Using Parked Domains and iFrames in Affiliate Marketing28.2.2017Reading Time: 5 minutes
The more tools you have in your toolbox as an affiliate marketer, the more varied and versatile your strategies can be. You’ll also be able to capitalize on more opportunities since you’ll be able to approach a range of verticals and markets in a greater number of more creative ways. Today, we’re taking a look at two such tools: parked domains and iframes.
Parking a Domain
Let us start with a basic definition. Under conventional circumstances when you buy a domain, you probably plan on populating that domain with a website of your own. It could be a blog, it could be an e-commerce store, it could be an online tool, it could be any number of things. However, there are innumerable other reasons wherein you might buy a domain with no intention to populate it with a website, either in the short-term or in the long-term.
Maybe you want to squat on a domain to protect your brand or you have an idea for a future project and you haven’t started working on it yet. By default, many web hosting companies and domain registrar will give you the option to park your domain. This puts up a temporary page so anyone who visits your domain isn’t met with an error or a blank page. GoDaddy and Hostgator are a couple of common examples and most others are very similar.
This may be useful as a temporary stop-gap measure, but it represents a lost opportunity if you are very interested in affiliate marketing and making money online. All domains can be a source of revenue for you. The default parked domain page for most web hosting companies either promote the web host itself or it is populated with advertising, the revenue from which you do not receive a single dime.
It doesn’t have to be this way and you can make money with parked domains and parking links using affiliate marketing techniques.
The Parked Domain as a Redirect
As an affiliate marketing professional, you should be keenly aware of the many different sources of traffic on the Internet. From search engine marketing to social media marketing to email marketing, there are opportunities abound. Another option to consider is the parked domain.
Instead of using the default parked domain page provided by your web host, you can direct your “unused” domain to the landing page of an advertiser, complete with your affiliate tracking code in place. This isn’t all that different from when a company may buy multiple domains related to the business. XYZ Company might own xyzcompany.com as its primary, but it may have parked domains at xyzcompany.org, xyz-company.com, and xyzcompany.biz, for example.
You will want to make sure you are complying with the terms and conditions of the specific offer, of course, but this can prove to be a tremendous source of leads and conversions for you as a publisher if you pair the right parked domains with the right offers.
Let’s say that XYZ Company sells novelty mugs. Given this, you may seek out such available domains as xyzmugs.com, funnymugs.com, and officestuff.com, as a hypothetical example. There’s a good chance that you can get type-in traffic. Depending on the offer, you might also capitalize on potential typos like xyzcompamy.com. All of these parked domains can automatically redirect visitors to the appropriate landing page to generate leads attributed to you.
Buying Parked Domain Traffic
It can be very cheap for you to buy a lot of relevant domains for affiliate offers you want to promote using the strategy described above, but it is also possible to buy relevant parked domain traffic too.
A popular “performance traffic exchange” network for this purpose is Zeropark. As an advertiser through this network, you can purchase placements on the parked domains offered by the publishers in the network. You zero in on keywords the same way you would with any number of other ad networks, and the publishers then automatically redirect their domains to the URL you provide.
In this case, that could be an advertiser’s landing page with your affiliate code attached, generating leads and revenue for you. Zeropark handles billions of redirects each and every month, demonstrating huge potential for advertisers and publishers alike.
What About Using Iframes?
Using parked domains as a traffic source for your affiliate marketing campaigns can be effective, but it is also not without its flaws. Depending on how it is deployed, it could reveal your affiliate ID and the URL could arouse suspicion from prospective leads. That could seriously reduce your conversion rate! A more advanced, but more effective technique is to use iframes.
In effect, an iframe allows you to load a webpage (including one from an external website) within another webpage. The iframe can be the size of the whole page or it can be restrained to a very small window, so small that it cannot even be seen by the typical web user. Why are iframes advantageous?
Let’s say that you own the domain XYZmugs.com and you want to use it to promote the affiliate program by XYZ Company. By using an iframe, the address bar on a user’s web browser can still read xyzmugs.com while they are actually viewing the landing page for XYZ Company. This makes it look as if the external page is actually your own, helping to make it look more legitimate.
You can code an iframe manually, use any number of site creation tools, or utilize an online code generator like the one at iframe-generator.com. You can also learn more about iframes at W3 Schools, among other online resources.
Why would you want to load an iframe that might only be 1 pixel by 1 pixel? This ensures that the cookie associated with your affiliate ID is suitably stored on the user’s computer. This way, if they manually type in the advertiser’s website later on, you are still credited for the referral, thus earning your commission.
Track Your Performance
As with all of your other affiliate marketing techniques, strategies and tactics, it is critically important that you track your performance when leveraging parked links, parked domains and iframes too. This can help you determine which domains are the most profitable and where you should be focusing your efforts, as well as where you may require further optimization and adjustment.
While custom landing pages and other marketing efforts can certainly be effective in generating leads as an affiliate, the power of parked domains and iframes should not be ignored. With domains costing as little as $10 a year, they’re a small investment for the kinds of returns they can generate. Don’t let any domain sit idle when it can be used to make money.