You want to become a successful affiliate marketer. You’ve just began your affiliate marketing journey.
It’s great. But here’s the thing.
Do you know what metrics to track as a beginner affiliate marketer to be successful at it?
Do you know how to track those metrics?
Well, probably not! Because there isn’t much information out there that specifically speaks to the beginner affiliate marketers.
When it comes to tracking, there are only 8 important metrics you need to consider as a beginner. These metrics will help you to identify your overall performance in affiliate marketing, improvements you need to make, and the gaps in your affiliate marketing strategy.
If you have these information with you, you will be able to adjust, improve, and take the next steps towards success.
So, without further delay, here’s a list of 8 important metrics you need to track as a beginner affiliate marketer.
What is metric tracking in affiliate marketing?
When you are getting started in the affiliate marketing space, you may not have an idea of what is metric tracking. It simply means looking through the reports generated by Google analytics and determining what steps to take in order to grow your site.
For some metrics such as total number of page views, sessions and etc, you will have an already generated report. But for some metrics such as goals for your site, conversion rate, and click through rate, you’ll have to set various parameters before analytics starts tracking those metrics.
Benefits of tracking important metrics:
As a beginner, you may be wondering why I need to track these metrics to be successful in affiliate marketing. Well, there are various reasons to do it so.
Here are the benefits you’ll get when you start tracking.
- It’ll help you to grow your affiliate marketing business the right way.
- You’ll learn what you are doing right and wrong in your recommendations.
- It’ll help you to understand what products resonate with your audience the most.
- You’ll learn what strategies are working and what isn’t.
- You’ll learn which marketing efforts are giving you results.
- It’ll provide you a clear picture of how many clicks to your affiliate link is converting into sales.
- You can understand how much commission you’ve earned for a particular month/for a particular product.
Now that you know why tracking metrics is key to be successful in affiliate marketing, let’s see the important metrics you need to track.
Clicks on your affiliate link:
This is also known as click throughs. Usually, a click means action that redirects the visitor of your blog to the merchant’s website. This is done through the affiliate link placed in your site.
You have to track how many users are able to click through your affiliate link and land on the merchant’s site. This is really important because it will allow you to measure the total clicks on your affiliate link.
Tracking this metric will help you determine a few things.
- The effectiveness of your recommendation.
- The reach of your content.
- Understand the user engagement with your offer.
As a beginner, increased clicks give you confidence that you are promoting the right product to your audience. Yay!
Click through rate for your affiliate link:
It is a tricky metric to track. If you are a complete beginner to affiliate marketing, it may even confuse you. So if you are beginning your affiliate marketing from scratch, you may skip this section if you wish.
If you aren’t that new and you want to know how to track click through rate (CTR), then read on.
The CTR is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions. It is generally used to identify the effectiveness of an affiliate marketing campaign.
Let’s take an example. You place an ad banner in your blog. Your banner was shown to the visitors of your site 200 times.
This is known as impressions. Only two persons click on your ad banner. That equals to 1 percent. This is called a click through rate.
Hence, your CTR is 1 percent.
Number of completed purchases:
The number of completed purchases is one of the key metrics you must track as a beginner affiliate marketer, along with total revenue. This will give you a clear idea of how successful your strategy worked when promoting a particular product.
This metric has to be tracked diligently. Every completed purchase is a clear indication of trust by your audience.
In the beginning, you’ll have very little to track. But you need to cultivate the habit of tracking the total number of completed purchases.
This will really be helpful for you in the future.
You need to have a clear understanding of how much you’ve earned through your affiliate marketing efforts. You can track this in various levels.
- Total commission you’ve earned in a year.
- The amount you’ve earned for a particular product.
- How much money you’ve earned in a month.
You can also track your total revenue quarterly and half yearly. It completely depends on you. Who wouldn’t like to know how much they’ve earned!
When you want to track this particular metric, the dashboard of an affiliate program is your best friend. Whether you are promoting a product from an established brand or from an affiliate network, you’ll be given a dashboard.
This will contain important details such as your profile, how many customers bought the product through your affiliate link, how much commission you’ve earned for a particular month, and so on.
Every network/brand is different and every interface is different. But these details will be available in every dashboard which will allow you to track your total revenue efficiently.
Conversion rate is one of the key indicators of how well your affiliate marketing strategy works. There are several things you can consider as a conversion.
It includes someone signing up to your newsletter, providing their contact information to get your freebie, purchasing a product from your affiliate link, and any action taken by your website visitor through a call to action message can be considered as a conversion. Usually, actions that help you to grow your website and provide you an opportunity to earn money can be tracked.
If a visitor completes a particular action in your website, then you can consider him/her as a lead or a customer. By tracking the conversion rate, you’ll be able to find out problems in your site if any, and fix them quickly.
You can also identify what sources of traffic bring you the most customers and which ones can be dropped.
if you don’t track traffic that’s coming to your site, you don’t have to track any metric. Why? Because, it is the lifeblood of your affiliate marketing business.
