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Marketing Article:
How to track your ad’s success

January 30, 2012

Track your ad’s success

Author: Samantha Olea, Olea Works

Track Marekting SuccessLike most businesses, yours is likely cutting back on spending and revising the budget. While advertising is necessary in order to gain a wider customer base, by nature it can be hit or miss at times. It is important to know what works and where it works which is why advertising tracking is a step that your business should not overlook.

Ad tracking is actually a pretty simple process and can be done in various ways. Below I’ve added my shortlist to get you started better understanding what ads are working for your company both on line and offline.

First, decide how exactly you want to track your visitors.

There are many ways, but your basic options are:
– Read your web site’s server stats : Most hosts have a form of tracking built into your cpanel already so if you have cpanel access and are comfortable with this method, this may be the way to go for your web site.

– Find a free third party site meter : There are so many available, just do a search of free site meters, have your web designer put the code on your pages and you’re finished. Look for reviews before deciding on any particular site meter as some offer more detailed reports and others only track how many times a page is loaded and nothing more. The more information that you have about your site’s visitors, the better benefit to your business. Keep in mind that relying on a third party’s meter involves trust-ask around, make sure that the company is legitimate and that they are reliable.

Google Analytics : This is a free service from Google that many web site owners are finding helpful in tracking their web site’s visitors and where they are coming from. This service not only tells you where your visitors are finding your site online, but their geographical location, their length of stay on your site, their bounce rate and so much more. I suggest Google Analytics to all of my clients.

Next, you need a landing page.

Have your web designer create a “one page wonder” or landing page for each ad placement in your campaign.

A landing page is a page that is not directly linked to by the rest of your web site, and has a specific web address that is only mentioned during a specific ad placement. For instance, you are advertising your web site on a local real estate web site. You create a special page at your web address and give that address, not your main web address, to the web site so instead of yourwebsite.com, you would give them yourwebsite.com/realestate. Now, you may also be running an ad in the paper that week and you would have your web designer create a similar landing page and name it a unique file name that you use in the paper which may be something like yourwebsite.com/sundaynews. Next month, you can reuse the landing page with a different ad campaign-just ask your web master to rename it accordingly and track away!

Finally, review your statistics regularly

At the end of the month when you notice that your sales are up, it will be easy to look into your tracking method and find out which page received the most traffic. This will help you better understand where your audience is and help you make sure that you are allocating your advertising budget in the way that helps your business the most.

You may be wondering…

Now, you may be asking, “Why can’t I just add one of those ‘Where did you hear about us’ boxes on my order form?”. You can, but remember that people may not always recall where they saw an ad especially if they just jotted down the web address and visited at a later time. Also, the faster you can get your customer to and through the check out process, the better. While you may notice a lot of companies going with the trend of data collecting through bugging their customers upon check out right now, I believe you will begin to see this trend fall off as people grow more tired of the ’20 question’ approach. Don’t give your visitors even the slightest reason to go else where, especially if by using the methods I have mentioned above you can find out not only where your visitors are finding you, but you will be getting a far more accurate response than you can ever expect to get by asking your visitors as they try their best to simply check out, pay you and move on.

Keep in mind that a well thought out and tracked advertising campaign can easily help you stretch your advertising dollar two and three times as far as you focus less on placement that does not gain site traffic and more on those placements that do.

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