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A Quick Tracking Tip

School + work kicked my ass today, so short post.

You’re bidding on 150 keywords for a campaign, and you want to know which ones are preforming, right? If your top keyword is getting dozens of clicks, but no conversions, wouldn’t you want to pull it (and therefore cut costs)? Well, start tracking your keywords.

You haven’t been tracking them this whole time?!

Personally, I haven’t had any need. I’ve been running 90% of my campaigns through Facebook, where keywords aren’t an issue. That said, I’m using Adwords to promote that Advaliant contest right now, so I need to do things right. So, to start tracking your keywords, there are a few quick and easy steps:

Step 0 - Convert your landing page from HTML to PHP

This one’s really complicated - If your original landing page is lp.html, rename it to lp.php. Rocket surgery.

Step 1 - Change the landing page link in your ad

You need to pass a variable from Adwords to your page. Change your URL to “http://www.landingpage.com/index.php?SubID={keyword}”. This will pass the keyword that the user searched for to the SubID variable on your site.

Step 2 - Change your affiliate links to pass the SubID to the tracking site

*Note: This is the barebones method. It does not encrypt your keywords, so the network will know where you are getting your hits from.

Append this string to your affiliate links: <?php echo $_GET["SubID"]; ?>

So, your affiliate link will look something like this:

“http://www.valtrk.com/URL/track.aspx?AdID=xxxx&AffID=xxxx&SubID=<?php echo $_GET["SubID"]; ?>”

Step 3 - Check your work

Once you’ve got your updated index file uploaded, go to it and give it a variable in the address bar (ie, http://www.landingpage.com/index.php?SubID=test). Then, right click on your affiliate link and select properties. Did your variable get stuck on the end of the link? If so, good. If not, you screwed up, try again.


Now, let your campaign run for a few days and be sure to check your SubID reports frequently to see which keywords are performing well. Yank the ones that aren’t, optimize the ones that are, etc. Profit.

Technique learned and shamelessly ripped from Revenue Quest.

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One Response to “A Quick Tracking Tip”

  1. Pagealizer Says:

    Step 4 - check out http://www.pagealizer.com :)
    Pagealizer shows how long people stay on your page, actual bounce rate, how far visitors scrolled down the page and where they clicked. Based on our algorithm you then get suggestions on how to improve your page performance.

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