I saw the following question in one of the internet marketing forums that I moderate (Coaching With Josh) today.  It was interesting, so I thought I would pass it along to you.

Question:  Should I mix affiliate links on my AdSense site.

Of course, the answer is like most things in Internet Marketing — it depends on stuff, and you need to test.

But that is a boring answer, so I thought I would take a crack at the extreme cases — AdSense vesus Links.

As you may know, most PPC programs teach that you should look for affiliate sites promoting the product that you want to promote and find the sites that are running AdSense.  They want you to put your AdWords ads on those sites.

So, I have always thought that you should not mix the two.  Because obviously these people believe that on average traffic that leaks off of a site through AdSense is worth more than what you have to pay for it.  And these people have big boats and fast cars, so they must be right (hey, I saw the pictures on the sales page for the PPC course).

Having said that, I do have sites where I have mixed them — but they are crummy sites anyway, so it is hard for me to tell.

As my buddy “Coach Josh” says, you need to test.

Here is the way to think about it. Let's say you have 1000 visitors to a site in a month, and that your AdSense CTR is 10%. That means that you are getting 100 clicks per month. Let's say the clicks are worth $0.50. That is $50 per month.  Sounds cool.

Now, lets say that your copy is good and lest say that converting that same site to an affiliate banner/links gets you the same 10% CTR on your affilaite links and banners. You are now sending 100 visitors to the merchant site.

Now the question is, what is the conversion rate at the merchant site and what is the commission. Just to keep things simple, lets say that 5% of the people that reach the merchant site buy. This rate could be way high, and will depend on the quality your copy and their copy. If the commission per sale is at least $10 in this simple example — it is a tie.  Of the 100 people that reach the site, only 5 will buy and you will make $50.

So, the bottom line is know your numbers and test.

But here is something to think about. In an affiliate site, you want visitors to trust you and then click through. You are preselling. In AdSense sites, you are usually wanting a high bounce rate, and many people argue that ugly sites do better.

So, before you switch monetization methods, you might want to think about the look and feel of your site.

Just some thoughts.

Best regards,

Mark

PS – check out my free video about making money with AdSense for more info about that topic.

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