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When building your small business website, the one you’re going to use for promoting your local service business, should you include affiliate links and promote products that aren’t yours?

There are two ways to think about this question. The first way is to consider those affiliate links exit holes. Anything that causes the site visitor to leave your website is an exit hole and it means you lose a sale. Does the commission you’ll make on that affiliate product make up for the income you’re going to lose by not acquiring that customer? If not, then you shouldn’t use the affiliate link.

Another way to look at this is that you’re going to lose some of your site visitors anyway. Not everyone is going to buy your product or use your service. They may not be in the market for your service right now or they might not be the right target for your service. Either way, you’re not going to make the sale anyway so why not offer them something else instead?

Both of these points are valid. You’ll have to decide which way of thinking appeals to you and decide to use affiliate product links based on your own goals and desires.

If you do decide to use affiliate links on your small business service site, do so with these things in mind:

  • Use them sparingly.
  • Don’t make the affiliate products the main focus on your site – that should be your services.
  • Place affiliate links where they won’t draw undue attention to themselves, but will be attractive and get clicked on by people who aren’t interested in your service today.
  • Think about your web design first. If affiliate links and widgets won’t look good with your website, then don’t use them.

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