What affiliate entrepreneurs have missed about Google Analytics

30-second abstract:

  • Affiliate entrepreneurs can use Google Analytics to do the next – Google Occasion Monitoring to observe on-site engagements, Google Dashboards for analyzing consumer conduct, and construct customized Audiences for bettering viewers retargeting.
  • As an affiliate marketer, Google Analytics doesn’t give you off-site monitoring, so you possibly can’t see what actions an individual performs on a service provider website after leaving your web site.
  • With server-side monitoring and Google Analytics, you possibly can monitor a whole affiliate funnel by way of one platform. Benefits embrace the power to create lookalike audiences based mostly on individuals who made a purchase order, run improved retargeting campaigns, and export lookalike information throughout a number of advert platforms.

Google Analytics is a robust device that gives precious insights for anybody managing a web site. On this article, I’ll focus on how one can use Google Analytics on your affiliate marketing online campaigns. I’ll then present you how one can use third-party instruments to give you further insights to generate extra income out of your present site visitors and make higher use of your advert finances.

How entrepreneurs at present use Google Analytics for affiliate monitoring

In case you are utilizing Pay Per Click on (PPC) adverts as your major buyer acquisition channel, your revenue margins are straight tied to advert prices. Any edge you acquire that improves your ROAS will give you a aggressive benefit within the advert public sale.

There are three major levers of a PPC marketing campaign, the advert copy, the viewers focusing on, and the touchdown web page expertise. The insights you acquire by way of Google Analytics may also help you enhance viewers focusing on and the touchdown web page expertise.

PPC and how marketers use Google Analytics for tracking affiliate marketing

Google Occasion Monitoring lets you observe outbound clicks on affiliate hyperlinks. As soon as arrange, the dashboard is accessible by way of Conduct > Occasions. If you understand the typical conversion fee for a product, you possibly can assign every click on a worth by organising Aim Values.

Google Analytics - Event tracking

You then must make modifications to the GA monitoring code or add a particular configuration to your GTM tag. This text covers event tracking in additional element.

With Google Occasion Monitoring, you possibly can monitor your assumed revenue margins for a marketing campaign by way of Google Analytics. After all, these figures are removed from correct.

When applied successfully, Aim Values give you a theoretical mannequin for predicting your marketing campaign’s profitability. Nonetheless, it doesn’t replicate your precise gross sales. To entry this information, you should log in to your affiliate dashboard, test the gross sales, and see if the anticipated revenue margins align with the true outcomes. Furthermore, affiliate platforms present differing ranges of insights. Which means you would possibly solely get a “gross sale worth” that covers gross sales from all site visitors, versus site visitors from one web site.

The second factor most affiliate entrepreneurs will do is evaluation the data offered by way of Google Analytics dashboards to observe what individuals are doing on their touchdown pages. For instance, you would possibly monitor how far down a web page folks scroll, how a lot time they spend on the web page, the bounce fee, and extra. It’s also possible to see the variety of affiliate hyperlink outbound clicks.

You’ll be able to run A/B tests and different experiments to test how your actions affect the CTR to affiliate hyperlinks. You’ll be able to alter the place of affiliate hyperlinks and the location of the merchandise you’re selling to enhance CTR.

Insights gained from Google Analytics give you important information to check your assumptions. You should utilize this information to enhance the touchdown web page expertise and increase your CTR.

Any enhancements you make to the touchdown web page expertise can and will enhance your ROAS.

The ultimate factor you are able to do is use Google Analytics to enhance your preliminary focusing on. In case you are monitoring who clicked on the affiliate hyperlink, you possibly can create a refined lookalike viewers for Google AdWords by way of Google Analytics. The next information discusses audience targeting and Similar Audiences.

Any enchancment to your focusing on will provide you with an edge within the advert public sale.

What are the constraints of Google Analytics for affiliate monitoring?

