It doesn't matter if you are new to digital marketing or an old hat, you probably know how valuable analytics are to the success of you your your clients websites. On the off chance that you aren't sure why you should have some type of analytics tool monitoring each and every site you work on, I will go over the basics.
But, the major point of this post isn't to explain or convince you to use analytics, it's to explain why I personally prefer using Clicky Analytics on my affiliate sites and why you should too.
If you don't have analytics software gathering data for you then the first thing you need to do after reading this is to go and set it up. While tracking your keywords and monitoring what is selling via your affiliate accounts is great, you are still missing out on a ton of useful information. You are essentially flying blind and making decisions off of guesses.
Setting up some form of analytics is going to allow you to gather an analyze tons of additional useful information. For example, some of the basic data you can gather is:
That alone should pique your interest. Matching your keyword rankings with your data on where people are first entering your site and how long they are staying there can help you decide how to better allocate your marketing budget for instance.
However, you can do a lot more if you take things one step further, such as set up goals for lead generation sites so you can easily track when someone fills out a form. Or, you can do the same thing to help you analyze an email capture funnel for building a list.
All in all, analytics can get pretty intense which is why there are entire departments in companies that do nothing but work with analytics. It can seem a bit overwhelming to try and learn, set up, and dig through all the information as small or even one person business.
That brings me to my next point.
Google Analytics is probably the most common website analytics tool used in 2019 and has been so for many years. It's extremely powerful and even better, it's free. But, I personally don't love it for affiliate marketing, and in particular, affiliate marketing where your primary source of traffic is SEO.
There are two main reasons for why I opt for a different solution.
Regarding #1, I dislike both of those options. Putting all your SEOed sites together under the all seeing eye of Google seems like walking into a casino and telling the pit boss who you are, what blackjack table you plan to sit at and at what time, and that you plan to count cards. It's just not a good idea.
Regarding #2, I find setting up tracking URLs a pain in the butt. And, while you can have a VA do it, it can still get messy. It's also not the easiest to dial in info your looking for in GA regarding all the tracking URLs you made.
It can work, but it's not the most effective or efficient method. And, that's why I love to instead use Clicky.
Note: They have a free plan that's extremely limited, so this next part only works with their "Pro" plan or higher.
Setting up Clicky is unbelievably easy. I have had sites added to my dashboard and tracking traffic in literally under two minutes. It's as simple as adding your website URL to your Clicky dashboard, getting a snippet of code, and placing that snippet in you website's <head></head> tags.
If you use a theme suite like Thrive, it's even easier because you can instead place that snippet in the "Header Script" box in the "Analytics/Scripts" tab of your Thrive Dashboard -
Once you get that code snippet on your site, you'll be tracking traffic immediately.
As great as the easy and quick installation is, here's where it really gets cool. Unlike GA, Clicky is going to actually track all outbound clicks for you without any additional setup on your end.
That means in less than two minutes you can not only have it up and running, but it's also going to let you see when people click an affiliate link on your site without the need to waste hours messing around with tracking URLs.
You'll see something like this in your dashboard -
It has plenty of other useful features as well like showing you the geographic location of your visitors, different actions they take on your site as well as plenty of others. Plus, you can still set up goals and different tracking campaigns like you can do on GA if that's something you really like and the higher tier plans even comes with a heat map option.
But, for me, the sheer speed and ease of getting Clicky up and running, and tracking outbound links right way, makes it worth every single penny.
Google's free analytics software is no doubt a very powerful and a very useful tool. But, when it comes to tracking more than one affiliate site, there are better options in my opinion.
Clicky Analytics offers a perfect solution for putting all of your sites in one dashboard that is not under the all seeing eye of the search engine you are trying to game while at the same time offering what is basically a plug and play option for tracking affiliate links clicks.
Don't take my word for it. Try it out for yourself!