Tracking pixels are the most commonly used method of tracking user activity and action, such as sales conversion. It is the simplest and easiest way to check whether a user has completed a certain action, whether it be signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. It’s been around for many years, and will most likely continue to be around for the foreseeable future.
Why Tracking Pixel?
With so many other methods of tracking available, why do so many continue to rely on the lonely old pixel?
A single tracking pixel takes up just 1 pixel squared space on any page. That means it’s not obtrusive, doesn’t cause the page to load slower, and most important of all, it works. Combined with the use of sub ID tracking, you can get a ton of information using this tiny little invisible speck on your monitor screen that you won’t even know it’s there. Just look at how LinkTrackr tracks affiliate commissions using sub ID here.
So, how does it work?
When a page containing your tracking pixel loads, the 1 x 1 pixel image is loaded, and the server that hosts the image receives a request for the image itself to be loaded. This announces to the server that the pixel has been “fired”, thus allowing the server to keep track of how many times this has happened and the system can then interpret this data accordingly.
By cross-referencing the data with other information from your tracking link, the system will be able to let you know what kind of action has taken place, along with a host of other useful information such as traffic source, sales amount and even the referring site.
LinkTrackr’s Tracking Pixel
Tracking pixels are an important part of LinkTrackr. We understand that simply tracking your traffic and clicks may not be enough, especially for serious marketers. Being able to track your conversions (sales, sign-ups, etc) are way more important than knowing how many clicks you got and where they came from. You never want to just leave money on the table, and knowing how well your market converts is key to maximizing your profits.
Creating a tracking pixel in LinkTrackr is easy. After selecting the project you want to create the goal for, just click on Goals tab and select New Goal as shown here:
From here, just fill in the details accordingly.
- Goal Name – This is the name you want to give to this goal / tracking pixel, so you know which pixel triggered.
- Goal Type – There are two types of goals; Sale and Lead.
- Goal Value – You can set the value of the goal, although you can also set it to “0” if there is no attached value (i.e. for sign-ups instead of sales)
- Unique Goal ID – This is not a required field, and if you do need to use this, make sure to use the variable as set by your network so the value can be passed correctly.
- SSL Tracking – Some sites runs on SSL (https) and may require the pixel to also be secured. If you turn this on, however, make sure to use the default rurl.me domain provided with your LinkTrackr account instead of your own custom domain, unless you have SSL certificate already installed for your domain.
Where To Place Tracking Pixel?
A tracking pixel should be placed on the page where a user is taken to as a result of the action you want to track. For example, if you wish to track a sale, then the tracking pixel should be placed on the page that loads after payment has been made. This is usually a thank you page or the download page.
You should also consider placing the pixel within the header of the page, so that it will always load first. This is important because if you have the pixel at the footer of the page, and a user clicks on a another link before the page fully loads (or if the page stopped loading halfway), the pixel will not trigger and thus the action is not tracked.
You’re also able to set whether or not you wish to track duplicate conversions. This can be useful if you have the tracking pixel on the download page itself and your customers may return to the page multiple times after purchase. This would cause the pixel to fire off for each visit, thus giving you the wrong conversion rate.
If you’re using this on an affiliate network or offer, you’ll just need to provide the pixel URL.
Most affiliate networks allows the use of SubID tracking that allows their affiliates to use third-party tracking tools like Linktrackr. This includes Clickbank, JVZoo, Shareasale, Commission Junction and LinkShare. It’s the most common way most affiliate networks provides affiliates to keep track of their sales and commissions using third party tracking tools.
What is SubID?
Sub ID tracking (which is also sometimes known as TID tracking), is a parameter that is often attached to the end of your affiliate link and can be made up of alphabets and/or numbers. Clickbank was one of the most popular early adopter of this method of tracking, and it’s not uncommon to see it being used by affiliates to help keep track of which traffic are converting.
An example of a Clickbank affiliate link with SubID (or in this case, TID tracking, enabled):
In the sample link above, you can see the SubID fbads being defined within the link itself. Whenever someone clicks on this link, the SubID will be passed along to Clickbank’s own tracking system and show up in your reporting when a sale is made. The downside, as you can see, is that you can only attach one single piece of data to each Sub ID. What if you need to track more than where the link was from?
More than Just a SubID
LinkTrackr uses SubID for more than just tracking a single piece of information. In fact, LinkTrackr is able to generate it’s own encrypted version of SubID called ClickID, which contains a myriad of information without needing you to add a long string of SubID’s into the link.
