4 Ways to Monetize Your Website With Datafeedr

Since 2008, Datafeedr has helped thousands of affiliate marketers worldwide monetize their websites. Having the biggest affiliate product database worldwide and a powerful search engine to search across different affiliate networks and excellent tech support Datafeedr has become the number 1 affiliate datafeed integration service for affiliates worldwide. If you’re new to Datafeedr here’s a quick overview how you can monetize your website with affiliate content.

1: Create a WooCommerce Affiliate Store

The Datafeedr WooCommerce Importer Plugin allows you to search, select and import affiliate products from Datafeedr’s huge database (at the time of this writing 600+ million products) into your WordPress website and display those products using one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce.

To get an idea about the store building process just watch this video in which Eric shows you how easy it is to import affiliate products into your WordPress WooCommerce store.

Each product has its own landing page. The Buy Now button (affiliate link) redirects to the corresponding product page on the merchant’s site. Want to bypass the single product pages on your website entirely? No problem. It’s possible to make all of the product links on your product category pages go directly to the merchant’s website.

2: Supplement Your WooCommerce Product Detail Pages by Adding Price Comparison Sets

By default, a WooCommerce theme uses a generic page to show basic product information like product name, description, image and price for example. To make your product pages more unique you can use the Datafeedr Comparison Sets Plugin to supplement the product information with a price comparison set.

When the WooCommerce Integration option in the plugin is activated, a price comparison set will be automatically created for each product in your WooCommerce store – ie. if any product matches are found in the product feeds from your selected merchants.

3: Embed Price Comparison Sets into Blog Posts and Pages or any Other Area Where WordPress Shortcodes are Allowed

If you prefer not to create an affiliate store… no worries… you can still use Datafeedr to monetize your site content. Datafeedr’s Comparison Sets Plugin also allows you to embed Price Comparison Sets in your blog posts, pages or in any other area where WordPress shortcodes are allowed. Ideal for affiliates with product review websites.

4: Create Your Own Custom Solution by Using the Datafeedr API

Are you a developer and want to create your own custom solution? The Datafeedr API provides a powerful interface that enables you to programmatically find and filter product and coupon data from the affiliate networks and merchants Datafeedr supports giving you the keys to build something awesome! The API does not handle anything other than allowing you to query Datafeedr’s huge product database and returning products. The rest is up to you or your developer(s) :). Click here to access the API documentation.

Are Your Product Pages Missing the Mark? Here’s How You Can Fix It

All too many affiliate product pages are thin in content and boring. Learn how to up your product description (re)writing game and avoid common mistakes with this guide.

Have you worked hard building your affiliate store but still aren’t seeing the conversion rates you had hoped for? It’s possible that your product pages are completely missing the mark.

If you’re using a merchant’s product feed to create your product pages this is more likely to be true. Here are a couple of issues you will face when importing the manufacturers’ product descriptions straight into your website.

ISSUE 1: THIN CONTENT

The product descriptions merchants provide in their datafeeds are most of the time only a few dozen words or even worse… sometimes a merchant does not provide product descriptions at all. As a result, you end up with product pages thin in content.

Here’s an example of a thin product page only listing a product image, the product name and description, the price, buy now link and links to the other product categories on the site.

As you can see in the image below (click on it to enlarge the image) the product information comes straight from the merchant’s datafeed. The description hardly counts 36 words! With so less information potential customers will have to know exactly what your product is all about from the start or guess based on the picture.

If you’re going to sell your visitors on the products you’re promoting, try to provide plenty of details. They should never have questions about what a product is or how it works. The more information you can provide, the more confident they’ll feel and the less likely it will be they will search for more information elsewhere.

If you explain what the product is, how the product works, what makes this product special and why your visitors need it in their lives you’ll make it clear for any potential customer who comes across your site, increasing the chance that they’ll click the Buy Now button.

When we look at this SEO-wise… by having too many of such thin, low quality content pages on your site you will be dragging down the overall “quality score” of your site. And you run the risk that your site gets devalued by Google’s core algorithm.

But even if your site isn’t negatively affected by Google’s core algorithm, it can still be hit by a manual Google penalty. If a human reviewer at Google finds that your site is not following Google’s webmaster quality guidelines, a manual action may be applied to your site (partial or site-wide). As long as your site has a manual action against it, some or all of your pages will be devalued in Google’s search results until you fix the issue(s). When it involves a thin content penalty the manual action may look like this in your Google Search Console.

