Using the Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin To Up Your Game

There must be hundreds of WordPress Amazon Affiliate plugins! They’re not all created equal and their use cases are broad and seemingly endless. Whether you’re generating product links from within the WordPress text editor or assembling bold product ads with ‘buy now’ buttons, it’s likely that you’ll find at least one solution.

And if you can’t find a plugin to meet your goals, you may just have a hundred-thousand-dollar idea on your hands! Something like that deserves proper handling… Let’s chat sometime!

Quick plug: we have a plugin too! Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called the Amazon Link Engine and it’s pretty wonderful. It grabs Amazon product URLs (or amzn.to/ short links) and converts them into globally-aware affiliate links, just like that. It’s a wonderful solution for turning your established affiliate site into a glittering cave of wonders, overflowing with opportunities to monetize your global audience. I am quite biased.

While our plugin is freakin’ sweet, it’s focused on function more than form. We’re all about efficient links – text links – and we don’t yet offer any simple solutions for bloggers looking to serve up a product image with a ‘buy now’ button, wrapped in an elegant border. If you’re after that kind of styling functionality, you’ll have to look elsewhere..

Or!

You could combine our tools with another plugin, thus assembling a dynamic duo of product promotion.

Now, plenty of affiliates use Amazon’s offered solutions, such as Amazon Native Shopping Ads, Text + Image Links, Carousel Links, and so on. These are all okay, and they carry Amazon’s own branding, but they’re not compatible with any other tools; you can’t edit the link destination (and because they are Javascript or iFrame based they don’t serve up hardcoded links, so our Amazon Link Engine WordPress plugin can’t find and convert them). They can’t even be localized with Amazon’s OneLink, which only works with text links!

So, let’s go shopping for some third-party tools that play well with our industry-leading global affiliate link localization plugin! It’s a minefield of choices out there, and it’s difficult to cut through the noise and find the exact functionality you’re looking for. It takes time to research and install one, only to later discover that it may not be compatible with our service. That’s time that you may not have. Time that I want to help you save! So, I found a plugin that I like quite a lot that just so happens to be compatible with our service.

It’s called AAWP, it was built in Germany by a friendly entrepreneur named Florian, and it’s the bee’s knees. (Germany, being an elevated society, recognizes the importance of Apis mellifera.)

Let there be no confusion – AAWP stands for Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin. It can do quite a number of things very well but what it does best is enable you to create striking, customizable product listings. Check out this proud specimen here:

Isn’t that just nice? Have I got your attention yet?

No? Then thanks for your time! I sincerely hope you have a wonderful day. Please enjoy some tea or go for a walk outside or something. (Notice the bees!)

Yes? Well then, you know what to do: strap yourself in and flick that mouse-wheel, my friend.

Getting Started

The Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin is a premium tool with multiple tiers for pricing, each determining  how many sites you can install the plugin on. License keys are valid for a year. After that time, you may voluntarily renew the license (no subscription) to get continued access to automatic updates and support. License renewals are further rewarded with a 50% discount.

If you decide not to renew, the plugin will continue to work – you just won’t get any new features or support. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied!

Check out AAWP’s homepage to learn more, or you can just get started with the sign-up process right away.

One thing you’ll need in order to use AAWP is an Amazon Associates Product Advertising API key. This is made available to most Amazon Associates, and you can find it in your Associates dashboard by navigating to (Associates Central > Tools > Product Advertising API). AAWP even provides a page you can use to test your PA API keys so you can rest assured that everything will work before you make the purchase.

Once you’ve signed up and purchased the tier you want, you’ll arrive at some instructions for installing the plugin and adding your Amazon API keys. Once that’s taken care of, you’re all set to start generating AAWP links!

Using AAWP to Build Links

Inside the WordPress editor, just drop “[amazon = ASIN]” into a text box, replacing ‘ASIN’ with the Amazon product code for the item you’re linking to (B01GKC8CG0, for example). Using different shortcodes, you can build simple Text links (but you’re reading this because you’re after something more colorful!), Box links (my favorite, shown above), Bestseller lists, Widgets, and Comparison Tables (below).

AAWP’s Comparison Tables

All the product data, price information, ratings, and images are pulled in directly from Amazon’s PA API. This is great because whenever you provide images or price information next to Amazon Affiliate links, the informationmust be served up dynamically in this way. Amazon requires this to ensure that you’re always displaying the most up-to-date product information. Failing to do this is a violation of their Operating Agreement and could result in getting your Associates account banned.

As a side note, building Comparison Tables is a bit more involved. First, you assemble them inside the AAWP settings, then embed them on your page later using the [table = ###] shortcode.

That’s all you need to know right now for building links. It’s a breeze!

Combining Genius Link and AAWP for World Monetization

So, now you’ve got a world-class product listing, but does it cater to a worldwide audience? By adding Genius Link to the mix, you provide an optimal shopping experience for people around the globe.

When it comes to implementation, you’ve got some options. We’ll call them the simple path and the path of control.

Two paths diverged in an Amazon-logo tinted wood.

The Simple Path

The simple path is to simply run our plugin on the page, alongside AAWP. The links generated by AAWP are exactly the right food (aka link format) for our hungry little Amazon Link Engine. You provide an ASIN, AAWP builds out an engaging product ad box, then our plugin converts the link on the button into our localized affiliate links. People click, they get sent to the product in their local storefront, and you earn commissions from their purchases. This is the easiest integration if you’ve already got an established affiliate site and are looking to convert your links auto-magically.

However, there are situations where our plugin doesn’t give you the whole enchilada.

