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Should You Be Running Amazon Ads?


Amazon ads. At first look, their irresistible. You can be an affiliate for almost every product under the sun. You can quickly and easily generate affiliate links. You'll be partnering with a recognized and credible company. They sound like one of the best ways to make money online you've encountered.

And then reality sits in. The conversion rates are lower than you would've ever dreamed. The commissions are puny compared to other alternatives. There are so many other people using Amazon ads that the ones on your site just sort of blend invisibly into the background. The CTR is far lower than you'd ever expect.

So, should anyone be using Amazon ads? Should you still be running them on your site?

In most cases, quite frankly, the answer is “no”. Amazon ads aren't a particularly high-powered method of monetization for most sites. In the bulk of instances, another form of advertising, such as Adsense contextual ads, will produce more income. Amazon ads are fun and they do give you a shot to deal with high-trust physical goods. Unfortunately, they don't make much money.


There are, as noted, exceptions. In some instances, it makes perfect sense to use an Amazon affiliate links and ads on your site. An example? If you are running a small niche site that defies other monetization strategies but for which there is a physical product that matches well, you need to give Amazon a shot.

In some cases, it will work like gangbusters. If you can isolate a specialty product that is sold through Amazon and can build the right pages around it, you can make decent money with the Amazon affiliate program..

You can also feel free to stick a few here and there just in case. You might make a few bucks every once in awhile. Just don't ruin your site's appearance for the sake of getting them on the page. If you can sprinkle relevant ads in the right places on a larger site there's no real risk of doing damage. In those “upside only” scenarios, Amazon ads are just fine.

The exceptions are rare. In most cases, it doesn't pay to rely on Amazon ads. They're one of those great Internet frustrations. They look perfect and have so many great characteristics that it's hard not to use them. Experience, however, shows us that it's a temptation we can afford to resist.

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