ISSUE 2: DUPLICATE CONTENT

Another issue you will face when using a merchant’s datafeed is that you’re not the only affiliate who is using the datafeed. It’s likely other affiliates are using the same datafeed on their sites too. That means the same product descriptions will end up on multiple websites. Let’s take a look at another thin product page example.

Also in this example the product information comes straight from the merchant’s datafeed – click on the image below to enlarge it.

When copying and pasting the first 2 sentences of the product description into Google you’ll see that about 20 sites are all using the same product description.

As you know, the key to running a successful affiliate business is to make your site stand out against the competition. If your product descriptions are identical to your competitors’, potential customers will have no reason to choose you over them. In addition when potential customers realize they’ve read the same content elsewhere, that experience can reduce their trust in your site and likeliness that they’ll visit your site again in the future.

When we look at this SEO-wise… to avoid a bad user experience search engines don’t want their users to land on the same content over and over again. If there are multiple pages with the same content across different domains, Google will simply decide which page they want to show to their users for a given search query and which ones to ignore.

Simply put: if your site has the same copy as dozens or hundreds of other affiliate sites, there’s no reason why Google would choose your page over all the other pages with the same copy for a given search query. But when you go the extra mile by writing unique, rich and full product descriptions, you don’t force Google and other search engines to choose between multiple pages with the same content.

ISSUE 3: BORING BOILERPLATE COPY

Finally manufacturers’ product descriptions in datafeeds are most of the time boring boilerplate copy rather than engaging, useful copy designed to connect with potential customers.

Your product copy should be rich and interesting. Visitors to your website have a very short attention span, and your job is to make sure they stay focused on your product for long enough so they click the buy now button. To do this, you need to capture their emotions, not just their logic.

The goal is to draw visitors in and make them feel like they’ll have a happy, simple life if only they buy this product. You can’t make false claims, of course, but don’t be afraid to get colorful.

Good product descriptions should use lots of adjectives and attention-grabbing words. If you’re describing a cooking pot, saying it’s a stainless steel pot with heat-resistant handles won’t convince anyone to part with their money over it. But describing in loving detail how this pot distributes heat evenly over a surface so that you can get a perfect saute every time will catch the attention of kitchen enthusiasts.

GOOGLE WEBMASTER GUIDELINES

In the Webmaster Guidelines for Affiliate Sites Google explains exactly how the above issues may negatively affect your rankings. The guidelines clearly state that thin and duplicate affiliate pages

  • can suffer in Google’s search rankings
  • are highly unlikely to perform well in Google search results
  • may be negatively perceived by search engines

The good news, however, is that Google also tells you exactly what to do to make your site stand out to distinguish you from other affiliates who are promoting the same products. The guidelines clearly state to

  • create websites with original content that adds value for users
  • make sure you add substantial value beyond simply republishing content from the original merchant
  • keep your content updated, relevant, fesh and on-topic

If you want to avoid the above issues and comply with Google’s guidelines here’s how to up your product pages for both potential customers and search engines.

1. KEYWORD RESEARCH

When (re)writing your product pages add some keywords (and variations) that you know your customers are searching for. Some simple keyword research can help you get lots of ideas for keywords to use in your product page. Keyword research can also help you get ideas for features you may want to include in your content.

Let’s say, for instance, that you’re wanting to sell light bulbs. You may discover that people are searching for “incandescent light bulbs”, “energy-efficient bulbs” and “recyclable bulbs”. Include in your product description that your light bulbs meet both those requirements, increasing your product’s appeal.

Be careful not to stuff too many keywords into your product page to try to get a higher search ranking. Search engine algorithms may knock you down for that. Always write for your visitors not for search engines.

2. WRITE ENGAGING, USEFUL PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

The first step to creating engaging, useful product descriptions is to write a good hook. You want to capture your potential customers’ attention right away, so start with something that will get them excited. There’s a big difference between “Buy a new Buick today,” and “Are you ready to start the engine on your next adventure?”

You should also try to connect with the customer as much as possible. People like hearing about themselves, and they’re more likely to buy your product if they can see themselves using it.

So talk about your customers’ experience using your product, not just what makes your company great. Paint a picture of how they will feel using your product and how it will improve their life. If you’d like a good example of this kind of appeal, take a look at car commercials; they focus almost to a fault on the experience of driving the car rather than the concrete details.

You also want to make sure you stick the landing. Anyone who works in sales will know the first and last sentences of your pitch are what will sell your product. Sum up what your customers stand to gain by buying your product, and give them a specific call to action to follow.

3. MAKE IT VISUALLY APPEALING

While you’re writing these engaging descriptions, you want to make sure you don’t turn off your customers with the appearance of your page. Large walls of text are intimidating, and no one wants to dive into them. Think about how much easier it is to tackle reading a Twitter feed than it is a New York Times article.

