Affiliate Link Tracking

Any business involves a certain amount of risk. Even if you do not invest any money into it, you still risk losing the time you put into it. That's why link tracking becomes critical.

What do You Need to Track?

In theory, the answer is simple: Everything you can. However, in reality, the details can become pretty involved. So what do you need to track, and which components do you need to test for improvement?

Here is a list of items to monitor with your link tracking campaigns:

1. The traffic source - where is your traffic coming from? Geographic, as well as web source (search engine, pay per click(PPC), social networking, affiliates, banner ads etc).

With PPC (and Facebook ads) you can set the demographics - but you may want to have a look at the rest - and adapt your copy to suit the traffic source.

2. Keywords - which keywords are the ones sending you the best traffic, and which ones convert? Remember that a potential buyer goes through a "buying cycle" - browsing, researching, and purchase - and you need to establish which of the keywords bringing visitors are "buyer keywords".

3. Copy - link tracking campaigns will also determine if your copy is good enough and will be bought or not. It will determine whether you can create buyer confidence or not. And it even determines how much of it is read - or not.

4. Although it is not crucial, you may want to look at tracing "heat maps" (tracking visitor eye navigation) - especially if you are spending a lot of money on your traffic - to see if you can improve the layout of any of your pages.

5. Your ads - which ads are performing, and which ones not? Not only PPC, but also banner ads, ezine ads, etc. With AdWords, you can create different versions of your ad, and have them displayed to visitors from the same keywords.

6. Your emails - this is easily overlooked. You have a great PPC ad campaign, and great converting squeeze page, a brilliant sales page, and yet the results are mediocre...because your subscribers do not reach the sales page...

So, how do you know if your e-mails are actually read and trigger any clicks if you don't run a link tracking campaign in your e-mails? You won't even know if they're opened... or not.

7. Conversion figures from different sources - if you employ different traffic tactics, you may want to know which source converts at what rate - so you can pay more attention to that specific source.

If you do not perform your link tracking as you go along, you may very well find yourself left in the dust. Unfortunately, every product, and every sales letter, is unique - so there is no "black box method" that will work for everything.


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