Affiliate Links Part Deux – Genius Link

Amazon US Affiliate Links

So in the last blog post I explained how I have signed up to Amazon UK affiliate program and found links to all the major photography gear I use. The next stage was to sign up to the Amazon US affiliate program, as this accounts for the second biggest source of website visitors. This was as easy as signing in to the Amazon US Affiliate site and fill out the same few questions on what you hope to get out of the affiliate program and the topics/products your site promotes. I then went through the same process of searching for products and generating and collecting my affiliate shorts links. So I now am signed up to the UK and US Amazon affiliate programs (pending final approval) and have two lists of affiliate links for the same 20 photography products. So how do I now ensure a site visitor gets sent to the right Amazon site, depending on what county they are from? This is where Genius Link comes in.

Genius Link

In a nut shell this is a website which allows you to create one link to steer visitor clicks to one of a series of other links dependent on the rules you set. In my case, I’m only using it to steer a click from a website visitor to either Amazon UK or Amazon US dependent of which country they are viewing my site from. But it can do a lot of other clever stuff, not covered here.

Things I learned from setting this up.

If you have a word press site like me. They have a handy plug in you can use on your website to convert all existing Amazon links into Genius traffic steered ones. I first tired this approach, but found a few draw backs. The plug in does not change the link you have encoded on your website. Instead it dynamically works in the background and steer the visitors click to the Amazon site for their region. However these clicks are not tracked and you have know way of easily verifying they are getting people to the regions you have affiliation accounts with. So I disabled the plug in and went for the more manual (more work) approach.

When you manually set up a link on the Genius website. You can simply copy and paste the short link you have got for the product concerned and drop it in the new link search bar. The site then analyses the link, realizes its a Amazon link, then automatically runs searches on all the Amazon affiliate sites to try and find product matches. All very clever and it worked for 12 out of 20 links, no problem. When I say worked, for clarity, I mean it found product matches on both the UK and US Amazon sites. For the other 8 links, there was either close matches or no good match. But you can manually configure the new genius link rules. You simply click on “add destination” set the rule following the menu and typing in the condition. In my case IF visitor = US then use this link. The link you want it to go to can be found at that countries Amazon affiliate site by searching for the product, picking the best match and then getting your affiliate short link for it.

The bonus of all this extra hard work and manually configuring of the links in Genius Link, is you get a lot more viability on how effective these links are. As it counts clicks, countries, and a health check on where you links are pointed. So if a product is discontinued or removed from the Amazon site. You can see that the link is broken.

So how much does this amazing traffic steering service cost. First you get a 14 day free trail (with credit card details) so you can fully explore the site and its functions at no cost. After 14 days its $5 per month for up to 1000 clicks a month. If you get more than a 1000 clicks, it charges you another $5 for the next 2000 clicks. So the charges are proportional to the traffic clicks and hopefully the percentage of the sales revenue you are getting from Amazon. Time will tell.

My website links

I’ve now replaced all the Amazon UK affiliate links on my The Gear I use page, with Genius links. Hopefully I will be able to benefit from steering people to the quality kit I use. While at the same time monitor the effectiveness of the links and affiliate programs through the Genius website.

PS: Don’t freak out, Amazon does not share with me your favorite brand of hemorrhoid cream you just bought after following one of my links to their site, just a click and a country. LOL

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