How do you get over 60% click through on Squidoo product articles?

by Skeffling on June 22, 2012 · 35 comments

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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.

Views over time. Ctr is at the bottom. The 90 day average flips between 69% and 70% on this household item review article

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

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.

Ash June 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm

it’s ash again great tips the traffic for that one lens is amazing what keyword research tool are you using?

Skeffling June 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Thanks Ash! I kind of use a mix that I made up myself. It has been evolving this spring and I am happier with it now. That article is in my top 10 or 15, it is a PR 3.

It’s really just the three scrapers Stealth Keyword Digger, Keyword Optimizer Pro and Keyword Researcher, then I look up search numbers if they don’t automatically, only SKD does. Then I do allintitle searches and look at ratios of number of allintitle searches over search numbers. If it is low enough I can pick a lower search number keyword anyway (some as low as 50 per month) if they look buyer oriented enough.

I don’t know why things are growing so steadily on the Squidoo traffic, I am guessing it is authority and natural aging / more complete crawling. Many of my product articles have that upward slope.

Ash June 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm

sorry another question when outsourcing how do you do it what do you ask for maybe you could outline the proccess in a blog post

Skeffling June 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Great question Ash! I just thought of that tonight! I will post something very soon as I am getting more experience all the time!

Andy June 24, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Awesome post…. you deserve every penny for sharing this stuff! all best…

Skeffling June 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Thanks Andy, I hope it helps! I mean if we are going to do the work, it would be nice to optimize things and earn as much as we can for the effort we put in!

Jeff July 25, 2012 at 1:06 am

Very helpful and well written post. I’ve been active on Squidoo for a while but it just never seems to generate much revenue for me – but I’m continuing to try and you’ve given some excellent pointers here. Using Squidutils is a good idea as well.

Skeffling July 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

Hi Jeff, great you could stop in, and thanks for your kind comment. I certainly hope this helps. Yes the Squidutils is free and absolutely essential to get your lens tagged well and fast.

I think another key to having (some) traffic from day one is choosing super-low competition keywords, even if it says the search count is low. Ask if you need anything! ;-)

Ashley July 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Are clicktr on your lenses with ‘best *** under $$**’ are these buyers kws and when you say the vauge lenses that have products for everyone do good wouldnt those kw’s have a higher competition as they are vauge. Do you find vague kw’s like ‘best types of ***’ that have low competition?

Skeffling July 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Hi Ash, good question, mostly they are not the best under…. but they tend to be three worders “Best Adjective Noun” or “Adjective Noun Reviews” e.g. “Best car seat” “Car seat reviews” Yes it is possible to find them! The keyword scrapers programs help enormously. ;-)

Dave August 16, 2012 at 5:45 am

Hi! Great read!

A few questions though. Did you do any backlinks to your squidoo articles?

Or did you submit your articles to any directories? bing, yahoo?

Skeffling August 16, 2012 at 7:52 am

Thanks Dave, glad you enjoyed it. So, no backlinks from other sites, I don’t write articles elsewhere just for back-links or anything, if I do the odd one elsewhere (IB or Seekyt or Wizzley), they are for sales there and not linked over to Squidoo, I think I have less than 10 linked out of hundreds and those were from last year. There are just internal links from Squidoo in the tags and related articles. I go to which sends to a few places, and submit to Bing from there, and do and that is it, more for indexing that anything. I don’t submit to article directories either.

When I first got started on IB, I thought I would get around to it but never did and I seem to be doing OK without. What really put me off as well was a ton of the recommended bookmarking sites were 404-dead last fall and it seem risky to make links when these sites were going under. It seemed like you could spend a lot of time and effort and have it equal zero very easily, better to spend your time making content that sells. ;-)

I think it’s better to pick a good keyword, if I have to link to compete more in the future, I will still have an easier time than if there is a ton of competition for a bigger searched traditionally better kw.

ash August 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hi Skeffling I have on been recently making some sales lenses using your tips, when you say snobby niches you don’t mean gaming laptops- do you? Quite a lot of the urls I am looking for are already taken they are in this format ‘best…. under $…’ or ‘ best deals on …’ etc so I found one that isnt taken which is ‘good … under $…’ is using good instead of best or top going to decrease the buyer intent, (the allinurl: and allintitle: are under 200) .

