If you’ve been blogging for a while, you are (hopefully) using affiliate links and you (hopefully) have these organized in some sort of easy to use list.
If you are on WordPress, there is an incredibly useful plugin called Simple URLs that does this for you.
If you aren’t already using Simple URLs, this is one switch that is worth taking the time to make!
Essentially, Simple URLs lets you store your most used links and shortens them in to easy to remember and easier to link to format. You enter the name you want to give the link ( like “Shea Butter”) and where you are redirecting it (the affiliate link) and hit publish.
The other advantage to using Simple URLs is that it tracks the number of clicks a given link gets. This is helpful in tracking how much traffic different links are getting and can also be used to compare how effective different types of copy are when split testing.
Another HUGE advantage to using a plugin like Simple URLs is how easy it is to change links. If an affiliate program changes their software (causing links to change) or if you change from one affiliate program to another for a given product, you can simply change the link in Simple URLs and it will automatically change the link anywhere you’ve used the shortened link on your site.
I learned this the hard way when one of my top affiliate programs changed its software and every link changed. I had to manually update over 100 links. Since starting to use Simple URLs, this has happened a couple of times and I only had to change one link.
Cloaking your links so they’re not long and obnoxious is another reason to use a plugin to keep track.
How to Use Simple URLs
The process for starting to use Simple URLs is easy:
- Download the Simple URLs plugin from within your WordPress site.
- Once the plugin is installed and activated, click on Simple URLs in your dashboard and then “Add New”
- Under “Enter Title Here,” write the shortened name for your link (examples: “Coconut Oil” or “FCLO” for Fermented Cod Liver Oil)
- Under “URL Information” for the “Redirect URL” enter the affiliate link you want to track.
- Every time you want to link to the specific product or page, use the shortened Simple URL instead of the full link. It will be in a format like yoursitename.com/go/coconut-oil
- These links are easier to remember, are already in a list for easy use, and are trackable!
Are you cloaking and tracking your affiliate links?