To Direct Link or Not To Direct Link?

by Josh Todd on April 21, 2011

It’s one of the oldest questions in Affiliate Marketing: to direct link or not to direct link? Google made their stance on the issue pretty clear when they all but banned direct linking on AdWords. Now they don’t even like so-called “bridge pages” which lead to affiliate offers with little content on them.

But still, traffic sources such as Facebook and PPV still allow for direct linking. I get asked almost every single day whether you should direct link a campaign or create a landing page for it. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer. The truth is (and has always been) that some campaigns work better direct linked and some work better with landing pages. Neither method works better all of the time. You need to test it out.

That being said, a strategy that I have seen work well for affiliates is to direct link a campaign to quickly evaluate whether or not it has potential before they go to the trouble of building out a landing page. Especially if it is in a brand new niche that you have not promoted before, where you don’t have any creatives or landers sitting around ready to be used.

It’s easy to throw together a direct link campaign on PPV or Facebook. Run some traffic to it, and if you are getting enough conversions to break even, or even just under, it’s a good sign that the offer has some life to it. That’s when you can buckle down and put together a landing page to bring the ROI into the black and start making money.


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