What’s the best way to make money from a blog?
If you are smart enough, you will say “affiliate marketing” without a second guess.
Affiliate marketing is the process of selling others products to your blog audience and making commission whenever you make a successful sale.
Whether you know it or not, successful affiliate marketing involves in A LOT of complex factors such as SEO, link building, proper content strategy, high quality email list and so on.
One among them is affiliate link cloaking.
In this detailed article, we are going to discuss just about that. And you will also discover the top 10 WordPress plugins for affiliate link cloaking.
Table of Contents
- What is Affiliate Link Cloaking?
- What are the benefits of affiliate link cloaking?
- How to cloak your affiliate links?
- What are the best WordPress plugins for affiliate link cloaking?
- 1. Thirsty Affiliates
- 2. WP Cloaker Plugin
- 3. WP Wizard Cloak Plugin
- 4. Pretty Link Lite
- 5. Simple Link Cloaker Plugin
- 6. Easy Affiliate Links
- 7. WP Dynamic Links Plugin
- 8. ClickMeter Link Shortener & Analytics Plugin
- 9. Affiliate Link Manager Plugin
- 10. Simple URLs plugin
- Final thoughts about the best WordPress plugins for affiliate link cloaking
What is Affiliate Link Cloaking?
Affiliate link cloaking. Let’s define it in simple terms by separating it into two words “affiliate links” + “cloaking”.
Affiliate links usually contain long and ugly URL’s such as www.example.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/signup.pl?affiliate_id=asdjl;ksagqljehaha (the words that are in bold are typical affiliate links, they really look ugly, aren’t they?)
Cloacking simply means making the long affiliate links into short and sweet links such as www.example.com/bluehost (now, that’s pretty!)
For instance, here’s how my Bluehost affiliate looks like in live.
https://bloggerspassion.com/recommended/bluehost (when you click on it, it will redirect you to the product page without affecting my affiliate commission).
See that? Affiliate link cloaking simply means making your affiliate links short, sweet and prettier from long and ugly URL’s.
Now that you know what’s affiliate link cloaking is all about. If you are wondering why should you do that if you are promoting affiliate products on your sites, let me give you some reasons.
Here are five incredible benefits of affiliate link cloaking.
- Short and sweet links are always good to see, remember and use anywhere. It’s easier to manage your affiliate links by cloaking them.
- Short affiliate links don’t look like spam. So your website visitors who want to buy using your affiliate links won’t be terrified with your links. So they ultimately increase your overall affiliate sales.
- Benefits from Google search crawling. Search crawlers can easily fetch your affiliate links because they are not only short but well optimized. You can also prevent passing your site’s link juice to affiliate products you promote.
- By cloaking your affiliate links, you can track everything from how many people clicked on them to how many successful sales you have actually made. That’s a great way to increase your affiliate sales.
- You can easily make your affiliate links nofollow. Many of the affiliate link cloaking WordPress plugins have the ability to make your affiliate links nofollow. You should definitely consider doing this because there’s no point in passing your website’s link juice to unwanted product pages.
There are so many ways to cloak your affiliate links. You can either do it manually by going to any link shortener sites such as Bit.ly, goo.gl, Ow.ly etc. Or you can use WordPress plugins to do affiliate link cloaking.
I personally prefer and recommend you to start using plugins for affiliate link cloaking. Not only it makes it easy for you but when you pick the right plugin, it helps you boost your sales.
Are you curious to find out the top WordPress plugins for affiliate link cloaking? Let’s dive into the details.
Quick note: Before jumping into the post, I want you to know that the following list of plugins for link cloaking is in no particular order. So don’t make a judgement of the importance of a plugin by the list from top to down. Have a look at their features and give a try to any one of them.
Thirsty Affiliates is one of the best WordPress plugins used for affiliate link cloaking. It’s used by thousands of affiliate marketers to cloak their affiliate links.
It automatically adds “recommends” word before your affiliate link to make it easy for your website visitors to understand that you are actually recommending the product you want them to buy.
Here’s how it looks like: www.example.com/recommends/bluehost
Have a look at the below screenshot to know how you can cloak your affiliate links by using this plugin.
It also lets you monitor all your affiliate links and helps you with inserting them into your posts, pages or anywhere you want to put your links. Here are few awesome features of this affiliate link cloaking plugin.
- It has inbuilt affiliate link shortening/link cloaking (www.yourwebsite.com/recommends/your-affiliate-link)
- It has commission protecting affiliate link 301 redirection
- Customizable link URL prefixes – loads to choose from or use your own custom prefix
- Hierarchical link categorization to easily segment links
- Handy affiliate link picker tool (with full instant search capabilities) makes it easy to insert affiliate links in posts, pages and comments!
- This plugin also has DoFollow/NoFollow options (global or per link)
- You can open your affiliate links in new window options
WP cloaker is another incredible plugin from the WP plugin directory. It helps you create custom redirection types and also helps you keep track of how many clicks you are getting from each link.
