Affiliate marketing tracking tools are necessary if you want to become a successful affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing is a small business sales system in which online marketers use web pages, email, web-page ads, search engine results and other methods to direct traffic to another website, usually to make a sale. Unlike marketing for physical stores, where it can be difficult to measure what brought the customer to the store, internet technology offers many affiliate marketing tracking tools to help affiliate marketers track the traffic they are directing to other sites.
Affiliate marketers will often set up websites and blogs to drive traffic to their affiliate host site. Using affiliate marketing tracking tools to monitor how much traffic you generate is critical, and Google Analytics is one of the most widely used affiliate marketing traffic monitoring tools available. It is free for Google accounts and offers tools to track and analyze content, ads, social media and conversions, the last of which is an important measurement — or “metric” — that shows when a user took an action, such as making a purchase or signing up for an email list. These data are important tools to help small businesses find and interpret key affiliate marketing metrics.
Affiliate marketing tracking tools are needed because affiliate marketers have many metrics that can be used as tools to track the reach and effectiveness of their campaigns. Impressions — the number of times a banner ad is viewed — are a common metric for small business affiliate marketing. Clicks measure the number of times the ad or link is selected by a consumer, the number of sales track how many times a user made a purchase and sales revenue is the money made from these sales. While conversions are often viewed as sales, conversions can also count other actions, such as signing up for a mailing list or downloading an e-book.
While raw metrics are important, these data must be processed to be used as tools to track your affiliate marketing. Dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions gives marketers a click-through rate, which shows at what rate your ads or links are selected. Marketers can also follow the conversion rate — the conversions, such as sales, divided by the number of clicks. Earnings per click show how much commission was paid per click, and the average order value is the sales revenue divided by the number of sales made.
Other Traffic Metrics Tools
Google AdWord and AdSense use affiliate marketing tracking tools to track traffic through the ads placed on your site or purchased on another website. Paid services offer affiliate marketers even more thorough tools for analyzing traffic, including Wordtracker, which tracks which keywords produce the best results, and Clicky, which delivers analytic data to small businesses, showing results in real time. Small businesses that use affiliate marketing should begin by using the free tools, but eventually commercial tools may be needed to increase the return on investment.