One thing many bloggers and niche site owners will need to do once they start creating content for their site is to pull product images off Amazon to promote in their articles. There is a specific way you need to do this to avoid getting in Amazon’s bad books with their terms of service.
It is essential that if you are going to use product images off Amazon, you do so by signing up to their affiliate program and using the Sitestripe option to copy and paste the image code into your website. This code will then pull the relevant product image off Amazon’s servers, meaning it will always be an up to date product image displayed on your page. This is the correct way to use Amazon product images on your site.
It is very important NOT to simply download the product image off Amazon onto your computer and then reupload it onto your website. This is breaking Amazon’s terms of service and they have been known to throw people off the affiliate program for violating the terms in this way.
The idea behind this is probably that saved and reuploaded images will stay the same even the image changes on Amazon’s site. They cannot be updated automatically.
Using the Sitestripe means that if Amazon changes a product image on their server, then so will the product image on your site, since doing it the right way using the Sitestripe code will pull the relevant product image off Amazon’s server, whatever it is at that time.
This way product images are kept up to date. Amazon are very keen on you making sure all product information displayed on your site is fully current and up to date.
Let’s look in more detail at how to correctly add Amazon images to your site. The video below from Alex at WP Eagle also covers the same material.
Using the Amazon Sitestripe To Upload Product Images to Your Site
Before you use Amazon product images on your site, you will need to sign up to Amazon if you haven’t already, and then to their affiliate program. Doing so is free and relatively quick; see our article on how to sign up for the affiliate program for a full rundown of the process.
Once you are signed up, when you log into your Amazon account, you will see a new band or Sitestripe across the top of the screen. This is how you correctly insert text and image links into your site. When browsing products on the site, the Sitestripe allows you to pull the relevant affiliate product links to use for that item and embed them in your site.
The Sitestripe allows three options for links – text only, image only, or a combined text and image widget which also includes the live price of the product. In this article we will focus just on using image links only. The video above also covers text links if that is what you prefer. See also our article on globalizing links if you are wanting to take advantage of international traffic.
Once you are on a product you would like to promote on your site, where it says “Get Link” on the Sitestripe, click on “Image“, and a box should drop down allowing you to choose an image size – small, medium or large. This can actually vary between product and you may need to test the code for different sizes to find the one you like for that product. Medium and Large size are the most commonly used.
When you select the size you want, the Sitestripe will generate a piece of HTML code that you need to copy and paste into your website. Make sure you switch to the Text rather than the Visual display on your WordPress page, since you will be inserting the underlying code rather than text or images directly and only the Text editor can read this.
Make sure you switch from the visual editor to the text editor at the top right of your WordPress page when pasting in image codes from the Amazon Sitestripe.
The Text editor can appear a little daunting at first, filled up with a load of complex looking code, but it is not usually difficult to scroll down to the point where you need to put the image in. “nbsp&” means a space for a line break in the text editor. Once you paste the image code in and switch back to Visual, the product image should appear on your page.
Clicking on the image will open up the image settings, where you can insert captions to name the product, custom links, alignment and other settings. Alt text determines what text will be displayed if the image doesn’t load on a viewer’s device. This can happen if the person has set their phone to not load images to save data for example.
Placing the Image on One Side of the Page With Text Alongside
The size of many of the images that load, even on Large settings, doesn’t really look very good for placing in the middle of the page, leaving loads of white space around it. Some people prefer to align the image on one side of the page and wrap the text around it to avoid having all this whitespace.
You can do this by clicking on the image and clicking the Edit button, and then selecting left or right alignment. This will push the image up against the left or right hand side of your page and allow you to insert text alongside.
You may have to play around with this a little bit to get it looking exactly as you want it, since the way it appears when drafting the page versus actually viewing the published page can be a little different.
Using the image align feature allows you to place an Amazon image on one side of the page and wrap text around it
Having Multiple Images Alongside Each Other In Columns
Alternatively some people may want to place multiple product images alongside each other on the same line in equally spaced columns so readers can compare and contrast different products visually. To do this there are a number of plugins you can use. Let’s cover a couple free and easy to use ones here. Head to Plugins…Add New and search for, download and activate the plugin you want to use.
Option 1 – Lightweight Grid Columns
Perhaps the easiest plugin for creating text or image columns on your page is the Lightweight Grid Columns plugin. Once downloaded and activated, a new “Create Columns” button will appear on your toolbar. Click it to place a new column on your website.
A box will pop up; paste your first image code into the box and select the page width percentage depending on how many columns/images you want on that line. For example, 33% would be three equal columns, 25% would be four equal columns and so on. It is a good idea to keep mobile width at 100% no matter what.
Keep creating new columns and entering new image codes from the Sitestripe to put them into the page. Be sure to tick the Last Column box when you have inserted the last image you want on that line. This tells the plugin that you have finished creating the columns and this is the last image.
Save and publish and with any luck you should have some nice equally spaced Amazon product images bunched together on one line. You can then click on and edit each individual image, inserting captions and custom affiliate links if you want.
Be sparing with the number or affiliate image links you place on a page though; having too many can come across as spammy and hurt your Google rankings. See our article on the topic.
This plugin is super easy to use and can be used to create columns of text and images, as long as it is the image code you are pasting in. If you want to paste in actual saved images and not just code, then you will need the Genesis Columns Advanced plugin.
Options 2 – Genesis Columns Advanced
Genesis Columns Advanced is another but slightly more difficult to use and less intuitive plugin than Lightweight Grid Columns, but has more ability to customize how you set up the columns. You can also paste in actual images and not just HTML code from the Amazon Sitestripe.
Download and activate the plugin and another columns button will appear on your toolbar. Click it to open up the settings, and you can select how many columns you want in advance. The plugin defaults to equal sized columns; however the Advanced settings page allows you to use more custom layouts with uneven sized columns.
Once you select the number of columns, some shortcode will appear on you page for each of the columns, with some sample text in each. You replaced this sample text with your own text or images. Again if you are pasting in Amazon images from the Sitestripe, you will need to switch to the Text Editor and paste the codes into each assigned column there.
The images should appear when you switch back to the Visual Editor, but to actually see how the finished page looks you will need to click Preview in the top corner or Publish and view the page, and edit as needed if the alignment is not quite right.
It may require quite a bit of trial and error to get used to using this plugin. See this video for a good demonstration of how to use the Genesis Columns Advanced Plugin.
This plugin can be a little more difficult to use and require some more fiddling than the Lightweight Grid Columns plugin in our experience. For beginners just wanting the easiest method to quickly create two, three or four image columns, we recommend the Lightweight Grid Columns plugin, but both of them can achieve the same result once you are used to using them.
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