Amazon Affiliate: Plain Text and Image Links vs AmaLinks Pro (386% Increase!)

The only way to truly tell if one strategy works better than another is to test and compare data. We recently asked select website owners if they would be willing to allow us to run some A/B tests on their sites. Specifically – we wanted to see how some of our AmaLinks Pro elements performed versus plain text and image links. You see – we are aware that there is a belief in some affiliate marketing circles that just plain old text links work the best to get users to click over to Amazon. We wanted to see for ourselves.

improved-386-percent-click-through-rate-optimization-amalinks-proThere are many variables that could affect click-through-rates. So, we ran similar tests on several different websites. The first test we reported on resulted in a more than 256% increase in clicks to Amazon on a site in the home services niche. We understand that different niches and different types of posts might have very different results. Here is a link to all of the case study results posts that we’ve reported on so far.

Today, we’re reporting on results from a website in the pet niche. The products being promoted on the page we tested are common products that a typical pet owner would buy for this specific kind of pet. The price range for the products listed on the page is considered very inexpensive. We will not be revealing the exact site or who the owner is. But, we’re going to show you the exact results and do our best to explain the before-and-after scenarios.

Thoughts from the Actual Website Owner!

Before we show you the results – we thought we’d share with you some thoughts from the actual owner of this website. Here they are (in his own words)…

I was recently asked to run an A/B test on my website with Amalinks Pro. The test consisted of one version with my site as it was (with plain text and image links) and the other using Amalinks Pro. I had been considering Amalinks Pro for some time, so I jumped at this opportunity to see for myself how it performed versus the links that I had been using.

Once the test began, I was able to see the results real-time in WordPress, and right away I was very pleasantly surprised. It was not long before the test indicated with 100% certainty that the Amalinks Pro variant was the clear winner – by a lot!. Prior to seeing the results of the test for myself, I had no idea how much of an opportunity I was missing out on to increase my earnings. Needless to say, I was convinced. I now use Amalinks Pro for all of my product links, and I’m continuing to see a vast increase in my affiliate earnings.

386.8% Increase in Clicks to Amazon!

This test ran for 70 days and the post had 2,529 total page views. Here is the breakdown for how it performed…

  • Control Version (the original, unedited) – 1,295 page views with 36 clicks to Amazon – 2.78% CTR
  • Variant Version (AmaLinks Pro, edited) – 1,234 page views with 167 clicks to Amazon – 13.53% CTR

Here is a screenshot from the dashboard of the A/B testing plugin that we are using (with the website screenshots blurred for confidentiality)…

AB Test Results - Pet Website

 

As you can see – we were able to achieve an amazing 386.8% increase in clicks to Amazon on this one page.

What are we testing, exactly?

It’s simple, really. We set up this test to count the number of times a user (reader) clicks on an external link that contains ‘amazon’ in the URL. We verified that all links to Amazon in the original post were using the full Amazon URL and contained the word ‘amazon’ – and we know that all links created by AmaLinks Pro use the full API-driven URL which contains ‘amazon’ in the URL.

How are we setting up our A/B tests?

Note: This post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service after clicking one of our links, we earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

We’re using Nelio A/B Testing – a WordPress plugin for easily setting up and monitoring A/B tests from within your WordPress dashboard. We researched and tested a few different A/B testing tools and found that Nelio A/B Testing would be the easiest for us to use on multiple WordPress sites.

The Nelio A/B Testing plugin allows us to create as many variants as we want, per post (or page). For the tests that we are running, we are setting up just one variant. To make changes to the variant, the plugin opens up a post (or page) editor with the exact original version and we simply make all the changes that we want and then save it.

The plugin then automatically directs about 50% of traffic to the original post (the control version) and the other 50% of traffic to our edited post (the variant version). Readers of the website have no idea that there are 2 different versions of the post!

The coolest thing about the Nelio A/B Testing plugin?!? After you find which version of your post performs the best – you can set that version to be the new live version on your site with just a click!

