The sales page ranked well for many relevant keywords and visitor numbers have been steadily growing over the past 6 months or so.
The conversion rate needs improvement (I'm working on it!), especially for mobile.
I started out using Clickbank, thinking that affiliates would be the main seller of my product and would have access to audiences and lists that I don't have. That hasn't happened. I have around 100 affiliates now, and none of them has sold many (~5-10% of overall sales).
When a new affiliate joins, they usually test their hoplink, and I can see where the link came from in my Analytics software. So far, I haven't seen any 'quality' affiliates join, i.e. affiliates who add some value to visitors. In fact most seem to be spam websites that simply plug the product name and hop link into a standard template, pretending to be a review site--hopefully buyers see through the sites, since the grammar is usually appalling and the sentence don't make any sense. People occasionally visit my site from one of these, clearly looking for genuine reviews, and the bogus review site gets a commission. As I said, not a huge number of sales, but no value for the customer and a loss of 65% commission to me.
The really annoying thing is that when I have a few affiliate sales, gravity goes up, and my product attracts more of these spam affiliates.
The worst part is that now I seem to have at least one affiliate possibly using black hat SEO techniques. I don't know how they do it, but somehow they manage to hijack my domain name in the SERPs, so that for all of my keywords their hoplink appears in the results, with my meta details. My url is gone, and link goes directly to my sales page.
This has happened twice so far, i.e. with two different affiliates. As you can imagine, when someone using Google sees a hoplink in the search results, they are much less likely to click on it. My visitor numbers plummeted. And any sales that did come through would be credited to this affiliate who has done nothing (nothing legal anyway). I'm not positive that black hat has been used since no one (including Google Webmaster forums) seems to know how this happens. I can't find a site on the web using an iFrame with my content. And it is Google policy not to list aff links in the SERPs. Yet this has happened (and this is the second time in 6 months).
One reason I suspect black hat is the affiliate name--iknowseo!
I asked Clickbank to remove the affiliate from my account and they have done so. But the problem isn't solved. Until Google recrawls, the hoplink is still there in the SERPs. It's been 12 days since they last crawled my page and who knows how long I will have to wait. I have resubmitted through Google Analytics, but that hasn't sped up the process.
So, since I seem to be attracting the dregs from the bottom of the affiliate barrel, and gaining only grief from doing so, I'm ready to call it quits with Clickbank and give affiliates a miss.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? What did you do?
Am I missing something here?
Any thoughts appreciated.