The Amazon affiliate program is one of the largest and most profitable networks for affiliates who recommend products and broker sales.
This tutorial will show how to use Advanced Ads to manage and embed Amazon ads on your WordPress website.
You will learn how to integrate, target, and track all available official advertising tools like text links, Amazon banner ads, Amazon Native Shopping Ads, Mobile Popovers, or specific promotions. You will also see how to build appealing comparison tables with third-party Amazon affiliate WordPress plugins. Finally, you will find details about Amazon OneLink and the Amazon Header Bidding solution.
This post is very detailed and, therefore, relatively long. Use the table of content below to navigate to the desired topic quickly.
Table of Contents
What is the Amazon affiliate program?
The almost infinite variety of products, the international availability, and the high trust are the most significant advantages of the Amazon affiliate program.
As a publisher who wants to earn money with Amazon affiliate marketing, you can find almost any product you can think of on Amazon. That’s why you can recommend a related product for practically every topic on your website.
Amazon offers many advertising tools to integrate these products into your website. If a user buys such a product, you will receive an affiliate commission in return. So we are talking about traditional affiliate marketing here.
The Amazon affiliate program is especially worthwhile for publishers who publish product-related content on their websites. However, the Amazon affiliate commissions on referred sales vary between 1% and 20%, depending on your product’s category and your country’s referral program.
- See here the Amazon affiliate commission rates for Amazon US.
Due to its refund policies and reliability, Amazon enjoys a high level of customer trust. Publishers who direct affiliate traffic to Amazon will notice relatively high conversion rates compared to other online stores.
Amazon affiliate program sign up
Signing up for the Amazon affiliate program is uncomplicated. However, the affiliate program is linked to the respective country sites of Amazon. Therefore, publishers must register for the respective country/region where the potential customers come from separately, e.g., Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Amazon DE.
If you are already logged in with your account in the Amazon affiliate program, the registration process for other marketplaces is less complicated and faster than the initial registration.
Not all ad formats are available for every country-specific Amazon affiliate program. If you don’t find a particular ad format in your account, this may be due to the target region.
I took the examples in this tutorial from the Amazon US referral program because this program offers the widest choice of ad formats.
Use Advanced Ads to embed your Amazon ads
Advanced Ads is the perfect WordPress plugin to automatically integrate all Amazon ads into your WordPress website in just a few steps. The Advanced Ads features resolve some technical limitations of the Amazon affiliate program.
Thus, it can help you increase your income significantly as an affiliate who generates Amazon referrals.
By using Advanced Ads to embed Amazon advertisements, you’ll be able to:
- manage your ads clearly
- auto-inject them into your content and save time by not having to edit individual pages
- precisely target Amazon products to content and visitors for better conversion
- tailor Amazon ads to the visitors’ geolocation to match the correct affiliate program
- track more ad performance data to optimize your ads and increase your income
Embedding the official Amazon ads
Go ahead and insert the ad codes you retrieve in your Amazon affiliate program backend into a new ad unit from Advanced Ads. To do this, create a new ad unit and choose the “Plain text and code” ad type.
You may use this ad type without exception for the ad codes from all available Amazon ad formats that you’ll find in your Amazon affiliate account.
Then, you might like to inject these ads into your content automatically. You can achieve this embedding manually with a shortcode or automatically using a placement.
Placements allow you to automatically insert your Amazon ads in predefined places in your content, such as at the end of an article, in the sidebar, or as a sticky anchor ad.
Text links are probably the oldest ad format since affiliate marketing began. But today, text links are often underestimated because of their age and the fact that these simple ads don’t have the glitz of modern animated HTML5 banners.
I think this attitude is fundamentally misled. Because on my affiliate websites, text links are one of the essential advertising tools and have an above-average performance that any HTML 5 banner can only dream of.
First, text links are primarily used in the content and therefore look more like an editorial link than an advertising offer. Consequently, they often have a higher click-through rate than Amazon banners or Native Shopping Ads.
