New Custom Domain Script for More Branding

New Custom Domain Script for More Branding

Previously, the only way you can use a custom domain in Linktrackr is to modify the CNAME details of a domain within your domain registrar’s control panel. This is still the best way to brand your tracking links, but new marketers may find dealing with CNAMEs a bit daunting.

So, we’ve added a simple script that you can upload to your website and use your existing URLs as your custom domain. Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the script from the custom domains page within your LinkTrackr account to get your customized script. This script will be pre-coded with your default tracking URL for example username.linktrackr.com 
  2. Upload the entire script folder to your domain using any FTP application, and rename the folder to anything you want. For example go or track or even just x.
  3. Enter the full path to your script folder in your LinkTrackr custom domains page, for example yourdomain.com/track or track.yourdomain.com if you’ve set it up as a subdomain.
  4. Set your domain as the Primary domain, and it will appear in all your tracking links.

Take not however, that link cloaking will not work with this method because all the script does is complete a permanent redirect to your default LinkTrackr URL.

A full set of instructions is also included in the script folder detailing step-by-step instructions to setup your custom domain script, as well as the requirements.

New Overage Clicks Billing Feature

New Overage Clicks Billing Feature

We’re excited to announce two new features for Linktrackr that have been requested countless times. In part of our push to get LInkTrackr to the next level, these two new features were released quietly last week. Let’s go into the details here.

New Overage Pricing Features

Previously, Linktrackr worked on a pre-paid system for overages. If your clicks were getting close to your monthly click limits, you had to buy more clicks in advance. We’ve corrected that to match what our users expect.

Now, once your account is over your click quota, we continue to keep tracking every single click, and bill you later for overages. Of course, you have the option to turn off overage billing, if you do not want that to happen.

Screen Shot 2015 04 13 at 3 50 45 PM

We send you a warning email when your click limit exceeds 75% of your quota, and another email when it has exceeded 90% of your quota. Therefore, there’s ample time for you to decide if you want to scale back on usage, or keep going past your limit.

If you’ve turned this off, you can still access your dashboard and look at your stats. However, your clicks will no longer be tracked and we will display a message at the top of your dashboard informing you as such.

Screen Shot 2015 04 13 at 3 51 32 PM

How Overage Pricing is Billed

With the new method, we’ve also reduced to the cost per overage click to just $0.0005. That comes up to just $0.50 for an additional 1,000 clicks above your monthly click limit. Overage clicks however cannot be more than 2x your monthly click limit. If you force to get a huge surge of traffic, you can upgrade to a bigger plan to accommodate for the surge.

You will receive a new invoice on the 3rd of the next month for your overage clicks in the current month. This invoice has to be paid separately from your normal monthly subscription. If your total billable amount is less than $1.00 no invoice will be issued. Instead, this amount will be deducted from your account credits.

PPC Click Tracking Features in LinkTrackr

PPC click tracking is something all PPC marketers have to pay extreme attention to, since each untracked click literally costs you money!

There are tons of existing PPC click tracking software, but generally speaking they cost a bomb and is typically for really PPC advertising agencies. But what about a simpler software just for managing your own PPC ads?

At LinkTrackr, we’re planning to include PPC click tracking into our campaign feature, so you can track up to 5 variables such as Campaign, Subcampaign Ad Name, Ad Type, and keywords. In fact, PPC click tracking has been one of the most requested features for the past year.

PPC Click Tracking – Google AdWords

I will explain the rest of this post by taking Google AdWords as the primary example for our discussion, since it’s obviously the largest, and most complex, PPC advertising platform around.

With Google AdWords, you can automatically pass all data to your Google Analytics account, specify a goal, and you’ve solved all your click tracking issues. That’s great when you’ve using Google AdWords to drive traffic to your own website, but how do you implement click tracking when you’re advertising an affiliate offer, or any other site that you do not own?

That’s the challenge with third-party click tracking software link LinkTrackr. Furthermore, Google AdWords doesn’t play nice with anything other than Google Analytics. To track PPC ads accurately, you need four things right:

  • Compliance with Google’s terms of service
  • A way to pass campaign, ad name, keywords etc to your tracking software
  • A way to assign a cost to each click
  • A conversion tracking mechanism to see which ads are converting to sales and leads

We’ve tried and studies many other PPC click tracking applications. Some were downright ridiculous, some were pretty decent, but almost all lack accuracy. Though we understand that accuracy is subjective, since Google controls all the data and is not too happy to share it easily, we wanted to get our new PPC click tracking feature as accurate as possible.

So here are the features we’re testing, and how it works.

PPC Click Tracking – Campaigns, Ads and Keywords

Ppc click tracking

The first (and most important) part of PPC click tracking is to define your campaigns, so that you can view your performance in LinkTrackr instead of having to login to Google AdWords all the time. You can set up to 5 variables:

  1. Campaign – As per your campaign name in AdWords
  2. Subcampaign – You can further define a campaign by sub-campaigns such as Search Network, Content Network, Mobile Only etc.
  3. Ad Group – If you do PPC right, you will be having a few ad groups, and each ad group will contain a handful of related keywords. You can enter the same ad group name you used in AdWords in this column.
  4. Ppc ad idAd Name – You can either put in the headline of your ad (easier but not recommended), or you can enter the unique ad ID. You can get a unique ID for each ad you create in Google AdWords, but you’ll have to toggle a few fields to be visible in your AdWords page, like the example show here. This will give you the most accurate tracking, since a new ad id is created every time you edit your ads.
  5. Keyword – This is where you input the actual keyword you’re bidding on.

These are all existing features, so you can read more about how it works on our ad tracking page.

