Whenever creating a website, it is always important to monetize your site to maximize your potential profits. One of the most popular ways to do this is by becoming an Amazon affiliate. Through the Amazon affiliate program, you can share links to items for sale on Amazon, and when a purchase is made, as an affiliate, you would get a commission. On paper this sounds great, but before becoming an Amazon affiliate and adding their links to your site, there are several things you must first consider.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not you will be able to make money. If you are including images and slides from Amazon on your site, it is more likely that viewers will actually click on the ad. If, however, you are primarily using hyperlinks in your text, the click-through rate will likely be much lower.
If viewers do click on the hyperlink, but are not expecting to land on an ad, you may alienate your viewers and cause them to view your content as spam or native advertising. The problem, of course, is that even if your viewers do click on it, there is no promise that they will buy the product you hyperlinked to. If you’ve used Amazon, you will already know that there are a number of vendors who sell the same item at varying prices.
If one of your viewers is interested in buying a product, when they go to Amazon, they will likely look up the prices offered by other vendors. If they find a cheaper one, you’ve lost the commission. If they don’t find a cheaper one, they may return to a more affordable one, but not by using your link, in which case you will likely lose the sale anyways.
A relatively low click-through rate, and an even lower purchase rate, coupled with fact that the vendor you link to has competitors, means that unless you have a significant amount of traffic, it is unlikely that you are going to make the kind of money via the Amazon affiliate program that makes it worthwhile.
Another issues to consider is how linking to sales pages might impact your search engine ranking. Perhaps the traffic you get isn’t reliant on referrals from search engines. If this is the case, then becoming an Amazon affiliate isn’t going to hurt your traffic and you might as well add it, even if it doesn’t generate much revenue. If, however, you do rely heavily on search engines for your traffic, you may want to pass on being an Amazon affiliate.
Because the algorithms used by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo evaluate how user friendly your backlinks are, you may find that an excessive number of backlinks to sales pages with no content hurts your ranking. The algorithms want reader-friendly links that take users to content, not sales pages that might be considers spam.
So how many links to sales pages are allowed? It’s hard to say because the algorithms will index individual pages as well as your sight in general. The standards to the algorithms are always changing, so while a certain number of links may not hurt your search engine ranking for a few months, when the algorithms change, you may take a huge hit. In order to recover you’d have to go back to all your older posts to remove the backlinks and return to your initial rankings.
This can be a time consuming process and it may take weeks to get your rankings back to where they were. In the meantime, you lose revenue. If you keep your Amazon links to a minimum, then you will generate very little, if any, revenue. If you put too many links on, then you could lose your rankings and in turn traffic, thereby eliminating any potential revenue. Google ads are a much better source, not only because they tend to pay more, but also because they won’t hurt your rankings as Google makes money when you make money.
As an entrepreneur, you want to maximize your revenue, and to do that, you want to monetize your site. When doing this, though, you want to choose the best methods possible. If your site generates traffic through social networking or paid traffic, having Amazon links on your site is not going to hurt.
However, if you rely on search engine traffic, it may not be the best option for the health of your site. If you are unsure about where your traffic is coming from, sign up for Google Analytics, install it on your site, and see where your traffic is coming from. Once you have evaluated the source of your traffic, you can make an informed decisions about becoming an Amazon affiliate. If you do become an Amazon affiliate, you never want to rely on revenue generated from the program exclusively as it is likely only going to serve as a supplemental revenue.