When you’re first starting out in affiliate marketing, you may have heard the term “direct linking” thrown around. But what does that actually mean? And is it a good or bad thing?
In short, direct linking is when an affiliate promotes a merchant’s product by posting a link to the product page or landing page from an external source, such as a blog post, social media post, or email. When a visitor clicks that link and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission.
There are pros and cons to direct linking.
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Advantages of Direct Linking
Direct linking requires little or no work on the affiliate’s part. Direct linking is an easy way to promote products as affiliates do not need to have a website or landing page.
Meanwhile, it can be very effective in driving traffic to merchant websites if you have many followers in social media. You publish the direct link in your social media, and the click number would be high.
Disadvantages of Direct Linking
There are a number of disadvantages to having affiliate links direct to merchant sites. Direct linking can be seen as generic, bland, and even spammy by search engines because it does not provide any context or relevance for the user. Therefore, it cannot be indexed by Google, so no ranking result.
On the other hand, direct linking can also be a cause for concern. For one thing, some affiliates are hesitant to use it because of the chance their links will get removed from the merchant’s site if they violate the terms of service. If your affiliate link is taken down, you won’t be earning any commissions.
There’s also controversy about which types of links are allowed. For example, some merchants only allow direct linking to their product pages but not shopping cart pages. Others may have different rules about what types of sites are allowed to link directly to them. Directing traffic away from your site lowers the chance of a sale happening there.
Direct Linking vs Landing Page
While direct linking is a quick and easy way to get your product in front of potential customers, it can also be less effective than using a landing page.
A landing page is a standalone page on your website that’s specifically designed to promote one specific product or offer. It typically includes some information about the product or offer, as well as certain promotional elements, like a call-to-action (like clicking on a button to purchase the product) or links that allow visitors to leave the page and browse other sections of your website.
Landing pages are typically more effective than direct linking because they’re specifically designed for one thing, which means you can really highlight the specific product or offer you want to promote. Creating a landing page also allows you to include other promotional elements, like coupons or discounts that encourage visitors to make a purchase.
Both direct linking and using landing pages have their advantages and disadvantages. While direct linking may get more traffic in the short-term, it could be worth investing time into creating a landing page in order to get more and better qualified traffic over the long-term.
Another Meaning of Direct Linking
Direct linking can also mean that you promote the product with the merchant’s link, for example, Amazon affiliate. According to Amazon policy, you should use Amazon’s link directly, while for some affiliate programs, you can use link cloaking to reduce the link length or make it clean link like your own page. For example: youdomain.com /go/affiliate page