How to get your website working for your business

Investing time, money, and effort into making your website stand out from the competition is a must in today’s corporate climate.

One benefit to putting in all of this hard work is that you can actually get some of that money back that you initially invested because of all of that effort.

There are 101 ways to monetise a website, each of which have their strengths and weaknesses and take a certain amount of time and effort. 

>See also: Gartner’s top 10 strategic technologies for 2016

It is best to find a couple of methods that you feel comfortable with and are reliable and start from there. As long as your web traffic doesn’t drop, there will always be new opportunities to try out as you go. Here are the top three website monetisation methods.

1. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing comes in the form of writing product reviews, placing affiliate links in posts, accepting paid posts to your site, etc. Ultimately, you are promoting another business or product. Although this approach can pay quite well, it needs to be done with caution. You should never accept paid postings for content that is not relevant to your site or agree to do product reviews that you don’t support.

Since Google ranks relevance very high on the SERP ranking criteria and your website viewers won’t appreciate being sold garbage that you yourself wouldn’t use, turning your site into a meaningless pool of product reviews is a great way to see your website fail very quickly. And once your ranking drops, so too will all of the affiliate partnership offers. Just be smart about it and only promote what you yourself believe in.

2. Cost per action lead generation

Similar to affiliate marketing is lead generation through cost per action. You generate leads for other companies by promoting them or a product, which is often done through a good email marketing campaign. You then get paid a commission for referring this person to the company, but they need to fulfill an action (often registration or sale). Normally there is a code registered to the campaign – usually attached to the URL that you embed in the email you send out – that can differentiate how the new customers have come to the paying partner’s site. As customers respond to your email marketing campaign and you do indeed generate some new customers for that company, then you get rewarded for your efforts.

Of course this requires some time and preparation for how you write the email content in a way that doesn’t feel spammy, and you will need good quality email marketing software to make the process easy and efficient – is a great example of software that can make emails relevant, timely, and interesting to your readers. And here is the golden rule again, you should only recommend products, services, and companies that you yourself support and have had good experiences with. You have built up the trust of your email list subscribers, so make sure not to ruin it by executing a bad email marketing campaign.

>See also: How contextualising data will help monetise the Internet of Things

3. PPC advertising and banner ad space

These are the minimalist approaches, but appealing because they are passive agreements for your site to be used and require little effort on your part. However, the case usually is that low effort is often low income as well. Nevertheless, every bit counts, so having advertisement streams implemented on your site, as long as your site is well optimised and sees enough traffic, will bring in some revenue. Selling banner ad space is as simple as allowing advertisements to be shown for a set price in a bar somewhere on your site. The success of this method and what you can earn depends on your website traffic significantly; increase traffic to your website and you increase your earning potential.

One of the risks is that these side advertisements pop up based on that browser’s previous search history, and often they don’t have much to do with your site. Agreeing to pay per click advertising actually takes this a step further. You implement a code on your site that displays ads that do in fact bear some relevance to your site. Then when someone clicks on one of these related advertisements, the advertising partner can see that the traffic came through your website, tracked also by the code you implemented, and they pay you for receiving that traffic. Sometimes it is mere pennies; however, with enough traffic, every penny adds up.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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