Sunday, February 25, 2024

Referral URL Blues

When you join any kind of affiliate program, you’ll be given a unique referral URL. Usually this is in the form of:

This poses no problem on a web site. However if you’re advertising in Ezines or Email lists, an URL like this can look messy and take up too much space (some are even longer than my example).

It also announces to the world that you’re an affiliate; something you may wish to avoid in certain circumstances.

Even worse, the reader may copy and paste the URL into their browser, and intentionally or not, omit your referral ID.

If you have a web site with your own domain name there’s a very quick and easy workaround: set up a redirect page in the root directory of your own site using the meta “refresh” tag.

To do this, create a new page containing the following code:


<META http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=http://www."> 

<TITLE> ProgramName </TITLE >

</HEAD> <BODY>  </BODY>  </HTML >

Note: place your unique referral URL immediately after “URL=”

Save the page as something short and apt (like the program name for example), and upload it to the root directory of your site.

You now have a new URL to use in your ads in the form of:

Which is not only shorter and less obvious, it looks far more professional too. Even if someone uses copy/paste and misses off the “program.html” bit you’ll still get a visit to your site. A good second best!

To see this in action click on this URL:

As you do so, watch your browser’s status bar and navigation window closely.

If you don’t have your own domain – don’t feel left out – you can do the same, but your URL will of course be longer.

Here’s another way you may prefer to use:

Go to one of the many URL forwarding services online – the ones you use to shorten long free web site addresses. I used to use a lot because the URLs are short, but there are many others. Just do a search for “url forwarding” or similar.

Instead of registering your home page, use it to link to your affiliate referral URL. Now you’ve got a short redirect URL too!

For an example click on the URL and keep an eye on the status bar and navigation window of your browser.

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