The release of Google's AdSense program was an important turning point in the affiliate marketing industry. Affiliates no longer had to choose which ads were relevant to their audience and, more importantly, which were the best performing. Automating this important process led to a very serious problem for performance-based marketing, however - information disorganization.
Essentially, affiliate marketers got lazy (not all, but many). Armed with "big data" and greater sophistication of ad-serving technologies, advertisers and networks still rely on affiliates for an important element in maximizing the profitability of ad/media inventory - information about their content.
Advertisers, despite what the many brand pundits may tell you, care far more for return on advertising spend than they do for "awareness", "reach" or "mindshare." In many instances, as long as the return is logical, media buyers will keep buying. As such, it is important for affiliates to start thinking of their enterprise from the advertiser's perspective. And what advertisers ultimately want is a relevant audience.
To keep the dollars rolling in, affiliates need to provide as much information as possible about their Web and mobile properties to advertisers. For example, let's say we operate a website on allergies. Wouldn't it be useful, from the perspective of an advertiser, to be able and target pages on the topic of hay fever exclusively? It most certainly would as an advertiser of "hay fever relief", as the alternative would be to advertise run of site which will likely reduce the possible return on advertising spend.
Many affiliates fail because they simply don't understand the importance of segmenting a property in this way. The key to getting people to bid the highest is to provide more areas/segments on which to advertise. When more advertisers can find a targeted page, more bids will be placed by those advertisers and that means higher prices for the inventory and more revenue for the affiliate. So how can you implement more sophisticated information organization to drive greater profits?
STEP 1: EXPLORE Start by exploring Google's Placement Tool, an Adwords account feature that enables advertisers to find websites and other placement where they want their ad to appear. By using the tool, advertisers identify channels and sites (as well as individual site sections) they may want their ad to appear on. Publishers can use it, too - particularly in a competitive research phase.
STEP 2: SEGMENT Once you understand how competitors are presenting their sites and channels on Google's Placement tool, it's time to start segmenting your site. Remember that your site may already be targeted (say, for example, that you run a forum with many different topic areas). Indicating to prospective advertisers that your site is available for managed placements means that there will be some setting up of individual channels, but the rewards are obvious.
STEP 3: ANALYZE In a perfect world, you'll start seeing greater commissions in no time if you provide advertisers with information which will help them with their targeting. It's also important to analyze performance on an ongoing basis and one of the best ways to do that is by setting up custom Google Analytics accounts which connect directly to your publisher account so that affiliates can see the impact of these changes specifically - and perhaps where further segmentation might benefit your monetization efforts.
If you want to maximize your income from CPC advertising programs as an affiliate, optimize how content can be segmented and targeted.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.