How To Design An Affiliate Site: 6 Key Concepts To Keep In Mind

Given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.

[Source: Adobe]

Working in the design business for 10 years, I can honestly conclude that design is not only aesthetic but it is something that contributes to a purpose.  

Designers can go on and on about how different print designing is to web designing but one thing that all disciplines of design have in common is to convey the message visually. With that said, it goes beyond how beautiful the design is made but how it functions and supports the idea, the brand and the company.

Last year, I worked for an affiliate marketing company. I started as a graphic designer for featured images and when the opportunity was presented, I applied as a web designer.

I thought to myself, I love beautifully designed websites! So why not try my hand at designing websites right? It’s not going to be much different anyway. Lo and behold, I was wrong and right at the same time.

I’ve listed down the things I’ve learned from designing affiliate sites. Some of this maybe a bit more obvious, and a bit vague for those who have been in the affiliate marketing business for quite some time. But I hope my first hand experience in designing can help shed light on some factors wherein a well-crafted website design can help boost your business.

38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive.

[Source: Adobe]

Get that 38% of design-loving people become part of your leads!

Know Your Niche

Before putting the designer cape on, get a grasp on what the site is about.  Get the idea of the site? Great. Now check the copy and the contents. Determine the tone and start from there.

It pays to check the details first before designing an affiliate site. When you understand the full idea of the website, it's much easier to design and the design will look more cohesive too.

Use The Right Images

Take the time to look for images that best suit the website. Don’t go for the first photo of the dog you see on a stock photo site.

Choose good quality images that looks good with the layout you have in mind.  It’s also better to find images with bigger resolution and scale it down to your preference. Who wants a blurry ass photo? No one.

39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won't load or take too long to load.

[Source: Adobe]

Choose Typography That's Not An Eyesore

That fancy font is quite tempting to use. So as that cute swirly font for your baby niche site.

But always keep in mind fonts has to be used to serve its purpose: readability. Readability on both desktop screens and mobile phones has to always be considered when using a font. 

For fancy fonts, it’s alright to use it but keep it as a banner text like...

...and not like this

And for the love of everything holy, please PLEASE do not use cursive fonts in ALL CAPS. I've seen too much of this. Not only is it not readable but it just look hella ugly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the fonts have to look good across all screen sizes. We’re in the age wherein more people are using mobile devices than desktop computers.

Best font size for your website body texts? 16px to 18px. Lower than that and you'll make people with bad eyesight squint.

Give Your Logo Some Love

After reaching a company's website via referral site, 36% of visitors will click on the company's logo to reach the homepage.

[Source: KoMarketing]

Please see item no.1 above and then formulate how the logo will best represent a website. It should stand out and be memorable.

Let’s face it, there are gazillions of logos we see everyday and it's hard to get to a “coca-cola logo status”. However, its always best to have a strong logo that is consistent with your branding.

Your website may be designed and laid out perfectly but if your logo quality won’t match up to your site, that can be a deal breaker.

A strong logo design can be the basis for your website when it comes to designing affiliate sites. Start with getting a brand-board with logo and your website design will be a breeze.

Mind Your Mobile-View

How important is it having a website that is mobile-responsive?

62% of companies which designed their website(s) for mobile platforms increased their sales and 64% of companies that designed their website for tablets increased sales.

How many of us checked websites on our phone just to find out it is so hard to navigate around it and we just leave. I only did realize the importance of mobile-responsive design when I started designing websites.

What looks good on my big-ass horizontal pc monitor will look crappy on my phone. Lesson-learned for me, design should look good across all screen size.

Design Consistency Is Key

In my experience, I’ve had clients who ask to have their homepage redesigned but leave the other pages untouched. More often than not, this is because of budget constraints. So they end up with a nicely-designed homepage but other pages don’t go well with it.

In a few weeks or months, they’ll get the other pages designed by another designer to match what I did with the homepage. It’s hard to continue another designer’s work and completely make it look seamless.

I’ve been on the other side too, I’ve had jobs wherein I have to continue someone else’s work and just couldn’t get is as good as they did.

13% of adults access the internet via mobile only. 11% access the internet via desktop only.

 [Source: comScore]

Bottom line is they spend more and they have a website designed by different designers. In a few months, when they want to scale their business, they have to spend another roll of $$$ to totally re brand the site.

My point here: hire a designer or a company who will do it from start to finish. Need any revisions in the future? Maintain an open communication with your designer or design company so you don’t have to be back to square 1 each time.

Be Positive About Negative Spaces

This is a bit of a no-brainer even for people who do not design, but if there’s one thing that I always improve on designs and focus on is the spacing of elements.

Creating spaces among the sections, images, body text, the headline, and CTA buttons is necessary. It creates a breathing room for the elements and even makes the website look sleek and legit-looking.

You have 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell them what they'll get out of your website and company. After this time (and oftentimes before), they'll leave. - NN Group

Find The Right Color Combination

Your website’s color palette says a lot. Colors evoke emotion so choose wisely! I’ve lost count at how many websites I’ve seen where there are too many colors that are being used or colors just didn’t go well together.

Choosing the right color palette can be overwhelming. 10 years of designing, and I still get overwhelmed and overthink what colors I need to use on some projects. It’s always best to choose 2 main colors to begin with and add an accent color to that.

Keep the contrast high between backgroudn and elements like text and buttons,  but not too high that it looks ridiculous. CTA buttons have to always stand out.

When in doubt, use the color wheel. Or, if you're feeling a little young and hip.

It all boils down to providing a wonderful viewing experience.

Designing the best Amazon affiliate site, at it's core is simply about creating a wonderful browsing experience for your visitor. 

While backlinks and great content can take you to the front page, proper web design will get your readers clicking and buying.

Do you have any questions? Don't hesitate to comment below.

About the Author Yesh