Keep your paragraphs short and well-spaced on your description page. Try to limit paragraphs to three sentences or less, with a nice mix of one- and two-sentence paragraphs in there. This will make it easier for your customers to keep reading through your copy and make it to the pitch at the end.

You should also try to keep your content as readable as possible. On average, you want to aim for a ninth-grade reading level so you don’t overwhelm your audience with a lot of technical jargon. Sticking to simple, clear descriptions will keep potential customers from getting frustrated and leaving your page.

Some Examples

Let’s take the product description from our first example again. We upgraded the decription from 36 words to about 300+ words trying to solve problem 1: thin content, problem 2: duplicate content and problem 3: boring boilerplate copy.

Let’s take the product description from our second example now. We upgraded the decription from 178 words to about 350+ words trying to solve problem 1: thin content, problem 2: duplicate content, problem 3: boring boilerplate copy and problem 4: unreadable massive block of text.

In both examples visitors have a better idea now what the products are all about, why the products are special and why they need it. Search engines will no longer see thin and duplicate content on the product pages in question. And by adding additional product pics and/or product videos the product pages in question can be made even more unique and rich in content.

How Datafeedr Can Help

Honing your product description writing skills can increase your traffic and sales conversions. It will put you ahead of the majority of affiliates who are promoting the same products as you. Keep in mind that you won’t become an expert overnight. Learning to write great product descriptions that connect with your specific customer base will take time and practice.

You can do it all yourself or you can let us do all the hard work for you. There’s no shame in bringing in a pro. We’ve teamed up with some excellent writers who can definitely help to create engaging product descriptions for the products you’re promoting on your site. We would love to help you create a world-class affiliate store optimized for SEO today. If you’re interested in this service don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more.

Building a WooCommerce Store Using Affiliate Feeds

A couple of weeks ago I spoke with BobWP on his WP eCommerce Show. You can find that talk here https://wpecommerceshow.com/building-a-woocommerce-store-using-affiliate-feeds-with-eric-busch/

Here are a few of the topics we discussed:

  1. What is Datafeedr and how did it come to be?
  2. Is it viable to start up an online store with just affiliate products?
  3. For new site owners, how do you get accepted by these affiliate networks with nothing selling on your site?
  4. Are there ever instances where store owners will mix affiliate products in with their own products?
  5. Is there such as thing as having too many affiliate products in your store?

Add filter to WooCommerce category metabox on Product Set “edit” page

If you have a lot of categories (like I have on geargrabber.net) you may find that scrolling and finding the category you are looking for is time-consuming. Here’s what the default WooCommerce category metabox looks like on a Product Set “edit” page:

You can use the Post Category Filter plugin to add a filter to your WooCommerce category box to make it easy to filter your long list of WooCommerce categories to something more manageable.

Here’s what the end result looks like:

Simple as that!

6 Custom WooCommerce Buy Buttons

There are lots of fun things you can do to WooCommerce [Buy Now] and [Add to Cart] buttons.

Here I’ll show you a few ways you can customize WooCommerce buttons which appear in The Loop (Shop Frontpage, Shop Category pages, etc…). You can add the code snippets below to a Custom Plugin.

First, let’s see how buttons look like be default. Here is a screenshot of 3 products on a category page. All 3 of these products are External (or Affiliate) products so they display a greyed out [Buy Now] button.

Default Button Display in WooCommerce Loop

Add Highlighting to Buttons for Products On Sale

This one will format the WooCommerce buttons by highlighting the buttons for products which are on sale.

Here’s what that would look like:

The custom code for that looks like this:

<?php /** * Add highlighting to an add to cart button for WooCommerce products which are on sale. * * @param string $html * @param WC_Product $product * @param array $args * * @return string */ function mycode_display_highlighted_add_to_cart_button_for_products_on_sale( $html, $product, $args ) { if ( ! $product->is_on_sale() ) { return $html; } $extra_class = ' alt'; $extra_text = ' SALE'; $url = $product->add_to_cart_url(); $quantity = isset( $args['quantity'] ) ? $args['quantity'] : 1; $class = isset( $args['class'] ) ? $args['class'] . $extra_class : 'button' . $extra_class; $attributes = isset( $args['attributes'] ) ? wc_implode_html_attributes( $args['attributes'] ) : ''; $text = $product->add_to_cart_text() . $extra_text; $format = '<a href="%1$s" data-quantity="%2$s" class="%3$s" %4$s>%5$s</a>'; return sprintf( $format, esc_url( $url ), esc_attr( $quantity ), esc_attr( $class ), $attributes, esc_html( $text ) ); } add_filter( 'woocommerce_loop_add_to_cart_link', 'mycode_display_highlighted_add_to_cart_button_for_products_on_sale', 20, 3 );

Remove Buy/Add Buttons

In some cases you may want to remove the buttons altogether. This might be useful for the next few code snippets.

