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October 8, 2008

PPC Direct Linking vs Landing Pages

When it comes to traffic, there are two proven ways to get targeted and interested buyers to flood to your websites or affiliate offers. That is organic (search engines, writing articles etc) and paid traffic (Pay per click being the most effective).

While both methods are capable of bringing in huge amounts of targeted traffic that are ready to buy from you, the paid option has certain benefits over organic search engine listings.

First of all, paid traffic is able to bring in traffic in lightening fast time as opposed to organic traffic. Whilst organic traffic from the search engines might save you money over time, it’s also important to realize that time is also money!

So why do a lot of struggling marketers still shy away from paid advertising such as Google Adwords? Is it because it doesn’t work? Well, maybe it didn’t work for them personally but it sure does work for millions of other marketers. So the real question is how to make it work for YOU.

If you are promoting affiliate offers then the first thing to consider is whether you will be able to link directly to the merchant’s website using your affiliate link in the PPC ad, or if you would be better off sending your traffic to a landing page hosted on your own domain (or on a free domain elsewhere if you don’t own a domain yet).

This is a common hurdle for affiliates and there are pros and cons to each method. Let’s look at why you’d want to link directly to the merchant’s website instead of using a landing page on your own site:

1. You can quickly throw up an entire campaign and test the water with a product

2. You don’t need to worry about writing sales copy or actually creating web pages

3. You eliminate one less hurdle for the visitor to go through before making a purchase

Whilst all of these benefits seem pretty conclusive, the truth is that there is actually a greater effectiveness of using your own landing pages to pre-sell the visitor on the affiliate product that you are promoting, such as:

1. You can warm the visitor up and prepare them for the sales pitch

2. You can tell your story and make the visitor connect with you emotionally, which rockets conversions!

3. You can get the opportunity to capture an email address so that you can send out multiple offers to the same person (all for the same product if they don’t buy straight away).

Another problem with directly linking to affiliate offers is that Google Adwords will often penalize you for doing so, if other advertisers are also doing this on the same keywords that you’re bidding on. Google doesn’t want a ton of duplicate ads for a keyword, so you need to be unique.

Ultimately, tests have proven that sending people to a pre-sell landing page that either contains a personal recommendation, a review or a chance to capture people’s email addresses is likely to rocket your conversion ratios beyond belief.

And in the lucrative but competitive world of PPC advertising, where every click cuts into your profits, then a higher conversion ratio is your ultimate goal.

Google rotates ads that point to the same display URL. If you and 99 other folks are advertising a specific affiliate product, and are all using direct link, you dilute the number of times your ad will be seen. Google will only return one ad per display URL when a search is performed.

We are facing an overload of products that teach us how to get rich with affiliate marketing…so it is crucial that you pick a product that not only works but is right for YOU personally… Don’t buy any one of them before you have read my reviews at: