How To Monetize Your Site With Widgets


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This presentation will discuss how to enhance your site using various widgets, what works and what doesn’t, and how effective different widgets are to your site.

Woody Wood, Product Manager, Amazon (Twitter @AmazonAssociate)

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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  • 1. Provide quick overview of the Associates program
  • For an affiliate audience - the widget must be for other people to see on the web, not you! We’re not talking about Google Gadgets or about UI Widgets (eg radion-buttons or scroll-bars) –
  • This is to talk about all the actors in the widget publication process and where the money is. Who makes widgets? How do they end up on websites being viewed by people? What is the role of widget distributers?
  • Express Yourself through widgets > Build loyal userbase Widgets supplement your content > Users actually enjoy your ‘ads’ Bring Amazon to your users > Increase user retention, Build user trust Showcase product info in fun, innovative ways > Increase CTR and Conversion
  • Lots of widgets for various uses. Here are some: MP3 Clips, Carousel, YVW, Deals, Unbox, Slideshow This slide should show other widget galleries…
  • Call out differences between a Search widget and a static link/banner Users can browse through search results inline You can provide a default search term to personalize the widget to your page content Provide sufficient information for viewer to decide whether they want to buy Provide Kindle/MP3/AVOD immediate download buttons when applicable
  • Center of Page: Blog post talking about your recent Coldplay concert trip => Add a 250x250 MP3 Clips widget containing Coldplay albums Sidebar: Gaming Consoles site => Add a ‘Ferris Wheel’ containing Top-Sellers from the ‘Video Games’ category Banner: Photography site => Add a banner deals widget containing discounted products from Digital Cameras & Accessories
  • Free-size: My Favorites, Search, Wishlist Preset sizes: Slideshow, Deals, MP3 Clips etc. We’re moving towards making more IAB sized widgets available.
  • Personalized titles to endorse your product selection => If you’ve built trust with your viewers, this results in higher CTR
  • The key advantage of widgets over static links/banners is the dynamic product selection. You can change products via My Widgets and all widget placements are automatically updated Use ‘Shuffle Products’ in My Favorites, MP3 Clips => End viewer gets to see a different set of products each time. If you build a bestsellers/new releases widget, product selection is kept up-to-date automatically.
  • Use Widget Source to: - Create multiple widgets easily - Build cool mashups with other web services Better integration of widgets with your web site experience Targeted to power-users with basic programming ability.
  • Perfect widget placement => customized colors/size to blend with site, widget always visible because it’s placed in the sidebar Very topical, User Comments for added personalization
  • SoundUnwound is an site; uses Widget Source to dynamically place relevant MP3 tracks on music wiki pages Can also use Amazon AAWS keyword search to add relevant MP3 tracks/titles
  • 1. PSP site with a Deals Widget displaying discounted game titles for PSP
  • How To Monetize Your Site With Widgets

