Tracking In Detail for Affiliate Marketers

Now that you are feeding the keyword and ad group information from Google into your landing pages, you have the opportunity to pre-load tracking references.

Most affiliate programs allow you to attach a tracking link to the affiliate link. You can insert this information into the link.

You can even do it if you are using an autoresponder service like Aweber or Get Response. Just use the same PHP insertion code as above to do this insertion.

Let’s take a closer look at how to use the SpeedPPC system for tracking.

Direct Linking Tracking Methods

If you are not using landing pages and are direct linking to your offers, you can very easily insert tracking links to see which keywords are converting for you.

You simply use the appropriate tokens in the “URL Template” section of the SpeedPPC Campaign Builder. So for example you could format this section like:

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2306087-10516926?sid={seed}

This would include the seed keyword in the tracking link. This is appropriate for Single Core campaigns.

or

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2306087-10516926?sid={Final}

This would include the final keyword mix (so the combination between the seed and the expansion keywords). This would be more appropriate for dual core campaigns.

Simple Landing Page Tracking Methods

Most tracking methods are based on including a tracking name in a link or a form. Most often people don’t put anything in here, or else use a static piece of text.

With the SpeedPPC system we do this in a slightly more advanced way by including the keywords dynamically in the link when the page loads.

You’ll remember earlier how we covered the variable replacement strategies that you can use to customize what is displayed on your landing pages.

There is no reason why you can’t use the same insertion codes and put them into your tracking links.

Let’s say you’re looking at promoting a product at Shareasale. You would do something like this in your HTML.

http://yourhop.awmiracle.hop.clickbank.net?tid=<?php echo str_replace(“-“, ” “, $_GET[“final”]); ?>

This would then show which keyword generated the sale of the product. For merchants that allow you lots of characters in the tracking ID, there is no reason why you couldn’t add in the seed, expansion and the final keywords.

If you are going to use one, when using the Single Core approach you’ll want to use the “seed” variable and if you’re using Dual Core you’ll want to use the “final” variable.

Advanced Tracking

There are a couple of more advanced tracking methods I use that you could benefit from also.

One in particular is tracking your keywords beyond the initial user session. Many times you’ll pay for traffic that doesn’t convert on the first visit. This is a big reason why we try to encourage people to sign up to email lists. We hope that by getting their contact we can form a relationship with them and hopefully turn them into buyers.

Most email list and autoresponder services provide you with the ability to attach a tracking link to the subscription.

For example, we use the Aweber email service. When you use the HTML version of the form, the form code includes this field:

<input type=”hidden” name=”meta_adtracking” value=””>

I insert the dynamic tracking code into the value=”” part. So it looks like:

<input type=”hidden” name=”meta_adtracking” value=”<?php echo str_replace(“-“, ” “, $_GET[“final”]); ?>“>

You can change the final portion to either “seed” or “expansion” as well. If you use the “expansion” version and you group by expansion when you are building your campaigns, you can then track the ad group.

Tracking in this way serves two powerful functions.

1) It allows you to segment your list by either keyword or ad group. You can turn your main list into smaller lists using the “Stored View” feature of Aweber. This gives you a great deal of control over your lists.

2) It also allows you to keep tracking the keyword or ad group info back to your original offer, backend sales or even third party affiliate offers. The way you do this is surprisingly simple. For every subscriber, they have that value stored with them. When you create links in your emails, simply append a tracking link on the back of it using the {!ad_tracking} personalization field. You might be promoting an affiliates product on the back end and would write the link as:

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2306087-10516926?sid={!ad_tracking}

To mask the link, you may want to use the link rewriting feature of Aweber’s click tracking facility.

(I’ve found that using the Aweber link rewriting feature hasn’t lowered click-throughs. Sometimes, click-throughs have actually increased.)

There are many variations of this technique that you can use. You sometimes need to think outside the box!
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