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Guide: How to Track Your Top 10 Product Review Site?

“How to”: Track Top 10 Product Review Sites

Top 10 review sites have always been great money makers for affiliates. Yet, tracking many offers on a website is not easy, especially when you get traffic from a mix of traffic sources.

Track a top 10 product review site

 

  • Organic Traffic
  • backlinks
  • AdWords
  • Bing
  • Social Media
  • email marketing

One function those traffic sources have in common: They are all compatible with standard UTM parameters.

The feature we recommend to track this type of campaigns is the organic tracking script.

It’s a javascript code that you set in the head of your website. It will set a cookie on the visitor’s browser as soon as it reaches the website. This cookie carries all the campaign settings, including the call to actions settings and the geo-target (we will get to this part later).

Unlike the regular TrackingDesk campaign URL, which sets the cookie when the visitor hits the campaign URL, the organic tracking script tracks the visitors when the landing page loads.

Before we start: 

Before we dive into the actual step by step guide, I would like to highlight a few crucial points:

1. The conversion tracking engine works exactly the way it works with regular campaigns.

Therefore, this type of campaigns doesn’t affect the way you are setting up your affiliate networks, offers, and postback URLs.

2. For TrackingDesk to track your traffic and conversions, there is one cardinal rule:

  1. The entry point needs to carry the organic tracking script.
  2. The Exit Point must be the TrackingDesk Call To Action URL.

Your visitors can then navigate through 200 pages of your site and as long as they entered via a page that carries the tracking script and exits through one of the TrackingDesk CTAs, the traffic flow will be tracked.

3. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when working with the organic tracking script:

  • The Traffic Source is your website. Since your site can receive traffic from several sources: ex: google, bing, facebook etc… those sources will be stored under the “utm_source” query string: “utm_source=google or utm_source=facebook”
  • You set up one single campaign, which you will use to track all the traffic sources and campaigns promoting your site.
  • The Campaign name  or campaign ID will be stored in the utm_campaign parameter
  • Other parameters will be stored in their respective UTM parameters and the custom parameters you choose to set.

To sum up, the TrackingDesk tracking script is set very much like a Google Analytics property tracking ID is set on your site.

Except that it allows you to track your entire Top 10 Review site’s traffic and conversions.

 

1. Traffic Source Setup

We have created a predefined traffic source by the name of “organic”, which has the UTM query string parameters set by default. 

Beside the UTM parameters, you will see the “eid” query string, which will store the TrackingDesk Event ID that is generated for each visit.

You can (and should) add additional parameters in case you plan to promote your site on Google Adwords or Bing. Both platforms have their own clickid parameters which they append to your campaign URL when visitors click on your ads.

These values can be used at a later stage to upload offline conversions into your ad accounts or use the AdWords Postback URL.

gclid:  Gclid is a globally unique tracking parameter (Google Click Identifier) used by Google to pass information back and forth between Google AdWords and Google Analytics.

msclkid: msclkid is the BingAds equivalent of the AdWords GCLID tracking parameter.

URL: A parameter used by AdWords and Bing to store your ad final destination URL. This is very useful, especially if you promote multiple pages and plan to use the Adwords and/or Bing tracking template feature.

 

Few things to remember:

  1. The organic tracking script can capture all the parameters showing up in the URL, as long as they are defined in the Traffic Source’s settings
  2. Depending on where the traffic is coming from, some parameters will be used and some will not.
  3. The Bing and Adwords clickid parameters should be removed from the tracking template you will set in your bing / AdWords account. Those variables are automatically appended to each outbound click by Adwords and Bing (example of settings will follow)

2. Add your Landing Page (website)

Your website is like a landing page. The only difference is that the site has many pages from which the visitors can enter, and navigate from one page to the other.

Remember: As long as the tracking script is present on the site, it doesn’t matter through which page the visitor enters the site, it will be tracked as if it had entered through the landing page you’ve added to TrackingDesk.

In addition, if the visitor comes from an AdWords or Bing campaign, and you have defined the url={lpurl} in your ad or adgroup settings, the landing page URL will be captured as a variable and will be shown in your TrackingDesk Analytics.

For example: 

Final URL: https://trackingdesk.com

AdWords Tracking Template:

{lpurl}?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term={keyword}&url={lpurl}

The ad URL will be set as: 

https://trackingdesk.com?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=affiliate+tracking&url=https://trackingdesk.com

 

a. Add a landing page

 

vpntv-landingpage

  • Name: You can use your site’s name
  • URL: Any page of your site – we recommend the home page.
  • Call to Action: Define the number of Call To Actions – it should match the number of offers you will promote on the site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. Add the Call to Action URL’s on your site’s CTA buttons

 vpntv.org landing page

  • You can put the CTA’s behind your redirect URL such as
    http://mysiteurl.foo/go/expressvpn
  • The URL’s leading to your review pages or other pages do not need to be configured in TrackingDesk and do not affect the tracking.

In this example, ExpressVPN is being promoted on the CTA 2 button. Consequently, on the ExpressVPN full review page, you will also set the CTA 2 URL.

 

 

 

 

 

expressvpn review

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CTA's
It is extremely important that you keep track of which Call To Action URL will be used to promote which offer. When configuring your campaign, you will associate each CTA with an offer and therefore, the same configuration will apply across your site.

 

 

3. Create your campaign

The process is very similar to any other campaigns that you configure in TrackingDesk.

a. Select the Traffic Source

b. Select and Add the landing page

c. Associate the Call To Actions with the offer links

d. Save

IMPORTANT: You must define all the Call To Actions that have been set in your landing page settings. (See point #2 a.)

4. Add the Organic Tracking Script to the head of your site/pages

a. Copy / Paste the script into the head of your site

  • You can also use Google Tag Manager
  • WordPress users, add the script to your header.php file

 

b. You should test the URL to make sure that the script is properly set on the site and the UTM values are loading properly.

  • Take your website URL and add some custom parameters 
    http://www.yourwebsite.foo/?utm_source=mytestingsource&utm_medium=test
  • Hit the URL from different browsers and check your TrackingDesk Analytics.
  • Update the URL with different values
  • Click on the Call To Action to verify that you are being redirected to the correct offers.
    • Remember: the GEO target can also be configured at the Call To Action Level
    • We recommend leaving fallback option to random

 

 

Reporting and Analytics

The organic script comes with enhanced analytics data. Since the script runs across your site, you expect to receive traffic on various pages and from many traffic sources. For this reason, we have to the Organic Traffic Source, default parameters that will capture the following data.

  • Referrer URL: The URL from which originated the initial visit
  • Landing page URL: The URL where the visitor landed
  • Landing page title: The title of the page where the visitor landed.

Naturally, you will see all other traffic data, attributes alongside the conversion, revenues and other financial metrics associated with your campaign(s).

Take away

Making sense of many traffic attributes, sources and data is not easy as it is. And when you need to match your affiliate revenues and conversions with those traffic attributes, it’s normally when things get either, very complicated or impossible.

TrackingDesk is a “one-stop shop” platform that simultaneously brings all your data under one roof and gives you the tools to manage any types of ad campaigns.

Building a “top 10” website takes time, content and resources. When you invest in such a project, you must know what each piece of content yield and from which source, so you can focus your investment on what works.

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