Thinking about using a product comparison chart?
You want to understand the dynamics behind views, clicks and commission for your Amazon affiliate business?
This guide is a deep dive on what makes an Amazon affiliate marketing strategy work using product comparison chart.
It’s worth it – the top affiliates have +13x as many views, get +23x more clicks and earn +3x more commissions.
Following best practices go a long way.
1. Why should you use a product comparison chart?
As an Amazon affiliate business, you are offering research on a product category that helps a person to take a decision whether to buy a product and which product to buy.
A product comparison table answers the two key question your audience has, namely
- Which products are available by presenting multiple options in one view and
- What product should I buy by outlining the decision criteria (like features, price, images, ..).
Alternatively, in case you want to space out your recommendation, fill in just one single product per table. This gives you a product highlight box with consistent format for all your affiliate links across your article.
2. How many products should a product comparison chart have?
A table can take on any shape or size, a few or a lot of products.
It’s important not to overload charts, viewers do appreciate to have the most relevant, rather than all, options displayed.
Looking at the average clicks per item position, we can see that, the further below the item, the lower the average number of clicks.
For instance, the top slot, the first item in the table averages 250 clicks or almost 6 times (!!) as much as an item in tenth position (only 43 clicks).
Too many products are diluting the focus on key products. Adding a lot of items to a compare chart, while offering more options, rarely turns into clicks. The average number of clicks for items after position tenth is only 17.
3. What products work on a product comparison chart?
A common misconception to think that a compare chart only works for cheaper products.
The truth is, any price category can work but it’s important to understand that depending on the price category of your affiliate products, your customer behavior is going to be different.
This also means, that Amazon affiliate key performance indicators like clicks and views, vary drastically. It is important to break down aggregated statistics, in order to make it comparable to your business.
What we see in the data is, the lower end products tend to get more views, fewer clicks but a higher average Earnings Per Click. People that look for simpler products tend to be more need-driven. If they see something they like, they are likely going to buy it – that is why we are seeing a higher earnings per click.
Products on the upper end get more clicks and a better conversion. For larger purchases, people want more education on their product and click, but might not be willing to buy on the spot.
The net effect is that on average, the average earnings per table are surprisingly similar across price categories. While the average is comparable, depending on if your compare chart is outperforming or underperforming, the differences in earnings per table is significant.
This means, in theory, a product comparison table can works for any products, in any price category.
4. How should I customize my product comparison table to my content?
Customization of a product compare chart is essential for setting up your affiliate business for success. A copy & paste Amazon product comparison summary can be seen as low quality advertising.
To tailor your product comparison table, three simple actions can significantly improve your results.
- Assign a top pick: From all products listed on your table, highlight the one product you would recommend the most. Top picks get on average more than twice as many clicks as other items.
- Assign a five-star rating: Your viewers don’t want any product, they want the best. A top rating is a good method of making that distinctions.
- Create a custom column: The most underrated action on this list. Your viewers want to understand a product comparison table in context with your content. Go beyond image & description and add custom columns, like GB for memory cards, watt for blenders and battery duration for … battery’s.
It’s important to tailor columns, ratings and highlights to your content and audience. A product comparison table design tool, like TableLabs, helps you to create and modify your compare chart, allowing you to adapt individual tables in minutes.
5. How do I create a product comparison chart?
TableLabs allows you to create and design a product comparison table within minutes, automatically pulling Images, description & price and adds all products into a table template, that you only need to copy on your website.
To start designing a chart, simply click the ‘create chart’ in your customer dashboard and then click ‘add products’. In our Amazon search bar. Here, you can find products by name or ASIN. A simple click on the plus logo of each item will add the product to your compare chart.
You can edit the table to your liking (e.g. changing the color theme, sorting rows & columns and designing a Call To Action button). To integrate the chart in your website, click on ‘Embed’. This shows your table code that you need to copy and paste it into your website editor (like wordpress) in the text/code tab and save.
Besides simplicity in comparison chart design, your TableLabs dashboard tracks the number of views and clicks for all of your tables, giving you a perspective on what is working (& what is not).
If you are not a TableLabs customer? More information on our Amazon product comparison chart tool pricing.
More details on how to create a table – click here for to see a TableLabs tutorial.
6. What is the best Call To Action button?
Your content informs your audience on their buying decision. Which product is the best, which features to consider, which price to buy at?
Your Call To Action (CTA) button converts interest into (potential) commissions. Clicking your CTA, such as ‘Buy now!’. enables your customer to buy a product from your affiliate partner.
To maximize commission, you want to convert your readers into clickers. Key is – Different buttons lead to different click through rates.
How well a button works does not only depend on which button you choose – but also where.
A CTA needs to fits in to the holistic experience of your location and website.
To help you decide, the Amazon affiliates Call To Action framework helps you to find your best choice.
For instance, for an affordable product, addressing an urgent need, in a competitive market, your Call To Action can be a more aggressive ‘Buy Now!’.
In contrast, an expensive product that people only scout for a bargain, a less aggressive Call To Action, ideally highlighting an additional piece of information, like ‘Check price’, might work better.
