One of the most tedious aspects of running a website that profits from affiliate marketing is changing old or broken affiliate links.
Inevitably, a program is no longer profitable (or shuts down in 24 hours), an entire network closes its doors, or your affiliate links stop working due to a program changing their URL structure.
After your, ‘Oh, shit.’ moment (if it’s from a program shutting down), it’s time to take action.
Luckily, there are tons of tools that exist today that assist in the finding and changing of affiliate links.
Even though this article is about changing links due to an external force (ie a platform shuts down), I still recommend auditing your affiliate links once a year and this tutorial details how to do that.
My personal tool of choice is RavenTools.
Using RavenTools Site Auditor Tool to Audit Your Affiliate Links
RavenTools is my swiss army knife of SEO tools. I can’t live without it.
From Link Monitoring to Report Creation, this baby does it all (Except Rank Tracking. They (sadly) shut that down about a year ago and I now rely on SERPS.com).
But my favorite feature of all is their Site Auditor.
By using the Site Auditor tool, you can filter out massive amounts of data to find exactly what is wrong with your site and use that data to take actionable steps.
In this case, we want to fix affiliate links.
And you can learn how in two ways:
- Keep reading and learn via screenshots.
- Watch this video that explains it all
Step 1. Get the Data
Easy enough. Run the Site Auditor. Go for a hike. Come back and export your data.
Here’s how to export the right data:
Basic Overview of Site Auditor
Links Page to Export Data
Step 2. Get New Links
I personally prefer to outsource this step to my Virtual Assistant that I found via elance. Him and I have been working together for over a year now and he does great work for me, turning it around in a timely fashion.
I find it most efficient to get all the data in one place before making changes. Here’s the steps you need to take:
Adjust Your Spreadsheet Columns to Look Like This:
Have your Virtual Assistant (or you do it manually), copy A1 into their browser. Using the old destination page as a guideline, determine where in your new platform or program you should be directing your visitors.
Put that new affiliate link in D1.
Step 3. Find and Replace Links
Then you need to find where on your site this link exists. In the video, I tried using a plugin called Search and Replace to find and replace my affiliate links. For one reason or another, it didn’t work.
But using the data from B2 and a Google search enables you to find and replace the data almost as quickly.
Take B2 Data:
And search Google using a query of: site.com + “B2”
Step 4. Kick Back & Relax
Congrats! Once you’ve rinsed and repeated this as many times as needed, all your affiliate links will be changed to new destinations and you won’t be losing money from bad, underperforming or shut down affiliate programs.
Tools Mentioned in This Article
Please note, these links are affiliate links. I ONLY promote products I use, know and love on a regular basis.
If you click on one and then purchase something, I get a small commission. You don’t need to use these links, but I appreciate your support if you do.
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