You can learn more in our Manual vs. Programmatic comparison guide, but many of our supplementary features aren’t applicable to the long-form “buy.geni.us” links produced by our plugin. Clicks through these links are reported in our dashboard in bulk, meaning that you won’t see per-link reporting stats. Additionally, if you want to provide custom destinations for particular geolocations, you’ll need to replace a buy.geni.us link with a geni.us short link.

The Path of Control

Alternatively, the path of control involves using an Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin shortcode to replace the default Amazon link with a geni.us short link assembled in our dashboard or using our Chrome extension,

The shortcode is link_overwrite and allows you to swap the product link generated by Amazon’s API with whatever you want. AAWP’s default ‘Buy on Amazon’ buttons are a great CTA to nest a geni.us link in. Once you’re building links manually in our dashboard, you’ll get reporting on a per-link level and can leverage all of our most powerful features: Advanced Links, Choice Pages, A/B tests, pixel retargeting, UTM tags, etc.

It’s a bit more time-intensive to build links manually, which may not be a reasonable undertaking if you’ve got a massive affiliate site, but geni.us short links give you the most flexibility and control over your user experience and reporting.


Let’s Summarize:

The Simple Path: Amazon Link Engine WordPress Plugin / Javascript Snippet

  • Pros: Quick & simple implementation
  • Cons: Clicks are reported in bulk into a Group. To resolve less than ideal translation, replace the Amazon product URL with a geni.us short link.
  • The process: Simply build text, box, list, or table links using AAWP and make sure our plugin is running on your site.

The Path of Control: Use Link_Overwrite to anchor geni.us links into AAWP’s buttons

  • Pros: So many options!
  • Cons: Building links individually is more time intensive. The link_overwrite shortcode won’t work on every style of AAWP link (check the Limitations section below!)
  • The process: Copy a product link, use it to build a link in the Genius Link dashboard (or build the link with our Chrome extension). Then build an AAWP text or box link on your page using the product ASIN. Include link_overwrite=(https://geni.us/myLink) in your AAWP shortcode.

The beauty here is that these approaches are not mutually exclusive. You can run our Amazon Link Engine WordPress plugin as a catch-all, and still use link_overwrite on your best-performing links, or whenever you want to override our translation with a custom destination.

Other Features That Make AAWP Great

1. Automatic Amazon API Disclaimers

Amazon requires that you disclaim your affiliate links, as well as give them credit when you’re pulling in pricing data or a product image using their API. Thankfully, AAWP makes that simple. With the click of a checkbox, AAWP will provide brief disclaimers for affiliate links and product images, including when they were last updated. This helps to reduce any chances that you’ll get audited by Amazon!

2. Customizable Buttons

I’m quite fond of how you can customize buttons by shape, color, and logo to reinforce your websites’ own branding. Adjustable ‘Buy on Amazon’ buttons make it easy to stay compliant with Amazon’s Operating Agreement while using our globalized links. They’re also great for sending a message:

3. Built-in Click Tracking with Google Analytics & Piwik

AAWP provides a solution for click tracking, which will tag all outbound clicks and report them into either Google Analytics or Piwik. If you’re using our WordPress plugin (the simple path) this allows you to get per-link reporting in a roundabout way. If you’ve already got the Google Analytics tracking code installed on your site, you don’t need to do a thing. AAWP will detect it automatically and start tracking events for you!

4. AMP Compatibility

AAWP offers a simple toggle for AMP support, which, once configured (by enabling the allow_url_fopen setting in PHP) builds the box links and pulls in product data from Amazon’s API without using Javascript, thus becoming AMP compliant. This setting works best with the path of control (more info in the Limitations section below).

5. Alternative Rating Icons

And finally, in my very serious research, I came across an Easter Egg feature. It appears that the Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin partnered with Wurst App Your Life at some point. If you’re not familiar, WAYL is a recipe app for sausage enthusiasts, built by one of Florian’s friends.

What this integration means for you is that you have another very important decision to make: are you going to continue to rate products with stars, like everyone else? Or will you disrupt the affiliate marketing space by rating products with weiners?

The choice is yours, but I’d like to suggest an A/B Test, at the very least! #datadriven

Limitations

I’d like to briefly touch on some of the finer details about how to combine our service with AAWP (and what flat-out won’t work), so you have all the information you’ll need before committing.

AAWP offers an opt-in localization feature, which shouldn’t be relied upon if you’re using our service. Technically you don’t need to make any changes – this feature is disabled by default, so be sure to leave it off and there won’t be any conflicts.

For those interested in the path of control, “link_overwrite” will not work with AAWP’s Table and List links. If you’re interested in utilizing those styles of links, you’ll need to leverage our plugin to apply our Genius Link localization to them.

Finally, AAWP’s AMP Support makes their plugin work its magic through the PHP side, which is wonderful. However, our plugin does not yet have this same functionality. If you’re a magician, you could write a custom PHP function to apply our quick build format to your links (this is exactly what our WP plugin does, but using JS). Otherwise, to implement our service while using AAWP’s AMP compatible setting, be sure to provide geni.us short links via the link_overwrite shortcode and you’ll be fine.


Wrapping it up

Integrating the Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin with Genius Link is both straightforward and rewarding!

AAWP is a great plugin for easily generating appealing ads that programmatically populate pricing data, Amazon buttons, product images, and more. When paired with our service, you end up with engaging product listings that are also optimized for international traffic.

Whether you’re interested in converting your existing affiliate links into something snappy and localized, or if you’re just getting started and looking for some structure, this plugin deserves your consideration.

Do you have experience combining Genius Link technology with other WordPress plugins to easily serve up product images, or perhaps do something else entirely? We’d love to hear about your setup! Please, share your dynamic duos of product promotion with us in the comments below!

And save the bees, man. Honey is good.

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