If you’re an Amazon affiliate, your site probably has broken links or points to out-of-stock products. Unfortunately, you’re losing money if you cannot track this. This post explains what Amazon’s Link Checker tool is, how to monitor your URL strength, and much more.
Let’s dive in.
Want actionable affiliate marketing advice sent straight to your inbox? Join our newsletter, The Monday Marketer.
What Is the Amazon Affiliate Link Checker?
The Amazon Link Checker tool verifies tagged URLs linking to Amazon.com. It’s one way Amazon affiliates can tell if they’re getting commissions from their links.
Amazon uses a Tracking ID or Associate ID to monitor every referral sent to Amazon.
It’s the only way Amazon can know who is sending them traffic and who should get credited for sales.
Your Associates or Tracking ID is how you get paid for your referrals.
How It Works
You’ll log in to your Associates Account, click “Tools,” and once the dropdown menu appears, select “Link Checker.”
You’re prompted to paste the URL of the link you want to check in the search bar below.
After copying and pasting the URL and running a check, you’ll see a notification from Amazon telling you whether your link is good.
Amazon says the tool is best for any modified links created outside of Associates Central. The URLs you make inside Associates Central will be coded correctly.
However, it’s always good to know whether your links work.
Note: The Link Checker won’t check the tagging for its served links, including Recommended Product Links and Widgets.
How Do I Find My Amazon Associates Link?
You can get Amazon affiliate links using Amazon’s tool, Site Stripe.
The Site Stripe toolbar displays at the top of every Amazon page. You’ll see it as long as you’re logged into Amazon with the same credentials as you do for your Associates account.
Here’s how it works.
Head to the page you want on Amazon and click the “Get Link: Text” button.
Paste the link in the dropdown menu into your WordPress post the same way you’d add any text link.
You also have the option of adding:
- Image links
- Text + image links
Sidenote: Adding “image” links or “text + image” links with Site Stripe requires pasting the HTML code and embedding it into your post.
For example, select “Get Link: Image” to add an image affiliate link.
Now, go to your WordPress post HTML (Text) editor and paste the code into your post. Here’s how it’ll look. 👇
The link includes your affiliate ID, so that Amazon will pay you for the referral. Along with adding links to your posts and pages, you can also add sidebar widgets if your website features that functionality.
SiteStripe also provides social media shareability if you promote on platforms outside your blog.
You can read our post that covers Amazon’s affiliate program (including tips for finding and adding links to your site) in more detail here. 👇
How Do You Tell If a Link Is An Amazon Affiliate Link?
You can check whether your links are tagging to your account by looking at the URL. All links generated from Associates Central have three things:
- A detail product (dp) indicator
- Amazon product ID or ASIN number
- Store or Tracking ID (your unique affiliate tag)
Anatomy of an Affiliate Link
Affiliate URLs are a hot mess of garbled numbers, letters, and characters. They’re impossible to remember and hard to say on a podcast.
Here’s a real-life example of an Amazon affiliate link:
Typically, your ID starts with “?tag=” so next time you look at whether your link is tracing back to your website, check there first.
It will usually look like this inside your URL:
?tag=YOUR STORE TRACKING ID
Then, to confirm your links are valid, you can contact customer support to see if your ID connects to your website URL.
If this sounds time-consuming, you’re right. However, automating the process is easier, which we’ll discuss below.
Do Amazon Affiliate Links Expire?
Amazon affiliate links don’t expire, but the cookie does.
When a website visitor clicks your link, a piece of tracking data (aka a “cookie”) gets added to their browser. This action triggers a 24-hour countdown to make a purchase. You get credit for the sale if the person buys before the timer expires.
Amazon’s cookie lasts 24 hours. It works like this:
- A link gets clicked
- The click activates a “cookie”
- Cookies have a timeframe from when they’re clicked until you purchase
- If the person buys within that period, you’ll get a commission for the sale
Yes, 24 hours is a short time, but the upside is that if the person who clicked your link adds an item to their cart, the cookie window extends for another 89 days.
For example, if someone adds an item to their cart, leaves Amazon.com, returns within 89 days, and buys, you’ll still get credit for that sale and earn a commission.
That’s the only way to get an extended cookie duration with Amazon.
Once you put an Amazon affiliate link (or any affiliate link) to your website, that link will stay active unless another variable occurs (e.g., the link breaks, the affiliate network changes or the cookie expires).
How Do I Promote My Affiliate Link?
There are many ways you can promote affiliate links.
You can guest post or write product reviews. You could also try:
- YouTube videos
- Email marketing linking to your affiliate links
- Creating in-depth guides and tutorials focused on using a product
For example, if you’re writing a product review, you could show your readers how to use the product, its benefits, its pain points, etc. Your audience will LOVE you for it.
You provide value for them by creating a review about something that would make their lives easier (while adding your affiliate link). It’s an easy way to monetize your website.
Sidenote: Product reviews are one of three post types that convert higher because your readers are conducting commercial investigation and ready to buy. That’s why they’re searching for things like Convert Kit reviews or iPhone 13 reviews.
We have a substantial amount of product reviews on our personal finance site, Listen Money Matters that attract qualified readers to click our links.
