[UPDATED – 7/22/2015]
Did you know there is more than one Amazon.com store? Don’t worry. If you didn’t know there is an amazon.co.uk, or an amazon.de, or even an amazon.co.jp, you’re not alone. In fact, many are unaware there are at least 13 international Amazon storefronts. But until you’re aware of this (and do something about it) you may be sending potential customers to the wrong store, losing untold sales in the process!
Link globalization is something you need to be aware of if you’re attempting to direct people to an Amazon storefront. If you give an Amazon.com link to someone in the UK or Australia, for example, that person will not be able to purchase the product you’ve linked without going through a lot of trouble.
First, they’ll have to navigate to their own Amazon store. Then, they’ll have to manually search for your product. Finally, they’ll have to click the “Buy Now” button.
Link Globalization will send them straight to the store they need so all they’ll have to do is click “Buy Now”.
What Is Link Globalization?
It’s simple. Link Globalization is the process by which you take an Amazon.com link and convert it to a “smart” link that will redirect a person to the correct Amazon store based on their geographic location.
Sound like a mouthful? Yeah, I know. But it’s a lot easier than it sounds, believe me. It’s easy because you don’t have to do this on your own. All you have to do is select a service that will do it for you. And I’m willing to bet you’ve already used a similar (in concept) service without even knowing it!
Have you ever used a link shortener (e.g. Bitly)? If so, you already know everything you need to know in order to successfully create a globalized link!
Where Do We Begin?
First, a confession. I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know on this subject. It’s been a learning process over the last twelve months, and I learn something new every month. But I do know enough to get you started. There are two services that I’m currently aware of, and both will help you based on your specific needs. The interesting thing is that they’re now owned by the same company (Geniuslink, formerly GeoRiot)! They are:
Until recently, I used Geniuslink’s free service. Based on a Twitter conversation between Rayne Hall and myself, Jesse Lakes—the CEO of Geniuslink—was kind enough to contact us and walk us through the differences in their services. As it turns out, Booklinker had been struggling and wound up doing some odd things (like sending people to an ad page if the link creator hadn’t subscribed to a paid plan yet). Geniuslink acquired Booklinker and put a stop to that [abusive] practice. But I digress.
So what are the differences?
I’ll boil it down to this:
– Geniuslink offers a tiered pricing plan that starts off
free up to 1k clicks per month. Beyond that, it’s $10 per 10k clicks. [Please check site for current pricing.] Whether you use the free service or the paid service, you have access to a full suite of metric analysis tools to track your link’s performance. You can add tracking tags and everything! If you’re in need of a professional global marketing tool, this is the link globalization service for you.
– Booklinker is permanently free. I’d highlight its simplicity and ease of use, but that would incorrectly imply that Geniuslink is not simple and easy to use. Booklinker also allows you to customize the shortened global link, which is wonderful. For example, if you want to find my novelette “The Road To Dar Rodon” on an international Amazon store, you simply have to navigate to http://mybook.to/TRtDR! Want to find “Necromancer Awakening” instead? No problem! Navigate to http://mybook.to/Necro1!
No matter which service you choose, both allow you to enter your Amazon affiliate ID (you have one of those, right?) so you’ll also earn residual income on referrals.
How Does It Work?
By that, I assume you mean “How the heck do I make it work” as opposed to “Please tell me all of the technical specifications and functional requirements so that I can develop my own algorithms and form a start-up company to compete with Geniuslink.” Am I right? 🙂 [Oh stop…you know I had to goof off at least a little!]
I mentioned earlier that if you’ve ever used a link shortening service, you already know all you need to know to make this work. It’s as simple as taking your amazon.com link (the link to your book or other product on Amazon) and pasting it into a text box on the link globalization service you’ve chosen. The link globalization service will do all of the heavy lifting for you and spit out a link that is both shortened and globalized! From that point on, whenever you want to share a link to your book or product, share the globalized link instead of the original link.
It’s really just that simple.
Which Service Do You Recommend, Nat?
Simply put, I recommend both. But which you select should be based on your specific needs and budget. [Note: As of this writing, June 27, 2017, the pricing structure has changed for GeniusLink. Please check their site for current rates. Booklinker remains permanently free.]
– If you don’t expect to receive more than 1000 clicks per month, either service will suit your needs.
– If you expect to receive more than 1000 clicks, but you really can’t afford to subscribe to a service, take a look at Booklinker.
– If you expect to receive more than 1000 clicks, can afford a small monthly subscription fee, and you really want to dig into some analytics to track your link performance, take a close look at Geniuslink.
But regardless of your budget and needs, if you’re trying to market your products/books to a global audience, you are losing sales if you’re not using link globalization! Stop that! You’re hurting yourself!
Q & A From Comments (added April 19, 2015)
I’m starting to receive some great questions in the comments below that ought to be highlighted here. I’ll paraphrase the questions and answers for streamlining, but please see the comments thread for the original versions.
Question: [From jenanita01] What the hell is an affiliate ID?
Answer: Amazon has a program, called the “Affiliate Program”, that is designed to give members a small cash incentive to advertise products. When you join the program, which is free, you’re assigned an “Affiliate ID”. You can append your ID to any product in the Amazon store (or, indeed, to the main Amazon link itself). From there, any time a person purchases an item that had your Affiliate ID attached, you get a small percentage of the sale as an advertising fee. It’s not much, but it’s something. I average about $30 per quarter, but then I’m not a huge advertiser. Point is, IT’S FREE MONEY!! So sign up! You can do so at the following link: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
Question: [From Ryan Doughan] How do I take the html link that amazon gives you to match up with my id and then globalize that for better sale use?
Answer 1: The answer to this comes in two parts. Part 1 is short: Take the entire link to your product, which should include your affiliate ID, and paste it into the link globalizer. Voila! Part 2, however, is a bit longer, because I think I misinterpreted Ryan’s question.
Answer 2: It occurred to me, after the fact, that Ryan may have been asking how to take the output of the Affiliate link generator (which is HTML) and use it as input to the link globalization process. That’s an awesome question, and requires a more detailed answer. You can do this in 6 steps:
1. Navigate to the page you want to create an affiliate link for.
2. Click the “Link to this page…” button at the top left (assuming you’re logged in and don’t have the affiliate toolbar hidden. If it’s hidden, just click the tiny arrow next to the Amazon logo, and it should reappear.)
3. Where it says “Customize and Get HTML”, I find it best to click the “Text Only” tab. It generates less code to deal with.
4. HTML code will be generated. Here’s an example of the full block of HTML generated for Necromancer Awakening:
a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JLVOU0U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00JLVOU0U&linkCode=as2&tag=naaruajowithc-20&linkId=S66JUPX7DH6QC5O6″ rel=”nofollow”>Necromancer Awakening: Book One of The Mukhtaar Chronicles
5. Extract the link, and only the link. Notice how it starts with “http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JLVOU0U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00JLVOU0U&linkCode=as2&tag=naaruajowithc-20&linkId=S66JUPX7DH6QC5O6
6. Paste that extracted link into the Booklinker link shortener/globalizer, and you’re finished!
[7/22/2015 – I had reduced the above to 4 steps, using the Amazon short link instead. Geniuslink (who, remember, also owns Booklinker) reached out to me to let me know the short link will not work on Booklinker. So, for now, the above 6 steps are guaranteed to get you the globalized link you’re looking for on Booklinker. If you’re using Geniuslink, you can shorten the above list by using the “Get Short Link” feature on your Amazon Affiliate toolbar.]
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