I noticed this question a few times this month on STM forums.

Two main problems people had were that:

  • their CTR was way too high = more people were clicking through the landing page than visiting the landing page
  • their CTR was very low = very few people were clicking through the landing page

I’m going to analyze both of these extremes and suggest solutions that might fix these problems.

MY CTR is too high!

Usually a good problem to have.

Most of the time, affiliates will only complain when their CTR is too low, not high.

But what if it’s high, I mean, like really high (above 100%+)?

Wait, how can someone have more than 100% CTR?

If 1,000 people visit my landing page, it’s not possible for 1,500 to click through!

Well, it normally doesn’t make sense, but let me illustrate how it could happen and how to fix that:

1. Scripts

If you’ve ever done mobile, you’ve probably heard about something like the “back button script”.

Yeah, this small beast can control your Android phone’s back button.

Sometimes it’s set up to bring you directly to the offer.

What it does then is that once you tap your back button, you are redirected to the offer.

Then, when you tap the back button again, you go back to your landing page.

And what happens after that?

Well…

1000% CTR!

FIX: Remove or edit the script so that it doesn’t send you directly to the offer (unless you want it to).

2. Bots

Ad fraud is a huge issue these days and it will probably just continue to grow.

Bot traffic is traffic from a computer program/script that tries to behave like a human.

The art of optimization in performance marketing is cutting bad placements (mostly from bots).

Sometimes these bots try to behave too much like humans and click on EVERYTHING.

Even several more times, just to be sure.

So your CTR naturally (in this case, artificially) goes up.

FIX: Open Report by Placements in your tracker and block the placements with artificially high CTRs and no conversions. Make sure the data is significant and that the CTR is not high because of the script mentioned above.

My CTR is too low!

Generally, this is a more common problem for new affiliates who are overly concerned about their CTR.

But they’re on the right track.

If nobody clicks through your landing page, what is its purpose in the first place?

Good point.

There may be a problem in the funnel somewhere.

1. Missing or incorrect tracking link

The problem is that you haven’t placed your tracking link into your landing page at all (0% CTR) or that it’s missing from some of the links.

FIX: This one is easy.

Make sure your tracking link is attached to every link on your landing page.

Especially if you ripped it from a spy tool (you sneaky bastard!).

You may forget to replace all the occurrences of the old link.

Don’t forget to examine external files (especially .js format) as well.

2. Someone is stealing your traffic

So you really ripped off someone else’s landing page, huh?

Well, he was clever enough to steal your traffic back using a traffic hijacker.

FIX: Read your landing page code line by line and remove any script that you don’t understand. Sometimes it’s encoded and will be easy to spot.

As mentioned before, don’t forget to look at external files as well.

3. Your landing page loads slowly

Ever opened a site from a Google search result and it was loading for ages?

I bet you just hit the back button and clicked on the next result.

No wonder they’re now trying to make site speed one of their ranking factors.

The same applies to your landing pages.

If someone hits it, your tracker may count it as a visit, but a very small percentage of people will click through it.

Slow site speed can even create another common problem, click loss.

But that’s a topic for a separate blog post.

FIX: Make sure your site loads quickly.

Host it on a dedicated server, VPS, or CDN instead of using slow shared hosting.

Make sure you compress your images and minify your code.

I’ll have more on this in a separate blog post.

PageSpeed from Google should give you more than enough hints on how to optimize your landing page’s speed.

What is the best CTR to have?

This is a favorite question of new affiliates that I call CTR chasers.

The problem is that there is no correct answer, as there are too many variables in play.

Every geo and niche/vertical will give you different numbers.

The use of scripts is another factor that has a massive influence on it.

Then there’s the flow of the landing page itself.

Is it just a simple page with one big CTA to click?

Or are there a couple of questions that your visitor must answer before he even sees your CTA?

Instead of CTR, focus on 1 simple metric which works all the time:

PROFIT!

If I have a reasonable profit margin with whatever CTR I’ve got, something’s working right.

Then I can make even more profit by fine-tuning my landing page or split testing it with others.

KISSAP = Keep it simple, stupid, and profitable (Just made this up!).

Can you think of any other CTR-related problems and their solutions?

Let me know in the comments!

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