I’ve been running affiliate sites for over nine years, and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is about the Product Display and the magical secondary CTA button.
In 2012, when I started my first site, the only links we had were text links. They were either internal links to our posts or external affiliate links to products we recommended (like Betterment and Fundrise) so that we could earn a living.
It was a simpler time for us because we were new to blogging. We knew nothing. Humble beginnings.
It starts with displays.
Displays are beautiful product boxes. Below is an example display for a book that I read recently 👇
A great story about how to tell if your startup idea makes sense and if you're moving in the right direction. I enjoyed it and found most of the lessons new and refreshing.
Adding displays to posts made their performance skyrocket. Over the next few months, my site rocketed from a side-hustle hobby to a real business.
At first, it felt uncomfortable adding these big sales-y boxes to our posts. We spent hours creating these things and didn’t want to feel like we were selling our audience down a river. But, we followed the data, and it turns out our guts couldn’t have been more wrong.
Displays improved the conversion rate of our pages, increased the time visitors spent on our site and the number of pages they visited.
In the beginning, it felt like magic; then, we started using CrazyEgg and asking fans why.
Great product displays improve your visitor’s experience.
In the end, great sites win, and great sites are all about their visitors. One of the first things we learned when ranking in Google is that the best, most helpful, most comprehensive pages are the ones that rank. Everything we created needed to be that.
Adding a product display to your site highlights your recommendations. And these recommendations are what your visitors are looking for.
If you’re reading a Grammarly Review, simply put, you want to know if I think you should sign up. You also want to learn why we recommended Grammarly to see if it fits your needs.
If you’re reading a post on the best plugins to replace the default WordPress search, you want to be able to scan and find all of the plugins recommended quickly. And, only if you’re curious, read more about a specific recommendation.
In both of these situations, an ideal user experience would be to bring these details to the immediate attention of your visitors.
After a while, it became apparent why the display boxes improved our rankings and how visitors interacted with our site. For example, that box above is super clear, saving the reader a ton of time.
One size doesn’t fit all, and that’s why we created different Display types. But, when it comes to the display type you use, it’s all about context and, again, the user experience.
The one thing that made a difference across all display types was adding a secondary button.
Secondary buttons are great for cold traffic.
Not everyone who lands on this post is ready to buy Grammarly. Just because we mentioned the tool randomly in this post doesn’t mean there’s much intent with our visitors.
Most traffic is cold, and that’s ok. So what do you do with cold traffic? You warm it up.
Perhaps you’ve never heard about Grammarly or didn’t think you need it. I mean, you need a million tools to do anything these days, right?
Well, we believe strongly in Grammarly, so much so we took some of our time and wrote a review on it. That should already say something. Intrigued? Read it; we detail exactly how we use it in our businesses to rank. It’s honest and helpful.
And then bam, you’re persuaded by our killer review of a tool we honestly love, and you buy it. The best part? I earned a commission because I pushed you over the line sharing our honest experience with the tool.
The secondary button made the sale because it monetized your curiosity. Most of the conversions on our sites come from internal visits to our reviews than direct-from-google organic visits. How could that be?
That’s because it’s easier to turn a cold lead warm if they’re already interested in what you’re talking about and trust your opinion. But that’s only half the story.
You will develop a fan base that comes back for more as you grow.
For example, on getlasso.co, direct traffic accounts for 12% of total visits. Direct visits are usually the highest quality traffic on our sites. These people convert, and the data shows they love our secondary buttons.
Secondary buttons make the decision easier.
Sometimes you’re like: hey, you should seriously buy this book, it changed my life 👇
There couldn't be a more boring titled book that will change your life harder than this one. You're probably already applying the basic principles here. Productivity masters likely started their processes with this framework.
And you’re like, ok Andrew, fine. I’m going for it.
Oh wait, Amazon?!? I have a Walmart down the street, and they’ll deliver it in an hour. I prefer shopping there. Having only one shopping option can be exclusionary.
More importantly, it’s bad for your user experience. So much so that Google’s Product Review Update guidance says this:
Include links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.
Not only are secondary CTA buttons better for conversion, they’re also necessary for ranking.
Your legacy affiliate plugin isn’t cutting it.
In the early days of the internet, just using a display box with an Amazon link was what winning looked like.
Times have changed, and your legacy Amazon-only plugin is holding you back. You need to live in today’s market, not the one that created these plugins ~10 years ago.
It’s one of the reasons why we created Lasso.
Also, most of the highest affiliate payouts are not Amazon, so if you want to grow your earnings quickly, you need to get creative. Books and small ticket items on Amazon are not going to cut it.
One person signing up for Fundrise earns me $100. That’s one person. One book sale for Getting Things Done on Amazon earns me $0.47.
If I want to earn $5,000 a month, I either need to sell 10,638 books on Amazon every month or get just 50 people to signup for Fundrise. Guess which is easier?
Give it a try yourself. For example, add a Lasso display to a post with a second CTA button pointing to a review or second online store. I think the results will make a believer out of you.
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