Have you set up an Amazon Affiliate Store in the hopes of making some big money and come to find out that all the work you did produced no results? In this article, we’ll take a look at why your Amazon Affiliate Store makes no money, why other Amazon Affiliate Stores DO make money, and what you can do about.
The fact is most Amazon Affiliate Stores fail miserably without ever achieving even one sale.
The reasons for this will be evident to you after we explore the SEO, or non-SEO as the case may be, nature of an Amazon Affiliate Store.
Solid SEO is comprised of essentially two things: (1) A well-structured web page (see Heading Tags) that efficiently uses an in-demand set of keywords (see keyword research). And (2), a solid inbound link campaign whereby most links contain anchor text using the chosen keywords.
So, let’s look at your Amazon Affiliate Store with those two things in mind.
When we look at point number 1 in relation to the Amazon Affiliate Store web pages, the bottom line is that you have little to no control over the content. For the most part, your Amazon Affiliate store is filled with pages of duplicate content. The only control you have is the text that you are able to write on the first page and the category pages…and even that is somewhat limited.
Let’s look at a random Amazon Store that I have selected: Graco Products. (There, I have just given them an extra link!) This store is hyper-focused on selling Graco Products, a company who apparently sells lots of stuff for kids.
On this page, we are able to see where the creator of this Amazon Affiliate Store has control. He or she can control the title and the description on the webpage. This is the only part of the page over which he/she has dominion. The rest is non-unique content that many other websites will have before you (especially Amazon!). We can see that the non-unique content, at the top under “Graco Products” is simply filled with keywords in the hopes of getting some search engine traffic. If you click on one of the category links to the right, you will see the same holds true for the category pages–a lot of keywords followed by the built-in, non-unique, Amazon content.
Then, we can ask, are these pages well-structured? The answer is…sort-of. These pages do not have H1 Heading tags (a quick way to check this is with the SEO Book), but many of the product pages have solid H2 tagging. However, given that the content is not-unique, a well-structured OPSEO page will really get them nowhere.
Thus, an Amazon Affiliate Store fails on the first point of SEO. There are not many opportunities for truly unique content, no opportunities to keyword optimize detail pages, and not much of a choice in the way of optimizing heading tags (though the stores do allow for a semblance of customizing CSS).
Does this mean that there is no point in creating an Amazon Affiliate Store? Not necessarily. There are many Amazon Affiliate Store pages making A LOT of money on the Internet right now.
We need look no further than the Graco Products Store that we have just visited. I truly chose this store at random simply by typing http://astore.amazon.com/… into google. Frankly, I thought the store would be nothing because the home page has no page rank.
However, I have just clicked on the Graco Stroller category and realized that it currently has a pagerank of 4 (in a review of this article on August 13, this pagerank has disappeared), which is huge for this type of site. Does that mean that the keyword-stuffed description actually works? It helps…but not a lot.
This page must succeed in criteria number 2, which as you’ll recall is this: “…a solid inbound link campaign whereby most links contain anchor text using the chosen keywords.”
I have not even checked this out but I know it to be true. The bottom line with Amazon Affiliate Stores is that you have to choose hyper-focused topics (like Graco Strollers) and then build massive inbound links.
Let’s head over to Yahoo Site Explorer and have a look. There, we can see the number of inbound links to this page. And, as we see, this page currently has about 1,500 external inbound links. Not bad for a stroller page…though I still get nothing in google for this site on a Graco Strollers search.
So, we realize that an Amazon Affiliate Store only succeeds with massive inbound links. Let’s find some Amazon Affiliate Stores who score really big.
If you have kids, you know that they love Webkinz. Well, check out who is #2 in the google listings for Webkinz just below the authentic Webkinz site. Yes, it’s an Amazon Affiliate Webkinz Pet Store (I’m so nice with links.) This site has a pagerank of 5 and more than 10,000 inbound web links.
Like the Nintendo DS Lite? If you type buy Nintendo DS Lite, in google, the fifth entry down is an Amazon Affiliate Store called Buy Nintendo DS Lite. Is he/she successful because the site is called “Buy Nintendo DS Lite” or that he has that name in the URL? Those do factor in, but with an Amazon Affiliate Store, it’s the amount and the quality of inbound links.
Can you be competitive in your chosen Amazon Affiliate Store Niche? Well, as we have seen, the real question is, “can you beat the competition in the amount and quality of inbound links?” The best tool to discover this is SEO Elite which will tell you all that you need to know about competitors links including: amount of inbound links, page rank of the inbound linking site, and, most importantly, the anchor text used for the link.
If you can best the competition in those categories, you too will have a successful Amazon Affiliate Store.
PS: There are some different Amazon Affiliate Store opportunities out there that may interest you more such as Associate * O * Matic, which you can download and install for free to try it out. Associate * O * Matic creates an Amazon Affiliate Store with much improved SEO and less duplicate content. The Easy Store offers a similar product.
PPS: If you would like to learn how to create truly unique Amazon content, I will be writing a series on creating unique Amazon pages using an XML feed in the near future. You can subscribe to my site via newsfeed or email to be automatically informed of the updates.