Weekly Reading Picks| Volume 44

Bob’s Weekly Reading Picks

2019.11.10 volume 44


  1. 20 Common and Dangerous Affiliate Program Mistakes 
  2. How affiliate marketing can revitalize your business
  3. Essential Affiliate Program KPIs to Review Before the New Year
  4. Differences Between Domain, Email Hosting, and Web hosting
  5. 28 Best WordPress Plugins in 2019
  6. What Is BERT? – Whiteboard Friday
  7. LOCAL SEO: The Definitive Guide

1. 20 Common and Dangerous Affiliate Program Mistakes 

Affiliate Program Mistakes Referring to Setup

  • Leaky, Poorly Designed, Low-Converting Merchant Website
  • Neglecting the Affiliate Program Agreement
  • Poor Choice of Platform and Tracking Solutions
  • Low Commission Rates and Short Cookie Life
  • Neglecting Management

Affiliate Program Mistakes Referring to Management

  • Underestimating the Importance of Continuous Affiliate Recruitment
  • Terminating Inactive Affiliates from Your Program (or Ignoring Them)
  • Automatically Approving or Rejecting Affiliates
  • Not Policing Affiliates
  • Dictating Affiliates Which Products to Promote and How
  • Few and Poor Quality Creatives
  • Tracking Gaps and Broken Affiliate Links
  • Late Lock Dates and Payments
  • Lowering Commissions
  • Voiding Commissions on Valid Transactions

Affiliate Program Mistakes Referring to Communication

  • Impersonal, Bland, and Dry Communications
  • Unnecessary Phone Calls and Emails
  • No, Late, or Poor Quality Responses
  • Lack of or Late Notifications
  • Selective Communication and Helping

Learn more about affiliate marketing.

2. How affiliate marketing can revitalize your business

Some well-known businesses offering affiliate programs include:

  • Viator, A TripAdvisor Company – A leading global vacation tours and experiences website
  • HP – Technology including computers, printers and more
  • Under Armour – Sports brand 
  • SkinStore – Premium beauty products
  • Etsy – A global marketplace for vintage and handmade items

Affiliate marketing in 2019

  • Influencer marketing
  • The mobile market
  • Video and audio

3. Essential Affiliate Program KPIs to Review Before the New Year

When evaluating our clients’ programs and program performance at the end of the year, some questions we typically ask are:

  • What new strategies are we going to test out in the year ahead?
  • What strategies from this year worked well and should be continued in the new year?
  • What didn’t work and should be discontinued?
  • What are our client’s goals for next year? This will be different for each client. For some, it’s acquiring new customers, scale and volume, bringing on new partners or reducing risk dependence on the top performers. For others, it’s increasing average order volume (AOV), more content partnerships, increasing conversion rates or incremental revenue.
  • What new publisher relationships did we develop this year that we want to optimize next year?
  • What type(s) of publishers are consistently driving the most valuable actions for each client?



  • Who are your top traffic-driving partners?
  • Is the traffic those partners are driving converting into high-value sales or leads?
  • What partners aren’t driving quality traffic but should be because they have a strong Alexa rank?
  • What could be done to activate them further?


  • Are there any unusual spikes in sales?
  • Did any promotions perform especially well?
  • Looking at gross vs net, are there any spikes in the returned order rate?
  • Which new affiliates joined the program and performed particularly well?
  • Which notable new partners joined the program and didn’t have strong performance?
  • Any placements that outperformed? Any that flopped?


  • Are there any outliers to your average Cost Per Action (CPA)?
  • Which partners are driving up/down the average CPA?
  • Is the CPA within your goal?
  • Is the Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) or Return On Investment (ROI) within your goal?
  • Is ROAS too low and CPA too high? If so, what strategies can be implemented next year to get these numbers back to a healthy range?
  • Is there wiggle room to test new placements in the new year?
  • Is your affiliate program helping to increase customer lifetime value?


