When marketing your book online, it’s important to send potential readers to the correct link. You may have heard from so-called book marketing gurus about ways to tweak the URL you send out so you’ll rank higher for certain keywords. But this practice is frowned upon by Amazon, and could cause you to lose reviews from anyone who has clicked on that link to leave one.
Amazon has ways of tracking the link people get for your book, including putting a series of numbers in the URL (called a QID) that correspond with the exact time the link was generated. Using this link to send people to your book may mean their review is removed by Amazon. This isn’t the only reason a review might be removed, but it could be Amazon’s way of tracking how the review was attained.
The bare URL is the most important link to send to people. This is the URL that is simply Amazon.com/[your book’s ASIN] or Amazon’s shortened version. Anything after that is just a waste and shouldn’t be used. But there are other links that can be used that can make selling your book on Amazon easier for those in foreign markets, since every country has a different Amazon store URL.
So, if your link is:
It should just be:
Or this works too (amazon.com/dp/ASIN):
Redirect with universal links
Jesse Lakes is the co-founder of Geniuslink, which allows users to create a universal link that will redirect somebody to the Amazon store of their country. When you send people to Amazon.com, that directs them to the U.S. store, meaning someone in the United Kingdom would have to search for your book instead in their own country’s Amazon website, Amazon.co.uk.
Jesse advises authors to make sure they’re using the shortened Amazon URL, as well as making sure they’re testing their links once they are created. Another thing to note is if you are an Amazon Associates member, meaning you are using Amazon’s affiliate program, you can make an affiliate link to your own book (and Geniuslink also works with this link).
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Mailing list metrics
Another marketing thing Jesse brings up is to look at your metrics for your mailing list to see which countries are opening your emails the most, which can give you an idea of where your readers are based. This means you can cater your marketing efforts to those countries for a better conversion rate.
As you can see, there are a lot of potential problems that can arise when you try to game the system by trying to tweak a link of if you’ve been simply copying and pasting links directly from the address bar in your browser. So even a little thing like the URL can make a big difference with your book.
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Jesse Lakes is the co-founder and CEO of Geniuslink, which creates a single link that routes users to the Amazon, iTunes, or Microsoft store of their country.
Before he co-founded Geniuslink, he was the first Global Manager at Apple for the iTunes Affiliate Program.
Jesse enjoys taking his family on adventures and believes that “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
Resources Referred to in this Episode:
- Jesse Lakes’ Company Geniuslink
- Book Marketing Show How Authors Can Sell Their International Rights
- Draft2Digital Introducing Universal Book Links – Next-level Discoverability for Authors
- Kindlepreneur Amazon Link Anatomy: What You Don’t Know Might Be Killing Your Reviews
- Kindlepreneur Amazon Super Urls: They Might Be Killing Your Reviews!
3 thoughts on “Amazon Link Anatomy and Why We Need to Understand It”
Jesse, thank you for this. I know many people who tweak the URL to try to rank higher for certain keywords. If I remove the QID and all other timestamps and just put “keyword=****” after the ASIN, will that give me keyword attribution or will it cause more harm than good in terms of reviews being blocked.
You have provided such a great information which can help in promoting the books easily. Thanks for that!!
Whenever I follow a link to Amazon I see a quick flash of the book page top and the page then scrolls down to either the author bio, the ‘Customers who viewed this item also viewed’ or the ‘Sponsored links’. I have to scroll back to the top to see the information I want.
I presume this is done so that Amazon can show us more of the page content but I find it irritating. There do not seem to be any page anchors in the code to prevent this scrolling.On the subject of redirecting with universal links, for years I used smarturl.it links which allowed me to create customized links which redirected to the reader`s local Amazon and also allowed me to insert the appropriate affiliate code (might as well have that extra 4%) However, I’ve now switched to books2read.com links which allow customized links, affiliate codes and also quickly find the books at other retailers allowing the reader to choose their favourite store. Books2read links are a lot easier to create also.