One of the largest affiliate programs on the Internet, and arguably the one that skyrocketed affiliate marketing into the forefront, is Amazon Associates. There are tons of ways for you to boost your earnings through this program, but there has always been one thing that I’ve never quite understood.
For some reason or another, the different Amazon sites for the different countries around the world operate somewhat independently. As an extension of this, the Amazon Associates programs for each of these regions also operate somewhat independently. Your earnings are tracked separately and you use a completely different set of affiliate product links. This doesn’t make much sense with the global economy and the international nature of the world wide web.
You could be reading this blog post from Singapore or San Francisco, India or Ireland, Dubai or the Dominican Republic. If I were to insert an affiliate link to a product on Amazon.ca, none of those readers would effectively “convert” for me, because why would they buy from the Canadian site? There are third party solutions to this problem, redirecting users based on their detected geo to the corresponding Amazon site, but now there is an official solution… at least for Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. It’s called OneLink.
The basic idea is something that I think should have existed from the very beginning. When you link to a product on Amazon.com (US) and the site visitor is detected to be located in Canada, they’ll automatically be redirected to the appropriate product page on Amazon.ca. If the site visitor is in the UK, they’ll get directed to the corresponding Amazon.co.uk page.
That’s the good news. What’s more, it’ll also work with all of the existing links on your website, so you don’t have to go back and change all of them too. It won’t work if you’ve used the Amazon links elsewhere, though, like on social media or with guest posts on other websites. The commissions are also still attributed to the corresponding Amazon Associates program, so it’s not like your Canadian and American earnings are merged either. But this is definitely a step in the right direction.
So, how do you set it up?
Log into your Amazon Associates account on Amazon.com. Under the Tools section, you’ll find OneLink. The first thing that you’ll need to do is to link your accounts with the United Kingdom and/or Canada sites. Connecting my US account to Canada was the most important for me, so we’ll use that for this demonstration. It starts with choosing the geography.
From what I can see, it looks like this might expand to other regions in the future.
After choosing Canada from the list of available geographies, I then entered my Canada Store ID. If you’re like me, then you may have created multiple tracking codes for both Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. This helps you track where your sales are coming from if you run multiple websites, for instance. For the purposes of OneLink, you’ll need to use your “main” store ID, the first one you set up when you first joined the Associates program.
If you can’t remember which one that is, log into your Amazon Associates Canada or UK account on the corresponding website and look to the top-right corner of the screen. Next to your email address is your store ID. It should take on a format of storename-20 or similar. Enter that and click the Link Store button.
You will then need to validate the connection by clicking the “validate here” link under the “pending” status. This sends you to the Canada (or UK) site and the validation process is automatic from there, so long as you are already logged in.
The next step is to place a small snippet of code on your website. This is called the oneTag code and it should be placed in the footer of your website, just below the </body> closing tag. If you use WordPress, you’ll find this in the footer file of your WordPress theme.
Last but not least, you can do a little bit of configuring. For each of your tracking IDs, you can choose whether you want to redirect visitors only if there is an exact match for the same product (or page) or if you want to redirect even if there is only a “close” match. The latter is recommended, because “close” matches are usually good enough.
Where no exact or close matches are found, the site visitor will still be sent to the original Amazon.com (US) page that you originally linked to. To test the matching system, you can enter the URL of product (including your tracking ID) in the appropriate field. It can take a moment for the Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk link to populate, so just click the refresh link next to it. This is usually ready in a couple of seconds.
The OneLink system with Amazon Associates isn’t perfect, but it is a very welcome addition to the world’s largest and most popular affiliate program. Happy earning!