Ad Tech

A Study Into Which Amazon Associates Affiliate Links Bring In The Most Revenue

Amazon Associates

amazon associates best ad types for revenueRecently, I have been taking a hard look at which Amazon Associates affiliate links, banners and widgets bring in the most revenue and which ones are just plain deadbeats wasting valuable space. Most of my readers/followers are aware I own several news sites based on a broad range of topics. Some might call them blogs, niche sites, online magazines, educational resources, etc. Amazon links are posted within almost all of them. I became an Amazon Associate back in 2003. It is 11 years later and I am still pleased with using the program. The goal of this post is to help you learn how to increase revenue by showing which Amazon Associates affiliate links, banners and widgets bring in the most revenue. I have learned from experience: Analyze, Analyze, Analyze! It will save you time and increase your cashflow when it comes to monetizing sites.

Research Methodology

[Please note: Due to my sites having several different focused topics, my findings are broad. Others who are Amazon Associates might find different findings depending on their niche, layout and audience of their site.]

I started my research by signing into my Amazon Associates account and looking at the Link-Type Report found under the Reporting section.

(For privacy reasons, I have left out my revenue numbers)

amazon affiliate tips

I then chose a big date range, such as one year or many years, to get a large scope versus a day to day analyse. I ran three reports with different date ranges: 2003 – present day, 2011 – present day (In 2011, I changed my site strategy, due to the penguin algorithm) and a 30 day report.

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I then assessed Impressions and Click-Through Rate versus the Advertising Fee Column, mostly paying attention to the Click-Through Column to see the correlation between all three reports.

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Findings And Conclusions

The following findings are based on all the sites I own. The hands down top performing and revenue making links/banners/widgets from Amazon Associates were the following four units :

    1. Basic Display Product Links: Click-Through Rate 81%

    2. Enhanced Display Product Links: Click-Through Rate 53%

    3. Enhanced Search Box: Click-Through Rate Box 77%

    4. Search Widget: Click-Through Rate 72%

Example of Basic Display and Enhanced Display Ads (Live Affiliate Links)

Text & Image AdText OnlyImage Only
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Examples of Enhanced Search Box and Search Widget (Live Affiliate Links)

Enhanced Search BoxSearch Widget

My truly deadbeat ads, in order of absolutely worst performing to just simply bad performing, are as follows:

      1. Slide Show: The Slide Show widget so under performed, that it was embarrassing. It had the third most impressions out of all the amazon affiliate links, with a horrible click-through rate and minimal sales. It might be a cute widget, but it isn’t bringing me any income. It has to be removed from my sites.

      2. Banner Links – Category: Second most Impressions when it comes to Amazon affiliate links on my sites, with only a 4% click-through rate. It has a decent amount of sales for the 4% click-through rate. However, for the amount of impressions it should bring in more. The Banner Links Category features products chosen automatically based on product categories. The sales are good, but I can definitely swap these out for better performing units.

      3. Product Cloud: The Product Cloud widget shows clusters of product titles that are relevant to your page. The font size of the title in the cloud indicates how relevant the product is to your page. They look much like the old Tag Clouds in WordPress from years ago that were popular but not so common now because Google and other search engines see them as keyword stuffing. They get great impressions, ok click-through rates, but zero sales.

      4. Omakase Links: With tons of impression and a 52% click-through rate, Omakase grossly underperforms and brings me zero revenue. This actually shocked me because Omakase links combine information on each site visitor’s taste, the site’s content, and historical trends to dynamically generate relevant ads that Amazon serves to your site, providing personalized product ads to your site visitors. We have all seen these ads on sites. You go to Amazon two hours prior to research a product and then hours later you are on a random site and there is an ad for that exact product. I presumed the Omakase Links would be better revenue generators, but they are the exact opposite.

      5. Recommended Product Links: With a high impression rate, but only 4% click-through rate and zero in sales, I need to remove these ads immediately. I thought Recommended Product Links were a good thing because they are dynamic links in which Amazon automatically selects and serves the content. You enter the type of products you want displayed, and Amazon updates them with the best selling products based on your criteria. However, based on my site findings, they are not working.

      6. Easy Links: Getting decent impressions. However, with no click-throughs and no sales, this ad is not bringing in revenue and needs to be removed as well.

      7. Carousel Widget: The fancy carousel widget is eye catching, but it gets a low number of impressions, only a 6.3% click-through rate and no sales. It has to be removed.

      8. Deal Widgets: These display the hottest deals from Amazon on your web page. Call me greedy, but this widget isn’t a deal for me if it is not bringing in sales. With a good number of impressions, but no click-through rate, it isn’t working. I would opt for a better performing unit.

      9. My Favorites Widget: The name of the widget is self explanatory. I wish it performed but it doesn’t on my sites. It could be that I like boring things or it is not placed in a good location on my sites. Perhaps, it is just something people just don’t care to click on.  Nevertheless, it needs to be swapped out for a better performing unit.

Outside of these finding, the rest was really moot, not enough impressions versus click-throughs versus advertising fees to get any effective data from. I hope my findings will help you increase your revenue if you are an Amazon Associate. Feel free to share any tips you may have in the comments section below.

6 thoughts on “A Study Into Which Amazon Associates Affiliate Links Bring In The Most Revenue

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  2. Mika

    I’ve found most of the canned Amazon links don’t perform nearly as well as if you create the content yourself – images, descriptions, and links. Then make sure you link a few different ways, not just the “buy here” link.

    You didn’t mention where you’re using this so I can’t see your site in action, but I would be happy to give you some ideas if you would like. I’ve been able to up Amazon CTR by 40% with some really simple methods.

  3. Geoff

    Hi Joanna,

    Over the years I have always wanted to know how well Amazon affiliates worked. I choose not to sign up to become an affiliate because Amazon was everywhere and I figured why bother. Well, from the well written article you wrote, I’ve changed my mind. I think I will give Amazon shot and see how it works out.


    Geoff Moore

  4. judi

    I think everything published made a bunch of sense. However, consider
    this, suppose you added a little content? I am not
    saying your content isn’t solid., however suppose you added a title that
    grabbed people’s attention? I mean Which Amazon Associates Affiliate Links Bring In The Most Revenue is a little vanilla.
    You should glance at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create post titles to get
    people interested. You might add a related video or a related picture or two
    to get readers excited about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it could bring your
    blog a little bit more interesting.

  5. Huey

    So how can you make money from affiliate marketing. What you need to do is capture the contact info of your visitors before sending them to the product website.
    To become an affiliate is a free-of-charge choice
    to make.

  6. Celia

    Thanks for finally talking about Which Amazon Associates Affiliate Links Bring In The Most Revenue – Loved it!

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