How to Track Your Advertising

If you haven’t fully realized the full power of the many analytic reporting tools online, know this: every ad you place can be tracked. Every single click that comes to your website can be monitored.

For example, you can track your pay-per-click (PPC) ads down to the level of the keywords used to find your ad. From that you can follow any sales coming from that click. The implications (and helpfulness) of this kind of insight on your marketing strategy are enormous.

Whether you use free or paid advertising to boost your website traffic, as a serious business owner you should know your return on investment (ROI) for your advertising campaigns. Even if you started out because of your passions, when you’re doing this for the money too, it’s important to be able to measure the results of your efforts. How else would you know how much, and where, you’ve improved or not?

As an example, in offline advertising, when advertisers submit their copy for newspaper or magazine classified ads, you might not know that they can use different department numbers or P.O. boxes for each ad. They can use the same mailing address but add a different department CODE. In this way, they can track how different ads perform based on the inquiries that get sent to the different “departments”.

This also goes for the toll-free numbers that you call to get information about a particular product or service. Companies can set up different toll-free numbers used for each ad they use. That’s how they can track the effectiveness of multiple ad campaigns. Because of its very nature, tracking the effectiveness in offline advertising is much more expensive(think of the costs associated with setting up different phone numbers or multiple P.O. boxes) than internet advertising.

Tracking ads online is inexpensive; you can implement your monitoring using different scripts or software programs. With PPC advertising, you can easily use a simple PHP script to enable you to capture the keywords coming from a Google search referral.

Another example: with many web hosting packages, you can get to set up multiple email addresses. You can set it up so that in each ad you use a different email address. So, when you get an email inquiry to a specific email address, you’ll be able to spot which ad sparked that email.

Another way is to set up multiple subdomains to use as the link in your ads. For example, if you are advertising in online newsletters or e-zines, you can duplicate the same ad copy but send the readers to a separate subdomain as the URL for each ad.

When you are able to track the efforts of all your advertising, you can sit down at the end of the month and figure out which campaigns are generating the best ROI. You can then scale up those campaigns, eliminate some entirely, or tweak them to try to maximize your profits.

If you are not tracking what you do and what these efforts are paying out for you, then you are simply flying blind and you are depending more on chance. Start tracking your advertising efforts today.

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