Google Analytics strategies to improve your affiliate marketing conversions

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As marketing migrates to the online world, marketing courses point out the growing need for effective networking between netizens. Thus, many companies are making use of affiliate marketing to increase conversions rather than just trying to rake in the customers single-handedly. In affiliate marketing, a company pays a promoter to help promote its product or website through SEO and other marketing strategies. These promoters are paid on commission when people end up visiting the company’s page through the link on the promoter’s site. Bloggers often take part in affiliate marketing as a way to earn money off their blogs, and the partnership is particularly advantageous if the blogger is an authority in the field. Affiliate marketing is less costly than other marketing campaigns because the company only has to pay every time a conversion is made on its site. Affiliate marketing provides companies and promoters with the chance to build a large online network.

However, it is also absolutely necessary for a company to have a way of monitoring the success of their affiliate marketing campaigns. Google Analytics is one such application. It analyzes the performance of your site on the Web in general by providing statistics to help you determine what’s working and what’s not. It can categorize the success of your marketing campaigns to help you determine specific factors that are bringing in traffic. It can even help you determine whether the site is being explored the way you want it to be.

Affiliate marketing and Google Analytics are a perfect pair because they allow you to safely try other things in terms of your marketing campaign while allowing you keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening. With the right Google Analytics strategies, you can improve your affiliate marketing conversions. Here are five Google Analytics strategies:

1. Set goals

What do you want your site to achieve? Is it just revenue, or are you looking for an increase in subscriptions, follows on social media, or visits to a certain landing page? Remember, conversions don’t always mean cash. You can set up to 20 goals on your profile, which should clarify the direction of your campaign. The Event Tracking feature in Google Analytics enables you to track actions such as clicks on a specified link, downloads, and product video views—all of which can be set as goals. Advise your affiliates regarding your goals so that they know the kind of results you are looking, and they can work together with you to achieve these goals.

2. Determine effective keywords

Analytics can tell you what keywords and key phrases worked most effectively on search engines via the Traffic Sources page. Here, you can specifically track site activity that originated from search engines, and the specific keywords that were used to get the customers there. Work together with your affiliates to ensure that both of you are optimizing your search engine presence by using the right keywords and key phrases.

3. Keep an eye on your affiliates

Avoid brand bidders, who are dishonest affiliates that ‘steal’ credit for conversions from the company’s marketing ideas for their own profit. They copy the firm’s ads so that a customer who plans to visit the company’s website directly ends up making a detour through the promoter’s link. Catch brand bidders on Analytics by taking advantage of affiliate URLs. Each affiliate’s URL has indicators at the end of the site address to identify it as an affiliate. By going to the Advanced Segments section and creating a custom segment that contains affiliate site indicators, you can view reports on your affiliates and determine how they are obtaining traffic.

4. Study user activity

The basic function of Google Analytics is to help you determine how many people visited your site, where they came from, what they did on your page and how long they stayed on your page. Google Analytics can break down your visitor activity into two: unique visitation and page views. Unique visitors are those who viewed multiple pages on your site, and are determined by noting the IP address of the visitor. Page views merely report the number of visits to a certain page. By understanding user activity, you will be able to determine the content brought visitors to your site, the affiliates who ‘sold’ you most effectively, and the campaigns that resulted in more conversions from your optimized landing pages.

5. Experiment!

Google Analytics allows you to create a variation page, with which you can try out different campaigns. The goals of each campaign should be clearly defined, such as the expected conversion rate. After you create the variation page, go to Google Analytics, click Content, and then Experiment. A tracking code will be provided for input into a source page, which will help you monitor the progress of the affiliate marketing campaign you want to test.

In marketing, the ability to network and use those networks is key—especially when you have the right monitoring tool to maximize the effect of your network. By utilizing Google Analytics strategies in your affiliate marketing campaigns, you not only improve conversions, but you also build better affiliate relationships and gain a stronger understanding of your market’s needs. It’s always best to enroll in an advanced marketing diploma course in a reputable college such as Martin College to better understand the ins and outs of online marketing.

Author Bio+Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Marketing Diploma and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.