split that between SEO, PR and affiliate marketing?

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Good call. Or good questions. So what I do is ask the PR team privately without the client, so that there’s no judging or yelling at each other, say, can you share where you had the conversation with the editor? Can you share this? Because if they didn’t and they just sent out a mass email, that’s not going to work. Or I ask them, can you send me the pitch that you sent to this, to your list or to your wire, if you’re not doing individual outreach. Loren, you’ve seen some of my outreach, you know it’s very specific and customized for everyone and different products. And that’s why I’m able to say, “No. This came from me because it follows this theme that I sent on this date.” And if the PR team isn’t able to do that, then I don’t count towards them. If PR team said, “We went out with this theme and we sent out these three specific skews,” then I would say, “You know what, this isn’t my channel, but there’s a darn good chance it went from you and from your efforts.”

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

So it’s really just depends on if they can do that. The other reality is so there’s different monetization tools out there that have a marketplace that say, “You’re a part of this media or these affiliate programs. Here’s the commissions. Choose from these products from these stores.” So if you’re listed there, it could come up naturally. That could be because they’re looking on season and maybe the PR team went through. Maybe it’s also because the affiliate managers keeping for the listing in that marketplace up-to-date so that’s where it’s sort of combined. And at that point you just got to play nice with each other and say, it’s probably from both of our efforts.

Loren:

Let’s play nice with each other. Let’s all get along. Let’s all help the client at the end of the day. And yeah, I love it. I love it. So I want to pivot a little bit in the SEO and affiliate, but before I do so, I’m going to go ahead and talk a little bit more about our sponsor, Awesomic. Search engine optimization is vital for affiliate marketing, but so is design. With catchy and memorable creatives, your ads will bring up to 10 times more traffic and generate new leads. The only challenge is finding a high-class designer who knows how to work in a specific niche. But the good news is you don’t have to spend hours looking for a professional designer anymore. We recommend you check out Awesomic and again, that’s Awesomic.io. I dropped the link to it earlier in the comments. An app where your task is automatically matched with the best fit designer who has proven industry expertise at Awesomic.io. Adam, how am I doing on my read-throughs there? Pretty good, right? That was the first time I-

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

I can barely see. My eyes, I feel like my eyes are bright red and swollen. It’s just allergies.

Loren:

I remember when I was in college, I used to do radio DJ a little bit. And that was the big thing, when you’re reading a radio ad or a PSA, you have to repeat the thing. The phone number twice, that was the old thing back in the day. So all of that’s coming back to fruition. Anyway, so speaking of SEO and affiliate marketing, not only is your creative very important, your design, your landing page, et cetera, et cetera, your branding, your banners, but also the content within where your affiliate links live.

Loren:

Now, this has been an ongoing debate in the world of SEO, in the world of Google. We have natural links. We have natural links that have a no-follow or a UGC or a sponsored attribute. And then we have affiliate links. What’s the best way, in your opinion, your professional opinion, your expertise, your extremely professional expertise on how to link out to an affiliate link on the site to get your affiliate revenue or your percentage from it, but also not to trip anything on the Google side, Google things that you’re just putting sponsored links left and right. Should someone be using a plugin to do that? Is it a redirecting or should they just link directly utilizing their share sale link or whatever it may be?

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

I’m not going to say it depends. What I am going to do is say, this is going to rely on how advanced you want to get. If you want some severe tracking and some really cool features, you can always use something pretty like pro or an advanced tracking system, so that way you can get more stats and data for yourself. I’ve also gone through and done a redirect through, a redirect on my website, into a redirect through the affiliate links so I can actually measure it through analytics and get demographic information out of it. Because if you’re redirecting through a fake page on your site, Google Analytics is going to pull those stats for you. There’s also the chance you can just go directly to the affiliate network. The affiliate network could give you a link that redirects through one of their servers, or it could be just a direct first party link to the website with a parameter or to a unique landing page on the website.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Now, depending on what you have there, if it is an affiliate that redirects through a server, I would recommend putting sponsored all, not more follow. The reason for sponsored is you’re not putting that link there just because you’re a good person. You want to give them backlink. It’s an actual sponsored link. There is some form of hopeful compensation. You’re trying to get paid for using this affiliate link. If you were doing it because you just wanted to help your reader, or you were just trying to say, I support this website, then you would have a backlink and it would be follow, but because there is compensation it gets sponsored. If it is a, what’s it called? If it would look like a backlink, it has a parameter, I would do no follow, because… And then I would put a disclaimer on the top of the website, Google before this whole UGC sponsored and everything else attribute on links. Before that happened, they started penalizing websites for not disclosing relationships for advertising.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

