Affiliate marketing is considered by many to be a key ingredient in a company’s marketing strategy and it can provide your online business many benefits. The added bonus is that ads placed on affiliate sites cost nothing unless a sale is made. Most forms of advertising cost a business upfront while they hope they placed their ad in the right media, hoping for more business. With affiliate marketing, you do not pay for ad placement until you make a sale.
When you consider affiliate marketing simply a tool for free advertising, you should also realize the other benefits. Your name is getting to more people with each affiliate with which you sign up. Essentially, they are helping market your site. Since the affiliates do not make money unless they sell something advertised on their site, it is in their best interest to market their site, giving more people the chance to view your ad.
One of the hidden benefits of affiliate marketing is its effect on your search engine ranking. One of the elements search engines use to determine page rank, or being listed at all, is the number of quality links back to your site from other websites. If you confine your affiliates to only those that offer quality content consistent with the content on your site, every affiliate link posted can be interpreted by the search engine as a vote for your site’s popularity. The more quality linked affiliates you have, the more votes your site gets, increasing your page rank and subsequent direct clicks to your site.
Your site not only has more advertising at no cost unless you make a sale and can increase the number of links back to your site, improving search engine rank as well as increasing the potential for sales, this could be a bonus for site owners trying to build their online presence and sales.
Affiliate marketing, over time, can also boost your site reputation as an online presence, making it more attractive to sites willing to pay to advertise on your site. In some cases, if the potential advertiser is a quality site, you may want to work out a deal for reciprocal links which gives them advertising in exchange for placing your ad on their site. While there is no business affiliation and neither site makes money from any sale on the other, the additional link is another vote of confidence to the search engine and one more free source to get your name on the internet.
Those looking to grow their business through the efforts of affiliates can buy the software and manage their own affiliate program, or sign up with one of several affiliate marketing sites already performing this service for online businesses.