ClickID tracks useful and important information such as:
- Source and referral URLs
- Ad network, ad group, campaign name, ad name and keywords used
- Operating systems, device and browser types
- Geolocation such as country and city, including IP address
- Whether the traffic is new or returning
Using ClickID to Track Commissions
Since using LinkTrackr’s ClickID will provide you with much more information instead of just the basic SubID data, you would probably want to be able to track your commissions with it. While the concept may sound rather complex, it’s actually very simple to use since LinkTrackr automates the process for you.
Just enable the Affiliate Tracking option when creating or editing a tracking link, and you’ll have the option to either select a SubID format, or enter a custom format if your affiliate network’s SubID format isn’t listed. You can also refer to the chart we have that shows some of the more common network’s SubID formats. Just hit save and you’re done!
Checking Your Conversions
Once your affiliate network has recorded the conversion, you’ll be able to see the SubID within your network’s reporting. Just cross reference the SubID with LinkTrackr’s own reporting and you’ll have access to much more useful information than your network can ever provide you with just a single SubID field.
Having the ability to track conversion is essential when it comes to gauging your marketing efforts, but having the ability to go even further is what sets Linktrackr apart from other tracking services. Not only are you able to see basic conversion stats in Linktrackr, but you’re also able to see the entire history of the conversion from start to finish!
Uploading External Data
Besides tracking conversions directly within our system, you’re also able to upload external data, such as those from affiliate networks. To do this, just go to Reports > Import Data from the relevant Project dashboard.
Just follow the instructions in the import page. Download the sample CSV file, make the necessary changes and then upload it back to your Linktrackr account. You’ll be able to see the imported stats show up in your Linktrackr report if everything was done correctly.
View Conversion History
Linktrackr has a pretty comprehensive reporting system, including a conversion report that shows the different goals (which is what we call conversions in Linktrackr), total revenue and average revenue. From here, you’re also able to directly view the conversion logs which contains a variety of other information including country of origin and IP address.
The conversion log is also where you can see conversions that were ignored, as well as the reason why it was ignored. For example, if you’ve set the goal to only trigger once per user, any subsequent visits to the page with the conversion code will not trigger another conversion.
From within the conversion log, there is another option, which is the timeline (see the screenshot above) which you can find on each of the tracked conversion. This is a new option that lets you view the entire history of the selected conversion from the first click to the actual the tracking pixel from the conversion code fired. This is an incredibly powerful tool that lets you keep track of the steps and even the time it takes for the conversion to happen.
When used with campaigns to track multiple traffic sources or even with our split testing / URL rotator, you’ll be able to get much more out of it.
You can also delete conversions simply by clicking on the delete button next to the timeline option within the Conversion Log. This lets you remove unwanted conversion, such as when you’re doing testing.
One of the greatest advantage of using a tracking link instead of a regular link is the ability to track where traffic is coming from and which traffic sources are converting. This allows you not only to see focus more on the traffic sources that matters, but also lets you tweak your campaign to improve it’s effectiveness.
Linktrackr lets you do this easily by allowing you to create campaign links (which are basically sub-tracking links) that you can create and tag for each traffic source not just by where the traffic is from, but even by placement and more. It’s really simple to use so let’s get started.
Create a Tracking Link
You’ll need to create a tracking link to get started. This will be the main tracking link, from which all your campaign links will redirect to. Create a new link (Campaigns > Tracking Links > Add New) or use an existing tracking link.
This is your single main tracking link. If you edit the destination URL here, all associated campaign links will be updated to reflect the new URL.
Using Campaigns to Track Multiple Traffic Sources
Create a new campaign (Campaigns > New Campaign). Start typing in the tracking link’s name or the actual destination URL from the tracking link in the Destination URL field and a drop down list will show up for you to select from. This is how you campaign links are associated back to the original main tracking link from before.
Next, fill in the tracking parameters such as the campaign source, medium and name. This is how you differentiate the different sources of traffic, including additional settings such as individual campaign cost per click and ROI calculator. This is especially useful when you have Linktrackr help track the cost of traffic against its profitability.
Finally, save the campaign by giving it a name and create its own unique shortened URL. This URL will be what you’ll use on this particular traffic source that you’ve created it for.
Checking Your Reports
You’ll be able to see the breakdown of each traffic source from within your project’s report.
Going to your Reports > Campaigns will show you how each of your traffic sources is doing. You can also view them by medium or campaign name.
