Once a passive income or niche sites start to gain some traffic and monetization becomes more of a focus, many bloggers want to know how they can maximize their revenue from different countries around the world.
More specifically, they want to be able to redirect visitors from different countries to a product or storefront that is relevant to them, to take advantage of commissions from these visitors as well as ones from their own country. Are there tools which allow you to do this?
You can use the Amazon Link globalizer (free) or the Geniuslink service (paid) to globalize your Amazon links. Once set up, you can simply paste an Amazon link in, and these tools will automatically globalize your links, finding matching products and adding your ID for each Amazon store you are signed up to.
In this article we’ll analyze each of these tools in more detail, looking at the pros and cons of each and recommending when each might be best.
Option 1 – Amazon Affiliate Link Globalizer Plugin
This is the option most commonly used by Amazon affiliate bloggers – see the video above for a good rundown of how the product works and how to use it.
The Amazon Affiliate Link Globalizer is a free plugin for WordPress which can be found by going to Plugins, Add New and searching for the Amazon globalizer plugin on the WordPress dashboard.
This plugin will automatically redirect visitors from different countries to their nearest Amazon store, or else to the main .com store if this makes the most sense in terms of product availability or delivery options.
In other words, if a visitor from Spain clicks on one of your globalized product links, they will be redirected to the amazon.es store, someone from Italy will be redirected to the amazon.it store and so on. If there is no local or nearby store they will be sent to amazon.com.
To take advanatge of this plugin you will need to sign up for the affiliate programs for each of the separate Amazon stores. See our article on signing up for the Amazon Affiliates/Associates program.
You will then get a unique affiliate ID for each store, which you put into the globalizer plugin, which then identifies you to the Amazon store a visitor is sent to and ensures you get a commission on any purchases made from that store. It is a good idea to sign up for affiliate programs from any country you see significant traffic from.
Amazon currently has easily accessible affiliate programs for the following countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Click here for the USA program. You can easily change the locale in the at the top right corner of the page you are taken to.
Brazil, Mexico, China and Japan also have affiliate programs but they are harder to set up, often requiring bank accounts in each of the countries and other hurdles to jump through.
Amazon India have an affiliate program that is easy to sign up for but harder to withdraw any commissions from; see this article for a round about way this can be done if you want to monetize traffic from India.
The main benefit of this plugin is that it is totally free to install and use and is an official Amazon product and therefore fully safe and compliant.
It allows for greater earnings from more countries if you see global traffic and if the products you promote are fairly unambiguous and widely available across all stores, the plugin should work well, directing the customer to an equivalent or close match product on their own country’s Amazon site. If it cannot find the same product or close match, it will redirect to the amazon.com store.
The major negative to this plugin is that although it is free to use, it automatically redirects a very small percentage of links clicked with their own affiliate ID instead of yours, meaning they get credit for the sale.
This is effectively how you “pay” for the product, since it is free to download and use. The percentage of links where they do this is very small but does mean you will miss out on the occasional referral.
Some bloggers are annoyed by the fact this is not well publicized but the convenience this plugin offers usually outweighs this very small “cut” that they take on referrals.
To put this all in perspective, affiliate commissions tend to be much smaller from other countries, with the USA market being by far the biggest. Income School, for example, rarely report affiliate commissions from their other stores exceeding more than 10% of their total Amazon affiliate income.
The USA market tends to be by far the most important. This does vary depending on the products you promote and the audience you aim your content at though, and so other affiliate programs could be important for some bloggers and make up a more sizeable chunk of income.
This official Amazon plugin is the more basic and widely used globalizer plugin, but it does not have a great deal of customizability. If you are looking for a product which has more ability to manually configure and tweak links for global visitors, then Geniuslink is another option, which we will look at in more detail below.
Option 2 – Geniuslink
The Geniuslink globalizer service does much the same job as the Amazon globalizer, except it has more options to customize links exactly as you want them. In contrast to the free Amazon plugin, this is a paid service, with the current cost of $5 for the first 2000 clicks, plus $2 per 1000 clicks used thereafter. You must pay a minimum of $5 per month though no matter how many clicks are used.