For more examples and an in-depth walk through the Call To Action affiliate framework, click here for a full TableLabs academy lesson on the best Call To Action buttons.
7. What is the affiliate marketing funnel?
The affiliate marketing funnel describes your customers’ journey.
Each stop on the journey is a juncture. Customers decide to stay (clicking your affiliate link after viewing your content) or exit (view but not click; click but not buy).
To understand the levers that improve your affiliate business, it is crucial to narrow down which part of the funnel to tackle. Only then, the actions you take can than be targeted and effective.
Depending on which part of the funnel you target, the levers to achieve higher commission are different..
For example, if you have many views, but few clicks, this indicates low conversion and that your call to action can be improved.
Or you see many views, many clicks but low commissions. The reason here might be a disconnect between your recommendation and the description on your partner page.
Narrowing down, where in the affiliate funnel you can improve, helps you to derive at the right action.
8. How many views should my product comparison table get?
The number of views you get depends on your marketing strategy.
A good compare chart should bring over 1,000 views. While almost half the tables only get a few hundred views, the top tables can bring views north of 10,000.
Let’s look at how you can calculate views for YOUR article.
If you use outbound marketing, such as google ads, the number of views is a direct function of your budget and how much you pay for a click. If you budget is $100 and the cost per click is $2, you will get 50 views (= 100 / 2).
For inbound marketing, or content marketing, your expected views can be estimated by looking at the number of keyword searches and your market share. You can get the number of searches for a specific article via a keyword analyzer tool. If you compare the number of searches to the views of articles you have already published, you get your market share.
In the example above, we can see that our market share is around 1%.
If you want to write a new article about a similar product, such as ‘best shaver’, which might have 50,000 searches, your expected views would be 500 (= 50,000 * 1%).
9. How many clicks should my product comparison chart get?
The number of clicks depends on your number of views and your ability to convert interest (a view) into an action (a click).
A product comparison table usually ends up getting more clicks than an individual product highlight box. A table summarizes all the information and urges your viewer to make a decision. Especially in longer articles, +3,000 words, individual links can get lost.
If we compare clicks for a table to single items, we can see that the number of clicks for the median comparison table is more than 7 times (!!) as much as for individual items.
Secondly, especially for the successful tables (high number of clicks), the difference is increasing to more than 8 times. In our study, great compare charts outperformed individual product highlights by clicks.
10. What is the Click Through Rate?
While views and clicks measure the attention volume of your comparison table, the Click Through Rate (CTR) is a proxy of how well your content is converting viewers into buyers.
CTR measures the conversion of views of your compare chart to clicks on your affiliate link. The metric is key to assess how engaged your audience is after reading your content.
A high CTR indicates that your content is relevant to your audience. A high share of viewers follow your recommendations and click on your affiliate link. In contrast a low CTR indicates a content problem or an uncompelling Call To Action.
A good CTR is 20% or higher – starting at 11%, you are already above average. Note that the rate varies depending on your recommended products, the need it addresses and the price category.
11. What is Earnings Per Click?
Earnings per click (EPC) measures the ratio between the clicks your affiliate links generate and the commission you earn.
Most affiliate programs usually break out clicks and commissions in their reports. If you are an Amazon associate, you can find your commission and clicks under your commission summary on your earnings report.
If you made $1000 in commission and had 500 clicks, your Earnings per click are $2 (= 1000 / 500).
EPC varies greatly depending on your product category, Click Through Rate and content quality. Only the top affiliates have a EPC of $1 or larger, the median dollar earned per click is $0.20.
An affiliate tool, such as TableLabs, allows you to track your clicks (or even EPC) by product comparison table.
12. How can I estimate my affiliate earnings?
You can estimate your earnings for a product comparison table by looking at the keyword search volume as well as your market share, Click Through Rate and Earnings Per Click.
Let’s say you want to write an article on the best TVs. Assume, ‘Best TVs’ is searched for on google 30,000 times and in previous articles, 3% of the search volume landed on your page. In this case, you could expect 900 views (= 30,000 * 3%). If your average Click Through Rate is 10%, the article likely gets around 90 clicks (= 900 * 10%). If your Earnings per Click is $2, you can estimate to earn $180 (= 90 * $2).
13. How do I use Return on Investment to prioritize my content marketing strategy?
You can prioritize articles based on the Return on Investment. Return on Investment is the ratio of your (expected) earnings, called the return, and your investment.
The investment describes the effort required. This could be the your cost to pay a freelancer or the time it takes for you to research & write an article. The return is your expected earnings based on your estimation.
For example, to write an article on the best TVs, it takes you five hours. And you value your time at $20 per hour. That means your investment is $100 (= 5 * $20). You estimate the earnings for the article to be $180, which means your Return On Investment is 1.8x.
Consider you have the four more campaigns in your head. After getting the investment and return for each article, you have the following overview:
The highest Return On Investment has the ‘Best Laptop’ campaign, as it yields the highest return for your time.
Best practice is to set yourself a minimum hurdle (like 2.0x). Then only pursue campaigns with Return On Investment above that value. That ensures that you utilize your time as efficient as possible.
Thank you for reading through our insights to create the best product comparison chart. Any open questions? Email me at Felix@TableLabs.com
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