Building out an Amazon site, or any site, is something a lot of people overthink.
Don’t get me wrong, you do need to plan it out and structure it correctly. Where most people make a mistake is to put so much importance on the buildout, that they fear doing it wrong, and ultimately never finish setting it up.
Before I get into the core of this article, I want to give you a piece of advice. Remember it, and remind yourself about it whenever you’re suffering from paralysis by analysis.In the vast majority of cases, you can change your mind later. It's better to just make a decision and move forward with it.Click To Tweet
Aside from one or two fundamental decisions, you can change your site any time. So don’t sweat it too much.
Now, onto the core of the article, where I talk about setting up Amazon sites, and what you need to consider.
Before continuing… I should probably tell you that this is a guest post written by Dom Wells. As you may know, I have very stringent requirements for guest posts on this blog. They must be: very high quality, written by a trusted source whom I already know, and they must offer value for my readers. Learn more about Dom in the bio at the end of this post. The rest of this post is written by him, except where I chime in with this different color text and italics in a few places.
Reverse Engineer Your Goals
One thing we often forget to do is think about the end-game for our websites. Where do we want them to end up?
Do we want them to be authority sites where we post new content on a regular basis, or do we want them to be smaller sites, generating a smaller, but more hands off income?
It’s important to think about this in the beginning, because it’s 10 times easier to hit your goal if you’ve planned in advance. Makes sense right?
So let’s say you wanted to have an Amazon site that gets most of its traffic organically, from google search. This is perhaps the most popular model.
Getting a site to this position requires legwork, but essentially it’s just a case of link building. Get the site set up, then keep building links until it ranks, with some social signals sprinkled in. Pretty straightforward if you’ve done the research and keyword selection correctly.
Matt’s got some good content about keyword research and niche selection [for Amazon sites]
- Getting Started with Amazon Niche Sites – How to Find Profitable Niches and Limitless Keywords
- How to Find Profitable Keywords for Amazon Affiliate Sites
- Niche Site at Night – Choosing a Niche (and More Keyword Research Explained)
Matt: I feel that I MUST mention my favorite (and the very best) keyword research tool right here. I use Long Tail Pro for ALL of my keyword research for ALL of my sites. Yes – Long Tail Pro comes at a cost – but I’ve published a very detailed post about how to make Long Tail Pro pay for itself!
If this is your plan, then how you set up your site is going to be different from an authority site. For a link orientated site, you want your homepage to contain links to your key pages, and you’ll want to pass link juice down the tiers nicely.
Here’s how I would set up a hypothetical Amazon site on running shoes.
As you can see, building links to the homepage, and to the various key “money pages” would ensure that the link juice spreads around the whole site.
The blue squares are pages (or posts) and the arrows denote linking and hierarchy. In this example I only have 2 posts being linked to from the homepage, but this is done for simplicity sake. I could have as many as 5 or 10.
Your emphasis is less on showing off your fresh content and having a blogroll for repeat visitors, and more on a solid seo structure.
If you wanted to go the authority site angle, you’d be attracting links naturally, over the course of a long period of time, and might prefer a blogroll homepage instead. You’d still want to build the majority of your links to the top pages though.
Answering The Common Questions
A lot of questions come up about this kind of site and structure (remember what I said about overthinking it?).
Most people simply don’t know which pages to prioritize.
- How should you organize your pages?
- How many pages should you send links to?
- How many links are needed?
- How will you optimize the content for conversions?
Let’s take a look at these now.
Essentially there are three different types of post. Review posts, “best of” posts, and informational posts. A review would be something like “Canon G7X Review”, best of would be “Best Canon DSLR” and informational could be anything, like “How to use a DSLR”.
Informational posts are there to a.) funnel traffic to the money page, and b.) add relevancy to the money pages.
It’s always good to have a few internal links pointing from an informational article to a money article. This increases its importance, and relevance in Google’s eyes.
There’s no real rule about how many of each article type you need, or how long they need to be. I normally start out with just best of and review posts, then add informational posts as part of phase two.
Matt: I always include at least one massive informational article (usually several), in order to make my sites look more like blogs and less like thin-content review sites. Again – I find all of my keywords and topics to write about using Long Tail Pro. The tool has more than paid for itself!
