Are you curious what layout and type of article draws over 60% clickthrough to Amazon? I will try to explain as best I can. I am assuming some knowledge of affiliate marketing and don’t want to define every term, but I am happy to clarify if needed. First here’s some proof of ctr, before you believe every word I say.
Most of my Squidoo product review articles have a 20-40% click out to Amazon (and Adsense gets lumped in with that due to the Squid Utils program I use-though it is usually way less than 5% overall), a few of the snobby technology niches where people are ultra-picky may get as low as 10% of visitors going to Amazon with your cookie.
The “Pageviews this period” I believe refers to traffic moving on to other of my lenses through the related articles link
But I have a small number of articles that are in the 60%+ clickthrough rate (ctr) range. So for every 100 visitors arriving, over 60 or more go to Amazon to shop after reading or maybe not even reading my article. They have the cookie that will benefit me there for a whole 24 hours! As you can imagine, that has a big impact on sales. See how many links they went out on, 65!! Some were Adsense, not all urls were Amazon.
The SU is the Squidutils program that calculates percentages, it’s available for free at www.squidutils.com
So as far as actual purchase conversions, as I let Squidoo have their 50% of the Amazon affiliate commissions, I haven’t done the work to a calculate the rate manually. I can tell you this articles has earned approximately $252 in the past 3 months, and that includes me being credited 13 commissions on it for sales of one or more items in the 22 days so far this month.
So how so you get 60% or more of readers going to Amazon?
You need a few things working together
1) Readers that need to buy something. Not only do they want to buy, if they have to buy that is even better
Either desperately, due to embarrassment, or what I try to pick is something they use daily or weekly is broken or used up and needs replacement. I can’t tell you how many vitamin suppliments, diapers and refrigerator filters I have sold and I never write about them, maybe I should! Sometimes I just pick regular consumer items too to experiment. This ctr article is about this typical product and article type.
If you find something that sells, whether a focused or more general lens, make more related lenses, break up the niche into categories that people may shop by as their main criteria, like particular features, types of product, or deals going on or low prices.
Other purchases with a deadline are gifts. Wedding, birthday and anniversary, as a writer you don’t know about the dates, so can assume they are year round. But Father’s day, Mothers day, Valentines, and Christmas are deadlines for most people, hence higher sales then. Incidental gift sales seem to be watches and jewelry, and books.
2) The right keyword phrases
How fluffy and unhelpful is that? What I mean is a slightly vague buyer keyword phrase opens your article up to more readers. They may be slightly earlier in the buying cycle but if they have to buy, a surprising number will be funneled through your links to Amazon anyway, usually 50-70% in my case, and it is from a bigger traffic stream too.
What I mean by a vague phrase is a the best/top/cheapest “big group of things” e.g. Best Lawn Mowers, or Top Video Cameras. Then you need to give the reader a quick break down and pros and cons of the types e.g. reel mowers, cordless battery powered electric, corded electric and gas mowers.
If the whole article is about just one of these sub-areas, you may only get about 20-40% clickouts, though you will probably still end up earning close to the same in the end, maybe a little less if traffic is less, but they are more targeted visitors. I think the others that did not click out, were looking for one of those other sub categories of product but found your article anyway, maybe due to good writing and your LSI phrases.
I think the best buying keywords phrases show some selection and choosing has already occurred. If your keywords are generic like ‘rotary blade reel mowers’, there will be many pages with those words. ‘Top rated reel mowers’ will be a much better bet as you are only in competition with the other people that have chosen and arranged a time saving selection, not any just any sales page that has a similar product listed. As I go by the allintitle google search for the keywords for checking competition, a descriptive keyword that just describes the product only goes so far, you need to show you have sorted. The people searching for ‘top rated’ or ‘best selling’ are buyers that want to save time.
I went over how I user the keyword scrapers to find low competition low search keywords here, but an after doing an “allititle” search yesterday on an excel file of 1500 old product keywords that came from Adsense adwords session before Christmas, I saw the competition was too high for me now. The lowest one was over 1000 allintitle competitors! But it made me realize most of my success this year has been as a result of using these scraper tools not Adwords’ offerings. The scrapers give me an advantage to find the best keywords quickly and first! The more scraping you can have done automatically, the faster you will find the great keyword phrases, it is like hunting for a needle in a haystack and you have to do it to find the golden needles that pay you monthly!
3) A page layout that matches your keyword phrase
You need to be organized with subheadings, images, overviews pros and cons of that type of product and a well laid out logical selection.
a) If the keyword phrase is more specific like a microniche ‘Best Cheap Reel Mowers’, just pick the 3-5 actual reel mower products you decide are best, and showcase those in a typical review article. A quick intro, pros, cons, features of the ones your choose and why, with maybe a small summary with a nudge to send them to Amazon. I will go over this in detail in another post.
I never list a product without a clickable image! Chris Guthrie writes about using different tracking ideas for different locations on the page, and says approx 15% of his Amazon click outs have been from people clicking on images. If you read that whole post, it will help a lot, though it is geared to your own sites. You can apply it to Squidoo.
b) If the keyword is less specific and more vague like the niche ‘Best Lawn mowers’ and you pick the usual 3 to 5 products, I think you will be losing out by turning readers off and increasing your bounce rate.
They likely don’t know what type of mower or product they want until you tell them about reel mowers, cordless battery powered electric, corded electric and gas mowers. So I will do an Amazon module on Squidoo for each type, and manually pick the 3 to 5 worthy products to showcase. In the module description I will write about reel mowers, general advantages and disadvantages, what to expect if you buy one, then what important features most of the chosen 3-5 products have, what is a must have, what is a nice to have, just more of an overview. Sometimes I’ll put a text link check out more reel mowers here up there too in case they don’t see amodel they like. Sorry I don’t haven’t tested that but for an extra 20 seconds work, I figure it doesn’t hurt. What you also get is a longer article with lots of descriptive and LSI phrases that is more readily found by search engines.
So I prefer the “something for everyone” method when there is a vague keyword and it is insane how well that works. They can always buy a different model when they get to Amazon, but you got them there.
And I don’t advcocate just listing a whole bunch of stuff randomly for no reason. Remember you are helping someone choose, compare and decide on a purchase or just a type of item, so be logical, break things down and make them simple and easy for them to home in on what they want. You have to spend the time researching and choosing to save them time, it can take a while, that’s why you get paid, you are providing a service. I consider the 3 hours it took for me to write the 69% ctr article article, time well spent when I look at my earnings, and look at that traffic trend!
I have a number of profiles on Squidoo and the above one is not in my main profile, but this lens is an example of one outsourced and done when I first started. I should not have done as a 3 item lens. It still gets 40% click through which is more due to the type of purchase (more like a have to buy/after thought/gift)
The Squidoo analytics shows me some of the keyword groups categories that find this are
- Most Expensive camera straps (unusual that it’s not the cheapest)
- DSLR camera straps
- Silk/fashion/cool camera straps
- Adventure/Camera straps with pockets
Those may be useful breakdown of a fairly broad topic/niche, and each one could easily boast a selection of 5 great items for each group. If they arranged well and make sense, there will be more likely that will be one someone will like 1 in 20 instead of 1 in 3 and the click through will got up to 60-70% if not higher.
I hope this has helped, I’d love to hear comments, and please ask if anything is not clear, and I will reply.