Here’s how to remove the Buy/Add buttons from your WooCommerce Loops.

<?php /** * Remove the action which adds [Add to Cart] & [Buy Now] buttons * to the WooCommerce Product Loop */ function mycode_remove_add_to_cart_from_loop() { remove_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'woocommerce_template_loop_add_to_cart' ); } add_action( 'init', 'mycode_remove_add_to_cart_from_loop' );

Add [More Details] Button Linking to Single Product Page

Now that the Buy/Add button is gone, we can add some other buttons to The Loop.

Here we will add a [More Details] button which links to the single product page.

While it’s not that exciting, we will build on this in the following examples. But if you like this, here’s the code:

<?php /** * Adds an action to the loop to display a [More Details] button * to the WooCommerce Product Loop which links to the Single Product Page. */ function mycode_add_more_details_button_to_single() { add_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'mycode_display_more_details_button_to_single' ); } add_action( 'init', 'mycode_add_more_details_button_to_single' ); /** * Display [More Details] button HTML with a link to the Single Product Page. * * @global WC_Product $product */ function mycode_display_more_details_button_to_single() { global $product; $url = $product->get_permalink(); $text = __( 'More Details', 'mycode' ); $title = sprintf( __( 'View more details about %s', 'mycode' ), $product->get_name() ); $class = sprintf( 'button add_to_cart_button product_type_%s', $product->get_type() ); $format = '<a href="%1$s" title="%2$s" class="%3$s">%4$s</a>'; printf( $format, esc_url( $url ), esc_attr( $title ), esc_attr( $class ), esc_html( $text ) ); }

Link Directly to External/Affiliate Site from [More Details] Button

The one is strictly for External/Affiliate products. This adds a new [More Details] button which links directly to the external/affiliate website instead of your single product page.

This looks very similar to the default functionality of WooCommerce.

And here’s the custom code:

<?php /** * Adds an action to the loop to display a [More Details] button * to the WooCommerce Product Loop which links to an External/Affiliate product. */ function mycode_add_more_details_button_to_external() { add_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'mycode_display_more_details_button_to_external' ); } add_action( 'init', 'mycode_add_more_details_button_to_external' ); /** * Display [More Details] button HTML with a link to an External/Affiliate product. * * @global WC_Product_External $product */ function mycode_display_more_details_button_to_external() { /** * @var WC_Product_External $product */ global $product; if ( 'external' != $product->get_type() ) { return; } $url = $product->get_product_url(); $text = __( 'Buy Now', 'mycode' ); $title = sprintf( __( 'View more details about %s', 'mycode' ), $product->get_name() ); $class = sprintf( 'button add_to_cart_button product_type_%s', $product->get_type() ); $format = '<a href="%1$s" title="%2$s" class="%3$s" target="_blank">%4$s</a>'; printf( $format, esc_url( $url ), esc_attr( $title ), esc_attr( $class ), esc_html( $text ) ); }

Add Price to Button

Here we will add the product’s price (regular or sale price) to the button. This helps prices stand out a bit more.

Here’s the custom code for that:

<?php /** * Adds an action to the loop to display a [Buy $199.99] button containing the price * to the WooCommerce Product Loop which links to an External/Affiliate product. */ function mycode_add_more_details_button_to_external_with_price() { add_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'mycode_display_more_details_button_to_external_with_price' ); } add_action( 'init', 'mycode_add_more_details_button_to_external_with_price' ); /** * Display [Buy $199.99] button HTML containing the price with a link to an External/Affiliate product. * * @global WC_Product_External $product */ function mycode_display_more_details_button_to_external_with_price() { /** * @var WC_Product_External $product */ global $product; if ( 'external' != $product->get_type() ) { return; } $url = $product->get_product_url(); $price = wc_price( $product->get_price() ); $text = sprintf( __( 'Buy %s', 'mycode' ), $price ); $title = sprintf( __( 'Buy %s', 'mycode' ), $product->get_name() ); $class = sprintf( 'button add_to_cart_button product_type_%s', $product->get_type() ); $format = '<a href="%1$s" title="%2$s" class="%3$s" target="_blank">%4$s</a>'; printf( $format, esc_url( $url ), esc_attr( $title ), esc_attr( $class ), $text ); }

Add Merchant’s Name to Button

Here’s another one that works well for External/Affiliate products. We can also add the merchant’s name to the button.