    1. 1. Widgets for Fun and Profit! Woody Wood, Product Manager, Amazon Associates August 10, 2009
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Amazon </li></ul><ul><li>Woody Wood </li></ul><ul><li>Angela Pak </li></ul>
    3. 3. Amazon Associates overview
    4. 4. Widgets Main Entry: wid·get Pronunciation: ˈwi-jət Function: noun Etymology: alteration of gadget Definition: Widgets are rich , interactive mini-applications that bring functionality to your website. What are Widgets?
    5. 5. Q. When is a widget not a widget? <ul><li>Gadgets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Google Gadgets, Vista Sidebar Gadgets, Apple Dashboard Widgets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GUI widget </li></ul><ul><li>A. When it’s for you! </li></ul>
    6. 6. How does it work? Creators Distributers Publishers Viewers Advertisers
    7. 7. Widget Creators <ul><li>Why create a widget? </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic </li></ul><ul><li>Mini </li></ul><ul><li>Viral </li></ul><ul><li>How do Widget Creators make money? </li></ul><ul><li>CPC, CPM, CPA models all work </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect value </li></ul>
    8. 8. Widget Distributors <ul><li>Why distribute Widgets? </li></ul><ul><li>brokering between creators and publishers </li></ul><ul><li>able to inject advertising </li></ul>
    9. 9. Widget Publishers <ul><li>Why publish widgets? </li></ul>JupiterResarch 2008
    10. 10. Why use Widgets? = Longer user sessions Better monetization
    11. 11. Widgets versus Links/Banners Comparing Click-through rates Vs. Slideshow has 92% higher CTR than Banner
    12. 12. Widgets versus Links/Banners Comparing Click-through rates Vs. Slideshow has 25% higher CTR than Text Links
    13. 13. Affiliate Widget Examples Ticketmaster EventEngines
    14. 14. Library Thing & Shelfari
    15. 15. GetGlue
    16. 16. Widgets
    17. 17. Anatomy of a Search Widget View Search results inline (viewers don’t leave your site) Set default search term View ratings/price info in popover Filter search results by product category Customize size/color theme to match your site [ Demo ]
    18. 18. What works? <ul><li>Select the right widget for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Place it in the best available spot </li></ul><ul><li>Use widgets as a self-expression tool </li></ul><ul><li>Change widget content regularly </li></ul>
    19. 19. Select the right widget for the job <ul><li>What’s best for *your* site? </li></ul><ul><li>No ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution </li></ul><ul><li>Is it a product-focused niche site? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Widget, My Favorites, Carousel </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it a personal blog? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>My Favorites, Wish List, Carousel </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you run a movies/music related site? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use MP3 Clips, TV & Movie Show preview widget </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Place it in the best available spot <ul><li>What widget size/placement works best? </li></ul><ul><li>Center of Page size for one-off, very topic-specific widget </li></ul><ul><li>Banner/Sidebar sizes for products that are relevant over a longer period of time </li></ul><ul><li>Free-size widgets when you control the size of the ad slot </li></ul>
    21. 21. Place it in the best available spot <ul><li>What ad sizes are supported by Widgets? </li></ul><ul><li>Some widgets are ‘free-size’: </li></ul><ul><li>Others have preset IAB sizes: </li></ul>
    22. 22. Use Widgets as self-expression tool <ul><li>Add user comments to My Favorites, Slideshow, MP3 Clips </li></ul>
    23. 23. Use Widgets as self-expression tool <ul><li>Even personalizing the widget title helps </li></ul>
    24. 24. Change widget content regularly <ul><li>Should you hand-pick content or let Widget Owner decide? </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-picked wins over automated selection any day </li></ul><ul><li>Can you regularly update your hand-picked selection? </li></ul><ul><li>If you use Bestsellers/New Releases, select a category that’s relevant to your site. Change category frequently. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Change widget contents regularly <ul><li>Widget Source for power users </li></ul><ul><li>Create widgets programmatically </li></ul><ul><li>Easily change widget contents by making simple changes in code. </li></ul><ul><li>Complete programmatic control over widget look-and-feel </li></ul><ul><li>Build really cool mashups with Widget Source [ Demo ] </li></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>As with all other ad types: Experimentation and Measurement are key. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Spot the Widget:
    28. 28. SoundUnwound: Widget as Content <script type='text/javascript'> var amzn_wdgt={widget:'MP3Clips'}; amzn_wdgt.tag='soundu-20'; amzn_wdgt.widgetType='ASINList'; amzn_wdgt.ASIN='B0016CGROY'; amzn_wdgt.title=''; amzn_wdgt.width='234'; amzn_wdgt.height='60'; amzn_wdgt.shuffleTracks='True'; </script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://wms.assoc-a'> </script>
    29. 29. Deals Widget on PSP Gaming site
    30. 30. Don’t … <ul><li>Don’t plaster your page with lots of widgets </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t give up if a specific widget doesn’t work for you </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t replace all your links/banners with widgets </li></ul>
    31. 31. Coming up in Widgets … <ul><li>More customization  color themes, size </li></ul><ul><li>More niche widgets  window into different features </li></ul><ul><li>Streamline widget creation and maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Widgets on Site Stripe  Build widgets as you shop on </li></ul>
    32. 32. Questions & Comments? Contact me (Woody) at