Checkout the best WordPress Black Friday Deals

How to cloak affiliate links on your WordPress site

Advantages of cloaking affiliate links

Blogging is an art. And, if you’d like to keep it that way even when you’re monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, you might want to keep them neat. We all know that affiliate links are not standardized and each program uses its different affiliate marketing software to keep track of commissions and make payments when it hits the threshold.

Some affiliate links are short and sweet while others are long and boring. A few others are extremely long and don’t make sense to the regular reader. That’s why many people want to cloak their affiliate links so that it looks neat on their blog. Also, it helps them keep it professional (which is good for branding), track the number of hits to their affiliate links, set ‘nofollow’ attributes easily, and more.

And the most important of them all – you can update your affiliate links globally from one place and it will get updated throughout your site. You needn’t edit each article to update the links manually just in case some company decides to change its affiliate marketing platform.

How to cloak affiliate links easily on WordPress

Nowadays, you can cloak affiliate links on your WordPress site by simply installing a good affiliate link management plugin and adding a few links. Then, all you have to do is use those links whenever you want them to be linked from the content. There are several affiliate link-cloaking plugins available out there in the market. But, I prefer the Pretty Links plugin to cloak my affiliate links.

It is simply the best affiliate link-cloaking plugin. It’s easy to set up and hasn’t got options that aren’t necessary. The plugin itself is pretty much self-explanatory once you install and activate it.

Pretty Links

If you’re comfortable with just basic link management, then you should be fine with the Lite version. The Pretty Link Lite version is available for free to download and install. But, if you need advanced features automatic pretty link creation and cloaking, replacing keywords on your blog with pretty links, categorizing and tagging them, and more, then you should go with Pretty Link Pro.

The Pro version costs range from $79 to $149 depending on the plan you choose – Beginner, Marketer, or Super Affiliate. The only noticeable difference between the Beginner and other plans is the support for the number of sites it can be installed on and the support for add-ons.

You can either get the free Lite version from the WordPress plugin repository or buy the Pro version from their site.

Features

Using Pretty Links, 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., from within your WordPress Dashboard. Pretty Link is a must-have WordPress 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 forms of advertisements, etc. to see which campaign brings in the most money.

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 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 5 out of 5 stars in the WordPress.org plugin directory with more than 300,000 active installations.

Pretty Link Pro Features

The Pretty Link Lite version is enough for 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-generated qr codes, keyword and URL replacement, URL rotations, split testing, import & export links, public link creation, etc.,

Hope this article helped you in learning how to cloak and track affiliate links on your WordPress site. And don’t forget to thank me for sharing the best WordPress link cloaking plugin! 😉

Also Read: Optimize WordPress to Reduce Server Overload

Leave a Comment