Why Affiliate Widgets Are Worth Trying: In Words From A Travelpayouts Partner

Moyens I/O partner and creator of travel websites like Ronda Today, Wildside Holidays and Camino del Rey, Clive Muir shares his experiences with affiliate marketing and what he believes is the best way to work effectively with affiliate programs. In this article, Clive talks about why widgets are sometimes even better than affiliate links, and gives practical professional tips on how to use widgets to make money on travel websites.

Clive has monetized their sites through various affiliate programs such as Omio, Booking, Tripadvisor, and GetYourGuide. After joining Moyens I/O, Clive has managed to consolidate all its affiliate programs into one account by placing widgets at the top of its monetization strategy.

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What are widgets?

A widget is an interface element integrated into a web page that allows users to receive additional travel information and/or interact with various types of forms. For example, readers can use a widget to search for airline tickets by selecting destinations, passenger numbers, and travel dates.

Flight search form example

According to Moyens I/O, the average profit per booking made through the widget is 2.5 times higher than with text affiliate links. That’s why we always recommend using widgets next to links to maximize your revenue.

You can also improve your working skills with common tools. We are currently running the Moyens I/O Widget Challenge. This challenge was created with beginners in mind and will help you learn all the details of using widgets through practical activities to maximize your income. You will also have a chance to win a special prize! Enter the Moyens I/O Widget Contest. Free!

Next up, the story will be told in first person from Clive..

Why Are Widgets Mandatory?

There are many reasons why I prefer widgets to links.

  1. Widgets give users the opportunity to get extra content and interact with a page.
  2. While this may seem like it’s mostly about product reviews, Google Search puts emphasis on content with affiliate widgets, as the widgets add extra content to a webpage and allow users to choose the best travel option for them.
  3. My readers can find all the information they need with one click and easily book hotels and activities from my website.
  4. In my experience, widgets outperform links.

According to popular belief, widgets make pages look messy, kill page speed, and require coding skills to use. I am here to tell you that this is not the case, and here is why:

  • I find that the widgets fit both the main content and the sidebars well. Aesthetic elements such as colors and font can always be adjusted to your site’s style.
  • I use Google Site Kit on all my WordPress websites and have not noticed any speed issues while deploying the widgets.
  • The code will be generated for you in the Moyens I/O control panel, so all you need to know to add a widget is how to copy and paste it.

Using Widgets to Monetize a Travel Blog

The widget is just one of the tools I implemented in my monetization strategy. Depending on my content, I use widgets in addition to affiliate links or on their own.

Choosing Top Articles for Widgets

You have to remember that widgets themselves are just tools – any monetization strategy you consider will fail if your article doesn’t provide useful content for your target audience. Widget is a tool you can use to sell the travel service you wrote about.

So put widgets in articles where it can help your reader – these will likely include articles you’ve already placed affiliate links on.

Here are some situations:

  • If a person is looking for a cheap way to get from his city to Los Angeles, you can add a flight ticket search form to the article.
  • If a person wants to organize 2-3 days in a new place and visit places of interest, you can add a popular trip widget.
  • If a person is planning a trip for Christmas and wants to rent a cheap car, a car search form will come in handy.

The secret of widgets is that they empower the reader. For example, a person can immediately indicate on your website where they want to fly to Los Angeles or exactly where they need a rental car. Such interactive elements can even increase conversion rates because a person sees results exactly based on their search request, not the brand’s homepage or any other page you hardcode into an affiliate link.

Take a look at tour widgets in this post where I talk about tickets. Readers who come to a web page from a specific search query regarding tickets will likely be interested in tours as well:

Example of integrating the tour widget
Example of integrating the tour widget

So where would I recommend not using widgets? The same pages where affiliate links don’t work or where readers come to get answers to questions that aren’t related to a particular travel service, so they don’t need to buy a travel service.

To summarize, place widgets on any page that may be useful to your target audience. However, remember that how you place a particle is just as important as where you bury it.

How to Embed Widgets on a Website?

I always add widgets after a good title and 2-3 paragraph introduction. Before the widget there should always be a short paragraph explaining to your readers what it is and what they need to do to get/find/buy what they want.

Example of placing widgets in the article
Example of placing widgets in the article

You should also make the reader understand the value to be gained by clicking the widget, so adding widgets to the first paragraph is not the best idea. To pass value, you can:

  • Explain the convenience of buying online
  • Promote the brand the reader will buy
  • Explain that tickets are more expensive offline or sell out quickly

Sometimes I put the widgets at the bottom of the screen, sometimes I paste them at the bottom of the page. On average, I include 3-6 widget offers in an article.

One of the best examples of widget placement can be found in my article on GetYourGuide for Caminito Del Rey. It has a good title, introductory paragraphs and GetYourGuide widget set to 5 quotes. Google Adsense is also deployed.

I also place widgets in the sidebar and they are repeated on all pages of the website. Here is an example of one of my hotel widgets in the sidebar:

Hotel widget placement example
Hotel widget placement example

While something like hotels is a must for most tourists, you shouldn’t expect high conversions from sidebar placements. Conversion rates can be negatively impacted in part by banner blindness, but also by traffic to your pages possibly for a specific purpose, such as buying tickets or tours.

Do you want to share your story? Moyens I/O welcomes all bloggers with any travel related experience. Write us at [email protected] with the subject: “Moyens I/O Blog Story”.

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