On Friday night, I’ve met a well known affiliate marketing guy from Japan. Let’s call him MR. Affiliate. According to him, he was making more than $30,000 USD per month. He started out working for a financial firm working on foreign exchange or currency exchange related operations. In Japan, it is commonly called as FX trading.
He hosts various sites regarding FX trading covering wide range of topics around that vertical. I’ve came to learn many things from MR. Affiliate. I’ve learned that he doesn’t use web analytics, but continues to maintain great affiliate conversions.
I’m sure you want to here how he made it that far. I don’t want to write a whole lot of about every single thing, but here is a list things he mentioned that describes what he does to maintain his financial success with affiliate marketing.
- MR. Affiliate maintains 20 sites that focus on affiliate conversion (money acquisition).
- MR. Affiliate maintains 500 sites that caters specific topics to FX trading, and applies “links” back to his main sites.
- MR. Affiliate is only interested in high EPC (earning per conversion) affiliate partners. Which are couple hundreds of dollars.
- MR. Affiliate writes and updates his site everyday. Only on the main 20 sites that he focuses on.
- MR. Affiliate is partnering with Chinese content writer in China, and catering sites with language other than Japanese. I’m assuming he links some of those sites back to the main sites as well.
- 50% of MR. Affiliate’s efforts are on SEO.
- MR. Affiliate uses Google Analytics for tracking his sites, but doesn’t use it often. He uses Google Analytics to gauge what keywords people are searching to arrive to his sites.
MR. Affiliate is at a point where his EPC is not growing anymore, but maintaining its position in FX trading vertical. So he wanted to know what he could do to promote and increase his traffic to the site traffic. He was curious to learn what is new and hot in America.
Since I’m a web analytics specialist, I had to start from Google Analytics and walk him through how he could leverage the application better. Web analytics could definitely support assessing what is going on within the site, acquire knowledge in potential area for optimization, and understand source of acquisition for improving conversions.
Since his new goal is to understand and increase his user acquisitions, I showed the following features within Google Analytics:
- Setting up “User define” value on his site, and applying it on outgoing links.
- Setting up campaign tracking from his media campaign, other sites, etc.
- Since he focus on a lot on SEO, utilizing the search traffic segmentation
- Landing page analysis and dimension drill down by different metrics breakdown.
- Linking these methods and other analytics strategies to link clicks defined by “User define”.
Through these recommendations on effective usage of Google Analytics, MR. Affiliate was able to better understand:
- Setting up key tracking point for user actions. (link clicks for this case)
- Better understand effective traffic source for his affiliate business.
- Linking effective traffic source (including search and keywords) to desired user action.
- Gauge and analyze landing pages that could be optimized and further acquire conversions. (key is to look at bounce rate on key landing pages).
Other than analytics related discussion, we talked about SEO practices. Since his site his heavily dependent on SEO, he was very curious about such new and common SEO practices in USA. He heavily concentrated on his efforts on external link acquisition, but I recommended him to further look at the content and internal links.
I’ve learned that his site used “_” rather than “-”, so that was one area of SEO recommendation. Another point was to encourage usage of page title within URL. For example, instead of xyz.com/2008/09/00001-abc.html, I suggested him to use some like xyz.com/fx-article/article-title-abc-2008-09.html.
Another point of SEO practice he could focus on is the internal link exchange. Certain pages could have high “Page Rank”, and it could be utilized to cross pollinate that ranking to other pages with high conversion.
It was interesting to learn that a person could be very successful without web analytics, but it was also an eye opener for him to realize how web analytics could be used in optimizing his sites, and increase conversions (more money for him).
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