A very important aspect of internet marketing is to always monitor the results of your actions and watch your numbers. By numbers I mean key matrices that tell you how profitable your marketing efforts are. After all, we are in this business of helping people, but to do so at a profit..
The first thing to say about tracking is that tracking is about being able to determining which campaigns that you set up are effective and which ones are not. If you are not measuring what the results of you actions are then you are just guessing. When you measure, then you can review, modify and fine tune your ad campaigns to make them more profitable. It is only possible to turn a poorly performing campaign into a highly profitable one by measuring the results and then refining them
Free verses Paid Tracking Tools
If you are new to tracking and measuring, the important thing is not to feel that you need to set up a system that will track every action that takes place throughout your whole funnel. I would recommend starting with the basics and increase the level of complexity as you grow in confidence.
Now, there is a number of free and paid ad tracking tools on the market. However, I would recommend against the use of a free ad tracking tool, because these free tools are often used by spammers, which could impact negatively on your business.
I personally use Linktrackr, a very user friendly paid tool that gives everything you need and includes split testing and link cloaking capability. I would also recommend the use of a domain forwarder, which is simply a domain name that you use to forward to your links. The domain forwarder is primarily used to hide the ugly appearance of affiliate links and is also normally easier to remember.
However, one of the greatest benefits of using a paid link tracker is that you can change links once the campaign starts. To learn more about this and other more advanced techniques of link tracking visit Linktrackr
The Important Things to Measure
Measuring Clicks – One of the most basic things to measure is the number of clicks you get in you advertising. However, there is more to measuring clicks than meets the eye. First of all there are two types of clicks that occur. There are raw clicks and there are unique clicks.
To illustrate the difference between the two, let us say you buy a solo ad and you receive 300 clicks of the link in the ad. That is 300 raw clicks. But let us say those 300 clicks were actually caused by 100 people each clicking 3 times, then the number of unique clicks is 100.
In this example the number that really matters is 100, the number of unique clicks because this is the number you use to evaluate the value of you advertising cost.
Another thing to measure is clicks in the messages you send and on any websites that you control. Ideally each message should have a unique link, although this may not be necessary when you start out.
Ultimately, measuring clicks is about keeping track of your multiple lead sources so that you can track which lead sources are successful. Every time you set up a new lead source you should always create a tracking link.
Measuring Conversions – Measuring conversions does not just mean measuring sales. Whilst making sales may be the goal, there are a whole series of actions that take place before the sale is realized, like click through rates, opt-ins and others. All these can be expressed as a conversion rate.
A conversion can be defined as any action that you desire a prospect to take towards the realisation of your end gaol, and the extent to which those actions can be expressed as conversion rate.
Measuring Sales – Measuring sales is perhaps considered by most to be the most important statistic. However, there is more to measuring sales that just measuring gross sales. Ultimately it is about measuring how profitable your business is, therefore it is important to also measure the costs associated with those sales.
To repeat what I said at the top of this page, tracking and measuring is about watching your numbers. You must track the number of clicks on your ads, how many people are opting in on your landing pages, how many people are purchasing your products and other conversions as appropriate to your business, so that you can refine the process and maximize your profits.