 

Try Nelio A/B Testing

 

How was the original post (control version) set up?

The post that we ran this test on is a list post. The title of the post looks something like this…

The Best [product] for [specific type of pet]

An example for the title would look something like this (this is NOT the title of the post or even the same niche!)…

The Best Dog Bowls for Small Dogs

After the title, there are several paragraphs of intro text and several subheading sections with informational text on the product type and the specific pet type. Then, about halfway down in the post, each product is listed with each being its own sub-section of the article. The name of the product IS the subheading and each subheading is linked to Amazon. Just below the subheading is a large image of the product, linked to Amazon and below the image are several paragraphs of descriptive text.

Here is an example of what each sub-section looked like in the original post (again, this is just an example – the actual site and product have nothing to do with dog bowls)…


UPSKY Double Dog Cat Bowls

Description text here – Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur…


So, that was it. The original version of this post listed several products exactly as shown above – BUT, the very first affiliate link didn’t appear until halfway down the page. All of the affiliate links to Amazon were in the H2 title of the subheading for each section and the large image below the subheading linked to Amazon. Nothing else. There were no more text links, no CTA buttons, no product information boxes, and no comparison table.

The previous A/B test that we reported results on did almost this exact same thing. A different website owner with a site in a totally different type of niche was linking to Amazon almost exactly the same way – which leads me to believe that somebody is teaching people to do this!

What changes did we make for the variant post?

We made a couple of big changes to the variant version of the post, using AmaLinks Pro. First – we added a mobile responsive comparison table, with AmaLinks Pro, towards the top of the post. We added it just after the intro paragraphs and before much of the rest of the informational content. We have found that it is VERY beneficial to place affiliate links near the top of a post – as a high percentage of readers typically don’t scroll all the way down and even see all of your content.

The table contained just a few of the top recommended products that are featured later on the page. We also added a new subheading and one line of text just above the comparison table – as you’ll see in our example below.

Next, we removed the hyperlink to the product listing on Amazon from each subheading. We also removed the images just below the subheading of each sub-section and replaced them with nice AmaLinks Pro Showcase Boxes.

Here is an example of how our variant post is setup (again, this is just an example – the actual site and product have nothing to do with dog bowls or small dogs)…


Title of The Post Here

Intro paragraphs – Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur…

In a hurry? See our top picks…

CLICK on any image below to see Ratings and Reviews on Amazon

More paragraph text here – Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur…

More Subsections of Informational Content

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur…

UPSKY Double Dog Cat Bowls

amalinks-pro-386-increase-ctr-showcase.

Description text here – Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur…


There you have it! We added a comparison table to the top of the post and replaced the subheading and plain image links with AmaLinks Pro Showcase Boxes. These changes alone resulted in a 386.8% increase in clicks to Amazon on this particular page!

Run Your Own A/B Tests!

Would you like to try setting up a similar A/B test on your own website or blog, to see if you can increase your clicks to Amazon? You only need a few things to get started.

  • A post or page that gets decent traffic (at least a few hundred visitors per month)
  • An A/B testing tool or plugin (like Nelio A/B Testing)
  • Your own copy of AmaLinks Pro

Check your analytics to find a post that gets decent traffic. If you’re not already promoting Amazon products on your high-traffic posts – take a look at our detailed guide to see exactly HOW you can be monetizing ANY post on your blog with Amazon.

Find a good A/B testing solution that will work well for you. The Nelio A/B Testing plugin that we use does have a VERY limited free version in the WordPress repository. If you choose to use Nelio A/B Testing – you will likely need to choose one of their Pro (paid) plans.

If you don’t already have your own copy of AmaLinks Pro – I would suggest starting out with our Blogger plan. The Blogger plan gives you a license that you can use on only one site. If you have more than one website that you would like to use AmaLinks Pro on – you can always upgrade your license later by simply paying the difference.

 

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