The amount of traffic determines everything. It’s the head of all metrics.
The increase in traffic is also a clear signal to Google how well your site performs. So, when you track this, see if your traffic increases every week.
This is particularly helpful to know the chances of you ranking higher. Every site/blog will have different levels of traffic. When you are starting, it is a challenge to get consistent visitors to your site.
But after some time, you’ll catch up.
Every action performed by the visitor in a website comes under user behavior. It can be clicking a link or a button, where in the page they click, how they scroll a site/page, where they struggle to find a particular element in a page, and where they eventually start leaving the site.
Tracking the user behavior gives you some valuable insights into how your visitors interact with your site and what struggles they experience as they brows through. When you track this metric, you will get both quantitative and qualitative data to analyze why certain things happen in your site.
This will help you to find out what’s working and fix the problems that cause your visitors to leave as soon as they arrive.
When visitors to your site stay longer, read, observe, learn from your content, share it with their network, comment, and convert are all considered to be user engagement. If it rises consistently, several things will start happening.
- Your visitors will stick around longer with your content.
- The trust level increases.
- You’ll start acquiring loyal audience for your blog.
- More conversions will take place.
- People will come back to your site to find out what new content you’ve posted.
This is what you’ll get when you start tracking user engagement from the very beginning. It’s vital to your success as an affiliate marketer.
As a beginner affiliate marketer, you may have heard this term vanity metrics. You can measure this but it doesn’t have a direct correlation with establishing your brand identity.
Also, please understand that vanity metrics aren’t an important indicator of your business growth. In fact, it’ll make you feel proud of your brand.
Some of the vanity metrics include.
- Total number of downloads to your e-book/freebie.
- Social media followers.
- Total number of likes, tweets, and so on.
There are other vanity metrics such as total visitors and impressions that are important when you want to monetize your site with ads. Other than that, if you start getting consistent traffic, it won’t matter much.
How to track these metrics?
You can track all of these metrics in one place. This service is free and after sometime, tracking will be a lot easier.
The thing I am talking about is Google analytics.
When you look at it for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed by its plethora of options and reports. Nothing to worry, as it’s a common thing with beginners starting `in analytics.
The course that helped me getting started with analytics is Google analytics for beginners.
It’ll show you step by step instructions on everything you need to know about Google analytics from creating an account to setting up data filters and so on. It is a free course from Google and for your information, I am not an affiliate for this.
When you track all these metrics, you’ll have a successful site for sure!
How to measure your tracking efforts?
You’ve setup your site. You’ve published few posts. It’s bringing in new visitors daily and you are tracking your metrics.
But here’s the issue. How do you measure your tracking efforts?
It’s actually easier than you think. What is it?
It is, setting up key performance indicators.
Think through this question. What are the metrics that are going to be of real help to you in the current situation?
If you’ve just started your site, then you have many things to learn at this time. So your KPIs can be traffic, user behavior, and user engagement.
If you’ve monetized your site, then your KPIs can be conversion rate, number of completed purchases, total revenue in a month, total clicks on your affiliate link, and click through rate.
One thing you need to understand is that this isn’t a set in stone KPIs, whether you’ve started your site or you are in it for some time. You have to think and decide what you want to track.
Things to consider beyond these key metrics:
You know how much traffic you get in your site. You have a clear data of the total number of completed purchases in a certain period.
When you check the report that gives you important data on the total clicks on your affiliate link, it is significantly higher than the completed purchases.
If that’s the case, then you have to approach it with caution. It may happen for the following reasons.
- Your readers may click the link but don’t buy. If the sale isn’t completed, you. Won’t. Get The. Commission.
- You are not linking to the right product. This is obvious. If you don’t link to the right product, you’ll lose the trust of your audience.
- You are not converting your readers into buyers. Well, this one is tricky. There are a lot of reasons why you don’t convert your readers into buyers. Identify the problems and fix them.
Few! thanks for reading this till the end!
Here’s a recap of all the metrics you need to track.
- Clicks on your affiliate link. This is to track how many people clicked on your affiliate link.
- Click through rate on your affiliate link. It is all about calculating the total number of clicks divided by the total number of impressions on your affiliate link. If you are a complete beginner, you don’t have to worry about this metric.
- Number of completed purchases. This is straightforward. It is used to track how many people bought a product through your affiliate link.
- Total revenue. This is to track how much you’ve earned in a particular timeframe.
- Conversion rate. Through this metric, you can monitor how many of your site visitors converted to take action on a particular CTA.
- Trafic. This is an obvious metric. You can track how many visitors visited your site.
- User behavior. You can track how users are behaving when they are on your site.
- User engagement. You’ll be able to track how users are engaging when they are on your site.
I hope that this article will serve you as a helpful resource to important metrics you need to track as a beginner affiliate marketer.
Your thoughts? share them in the comments!
Hari loves writing about affiliate marketing, email marketing, and blogging for beginners. When he is not writing, you can find him actively watching tennis, or searching for the next recipe that’ll fulfill his heart.