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How To Track Your Online Ad Response

By Chee Wee
Posted Wednesday, December 1, 2004

It is crucial for every marketer to accurately track his advertising results. In the direct marketing industry, marketers track the responses to their direct mail pieces so that they know which ads work, which headlines are winners and which products sell.

For the online marketing world, it is just as important to track your ad results. Knowing the exact response rate to your advertisement enables you to know how well it performed and this knowledge can help maximize your profits.

If an ad is not performing satisfactorily, improve upon it. Change the headlines, ad copies, graphics or layout and re-test the ad. If the problem lies with the medium which you are using, dump it from your campaign.

Always test your ads on a smaller scale before launching the full campaign. That's how successful marketers do theirs.

Tracking your ad results also allow you to verify that the publisher has delivered his part of the deal fully, especially if you are paying on a per-click basis.

The most basic way to track online ad results is to measure clickthrough - how many people clicked on your advertisement. There are other vital measurements such as conversion ratio. But measuring clickthrough is good for a start. I have outlined two methods of tracking clickthroughs below:

1. CGI Scripts

If you have access to your own CGI directory, I recommend LnkinLite, a small yet powerful CGI script that tracks clicks to your site in the background. Get it at (

LinkinLite is the best free click-tracking software I have used. Another CGI script you can try consider is Prolinkz ( but it will set you back by $45.

2. Online Tracking Services

Online tracking services count clickthroughs through their own servers. The service is usually free. Some require monthly fees or you have to upgrade to paid versions for advanced features.

Here is a list of free online click tracking services:



Here are the paid ones:




The clickthrough rate for banner ads usually range from 0.5% to 3.0%, 3.0% to 5.0% for ezine ads and between 1.5% to 10.0% for text links if strategically placed.

Regardless of which tracking methods you ultimately choose to use, you need to track your advertising results. It is one of the crucial steps to marketing success!

About the Author
Chee Wee is a widely-published marketing consultant. He helps small and medium-size businesses to market successfully online. Learn how a startup site gets over 200 million pageviews monthly without spending a penny on advertising. For FREE info, email him at


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