Secondly, text links usually lead directly to a product. Such deep links often convert better than, for example, a general category banner.
Third, unlike other ad formats, ad blockers cannot simply block these links. That’s why all your users will see these ads. You will not lose those ad impressions and, therefore, potential revenue.
Text link integration
You can do much more with text links than just insert them into the content, like in the screenshot above. For example, consider integrating them into tables. The WordPress block editor lets you build handsome comparison or product tables in mere minutes.
In addition, using text links to build your custom version of Amazon Native Search Ads is a great option. To set this up, you create a pool of text links that you target to specific content on your website.
Advanced Ads will automatically build a block with a selection of these ads from this pool. In this tutorial, you will learn how to configure this setup, which is also reminiscent of the former link units of Google AdSense.
If you use Advanced Ads Pro, you can use such text links as ideal fallback ads for users with an activated ad blocker. This way, you’ll show another format redirecting to the same product to users whose ad blocker would have suppressed the regular Amazon ad loading.
But before creating an ad unit with your text link, you must first generate one. The Amazon affiliate program offers two ways to do this: SiteStripe and the “Link to any page” function.
SiteStripe is comfortable because you can create text links on your website’s frontend. Find and use the button to enable SiteStripe in your Amazon affiliate backend in Product Linking > Product Links.
Now, you’ll be able to create Amazon text links directly on the Amazon website — without visiting your Amazon affiliate account backend.
When creating a new link, you can choose your desired Tracking ID. You may also decide whether you want to use Amazon’s link shortener or an unmodified link.
If you enable the link masking feature of the Advanced Ads Tracking add-on, you should use the untagged link. This way, you avoid unnecessary redirections.
On the other hand, if you don’t mask your outbound links, you should use Amazon’s Short Link option so that your ads have friendlier target URLs.
Link to any page function
The “Link to Any Page” function is a second method to create Amazon text links. Find this tool in your Amazon affiliate backend under Product Linking > Link to any page.
Here, you can choose to link to a specific (sub)category page (e.g., > Beauty > Hair Care).
Alternatively, consider linking to search results (“Link to Search Results”) or using the Amazon affiliate link generator to create deep links to any other page (“Link to Any Page”).
Copy these links as HTML code. This code contains the editable anchor text and your Amazon affiliate tracking ID.
Creating text links in Advanced Ads
Create a new ad and select the “Plain text and code” ad type to include a text link. Either paste the provided HTML code or create it yourself.
Using a text link, you can adjust the anchor text precisely to your needs. Google recommends adding the “sponsored” attribute to links of this kind.
This is an example of what the code of such a link can look like.
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)
<a href="https://amzn.to/3u3x2B8" rel="sponsored noopener" target="_blank">Find more related products on Amazon</a>
After publishing the ad, proceed by inserting it manually via the shortcode or automatically using a placement.
Text and image links
The combination of a product image, price, and buy button is a classic ad format of Amazon. Create this ad type comfortably using Amazon SiteStripe.
The code of this Amazon banner includes an iframe. Copy and paste it like any other Amazon ad into a new ad unit of Advanced Ads.
Then you can inject this ad unit into your website.
Amazon banner ads
Amazon also provides thematic banners for different categories and services like Amazon Prime. Find them in your Amazon affiliate account under Product Linking > Banners.
Amazon offers these banners in typical sizes, e.g., 728×90 leaderboard, 300×250 rectangle, or 320×50 for mobile devices.
The format of these Amazon banners is mostly an iframe code. However, some are also available as JS code.
The Amazon banners look appealing. But their performance strongly depends on the context in which you embed them. Don’t have too high expectations for the Amazon banners because their selection is limited.
If you include Amazon banners on your website, I recommend tracking their performance and doing split tests with different banner campaigns.
Amazon Native Shopping Ads
The Amazon Native Shopping Ads are the successor to the Amazon widgets. In the early years of the Amazon affiliate program, one used these widgets to build product grids, recommendation blocks, and similar formats.
