While the world of affiliate marketing has been taken over by mobile advertising, it’s good to remind ourselves every once in a while that desktop advertising is still alive and well.
When it comes to choosing your offers and the most suitable targeting for them, it’s quite important to consider people’s habits, preferences, and needs. Some offers might be perfect for notorious smartphone users, while others might be better off catching the attention of desktop enthusiasts.
If you want to make sure you’re on top of your game at matching offers with targeting, read this article and learn what affiliate offers work best with desktop traffic.
Desktop vs. mobile traffic
In order for you to understand why different performance can be observed for mobile vs. desktop devices, we will discuss the key differences between both platforms. While the same websites can be displayed on both, their performance and purpose might favor one device over the other.
Here is a list of key differences:
- While smartphones are always near us, desktop computers are often used for work, research, gaming, or evening shopping/relaxing;
- Mobile and tablet devices are often used without a particular purpose in mind, while desktop computers are ‘the big guns’ used for specified tasks;
- Mobile audience size is bigger and more eager to check out ads for entertainment products and services;
- Despite higher engagement, mobile users are more likely to get accidental clicks, therefore, driving higher CTR without the expected results.
Should you advertise with desktop traffic in 2021?
Yes, of course, you should! The mobile audience keeps getting bigger but it doesn’t mean the desktop audience is in decline. People are using their stationary computers just as they always were, they just spend more time on their phones. After all, according to The Guardian, people check their phones an average of 58 times a day.
Nonetheless, affiliate marketing programs are still profitable for either platform so if you’re an entrepreneur hoping to make money by advertising products for a commission, you should not skip on the desktop ads.
Actually, the start of the pandemic prompted a 13% increase in desktop traffic during business hours. And that only confirms that desktop advertising is not to be forgotten.
Of course, the ideal solution is to spread your marketing materials over many traffic sources and targeting options. The bigger the budget, the bigger the business. And testing more makes it easier to find that goldmine.
In general, you don’t want to limit your audience. Desktop advertising is still lucrative. Almost every reputable affiliate marketing network will tell you that. Unless they specialize in mobile advertising. Then they might want to steer you away from an audience that wouldn’t work for you.
The benefits of targeting desktop traffic
Affiliate programs that specify desktop as the preferred source of traffic do so for a very good reason. There are plenty of benefits to advertising on desktop and every affiliate who tried advertising an offer with a higher commission rate knows this. Here’s why.
✔︎ Desktop traffic is stable. It’s just the nature of the traffic. While mobile has fluctuations of high performance interlaced with lower performance days, desktop traffic tends to keep your offers running for longer at a steady pace of even daily earnings.
✔︎ There are no ‘fat finger’ clicks on the desktop. Have you ever tried to close an annoying ad on your phone but the X button was so small you missed it and went straight to the offer page instead? Well, that doesn’t happen on desktop traffic as the mouse pointer is generally more accurate.
✔︎ Downloading files is a straightforward process in a desktop browser. On mobiles? Not so much. People less adept at technology might find locating and installing files on their phones a bit complicated. Also, some files are not possible to download or open on a phone.
✔︎ Landing pages for desktop are easier to make. That’s because mobile screens are somewhat more complicated and while converting a landing page you’d have to code the width of the ad in percentages so they can be displayed correctly on both a variety of mobile devices and all kinds of tablets as well.
✔︎ Filling out data is easier with a keyboard. And as far as we’re concerned people don’t really plug keyboards into their mobile phones. Offers that will require filling out some data will always have a higher chance of success on desktop devices (with a proper keyboard).
✔︎ Desktops are both gaming and serious business devices. People use them to fill job applications and insurance coverages, but when they’re done they will look for an entertaining game or dating site to unwind and relax.
✔︎ Desktop traffic provides more quality leads. That’s directly related to fewer accidental clicks and a more businesslike nature of a computer – purchases tend to be more thought through rather than a spur of the moment kind of thing.
✔︎ Older audiences find computers more trustworthy than mobiles. If you’re advertising something that might suit older people, they are more likely to engage with your ad when they see it on a computer screen. The smaller Internet on mobile devices just isn’t as worthy of trust.
✔︎ Website loading speed isn’t much of a problem on desktop computers. While on mobile devices it does play a crucial role. Did you know that in a study conducted by Akamai, 40% of visitors were observed leaving a landing page if they had to wait for longer than 3 seconds? A lot more effort is required to bring mobile loading speed up to par.
