Why Analytics Can’t Address Your Tracking Needs? – By Laurent Malka

by Sara Szado on May 10, 2016

Have you ever struggled to communicate in a language you don’t fully understand, stumbling over words that sound almost exactly the same, but mean completely different things?

That’s like the difference between tracking software and web analytics.

Google Analytics is a fantastic platform that provides in-depth insights about your website’s audience. Yet, it doesn’t fulfill the affiliate’s requirements when it comes to running and optimizing traffic.

Tracking applications are made for performance marketers who have specific business requirements. The features needed to run professional affiliate marketing campaigns are designed to give you not only flexibility and control, but in-depth analytics for quick and informed decision making.

Google Analytics provides on-site audience information covering user behaviour, referral sources, and the content consumed on the site. That’s awesome, and hugely powerful. However, you’re limited to tracking this information on sites you fully control.

Once your visitor leaves your site, not only you have no visibility into their actions, but you can only redirect it to a flat link, which doesn’t take into consideration any data such as geo-target.

Tracking applications let you go beyond gathering traffic information, such as keywords and referral IDs. They collect conversion information from affiliate programs after the visitors leave your site, even weeks after the initial click occurred.

Tracking applications can also provide you with responsive tracking links that redirect visitors to certain landing pages, based on their “user-agent”, such as the operating system, IP address, browser, or even language, which is a functionality the “Google Analytics” don’t provide.

The cost of traffic is another critical factor that tracking application can handle, but that Google Analytics ignores all together.

Which Software Should You Choose?

As an affiliate, traffic performances and ROI should be on the top of your priorities, turning a tracking application as a must have in your marketing toolbox. It lets you delve deeper into your audience on an individual level, and gain visibility into conversions and revenues.

This information is associated with the visitor’s initial data point, which provides you a much-needed way to associate campaigns with generated conversions.

It’s easy to believe that Google Analytics alone is enough for those needs (and most digital marketers still believe it), but tracking software provides total agility during your campaign setup process, and allows you to gather clear behaviour and financial performance metrics.

If you had to choose between tracking software and analytics, tracking would come out on top every time. Having said that, it would be pretentious to discard Google Analytics’ powerful features, which offer supplementary functions crucial in certain marketing environments.

The online marketing ecosystem is only going to get more complex and competitive. In this data driven marketing era, unless you have the tools to accommodate, test, measure, and quantify your creativity, your edge will blend with unprocessed data.

Being able to track creativity is the true affiliate marketer’s edge.

Laurent Malka is the founder and CEO of TrackingDesk.

This article appeared in issue 34 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2016. https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-34

Comments on this entry are closed.