Next, you need a landing page. I do not promote anything with a direct link to the affiliate program (which is why I had you set up a generic domain to test all your niches) you may also like to read Affiliate Programs Rules).
– You can’t always tell if your product is going to convert with a landing page and this is crucial later on.
– You’ll miss out on building a real asset; instead you’ll just have a money maker.
– Adwords will penalize you for directly linking to the affiliate if they let it slide
at all (it’s not worth it to game the system because even if you get away with it
for a while, it will eventually stop working and your income will dwindle).
– You’ll never get much free traffic from the search engines by directly linking to
the affiliate and that’s part of the system.
All in all, I think it’s bad practice to link directly to the affiliate. It will severely limit your growth.
Shall We Register a Domain For This
At the same time, we aren’t going to go out a register a domain name (Learn How to Choose a Domain Name) for this site just yet. And we’re definitely not going to spend our time building a 5, 10, 20 page site around the niche because we don’t know yet if we can make it convert.
Start With a Landing Page
All we are going to do to test it out initially is put together a landing page . Then we take the potential money keywords from the list we created and plug them into Adwords (you may also like to read Google Adwords Tips). We absolutely need a place to send the folks who click thru the ad so it is crucial that you create at least one landing page. And now that Google uses a quality score, you may need to add in some good content in order to get low bid prices.
(and you may also like to read about –how to write User Friendly Content)
At any rate, for this task, you’re are going to need an HTML editor. I personally use and recommend Dreamweaver, but it’s expensive. If you’re looking for free, I’ve heard lots of positive comments about NVU or you can also use NotePad (a default feature of Windows). It’s pronounced N-View in case you were wondering. You can probably also use a CMS like WordPress (WordPress.org vs.WordPress.com) if you’re already familiar with it.
There are several different ways to create a landing page. One popular method is to create a page that reviews a few items. Another is just to review or pre-sell one item.
Start With Popular Keywords
I recommend you to search popular keywords related to your niche using Google Keyword Planner and see what others promoting similar products are doing. This should help you decide the best method to start with.
I would then visit the sales page of the merchant and try to distill the main benefits of their product. What problems does the product solve? How does it work? Come up with compelling bullet points.
Often, I’ll make a list of the problems the product strives to solve and I’ll list those (or incorporate them into a paragraph). Keep in mind your prospect already has a conversation going on in his head. If he’s seeking the solution to a problem, then he’s likely surfing the internet upset and desperate for that solution.
Here’s an example that should help you get in the right mindset. This mindset will truly help you create killer landing pages:
Joe came home yesterday to a mess on his floor caused by none other than ‘man’s best friend’, his pooch, Max. He’s extra mad because he only left Max for about 2 hours while he went to the gym and the supermarket. He had a dinner date with his new girlfriend that evening and wanted to have everything ready before she showed up. But when he arrived back home with his groceries (30 minutes before she was to show up) he came home to a disgusting mess.
Joe lit some fragrant candles and kept the lights down low, but he thought for sure it still smelled in the apartment. Nothing was ready when his date showed up. He had to spend the first 30 minutes of their date frantically chopping carrots, lettuce, and the like.
Needless to say, Joe was pretty mad at Max the whole evening and into the next morning. First thing that morning he starts surfing the internet looking for anything that will help him better train Max.
There’s the background …
Now here’s the conversation going on in Joe’s head while he’s searching…
“That dang dog, he knows better than this. I want a quick solution for housebreaking him once and for all. The last thing I have time for is to take him to a class, plus he’s too old now. Isn’t there something to help me housebreak my dog?”
So Joe types in ‘housebreak my dog’ into Google.
He sees the following page …
What We Get Through This
1. The top listing says “7 Day Puppy Housebreaking”. Joe’s already thinking about how he has a dog, not a puppy, or he might consider clicking on this one. Although it sounds enticing, it doesn’t sound right to him. He figures whatever that site has to offer is not going to work on his 2 year old dog.
2. He keeps going down the list of results on the left. Nothing in the regular search results look all that appealing to Joe. The last one from Yahoo! Answers – “How to house break my dog. I have a Siberian Husky?” is one that catches his eye, but Max is a Lab, so he passes it by (notice there’s probably not a whole lot of difference between training a Husky and a Lab, but it just doesn’t speak to him).
3. That leaves the ads on the right. “Dog training” and “your dog training” are quickly scanned over and skipped. Then he spots another “Housebreak puppy” ad. “Too late for that”, Joe thinks to himself.
The next ad, “Secrets of Dog Training” sounds interesting, but again he just wants one problem solved right now, housebreaking, not everything!
*! Finally, Joe spies the fifth ad down, “House Break Your Dog”. This one sounds good to Joe so he reads the rest of the ad, “Free help from the experts. How to articles. Or, ask a behaviorist!” Joe clicks through, happy that he found something at all and even happier that it has the word “FREE” in it.
Here’s the page he is taken to…
This is perfect. The headline says “Tips for Retraining Adult Dogs”. This absolutely resonates with someone like Joe. Look at how nice the site looks. It’s not just a blurb of short, automatically generated copy. Someone went through a significant amount of trouble here.
Joe is not going to hit the back-button as he found exactly what he was looking for right on this page. He continues reading and likes the fact that they say ‘progress with an adult dog should be faster than with a puppy’ in the subheadline… so he reads the entire article.
It’s interesting stuff, but Joe does need a solution, so he starts looking at all the ads to the right. The one he likes is the No-P Housebreaking Aid that eliminates urine and feces odors. He orders a 16 oz bottle to try it out, then comes right back to the article, looking for more information.