So my personal opinion, and I’m probably wrong on this. The only people who would answer with some certainty would be Gary or John or Martin or something. And basically what I would do then is I would just make sure that there’s a disclaimer and disclosure on the top that says sponsored. And then I would make sure anything paid or anything where there could be compensation gets a no follow at that point. And now you’ve addressed sponsored and no follow. I don’t think putting sponsor and no follow on the same link in the code is really necessary. That’s probably overkill and it might not make sense why no follow and sponsor. You’d still want the no opener software security and tab mapping. But personally, I would just say, put a disclosure on the top and then put no follow on anything that’s compensated, whether it’s affiliate or a paid link or something like that and now you have both bases covered.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

Yeah. You can cover your butt by doing so. I like that. I like that advice. We’ll transcribe it, and we’ll include that in the wrap up for today. Anything else? So you were talking a little bit about coupon sites earlier, and we can’t get into some of the work that we do together publicly, but I know that we’ve cleaned up various different affiliate accounts in the past where we’re making sure that, hey, someone’s not on the site already. They go to the cart. Why are you serving them a box that says apply coupon code? Okay. You’re serving a box that says apply coupon code. You’re not pre-filling it with your own coupon code. Therefore, what are they going to do? They’re going to go to Google and search for brand coupon code. Brand offer code. Why? Because you told them to do it.

Loren:

So you being the e-commerce site, what’s your thought process on the world of couponing sites utilizing affiliate links, attribution that what once came from SEO or came from PPC suddenly may get reshifted over to a coupon affiliate engagement? What’s your view process on that? How does it work? What do you typically recommend that your clients do to make sure proper attribution is given et cetera, et cetera. I’d love to hear your, I know you’re very passionate about this. So here’s a couple of minutes. The floor is yours.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

It’s important to always test. There is couponing for the life cycle and the process for almost every site online that has a coupon code box at checkout. And it is a part of the system, there’s no questioning that. But how much value does just showing up for the brand plus coupon actually add, and does it close more sales? Does it increase the total sales and would the sales happen regardless if the site’s up there? So it’s up to the brand to determine. So the first thing I like to do is run tests, and that would take me about 20 minutes to go through and explain how to do that properly, which we probably don’t have time for. And so-

Loren:

I can leave you on here for 20 minutes.

Adam:

It would get really boring for people really fast. Happy to do it though.

Loren:

I’ll leave it on all night. It won’t be so boring around downtown South Street. Okay, go ahead. Sorry.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

There’s been one or two cases where I did see that total sales dropped. This is over the 18 or so years I’ve been doing this with just God knows how many hundreds of companies. Where we did actually see some sort of decrease, but in almost every case, we don’t see any actual increase or decrease from allowing coupon sites that show up for brand plus coupons inside the store. And the way that we start by looking, is this a problem or is this not? Are these sites introducing customers to us? Now, in some cases, the coupon site could be showing up for lingerie coupons, or it could be showing up for Halloween costume coupons or Christmas coupons or something like that. And if that is the case, they could be actually sending you traffic from those pages. And if they’re not showing up for your own trademark when they’re not using browser extensions, then there’s a darn good chance that coupon site is adding a ton of value to you and you want to keep them and reward them because they’re introducing.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Now, there’s also the chance that coupon site has an email list and that email list… So what you want to do in this case, is that email list might contain a lot of people who are your customers but haven’t shopped with you for two or three years. Because they’re trusting that coupon site and that coupon site’s list, if they do an email blast, you’re going to see a big lift in traffic to your website that you did not have on your own. And if the conversions come, even though they were your customers, this is a massive value add. So coupon sites can add value and can do good. The problem is it’s working with them in the right way. If the majority of your sales are just shopping cart interceptions, you probably shouldn’t be working with that coupon site until they can drive nine new transactions for every one they’re intercepting.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

