Ad trackers normally help you discover how many views, clicks and conversions have been generated from your ads (banners, emails, text-links, posts, etc…). Most advanced services (like ClickMeter) also provide additional info about the source and let you compare different creativities and campaigns.
Some, including ClickMeter, allow you to redirect visitors based on the special rules. Eg.: a visitor browsing from the smart phones can be redirected to mobile version of your website (all redirect options are listed here: many ways to redirect your visitors)
In this article we would like to list some of the most common problems addressed by link tracking tools.
If you are managing web-marketing campaigns for your customers , then an ad-tracking tool is essential to optimize your efforts in many ways:
- Track performances of the web-marketing campaigns you manage for your customers without asking to integrate codes in their website and without requesting passwords to access their existing tracking platforms (eg.: Google Analytics).
- Track your web-marketing campaigns (also for different customers) all in one place.
- Re-brand reports with your logo.
- Let your customers access results from their marketing campaigns online and in real-time.
- Provide third-party impartial reports.
- Access to single clicks (or views) detailed list. This allows to prove data are true and eventually ask for refund in case you discover low quality or fraud clicks.
- Compare performances from different campaigns and customers.
If you are promoting products and services for online merchants then a link tracker is an indispensable tool you cannot live without:
- Use short URLs (instead of long and ugly URLs) in your ads.
- Optimize for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). An URL like mydomain.com/product-name is much more Search Engine Friendly than merchantdomain.com/productID?affcode:1234¶m=re33212 and the SEO is particularly effective if the tracking tool allows 301 redirect.
- Stand out using your domain in the ad link instead of the one provided by the merchant. This is essential to enforce your brand and not that of the merchant.
- Track all your promotions and links in one place without opening tons of different affiliates accounts every day
- Cloak (mask) your affiliate codes. This will prevent someone else to change your code with another in the redirect process (this happens quite often). In this way, you will not lose your commissions. More info here: how to mask my affiliates links
- Easily change your destination links: If an affiliate company change their links then your existing ads, wherever they are posted, become worthless. But if you use a tracking URL you simply revise the affiliate URL at the tracking control center. This applies also if an affiliate program is discontinued: you can use the existing links to promote another merchant.
- Double-check merchant and/or affiliate network stats. They may not be truthful or detailed.
In case you are the publisher of a news website, a blog, an e-book, an e-zine a forum or whatever produce traffic, then a link tracker is essential to optimize your traffic in number and quality and to sell visibility to external companies:
- Detailed and real-time reports by a trusted third party provider. Both you have or do not have ad advertising platform a link tracking service allows you to provide your advertisers’ third party detailed reports shared in real-time. This will increase your credibility (trust) and your advertiser spending.
- Measure your readership. How many readers are really accessing your articles? What is the most read article? Which article is producing the best results (conversions) for your advertisers? From which country, organization, city are coming your readers? Which external source/partner is sending you the more and most qualified readers?
- Public reports. Allows your readers to access the list of most viewed articles and promote them.
In case you are managing the web-marketing for your company, then a link tracker is very helpful to check your campaigns and optimize them by concentrating your time and money only on the ones that are working:
- Track all your campaigns and ads in one place. Which source is producing value? You do not have to log in to many different control panels and access many different kinds of reports to discover what is working and what is not.
- Access very detailed reports. Most of the publisher and visibility vendors (including Google AdWords and Facebook ads) do not allow you to see stats for every single click, and some minor ones do not even provide reports. Accessing detailed reports allows you to better target your efforts.
- Share reports with partners and colleagues
- Manage your online links propriety. When you start advertising you publish a lot of links online. These links may remain live for years and can be compared to an online real estate property. Monitoring their status and productivity and be able to easily change the destination URL (eg.: in case you change the pages in your website) is very important to maximize the number and quality visits to your website.
- If you want to create your own affiliate program then you need to track and share results (views, clicks and of course conversions) with your affiliates.
- Track CPC ads and stop click-fraud. You can determine if the clicks are coming from a bot or a spider or if many clicks are coming from the same IP, etc…
- A/B testing. Discover which ads, which landing pages, which messages and so on, is providing most results.
- Conversion funnel. What is the process your customers are following before they purchase or subscribe? Where are you losing them? here you need to optimize?
- Track ROI. Input your costs and setup conversions to track revenues, this will allow to track in real-time the ROI (Return On Investment) for each campaign and ads.
There are many other cases where an ad tracker can be very useful, here are some.
- Track classified ads. Eg.: ads in backpage or CraigsList
- Stop piracy: If you use tracking URLs in your content you can detect if someone is copying because the unique-tracking link will probably be copied too.
- Privacy: You may want to post an URL somewhere and – for reasons of your own – not let it reveal your website. You can do this with an Ad Tracking program where an alternative domain name is used in the tracking URL
- In offline marketing use the QR code to track interest of ads and articles in newspapers, flyers, billboards, shop notice boards, magazines, and so on.
- A list of some other cases is available here: examples about using ClickMeter (real use cases)