Easy Azon: Improve your Amazon Affiliate Sites and Save Time
Quick Summary of Easy Azon
Rating: 4.5 Easy to use and a great time saver
The Good: Easy to use. Looks good. Can localize Amazon tags (This is a BIG one!)
The Bad: Admin UI feels a little shoddy and it sometimes fails to find products/images
The Bottom Line: Overall, I'm happy to recommend Easy Azon. I've used it frequently on numerous Amazon Affiliate sites and it really is easy to use and really does save you time.
Easy Azon Review
Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world, supplying hundreds of thousands of different products to America and beyond.
When most internet marketers get started, they are advised to make affiliate sites, and with good reason: they are an easy way to get started making money online.
Using Amazon as an affiliate source has many advantages, but if you are adding a lot of products to a site, or create numerous Amazon affiliate sites, it can become very time consuming to add in Amazon products, images and format everything to look nice.
There is however, a WordPress plugin that can help improve your productivity when it comes to adding Amazon products: Easy Azon.
What is Easy Azon?
Easy Azon is a premium plugin for WordPress that enables you to quickly and efficiently add Amazon products (with affiliate tags!) to your website. It also does this in a clean and professional looking manner.
The basic process for using it is to highlight a word or phrase and click the Easy Azon button. The plugin then searches for the product and allows you to then insert various details directly into your post. There’s also a manual search system, so you can change the search term or add the product ASIN code to search for that directly.
Why should you consider Easy Azon?
In one word: time.
I used to add Amazon products manually to my affiliate sites, and since using Easy Azon, I have cut the process time down by half. That’s a huge time saving advantage. The time saved not doing manual data entry can be applied to adding more article, social networking, and other marketing endeavors
Setting up Easy Azon
There are actually two Easy Azon plugins: the free version and the premium. If you purchase the premium, you still need both installed for it to function.
Honestly, I wasn’t overly impressed by the free version; I found it limiting. As such this review is purely about the premium version.
Once you have both plugins installed and activated you need to set up the plugin.
The first thing is to get an AWS access and secret key. These keys are from Amazon and allow the plugin to access Amazon’s API (the computer system which provides data on products).
This is where you will find the first “gotcha”. The plugin tells you to get the keys and unless you follow the instructions correctly it’s easy to end up with the wrong keys which mean the plugin won’t work. However, so long as you follow the instructional video to the letter, you will be fine.
From there you add in your Amazon affiliate tag. The plugin uses the US version as it’s default, but also allows you to add in any other locality affiliate tags you may have, such as Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc.
To get those you need to sign up with Amazon in each of the stores (I have no idea why Amazon forces you to do that but there you go). Easy Azon handily adds a link to each Amazon store for you, just to make the sign up process a little easier.
Of course, you don’t have to sign up to those other Amazon sites, but if you want to localize your Amazon links (more of that shortly) then it’s advisable to sign up to as many as you can.
The default settings for Easy Azon are fairly straightforward:
- New window: open links in a new window
- No Follow: make the link no follow
- Add to cart: instead of linking to the product page, the user will have the product added to cart and be sent to the cart
- Cloak links: mask your links
- Product popups: show pop up windows when hovering over a link
All the defaults are ticked by, err, default. Personally I disable the Add to Cart option, as the user will get the cookie regardless and I dislike forcing people directly to a cart, but that’s up to you.
The other concern I had initially was with the Clock Links option. Amazons terms state that the link must show that the link takes the person to Amazon, so a standard cloaked link would actually put you in violation of Amazon terms.
As such I tend to disable this or at least change the term used from product to amazon (Easy Azon makes this a breeze to do). It’s something to keep in mind when setting up.
The final aspect of Easy Azons settings is localization. If you have set up the different Amazon accounts, then you will want to turn localization on.
What this means is, if a person from the UK visits your site, instead of being served Amazon links from Amazon.com, they will be served links from Amazon.co.uk.
Easy Azon will also try and find the closest match product available, though as products differ in both being stocked and even name, from country to country, the results can be hit and miss.
Still anything is better than nothing right?
If you only target the US market, then I’d advise turning this off as it just adds overhead to your web page load for no reason.
Using Easy Azon
In a post or page, add in your review or article or whatever. Then highlight a word or phrase where you want the link to go, and click the Easy Azon button.
If the highlighted text is also the Amazon product, Easy Azon will find it and any other similar. Otherwise when the pop up appears, change the search term and press search (this will not affect the anchor text that you highlighted).
Once you find the right product click the text link option and then choose either Insert or Insert Markup.
The Insert option will wrap the text in a shortcode, meaning across the site changes are easier. The shortcodes can also be edited, so say you want to test the placement of a link, you could edit the shortcodes tag parameter with a different one generated in your Amazon affiliate account and see how many clicks/sales it gets.
Insert Markup will add HTML around the text instead. This option is great for future proofing your posts (say for example if you decide to stop using the plugin), but global settings won’t be applied to these links.
Easy Azon has 4 methods of inserting data:
- Text link
- Image Link
- CTA Link
- Info Block
The text link will obvious add a standard link.
The image link will add an image (so it’s often best to not highlight anything and instead click where you want the image to go).
The CTA link adds a small Amazon button. Personally I think this looks crap, and as it is not modifiable, it’s something I never use. This is most definitely the weakest part of the plugin.
The Info block adds in the product name, small image, brief details and CTA link, in one boxed area.
Because of the varied options, you can mix up what’s shown on your page easily and without having to mess about with HTML and CSS.
While Easy Azon does make it easy to add in products, it does have issues.
The plugins admin UI is a bit shoddy and it’s very easy to miss click when trying to insert, click outside the modal window and close it down instead of inserting.
The Image Link UI is also not great. It’s usable but hunting through images is sometimes annoying.
Those are fairly minor issues though.
One other problem is that sometimes it cannot find a product, even when using an ASIN number. This is fairly rare, and usually occurs because the product is out of stock or is being sold by a third party. Often by searching directly on Amazon, you can find multiple listings for a product and choosing a different one can work, though it’s not always possible.
This also isn’t a major issue, just something to be aware of.
In conclusion I think that Easy Azon is a must have for any serious Amazon affiliate. Its flaws are few, and it really does save a ton of time, and in theory can increase your click through rate and purchase rates.
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