Skeffling August 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I am glad to hear you are taking action Ash! Good for you! Let me know when the sales start rolling in!

Gaming Laptops could be in that group, I find DSLRs cameras are in that group, it’s like “super-intense guy’s hobby stuff”, I have sold the odd gaming laptop but for the number of articles I have it is low, laptops seem to be lower overall, people shop around but you can get lucky too. I have had writers write about them as it is not my specialty but these are niches where you need to make sure you know it well or the writer does. It may be actually be something best written in first person too, kind of an exception.

I think I have only use “good” in one or two keyword phrases, but if the search phrase has a few searches for it and there is a dollar value associated, I think the buyer intent is totally there and it is well worth doing. You may find you get localized traffic for a particular phrase like that and my gut tells me to look out for more UK traffic (if you get a fair bit, from the UK, put a link to a gaming laptop category or search page on, but the “good” could be kids that aren’t that aware of reviews yet like an adult might be more likely to put reviews in a phrase instead of good. I’d go for it then look at your traffic and visits and kw stats. You will learn from it and hopefully sell as well.

Gina August 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I’m beginning to think you’re right about the “snobby” niche markets on Amazon. These really are niches that people are very selective about features they expect to see while choosing a product. Often times, it is the laptops and electronics.

Recently I was looking on Amazon to upgrade my point and shoot camera. Wow. The amount of details that people went into to describe photo “noise”, “exposure”, “apertures”. That was just on a point and shoot camera, not even a DSLR. I just wanted something that took crisp pictures, had a few different scene mode options and a great zoom that wasn’t over $300.

However, the personal notes came in handy. It allowed me to view a photo with these different features the buyer had tried out himself. In that respect it was very helpful.

So if you’re going to write about electronics or a product with a lot of features, you need to know those type of specifics. You’ll need to be able to speak about the pros and cons of that particular product’s features as opposed to its competitor.

These are really good tips, Claire. Thanks.

Skeffling August 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Hello Gina, Thanks for reading and commenting. I am glad you enjoyed this! It is just patterns I have seen in my lenses.

Yes, I find electronics are my biggest rate of returns, over all the niches, but it is all pretty low really, probably 1-2%. I find as soon as items get expensive too, higher end ones of a type of item, you can get the snobs in to a degree, but talk about detail and the LSI and jargon terms in there give depth and help with searchers finding your article! My favourite entertaining-to-read reviews are the tennis racket bug zapper ones. No snobs there!

I am careful to make sure those camera/laptop articles are done particularly well. I am not an expert on them, and outsourcing is fairly simple. The updates will be more challenging, re-writing, editing and adding to a portion of it is harder to outsource, but Hubby is into that stuff and can do the camera ones. Phew! August 17, 2012 at 1:27 am

I really appreciate how you take the time to respond to each post. I makes readers come back to read more and comment more. I know you blog is doing well and will continue to do well because of that fact.

Still working on Squidoo and you are the catalyst for that focus in my space.

How much time do you spend on squidoo and hub pages?

Skeffling August 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

Thank Monty/. I haven’t done any Hubpages in over a year, but right now each Squidoo lens takes about 2 hours of time for an outsourced article, so add $5-$10 to each one too. When I write and post them, they take about half a day and some gift lists take me all day to do one!