Here’s how its dashboard looks like:
Here are few features of WP Cloaker Plugin:
- Turn any ugly affiliate link into short link.
- Track how many clicks a link got.
- It also gives you information (IP address, country) about the visitor who clicks on your links.
- Categorize your links.
- Custom permalink prefix e.g: (go,out,visit, etc.)
This plugin shrinks your affiliate links, tracks the user behavior (how many clicks made on each link) and cloaks your links.
You can simply turn any affiliate link into www.example.com/link
Here are few benefits of using WP Wizard Cloak:
- Automatically turn keywords on your site into links. It means just by specifying a keyword, you can replace those keywords with your affiliate links throughout your blog pages and posts.
- You can track your affiliate links.
- Automatically match existing URLs on your blog in your existing blog posts and pages.
- You can send your blog visitors by setting different destinations to different countries.
Pretty Link Lite is another popular and widely used WordPress affiliate link cloaker plugin. You can easily shrink, track and share any of your URL’s of your site.
Here’s how a link cloaked with Pretty Link Lite plugin looks in general: www.example.com/link
Here are few incredible features of Pretty Link Lite plugin.
- It allows you to shorten links using your own domain name
- It gives detailed report of your links tracking information such as IP address, country etc.
- Tracks the number of hits per link
- Tracks the number of unique hits per link
This is another free WordPress plugin for affiliate link cloaking. It’s simple and elegant. All you have to do is to install and activate the plugin to start cloaking your affiliate links.
It looks something like this: www.example.com/visit/link
You can also replace the word “visit” with go and out without any issues.
Few features of Simple Link Cloaker plugin.
- Shrink your affiliate links without passing your website’s pagerank.
- It’s easy to use.
- Allows you to redirect your links in 301 permanent redirection or 302 temporary redirection.
I personally use this plugin at BloggersPassion to manage all my affiliate links with ease. You can easily create short links to cloak your affiliate links on your websites. You can easily manage all your affiliate links at one place.
Here’s how the links look like from the plugin’s dashboard.
Here are few great features of Easy Affiliate Links cloaker plugin.
- You can easily access your links in the visual and html editor
- You can easily assign categories to your links
- You can keep track of monthly and lifetime clicks
- You can also import affiliate links from XML
This is an advanced WordPress affiliate link cloaker plugin. It not only shortens your affiliate links but also track links and helps you do split testing.
Here are few amazing features of WP Dynamic Links cloaker plugin:
- You can do split testing to find out the best performing affiliate links that generate more clicks.
- You can get click reports to know where to know where your clicks are getting from.
- You can also turn keywords into links.
This is one of the most incredible plugins to cloak your affiliate links. It helps you shorten your affiliate links by giving you real time analytics. You can track everything about your website visitors.
Here’s how the ClickMeter Link Shortener dashboard looks like:
Here are few awesome features of ClickMeter Link Shortener plugin:
- Create short links using your own domain name.
- You can track your links.
- Track important details about traffic sources: referrer, keywords, parameters.
- Advanced redirect options including redirect by nation, by language, by unique visitors, click cap, custom time frame.
- Protect your affiliate code with advanced cloaking.
Managing your affiliate links becomes easy with this affiliate link manager WordPress plugin. You can easily hide your affiliate URLs to increase your conversions. You also see how many views each affiliate link you had.
Here’s how the dashboard of this plugin looks like:
Here are few more rocking features of Affiliate Link Manager plugin.
- See last 1000 access on your affiliate urls, date, time and its origins.
- Easily delete affiliate links.
- Add affiliate URL’s with eas and redirect users from your domain.
You can easily create, manage and track your affiliate links from your sites. Not only just affiliate links but any external link that goes out from your sites can easily be tracked and managed.
For your reference, here’s how the links look like by using Simple URLs plugin.
Here are few features of Simple URLs affiliate link cloaker WordPress plugin:
- Adds a new custom type to your admin menu (where you can easily manage all your links).
- Scaling of your affiliate links is easy.
- You can use custom post types and 301 redirects.
So there you go. Those are the top 10 best WordPress plugins for affiliate link cloaking. Not only the above mentioned plugins are FREE but they are being used by thousands of affiliate marketers worldwide to cloak their affiliate links.
More Affiliate Marketing related resources:
- How to do SEO for an affiliate website
- 100 plus best affiliate programs for bloggers to Join in 2019
- Top affiliate marketing tools for 2019
As discussed in the article, there are so many SEO benefits of affiliate link cloaking. If you are promoting affiliate products or trying to jump into affiliate marketing, you should definitely give it a try.
Not only you can prevent your overall website’s pagerank to affiliate sites by using link cloaker plugins but you can also easily manage your affiliate links by shortening them.
Almost every affiliate marketer uses link cloaking to easily manage their links and avail best SEO benefits by using short links. So there’s nothing wrong in giving it a try if you are not cloaking your affiliate links yet!
So what do you think about affiliate link cloaking? Do you cloak your affiliate links or want to give a try to it by using the plugins mentioned here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.