Tracking Affiliate Sales

Doing your own tracking of your sales as an affiliate can serve a two fold purpose. First and foremost, it is to make sure you are getting compensated as per your affiliate agreement. All software glitches, all people make mistakes and unfortunately there are always a few people or companies that are crooked. Just watch out for yourself. You don’t want to put hours and hours of your time and energy into an affiliate site that you are not being properly compensated for.

The second reason to track on your own is so that you know how to optimize your website. If you are receiving data from a software that tells you which ads people are going through on, which keywords they are coming in on, etc., then you know how to better change your site to meet those demands. You will come to see trends and you will know how to better alter your site, content and ads to translate into income.
There are so many ways of tracking now. So many software companies have put out really great tracking software. Merchants can use in house software, web based software or whatever software the affiliate network they belong to uses because it’s easy and they don’t have to hassle with it. What is important is finding out what your customers are doing online so that you can hone in on that. This takes some of the following:
  • tracking with cookies
  • data capture
  • record match tracking
  • pixel post or pixel cookie with backup IP
  • self-replicated pages
  • URL links that are simple and direct
  • Tracking of sub domains
  • String tracking of URL queries
Depending on what your agreement is with the network or advertiser you will need different things for your tracking and data. For instance if you do pay per click advertising you are going to be very interested on what links or ads are being clicked on. You will want to know the following information when you have an affiliate site so make sure that your tracking records give you a glimpse of the following:
  • actions done by site visitors or conversions
  • number of clicks
  • number of impressions
  • click through rate
  • cost per action
  • cost per 1000 clicks
  • conversion ratio
  • cost per sale
  • earnings per 100 clicks
  • page views
  • when do you get credit for a sale
  • total ad impressions
  • total page views
  • how many unique visitors to your website
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