This is what he finds at the bottom of the page … a way to ask someone how to solve his problem. So Joe gives that a try.
At this point, Joe feels pretty satisfied with the fact that he’s going to get an answer from an Animal Behaviorist. He’s also happy that he’s got a product coming that will help remove the smell from Max’s accident.
OK, back to reality. While the story is interesting at all, what matters to you as a marketer? Well what should matter is that you’ve got real people with real problems (at least what they consider real problems) looking for solutions on the internet.
They always have something going on in their mind. A conversation if you will. Think about how you surf the internet. You sit down with a problem in mind and use Google or your favorite search engine to find the answer. You come up with a keyword or keyphrase and sort of “rate” the results you’re presented with.
“No” to that one so you keep looking. “Yes” to that one, so you click. Then when you get to the landing page, you decide if it was a good decision. If not you click the back button, if yes, you read the page. You do this over and over until you find something that resonates with the conversation going on in your head.
This is invaluable to us marketers.
All surfers are having a conversation with themselves as they surf. They think out their problem and put together a keyphrase based on it. Like I said in the previous module, your Adwords ads should have that keyphrase right in the headline and the body copy. That part’s a no-brainer for sure.
If someone’s looking for info on housebreaking their dog, you want your ad to speak to them; it shouldn’t have the word puppy in it or training, but the words ‘housebreaking + dog’. Maybe you can title the ad, “Housebreaking Your Dog”. Someone in Joe’s position would have clicked on it.
BTW, this is a pretty competitive niche and did you notice how many ads we had to scan to find even one that had those words in it? Most advertisers just don’t get this.
OK, so you now have your prospects attention by focusing the ad to a keyword match. You get them to click on it. The next thing is to keep them on the landing page. If you used the word “free” in your ad, then you better give them some free information. And it better be useful and well organized. Otherwise they’re clicking away. So make sure you follow through.
Another point is to make sure your landing page resonates with the same conversation going on in their head. They aren’t going to change it now. So if you used ‘Housebreaking Your Dog’ as the headline in your ad, don’t use ‘How to Housebreak Your Puppy: A Six Step System’ now on the landing page. If you do, I bet most will click the back button. Make sure to stay with the same situation.
*** This does mean that if you are going to have lots of different Adwords themes, a single landing page is not going to cut it. We’ll get more into this later, but for now, you are going to have to come up with either one page that will keep the folks who click through happy or a couple of landing pages. So that means you need to focus your efforts.
If you had 12 themes now, you may want to cut out half of them and focus on the 6 that might be able to lead into just one landing page. If you only started with 6, you may need to trim that list down to 3 to start with.
Do you want to appeal to people trying to train their dog or people trying to housebreak one? It’s likely that virtually any niche you select can be broken up in this manner. Go through your themed keywords and select which ones could potentially lead to the same page. Create a landing page that makes sense for all of them.
If you decide to focus on people searching for housebreaking, then you will need to make sure you focus on that in each ad you write (we’ll cover that in a minute). Then when folks click through, you must have something like ‘How to Housebreak Your Dog or Puppy in 5 Simple Steps’ as the headline on your page. You could give them 5 simple steps and then lead them through to another link where they can get more information.
That’s really all you need to do with your landing page. Keep them interested and make them feel like the page was written just for them, give them information, and then lead them to click on your affiliate link.
After that, it’s all up to the merchant.
You may want to include photos of the books where possible or other images (in this example, a cute puppy). You can also give a blurb explaining the features of the book and include bullet points for it.
The pages I copied and pasted from the ‘housebreaking your dog’ site are actually really good, except for the fact that there are way too many links on the page. Strive for a nice, clean layout like that with a newsy feel to it and keep the links to a minimum. The major link on the page should be your affiliate link.
And I would suggest putting your affiliate link in several places on the page. Entice prospects to click on it each time.
There are a number of different ways to create a landing page, but I’ve pasted a template that works well when you’re reviewing just one product. This template is plan so it’s just to give you an idea … feel free to change it around for your needs …
Remember, this is just a guide; you can change it up depending on the product you are promoting. I do not always follow this template exactly (although I may start with this to begin with).
Now that you have your page created, you need to watch what you name it. Here are a couple of ways to do this:
Either set up a subdomain with the keyphrase in the name, or just title the page with your keyphrase. Either way will work (in my experience, the subdomains will pull higher click thrus, but remember, you are just testing for now). The important point is to make sure you put the keyphrase in the URL.
If your landing page is really short, you may also take an article from Ezinearticles.com and put it at the very bottom of your page. Set it up so that it looks nice with the rest of the site’s layout. Having this extra related content will help with your Adwords quality score.
I only suggest Ezinearticles.com as it is a way to get good content quickly. And the Adwords quality score is based on the content of your site and whether or not it relates to the keywords or keyphrase you’re bidding on. The quality score system is constantly being improved upon and really the more work you put into your landing page the better, but if you just want to test out a keyword for now, you don’t want to spend 20 hours of your time on a single landing page.
I know there’s a link in the resource box of these articles, but since you’re putting it at the very bottom of the page, not many folks are going to click on it (or even read it for that matter). They’ll have hopefully clicked on your affiliate link before they even see this article (but Google Adwords will count it in the text on your page and give you a higher score which means you pay less).
You can also put affiliate links around the article and at the bottom just in case. Just do not violate the terms of service of these articles. If you’re going to use one, you absolutely must include the link.
We’re also providing Digital Marketing Training and you can much more things like above in our training program.