Google Analytics is a robust device for monitoring the on-site actions of your guests. As a enterprise proprietor that controls a whole funnel, you possibly can place your Google Analytics tag throughout your website, together with the checkout web page the place the transaction really takes place. Subsequently, Google Analytics gives you with all the info you would possibly conceivably want to observe and optimize a funnel.

Relatively than counting on assumed transaction values, you possibly can monitor the whole lot by way of a number of Google Analytics dashboards. Sadly, as an affiliate marketer, since you possibly can’t place your GA tag on the service provider “thanks” web page, Google Analytics fails to give you these insights. You might be compelled to leap between your affiliate packages, the adverts platform, and Google Analytics to observe how your PPC campaigns are performing. 

I mentioned why you couldn’t use GA Occasion Monitoring for the ultimate phases of an affiliate funnel. It’s an inconvenience that stops the true attribution of transactions to an advert click on. 

This challenge impacts your advertising and marketing at two essential ranges, which can inevitably enhance your Price Per Acquisition (CPA) and your potential to automate your marketing campaign focusing on and optimization:

  1. Your whole viewers is mixed into basic “buckets,” which prevents you from displaying related adverts based on the customers’ positions within the funnel.
  2. You’ll be able to’t construct lookalike audiences of your very best “clients” since you don’t know who’s completed what. 

Whereas these two components will undoubtedly scale back your revenue margins, they may also undermine your long-term enterprise goals and talent to compete on the advert public sale.

The ultimate inconvenience you’ll face is which you can’t share customized audiences generated by way of Google Analytics throughout different advert platforms. To be truthful, Google Analytics was by no means designed to supply off-site analytics monitoring. Nonetheless, as an affiliate marketer, enriching your Google Analytics information with off-site conversion information can convey a number of worth to your online business. I’ll focus on how off-site monitoring works within the subsequent part.

How offline conversion monitoring works

Offline conversion monitoring ties actions taken by customers in your website and actions taken on websites or techniques exterior the attain of the preliminary website’s Google Analytics tag. The commonest strategies for implementing off-site analytics monitoring are by way of server-side monitoring API (often known as postback monitoring) and handbook information / CSV add.

Out of the 2 choices, JavaScript monitoring is the best technique to implement. Nonetheless, strict browser privateness settings and AdBlocks have made this technique more and more unreliable. Furthermore, with JavaScript, there are additional restrictions like browser reminiscence, shortened cookie runtimes, and denial of entry to session storage.

Offline conversion tracking model

With server-side monitoring, distinctive click on ID information is handed throughout the outbound click on and is then despatched again by way of a server-side URL. The distinctive click on ID worth is the frequent denominator that hyperlinks a click on out of your web site to actions on a separate website.

The info circulation is managed by way of a postback URL. Within the following weblog put up, I share technical details about how postback URLs work and why they’re necessary.

The primary advantage of server facet monitoring is that it isn’t affected by advert blockers, ITP, ETP.

As an affiliate marketer, off-site advertising and marketing analytics gives you with an entire overview of your advertising and marketing funnel. You’ll be able to observe an off-site buy. With this information, you get the identical insights and benefits as a enterprise the place the top sale is made on their website.

A further benefit of off-site monitoring is which you can sync conversion information throughout a number of channels/ platforms after which use this information to create customized audiences. You’ll be able to, subsequently, check your advertising and marketing funnel using cheaper site visitors sources, then use the info to construct lookalike audiences for adverts on Fb or Google, for instance.

Sadly, not all advert platforms help off-site monitoring. Google launched off-site monitoring in 2013. Bing Advertisements launched the service in 2017, whereas social media platforms similar to Twitter and TikTok have but to supply an acceptable answer for affiliate entrepreneurs.

Options for offsite monitoring

Offsite monitoring has a number of benefits for folks working within the affiliate marketing online area of interest. That’s to not say that it’s not with out issues. You want a number of technical information to arrange a system to attach information from a browser to the server-side.

