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Ive been working on my own e-commerce site for approximatley a year, building, adding content, trying my hand at PPC. Its been a great learning experience, finding out what sells and what doesnt, how to target traffic, etc... And quite honestly you guys have been a GREAT resource...
Im now thinking of jumping into Affiliate Marketing, i dont really have the bandwidth to go and create another site (im still working on the current one....
So, i was thinking of doing affiliate marketing (i joined CJ yesterday) through pure PPC, ie. Drive traffic to the Merchant through either, G, MSN, Y.
What are the pitfalls of going this route and what to keep an eye out for?
That kind of info would definelty be a great help for someone like me trying it out for the first time.
A few obvious ones are:
1. Budget - you need to have cash/credit cards to test programs
2. Landing pages - If you use the same domain as someone else (ie the merhcant) only one of you are going to show up on the same KW. Creating a zillion landing pages to promote programs using your own domains is difficult.
3. tracking -you need tools to track KW performance on a large scale (automated)
those are a few challenges, i am sure others could add a few hundred more :)
"3. tracking -you need tools to track KW performance on a large scale (automated)"
With respect to tracking, how do others do it? Are there programs out there for it? Are there BKM's (Best Known Methods)
Basically, how do others do it overall? Im sure there are probably tons of people on here that do straight to merchant. Do they end up competing with the merchant on the KW's themselves? Is there an agreement struck, or do they just rely on their ability to out creative the merchants?
<?php echo $_GET['SID'];?>
Make use of CJ's SID feature which allows you to add your own code to your affiliate links which will show up in your reports for leads or sales. The php code goes after the SID= part of your affiliate link on your pages. My code is a set of letters and numbers that designate the engine, ad group, ad number, and keyword number, which I then cross reference with a spreadsheet containing all my keywords. An example code looks like:
G = Google Adwords
01 = ad group number
2 = ad number (for split testing ads)
019 = keyword number in the ad group
For each keyword in AdWords, set up a unique destination URL that has SID=yourtrackingcode at the end of it. Your tracking code should obviously be different for each keyword. Keep track of them in a spreadsheet or database. The php in your affiliate link will grab the code from the destination URL and add it to your affiliate link.
Tracking every single keyword is a waste, in my opinion. Look at the ones that are costing you the most money and make adjustments to your campaign as necessary. If you have leftover time/patience, look at the keywords that a costing you less.