If you have been doing Affiliate Marketing, you may be aware of Link Cloaking.
Generally, Affiliate programs will give you a link which is attached with your affiliate Id, ex – www.merchant.com/aff=12345.
Some merchant Marketplace like ShareASale gives a long link like – www.shareasale.com/click?=2344=?aff=2747#track=&aff=.
These links, when disguised in your domain name with a redirection to the merchant’s original link is known as Link Cloaking.
It is done for Beautification, pretty links and branded links, that’s a partial truth. Cloaking an Affiliate link makes a link prettier and easy to remember, but this procedure was made to particularly protect your links.
Over the internet, you will find many articles related to link cloaking. The Main Purposes of Affiliate link cloaking you will see are:-
- Making Links Prettier
- Ease of Management
Main Reason Behind Link Cloaking
The leading cause remains neglected. The whole purpose is to protect your commissions from theft.
It’s quite easy to remove your affiliate code from the link and add in someone else’s. This way, that person would get your commissions. Cloaking the link, you won’t disclose your affiliate ID. Therefore it can’t be changed. Injecting malicious code into your WordPress isn’t a big task for a hacker. You have to keep it secure. WordPress powers 29% of the internet and this popularity makes it the prime target for a large hoard of hackers.
More Reasons For Cloaking An Affiliate Link:-
1. Branding – When you cloak a link using a Link Cloaker plugin, or by uploading HTML/PHP landing pages, It Looks like www.yourdomain.com/go/merchant, and this has your branding (your domain) and looks more appealing.
2. Making Prettier – While some (very few) Merchants would give you beautiful and straightforward links, Many will provide you with an Ugly and Very Spammie looking links, especially Affiliate Programs Handlers like Viglink and cuelinks.
These links are not very appealing, and some people would never click on them because they look ugly and spammy.
Benefits Of Link Cloaking:-
1. Shortening And Management – Affiliate Links are the core for your earnings as an affiliate marketer, and you need to keep them managed as well. Plugins like ThirstyAffiliates Helps To keep All your Affiliated links at a single place.
Long links are often impossible to remember, and cloaked links are more comfortable to remember so that you can use them on the go.
2. Tracking – Link cloaking Plugins Also helps you to track the clicks on your links. This helps to keep a record of which links perform better.
Final Words & Tips:-
One thing which I want to share, Cloaking and Keeping your Affiliate links in one place will give you an essential benefit in future:-
Whenever you get a better or high paying merchant to promote, you can easily find the link through the plugin and just replace the URL. That’s it. You don’t have to find the articles and replace links manually.
The best thing to make your affiliate links secure and easy to manage is to use a link cloaking plugin for WordPress. I use and recommend ThirstyAffiliates for this task. Read ThirstyAffiliates Review
Link cloaking is something you should start doing as soon as possible. Make it your basic instinct. If you are not cloaking your links, eventually, you will begin to Losing your affiliate commissions.
Another important thing you need to know is FTC disclosure. When you cloak your links, you must disclose that those links are affiliate links and will make your commission.
I hope you have found something special in this article. Share this post on social media and leave a comment below with your views and opinions.