As a bonus, each of your campaign links can be further customized to pass on additional information from the ad network. For example, if you’re using Google AdWords, you’ll also be able to tell which keyword was used in the search that generated the click by using the link for Google AdWords & Bing Ads like below:
There are times where you would need visitors from a single link to be redirected to different pages. Whether it be for split testing your landing page, sharing traffic with multiple partners or to show different offers to different people, having the ability to do so can be essential to your marketing efforts.
One of Linktrackr’s defining feature is its split testing module, which can also be used as a URL rotator. As its name implies, this option allows you to rotate traffic to multiple landing pages from a single link.
URL Rotator in Linktrackr
As mentioned above, our URL rotator is actually a part of our split testing module. It allows you to send traffic from a single link to two or more different pages, as well as how often each page receives the traffic you’re getting.
To get started, just created a new link or edit an existing link from within your account.
First, go to your list of links by either clicking on the button like above, or from the ‘Campaigns’ drop-down menu.
From here, you can either create a new link or edit an existing link to turn on the split testing / URL rotating feature, as shown in the image below:
Once you’ve entered the basic link details (link name, primary url, redirect link, etc..) just enable the Split Testing option.
NOTE: The split testing / URL rotator option is only available for Linktrackr Hyper and Linktrackr Extreme. If you do not see the option as shown above, that probably means your package does not include this feature.
A new set of options will appear once this is turned on – Split Test URLs and Persistent Cookies. We’ll focus on the first option. This is where you can enter all the different pages you want to rotate your traffic to.
IMPORTANT: Make sure there are at least TWO URLs here. You will need to enter the Primary URL and at least one other URL to split the traffic to.
Enter the primary URL as URL 1, and keep adding new URLs until all the pages you would like to rotate your traffic to is listed. Make sure to enter the percentages of traffic each page should get as you go along. All traffic will then be redistributed accordingly. For example:
There are 3 links in the above image. Now let’s say we have 100 people clicking on the tracking link. URL 1 will get 50 visitors while URL 2 and URL 3 will receive 25 visitors each. The URLs and percentages can be adjusted at any time. Just make sure that the total percentage equals 100%.
If you want returning visitors to see the same URL they did the first time they clicked, you can enable the Persistent Cookies option.
And voila! You’re done!
All traffic will now be routed through each of the different landing pages you have entered according to the traffic percentage you’ve set. You can add, remove or change the rotated pages at any time, including how much traffic each page should get. A simple, yet powerful tool.
Yet another upcoming feature we’ve added in LinkTrackr recently, that I did not mention in the previous post, is a revamped conversions page and file upload.
Previously, you had a report to view all your conversions in a pie chart format, as well as a table that showed you all the conversions in one table. However, we felt that it was still not giving you a complete picture of what’s happening with your marketing campaigns.
Plus, sometimes you record conversions in error, or incomplete conversions. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could edit the conversion? What if you missed out of tracking something and wanted an easier way to add it to your LinkTrackr reports?
Behold, the new features we’ve planned for Linktrackr!
View All Your Conversions Easily
With the new conversion tracking page, you can easily see the most important details of your conversion:
When you click “View / Edit” however, you see magic. Now we show you a complete timeline of the conversion, back to the referring click. Plus, you can see all the important details including IP address and location:
And yes, you can now also edit your conversion details, leave notes, or delete the individual conversion.
But that’s not all..
Easily Upload Your Conversion Reports
Previously, we did not allow you to manually add a single conversion, which can be useful. Although the file import feature was available, it was time-consuming and difficult for most users to get the data into the format we needed.
Now, you can add a single conversion pretty easily as long as you enter a Click ID, which is the key factor in tagging your conversion to the click.
You can also ignore the Click ID, but when you do that the conversion only shows up in summary reports.
Plus, a completely revamped file import feature allows you to easily add the reports you download from popular affiliate networks like Shareasale, ClickBank, Commission Junction and more.
All you have to do is download from the network, choose the predefined format, and upload your file. Conversions are added into LinkTrackr, but you can manually approve or reject each conversion first.
NOTE: To use predefined reports you must not edit or modify the source file in anyway. Just upload it exactly as it is in CSV format.
Most of these feature are similar to our Shorty link cloaking plugin for WordPress. In fact, we introduced them in Shorty first, to test them out.
They work extremely well, and now we’re introducing the same features and workflow into LinkTrackr. We believe these new conversion tracking features will help you manage more conversions and affiliate commissions easily, from one central dashboard.
These new conversion tracking features and affiliate commission uploads are in development, and we expect to release them within the next 30 days.