How a Domain Name Impacts Conversions in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is similar to cooking an amazing dish, you need a lot of different ingredients and you need to be able to mix them together correctly in order to get the best output possible.  If you skimp on an ingredient and go with a cheaper alternative the dish simply does not come out the same as any good cook will tell you.  Today I’m going to talk about an extremely important ingredient to any seasoned affiliate marketing chef… the domain name you go with and how that domain name will impact your conversion rate.

You are going to go out for dinner and there’s two restaurants that your friend’s recommended to you.  One in downtown, in a popular area where tons of people go and the streets are hoping.  The other is in a seedy area where there’s graffiti littered on the sides of building, stray cats scurry around the street, and nobody is walking around at night because it is that type of area.  Which location would you prefer to visit?  Which restaurant is going to get your business tonight?  Now apply that to your online business and your” location” is not downtown or shady town but it is your domain name.  All else being equal, would you trust giving your credit card information to a site called AutoInsurance.com or a site called JimsCheapAutoInsuranceOnline.com?  Think about it from a consumer standpoint.  The premium domain names have a trust factor granted to them by consumers before that consumer even visits the site.  If the price is the same, and the product is the same, and the websites look the same but all that is unique between two sites is the domain name consumers WILL BUY from the more trustworthy looking domain, point blank.

I inadvertently tested this theory a few years ago.  I had a site which was on a rock solid domain name for the health niche.  I was selling a product through the site and my conversion rate was at 2% of visitors turning into purchasers.  This site was doing well and from my previous posts you know I am of the opinion if you succeed doing something on one site you should duplicate it on another site and capture more traffic.  The problem with the second site is that I decided to buy an unregistered domain for $10.  I figured people liked the sales pitch and the product and I didn’t really need a great domain to sell it on.  Wrong.  My conversion rate for this second site was 0.2% or 1/10th of what my original site on the solid domain name was at. I was surprised that there was this much of a drastic difference and thought it would even out after a few weeks.  Nope.  After two months of a dismal conversion rate I purchased a better domain name in the aftermarket for four figures and started a third site.  The first and third sites were kicking some ass and site #2 plodded along like a donkey.

There are other factors that impact conversions, how your site looks is a big one, wording/sales pitch, checkout/conversion process, etc… but before people begin looking at these things they are already getting a prejudgement in their head about your business by the domain name.  Are they going to visit a real site that is on a premium location that is backed by someone who is a big timer, or are they going to visit a site run by Jim from his parent’s basement that he started a year ago on his 16th birthday.  It’s a poignant point, your domain name says a lot to the consumer about you and your business before they even get there.  What kind of message do you want to send?  If you are serious about selling something you need to suck it up and dish out that cash to get a domain name that tells people the buck stops here, this is a top notch site on a top notch location.  Your conversion rate will get the benefit of that initial up front cost, and in the end you’ll be laughing to yourself (all the way to the bank).

 

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