What is a Redirect
A redirect is a Change of Address for a url (or page). Basically you are forwarding all traffic intended for a specified URL and routing it to another URL of your choice. All SEO value and link popularity are forwarded to the new URL also.
Why Use Redirects
The purpose of using a redirect is to have a nicer looking link so that when a visitor hovers over the affiliate ad, they can see your site in the url, instead of a weird affiliate url. It’s proven that many people stay away from affiliate links because they feel like they are no longer dealing ‘direct’. Also some affiliate links are suspicious to vistors because many times the links are encrypted and are just a bunch of random characters.
Another good reason to use redirects is that it’s much easier to remember your redirect than it is to remember the affiliate link. For example, an affiliate link to kaspersky internet security might look like the following:
but my redirect link is much easier… Take a look below.
Which one would you rather see?
How to Set Up Redirects
There are a few different ways to set up redirects. I prefer to use the htaccess file, but you could also use a php file, an html file, and even set up redirects from within Cpanel.
Redirect Using Htaccess
Download the htaccess file (Don’t forget to make a back up). Then change the extension to ‘txt’ so that you can edit it. Now use the following example and set up a redirect for each of your affiliate links:
redirect 301 /kaspersky/ http://www.jdoqoccy.com/3hgey45
Basically there are three parts to the above redirect. First is the “redirect 301″; This is to initialize the redirect. Insert a space and then enter the URL to be redirected. Insert another space and enter the URL that you want to send the traffic to. That’s it. Save the file, upload it back to your server and rename it (back to .htaccess).
Hover over the link below to see a redirect in action. Notice the url is showing my domain name; however if you click on the link you will be redirected to kaspersky’s site.
Kaspersky Internet Security
Redirect Using PHP
Another method of redirecting is by creating a php file that will contain the ‘true’ affiliate link, and then you simply call that file from your post or page. Example, create an empty file named “kaspersky.php”. Then add the below code to the file.
<?php header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" ); header("Location: http://Affiliate-Link.com"); ?>
Then simply link to this kaspersky.php file and it will redirect to the affiliate site. The drawback of this method is that you will have to create a new php file each time you add or change an offer.
Redirect Using HTML
You can also redirect with html. Create a file and paste the below text into it. make sure you save the file with the html file extension. Also, obviously add your own title and link. Then you would just link to this file from your site, it will load and then redirect to the affiliate site.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title>Your Page Title</title> <meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="0;url=http://www.the-domain-you-want-to- redirect-to.com"></HEAD> <BODY> </BODY> </HTML>
Redirect Using a Plugin
Of course there are some wordpress plugins you can use also. I’ve used a free one called, ‘Pretty Link Lite’ a few times when I’m in a hurry. But for most of my sites I use the htaccess method. Mostly because it’s direct. Sometimes I get a little nervous about redirect plugins, especially since it can affect your commissions if the plugin wasn’t built right or somehow conflicts with the merchant’s affiliate link tracking.
Other Redirect Methods
Nope.. lol. well at least none that I use. This post pretty much covers all of the main types of redirects. If you are new to all of this, you can access your htaccess file from within cPanel or you can use a free ftp program to access your sites files. I use ‘filezilla client’. It’s free and easy to use.