As an affiliate marketer with at least a little bit of traffic, there is one thing you will never have any shortage of – data. Your web host, website analytics programs, and affiliate programs all provide you with a plethora of data. But among all the website statistics, what are the most useful affiliate marketing KPIs?
Here are the best website metrics in affiliate marketing to make it easy for you to stay focused on your strategy and maximize your digital assets’ revenue.
By setting KPIs (key performance indicators), a business establishes reference points for smart decisions about all current projects’ direction.
As an affiliate marketer, this means deciding which websites, social media channels, niches, affiliate networks and programs, products, keywords, and content strategy best drive your development.
Best Affiliate Marketing KPIs to Start Off
Okay, don’t laugh. Revenue as an affiliate marketing KPI is so obvious. Surely, at the end of the day, every entrepreneur wants to know how much money is coming in?
And, yes, experienced affiliate marketers will always optimize for revenue. After all, this is where the rubber hits the road, and you are being rewarded for your hard work.
However, among aspiring affiliate marketers, obsession with all kinds of metrics like clicks, traffic, email churn rate, Twitter follower growth rate, and site load speed is common.
While all these metrics have their place in website and marketing optimization, it is advisable not to be too nerdy about technicalities. What counts and determines your success is revenue.
What sets very successful affiliate marketers apart from the rest is the number of sales and a high average order value. And yes, this translates to high revenue.
2. Organic Traffic
Making money on the Internet does not work without traffic.
You can generate traffic from social media, buy traffic through multiple channels, but one source reigns supreme: organic search engine traffic.
Organic traffic trumps all else because it is free and because visitors come from search engines through specific keywords that are well represented on your website. So visitors, by definition, are looking for your content and are, as such, prequalified.
It is generally a good idea to start with specific keywords and expand from there.
A free and handy tool is the Google Search Console. Check that your website is free of any crawl errors and find out the keywords visitors use to come to your website.
Then create more content for closely related keywords to expand your thematic footprint. And find related products you can promote for your favorite content.
Clicks are an important affiliate marketing KPI. Indeed, some argue it is the most important success metric for your affiliate marketing efforts.
The number of clicks on your affiliate links indicates how much exposure you deliver to your affiliate products through promotional channels.
First off, do you deliver a meaningful number of clicks to generate any significant revenue?
And then take the number of clicks your digital assets deliver to affiliated merchants with additional metrics like the total amount of clicks on links, amount of sales/conversions, clicks per merchant, contribution per link, and you have a lot of data points finetune your website.
To get this kind of data, you will need to set up Google Analytics or use a plugin to manage and track your affiliate links like Thirsty Affiliates does for WordPress sites.
4. Conversions and Affiliate Marketing KPIs
There are at least three kinds of conversions that you should take an interest in.
First, the amount of traffic you can convert to clicks to your affiliate links is mentioned in the clicks paragraph.
Second, the number of sales you generate from the traffic you send to an affiliate. This gives you an indication of how qualified your traffic is and how well you pre-sell on your site.
And third, you also want to know how well the merchant you affiliate with converts the traffic you send to them.
This last type of conversion is known in the affiliate industry as EPC and deserves a separate paragraph.
5. EPC (Earnings per Click)
EPC results from the average Affiliate earnings per 100 clicks across all affiliates in a merchant’s program. So the EPC gives prospective affiliates an idea of how well a merchant’s product and website conversion performs at this time and thus indicates the earning potential.
An industry-standard affiliate network like ShareASale allows you to rank merchants by industry and EPC so that you can select successful merchants easily to your website.
Once you promote a merchant and have generated sales, you can also use the EPC to gauge your own marketing efficacy in relation to other affiliates.
Let’s say you are promoting a merchant’s products, and the EPC of that merchant is 40 USD. Now let’s assume you have generated 10 sales with an average value of 80 USD with the last 100 visitors you sent to that merchant from your affiliate links. So your personal EPC for that merchant would be (10*80):100=8 USD, significantly lower than the average EPC. So you can be certain that you will need to improve your ads or landing pages to send more qualified traffic to the merchant to optimize your revenues.
6. AOV (Average Order Value)
Also known as the average basket value, this metric goes beyond how many clicks and conversions you generate for your merchants.
Though a particular affiliate program may not create a large sales volume, it could still be precious to you if its AOV is high.
In fact, seasoned affiliate marketers seek high ticket items for which only a few sales can generate considerable revenue. Typically, the audience for high ticket items is smaller and more niche and more dedicated, and free-spending. In turn, this requires a higher learning curve for the affiliate to cater to this lucrative bunch of people.
Parting Words on How to Use Affiliate Marketing KPIs
Like in life, success looks different for every affiliate marketer. Depending on your current affiliate marketing skills, you may want to focus on varying success criteria.
And it’s key to approach affiliate marketing that suits your own needs. Perhaps your focus is on blogging, and you use affiliate marketing for some residual income while still exploring which niche is right for you.
However, certain affiliate marketing KPIs help determine your success and highlight needed changes to reach your goals.
And as you and the world of affiliate marketing changes, so can the KPIs you focus on. And while there is a plethora of success metrics, the ones described here will ensure you always assess what’s essential.