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Do You Know Whether Your Ads Are Paying Off? Track Those Ads

By Steven Currie
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004

An Overview of Why You Need To Track Your Ads

Take $50 out of your wallet or purse. Go to your nearest shopping mall. Now put the money on the ground and walk away. Because that is what you are doing if you don't track your advertising, throwing your money away.

Let's say you run your ad in 2 ezines and on a web site. The one on the web site costs you $100, and the other 2 $50 a piece. How do you know which one gives you the best return? If you track your advertising, you will know in detail which advertising outlets give you the best bang for the buck.

Ad tracking is a more scientific way of analyzing how well your advertising dollars are working for you. The process itself is fairly straightforward. Using either a web based software provider or software that runs on your own web site, it measures how many people respond to your advertisement. They should also be able to tell you how many sales resulted from each source. With this information, you can tell more accurately which advertising venues are working.

It will also help you hone your ad-writing skills. Most experts say that improving your headline can increase your sales dramatically. Using ad tracking allows you to test which headlines can generate the most sales. And tweaking the text can result in higher sales.

The mechanics of setting up to track your ads takes a few steps. When you write your ad you will include a URL such as the one I have for one of my ads: (

This goes directly to the web site I use to track my ads at Hypertracker. However, I create a "redirect" web site URL which redirects them from: ( to the Hypertracker web site. I'll show you how to create a simple HTML redirect shortly.

So when the person reading my ad clicks on the wakev1 above, they are redirected to the Hypertracker web site, where it adds to the click counter for that advertisement. Then in my ad setup for this specific ad, there is a setup box for where to send the visitor after they are counted. Ordinarily this would be your sales page or possibly your home page.

And you can add HTML codes to your web pages to count sales or actions, like clicking on a download link, or going to a special web page.

This is the process in a nutshell. Learning how to do this will help you become much more profitable and help you increase your sales and lower your costs.

Of course there is a lot more to this than I can cover in a short ezine article. If you want more detailed information, you can download a fre^e ebook which covers the whole process in a clear, easy to read format. I found "Ad Tracking SuperTips" by Harvey Segal to be an excellent resource. You can download it at: (

If you want to check out some of the specific ad tracking web sites and web based software scripts, go to our home page and click on Links/Resources. The ad tracking is at the top of the page.


Redirect - How to create HTML code to redirect to another web site:

If you use a web site service, you will probably want to make up your own web page name and have it redirect to your ad tracking service, which usually will have a long ungainly name. Let's say you want your ad to say: "To check out our new ebook, go to:"


In greatnewebook.html you only need one line:

You would substitute your ad tracking URL for the URL above. The "0;URL= tells it how many seconds to stay on this web page before redirecting. In this case we don't want the visitor to stay here long, so we use 0 seconds. That is all there is to it.

Now if you are lucky, your web host may have redirects as an option. On my web host, ThirdSphere, you can set up redirects by setting up the name you want and the web page to redirect it to, such as your ad tracking service without having to use the HTML code. It makes it a snap to set up redirects.

About the Author
Steven Currie ( Software Tools, eBooks & Info for Webmasters, Web Entrepreneurs (and soon to be Web Entrepreneurs)


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