How to Measure Advertising Success Online
Posted Friday, October 8, 2004
It is easy for me to tell you that you need to track the success of your online advertising. It is also easy for me to tell you that you must do so in order to know which of your advertising is helping you to make a profit, to break even, or to break the bank. Far too many advertisers get caught in the online money pits in an effort to develop their online business.
DON'T BE AFRAID
I also know that when I say these things, some people get spooked. People get spooked because although they might run an online business, they may not understand the technology that keeps their business running.
Let's face it.
More people are learning how to design and develop their own webpages. In fact, software has been created to help them do so rather easily.
But when it comes down to the more complex technologies such as web logs, database technology, and web programming, most people just freeze up and fail to make an informed decision.
Some will turn to a programmer with hopes that a programmer could save their online business, and many will get burned by their personal programmers. When a programmer burns a webmaster, the cost can be very high. And at the end of the day, the programmer may leave the webmaster with a broken web site.
The only real choices left to most webmasters is to learn how to install pre-made scripts on their own, or to keep their websites technologically simple. *Technologically simple* often fails to help the webmaster find the success that he or she so fervently desires.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF PRE-MADE SCRIPTS
Web software is often very simple in its installation, so the webmaster really should not fear it.
All one needs to install their own pre-made web scripts (software) is an online web site file manager or optional FTP software. They will also need the ability to change the *permissions* on the files on their web server.
When downloading scripts for installation on your server, the file may come in .zip, .tar, or .gz format. Each of these are variations on the compressed / zipped file format. There are many utilities available for unzipping files. One such utility is WinZip which can be found at: (http://www.winzip.com/)
Most scripts, once downloaded and unzipped, may appear in text format with extensions such as .php, .cgi, .pl or .cfg.
Most of these files can be read as plain text in an application like NotePad. Occasionally, the file will be in a binary format which cannot be read with a text editor.
The files which can be read in a text editor are often written in the Perl or PHP programming languages.
While most of the scripting will seem like Chinese to you, you will be able to pick out certain sections that can be read and understood easily.
If the application also contains a .cfg file, this is your configuration file that can usually be changed to reflect your own personal needs or desires for the operation of the software.
NEXT STEP, UPLOAD THE FILES TO YOUR SERVER
Most of these web applications will have a readme.txt file included with it. If it does, please read it. If it does not, don't worry, this section is for you.
You must upload the files to your server as plain text. If you are using FTP to upload the files, then you must tell your software to upload the files in ASCII format. If you are using your web file manager, then the files will automatically upload correctly.
Once the file is on your server, then you must change the file permissions.
Files with the extensions .php, .cgi, or .pl are executable files and there permissions must be set to 755. Files with the extensions .cfg, .txt, or .html must have their permissions set to 644. Files and folders that will be written to must have their permissions set to 777. Files with no extensions can be classified as any of the above, so check the readme.txt file.
755 defines an executable file. 644 defines a read-only file. And 777 defines a writable file.
Once the files are on your server and the permissions are set correctly, the application you have placed on your server should work for you just fine.
LOCATING PRE-MADE SITE TRACKING SCRIPTS
Probably one of the best resources for locating pre-made scripts is: (http://cgi-resources.com/)
A good starting point for this discussion is: (http://www.pluginprofitsite.com/articles/links/cgi1.html)
AWStats is a good application for site tracking, but the one I have that I like best is HTTP-Analyze which can be found at: (http://www.netstore.de/Supply/http-analyze/)
HTTP-Analyze is a bit on the expensive side, so it may not be your best bet just yet.
If after reading this article you still fear the task of installing a pre-made script on your server, then you might seriously consider remotely hosted site tracking software. If you opt for this route, be sure to buy the pro version of the software offered. If you don't choose the paid version, you might find your own competitors having access to your site tracking data! That should not be an acceptable option to you.
THE PURPOSE OF SITE TRACKING
With site tracking software running on your server, you can review how many people came to your website and what URL's they might have used to find your website. You can also see where your visitors have come from, when they came, how long they were on your site, at what page they entered and left your site, and much more.
This is the kind of information that will help you to determine with some certainty how effective your advertising is and how profitable your advertising can be.
Operating without tracking data is tantamount to operating a business with the intent purpose of failing.
I truly want you to succeed with your online business. I know deep down in my heart that the more people who find success online, the greater my own chances for remaining profitable over the long haul. *A rising tide floats all ships.*
About the Author
Stone Evans Will Personally Build A Money Making Website Just For You That's 100% Ready To Take Orders And Pull In Massive Residual Profits. Get Details And Signup Today At: (http://www.PlugInProfitSite.com)