How many affiliate links per post?
The underlying question here, I believe, is “how does my use of affiliate links affect a given page or post on my website?”.
Affiliate links are a great way for websites to turn traffic into income.
So long as you’re not spamming your affiliate links which can ruin the user experience and hurt your site’s rankings, you should be fine.
We’ll explore some of the best practices when it comes to affiliate link use.
How Many Affiliate Links Per Post?
Answer: There is no set number of affiliate links per post that you MUST follow.
But, use common sense.
A “Top 10” product post may be suitable for 10 or so affiliate links.
If you are reviewing a single product and there are 1500 words, then there is no need for 10 links.
2 or 3 will do and won’t make your website look ‘spammy’.
In the past I often caught myself debating “should I only use 3 or 4 links for my posts?”.
As if the use of one less link would be what makes or breaks the site.
Our best advice is to do what’s tasteful.
Affiliate links, or any adverts on your site, should not compromise the quality of your content or the experience for readers.
What’s Considered Too Many Affiliate Links?
When placing affiliate links, ask yourself this:
If I were visiting this site, would I consider this to be too many ads or affiliate links?
Does my use of links look tasteful or come off as desperate?
More importantly, will my readers trust my site enough to make a purchase?
We’ve all come across those gossip or survey websites flooded with ads and links.
They slow your phone down and take you through 50 different ridiculous pages/slides.
This is all in an attempt to “cash grab” or get the most money out of each visitor.
Most people would never make a purchase let alone trust a site like that.
It’s the same thing, your content and promotions should serve the reader first.
Sales are secondary and become a byproduct when you approach your business in such a way.
SEO & Affiliate Links
We are aware that there are articles out there with 30+ affiliate links for a single, dense article that is somehow still ranking at the top of Google.
Good for them. Maybe their site has great overall authority. Maybe they got lucky, who knows?
Best practice is to keep your affiliate links to a ‘minimum’ and do what makes sense.
If you happen to see a poorly written article in your niche ranked at the top of Google, try to outrank it.
Write a better, cleaner, lengthier, more detailed article and you should be able to outrank them in time.
Search Engine Updates
Google’s latest updates have been focused on E-A-T or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
This boils down to things we can control on our end like user experience, quality content, and user engagement.
Primarily on sites riddled with ads and/or affiliate links.
Here’s an example of what not to do within your content:
This not only comes off as desperate but can be harmful to rankings.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Links
You want to have a healthy balance of external and internal links associated with your site.
It shows that you are part of a normal web ecosystem.
Don’t shy away from links, just don’t overuse your affiliate links.
Most affiliate links don’t hold as much ‘juice’ or credibility as a “.gov”.
Just something to keep in mind when using external links.
Applying Affiliate Links: Best Practice
So we’ve touched base on using common sense when it comes to linking and how it can affect SEO, but now we’ll look at other practices when it comes to applying links to your site.
1. Publish Helpful Content
Just like we expressed before quality content is how you can build yourself as an authority and trusted source in any niche.
Your primary goal should be creating good content that serves a purpose for your readers. And not just selling stuff through your affiliate links.
Your content should match the wants or needs of your readers. When you think about it that way, how many topics can you think of that will help people in your niche?
If you can do this, along with adding relevant promotions or affiliate links tastefully, you will be able to build a long term online business.
2. Designated Page
One way of ensuring you are not using too many links per post is to lead people to a designated “products page” on your site where they can purchase through your affiliate links.
For example, a site about mountain bikes.
The designated page or post could be ‘Top 10 Mountain Bike Brakes’ where all of my affiliate links are.
I could then create a “supporting” post like How To Fix Squeaky Brakes or Best Downhill Brakes for Mountain Bikes.
These supporting articles would link to our designated page where readers can “shop” brakes.
I could do this for several categories, just be sure to make sure that your designated post and affiliate promotions is relevant to the supporting posts.
We understand this isn’t always possible but creating a CTA leading to a designated page with affiliate links is another good practice.
3. Affiliate Disclosure
Another best practice is to let readers know that your blog makes money by way of affiliate marketing and affiliate links.
Which is actually required by law.
This creates transparency between your web property and your readers and as awkward as it can seem to have at times, it’s actually a good thing.
Letting readers know that “Hey, we may make money if you decide to buy through us and that really helps us out. This comes at no extra cost to you and you can always go directly to the source if you prefer”, can build trust.
At first, putting together an affiliate disclosure used to be really awkward for me. Now I don’t worry about it too much.
You can choose to purchase through one of our links or not. The choice is yours!
The most common places affiliates put their disclosures at the beginning or end of an article containing affiliate links or in the footer or side menu. Sometimes you will see a full disclosure or a link to a disclosure page in these locations.
The important thing is to have your disclosure easy to access and in plain view on each page of your website.
If you plan on monetizing your site using affiliate links we recommend using a “tasteful” amount of links per post.
Obviously, some posts will permit a higher number of links than others. Like the “20 Best WordPress Themes”.
At the end of the day, you don’t HAVE to stick to any certain number of links per post.
Just use common sense and don’t jeopardize user experience by adding extra links or ads in hopes that it will lead to a sale.
On average, how many links do you use for a post?
How do you think this has impacted your ranking?
Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.