As a percentage of my time now, some-one else is posting them right now, but about 4-6 hours of her time and mine are spent on Squidoo each day, so about 1/3rd of a work day. I usually work 12-16 hours a day or so, depending on the day. I am spending other time editing outsourced lens articles, doing keyword research (which takes hours but I love), writing and editing my e-book on how to do this, formatting a few Kindle books, designing Kindle covers, answering questions on here and setting things up too, still have way more things I want to include, reading, learning, listening to podcasts for other ways of earning online. Usually I would spend more time on my site here, and that was what I was planning, but I want to get more Squidoo lenses up to make sure we have money to pay the bills!

ash August 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

Quite a few of the pages ranking for gaming laptops are from British laptops reviews I do think Squidoo should make the lens detect what country the person is from and change the currency to British pounds, I find it a bit confusing to do all my lenses in dollar format as I could be missing about 10-20% of people, so can I have an american amazon affiliate account living in the UK, as I have only made one sale using uk affiliate links?

Skeffling August 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

Hi Ash,
To do a close to all UK lens, I’d do each product as a text module, insert and link your product image to if you like and tell them in a text link that’s where it goes, you could do a second similar link in the same text for US.

If you have a $ in the keyword, I’d aim it at the US to start and if you get enough traffic from UK, do a second whole UK lens if needed. You can set up a .com account but I know in UK the bank fees to cash a US cheque are a lot. I just cashed a UK cheque here in Canada the other day (my first Yay!) and it only cost $1, but it could be 10 quid or more as the UK banks gouge. I would still do it as is a huge market but make the payout threshold $200 or more to make up for it.

If you are getting 20%+ from UK put a big arrow link at the bottom of the lens that says it links to more top laptops on, you will get some sales I am sure even if they are not laptops!

Darren August 23, 2012 at 10:13 am

Excellent info you are putting out here, I am super happy I came across your site :-)

I have almost read all your posts and am about to go all-out creating squidoo lenses with my wife. So it is fantastic to read your keyword research methods, and especially to read this page and how you get such a great CTR!

I was banking a lot more bucks before the penguin, and making a very comfortable living wage from my websites. Now the penguin has reduced income to just about making it, but not needing a JOB just yet!

Long story short, I have been keeping my eye’s peeled for new ways to make money online; until now I have been earning from my own websites, but not web 2.0. Your method sounds perfect for a number of reasons:

1) I don’t have the spare cash to keep investing in new sites: domains, hosting, outsourcing content. However, I got plenty of time on my hands to do the work first hand.

2) I have lost my stomach for backlinking. Actually this is the main reason! I like to write onsite content, but have got tired of the repetitiveness of backlinking. You are totally on to something with the way you choose your keywords, with them needing no back links, and your income is black and white proof that backlinking is not necessary :-) Besides, you can’t exactly get a penalty from google for unnatural backlinks!!!

3) I need to earn money quicker. I can leverage the internal power of squidoo, and rank quicker than if I was building my own niche sites.

So thanks so much for sharing this info. It has inspired me to take a new direction with MMO, and I am totally looking forward to see how it goes!

Warm wishes

Skeffling August 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm

That is awesome Darren. Sorry about the Penguin hit. Sounds like there are a lot in your situation. I hope Squidoo works for you, you make some great points. It is simple, common sense really, no tricks or manipulation, just give the readers what they want.

Some of the guys I have been helping are starting to see some Amazon sales, and if you can hammer it for a couple of months you’ll soon see it work and it makes it easy to keep going!

It’s great to see another husband and wife team. My husband is going to be joining me online after Labor Day! Let me know how it all goes! Claire

Greg September 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Lots of great information here. You have renewed my interest in Squidoo, as I have historically just used it to send a link back to one of my own niche sites.

I’ve been trying to get caught up on all your posts and comments, so forgive me if you have already covered this somewhere else… But how do you handle your linking to Amazon so that you are using your Amazon affiliate ID instead of using Squidoo’s and giving them the split?

I found this lens that talks about how to do this, and it seems straight forward enough: .

Is this along the lines of what you do, or is there a simpler approach?

Thanks for all the great info, and congrats on your success. What you have done is definitely inspirational!

