The Importance of Tracking and Cloaking Affiliate Links


As an affiliate marketer you should track and cloak your links. Tracking your links will show you where your getting your sales. Cloaking your links is important in Search Engine Optimization, click through rates, and in thwarting affiliate theft. It is important to understand these concepts in order to increase your income in affiliate marketing.

Let’s look at cloaking links first. If you’ve ever noticed the appearance of affiliate links, they are rather ugly. Many people are caucus of links that they’re not familiar with and might not click them, which will negatively affect your conversion rate.

Would you prefer to click a link that looks like:, or people will click through the cloaked link because it contains the keyword phrase and looks like it comes from your domain name. People subconsciously will trust it without a thought.

A number of web masters have concluded that cloaking links aids in search engine optimization because it can be optimized for keywords. Increasingly search engines like Google frown upon pages with affiliate links. As a matter of fact Craigslist, although obviously not a search engine, really dislikes them and will “ghost” a site when they suspect affiliate sales activity. Cloaked links are more search engine friendly. So conduct a test yourself and find out if your rankings improve when you cloak your links rather than just leaving them bare.

A primary reason to cloak your links is to prevent affiliate theft. This is a real problem today and it can easily be avoided. The problem arises when an unethical marketer run across your link and simply replaces your affiliate code with theirs. Affiliate marketing is a competitive business and some people will beg, barrow and even steal to make money online. The bottom line is, if you cloak your links it won’t be so obvious and you can truly prevent commission theft.

There are quite a few tools for cloaking your links available online. Those who use WordPress have access to a plugin called Simple Link Cloaker. This is an easy, free and simple way to do this. Search the web though, as there are lots of similar options out there.

Let’s take a look at sales tracking. In order to help tweak your marketing efforts, it’s important to know where your sales are coming from. Many of the affiliate networks have tracking support and makes it easier for you to monitor the specific links that were clicked on if you include tracking ID. When you create a link through ClickBank, for instance, add a tracking ID to the end of each link. Two of the other popular tracking options available are Prosper 202 (free) and Xtreme Conversions. They both give you access to a whole host of analytic tools.

As your affiliate marketing business matures, you’ll be increasingly interested in seeing where your business is coming from, and tracking all the details of your data depends on the tools you use. Some tools can track which keywords are most effective in sales generation. Other options will only track click rates and how many sales were generated. Ultimately, gathering this information will help you maximize your marketing efforts and increase you online income. If you haven’t started cloaking and tracking your links, perhaps today is the day to begin.

The Affiliate Marketing Institute has a top notchaffiliate marketing training course. Visit the site to get more information and to sign up for their 14 day trial membership for less than .00.