The absolute most important thing you do when it comes to Internet marketing, is to track your Internet marketing activity. The reason is simple. It takes the guessing away, and turns Internet marketing into science. Well, I am not so sure about the science part, even though a lot of people have been comparing Internet marketing to science (probably because I am a political scientist).
The reason people say science, is because it’s all about is testing, testing and testing. Even though you find an Internet marketing strategy you prefer above all the others, you will never stop the testing. Because your Intenret marketing activity can always improve. I am not saying advertising, because I am actually not just talking about the regular banner ads, or any ads for that matter. You can use tracking to improve your writing, and to improve your forum signature (or whatever you want people to click on), therefore I have used Internet marketing activity in my headline.
And today, I thought that I give you an example of how I am tracking and testing my discussion forum signatures.
If you haven’t joined the discussion forums at Digital Point, I urge you to do it now. It’s just plain awesome, it’s free and you’ll learn a lot. And if you contribute, you can get a lot of extra traffic from your signature.
I am using my signature for a week, at the end of the week, I take a look at the statistics and I will do some major or minor changes. It all depends on how many people clicked on my link. I change the words, the length of the signature, the colors. Actually, I change everything from time to time.
I am tracking my signature with HitsConnect, and I have been for many months now. This is the best tracking system I have used. I find it cheap, and it’s really easy to use. That’s all I really need.
With HitsConnect, I track all my advertising, and each and every advertisement will get a unique tracking url (it’s short and a lot easier to use than the regular affiliate url). Every single day, I can see the stats on how many clicks my link got, and I can see the total hits. But not only that, I can also view more detailed statistics.
I believe that the parameters are my most important tool. Whenever I use HitsConnect to track a marketing campaign, I will get a url like this one: http://www.trker.com/go/12345 (the number can be anything). After this unique number, you can put whatever you prefer in order to track the specific ads.
For instance. If I am promoting aWeber (the autoresponder I use to send out my newsletter) at several websites and using my signature in the discussion forums, I can use one campaign at HitsConnect. All I do is this, I add a few extra parameters at the end of my tracking url. Something like http://www.trker.com/go/12345/signature or http://www.trker.com/go/12345/banner. I can use as many parameters as I prefer. At the image above, I used the size of the banners as my parameters (250 equals 250 x 250 px).
This way, I understand what works for me and what doesn’t work at all.
It’s important to understand that Internet marketing is not about guessing, and it’s not about your thoughts about what works. I try to be really creative, but I always track my creativity… that’s the only way I can figure out if the campaign was a success or not.