Affiliate marketing is a special marketing approach based on performance, returning each affiliate according to their sales or the visitors they bring. Affiliate link is a URL that includes the ID or username of the affiliate, used by the advertiser to track all traffic sent from a specific affiliate.
However, Google doesn’t like excessive affiliate marketing and people are always objectionable for clicking through affiliate links. In these conditions, it’s necessary to cloak affiliate URLs to increase the click through rates and boost SEO for your website. In the below content, we carefully explain the reasons why you should cloak affiliate links and introduce detailed guidelines to help readers operate with ease.
Why To Hide Affiliate Links?
Affiliate links always contains a long list of strange characters, numbers and symbols, which makes it looks ugly and deceivers, such as
It isn’t intuitive and meaningful, looking like an unrelated website, which may prevent readers from clicking through an affiliate link for security issues. To make the link elegant and symbolic, we can cloak it by creating an internal link that redirects to the affiliate link, such as
# Increase Click through rate
By cloaking, the affiliate link looks elegant and meaningful and shows where you are going clearly. So people won’t doubt your link credibility and can be willing to click through it.
In addition, if you email affiliate links to subscribers, cloaked links are less likely to be triggered as spam and can successfully hand to reach subscribers. More clicks mean more money, so you can efficiently make huge money from the affiliate.
# Easy link management
For affiliate marketing, you need to add your link to tons of places so that you can get as many clicks as possible. However, if your affiliate program changed the link, you have to change it everywhere on your site.
It’s bound to be a painful practice to change more than one place, so you need to centralize management all your links. By redirecting the link, you can simply change the redirect rule in Dashboard and the affiliate links automatically changed everywhere. That’s a piece of cake.
# Reduce commission loss
Sometimes, some affiliate marketing websites try to maliciously replace your affiliate code with their own to steal your commission. At this time, hidden link is helpful for against bypasses who always chop off the affiliate ID and go straight to the page when they notice they are going to click on affiliate URL.
# Easy track
A lot of cloaking plugins comes with functionality to track your affiliate link, how often they are clicked, which pages bring traffic, etc. by this way, you can easily learn about which pages /posts drives visitors and what they like. So you can be targeted to optimize your website to improve CTR and commission.
How To Hide Affiliate Links?
It’s easy to hide affiliate links, especially on WordPress website that comes with a large number of useful plugins. In the following, we guide you to hide links with a helpful cloaking plugin.
There are a large number of clocking plugins on WordPress directory, in which Simple URLs is one of my favorites. First of all, install and activate it, then it will add a Simple URL menu tab on the left.
Then, go to Settings -> Permalinks, do not change anything but just click save persminalink settings button directly. Although nothing is changed, this step makes sure Simple URL works properly.
Navigate to Simple URLs and click Add New to start to add an affiliate link. Enter your title and redirect URL information the fields, and finally publish it. Now you have a cloaking link like http://yourdomain.com/go/affiliate-link/.
The slug /go/ is the default path settings within the plugin. It effectively nofollows your affiliate links and prevents search engines from crawling all links that contain http://www.yourdomain.com/go/. If you don’t like it, you are able to change it by editing Simple URL file. Looking for “slug” on the simple-url/plugin.php file, you can replace the word “go” with any other you like. Click “Update” at last.