Monday, June 18, 2012

Tracking Your Return on Your Investment for Online Advertising

In a previous blog post, we talked about how important it was to track the visitors to your website.  You want to do this to insure that the good money you spent with your advertising venue is paying off for you.  In other words, am I getting my money’s worth.  In that post we gave you some instructions to add Google Analytics to your website.  Analytics is a great in detail tool to track this for you..

But you haven’t installed it yet.  Reasons could range from I don’t like Google, to I really don’t know how, to my webmaster is really slow.  If you haven’t installed Analytics, there are other ways you can check your web statistics.   Most web hosts have some sort of user control panel.   Good web hosting companies have something called CPanel.  Other web hosting companies like Godaddy, have their own version of the user control panel.   No matter what web host you are using, most will have some sort of Statistics tools available in the user control panel.  

Two of the most common are Webalizer and AW Stats.  Although these two tools provide you with some good information, for our purposes (and to keep our tracking to 5 minutes per month), we can get the information necessary to make a sound decision if we are getting a return on our investment. 

In each of these two alternate tools, look for something called the referrer.   In Webalizer it is a little harder to find, but it is at the top of the menu.  The webalizer is a little harder to read because your own in site referrals are in there.  If you have a lot of other pages in your site, the information can be a little tough to read.

That is why I prefer AWStats.  In AWStats, the referrers are located along the left side menu.  You will see two different referrers.  One being the search engines and one being sites.  For our purposes you will look at sites.   The order of these sites should be very simple.   The sites you are paying the most for should be right at the top.  Because after all, you are paying them to send visitors to your web site.  If they are not at the top, then there is something amiss and you are not getting a good return on your investment. 

No matter which Statistics method you are using, you are still getting some basic “need to know” information and not having to rely on the information being supplied to you by anyone else. 

Once again, I hope this information helps someone.

Until next time,

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