Make Sure You Test Your Links!

Always test your links!Today I discovered a major screw up that has potentially cost me numerous affiliate sales and thus commissions over the past six months.

I was checking the back end of a site in FTP and I thought a particular folder (containing a redirect page) was in a rather curious place.

Namely not in the public_html folder where it should have been for everything to function smoothly.

Instead it was ABOVE that folder, meaning any link pointing at it would result in an error page.

I quickly moved it to where it should be, but first I went to the page and clicked on a link that used the folder in question.

Sure enough, I got a big fat error page.

I finished moving the folder, hit the back button and clicked again.

This time, thank goodness, it worked and the sales page loaded. Phew…

What prompted me to look at the site in the first place was that when checking my page stats (I use Statcounter) I noticed someone had visited the site, which was ranking number 10 in Google for whatever they searched on (these days Google won’t tell you half the time what people were looking for ๐Ÿ™ ).

On a whim I decided to look at the site, because I couldn’t remember how many pages it had and I just wanted to remind myself.

Thank goodness I did!

It just goes to show, you can’t be too careful.

Normally I test such things, and I cannot for the life of me think why I did not on that occasion.

Oh well, lesson learned.

Have you done silly little things like this that have probably cost you money?

Leave a comment and tell me – and other visitors – what other pitfalls you have discovered that we would all do better to avoid!

6 Comments

  • Great post Paul and an excellent reminder to us all.

    I’ve had similar experiences with Affiliate Marketing and with Amazon in particular!

    One lesson I learned was to carry out regular checks of the Amazon products that I was promoting on my Review sites. At the begining I didn’t do this and customers were getting a bad experience with being directed to a product on Amazon which had been discontinued!

    You can build up a very bad reputation that way, not good when you’re trying to establish a new business!

    Great looking blog Paul, I’ve really enjoyed reading through your posts. Look forward to reading more excellent material.

    Cheers

    Jon
    Jon Crimes recently posted…Finding an Internet Marketing MentorMy Profile

    • Paul D. Chilvers-Grierson

      Reply Reply

      Thanks Jon!

      I tend to use redirect links wherever possible, so then you can change the actual link if something at the other end changes or stops working.

      The only thing with Amazon is, I think they don’t like that, although it may just be certain kinds of links. They do let you use their shortened URLs, which are really a form of the same thing, but that doesn’t help in this situation.

      I haven’t yet used Randy and Simon’s tool, I have a WP plugin on my sites that I use, e.g. here and on WPGenies.com – that is, inside the PDFs and in all my emails to customers – but I have just signed up to a new tracking service that lets you use your own domains or theirs, and am looking to try that instead.

      I actually got the original version some years ago when you put it on your own server, but at the time I had technical difficulties and never proceeded, then they changed it to SaaS, and now have moved a step further with a new name.

      As they did a special deal for existing customers I ultimately decided to go with it, especially as it does all kinds of things others don’t seem to do.

      I had hesitated because I used to have a white label version of 1ShoppingCart (there are a lot around), and although I wasn’t really using it any more I kept paying every month (and they put the price up!) because I knew the links would stop working if I cancelled – which is what happened.

      In this case I was assured the links would still work even if I left them, so I figured I had nothing to lose.

      That said, you still need to test your links! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Paul

  • Elaine Summers

    Reply Reply

    Hi Paul

    Great advice only just started my journey into internet marketing but from reading your excellent blog and from what I have learnt from other this is essential. Yet after completing some of the set ups it is quite easy to leave the testing to another day. Fatal I think as those days dont often appear in a busy schedule.
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    Regards
    Elaine
    Elaine Summers recently posted…My journey with Partnership to Success so far!!My Profile

    • Paul D. Chilvers-Grierson

      Reply Reply

      Hi Elaine,

      You’re right, leaving it to another day is the easy option it’s all too easy to go with.

      And you are equally right that “another day” can tend to pass and get forgotten!

      Paul

  • Paul

    We hear John on the P2S course telling us to check and test our links so this is a real life situation showing the results of these not being tested. You have probably lost significant income so is a sobering thought for all us newbies to test and retest each and every link!

    Thanks for the post

    DaveT
    Dave Thomas recently posted…Product Review โ€“ SlideshareMy Profile

    • Paul D. Chilvers-Grierson

      Reply Reply

      Dave,

      Well that confirmation made me feel really good – lol.

      I now find myself reminding myself I wrote that post whenever I am tempted to “let it slide this time”!

      Paul

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