That point, I personally believe there’s a ton of value there, and we should allow them, but only if you also have protection for your influencers and for your other affiliates that are top huddle. So our sheriff’s sale, for example, you can do what’s called leapfrogging, impact radius, or sorry, the impact [inaudible 00:29:28] and partner rise, for example, and ever flow. And most of the networks now, not all of them have the ability to say, “Okay, this is the lower priority one to commission. This is the higher priority. If there’s a click from the higher priority and a click from the lower priority, always give it to the higher priority.” Some of them allow you to split it 10 ways like sheriff sale does. So each network has, in each tracking platform, has their own way of handling it. But it’s all about testing and seeing is this adding value to our process and is it not?

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

If the coupon sites are just intercepting your shopping part of checkout, chances are there is no value being added. There’s always the chance there is, but at that point, you have to look at it. It is part of the cycle. It is part of the process. So do we just lower the percentage or do we just remove it until they’re ready to add value in a more substantial way? And a way you can look at that is the click to close time. If it takes 10 minutes on average for a customer to hit your website from PPC non-branded to get to checkout, and these coupon sites magically close everything in five minutes, chances are, it’s just the interception. So you would measure from shopping cart checkout to close what’s the average time? Does this match our coupon sites?

Adam:

If the conversion rates are insanely high, so if your e-commerce conversion rate is 4%, these coupon sites are at 10% and 30% chances are, they are just intercepting your checkout. And that’s when you really need to ask yourself, how much is this worth? Can we run a test? And it may turn out, they’re adding a ton of value. It may turn out they’re not adding any, but it is an individual basis and it is something that you need to hire someone who can go in with an open mind and who is not compensated in the affiliate channel to test this properly. Only match your own traffic patterns. If you do a massive sale and you’re generating your own spike and the coupon sites match identically, chances are, they’re just intercepting you. And then you should ask them, create the same spike a week before we do ours. If they can’t and then they magically climb with yours, they’re just intercepting you most of the time.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

So this is not a question of setting up some codes, working with your affiliate software, to sign up with all these coupon sites and just let them serve those codes for when someone’s in your cart. These are actually partnership opportunities that you can explore, but first run the data first and do some test.

Adam:

Exactly. I also, I mean, I found a lot of big issues with influencers companies, and they really don’t like to me very much right now because I throw that into a big loop. So a lot of influencer companies will use coupon codes as a tracking platform and a way to track their sales. Like, oh, these are our top influencers. They’re doing amazing. So the first thing I do there is I go to YouTube and I type brand plus reviews. And then I also go to the Google search because there’s a lot of Google searches that have videos in it. And sure enough, those are the influencers. And then the next place I look are those coupon sites. And I click to reveal all the coupon codes and chances are, there’s a bunch of the top influencers codes are just sitting there at the brand’s interception.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Because they track back to your influencer platform, it looks like it’s the influencer driving sales regularly. It’s just that coupon site at the very end, so now you’re paying commission. You’re also crediting your influencer channel. The reality is that came in from your own email list or it came from somewhere else, and they’re just finding, they’re getting that click from the coupon site and the affiliate channel, and they’re using an influencer code so it looks like it’s an influencer sale too. And now you’ve lost a bunch of money to influencers you shouldn’t have been paying and to the coupon site who just intercepted you through affiliate, but it was actually your email.

Loren:

Is it worth it for e-comm site owners, et cetera, D2C companies to set up their own coupon page on their site so they may have the ability to outrank some of the different coupon aggregates and things like that within the market, that way you’re keeping the attribution internal?