Are there any disadvantages of using desktop traffic?
Each targeting option has its advantages and disadvantages. There’s always plenty of positives that make the platform an attractive source of earnings but there’s always a couple of minuses or minor disadvantages. In the case of desktop traffic it’s three things:
- Mobile offers such as PIN submits, in particular, are possible to be run with desktop traffic however they tend to bring very poor results;
- Young audiences are avid phone users so things like games and apps will always have an advantage being run on mobile devices;
- Tier 3 and Tier 4 GEOs have much bigger mobile traffic volumes so they are the recommended method for low payout sweepstakes/push subscription offers.
Best affiliate marketing offers to run on desktop
The desktop still works. And not just for the evergreen affiliate marketing niches. Verticals such as e-commerce or surveys & sweeps are what tends to work on both mobile and desktop devices equally.
Despite the seasonal spikes, these verticals are usually always a good idea to run. They have a global reach, they’re always relevant, and they have sub-niches and different variants. Overall, you can use seasonal angles but e-commerce and surveys & sweeps will always work as they should. Also, although targeting will depend on each particular offer, the scale is usually slightly tipped toward mobile.
There are, however, three verticals that have a desktop traffic advantage.
When you take a look at the websites showing cryptocurrency stats from the past couple of months, you’ll clearly see that a lot is going on there. Crypto is a vertical that keeps coming back. Just like bitcoin, up and down again, just to keep reaching new heights and shocking investors.
Crypto offers deal with a variety of subjects, more or less related to the world of blockchain systems. The most obvious one will be cryptocurrency sites that let people trade Bitcoins and other currencies for cash and vice versa. The less obvious ones will be Bitcoin wallets, casinos, credit cards that are usable in regular shops and even VPNs designed precisely to protect your trading activities.
When it comes to detailed targeting, Tier 1 and 2 GEOs are preferred and all ad formats happen to have similar performance. Desktop, however, is preferred for running pop and domain redirect ads.
You can learn everything there is to know about running crypto offers in our Affiliate Marketing Guide to Crypto Vertical in 2021.
Although it is possible to accidentally download malicious software to your mobile device, phones don’t get viruses. Malware is a different thing although it can lead to serious problems such as data theft, app stores generally do a great job filtering through their inventories and blocking thousands of malicious apps every day.
Desktop devices are a whole different thing. While not clicking on suspicious links in messages or emails can successfully protect your mobile device from harmful stuff, that is not the case with personal computers. Researching any niche subject on the Internet already involves clicking on at least a couple of not-entirely-trustworthy-links. And just like we’ve mentioned before, serious business requires a desktop device. And that desktop device requires protection.
Antiviruses are truly needed and the question for each user shouldn’t be whether they need it, but which antivirus will suit their needs the most. Make sure to consider such needs as privacy, data protection, and urgency for action.
The third best kind of offer to advertise on desktop are VPN offers. Similar to Antivirus offers, the need for VPNs is much more noticeable for desktop devices. People use them to gain online privacy and anonymity. They use them for work, filling out documents, accessing learning platforms, and other businesslike activities.
Let’s be honest, though, VPNs are not only needed for professional activities. They are just as often needed for such unprofessional activities as accessing region-restricted entertainment websites, gaining privacy while surfing adult sites, or hiding your IP while downloading torrents.
💡 Pro tip: VPN offers tend to work well with adult traffic targeting, as people who surf dating and adult sites often want to be hidden and protected as well as possible.
In short, people need VPNs whether it’s for protecting a company’s database or buying a gaming subscription only available abroad. Make an effort to target your campaign at the right audience with the right angle and you’ll be sure to break the bank with your desktop campaigns.
Mobile advertising has taken over the world of affiliate marketing – that is true. But it would be a terrible mistake to forget about desktop traffic. Although it has been in the shadow for the past couple of years, it’s still an opportunity you shouldn’t miss.
Some verticals are not cut out for desktop advertising (mobile content, duh!). But verticals like crypto, trading, antivirus, and VPNs, have clearly better results with desktop traffic. Actually, if you combine them with either pop or domain redirect ad formats, you have an even higher chance of success.
Always make sure to pick offers and targeting adequate for your budget. Once you’re sure you can do it, crypto, antivirus, and VPN offers combined with desktop traffic will get your affiliate marketing efforts to the next level.