For Ezine Publishers
At your Web Site
15) Stop piracy
Using Pay Per Click Search Engines
Have you ever seen an ad where you are asked to click on an affiliate URL so long that it stretches over 2 lines, like this
Do you think your reader will bother to do the necessary cut and paste to put it in a browser?
And that's probably one lost sale
And even a one line affiliate link may exceed the permissible length for some ad posting requirements
The solution: use a short tracking URL
As an affiliate you may have your affiliate code embedded in a link something like this: http://www.abc.com/123
Some customers will bypass the affiliate code and just type in the home URL http://www.abc.com (possibly because they think that they will be paying extra for an agent's commission)
The solution: use a tracking URL - so that your affiliate code number is never seen
You may have seen search engine results showing near identical listings for the same product, differing only in an affiliate code appended to the URL.
Your listing here will be just one of many unless you make it stand out. So bypass the standard affiliate URL and use a tracking URL.
You can measure and compare the effectiveness of the different banners or text links the affiliate programs provide you by using a tracking URL.
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 centre.
Similarly if an affiliate program is discontinued you just change your tracking URL to a new page where you explain the circumstances and point your visitor to your other promotions.
Not all affiliate programs provide you with stats about
And if they do are they adequate ?
Compare a basic monthly figure say
Jan: 39 hits
with a detailed analysis such as
Jan 12: 10 hits
Jan 13: 2 hits
Jan 20: 21 hits
Jan 21: 6 hits
where you can relate those dates to particular ad campaigns.
Tracking URLs will give you these improved figures.
Even if you do receive good stats from your affiliate program it still makes sense to use tracking URLs so that you can compare your figures with theirs.
A large discrepancy could mean errors in their software or (hopefully not) fraudulent activity on their part.
An alternative reason is that their measurement takes place when their page is fully loaded rather than at the start, indicating that visitors are clicking away because it is taking too long to load.Back to Top
If you sell advertising space in your ezine you can offer to your advertisers to replace their URLs with your tracking URLs and Email them the results
Tell your advertisers about these benefits in your advertising guidelines
The tracking reports above will provide you with information on your subscribers' interests, influencing your editorial content and helping you select which potential advertisers to approach
Also, once your advertisers have seen for themselves the benefits of an ad tracking program they will be inclined to purchase one. So set yourself up as an affiliate for a program and promote it to them.
You may know how many subscribers you have but how many actually open and read your ezine and which parts of it attract most attention ?
Here's how to find out if you distribute your ezine in HTML Format: include an image on your page, e.g a banner or logo or a single pixel GIF. Then reference this image with a tracking URL.
For an ezine distributed as plain text it is not possible to see if it is actually opened or read. But what you can do is insert tracking URLs at the appropriate points, such as product offers or special articles, and get comparative figures for which items are being read.Back to Top
Web sites are continually evolving and changing.
You may want to rename a page to make it more consistent and logical but there's a huge problem. You have given out the URL in an ebook, or a directory submission, or an article or wherever. There's no way you can undo this.
The solution ?
Never provide the actual URL, just a tracking URL. You can then just edit the link at the tracking centre whenever a page is moved or renamed.
The external links, in your ebook for example, stay the same but they will redirect to your new page
You have text links all over your site, links to your other pages and links to recommended sites.
Where are your visitors clicking ?
Where are they leaving your site, why, how can you stop them ?
Which graphic do they click on the most ?
Do they click on the text link more than the graphic link?
Your log files may tell you at best which are the most popular pages at your site but it is vital to know how your visitor moves through your site and what is tempting them.
Use tracking URLs to replace actual links wherever you need to monitor click activity.
You can offer tracking reports to your advertisers in the same way as for ezine publishers (above)
If you have invested man-months of time setting up a vital resource site involving a directory of links it's very easy for a pirate to simply copy your page and provide useful content for his own site.
If you use tracking URLs for those directory links you can detect this copy - because the ad tracking program will record the referring URL.
At the same time of course you can measure the popularity of the directory linksBack to Top
Pay per clicks search engines will report to you click activity on your URL. Engines vary in the frequency and format of the reporting so you can use tracking URLs instead to obtain better information.
You can compare your figures with the engine's and should query any large discrepancy
If click activity is unusually high you may have a competitor clicking on just to incur costs against you. You may be able to detect this by comparing the figures for unique hits and actual hits (several hits per visitor).Back to Top
If you have ever wondered whether it was worth advertising off line because of the supposed impossibility of measuring the response then Ad Tracking URLs will answer that problem.
Just include them in your ads in
The date and time when clicks are made will allow you to check the progress of your ads, for example
For a long running ad you can study the response and switch the link midstream if necessary to an improved web pageBack to Top
The main purpose of a free ebook is to get the reader back to your site. But how successful is it proving ?
Put tracking URLs in the book and you will find out.
Once your ebook is downloaded it would appear that you no longer have any control over it. Not so. You can redirect the reader to other pages of your site by changing the tracking Url links.Back to Top
Since ad tracking programs are high demand marketing tools you can profit by joining their affiliate program (if they have one).
Owning the product that you promote always gives that extra advantage e.g you can give an example of how you use it or a personal testimonial as to how it has benefited you.
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 the supplier domain name is used in the tracking URL.
Note: For more details about the above tips and yet more ways to use an ad tracker see the free ebook Ad Tracking SuperTips