Phase two is basically when I’ve decided the site is gaining momentum and worth adding more content to. I normally only start with about 8,000 words of content on a site, then commence with link building.
Once you’ve started to get some rankings and traffic, then you can think about adding more to the site. There’s no point wasting time on this until you’ve seen a bit of traction.
Generally, there’s no rule for how many links to build. You could hit page one with 5 links, or you could hit it with 50. Despite things like KC and DA/PA, it’s really hard to predict.
Just keep building links until you get there.
As for prioritizing pages, I am a fan of testing each page and seeing which ones gain rankings the fastest. Normally I start out by building links to the homepage, and two inner pages.
A few weeks later, one of those pages might be making positive gains and I’ll focus on that, or none might be moving, and I’ll build my next links to a different inner page.
Technically each link builds your site’s overall authority anyway, so it’s not like you’re wasting links by doing this.
Matt: Not to be taken lightly – Dom talks about building links as if it’s an easy thing to do. Link building has always been my biggest challenge and struggle when it comes to niche sites. It is the necessary evil that is essential to get sites to rank in Google. Proceed with caution and do your homework. Always lean towards more white-hat methods that will stand the test of time and stay away from shady black-hat methods.
Quite a lot of your time managing a site will be spent tweaking things to improve performance.
This is something I don’t worry about too much until the site is getting consistent traffic (maybe 500 views a month). There are definitely better ways to set up your articles though, and this post talks about the best ways to do it.
What works well is to have clear CTA boxes, and give lots of opportunities to get Amazon clicks. It’s always good to present a clear winner on best of posts too.
Something like this works well.
This was done using Thrive Content Builder.
I changed one site from boring text articles, to having these attractive boxes, and increased income from $50 a month to $450 almost instantly.
Matt: I use EasyAzon for almost all of my buttons, links, images and even CTA boxes which lead to Amazon. EasyAzon is an essential tool for any Amazon site – and it allows you to easily create all of these options on your webpages in just seconds. Using a custom theme designed specifically for Amazon sites also makes this stuff easy. I swear by the Ultimate Azon Theme – full review about it here.
What I like to do is see which 2-5 pages are getting the most traffic, and start out my tweaks there. If those pages show an improvement, I’ll make it site wide.
You might be thinking that this is a pretty simple overview, and it is. That’s the beauty of Amazon sites. Each niche will have slightly different results, each site will perform differently, but for the most part you can set them all up the same, and build links to all of them the same.
That’s, for the most part, all there is to it.
So let’s summarize a little bit:
- Set your site up in a way that optimizes link juice, but don’t overthink it too much.
- Choose a mixture of review posts, best of posts, and informational posts.
- Link build over the course of several months.
- Once some pages start getting traffic, think about tweaking them to try and boost conversions.
- Build out more content, links, and even sites.
It takes time though, especially the ranking side of things, so be patient, and keep going.
Closing Statement And My Offer To You
The hardest part about all of this for most people, is the actual act of getting started. I’ve been building Amazon affiliate sites for dozens of people for over 2 years over at HumanProofDesigns, and I’d love to build one for you today.
If you would rather focus on things like link building and let us handle the keyword research and site construction, then get in touch and let’s talk.
Dom is the owner of HumanProofDesigns, a business that has worked with newbie affiliate marketers since 2013, getting them started on the right foot. Dom himself has been making money online since 2012 and has been featured on Entrepreneur.com
Matt: I hope you enjoyed this insight from Dom. I definitely felt it was relevant and worthy to post on my blog – especially since most of my niche site focus lately has been on building out Amazon-based sites. If you haven’t ever visited Dom’s blog, please do. I think you’ll find that much of his content is very similar to mine. If you like my blog – you’ll like his too! Good Day!
An Added Bonus From Matt…
A detailed guide on producing content for Amazon Niche Sites, including the following…
- Keywords and KC Scores from Long Tail Pro
- Understanding the KC Score
- How to Use Keywords for Website SEO
- Where to Use Keywords for Proper On-page SEO
- Content Creation for Your Keywords
- Inserting Amazon Affiliate Links
- Finding Amazon Products to Promote
- More Recommendations for Your Site