Here’s a question… “Have you heard of Link cloaking?”
If not, I’m about to open your eyes. If you are doing an affiliate marketing, making money by getting commissions for selling other peoples’ products, and most likely you are if you’re reading this blog, then you need to be cloaking your links.
Let me explain a little bit more about what link cloaking is and why you should be doing it.
Link cloaking is the process of hiding your affiliate link from the URL, making your link look more “natural” to the user. This means that the link you get to promote a product from an affiliate network, like Clickbank, JVZoo, or Warrior Plus, will NOT be the one you post in your promotions.
Technically, the link you “create” through cloaking software will redirect someone to the original, or target, link automatically. It’s called a “redirect” for newbies or those that don’t know.
Why would you want to do this? There are a number of important reasons.
Link Cloaking Prevents Online Marketers From Stealing Your Commissions.
Fortunately, the online marketing industry is full of many upstanding people. However, as in society in general, there are some that are not so honest.
The affiliate link that you get from a network usually contains the main domain of the network, for example: warriorplus.com followed by a long string of letters and numbers.
Anyone that knows html knows that string contains your affiliate account number – your unique identifier that causes the sale to be credited to you so that you get paid.
Many dishonest marketers will grab the affiliate URL, remove your affiliate account number, and replace it with their own. This in effect will cause the affiliate network to pay THEM the commissions instead of you.
Yes, that’s right. You’ll loose your commissions.
I can’t say how often this happens and I don’t know if it is prevalent today, but it has happened in the past.
Link cloaking removes the string of letters and numbers from the URL – eliminating the risk of someone stealing your commissions.
Establish Trust With Your Audience.
If you are trying to promote your brand and you want more people to know like and trust you, cloaking your link is a good idea because, by using the right software (and they all don’t do this), your cloaked link will contain YOUR DOMAIN as the first part of the URL.
Think about how many times you are told NOT to click on links that look suspicious, or unknown links in emails for fear of viruses, or links that you don’t recognize on web pages. Link cloaking eliminates this problem. Your link will be recognized by your customers because it starts with YOUR domain.
The fact is, more people will click on your link if you change it to something they recognize and can trust. More clicks equals more conversions and sales.
Be aware, there are some link cloakers that are cloud based and do NOT put your domain name in the URL. The jury is out on whether that’s a good idea. I know for me, I always like to have my domain in the URL.
Your Customers Know Where They Are Going When They Click
Again, it’s a trust issue.
It’s no secret that many online marketers will say one thing in their ad copy to get people to click, then when they click, they are redirected to some site that doesn’t match the customers’ expectations. Not a good thing at all!
When you create a cloaked link that includes language that relates to what the customer expects, it’s great for trust.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you run an ad for a product showing people how to get more Youtube traffic. Which link do you think will get more clicks…
example #1 http://jvz9.com/a/20394 (not a valid link)
example #2 http://imwiththetonester.com/youtubetraffic.html (not a valid link)
The obvious answer is #2 above. This link looks very friendly. It starts with my domain, and ends with the term “youtubetraffic” exactly what the user expects to find out after reading the ad on how to get more traffic from Youtube. It’s a beautiful thing!
This is what you can do with link cloaking – take the link the affiliate network gives you, as in example #1, and turn it into the link in example #2 above.
This is the beauty of link cloaking. However, not all cloakers are created equal.
There are many on the market that will not let you choose the URL. They create their own random URL which many times, is no better than the original one because it’s still very random and is not recognized by customers.
That’s why I like the ad tracking program AdTrackzGold.
This software does exactly what I explained above – PLUS – it is an excellent ad tracker.
Adtrackz Gold tracks the number of clicks on your link, plus the number of sales (it only works for your own products, not affiliate products), and even your profit per campaign.
Plus, unlike other cloakers, Adtrackz Gold is a one time fee – no monthly recurring fees – always a plus.
I’d highly recommend using Adtrackz Gold as one of your must-use tools in your online marketing business. I’ve used it for several years and it’s definitely worth it!
Plus, it’s incredibly easy to create links and cloak them.
To see my training on how to use it, which is right on this blog, CLICK HERE.
To learn more about the software , CLICK HERE.
Watch my video on this subject, direct from Youtube: