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Let’s continue talking about Amazon Native shopping ads for Amazon Associates. Amazon is offering affiliates a nice 12% commission on all sales we generate via one of their native ad units during the month of November (I talked about that announcement here).
This is a NICE commission incentive to use their native ads on your sites – but which TYPE of Amazon native ads convert the best? Which get the better click thru rates – and which type of ad converts to sales the most?
Most importantly, which type of Amazon native ads should YOU use – and which type do I NOT recommend using?
If you’re not sure what these type of Amazon affiliate ad types are all about, please go read this post: What Amazon Affiliates Need to Know About Amazon Native Ads. That post will explain the 3 types of native ads that Amazon offers their affiliates.
I’ve been using Amazon affiliate Native ads since they first came out so I have a decent amount of stats, clicks, conversions, etc to be able to share in order to give you an idea of how these native ads convert for me. Plus, with the new Amazon affiliate commission rates, we need all the help we can get.
There are 3 types of Amazon native ads that we affiliates can use.
Types of Amazon Native Ads
1. Custom Native Ads – in these ad blocks you, the publisher, pick the exact product you want to show in the ad block.
I rarely use this type of native ad – VERY rarely. In fact, I can’t recall the last time I created a custom Native ad unit.
If I am going to recommend specific products from Amazon on a blog post, I use something that will help my on-page SEO.
Native ads are a piece script that Google doesn’t “read” and I want those targeted products and product names found in the HTML of my posts.
Based on that, I do not recommend replacing your current Amazon ads for specific, related products with an Amazon custom native ad block UNLESS you are only doing it for the 12% commission this month – then change it all back before those native ads potentially wreck your on-page SEO and your rankings drop.
If you want to show SPECIFIC product images on your posts, use a good HTML product link generator like EPD – it makes a big difference.
2. Search Native Ads
These types of native ads give you a little less control over what products are shown in the native ad block, but you can make it so the products are still very relevant to your post content.
In short, you just tell Amazon what search phrase to use for the ad block and then Amazon auto-magically shows the best results for that search (just like typing in the search bar on Amazon.com)
I use these types of Native Ads the most often.
As an example, if my post is about a type of blender I love, then I would also have an Amazon search native ad block that shows other blenders to the readers.
I’ve already talked about, and linked to, the blenders that I recommend in my post – if the reader hasn’t clicked any of my links, then those search native ads come in handy to give the reader more options.
3. Recommendation Native Ads
These native ads give you the least amount of control over what is shown to each reader, but these are the ads that target each reader individually via ad retargeting. These ads will show both related products based on the content of your post and product ads that are relevant to each unique reader.
In short, your reader will see products that they have looked at online and other products that Amazon wants to show based on good conversions.
What YOU see in your Amazon Recommendation Native ad block is NOT what others will see.
I’ve been using these Recommendation ads more and more. Yes, the appearance of lack of relevance makes me a little nuts, but they work.
Amazon knows what they’re doing when it comes to conversions.
Which Native Ad Type Gets The Best Click Thru Rate?
I poked through my Amazon stats and picked a random date range so I could share some stats based on about a quarter of a million native ad impressions.
Based on 242,525 impressions of Amazon Native ads on various sites of mine, here is the stats on click-thru rate:
Based on the stats I shared above, custom ads, based on the few impressions I’ve had of them since I rarely use them, DO have the better click-thru rate.
Search Ads and Recommendation Native ads are pretty much even when it comes to which type is clicked more often.
However, you can also see that I have twice as many impressions for search native ads than I do for recommendation ads (I just started using recommendation ads recently).
Which Native Ads Make More Sales?
This stat might surprise you as much as it surprised me.
One would think that the native ad type with the higher click-rate would convert to sales the most, right?
And one would think that the native ad type with the worst click-thru rate would make the least sales, right?
Wrong and wrong.
Turns out, the native ad type that has the lowest CTR for me ended up being the winner for “makes the most sales”.
Just to be clear, these are MY stats and MY results using Amazon affiliate native ads. I have no doubt that others results will be different than mine – especially the “Power” affiliates on Amazon who get a LOT more ad impressions than I do.
Which Amazon Native Ad is Best For YOU To Use?
First off, Native Ads simply do NOT convert like our good ol’ fashioned text links. NOTHING beats carefully placed text links in the content of your post. NOTHING.
