If you’re looking for a nice easy way to integrate Amazon listings into your WordPress blog, then EasyAzon from Chris Guthrie is your answer.
I’ve used WordPress for many websites over the past few years, so I’m always excited when I see a new plugin out that helps me accomplish something faster or more efficiently than I could previously, using WordPress.
I’ve also created quite a few websites around Amazon products, and in the past I’ve used plugins such as ReviewAzon. ReviewAzon is a very powerful plugin, and it can let you do a lot of things on autopilot; however the problem I’ve found with it is that as Google has gotten tougher and tougher on duplicate content, some of my sites that were relying on content pulled from Amazon have suffered in their rankings, and thus traffic and revenue has dropped off.
Recently, that has left me searching for a simple way to integrate Amazon affiliate links directly into WordPress posts and pages, however not in an automated fashion that is likely to leave footprints for Google to track. I wanted to be able to search from within the post editor for an Amazon product, and pull up the affiliate links. Further to that, I wanted this to be a simple process that I could hand off to my writer in the Philippines.
In stark contrast to most of the other Amazon related WordPress plugins that are out there, EasyAzon is very simple. This is what the Settings screen looks like:
These are one-time settings that you’ll never have to touch again.
At the bottom of that page, you’ll see a place where you can enable Link Localization. This is a really cool feature that allows you to enter your details for other international Amazon affiliate programs. EasyAzon will then automatically detect the users’ IP location via their IP address and serve them links to the appropriate affiliate program. Depending on your traffic demographics, and the products you’re promoting, this could reclaim a fair bit of sales for you right off the bat.
The only problem with this is that most of the other Amazon sites don’t carry nearly the same depth of products as Amazon.com, so in many cases the product you’re promoting may not be available on the users’ local site. That’s not a limitation of the plugin though, but rather of Amazon itself.
EasyAzon Review – Daily Use
Ok, enough of the big picture stuff. How easy is this plugin to use, and what exactly is it going to do for me?
First, open a new post, or edit an existing one. Once EasyAzon is installed, you’ll see this box below the post edit screen:
Simply type in whatever you’re searching for, either in a general sense, or specifically and hit ‘Search Amazon’ to get a list of results. If you want, you can narrow the results down further by specifying which Search Index you want to use, but that isn’t really necessary.
As soon as you do that, you get a list of results right there in the form. I’ll use “RC airplane” as my search – you can see the results below:
At this point, to insert an affiliate link into your post it becomes as easy as clicking on ‘Insert Text Link’ or one of the other link options: Image Link or Info Box.
If you select Text Link, you’ll see a simple box that lets you specify what anchor text you want to link with.
If you select Image Link, you’ll see a box with options for how large you want the image to be, and its alignment.
If you select Info Box, you’ll see a screen where you can specify alignment.
After each box, you simply hit Insert Shortcode, and the shortcode gets pasted into your post where your cursor is at the moment.
EasyAzon Review – Conclusions
Drop Dead Simple
As you can see, EasyAzon is remarkably easy to use. It is simple and straightforward; perfect for either your personal use or for an outsourced worker to use. In my case, I wanted something foolproof that my outsourced writers can work with, without having to access my Amazon account.
Natural Look and Feel
Ironically, I love the fact that this plugin has zero automation features. So many plugins claim to save you time by literally ‘doing everything for you’ and they do; however by taking such a heavy role in the site creation process, they inevitably leave footprints all over your site which Google can easily see and attribute to the work of some autoblog system. Google is always fighting web spam, and it stands to reason that an autoblog is going to be seen as web spam in their eyes.
So, the more we can do to make our sites look natural, the better. EasyAzon basically just takes everything that you would have done by hand, and does the heavy lifting for you, putting the necessary things right at your fingertips rather than sending you digging for them (through Amazon’s site). The output is basically the same thing as what you’d end up with if you hand coded your affiliate links, so there isn’t a footprint to speak of. That said, I’m not sure about the info box, but I know the image and text links are pretty plain vanilla. They’re not even cloaked.
No HTML Required
I have vivid memories of the battle to get some Amazon code to stick on one of my WordPress blogs. It had to be done in the HTML view, but as soon as I switched to visual view, everything got completely screwed up. I had to make the change in HTML view, save the post, and then in the future, make sure if I wanted to edit it that I opened a different post, switched to HTML view, saved it, went back out, and then into the post I actually wanted to edit so that it would open in HTML view and not screw things up the instant I opened it up. I can’t tell you what a gong show that was. Thankfully, all that is firmly in the past with EasyAzon. You don’t have to know a speck of HTML, and you surely don’t have to change to that HTML view either.
Personally, I’m very happy I discovered EasyAzon, and I’m going to be rolling it out across my various Amazon product sites immediately. If you do anything with WordPress and Amazon, this is one plugin that is worth getting. You can find EasyAzon here, and yes, that is an affiliate link. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.