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  1. #1
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    Arrow Is it worth tracking on affl. websites?
    I am VERY curious to know if using your tracking urls on all of your affil. websites and affl. urls is worth the extra time spent, just to know which link recieves more clicks. I know that I should be tracking as much as possible, but can't really see how this benefits myself because I will simply NEVER really know which link actually converts to sales with my visitors.

    Could someone shed some light on this topic for me. Seems like ALOT of work, especially when you have alot of affl. links on your website and can never really find out the conversions of each link.

    Once you have your own product to track conversions, I can see where this can be VERY usefull. I just can't seem to justify the effort put into this when you only recieve input on the number of clicks.

    John

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    John, the affiliate network(s) that these mercahnts are will is/are gonna give you this info. For those that run indies, it would of course be very useful. I see that many of my affiliates are doing it (tracking on their own)... As for how many clicks actually converted into sales, I guess, you would have to check this "by hand" (say, picking the 10 merchants that got the best click-thru rate, and checking how many sales you got for each)...

    Geno

  3. #3
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    For those that run indies, it would of course be very useful.
    What are indies?? Independant affiliate stats?

    As for how many clicks actually converted into sales, I guess, you would have to check this "by hand" (say, picking the 10 merchants that got the best click-thru rate, and checking how many sales you got for each)...
    Yes, I already know how to get the conversion ratio (merchant sales/unique hits) which can easily be obtained, but my question was, there is no way for anyone to know which particular link caused that sale from within their website. I was curious to know if anyone spends the time on tracking EACH individual affiliate link within your website when your not really going to know the conversion rate for that SPECIFIC link.

  4. #4
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    grafx77 - I am VERY curious to know if using your tracking urls on all of your affil. websites and affl. urls is worth the extra time spent, just to know which link recieves more clicks. I know that I should be tracking as much as possible, but can't really see how this benefits myself because I will simply NEVER really know which link actually converts to sales with my visitors.
    I've several tracking systems on my web sites (including one in real time) and it's the first step to implement if you're serious about affiliate marketing. I know (mostly) everything going on with my sites. One of my big screens on my desk is just for tracking.
    Each click is more and more valuable. SEs are giving us a hard time, networks are not helping us, parasites are getting smarter.
    Without the right tracking you can blame the wrong person for your (bad) conversion.

  5. #5
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    Zeus,
    What do you use for real time tracking?



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  6. #6
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    It's a custom system designed a long time ago. I can see more and more customer support software using the same pieces of information. It gives you the opportunity to see from where your visitors are coming, the referring url, their geolocation, the keywords they are using, the SEs, which pages they visit, which links they are using, the merchant they want to buy from and a few more goodies all that in real time. It's much faster than to have to check your logs.

  7. #7
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    I've several tracking systems on my web sites (including one in real time) and it's the first step to implement if you're serious about affiliate marketing. I know (mostly) everything going on with my sites. One of my big screens on my desk is just for tracking.
    Zeus,
    Seems like you have a nice web statistics program handling your tracking, which I have myself, but as far as individual links go.......do you use ad tracking URLS(Example:Proanalyzer, DynaTracker,etc) for each individual link on all your affiliate websites? This can take a great amount of time to setup. Seems as if your web statistics program may measure this for you.

  8. #8
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    I would LOVE to have something like that but I fear the cost is prohibitive.



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  9. #9
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    It does the same things than Proanalyzer or DynaTracker but limited to my own need for affiliate marketing. I'm not involved in e-zine ads, classified ads, link exchanges, newsgroups, bulk e-mail, e-books, autoresponders...
    It shows how many click-thru's were generated by each of my links, track and analyze ROI, profit/cost per visitor...
    Custom programming is always expensive but if you compare to the cost of the networks it's worth the money. With indies you have to monitor closely your relationships and with the networks you need to be sure everything is working on their side.

  10. #10
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    Well, I'll tell you what I do for tracking.

    First, all of my pages use path_info instead arguments. So, I have www.mysite.com/whatever/detail instead of www.mysite.com/whatever?id=detail. This looks prettier, but it has an added advantage that I can use the arguments for tracking when people come in from adwords, overture, or whatever. So, I'd have something like www.mysite.com/whatever/detail?from=adwords&advertisement=ad1&keywords={keyword}. Since none of my pages do anything with the arguments, they are ignored safely, but still end up in my logs.

    Second, I use the IP of visitor for the shopper id/campaign id/whatever on my affiliate links. This is one of the advantages of using something like PHP over static HTML.

    Third, each day I add a record to a database for every sale (yeah, I am small time), which includes the merchant, the shopper id (their ip address), the amount of the sale, the date, etc.

    Then, I have a script that walks through the database and my logs and matches up the IPs and arguments. It then finds both where the user came from (query, bookmark, adwords, etc.), whatever query they used if they came from a search engine, and what links to the merchant that generated the sale. Sometimes there are more than one click thrus to that merchant, sometimes not.

    Then net result is that, for any sale, I can see where the user came from, what they searched on, what ad they click on (if any), what pages on my site they visited, how they got to the merchant, and how much I earned from them. I use this to optimize my ads, rework pages that produce traffic but not sales, learn from pages that produce lots of sales, etc.

    Now that I think about it, I should probably include a link-id of some sort in the shopper id, so I could know exactly which link generated the sale, but the system I have gives me a lot of information already and I am lazy.

    The only problem is indies that either don't provide a way to flag a customer id or allow it and for some reason don't bother to include the information in their reports anyway.

    Well, another problem would come up if I ever hit a day with too many sales to record by hand, but (a) I'd LOVE to have that problem and (b) some of it could be automated if push comes to shove.

    -John.
    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

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  11. #11
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    It does the same things than Proanalyzer or DynaTracker but limited to my own need for affiliate marketing. I'm not involved in e-zine ads, classified ads, link exchanges, newsgroups, bulk e-mail, e-books, autoresponders...
    Thanks for the response, but I still havent had my question actually answered and what in the world is JRRL talking about?

    Again, if anyone has an adtracking program that is sold online(Proanalyzer, Adtrackz, Dynatracker) that they use to to track their affiliate links with, do you use these types of software with with your affiliate websites? I, so far, dont see any need for this since your tracking url cannot tell you which link is making the MOST conversions. Does anyone (who has these types of ad tracking software) use their tracking URLs for every single link?

    John

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The more you can track and analyze, the more effectively you can run your site. Without good stats, you're running blind.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  13. #13
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    TWNS (truer words never spoken)

  14. #14
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    Anyone else use tracking urls for all their affiliate links on their websites?

  15. #15
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafx77


    Thanks for the response, but I still havent had my question actually answered and what in the world is JRRL talking about?
    BWA HA HA Ha Ha ha ha ha...

    My evil plan is working!

    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

    Hosting Comparison - HostScope - jrrl.com

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador HumbleFish's Avatar
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    There's a free invisible tracker at: http://www.statcounter.com/ .

    Love You,
    HumbleFish
    Last edited by HumbleFish; November 9th, 2005 at 01:16 PM. Reason: spelling

  17. #17
    Affiliate Network Rep Danny K's Avatar
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    Good breakdown and review. (no affiliation)

    http://www.ad-tracking.com
    Danny K. - Network Administrator, Digital River- oneNetworkDirect.com, Email: dkautt@digitalriver.com

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