In this article, I look at the different things Amazon Affiliates will have to do differently in 2020 and some of those that will remain the same. Consider this to be my collection of tips and best practices that increase Amazon affiliate revenue.
This is more relevant than ever as the landscape is becoming more and more competitive. I have tested these tips myself and use them on many affiliate and niche websites.
Of course, these don’t always work equally well on different websites, but they are mostly best practices that have proven their worth and in most cases bring something.
Consider Buyer Intent
Here at AMZ Watcher, we like to say that not all traffic is created equal. It makes a big difference if you have visitors who are willing to buy, who only need some information and trust before they buy, or if you have visitors on your affiliate website who are only interested in free information. That’s why it’s important to find a niche that’s as related to the purchase as possible when choosing a topic. In other words, you want your article to appeal to those who are near the bottom of the funnel in their decision-making process.
Besides, you can use the content of your website to control what kind of visitors get to your website. Articles about free information or lotteries are therefore often not so ideal. Concrete product presentations, news information or offers are more likely to fit.
It is therefore important to use “purchase-related” keywords and to rank them in Google above all where users are willing to buy.
Fix broken Amazon links
Very often when we create a blog post, we write the article, design it well, insert links and publish on the blog to forget about it for months. All the while the products on Amazon you are linking out to are becoming out of stock, unavailable or turn completely 404.
This makes your visitors bounce from the Amazon and you end up losing the commission.
An average affiliate site loses up to 15% of revenue from lost links after a year of blog posts being idle. Taking good care of your site is a part of the maintenance hygiene that is a must-have in 2020.
Check out our tool that helps to find and fix these links.
Drive more traffic
That sounds like a no-brainer, but I’d still like to mention that here. Also in Affiliate Marketing, you can observe a very close connection between increasing numbers of visitors and increasing revenues.
In addition to optimizing the conversion rate, you should therefore always look again at how you can get more from the right traffic. This is possible e.g. by articles with long-tail search terms, besides, e.g., in which one takes up new products with, which fit very well to the past.
On my beamer website, it would be very good to introduce beamer screens, Blu-Rays or boxes.
Go after ‘VS’ keywords
Product comparisons are probably one of the most popular content of affiliate websites. Of course, this also applies to Amazon products.
Therefore, you should consider a comparison table for similar products in the same category. You can use it to list the most important factors and compare prices.
This works automatically with the plugin WP Product Review Pro, which costs some money but can automatically create comparison tables from created products.
But you can also create these tables manually, which of course makes more work and requires maintenance.
In any case, I have had very good experiences with comparison tables.
Build more links
In my experience, many newbies are too careful when installing affiliate links. Either they don’t know better or they are afraid that Google will punish their website otherwise. There’s certainly something wrong with Google if you exaggerate too much. However, many affiliate links are a very big success factor.
The more affiliate links you add to your website, the higher the chance that someone will click on them, go to Amazon and buy something there. That’s why you shouldn’t be too cautious.
In addition to text links, which you should include several times per article, Amazon buttons, product images with links, product boxes (via Amazon widget or with an Amazon plugin) and other advertising media are also very useful.
Consider writing for the most profitable category
This is a first insider tip, as many new Amazon affiliates are not aware that the different product categories on Amazon have different commission rates.
For the same product, you can get 1, 3 or 5% commission. For example, I received 1% (TV and home cinema) and 3% (computer) commission for the same product. That triples the income and is a big difference with more expensive products.
So if there are expensive products in several product categories, then go to the product category with the higher commission and use the Site Stripe there to get the affiliate link.
Engage your readers
An important step towards more income with the Amazon affiliate program is to get to know your visitors better. What products are you looking for? Which problems do they want to solve? What questions do they have that are keeping them from buying?
The better you know your visitors and their wishes and needs, the better you can present relevant products for them. You can also build trust by answering the most important questions.
But how do you find out what users are looking for and what problems do they have? On the one hand through your statistics. Which Know-How articles are read most often? With which search terms do they come from Google? What is searched for in the internal search of the affiliate website?
But polls and surveys are also a good way to analyze the interests of visitors.
Of course, it helps a lot if you have a lot of interest in the products and therefore a feeling for what is important.
Even if you are an Amazon affiliate, you should not exclude other affiliate programs. A good method for this is a price comparison that analyzes other online shops for a product in addition to the Amazon price and displays the prices there, if applicable.
WordPress plugins such as WP BestPrice enable the simple integration of price comparisons.
As a result, most visitors still buy from Amazon, because the price comparison often shows them that it is not cheaper or not much cheaper elsewhere. And since many users have great confidence in Amazon and appreciate the fast delivery times, for example, they buy from Amazon even if it is a little more expensive there than in other online shops.
Cheap products vs expensive products
Again and again, there are discussions as to whether one should advertise cheap or more expensive products. There is no simple answer to this question.
In former times it was not worthwhile to advertise expensive products, because with 5% commission and a cap of $10 per sale only products up to approx. $200 was lucrative. Also for a $2,000 product, one got earlier only max. $10 commission.
Meanwhile, Amazon has overturned the $10 cap so that more expensive products are worth it. However, it should be clear that expensive products are rarely bought.
Therefore, I think a combination of cheaper and more expensive products on your affiliate website makes sense. With this, you can reach the price-conscious bargain hunter as well as those visitors who are willing to spend good money on quality.
I usually combine both and drive well with it.