The new features we plan to add are:

  • Destination URL – By checking this, you will display the actual website’s url in your tracking link. This is optional, but some PPC networks may require you to display the actual URL when you’re using third-party tracking software like LinkTrackr.
  • Unique identifier – A unique string of numbers and alphabets you can use to track affiliate sales from ClickBank and other affiliate networks that do not support pixel code tracking.

PPC Click Tracking – Cost Per Click

Ppc click tracking cost

In our proposed new PPC click tracking feature, the most obvious challenge is tracking dynamic click prices. As you’re aware, the CPC or cost per click for Google AdWords depends on a lot of different variables, and is never fixed. However, since getting real-time click bid prices from AdWords is out of the question, the next best alternative is to set an “average cost per click”.

Basically, you’ll need to determine the average price you have paid for the last 20 or 30 clicks, and enter that value into LinkTrackr’s campaign page. You will have to update this value frequently to get the most accurate CPC reports. You can also choose to apply the CPC to unique visitors only, all visitors, and even include bots.

How you configure this really depends on how a PPC ad network like AdWords or Bing charge you. By allowing you to choose how to apply the CPC prices, I think we’ll be making this feature way more flexible to cover almost every single PPC ad platform you can think of.

PPC Click Tracking – Sales & Leads

Once you’ve created a tracking link for each campaign / sub campaign / keyword, and set your CPC prices. the next step is to track sales and conversion from these ads, in order to get your ROI (Return on Investment). This can be done by the existing conversion tracking tools in LinkTrackr. Then, we will create a special “ROI Report” that show you:

  • The number of PPC clicks you’ve receive
  • The total cost of your PPC campaign
  • The amount of conversions, and value in USD
  • The Return on Investment for your PPC ads

As I said, implementing PPC click tracking with a third-party software like LinkTrackr can be a challenge simply because Google AdWords only shares its data completely with Google Analytics. With every other software I’ve tried or seen, similar methods are used as an alternative for tracking PPC clicks and ads.

Before we actually start working on a final version of our PPC click tracking features, we would love to get your feedback.

  • Do you know of a better way to automatically get PPC data from Google AdWords?
  • Is there a better way to do this, based on your experience?

Let us know your thoughts on our proposed PPC click tracking features for LinkTrackr in the comments below.

New Default Domain for LinkTrackr

New Default Domain for LinkTrackr

For the past few months, we’ve been dogged by Uri.bl, a URL blacklist monitor used by many other applications and software.

As a result, you cannot use the default link tracking structure in many places, including Aweber, FaceBook, Google AdWords and Bing. You may have encountered this issue if you are using the default username.linktrackr.com/trackingname format for your tracking links. If you’re using your own domain name, you wouldn’t have encountered any issues.

We’ve submitted many requests to “whitelist” our domains and they comply every time. However, a few weeks later it’s back in the blacklist.

The Uri.bl service is so poor and vague, to the extent that you cannot even find out why your site was submitted to their database in the first place. Therefore, we were completely helpless.

It didn’t take us long to discover the root cause of the issue – a Linktrackr user spamming others using our link cloaking feature. Since we cannot get the offending URL however, we do not know who this user is.

In fact, we changed how our cloaking feature works after the Uri.bl episode. You now need to use your own domain name to activate the cloaking feature.

However, the issue effected EVERYONE who used the domain “linktrackr.com” in their ads, including us. Users who were not exploiting the cloaking feature could not use the default tracking links in a lot of places, and we thought this was unfair.

So we’ve recently added a second default domain tkr.me as you can see from the screenshot above. For older users, you can switch to this domain within your account, under Settings > Domains. For new users, you will only see tkr.me as the default domain and you do not need to change anything.

Please note that when you change to tkr.me you will need to update your conversion codes as well to use the tkr.me domain. In other words, your conversion codes will need to match the domain you set as the primary domain.

We hope this helps our users get through spam filters and avoid getting their ads suspended.

Customized LinkTrackr Referral Page – Give Your Friends a Discount!

Customized LinkTrackr Referral Page – Give Your Friends a Discount!

We’ve just enabled custom referral pages for all LinkTrackr users. Here’s how a custom referral page looks like LIVE: http://ww3.linktrackr.com/offer/gobala

You can view your offer page by replacing “gobala” with your own LinkTrackr username.

  • Pages only exist if you are an active LinkTrackr user (excluding LinkTrackr classic users)
  • Your name is derived from the information in your LinkTrackr account.
  • Your profile image is taken from Gravatar.com – make sure you’ve added the email address you use in your LinkTrackr account.
  • Your friends get an additional 5% discount for yearly payments (total 25% discount) when they signup for LinkTrackr from your referral page.

Help someone you know make smarter marketing decisions and get karma points when their business makes more profit.

LinkTrackr Blog Redesign Preview

LinkTrackr Blog Redesign Preview

Last September, we introduced a new version of LinkTrackr that is 100% based on Amazon AWS and the latest cloud technologies.

Along with the new version came a new homepage design, using the now popular “flat UI” concept. We’ve received a lot of praises for the new design. Our customers have called it cool, clean, attractive and modern.

However, the LinkTrackr blog still clings on the the old design. We’ve searched everywhere for a theme that we can use with minimal customization to look like the rest of the LinkTrackr site. However, it seems the smarter option would be to just design our own theme.

So we’ve settled in using the Genesis framework from StudioPress as it offers significant advantages in SEO. However, we’ll be designing a new “child theme” for Genesis that resembles the overall look ad feel of the current LinkTrackr site.

What do you think of the pre-development design concept? Too simple? Too boring? Awesome?

Let us know below.

UPDATE: We’ve decided instead to use the Salient wordpress theme for now. It’s an awesome theme with tons of options that make it easy to customize. It fits just about any type of site – landing page, product site, or blog.