This product can be especially useful if you promote products globally on affiliate programs other than Amazon, and need to tailor links and products for different visitors.
It can also be a good tool if you want to manually customize Amazon links in different countries because of product availability or compatibility issues.
The Geniuslink service is not a plugin but a service you actually sign up to on their website, and you then manually configure your links from their own dashboard and paste them into your WordPress site.
All links follow the http://geni.us/xxxxxx formula, with you inserting whatever name you want in place of the x’s. Once you have set this link up you just attach it to whatever product you want and the geni.us service will redirect it.
This is great because it allows links to be more centrally managed on larger blogs. If a link needs changing, you just log into your geni.us account and change it there, and this change will automatically take effect on all instances of that link on your site. You don’t need to go back changing every single link individually.
The Geniuslink service is fully compliant with Amazon terms and conditions and is not classed as a link cloaking service despite the geni.us structure of the links. Geniuslink are in regular contact with the Amazon affiliate team and their product does not break any rules. See this article for more on this.
This tool offers a far greater range of options and customizability than the Amazon tool, allowing links to be configured in granular detail for every single country in the world.
Simple no nonsense auto linking is available for bloggers who want to keep things easy, and more complex link structures can be set up if required.
Default globalization works in much the same way as the Amazon plugin, directing visitors from countries with their own Amazon storefront to that site. Countries not covered are sent to either the US or UK stores depending on location and delivery options.
There is a setting pages where you put in all your affiliate IDs for the different stores and Geniuslink will automatically add them to any links you put in.
On the more advanced side you can set up split pages, which direct visitors to a set of different pages randomly or to a ratio you set (eg.50/50), or you can offer a choice page where they can choose themselves between two or more products or storefronts.
You can also redirect visitors not just on the basis of location but also language, browser, and other options, even combining all these features for a super complex link. For example, you can set up a link which redirects visitors from Mexico with Spanish as their default language who are using a tablet, to a specific page you set.
The real benefit of geniuslink though comes with the sheer customizability of the links. The Amazon globalizer locks you down to whatever product it can find, if at all, and offers no option to change it.
With Geniuslink you can manually customize every single redirect for every single product, manually inserting products yourself that the auto feature may have missed.
This is especially important given the sheer size and complexity of Amazon’s product range across all the stores. The auto product match feature on both products is set to find either exact or close matches based on product numbers, titles or descriptions. Sometimes however it will miss close matches and redirect to the .com store, simply because AI and alogrithms still aren’t perfect yet.
Geniuslink allows you to override this auto redirect and set you own links for every product and every country. So if you do find a close product match for a storefront that the auto match has missed, then you can manually put this in and the customer will be redirected to this instead of the .com store for a better experiences.
Be sure to put you affiliate ID into any manual links though since Geniuslink will not do this for you.
Which One To Go For?
In summary then the free Amazon Globalizer plugin is ideal as a no nonsense global redirect service for smaller sites focusing on Amazon products exclusively. It allows for simple redirects based on location and is easy to set up once you have your affiliate IDs for the different stores.
It is perfect for example for simple, unambiguous products like books, where the alogrithm will easily find the same product on each of the stores. The same goes for any other products which are widely available across all stores with the same descriptions, product IDs, etc.
For any more complex situations where products are not available on all stores, or you want more customizability to find close matches and related products yourself, then the paid Geniuslink service is probably the better option.
It allows for micro management and configuration of all links between country, device, language, operating system and many other factors and is also perfect for bloggers who need to globalize affiliate products from sites other than Amazon.
Another factor to take into account is the intended target audience of your site. If you main market is by far the American audience, then the Amazon plugin will probably do, since global redirects will not be so important for income.
If however you site has a global audience, then you may need Geniuslink to tailor your monetization of these other audiences yourself.