ClickBank and AdWords: A Guide for New Users
You have just signed up with ClickBank, you have just created an AdWords account, you are eager to start earning some money, but you have no experience with ClickBank and even less with AdWords. Where do you start?
Let’s start with some important facts that don’t seem to be obvious to many people in this situation.
- AdWords was not created for the sole benefit of people who want to earn money through ClickBank.
- AdWords is completely independent from ClickBank
- exist Many other advertisers (i.e. non-ClickBank users) using AdWords
- There are many advertisers from ClickBank and those from other affiliate programs.
- AdWords will only allow one advertiser to show per destination URL at a time.
- Currently, AdWords is actively trying to reduce the number of affiliate advertisers that show on a single results page.
Introduction to ClickBank
From the perspective of this article, ClickBank.com is essentially a directory of affiliate programs … a list of products and services that you can sell on behalf of someone else to earn commissions. When someone clicks on a ClickBank hyperlink, known as a “hoplink,” a cookie is placed on that user’s computer that tells ClickBank which link (or advertisement) the user clicked on to access the ClickBank page. that product. If that user later makes a purchase, the affiliate whose ClickBank ID is stored in the relevant cookie gets their ClickBank account credited with a certain amount of commission. The amount of the commission depends on the affiliate program in question.
What is a Hoplink?
A hoplink is simply a particular URL in a regular hyperlink that indicates two important things:
- The ClickBank ID of the affiliate (i.e. the person trying to make money promoting the product)
- Another ClickBank code for the product being promoted
For example, if my ClickBank ID was “abc” and the code for the product I was promoting was “zyx”, the hoplink URL would look like this:
This tells ClickBank that any commission resulting from this action should be placed in the user’s abc account and that the product being advertised has the product code zyx. Additionally, the product code also tells ClickBank which page to direct the user’s web browser to. For example, a hoplink promoting SEO Elite software takes the user’s web browser to http://www.seoelite.com/index2.htm. This is the page that, in a sense, tries to sell / promote the product to the user.
Where AdWords fits
Many people who are new to ClickBank don’t seem to realize that AdWords is in no way directly related to ClickBank and that the statistics they provide are completely disconnected. AdWords is simply a way of getting people to click on your hoplink link in the hopes that the person who clicks the button will buy whatever product is advertised. AdWords can tell you how many times your ads have been shown and how many times they have been clicked, but at this time, it cannot tell you how many ClickBank sales you have made or how much you have earned from those sales. [Note: AdWords can provide that information for people that can add tracking code into their own web pages.] To find out your sales figures, you must log into ClickBank, NOT AdWords.
Introduction to AdWords
AdWords has two “editions” available: the Beginner Version and the Standard Version. Anyone serious about advertising with AdWords should immediately sign up for the Standard Version.
A detailed description of how AdWords works is beyond the scope of this article, so I’ll quickly go through the ad creation process in a very brief way.
AdWords has the following hierarchical structure. An AdWords bill consists of one or more bells. A campaign is made up of one or more ad groups. An ad group contains one or more advertisements and one keyword set. To learn more about this structure, visit the AdWords Learning Center topic, which has a text lesson and a multimedia lesson.
If you advertise multiple ClickBank products, each product must have its own ad group A containing a set of keywords specific to that product. Also, each ad group must contain at least 2 product ads so you can test which ad works best. This process is known as split testing. It’s also important that you focus on writing effective ads, which is an art in itself.
Specific Tips for ClickBank Users
As mentioned above, AdWords doesn’t seem to be very interested in affiliate advertisers at the moment, and as a result, if your ad contains your target link as the “Target URL” (that is, the URL of the person who clicks in the ad you will be taken to), you may find that you have a minimum bid requirement of $ 5 or more to make your keywords “active for search”. There are two main ways to fix this.
First, if you have any free (or paid!) Web space, you can create a middle page between your AdWords ad that contains a hyperlink that incorporates your ClickBank hoplink link. That way, the ad’s destination URL will be to your own page and NOT your direct link. Note that you cannot use a staging page that automatically redirects user to landing hoplink page because it is against AdWords policies. Of course, if you use this method, the user will still have to click on your hyperlink, so the page must be well written to entice the user to do just that.
My Ad —> myWebPage —> (hyperlinked link to) -> ClickBank Product Page
Second (and preferred solution), if you are promoting a range of related products, you can create your own website based on the theme of those products and containing links to the products you are promoting. With this method, you simply use your ads as a means of driving traffic to your site. In essence, this is the approach to affiliate marketing that Rosalind Gardner, author of “The Super Affiliate Handbook” has taken (although I don’t know if she uses AdWords at all). An added benefit of this approach is that you don’t even need to use AdWords at all, you can simply use other search engine optimization and website promotion methods to drive visitors to your site. Of course, you can also use AdWords to complement your other marketing efforts.