Are your affiliate links pretty?

by in Marketing Your Business

If you use affiliate links on your website, I highly suggest that you “mask” those links, not only to make your site look more professional, but it may also help your search engine rankings (i.e. McAfee puts lower ranks on websites that link to directly to qkrv.com, which is one of Commission Junction’s tracking urls).  Here are the three plugins that I personally use on my websites.

1. Pretty Link Pro – allows you to shrink, cloak, track, organize, share and test all of you links on your own domain and server. My favorite option is being able to change user-submitted content, whether they just mention a merchant name or try to slip in their own affiliate links, this software will automatically link them to MY affiliate links! This plug-in costs $97, and yes that is my affiliate link, BUT only actual users can be affiliates to validate the product. And yes, it is worth the $97. But they do offer a free version if you want test it out.

2. Eclipse Link Cloaker – this plug-in is a little less expensive priced at $57 and recommended by Sugarrae, but in my opinion, I think that Pretty Link is worth the extra $40 as I’ve tested and compared both against the other. But I do like the free version and use it religiously on my celebrity style website.

3. VigLink – by adding a small snippet of code to your site, VigLink will change straight merchant links (and brands and merchant names if you wish) into VigLink’s affiliate links. Basically you become a sub-affiliate of VigLink, and then VigLink turns around and pays you. This concept is nice for affiliates that don’t want the hassle of signing up for all the various affiliate programs. Or like myself, I use them for affiliate programs that either denied my application or maybe VigLink can offer me a higher commission payout since they are a super-affiliate for that program and I’m only small potatoes.

What program do you use to mask your affiliate links?

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About the Author - Kim Rowley

Kim Rowley has been in the affiliate marketing space since 1998 and is the founder of Key Internet Marketing, Inc. Her hobby website “Shopping Bookmarks” quickly grew into a multitude of profitable websites and niche blogs. Kim is a single mom of four children, including preemie twins, living in the middle of nowhere (aka Nebraska Cornhusker country), and therefore has the benefit of working in pajamas. Kim is the self-appointed President of Shoeaholics Anonymous, an avid Diet Dew drinker and doesn't leave home without her coupon box.

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Loretta December 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I’m testing out the free version of Pretty Links on one of my blogs and even the free level is nice to have – and easy to use.

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Peter December 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

We are presently updating all of the links in one of our larger sites and I can see where these plugins are very useful. Do you think the Search Engines will have any issues with using any of these plugins?

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Corey Freeman December 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I’ve been using the free WP plugin “Redirection” which allows you to make affiliate links like “mysite.com/go/offer” or something. As long as it’s tied to your domain it’s cool for branding and masking.

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Daniel Kirk z January 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I have started posting on tumblr, which makes it easy to pass on links without feeling the need to create an accompanying post.

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