How link tracking can change your marketing strategy and KPI measurement.

Every online business needs a way to attract new customers.

This is especially true for Internet-based companies, which have a better chance of reaching potential customers than companies that have a physical location or can only be met in person.

To attract as many potential customers as possible, you must do everything you can to make them aware of your services and products and entice them to decide whether or not to buy from you.

One way to do this is to use tracking numbers or codes, so that people who visit your website or app can be identified and tracked by an analytics tool, so you know exactly what kind of impact your services are having on your business, which gives you the perfect opportunity to improve what is not working and see what exactly needs to be changed, if anything.

However, using these numbers is not just window dressing. Some people do not realize how important these little things are when it comes to tracking results and improving performance, but if you are not careful you could end up doing more harm than good.

Link tracking and web analytics

LINK TRACKING & WEB MARKETING

With the  web marketing the music changes.

Not only do you test (and pay for) marketing operations for the actual resources that are actually being used to achieve the goal, but you have the opportunity to test different solutions, evaluate the results, and come to conclusions you never could have imagined.

Example: Facebook Advertising Campaign Leaving aside the enormous advantage of being able to select a highly receptive and optimized target audience, if you know how to do tracking and split testing, you will be able to:

  • Finding the ads with a better yield
  • Know which target audience best responds to your message
  • Figure out which landing page converts the most
  • Shape the follow-up action based on the data collected

The mechanism is as simple as it is ingenious. With each ad you associate a different link generated by the tracking software, which carries with it details about the ad itself, such as the name assigned to it, a target identifier, or a generic ID that allows you to trace it back to its origin. In any case, all links always lead to the landing page you are testing.

As you (I hope) well know, every landing page self-respecting has as its goal the conversion (registering a user, selling a product, etc...) and each page always has a thank-you page or conversion page, which is displayed by the converted contact, i.e., one that has completed the action for which we sent it right there. On this thank-you page you will go in advance and enter the verification code that the tracking software provides. By doing this, you can track all conversions scientifically.

Here is what happens at a glance and what data you can collect:

  1. users see your ads (and track the impressions)
  2. some users click (and track the click per ad)
  3. some of these then, upon landing on your landing page, will perform the action you so hope for, e.g. register: the thank-you page is displayed at the end of the process (and track the conversion)

By pulling the sums you will know who your user/customer is now, which ad they came from, which ads are ineffective, which target audience best responds to your offer, what value and ROI had your campaign--and if you make it more professional, what landing page converts better (but that's a whole other story).

At this point, with all this data in hand, you can draw your own conclusions and adjust your aim.

To do good tracking there are plenty of tools, both free and paid.

I point you to these two solutions that I use in several areas (including here on Valerio.it):

Prosper 202 RedTrack - Free but difficult to manage and must be installed on your server (no Aruba please...).

Pretty Links Pro - Paid but installs with 1 click on any site in WordPress and as many sites as you want, allows you to mask links and do split testing automatically.

Make sure you choose the right link tracking code

Choosing the wrong tracking code for your website or app can actually reduce the amount of leads you get. If you use a link, be sure to choose the type of link you want to use.

Use an external link code only if you are sure it is the best option for your website or app.

If you do not have enough information about your potential customers' browsing habits, it might be a better idea to use a standard text link instead of an external link code.

The most important thing in choosing a tracking code is that it makes sense for the audience to which it will be used.

For example, if your target audience is teenagers, using a social media tracking code would make sense because they are more likely to visit social media sites than any other site on the Internet. Choose wisely and don't overthink this step: It won't hurt anyone!

Set your goals before you start measuring

Before you start using these numbers, you need to establish your goals.

If your goal is to learn more about what keywords work for you and what content gets the most clicks, set that as your goal.

If you are looking at metrics and trying to determine if they are interesting enough to continue monitoring them, then you need to decide on your goals before you start measuring anything. Mistakes are often made when trying to measure metrics by setting goals first.

You might choose the goal of how many people visit your website or app, but you don't think about how your services affect the number of visitors they receive over time.

This means that if the website is visited by too many people without link tracking, this could be detrimental to the company, as the visits do not provide useful data for the company.

"What kind of comments can I expect from this web analytics tool?"

The first thing most people ask themselves when measuring their metrics with web analytics tools is "What kind of feedback can I expect from this web analytics tool?"

Most often, this question is given a generic answer such as "the data will tell us."

If that is all the person has heard, then they will witness an occasional spike in traffic without knowing what caused it and without drawing any actionable data from those visits, which could potentially harm them in the long run if they do not know what they are doing wrong. Instead of focusing on the tool to use,

Recheck data before making decisions

The first mistake many people make is thinking that the analysis tool is reliable.

It is assumed that everything the instrument says is accurate, when in fact it may provide below-average performance information.

These wrong assumptions can lead to decisions that do not provide a good return on investment (ROI). If your company has an online presence, a free analytics tool such as Google Analytics can be one of the best ways to measure your marketing efforts and determine whether or not your current strategy is effective.

However, before relying on any data from this type of tool, it is good to double-check it to make sure it is accurate.

You should also take into account all other sources of data available to you, such as social media monitoring tools or email marketing software, so that you have all the information available before making major changes.

Do not rely on averages when reporting data

A common mistake companies make when reporting data is to rely on averages rather than actual results.

This is a problem because averages hide individual numbers and often lead one to draw wrong conclusions about one's business.

It is important to report data by trying to understand how and why they work or do not work, instead of relying on averages.

For example, if you are trying to track website clicks to see which ad campaign has the most clicks, you should compare the average amount of clicks per campaign with the actual amount of clicks per campaign.

Do not follow visitors who are not interested in you

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to track and measure conversions that are not of interest to your business.

This will produce inaccurate results, and the more people who visit your website or app but do not convert into customers, the more likely it is to have a negative impact on your overall conversion rate.

So if you have a website or app that aims to sell a product online, don't be tempted to track people who enter the site but don't purchase anything. If you only track those who enter and then leave the site without making a purchase, you risk failure.

There is no point in following visitors who go to other Web sites. Although it may seem like harmless fun at first, it could cost you much more in the long run.

Conclusion

When it comes to marketing, metrics are important, and I talk to you about them in these two posts on web analytics:

Web Analytics (Pt. 1): what it is and how it works

Web Analytics (Pt. 2): Strategy and 4 Best Practices

But so is figuring out which metrics to track. There are many different factors involved in measuring success, and one of the most important is link tracking.

This blog post provides five mistakes that companies make when measuring their link tracking numbers. The mistakes discussed in this blog post are common because they are easy to make and can cause big problems later.

So remember: make sure you choose the right tracking code, set your goals before you start measuring, double-check your data before making any decisions, and don't rely on averages when evaluating data.