In that same time frame of my stats above, Amazon shows me having WAY less impressions on my text links, but the earnings from those text link clicks is WAYYYYYYYYYY better than any other type of Amazon affiliate link.
Any type of Amazon affiliate link you create and add to your post is there to enhance your content, give your readers more options of things to click, and to, as I talk about in this year’s What Works Now for Amazon Affiliates guide, to “save the sale”.
While text links are my “bread and butter” for my Amazon affiliate earnings, if I had NOT used all the other types of affiliate links options, I would have missed out on THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars in commissions.
No matter what type of Native Ads you choose to use, don’t forget to always follow the solid foundation of how blogging for affiliate earnings really works.
Have really good, on-topic, laser-focused content that includes text links.
Anything other than that is to make your page more visually appealing, make it easier for mobile traffic to see and click, and to “save the sale” so you have less traffic leaving your site without clicking your links.
Personally, I would not, and do not, use Amazon native ads to share specific Amazon products with their custom ad option. It’s horrible for on-page SEO – and on mobile, readers only see TWO products for each row (desktop view shows 4 products).
I will always opt for an HTML method to make my Amazon product ad blocks so Google can read them too and my ads actually improve my on-page SEO.
I also try and avoid putting Amazon affiliate native ads IN my content – I prefer to use them as a way to ‘save the sale’ at the end of my content.
Here’s another good reason why I usually put those native ads at the end of my main content.
Just the other day, Amazon had a “caching issue” and no Amazon native ads were showing on anyone’s web pages!
Amazon reps and other “helpful” users were all blaming it on Ad Block programs in users browsers, but that is NOT what happened at all – Amazon had a “hiccup”:
Gotta love it! Amazon announces this awesome 12% commission opportunity for the month of November to their affiliates in late October so we all go rushing out to get the native codes on our web pages… THEN, Amazon CHANGES the Native ad code (I hate the new code)…. and THEN…. on the second day of this 12% commission opportunity, they break the native ads so they don’t show for anyone.
If you’ve been an affiliate marketer for any length of time, you know this is just how it rolls ’round here…lol!
My point of all this is this: don’t fill up your main content with ad scripts that may, or may not, show for your readers – don’t risk your earnings that way.
Best advice of all as to which type of native ads YOU should use?
Try them and test them all so you’ll have real stats to look at and SEE which work best for you.
In Other News…
The hubby and I just came back from a nice, long weekend vacation in Pinehurst, North Carolina. We played in a 3-day golf tournament there that was put on by Katrek & Maginnes On Tap (they have an XM golf radio show – channel 92).
They are 2 great guys as were all the folks playing in the tournament. We didn’t win – not by a long shot – but we didn’t lose either =)
All in all, it was WONDERFUL to be away from the computer and outside in the sunshine and beautiful fall weather – a much needed break.
I posted a picture of the hubby and I on one of the beautiful golf courses we played over on my Twitter account (actually, my husband was taking a selfie and I ‘photobombed’ him – lol!)
Since being back home, I’ve been testing this plugin that I picked up the other day.
If you’re familiar with the concept of a “silo” structure for a website and know the importance of internal linking… AND you love to test new techniques to help your web pages rank better like I do, you should check it out. Pretty nifty.
I also read this October earnings report blog post and can’t wait to hear how much she earns this Holiday shopping season as an Amazon affiliate.
She really has it going on!
Just ONE blog too – and she only made ONE new post in October because she’s 9 months pregnant and due any day.
Oh, and she teaches exactly HOW she does it here =)
Speaking of Holiday Shopping…
This is a GREAT affiliate program to link to from ANY type of site this year.
It’s free for users AND it helps them get cash back from shopping online at like 2,000 some stores.
Yes, they get real money back after shopping online – your readers will LOVE you for sharing this program with them and you’ll make some nice commissions too.
Oh and yes, YOU can use it to get cash back when YOU shop online, too =)
Ok that’s it for now.
What are YOUR thoughts on Amazon Native Ads?
Which type works best for YOU?
Why not follow me on Pinterest?
that’s where I share all the great posts I’ve read lately.
Maybe your post is on that list =)
If you’re wanting to learn how someone makes 6 figures a year from ONE blog as an Amazon affiliate, you really need to read this. It’s VERY impressive!