Just like any other online business, affiliate marketing relies heavily on traffic. But affiliate marketers should realize that aside from driving traffic to their site, it’s also imperative to monitor traffic to ensure the success of their business.
One of the most important tools to use for this purpose is Google Analytics.
Google analytics show pertinent information about the channels that direct traffic to your blog or website. These include the following:
- Organic Search (Search Engine Optimization)
- Paid Search (Pay Per Click Ads)
- Referrals or backlinks
- Social media
- Direct traffic
Monitoring each of these channels gives you a clear picture as to which ones are working, and which ones are not. It gives you a thorough analysis of each channel so you can make a comprehensive comparison.
For example, if you are investing money in PPC ads, you can use Google Analytics to monitor your return of investment (ROI). The information you will get from this data also lets you maximize or adjust your digital marketing strategies.
In addition to providing information about traffic sources, Google Analytics also tracks conversion. Yes, it’s good that you know how many people visit your site and when, but you also need to determine if these visitors are actually converting into customers. With Google Analytics, you can set up metrics to track the completion of specific actions in your site.
Customer engagement is another important facet of affiliate marketing that can be monitored through the use of Google Analytics. It has certain features that enable you to review how the users are interacting with your blog or website. These include:
- Bounce rate – This refers to the percentage of website visitors that leave your site after viewing one page.
- Pages/session – This feature lets you know how many pages each visitor views.
- Average session duration – This is the average amount of time that each visitor spends on each of your website page.
Since Google Analytics provides all these information per each web page, you can see which specific pages are performing well, and what you need to do to optimize those that do not perform as efficiently.
As you can see, you cannot afford not to use Google Analytics for your affiliate marketing business. Below you’ll find the steps on how to use it
How to Install Google Analytics
Step # 1 – Sign up for a Google Analytics account
It’s not a good idea to let another person create your Google Analytics using their account. Even if this is your web developer or SEO manager, you would want to set up the account under your own name so you have full control over it, and you won’t need to start over in case you and the other person no longer work with each other.
Step # 2 – Set up the account
Once you have the account, go to the Google Analytics. Sign in using the Google Analytics button. After this, you will have to fill out the information for your website such as website name, website URL and so on. There’s also a section below that requires you to configure whether you would want to share data or not.
Step # 3 – Install tracking code
Click the “get tracking ID” button. A popup will appear showing the terms and condition. Agree to this to get your code. Install the code on each page of your website. The process of installation depends on the type of website you have, the theme and plugins you’re using and so on.
- WordPress on your own domain – Add the code in the header and footer scripts
- Website built with HTML – Add the tracking code before the </head> tag on each individual page.
- Shopify e-commerce store – Go to the settings and paste the tracking code in the area specific for this purpose.
- Tumblr – Click the “edit theme” button that you’ll find at the top right corner of your blog. Add the code in the settings.
Step # 4 – Set up your goals
In this step, you will need to set up your goals. Click the “admin” link at the top of the Google Analytics. Click “goals” which you can find under the website’s “view” column. Click the “new goal” button. Choose the goals that are applicable to your website. You can also create your own using the custom option. Select a destination, and then click “next”. Follow the next steps required. You can create up to 20 goals to track.
Step # 5 – Review the data provided
Soon, you will start receiving data from Google Analytics, and you can learn more about your website traffic.
Here are the common types of reports that you will receive:
- Audience report – This tells you all that you need to know about the people visiting your website and details about them such as age, gender, location, language/s, interests. You can also find out how often they visit your site, and what devices they are using (mobile, laptop and so on).
- Acquisition report – Here, you will learn the sources of traffic. To put it simply, what made your visitors go to your website. The traffic is broken down into several categories and specific sources.
- Behavior reports – The behavior report, meanwhile, enables you to get to know more about your website and content. It tells you which the top performing ages, top entries, top posts and so on are. It also provides information about site speed as well as other suggestions for improvement.
As you can see, Google Analytics provide you with all the data you need to know to determine how well your affiliate marketing website is performing. With all the metrics that it can track, you can monitor the effectiveness of your website and your marketing campaign. It’s one of the tools that will help you achieve affiliate marketing success.