How to Create a Coupon Site That Performs: 6 Easy Steps
7 min read
7 min read
For penny-pinchers worldwide, coupon sites are a savior when it comes to clinching a bargain. However, it can be a little challenging to figure out how to kick off your affiliate coupon site if you’ve never done it before.
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Luckily, with a little know-how from the experts at NicheHacks, you’ll find it simpler than you think to create a high-converting coupon website in a flash.
Keep reading for insights into how coupon sites work, inspiration from top coupon code sites, and six mind-blowingly easy steps to creating a coupon site that makes a bank.
How does a coupon site work?
For couponers, promo code websites are straightforward. Your search for a coupon for your product on Google, you choose the best coupon from the coupon website, and you use it for your purchase.
On the back-end, the whole process of couponing is underpinned by the affiliate marketing business model.
Affiliate marketers build coupon websites and target them to niche audiences.
You’ll find the online coupon codes for your coupon sites on affiliate platforms like Pepperjam, Impact Radius, or Awin.
Affiliates add these discount coupon codes to coupon websites and receive a commission on sales every time a customer uses the coupon code.
Your affiliate platform will manage payments and deliver profits to your account.
Promo code websites are super effective at generating high conversions. 30% of all sales come from voucher codes as opposed to other digital marketing methods.
This is because visitors are drawn to discount code sites to save them money on goods. As 45% of buyers will go online shopping this year, you have a broad market to target.
For brands, shopping deals and coupon marketing is an incredible way to boost sales.
Take clothing brand, Ivory Ella, for example.
The brand experienced 56% year-on-year growth thanks to affiliate coupon programs.
Pros and cons of creating a coupon website
- Coupon websites aren’t very content-heavy so they’re ideal for those not passionate about writing.
- Promo code sites generate high volumes of inbound leads as people often search for discounts.
- Outlay and overheads are inexpensive as there’s no need for inventory management or huge sales teams
- There’s an endless list of product coupons to choose from so you can target a niche you’re passionate about.
- You’ll need to front-load marketing, which can be expensive and time-consuming at the beginning
- It’s tough to compete against big coupon sites
- You need lots of conversions as commission percentages are quite low on sales.
- Your income stream can fluctuate a lot as coupon offers change, so you’ll need to boost your coupon website with other affiliate income hacks.
Get inspired: 3 examples of high-performing coupon sites
Coupon site example #1: RetailMeNot
See how RetailMeNot makes it easy to find coupons in relevant categories:
By categorizing coupons, RetailMeNot enhances the user experience and optimizes the coupon site for SEO (search engine optimization) — so it ranks higher in Google.
Notice the top trending daily deals and seasonal promotions. Easy navigation like this boosts the shopper experience.
That’s how RetailMeNot gets 13+ million organic monthly visitors.
Coupon site example #2: Coupons.com
Notice how Coupons.com offers online coupons and printable coupons.
While coupon sites are a top place to offer online discount codes, don’t forget printable coupons. 50% of shoppers take physical coupons with them when they go shopping in-store — especially grocery coupon print-outs.
Coupon site example #3: The Honest Customer
The Honest Customer serves a niche audience with its coupons:
(Source: The Honest Customer)
The Honest Customer is a coupon blog site that uses detailed descriptions to help boost SEO and offers discount codes linked with URLs directly to the shops.
This streamlines the sales funnel as couponers are directed right to the item they wish to buy and the digital coupon is automatically applied.
Launch a Successful Coupon Site in 6 Easy Steps
Follow this handy guide to learn how to create a coupon site from scratch that converts like wild.
Step #1: Make sure there’s a market (Beginner Level)
Picking a coupon niche that you’re passionate about is likely to keep you engaged. However, that doesn’t mean it will be a profitable or even viable market.
You need to ensure that there are enough niche coupon codes for your target market. Can your coupon website offer enough discount coupon codes to drive high traffic to your site?
To find all the online coupon codes that would fit your niche, you need to perform a keyword search, a SERP (search engine results page) analysis, and a search of your affiliate platform.
To perform a keyword analysis, run your website through an SEO audit tool like Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, of Ahrefs.
Explore popular related search terms used by your target audience. This will help you figure out what to search for when looking for digital coupons to suit your niche on your affiliate platform.
Next, perform a SERP analysis to delve deeper into the types of products your niche is searching for and the style of language they use.
Make a note of the common search terms that arise and search these key phrases on your affiliate platform to see which coupon codes are available for your niche.
(Source: Avangate Network)
For a coupon site to really capture a niche, you’ll need a good list of discount coupon codes available. Try to find at least 20 to 30 online coupon codes to kick off your promotional code site.
Step #2: Create a code strategy (Beginner Level)
Your code strategy is important to give consistency to your branding and for monitoring trends within your products.
When selecting products to promote from your affiliate platform, you’ll be able to enter your own personalized shortcode for your audience.