With Amazon Native Shopping Ads, publishers now have access to modernized responsive formats.
Amazon divides Native Shopping Ads into three types, which differ only slightly from each other: Recommended Ads, Search Ads, and Custom Ads.
I’ll describe the integration in detail only for the Recommended Ads. Integrating the Search Ads and the Custom Ads works identically.
Choosing the Recommended Products type of the Amazon Native Shopping Ads lets you include products of a particular category and show them as a grid. Optionally, Amazon selects these products based on interests.
Unlike Search Ads and Custom Ads, you can only embed the products in Recommended Ads as a grid. You cannot select a different layout, e.g., List or Strip.
Opening the advanced settings, you may choose between a responsive format or the custom size option, where you can specify whether the grid should be one row or two rows. Contrary to what the name suggests, you cannot define fixed dimensions for the ad here.
Furthermore, you’re able to optionally activate a fallback, specifying a keyword and a category.
After you have checked the preview to ensure that the ad is displayed correctly, copy the ad code to the clipboard.
Then, create a new ad unit in Advanced Ads and paste the code there.
Now, you can assign this ad to a placement and check whether it shows up correctly in the frontend.
I chose the Before Content placement for this example. The ad embeds interest-based products from the beauty category. I also enabled Fallbacks to allow Amazon to show other ads in the case of a mismatch of category and content.
The Search Ads ad type is perfect for including products based on a search term and a category.
If you select the grid display, you can choose between responsive display or determine in the “Custom Size” settings whether the grid should have one row or two rows.
You can also place a search field above or below the grid.
The Search Ads ad type also allows for choosing the strip layout. This layout appears as a narrow two-column banner.
Another available layout is the List format. With this, Amazon displays the search results as a vertical list of text links.
When you select the Custom Ads ad type from the Native Shopping Ads, you have the most control over the displayed products because you pick them manually.
You can include your Custom Ads as a grid with an optional search field.
Usefully, Amazon offers a dynamic search box for this directly when creating the ad, with which you may conveniently select the products.
In contrast to Recommended Ads and Search Ads, you can specify a particular height and width in the custom size settings of your Custom Ad.
Other choices are the strip format or the list layout with a definable number of displayed product links.
For the Custom Ads, you must always select at least two products.
That’s why you can’t build something like a visually appealing box for a single product this way. However, you may accomplish that by creating and retrieving this ad code in the frontend using Amazon SiteStripe.
Creating Custom Ads using SiteStripe
Using SiteStripe, generating text links, image links, and iframes with image text boxes is a cinch. What’s more is you will also find a link to create a custom native shopping ad in the selection bar.
This type of layout is called Card. It is the fourth layout type of the Amazon Native Shopping Ads besides Grid, List, and Strip.
Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t offer any other options to customize the Card layout.
However, this is one way to include a strip-style single product without using an external Amazon affiliate WordPress plugin.
In your Amazon affiliate account, you’ll find Amazon banners for different promotions, e.g., Amazon Prime, Beauty, Fashion, or Baby. Choose from multiple standard banner sizes like 300×250 rectangle banners and multiple text links.
Amazon Bounty program
The Amazon Bounty program contains the lead campaigns of the Amazon affiliate program. Find it in Promotions > Amazon Bounty Program.
In this program, leads garner fixed affiliate commissions. That means you earn money when visitors sign up for or try certain services, e.g., Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Baby Wishlist, Amazon Audible, or Amazon Kindle.
Set up these ads in Advanced Ads using the “Plain text and code” ad type like all other Amazon ad formats.
Since some Amazon Bounty promotions are limited to a certain period, these links either become invalid after expiration or lead to a page that no longer contains the advertised discount.
You should remove such ads after they expire to not violate the Amazon Associates Program Policies. Also, you would avoid losing ad impressions this way and missing out on potential revenue.