Can I Buy Through My Amazon Affiliate Link?
No, you can’t buy using your own Amazon affiliate link because it violates their Associates Program.
You can’t even ask your friends or family to buy products via your links. If Amazon notices you’re soliciting friends and family to buy through, you won’t earn a commission, or, worse, you’ll lose your affiliate account.
You will not directly or indirectly purchase any products or take a bounty event action through special links… and you will not permit, request, or encourage any of your friends, relatives, or employees to directly or indirectly purchase any product…
They’re strict when it comes to this. Play it safe and focus on SEO, organic traffic, and high-quality content to get clicks and commissions.
Read Amazon’s Participation Requirements full policy for details.
How Much Do Amazon Affiliate Links Make?
Earning money as an Amazon affiliate can be lucrative, but commissions vary based on the product category and the number of buyers you send to Amazon.
It will also depend on the product types you promote and your niche’s profitability.
For example, if you’re promoting high-priced electronics or appliances, you’ll potentially earn a larger commission. But, of course, your audience size also plays a role: the larger it is, the more you make.
Here are Amazon’s fixed commission rates by category:
Again, depending on your strategy, you could target this list based on income rate percentage or product category.
Then, weigh your interest level per category before deciding which topic to start blogging about.
The Advantages of Using A Link Checker Tool
One of the best ways to optimize your affiliate marketing content is to check for broken links.
URLs can become unreliable, broken, or malformed. If you don’t know where they are, you lose money every time you send visitors to those destinations.
URLs can link to:
- Unavailable products
- 404 pages (broken links)
- Unreliable product listings
Another reason to use a link checker tool is to find monetization opportunities. For example, if you link to other products, brands, or keywords with an unmonetized affiliate link, that’s lost income.
For example, let’s say you mention Asana in your blog content, and you link to their domain. Then you join their affiliate program and want to turn those links to Asana’s domain into monetized affiliate links.
How to make passive income on Amazon with a simple niche site.
— Lasso (@LassoWP) August 5, 2022
Link checker tools can streamline the process with instant alerts without manually copying and pasting URLs into a search bar.
Alternatives to the Amazon Link Checker
If you’re looking for other ways to monitor your affiliate links, try a tool designed for that specific purpose. Several are quick, easy, and automate the process, so it consumes less time.
For example, if you’re using Lasso to monitor your affiliate links…
In that case, you’ll get notified when your links are broken, products are out of stock, and any monetization opportunities available on your site.
It’s an excellent way to avoid sending your visitors to a broken link but also for finding new income opportunities you may have missed.
You can install Lasso’s plugin in a few steps on your WordPress site.
Once that’s done, Lasso scans every link across your site. Then, it’ll detect which ones are broken or out of stock and look for ways to monetize them.
Side Note: It’s also good to use alternative affiliate programs to diversify your income so that you’re not relying only on Amazon. Check out our database with thousands of programs categorized by niche.
Finding Amazon Affiliate Link Issues with Lasso
You can troubleshoot affiliate link issues with Lasso from inside your dashboard. It displays all broken URLs and out-of-stock products in a single location and income opportunities.
Lasso runs on its own servers when checking your URLs, so it won’t slow down your site. Unfortunately, most broken link checkers don’t integrate with your server resulting in your hosting provider banning them.
If you want to search for busted links, for example, click the red icon:
Lasso displays every place on your site where they appear.
You’ll see three columns:
- Products with broken links
- The alert type (in this case, “broken links”)
- Number of locations where those broken links appear on your site
When you click “Locations,” Lasso shows each post with the broken link.
For example, if I use the first affiliate product link on the top of the list, Arcadia Power, when I click “Locations,” I see this:
This page shows you three things:
- Link with context (anchor text used)
- The content the link appears (e.g., a blog post)
- Link type (whether it’s a text link, image link, etc.)
Tip: Fix links getting the most clicks first. If they’re already performing well, make sure you address your money-makers.
An easy way to do this is with Google Analytics. Lasso integrates with Google Analytics so you can track every click’s performance.
It will help you see which posts get the most clicks and by what affiliates.
Then, you’ll know what posts perform best. Adjust your site links as needed so you can incrementally make improvements and boost conversion rates 😉
Rinse and repeat this process to check for out-of-stock products or monetization opportunities.
The Last Word About the Amazon Affiliate Link Checker
The Amazon affiliate link checker is a useful tool when conducting one-off checks for your affiliate links. However, a streamlined process might make more sense if you’re running a site with a substantial amount.
One drawback of relying only on Amazon’s Link Checker is that it won’t automatically alert you when links are broken unless you manually paste them into the tool. For this reason alone, using something that does it for you automatically is a game-changer.
Want more affiliate marketing tips like this? Join our newsletter.
Our creations in your inbox, weekly.
We've built multiple six-figure online businesses that our moms are proud of.
We'd like to help you do the same.
Amazon OneLink and Using Automatic International Monetization
Affiliate marketers don't need to keep Amazon OneTag in the footer of your sites. Instead, you may want to use Amazon OneLink.
How to Add Amazon Affiliate Links to WordPress
Wondering how to add Amazon affiliate links to WordPress? This post showcases the only three strategies you'll ever need.