Google Analytics gives an intensive API that permits builders to implement server-side monitoring. There are three major strategies for implementing off-site monitoring:

  1. Google Analytics API: Requires the very best stage of growth expertise. Nonetheless, the Google Analytics API gives programmers with the most effective potential for full server-side monitoring.
  2. Google Tag Supervisor: A Excessive stage of technical expertise. Google Tag Supervisor will solely will let you successfully observe off-site actions if you happen to can add Google Tags to the service provider’s website.
  3. Third-Celebration Affiliate Monitoring Software program: Plug & play options that join Google Analytics and different Advertisements marketplaces (Bing, Fb, and different platforms).

As a result of ever-evolving information and analytics area, growing and maintaining with the fixed modifications requires a big funding of time and assets. Massive corporations would possibly select to put money into a customized in-house answer for off-site monitoring. Nonetheless, options that make the most of the Google Analytics API are too costly for many affiliate entrepreneurs.

Affiliate monitoring software program like AnyTrack.io, an organization that I based, gives a local server-side monitoring integration with Google Analytics, Bing Advertisements, and different advert networks. It’s definitely quite a bit simpler than hiring a developer to create a customized answer.

On steadiness, no matter your method, the constraints of offsite monitoring are outweighed by the sizable advantages. That’s, assuming you need to optimize your advertising and marketing funnel and enhance your ROAS.

Integrating Google Analytics With Offsite Monitoring

Implementing Google Analytics with offsite monitoring software program like AnyTrack.io is easy. Google Analytics already gives the usual dashboards for monitoring customer circulation throughout a website from touchdown web page to conversion.

Whenever you combine offsite monitoring, you’re, essentially, simply gaining the identical sort of knowledge as somebody who manages a whole funnel throughout a single website would see. The profit is that you simply get entry to information you should use to enhance your ROAS.

Case Research

Considered one of our shoppers, Cliverse.com, has six web sites within the pet care business. A lot of the site visitors to their websites comes from natural search. They have been going through a knowledge problem that you could be be conversant in; they discovered it obscure what merchandise have been changing and from which pages these conversions have been occurring.

As well as, PPC adverts have been dearer than wanted. For instance, they have been working retargeting adverts to individuals who had bought an affiliate product suggesting they make a purchase order. With higher information, they might enhance ROAS.

Utilizing AnyTrack.io, Cliverse might lastly see from what web page, and which hyperlink on a web page was producing the conversions. By means of analyzing the info, Cliverse was capable of enhance income by 30% due to web page optimization. As a result of they’ve the whole image, they’re now capable of run paid media campaigns to their website with full confidence.


Bridging the hole between your google analytics information and affiliate community conversions is the optimum method to enhance your place on the advert public sale. With a full overview of your affiliate funnel, you acquire actionable insights on what triggers conversions and generates gross sales. It’s an important edge that may assist enhance your ROAS.

On this information, I confirmed you 3 ways to make use of Google Analytics as an affiliate marketer. You should utilize Google Occasion Monitoring to observe individuals who click on in your affiliate hyperlinks. With Aim Values arrange, you possibly can observe your campaigns’ possible outcomes. Furthermore, you possibly can run retargeting campaigns and create Customized Audiences for future advert campaigns.

By means of the Google Analytics dashboards, you possibly can acquire insights into your website guests’ actions. You should utilize these insights to validate the assumptions you make when working conversion optimization exams.

Whereas Google Analytics is a robust device, you possibly can’t see what actions folks take after they depart your website. For those who combine off-site monitoring, you get entry to this information. Most third-party instruments, such because the one we created, will let you use Google Analytics to get an entire overview of your affiliate marketing online funnel.

As an affiliate marketer, off-site monitoring mixed with Google Analytics gives you with precious insights that may show you how to enhance your ROAS. Comply with the steps shared on this information to see the outcomes for your self.

Laurent Malka is Co-founder of AnyTrack.io, a plug & play conversion monitoring platform. He could be discovered on Twitter @laurent_malka.

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