I recommend setting an expiration date for these ads. Once the ad expires, Advanced Ads will stop displaying them. However, for this scenario, I recommend using an ad group with a fallback ad.
Amazon Promo Codes
You can share temporary discount codes for specific products if the discount section is available in your backend under Promotions > Amazon Promo Codes.
With an attractive discount, you’ll be able to increase the conversion of your ads. But of course, the essential requirement is finding a deal for products that match your content.
Amazon allows you to retrieve these codes as a text link, choosing between an HTML code or a direct link with optional link shortening.
With these links or the HTML code, create a text link in Advanced Ads as described above and assign them to your placements.
Especially when using promo codes, your text links will become invalid at some point. Use the expiration date mentioned above so that these ads disappear from your ad rotation after they expire.
Mobile Popovers are a dedicated anchor ad format for Amazon affiliates to better monetize the ever-growing mobile traffic. Amazon claims it can achieve up to 30 % higher sales on mobiles.
Find this ad type in your Amazon affiliate account under Product Linking > Mobile Popover.
You can’t change your mobile popover ads’ ad content or layout. Just copy and paste the ad code into a new “Plain text and code” ad in Advanced Ads.
Then you create a footer placement, which you can recognize by the
After embedding the ad, Amazon decides whether or not to show a mobile popover on a new page view.
Since Amazon shows mobile popovers only to users with mobile devices, it’s pointless to let desktop users load this script.
Therefore, to optimize the loading time of your website, I advise targeting this ad to mobile users only by adding a dedicated visitor condition like Device or Browser Width.
Also, consider setting up frequency capping for this ad type to avoid scaring away your visitors with too many anchor ad impressions.
Ads from dedicated Amazon affiliate WordPress plugins
More appealing than the Amazon banner ads or the Amazon Native Shopping Ads ads are advertisements created with Amazon Affiliate WordPress plugins like AAWP.
With these Amazon affiliate WordPress plugins, you can import product data via an Amazon API and automatically create pretty product boxes, product lists, or product tables.
You may customize their layout to better fit your website before inserting them into your site using a shortcode.
Integrate content from other Amazon plugins
Advanced Ads integrates seamlessly with all major Amazon affiliate WordPress plugins. So you do not need to edit your pages individually when you want to insert these shortcodes. Instead, you create a new ad unit in Advanced Ads to automatically inject these shortcodes into your content.
If you use the “Plain text and code” ad type, please don’t forget to activate the box for executing shortcodes. This permission is unnecessary if you use the Rich Content ad type because this one executes shortcodes automatically.
There are two main benefits of using Advanced Ads and Amazon affiliate plugins together.
First, the automatic injection into the content is a time-saving capability.
Secondly, you can use the display and visitor conditions of Advanced Ads to target your products precisely to your users and your content.
Easily create product widgets, comparative tables, or bestseller lists with dedicated Amazon affiliate WordPress plugins like:
- Amazon Affiliate Plugin for WordPress (AAWP)
- Amazon Product in a Post
- AmazonSimpleAdmin (ASA)
- AmazonSimpleAffiliate (ASA2)
- Amazon Auto Links
Note: If you have an active All Access license for Advanced Ads, you can find a 20 % discount code for the awesome plugin AAWP in your account. AAWP is one of the best Amazon affiliate plugins for WordPress, and I highly recommend it for Amazon affiliate websites.
An essential part of ad optimization is targeting your ad units. The better you match your ads to the interests and needs of your users, the higher your click-through and conversion rates will be. Better ad targeting is key to significantly increasing your revenue from the Amazon affiliate program.
These conditions will restrict the display of ads to posts of a particular category or those that contain a specific keyword, for example.
For example, on an affiliate website with international traffic, you could ensure to display your Amazon Native Shopping Ads only in those countries where this ad format finally gets filled with content.
Tracking and reporting
Amazon offers publishers only very rudimentary means to measure the success of their ads. If you analyze the ad performance additionally with the Tracking add-on, you will get much better data for your ad optimization.
