Why You Should Cloak Your Affiliate Links

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There is so much information to learn when starting out with blogging online and making money online with affiliate marketing.

One important piece that doesn’t get enough attention is, url cloaking or link cloaking. There are amazing advantages to cloaking your affiliate links and should really start implementing this strategy right away!

Table of Contents

What is Link Cloaking?

Link cloaking is simply the process of masking a link’s destination url. When a user clicks on the cloaked link they are simply redirected to the long form or “ugly” url that has your unique affiliate code and arrive at the merchant’s landing page.

A fairly simple process but highly useful. Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. Keeps your URLs clean.
  2. Easier to share.
  3. You can manage the URLs more effectively in reporting and tracking.

There is also the added benefit of not having your affiliate link stolen by malware and replaced with a different affiliate link. This can happen if a user has malware or a rogue browser plugin on their computer.

Why it is Important to Have Clean Links?

The url of an affiliate link can be very long and complex. They look awful and aren’t very inviting when you want users to click on them and go to that merchant’s website.

I don’t know about you but when I hover over a link, I like to know where I’m going to end up at. I don’t like being blindsided and would prefer to know that destination is indeed where I expect to go.

Let me show you by example with a link from GetResponse.

Normal Affiliate Link: https://www.getresponse.com/?a=NfpxFejhVR

Cloaked Link: https://topfashionreview.com/recommends/getresponse/

As you can see this example has GetResponse in the name of the affiliate link but has my affiliate ID as well. I and other users prefer that the URL is clean and simple. It is clear that the url is recommended by my website and includes the name of the product or service.

Sharing Cloaked Links

So why does it make it easier to share the link? Well for one, it doesn’t look like spam to the users eyes.

You can also easily take a glance at your list of affiliate links and see what link you want to copy and paste because the name is right there at the end of the url.

This makes it easier to share your affiliate links without looking shady and can promote your website at the same time.

Easier Affiliate Link Tracking and Reporting

This ties in with the ability to easily share your links.

You want your links to be able to easily be tracked and get measured results when they convert.

With shorter URLs most of the time, you can track this in software and keep a record of all your sales across the affiliate programs you are a part of.

Affiliate Link Cloaking Software

I’ll share some tools that can cloak links for you! I’ll add some paid and free solutions and you can find out which one you like the most.

For transparency the one I use on my websites is, ThirstyAffiliates Pro. I like the simplicity of this WordPress plugin and it does everything I need it to do. Not everything software I list will have a WordPress plugin so this can be applied to other types of websites too.

WordPress Plugin: No

Conversion Tracking: Yes

Price: $27/month

WordPress Plugin: No

Conversion Tracking: Yes

Price: $19/month

WordPress Plugin: No

Conversion Tracking: Yes

Price: $17/month

WordPress Plugin: Yes

Conversion Tracking: No

Price: $59/year

WordPress Plugin: Yes

Conversion Tracking: No

Price: $49/month

WordPress Plugin: No

Conversion Tracking: Yes

Price: $69/month

Out of all the software on this list I recommend using Pretty Links Pro or Thristy Affiliates Pro for link cloaking. As well as Voluum for overall tracking across all affiliate programs with insanely detailed tracking capabilities and reporting.

When you get serious with affiliate linking you will be using a combination of tools that do conversion tracking and making sure your links are cloaked.

Conclusion

I hope this gives you an understand of Link Cloaking and how it can be used to keep your affiliate links looking “pretty”. You will thank yourself for the extra step you take in doing this. From easier sharing and reporting to overall management when you start having double digit affiliate programs to sort through on your website.

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