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Absolutely 100%. You can also pay the coupon sites. And that way, if you have a paid deal with them and they’re showing up in the second and third position, you can say, “Look, I’m going to give you X, Y, Z a month. You’re going to keep this updated with only codes we want to have there. You’re going to remove the rest, turn off new user generated content,” and you could do it that way and really take control of it and not have to worry about interfering with your affiliate channel. And now you have a value adding program. You’re going to have top funnel affiliates happier to work with you because they’re not worried about that interception at the end. And you control the codes that exist there, whether or not the coupon site just depends on them is going to be open to a media fee instead or not.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

And whether your finance team, they’re going to get pretty off when you ask about that, just from my… Yeah, it’s like, there’s a lot of different ways. It’s just going to depend on the company, how open they are to trying things, and if it’s really that important to them. A lot of times, if you do decide the coupon sites are not part of your program or worth it, once they’re removed, the links become direct links and you can watch them hit the referral channel inside, excuse me, your analytics package. Sorry about all the sneezing, the eye wiping and stuff. Allergies are kicking my butt.

Loren:

No problem. It’s that time of the year. It’s almost time to go. So I’m going to go ahead and drop where people can find you on Twitter. You have a very interesting Twitter handle @rollerblader as well as I’m going to drop the link to your site. Anything you’d like to say before we sign off?

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Well, thank you all for listening. If you want, and you can find me at adamreamer.me. It’s my blog. And thank you for having me, Loren.

Loren:

It’s really been a pleasure.

Adam:

Advanced Search Summit in Napa in June.

Loren:

I know first in-person event in about a year and a half, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to make it up there. You’re emceeing, correct?

Adam:

I am.

Loren:

I’m going to go ahead and drop a link. Nice. Again, that’s Advanced Search Summit, Napa, California. I think there’s some seats left. So go ahead and just search Google for that, anyone who’s listening or viewing at the moment. And there’s quite a lineup of speakers and expertistes. Two-day event. Lots of cool things like visiting castles and falcons and stuff like that. Mr. Reamer is emceeing. So it’s-

Adam:

My favorite people are speaking there too, so I’m so excited. We have Melanie Mitchell. We have Rebecca from Third Love. She’s just a brilliant human being. I’m so excited. And I mean, you always have Lily Ray, who’s just holy crud on knowledge, like wow. And it’s just, it’s awesome. I’m so excited to see everyone and yeah, it’s going to be good.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Loren:

Agreed, agreed. Much love out there to the search community from Search Engine Journal. Always happy to support all of the different events and outings that are going on within the industry. Adam, it’s been a pleasure. I really enjoyed talking about things that are on the outward perimeter of SEO. So it’s been great to learn about affiliate marketing from you today to learn about the world of couponing, the intersection of PR, SEO and affiliate. And I really hope you enjoy your weekend in Philly.

Adam:

Thanks. Yeah, it’s weird. It’s my first trip since over a year for the most part. But I’m fully vaccinated now. The person I’m with, my PPC person, his company’s Blue Route Marketing, they are fully vaccinated right now. So my first time in a room with someone else without a mask on too.

Loren:

Nice.

Adam:

Yeah, it’s weird.

Loren:

Grab some Claritin, you’ll be good. A little bit of vaccine, a little bit of Claritin for the allergies. You’re going to have a great weekend.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Adam:

Thanks everyone.

Loren:

Thanks. It’s been a pleasure. Before you all drop off, here’s an advertising message from our sponsor Awesomic. Hi, this is Loren Baker, founder of Search Engine Journal. And thank you again for watching today’s episode of the Search Engine Journal Show, brought to you by our sponsors, Awesomic. Are you going to launch a new Facebook campaign, but you lack the visuals? Freelance marketplaces are not the easiest option anymore now that we have Awesomic. Awesomic is an app that matches your design tasks with the best fit specialist for the job. Simple subscription and faster iterations, make your work both easy and efficient, providing consistency and saving you a lot of headache down the line. Sign up today at all. sonic.io. Again, that’s Awesomic.io. With our special promo code Design 10 and get a 10% discount off your first month. Again, that’s Awesomic.io and promo code Design 10 for 10% off your first month with Awesomic. Thanks again from the team at SEJ and our sponsor, Awesomic.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Share This :