Amazon Earning Report
Find the report in your Amazon affiliate account under Reports > Earning Reports.
Besides the overview of referred Bounties and sold products, you can find a few key performance indicators (KPI) in the “Link Type Performance” tab. These KPIs include clicks, conversion, ordered items, and earnings. But the number of ad impressions is missing here.
In the report, the results are sorted by Link Types like Product Links, Native Shopping Ads with different numbers for the multiple native ad types, or Amazon banner links.
Unfortunately, this data is only available in aggregated form, filterable by Tracking ID. For example, in this report, you can analyze the clicks on all your text links carrying the same Tracking ID. But you can’t differentiate which specific links were clicked how often or generated a conversion.
Amazon Native Shopping Ads report
The native ads report shows impressions, viewability, click-through rate, RPM, sold items, and conversion. The viewability data in this report tells you how many ad impressions have been viewable in the viewport of a visitor and can, therefore, potentially be seen.
Unfortunately, Amazon aggregates this data by ad format. For example, if you use different custom ads in parallel, you cannot analyze the performance of a specific ad unit in more detail.
Managing multiple Tracking IDs
You best avoid the problem of composite data by using different tracking IDs for your ads. In the performance report, this data stays aggregated, but Amazon assigns it to the respective tracking IDs.
You can easily create additional tracking IDs under Account Settings > Manage Your Tracking IDs.
Tracking Amazon ads with Advanced Ads
If you integrate your Amazon ads with Advanced Ads into your WordPress site, you can track the impressions and clicks of each ad and optimize them based on this data. The Tracking add-on supports all ad types, including text links, Amazon banner ads, and Amazon Native Shopping Ads.
You get even more information if you connect the ad tracking with Google Analytics. For example, this enables you to determine precisely on which pages someone clicked your ads and see more information about this user.
However, the number of impressions tracked with Advanced Ads tells how often visitors loaded the embedded ad code. It does not state whether an ad was visible to the user.
For example, if a German user opens a US blog with an Amazon Native Shopping Ad embedded, this visitor will only load the ad code but will not see the ad. The dedicated reports of Amazon Native Shopping Ads provide more precise information here.
One limitation of the tracking affects the Mobile Popover ads. Advanced Ads counts the ad impressions, but click tracking is not possible. Also, there are no further data about this ad type in your Amazon reports.
Therefore, I recommend editing the ad code and replacing the Tracking ID with another dedicated to your Mobile Popover ads.
The Amazon OneLink feature is a simple way to cover users from different countries with the same link. The international traffic gets redirected to the country-specific Amazon sites with that region’s correct sales tracking code.
Set up OneLink in your Account > Tools > OneLink. For each tracking ID, you may determine whether Amazon should redirect international traffic to their dedicated stores.
In the OneLink settings, choose between “Close match”, “Exact match”, or “Do not redirect”.
“Close match” means that Amazon will only forward your international visitors to the nearest Amazon marketplace if an identical or similar product is available. Otherwise, the link follows the original destination.
With the “Exact match” option, Amazon will only redirect international visitors if an identical product is available.
And finally, you can also select the “Do not redirect” option for each tracking ID so that all visitors land at the original destination.
Currently, Amazon Onelink is available for:
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
You can find more information about OneLink settings in the official integration guide.
Amazon Unified Ad Marketplace (UAM)
Amazon’s header bidding program is called Unified Ad Marketplace. It is accessible by invitation only. Therefore, this service only concerns large publishers and is not described in detail here.
If you have a website with extremely high traffic, it might be worthwhile to contact the Amazon Unified Ads Marketplace.
Amazon’s server-to-server header bidding integration requires a Google Ad Manager account (formerly DFP). It automatically creates your ads as line items.
The Google Ad Manager add-on of Advanced Ads is the most comfortable tool to integrate these ads into WordPress. It works the same way as any other ad from Google Ad Manager.