Tutorial: Optimize a product roundup

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Affilimate's Conversion Heatmaps, Link Performance, and Revisions tracking.

Specially, we'll apply both of these tools to a product roundup, in the format of a list post or "listicle". We're going to cover how to:

  1. Find your Heatmaps in Affilimate
  2. Set up your Heatmap
  3. Interpret the sizes, colors, and stats
  4. Test which links, images, or buttons convert best
  5. Review the results using Revisions

1. Find your heatmaps in Affilimate

Here's how to find your heatmaps for any page on your site:

  • Go to your Content Analytics
  • Click the URL of any page on your site
  • In the left column, go to Content > Heatmap

It'll look something like this inside your account:

2. Set up your heatmap

Before you start looking at your metrics, here are two important things to set up:

1. Select your timeframe - Depending on your traffic, and when you last changed the content, you may want to look at a longer timeframe to get significant data.

2. Align dates with a single revision - If you edited the post more recently than the timeframe you're looking at (for example, you're viewing "Last 30 Days" of data, but your page was "Published 7 days ago"), be sure to check the box to Align dates with a single revision.

3. Interpret the results

After you've chosen a timeframe and decided whether to align dates with the latest revision, you can begin reviewing the results:

Click any bubble on the heatmap to reveal the following details:

  • Link Name - The name of the link as it's saved in your Links.
  • Color - Red signifies we have a tracked conversion from Smart Labels for this link instance. Blue means we do not (either because the integration doesn't support smart labels, or because it hasn't converted during the selected timeframe)
  • Size - Size varies based on how many clicks that link received during the selected time frame.
  • $_.__ from _ Sales - How much net revenue this exact link has earned from however many sales. If you see $0 from a non-zero number of sales, that means all items were returned or canceled.
  • % Seen - What percentage of website visitors saw this link as a result of scrolling. 
  • Clicks - How many clicks this link received during the selected time frame.
  • CTR - Of people who saw the link while scrolling, what percentage clicked on it at least once.

Note: It's important to note that CTR in this context is based on visibility, not overall pageviews. This measurement of CTR makes it easier to see the potential of a link few people are seeing. If you want to measure the overall CTR of a link, you can divide the link's Clicks by the Served metric with the Columns dropdown.

Once you know these metrics, you can form a hypothesis and run a test on your content.

4. Test which links, images, or buttons convert best

While reviewing your heatmap, you may observe some common patterns or issues:

  • Links with high visibility, but low CTR - Consider swapping them with better-performing links early in your article
  • First link has low visibility - Consider shortening your introduction copy or making it more compelling
  • Links that convert, but low visibility - Consider placing the link higher on the page, or featuring it as your top recommendation
  • Links with high CTR, but low conversion - Consider promoting the product through a different merchant
  • Specific link format is attracting the most clicks - If you have a specific button, image, or link text format that is driving a lot of clicks, consider trying it on more content

As always, the changes you make should still result in content that flows logically, and make sense in context.

Your optimizations may also depend on whether your content is covering a product that is:

  1. Mutually exclusive - e.g. I can only order dinner from one restaurant tonight.
  2. Inclusive - e.g. I might buy twenty GoPro accessories at once.

Example: Optimizing a list of restaurant recommendations

Apart from looking at your heatmap, another way to quickly find opportunities is using the Link Performance report, and sorting your links by visibility:

This will show you immediately whether you have products, link formats, images, or copy that result in high CTR and sales, but are too far down the page for most people to reach them.

In this example:

The link to Chaparro Cocina is clearly selling most and has the highest click-through rate, but isn't seen by as many people as the first-listed choice, Sushi Nami.

So I could run the experiment to place it higher in the list of recommendations.

After making that change, it's time to test how it affects the profitability of the page in Step 5.

5. Review the results using Revisions

Finally, once you've edited your page, you'll want to keep an eye on your Revisions:

Unless you add and import new affiliate links right after making your revision, it won't show up in your list of Revisions until the following day.

From that point, you can watch and wait for the gray Clock icon to turn into this blue Check.

Ideally, your results look like this: Better CTR (click-through rate) and higher RPM (revenue per 1,000 visitors)!


Want more data-driven tips on writing high-converting product reviews? Read our post on crafting a product review template.


Have questions? Contact us at support@affilimate.com anytime.

Last Updated 4/12/2021

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