How to Cloak Affiliate Links in WordPress

How to Cloak Affiliate Links in WordPress using Pretty Link

Why Cloak Affiliate Links?

So you are one among the guys who want to use pretty links instead of the ugly-looking and clunky affiliate links in your posts or reviews. Well, who doesn’t want to cloak their affiliate links nowadays. Many people want to cloak their affiliate links so that it looks neat on their reviews & posts, to track the number of hits their affiliate links are getting or even to hide the fact that they using affiliate links to monetize their site.

The Solution

Cloaking affiliate links in WordPress nowadays is literally as easy as installing a plugin. There are several affiliate link cloaking plugins available on the market of which I prefer the Pretty Link Lite plugin to cloak my affiliate links.

Tell me more

Pretty Link plugin comes in two versions – the Lite version and the Pro version. The Pretty Link Lite version is available for free to download and install while the Pretty Link Pro version costs either $47 or $97 depending upon which edition you prefer – the Blogger Edition or Developer Edition. The only difference between the Blogger and Developer edition is the number of sites on which it can be used. Blogger edition allows you to use it on one site whereas the Developer edition allows you to install it on an unlimited number of websites (including client sites!).

You can either get the free Lite version from here or buy the Pro version from their site. The Lite  version is also available in the WordPress.org plugin repository. (link)

Advantages

Using the Pretty Link plugin you can shorten the affiliate links using your own domain name instead of other services like bit.ly or goo.gl which raises suspicions among the readers. Also, you will be able to track the number of hits on your affiliate links, including stats such as where the hit came from, the browser & operating system used to access the link, etc., all from within your Dashboard. Pretty Link is a must have plugin for beginners as well as advanced bloggers and affiliate marketers who want to clean up their affiliate links, track clicks from various sources such as emails, social media, blog posts, reviews, other form of advertisements, etc.

Features

The Pretty Link plugin allows you to create 301 and 307 redirects to any destination URL. More importantly, it allows you to use a custom slug for the pretty link (like yoursite.com/go/bluehost or yoursite.com/bluehost). By default it will track the number of hits and unique hits for your links. Moreover, you can download the tracking details in CSV format. Not to forget its intuitive JavaScript/AJAX Admin UI, it also allows you to pass custom parameters and still have full tracking ability. Pretty Link makes use of a cookie based system for tracking visitor activity across hits. Organizing links into groups goes hassle free with its Groups feature. The best feature I would say is the option to nofollow/noindex the cloaked links so that they don’t get indexed in Google and also will also preserve your site’s link juice. In case you do not want to track the stats for your cloaked links, you can just turn it off in the Admin tab.

At the time of writing this article, the Lite version of this plugin has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars in the WordPress.org plugin directory.

Pretty Link Pro Features

The Pretty Link Lite version is enough for beginners like people who have just started blogging and jumped into affiliate marketing. If you are a pro marketer, then you must surely go for the Pro edition of Pretty Link.

The Pro edition offers added features like JavaScript redirection, Meta Refresh redirection, Tracking Pixel redirection, alternate base URL, conversion reports, delayed redirection, Google Analytics tracking, double redirection, auto generate QR codes, keyword and URL replacement, URL rotations, split testing, import & export links, public link creation, etc.,

Hope this posts helps you in cloaking and tracking your affiliate links. Happy marketing! 😀

Also Read: Optimize WordPress to Reduce Server Overload

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