If you want to make money from your website, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular tactics you’ll find. But as your site grows, so to will the number of affiliate links that you use to earn money.
And as your site ages, some of those links will stop working. A company you’re promoting might change affiliate networks or otherwise change the structure of their URLs, a promotion might end…there are lots of reasons.
You’re still sending traffic to that website, but you’re no longer getting paid because your tracking links aren’t working. Additionally, your affiliate links might go to 404 pages, which is annoying for your users.
That situation is why you want to periodically audit your affiliate links to find links that are no longer working. If you find any broken links, you can update them to make sure you get credit for the sale, or promote a different offer if that company no longer has an affiliate program.
In this post, I’ll show you how to automatically audit all of the affiliate links on your website to find broken links.
How We Manage Affiliate Links Here at WPLift
To make it easier to manage and audit your site’s affiliate links, we’d highly recommend an affiliate link plugin. Not only will such a plugin create “pretty” cloaked links, but it will also help you keep track of every single affiliate link on your site and export those links for manipulation.
Here at WPLift, we use one called ThirstyAffiliates. Check out our full ThirstyAffiliates review.
ThirstyAffiliates Pro actually offers its own Link Health Checker feature to monitor your affiliate links for broken links, but I like the manual methods that I’m going to detail in this tutorial because they won’t add any load to your WordPress site’s server.
That is, you’ll be checking all the links using someone else’s processing power (Google’s processing power, in one case!).
While I will be referencing ThirstyAffiliates as I take you through the tutorial, the basic tactics can be used with any affiliate link management solution.
Basically, as long as you can get a list of your affiliate links, you’re set to jet and will be able to use these methods to check for dead affiliate links.
How to Audit Affiliate Links for Broken Links
The basic process is simple:
- Get a list of your affiliate links – a CSV file works great.
- Check all those links for 404 errors or other error response codes
Here’s how to do it…
Part 1: Export Affiliate Links as a CSV
To get started, you need to collect all the affiliate links that you use on your site into a single list – I’d recommend a CSV file because it makes things easier in Step 2.
One of the reasons that we like ThirstyAffiliates is that, in addition to its built-in link health checker feature, it also makes it super easy to export all your affiliate links as a CSV (note – this is only available in the Pro version).
This article was written by Colin Newcomer and originally published on Learn WordPress with WPLift.