On the surface, all your codes should follow a certain format. That way you create a coherent brand message even if you use multiple affiliate coupons.
On a deeper level, however, your code strategy should work to give you a clear picture of where your sales are coming from.
For example, imagine you’re trying to sell a state-of-the-art watch.
You may A/B test two different landing pages on your deals website geared toward two different target audiences. Each landing page code displays a custom coupon code, so that you can see whether more sales come through landing page A or B.
Lastly, consider which types of digital coupons work best.
Try free shipping coupons in particular. 85% of customers say that free shipping is an online dealbreaker.
Step #3: Optimize your coupon site for monetization (Intermediate Level)
It’s key that you ensure that your coupon website is designed to convert.
Firstly, make sure that all your website tech is spot on. Shoppers leave web pages that are too slow. Make sure your page loads in under five seconds, otherwise you’ll have an abandonment rate of 90%.
Next, design your coupon website with mobile users in mind, as a third of consumers look for online coupons on their mobile. If it’s hard to access your coupon on smart devices, consumers will look elsewhere.
When considering the page design for your daily deal site, think about optimizing it for monetization.
Let’s break down how Brad’s Deals optimizes its coupon homepage to drive profits.
(Source: Brad’s Deals)
It’s easy to navigate to specific brand coupons in the top menu. You’ll also find the latest digital coupons and daily deals here.
On the homepage, top coupon deals are highlighted with a high-quality image and bold explanatory title tag to draw visitor attention.
Notice how the call-to-action (CTA) is shaped like a button — a tactic that can double conversions.
Brad’s Deals also provides social buttons to encourage sharing on social media. This helps to market the coupon on multiple platforms.
Lastly, check out the PPC (pay-per-click) ad on the right-hand side. Brad’s Deals monetizes every inch of the page by using sidebar ads to generate extra income.
Step #4: Build a solid SEO strategy (Intermediate Level)
While online coupons are in high demand, you need a strong SEO strategy to make sure your audience sees your coupons.
Your SEO strategy works to push you up search engine results pages (SERPs) so that you have a higher search engine ranking.
50% of all Google’s traffic goes to the top search result. If you’re not there, half your target audience are clicking on a competitor.
Google ranks on 200 factors. These factors make sure that the top search result is relevant, current, user-friendly, high-quality, and so on.
To get your coupons website to the top spot for your niche:
#1 - Perform an SEO audit of your coupon website
Use a tool like Ubersuggest to perform an SEO audit.
This will show you your top-performing keywords. You can see which keywords reach the top position on Google and which don’t.
From here, you can focus on improving the keywords in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions to overtake the competition.
Your SEO audit will also tell you about your technical SEO, such as the number of backlinks to your site, the number of broken links, and any critical errors.
Your SEO audit will provide a guide to optimizing your technical SEO.
#2 - Add keywords to visible content
All content on your website should be optimized with keywords.
This means inserting relevant keywords into your coupon descriptions, articles, titles, product descriptions, podcast summaries, image captions, and so on.
#3 - Insert keywords on the back-end
All images, videos, titles, graphics, etc, needed to be tagged to show they’re relevant to Google searches.
To do this, you need to insert keywords into your image and video alt-text, title tags, meta descriptions, etc.
#4 - Optimize technical SEO
Use the SEO audit to guide you toward fixing any technical errors on your site, such as broken links or bad routing.
Perform a page speed test to make sure your website loads fast enough.
Lastly, make sure that everything loads properly both on mobile and on desktop.
Step #5: Create SEO-optimized interactive seasonal buying guides (Advanced Level)
Since it’s not common practice to have a blog on a coupon website, you need to find other opportunities to optimize your website for different coupon searches.
An easy way to do this is by creating seasonal or topic-specific buying guides that highlight the month’s top coupon deals.
Create different landing pages targeted to your various audience segments. Feature buying guides that showcase trending coupons that synchronize with what’s happening in the real world.
That way, you can capture your audience with seasonal deals while boosting SEO for seasonal product searches.
Notice how the CTA button pops up with the online coupon information when you hover over the products in the lookbook. This interactive experience engages the users and encourages them to click through.
Step #6: Capture shopper data for with a pop-up (Advanced Level)
Pop-ups are a powerful tool, with conversion rates of up to 10%. Test different style pop-ups to see which get the best responses.
Use these pop-ups to collect data for future email marketing campaigns and later coupon offers. Emails are a great way to get codes directly to the end-user by firing them straight to their inbox.
Check out how Zulily entices users to subscribe to emails with a pop-up.
Encouraging users with the incentive of big savings, Zulily makes it easy to sign up with only an email address.
Now you have a better understanding of how the coupon website model works, you can create your coupon website using these simple steps.
It’s mostly down to how to share and market your coupon website. Make sure that you match your target audience to relevant vouchers as personalization drives conversions.
If you have questions about how to create a coupon website, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact the experts at Niche Hack