And here’s the code:

<?php /** * Adds an action to the loop to display a [Buy at Acme] button containing the merchant's name * to the WooCommerce Product Loop which links to an External/Affiliate product. */ function mycode_add_more_details_button_to_external_with_merchant_name() { add_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'mycode_display_more_details_button_to_external_with_merchant_name' ); } add_action( 'init', 'mycode_add_more_details_button_to_external_with_merchant_name' ); /** * Display [Buy at Acme] button containing the merchant's name in the * WooCommerce Product Loop which links to an External/Affiliate product. * * @global WC_Product_External $product */ function mycode_display_more_details_button_to_external_with_merchant_name() { /** * @var WC_Product_External $product */ global $product; if ( 'external' != $product->get_type() ) { return; } $url = $product->get_product_url(); $merchant = $product->get_attribute( 'pa_merchant' ); $text = $merchant ? sprintf( __( 'Buy at %s', 'mycode' ), $merchant ) : __( 'Buy Now', 'mycode' ); $title = sprintf( __( 'View more details about %s', 'mycode' ), $product->get_name() ); $class = sprintf( 'button add_to_cart_button product_type_%s', $product->get_type() ); $format = '<a href="%1$s" title="%2$s" class="%3$s" target="_blank">%4$s</a>'; printf( $format, esc_url( $url ), esc_attr( $title ), esc_attr( $class ), esc_html( $text ) ); }

Those are all for the WooCommerce Loop but if you want to make similar customizations on the Single Product Page, you would want to use the woocommerce_after_single_product_summary hook.

2 Normalizing brand names when importing affiliate data feed into WooCommerce

WooCommerce is great for importing data feeds into and using for your datafeed-driven affiliate store. However, one of the frustrations of using data feeds is data inaccuracy. We (datafeedr) try to normalize data before it hits our database, we can’t normalize everything.

That’s why it’s important for users to be able to normalize information before it gets inserted into your store.

In the normalizing brand names documentation article we just published, you can learn how to normalize all of your product’s brand names.

So instead of those new shoes you just imported being listed under the brand names “Nike Co.” or “Nike Inc” or “Nike International”, now they can all simply be listed with the brand name “Nike”.

6 Modifying WooCommerce Product URLs

Before WooCommerce 2.5, it was possible to change/modify/override the URL to the product page using a filter on the the_permalink hook. For example, you could do this:

[php] add_filter( ‘the_permalink’, ‘mycode_the_permalink’ );
function mycode_the_permalink( $url ) {
global $product;
if ( ! empty( $product ) ) {
$url = ‘http://www.google.com’;
}

return $url;
}
[/php]

That would change all of the links to your product pages to a link to Google instead. If you felt compelled to give Google more Page Rank, you could do that. However, in version 2.5 of WooCommerce, that code no longer works.

Instead you need to remove WooCommerce’s woocommerce_before_shop_loop_item action and then re-add it again with your own function. Here’s a version:

[php] remove_action( ‘woocommerce_before_shop_loop_item’, ‘woocommerce_template_loop_product_link_open’, 10 );
add_action( ‘woocommerce_before_shop_loop_item’, ‘mycode_woocommerce_template_loop_product_link_open’, 20 );
function mycode_woocommerce_template_loop_product_link_open() {

$url = ‘https://www.datafeedr.com/’;

echo ‘<a href="’ . $url . ‘">’;
}
[/php]

Now all links to the product pages which are generated within the Loop on your site will be linked to Datafeedr! Yay! We could use a little help with Page Rank.

New “Media Library Filter” plugin released today

When your WordPress site starts to grow and you have lots of images in your library from Posts, Pages, Products and other WordPress content types, filtering the the media in your library becomes very difficult.

I thought for sure there would be a plugin available that would enable filtering of the media in my Media Library… but there wasn’t much. What I did find was a post on StackExchange from 2013 with a quick solution. So I spent a couple of days and put together the Media Library Filter plugin.

banner-1544x500

The Media Library Filter plugin allows you to filter the media in your library by taxonomy or term.

A taxonomy would be the type of category. For example some taxonomies might be Blog Categories, Product Categories, Post Tags, etc.

A term would be the name of an item in the category. For example the taxonomy Product Categories might contain the terms “Rock Climbing Shoes” and “Rock Climbing Helmets”.

If you have a suggestion or way to improve, please let us know.

Download the plugin

Enjoy!