Upon the fruition of a good website idea, many publishers have high expectations of soaring traffic levels and affiliate sales in a short space of time. These expectations are very often not met, and publishers, especially those new to an affiliate network, often experience a period of frustration after their fantastic website idea has become a reality, but the affiliate sales have not.

The below are what I believe to be the top three most common reasons why an affiliate site does not generate the traffic or conversions it expects, and the questions that need to be asked in to order to assess the likely success of a website proposition in the affiliate space:

The perception that an idea is all it needs

Some new publishers have great website or business ideas. An idea which is genuinely useful or innovative. This does not, however, mean that such a website will automatically generate vast swathes of traffic on day one. It also does not mean that once the site does have the traffic, it will be the kind of traffic which will generate affiliate sales.

Many publishers are individuals or small companies, that do not yet have a marketing team. But, as with any business, well executed marketing is crucial to a new website’s success. Therefore, having a well thought out, realistic website marketing strategy is essential to the success of any publisher proposition.

It may seem obvious, but in reality questions such as “what will the online marketing strategy be?” and “how are we going to get traffic to this website?” are not always asked from the outset.

Even for those sites which do generate large amounts of traffic, there can still be frustrations when it comes to entering the affiliate marketing field. It is often not understood that not all traffic is suited towards the last click, CPA, affiliate model. It is important to realise that even sites such as Wikipedia or Facebook would struggle to make affiliate sales correspondent with their vast traffic levels, due to the fact that their visitors are not at the purchasing end of the sales funnel.

A website has no value proposition over and above the retailers

When taking a physical journey somewhere, you will only increase the journey time if there is a value to this – a scenic route, a reduced cost, or some other benefit.

The same goes for a consumer’s internet journey. A user will only lengthen their journey to an end product, if there is a benefit to this – added information or a discount, for example.

One must make the careful and truthful consideration as to how exactly their website proposition is going to add benefit to a user’s journey. A good looking, classy site means nothing, if a user is questioning why they should be on an affiliate site, rather than going direct to the retailer.

No unique, quality content

Quality, unique content, together with the number of external links that a site has, is Google’s top barometer for assessing where a website should rank. Despite this, many publisher sites do not realise the importance of having unique content on all of the pages which they want to appear in search.

Website owners should ask themselves whether their web pages have good, informative web content on them. Good content is shareable, and should have a propelling effect on a site, as well as being engaging- enabling the retention of visitors.

In addition to assisting with gaining traffic, quality content will enhance conversions by giving users the information which they need to make a purchase via an affiliate link.