Tracking your advertising with the purpose of improving conversion rates, has been the subject of multiple blog posts I wrote.
Today I decided to go a step further, and show you how tracking works in action. From the side of advertiser and affiliate, and not from the site owner’s perspective.
Let’s say you promote Adrian’s Hub. And you use the first standard lead page we have to do that. My sponsor id is 2, so I’ll use that. Remember, I am talking purely from the affiliate perspective, discarding any additional information I have access to as the owner of the site being promoted.
Here are the possible alternatives:
- No Tracking Is Used
- Using the ‘src’ Parameter (for Adrian’s Hub only)
- Tracking For Free
- Using a Reliable Paid Tracking Service
Then the link will look like this: http://www.adrianshub.com/promo/lead-page-01.html?spon-id=2
If someone visits the page where the link is placed (this blog post in our case) or clicks the link, but doesn’t sign up to Adrian’s Hub, you, as an affiliate who promotes Adrian’s Hub, won’t know.
If he or she signs up, you will receive a new referral notification, including some tracking details provided by Adrian’s Hub. But you can’t determine click-through rate or conversion rate, because you don’t know anything about the traffic you sent that didn’t sign up (which is the vast majority). So, you won’t know if a traffic source works for you or not or which ad performs better.
When you promote Adrian’s Hub, you can use the ‘src’ parameter added to the query string, to provide additional tracking details. Here’s an example for our link:
The advantage: it’s free, and it helps pinpoint the exact location or context of a conversion (works great for mailers). The disadvantages: It still tells you nothing about click-through rate or conversion rate, and it doesn’t work if you promote other sites than Adrian’s Hub (unless they have a similar tracking parameter).
I confess I use this method often in mailers for Adrian’s Hub, especially when the mailer gives me the stats of my sent emails, which allows me see CTR and determine the conversion rate.
Before I present this option, you should know that unlike other tools or services like an autoresponder, lead page creator, traffic services, hosting services and so on, a tracking service is usually very difficult to change, because you can’t export your trackers and import them to another tracking service and changing your links in your traffic sources is also a tedious work.
So, it is important to choose a reliable tracking service which you understand, with an ownership you trust and has proven to be long term oriented.
Since I’m talking here from the affiliate perspective, Google Analytics is in most cases not an option.
But there are a number of other free tracking services available, and there is one I know which is offered by a platform that has been around for many years.
If you stay on the promo page for at least 5 seconds, you will see an ad widget showing up on the bottom-right corner. Any clicks on those ads (which aren’t mine), would add some pennies in my LeadsLeap account (the account of whoever uses the tracker I mean). Normally, I would keep this deactivated, because I want people to focus on what I promote. If you stay on the promo page a little longer, you will see the time you actively spend on it is counted (and I, the advertiser, will have detailed statistics with how much active time visitors spent on the ad I promoted). This counter can also be hidden from your visitor, if you are a pro member at LeadsLeap.
In the following example, you have another cool trick you can do with TRT. Click the link, watch the top of the page that loads, and click the link for the free bonus (it’s up to you if you take it or not, I just want to walk you through the process): http://trackr.leadsleap.com/6bwc1dj7
There are many options you can play with and remember this is a free tool!
And you will have statistics to help you understand the behavior of your visitors. If they interacted with the page or converted.
I use trck.me for tracking my advertising in most cases, which is a paid service, with a 30 days trial period. Just a word of advice: when there is a great offer for an evergreen product you plan on using for the long term, don’t hesitate!
You are probably familiar to trck.me links, because this tracking service is popular, easy to use, but still a powerful system, with many options which can help you better target your ads. You can include a social bar at the top: http://trck.me/438820/
or not: http://trck.me/438821/
For links in your emails, you can use something like this: http://trck.me/438821/mailer_name_example.
You can just add the name of the mailer like in the red string above, when you send out an email. Otherwise traffic source will be gmail.com or yahoo.com or whatever mailing service the recipient has.
And if you have a business plan like I do, you can also use your own domain or subdomain for tracking, but the service is still provided by trck.me: http://track.adrianshub.com/438822/ Isn’t this cool?
What should you choose? A free or a paid tracking service?
As far as I know, for anyone involved in affiliate marketing, a great paid service that fits your needs is better. It is more reliable on the long term more targeted on what you need, and if you choose right, you will get a great value for your money.
That’s about all the “tracking action” I can show you from this blog post. But now the real work begins. Tracking is simple, but not necessarily easy. Tracking every link you use is usually a tedious work. But without it, you are blind.