  • Were there new partners in your top 10 this past year?
  • Who fell off the top 10 list and why?
  • What can be done to further optimize performance with these top 10 partners?
  • What can be done to get the partners who fell off the top 10 back on the list?


  • What percentage of sales are being driven by coupon, deal and loyalty partners?
  • Is there a healthy content-to-coupon or content-to-loyalty ratio?
  • What can be done to drive more sales from your content partners to boost their sales contribution percentage?


  • Is the conversion rate increasing? If so, when? Why?
  • Is the conversion rate decreasing? If so, when? Why?
  • Are there any partners with an extremely high conversion rate that should be more closely evaluated to ensure the activity isn’t fraudulent?
  • Are there any affiliate partners with an extremely low conversion rate that could be optimized?


  • Is our program growing or shrinking?
  • Is the program still in a growth stage or has it matured?
  • Should the focus be on affiliate recruitment or on activating and optimizing high-value partners?


  • Does your program have a healthy number of click-active partners?
  • Does the program have a healthy number of sale-active partners?


  • Is the top affiliate in the program responsible for more than 50 percent of total sales?
  • What about the top 10 or top 25 partners?
  • Are you comfortable with the sales distribution coming from your program?

4. Differences Between Domain, Email Hosting, and Web hosting

Domain Hosting and Registration

Domain hosts store domain names and facilitate their registration. First, you register a domain like yourdomain.com with a domain registrar, and just like a street address, the URL directs people to your website’s location. If you’re using a domain registered through a third-party provider, that company is your domain host. 

For your website to appear online, you need actual file hosting. You’ll often find domain and web hosting offered as a package, with most companies offering domain, email, and web hosting as a bundle.

Web Hosting

Web Hosting is a service that provides computer resources such as server space, memory, and bandwidth needed for your website files to live on the internet. Users can create and store website content on a web hosts servers so it can be viewed online via a web browser.

Web hosting plans range from shared hosting with multiple sites sharing a single server to dedicated hosting, in which one customer uses an entire server’s space and bandwidth.

Email Hosting

Email hosting is a service in which your email messages and associated files are all stored on a server. When you receive an email to your website’s domain address, the email is routed across the internet and stored on the recipient server. At this point, the server administrators will determine which action to take (reply or ignore) bearing in mind any spam filters, re-routing requests and if the sender is on any blacklists.

Email hosting and web hosting are similar in the sense that neither has to be hosted by your registrar or web host providers. Emails can be routed to different servers and the routing is handled by entries in the DNS (Domain Name System) records.

5. 28 Best WordPress Plugins in 2019


  • Yoast SEO
  • RankMath SEO
  • All in SEO Pack
  • SEO Squirrly
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • SEO Image Optimizer


  • Google Analytics by Monsterinsights
  • All in One Schema Markup Rich Snippet


  • Broken Link Checker


  • Login LockDown
  • All in One WP Security and Firewall
  • All in One WP Migration
  • Really Simple SSL


  • Better Delete Revisions
  • WPSmush  (image)
  • Autoptimize
  • AMP by Automattic
  • W3 Total Cache
  • WP Super Cache
  • WP Fastest Cache


  • Get Social
  • Click To Tweet


  • Redirection


  • Widget Options


  • Elementor


  • WPForms Lite


  • WP Subscribe


  • WP-Chatbot

6. What Is BERT? – Whiteboard Friday

There is a ton of commotion going on right now in the industry about you can’t optimize for BERT. While that is absolutely true, you cannot, you just need to be writing really good content for your users

7. LOCAL SEO: The Definitive Guide

CHAPTER 1: Local SEO Basics

CHAPTER 2: Local SEO Keyword Research

CHAPTER 3: Local SEO Ranking Factors

CHAPTER 4: Google My Business

CHAPTER 5: On-Site SEO For Local Businesses

CHAPTER 6: NAP Citations

CHAPTER 7: Local Link Building

CHAPTER 8: Advanced Local SEO Tips and Strategies

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