What are Affiliate Links?
In case you don't know what an affiliate link here is a basic definition according to Webopedia "In affiliate programs, it's a special URL that contains the ID or username of the affiliate. This URL is used by the advertiser to track all traffic the affiliate sends to the advertiser's site as a part of the affiliate program." In plain English an affiliate link is a tracking link specific to one affiliate where the vendor for the product or service can measure the web traffic you send to their program and how many of the visitors buy their product or service. They then pay you a commission for all the sales you send their way from your affiliate url for their product.
How Does Affiliate Link Tracking Work?
When people first hear about affiliate links they wonder if they will actually get paid when a visitor purchases the product or service they are advertising. What would keep the vendor from lying and reporting that none of the traffic you sent to their program converted. They don't want to do this for a couple reasons. First, if affiliates figure out that a vendor is not paying when the traffic they send to their program purchases then affiliates will talk to each other and stop sending traffic (almost immediately). Secondly, most product creators (vendors) will NOT manage their own affiliate program. (Some vendors do this but 99% don't) Most vendors use a 3rd party platform for their affiliate program like Clickbank or Jvzoo which ensures a quality affiliate program.
Why Hide Affiliate links?
It may seem natural to ask the question Why in the world would I want to learn how To hide affiliate links? The answer is simple it is in order to make your customer feel more comfortable clicking your link because of the link structures people are used to seeing and using online. When an internet visitor goes to a website it is in this format (www.domain.com) and your affiliate link is going to be a bit odd to the average internet user because it will contain a string of letters and numbers. Let's look at a clickbank affiliate ID tracking link for an example.
In this example you would be promoting a vendors product. So you would add in your affiliate name and the vendors name as shown above and post that link on your website, social media, or email. When users click your link and purchase then you get a commission! The only problem is that the link structure is a bit ugly..... If only there was a way to make your own version of that affiliate link and then redirect that url to your affiliate slug of https:// affiliate.vendor.hop.clickbank.net.
How To Hide Affiliate Links
Hiding affiliate links is not sketchy or illegal in fact it's pretty common using something called a url redirect. The most common use of url redirection is when you try to access a page on a website that does not exist. The web server realizes that the page does not exist and redirects you to the site's 404 page. When internet companies get bought out and the two companies merge into one then the old company website will redirect to the new company. Well know that you are familiar with how url redirection works you can understand how it can help you with affiliate links. You can create a url for your website that redirects to your affiliate link.
Creating a custom solution to create url redirects for your website could take weeks assuming you know what you are doing. For those of us who are non-technical and need a WordPress plugin for this type of solution I would have to recommend Pretty Link Pro. (Yes, it's an affiliate link 🙂
Check It out here https://prestonscorner.com/pretty_link
Do you see how the url for my link is my website? Yet when you click the link it redirects to the Pretty Link Website to my affiliate id? It's only $37 for the Blogger edition which is a steal if you ask me because you could spend hours trying to come up with a custom solution or spend thousands on a programmer to develop a similar program.
With Pretty Link Pro you can track your link stats from your website, social media and emails. It's a fantastic tool that website owners should have and use to better understand their affiliate link statistics. I only practice what I preach and I love Pretty Link Pro's features to build my brand while promoting other awesome tools. Grab your copy today here.