Use the herd instinct
Most people want to play it safe and therefore prefer to buy products that most others also buy.
You can and should take advantage of this herd behavior and, for example, present particularly popular products or display Amazon’s product rating stars on your website. The latter can be realized with the AAWP plugin.
This plugin can also be used to display bestseller lists of individual product categories. These also work very well, because “you can’t do anything wrong with these products”.
There are many offers* on Amazon every day, and some affiliates specialize in analyzing them every day and promoting them on matching affiliate sites. This is too time-consuming for me personally.
Nevertheless, you can manually advertise interesting offers from time to time on your affiliate website. Using the Amazon API, for example, I programmed a small script that only displays offer from certain product categories. This doesn’t work in every category, but overall it works quite well. I assume that this will soon work with one or the other Amazon plugin as well.
Big promotions, like the Cyber Monday week on Amazon, which will surely start again soon, can also be used. Bargains are a very powerful tool to increase the conversion rate.
Anyone who uses Amazon as an affiliate primarily advertises products. It is, therefore, a good idea here to integrate product images as well.
The easiest way to do this is via Site Stripe by going to the relevant product page in Amazon and then clicking on “Picture” at the top of the Site Stripe. This way you get a code for a nice product image, which of course also contains an affiliate link.
Alternatively, you can use Amazon plugins that access the Amazon Product Advertising API and often even offer different product images to choose from.
But you should also remember to mark these images with links as advertisements.
Use email marketing
This tip certainly doesn’t work with every website, but it can be worthwhile to offer your own newsletter* in which you tell readers tips, news, and current offers.
On many topics, visitors are so interested that they subscribe to the newsletter and hope, for example, not to miss an offer for certain products.
Whether this works for your website or not, you simply have to try it out. Especially since this method also costs some money.
Use ‘Add-to-cart’ Buttons
The normal affiliate link at Amazon takes the visitor to the product page. The visitor can then look around and add the product to the shopping cart.
The main disadvantage of this is that the product must be placed in the shopping basket within 24 hours, otherwise, the cookie expires and we do not receive any commission. If, for example, a user clicks on one of our affiliate links, but then only places a product in the shopping basket after 48 hours and orders it, we do not receive any commission.
With a trick, you can increase the cookie runtime to 90 days. It is possible to change the affiliate link so that the product is placed directly in the shopping cart. The cookie is then automatically valid for 90 days and you do not lose the commission if this person then e.g. only after 7 days something orders.
Unfortunately, this does not work with a normal text link, but you must use this code for it, which creates a corresponding button.
You should test for yourself if this will do anything.
Mind the Prime
Amazon Prime offers among other things free shipping, even if the shopping cart is less than $12,99.
Unfortunately, this is not shown in the Amazon product widget, which is why I also use the AAWP plugin here. But other Amazon plugins also offer the display of the prime symbol for corresponding products.
From my own experience, I can say that this is a purchase factor.
You can also get more clicks and thus sales if you optimize your layout. To do this, you should use a service like crazyegg.com or overheat.de to analyze where visitors click.
On the so-called heat map, you can see whether your affiliate links are there where most of the visitors’ attention goes. If this is not the case, you should place affiliate links exactly there.
Learn from your Amazon Associates statistics
I have already explained in great detail how you can use the Amazon statistics to earn more.
But it is important to use different tracking IDs, e.g. to evaluate different links on your website separately. If you use the same tracking ID for all Amazon affiliate links, you can’t tell whether a sale came from a product review, an offer or a bestseller list.
It is also worth taking a detailed look at the statistics to find out, for example, which products are particularly popular or which products are frequently returned. The findings should, of course, affect your content creation.
Even if Amazon’s statistics are not really up to date and hopefully better tracking will be introduced in the future, you should use this data today to optimize your affiliate website.
Implement A/B tests
Split tests (also called A/B tests) are the comparison of two variants. For example, on your website, you can alternately display different texts on the Amazon order buttons and then measure which variant was clicked more often. You keep these after the test and test them again against another variant. In this way, you gradually optimize the individual elements of your website.
Tools such as Optimizely or the upcoming Google Optimize Free make it easy to create such split tests and thus optimize the various elements of your affiliate website.
However, the prerequisite for such a split test is that you have a relatively good number of visitors. With 200 visitors per month, you will hardly get statistically meaningful results. However, if you have a few thousand visitors a month, you can increase the conversion rate very well.
Check & update links
Trivial, but over time very important, is the checking of existing affiliate links. If you have been using Amazon for some time, you should check the pages from time to time and see if the links still work.
So it is quite normal that some of the products are no longer in the Amazon shop over time and the affiliate link, therefore, displays an error message. You should take the time to check your Amazon links from time to time.
Last but not least, an important tip that beginners, in particular, can use. Just because no order has been received after the first 100 clicks, you don’t have to get disappointed.
Earning money with Affiliate Marketing takes time. You need a lot of content in which you, in turn, the affiliate links built in. Besides, you need at least a good number of visitors.
So you should not expect the big income after a few weeks, but think long term and expand and optimize your website more and more.
In theory, using the Amazon Affiliate Program is easy. Choose a product, generate an affiliate link, integrate it into your website, that’s it. You are done!
In reality, though, there are a lot of details that come into play when you are trying to be successful with Amazon. To increase your income and exploit the potential, you have to optimize a lot. These tips will help you to increase your revenue.