Skeffling September 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Hey Greg,
Thanks for your kind comments. I have seen that lens and thought I should experiment and see if it increases clickthrough with the buttons, but I am way simpler and less techie.

I use a text module with a screen-captured product image, saved as the main keyword phrase. That image is posted with an affiliate link for a Text only type of link (just inside the first set of quotes from Amazon) then after the first paragraph of description of the product, I just paste all the html source code from Amazon with a bold tag so it is just a link with the bold product name as the anchor text, no call to action.

Articles with just these links get higher ctr than the Amazon spotlight modules, all else being equal, about 6-9% higher from the ones I have changed (many that were 19-21% are now 25-29%). I think because the image is bigger, but am not sure, as there is no price showing either. I need to do more testing, but time is limited and I am doing OK as I am for now! Hope that helps! Claire

PS has some pre-done easy to use (apparently!) code to get more complex layouts but I haven’t tried them. I don’t want all my links in there, I am happy to share and I don’t want to lose the privileges completely of having my own links.

Kevin October 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Hi Skeffling Can you clarify something for me I have looked at your camera strap lens how do you get the Amazon link & buy now button on your text module.
Thanks for the great info on the blog keep it up


Skeffling November 4, 2012 at 8:47 am

Hi Kevin, thanks for your kind words.

That Amazon link and buy now button are part of the Squidoo Amazon Spotlight module. I am not much of a coder, I do not really have the patience for it though there may be a point where I decided to try and increase my click throughs further.

This is a really helpful lens on adding code to get various sales buttons and layouts, by Greekgeek on Squidoo, she makes it seem simpler and I will get around to implementing some of this one day, I just seem to be doing okay without for now.

Greg September 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Thanks Skeffling, I hate it when I over-complicate things. Glad to see that you method is easier and I’ll give it a shot. I did go through that lens and implemented their process on a couple of lenses that were not monetized. The end result looked good, but it can be a little time consuming with all the insertion of styles and cutting and pasting code multiple times.
I did see the SquidUtils layouts and they look good. The only thing I didn’t like about it is that they take 1 out of 10 clicks to their own Amazon affiliate link. Maybe I’m greedy, but I just didn’t want to part with those clicks… Thanks again

Danielle September 30, 2012 at 2:06 am

Hi Skeffling – I had no idea you had this blog and I was very excited to read it. So far, great info.

I’ve always been unsure of what to do with Squidoo. I have some lenses but they are all…what’s the word? Well, they aren’t indexed. So, I looked at a few of yours and I notice that the product ones are quite short. How do you keep them active? Will you go and add something to them periodically? If yes, how often? And when is your squidoo book out?!?

(BTW – I’m dmcgaw at IB)

Ellen October 9, 2012 at 12:13 am

Great, great tips.

I can get traffic, but I haven’t mastered the art of choosing topics and keywords that specifically target web users who are ready to buy. I get sales, but my CTR is much lower than yours.

I am bookmarking this post to chew on and use for future topic brainstorming sessions.

Skeffling October 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thanks Ellen. I am flattered you are here reading my notes on Squidoo as I know you were on of the first writers I read on Squidoo last Spring and I have learned a lot from you. I hope this info helps you increase your click-throughs (and sales ;-) )

shobir October 11, 2012 at 5:51 am

Great post, so much information, this is the 4th time I’ve read it and still learnings.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Skeffling October 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

No problem Shobir. My 2 Infobarrel articles about Squidoo give a more general and less intense overview and tips.

Joe @ How I Got Rich October 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Thanks, very helpful! Just getting into Squidoo (bit late maybe) so this is very useful to me.

Skeffling November 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

Hi Joe, I hope it is not too late for you to join Squidoo, Christmas is coming and if you look at my earnings last year, I did surprisingly well with just a few sales lenses posted at the last minute been there when I had no idea what I was doing! So I would say, go for it. It is well worth a try and just make sure you your keyword competition is low in your title, and that no one else has already posted a lens with that title, or main keyword phrase.

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