Affiliate Recruitment

Affiliate Recruitment by Search Sciences

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Affiliate Recruitment by Search Sciences

Affiliate Recruitment

  • Affiliate / business partner identification & recruitment
  • Stand-alone or building link equity as part of a wider linking campaign
  • On-demand code provision to partners
  • Recruitment tracking and monitoring
  • 24/7 visibility via the LMS client portal
  • All communication "as the client"
"We were unsure as to the best way in which to implement a partner programme. Following Search Sciences' advice and using their linking and affiliate recruitment solutions, we are now merrily attracting both new affiliates and link partners at the same time -- a double benefit. The combination of the two approaches results in partners that are motivated to prominently feature our links and properties."
Managing Director, Property

Affiliate Recruitment
Many online businesses are now turning to affiliate / partner channels as a means by which to grow revenues. The presence of traditional affiliate publishers is, to some degree, being eroded in the natural search results as the search engines seek to remove the 'middle man' and give greater prominence to direct service and product providers. Many traditional affiliates have relied upon paid (PPC) search in driving traffic but this channel is also now under pressure as merchants and service providers restrict bidding on brands and the search engines simultaneously impose ever tougher landing page quality controls.

Many traditional affiliate publishers are thus unable to maintain traffic levels. Merchants and service providers are therefore recognising the need to widen the net in seeking out relevant "long tail" partner sites that have string and sustainable search engine rankings for relevant terms but which have not historically acted as affiliates. Identifying and recruiting such partners is a non-trivial task. They need to be identified based upon rankings for relevant terms; site quality needs to be assessed and the recruitment process itself needs to be handled professionally.

Our approach and offerings
Affiliate recruitment is, to a large extent, a logical progression from our existing linking campaign offerings. We already had mature, proven technology designed to identify and approach potential link partners based upon their rankings for a particular search term. We have now added a set of services technologies to specifically support partner recruitment. Much of the material presented in our section on linking campaigns applies equally in identifying, targeting and assessing partner quality:-
  • Driven by search term relevance
  • Avoidance of spam sites
  • All communication "as the client" to maximise conversion rates
  • All communications highly configurable in getting the right message across
  • Human monitoring of responses and feedback to fine tune communications
  • 24/7 visibility of activities and conversion rates
  • Potential creation of valuable link equity (depending on affiliate programme type - see below)
  • Partners motivated to place links in prominent positions
How does it work?
The following diagram shows an example of our affiliate recruitment solution in action. Models can vary, particularly the client components as these will be determined by your affiliate programme -- more on this later.

Affiliate Recruitment Model
Fig 1. - Affiliate Recruitment - Sample Model

1) Solicit. Our targeting technologies result in the delivery of customised and personalised mails to potential affiliate partners.

2) View. Some of these may simply take a look at the client`s affiliate signup / sales page - we will record all such viewings, remotely updating our central systems.

3) Signup. Of these partners, a percentage will sign up and join the client's affiliate programme. This may, optionally, include a number of sites: many partners will have more than one relevant site. All sign-ups are also recorded, providing a view as to overall conversion rates.

4) Get code. The partner will then need the code for the link to the client site. In some cases this will include a tracking code, in others it will not. Much of this depends upon the nature of the client`s affiliate programme (more on this below). Search Sciences can remotely provide code selection based upon category without being visible in the process.

Remote tracking occurs throughout the process, with the client site components of our affiliate recruitment system recording and updating the status of all solicited partners.

Creating or adapting an affiliate programme
Some clients will have existing affiliate programmes, perhaps through one of the major networks or as a direct programme. Others will not. In all cases, we can work with you, as needed to:-
  • Design a programme including its tracking
  • Write the sales text to ensure maximum conversion rates / sign-ups
  • Augment an existing programme
Affiliate programmes and tracking codes
Many of today's affiliate programmes, particularly those that are run by the major affiliate networks, require the presence of tracking codes in the landing page URLs. There are a number of issues with this approach:-
  • Duplicate content penalties - although some of the search engines can recognise tracking codes and ignore them when indexing a site, some of them still struggle with this. Since the affiliate links will be indexed by the search engines, they are now "seeing" multiple URLs, all pointing to what is otherwise an identical page.
  • No link ranking - although, again, the search engines will index affiliate links, in most cases they are likely to be recognised as such and will not be valued as inbound links to the client`s site.
  • Affiliate link penalties - some partners may even be concerned that the presence of affiliate links on their site may be harmful to their long term rankings. Frankly, given the pressure that mainstream affiliate publishers are now seeing, it can be hard to argue against this.
All of the above strongly suggests that, where possible (and we recognise that this is not always an option), tracking codes should be replaced with on-site tracking. Where we design a programme, we recommend that clients track using the referring domain which involves very simple on-page code and cookie setting. We can happily supply this as part of the implementation. In some cases, it is also possible to 'wrap' existing affiliate tracking URLs, removing visible tracking whilst maintaining it internally.

An affiliate programme and recruitment drive implemented this way can thus:-
  • Drive new partners ranked for target search terms
  • Motivate partners to give prominence to the client`s links as a result of affiliate commissions
  • Build solid link equity with natural links being counted as relevant inbound links to the client`s site
  • Maximise new partner conversions with partners being more comfortable with 'natural' (non-affiliate tracked) links - if this is an option
Please contact us if you would like further information on any of the solutions described above.

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