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BoltWire

Pro Modules

Linktrack

One important tool in evaluating promotional efforts is link tracking. That is, when someone clicks a link to your site, it can be helpful to know where they were when they saw a link to your site.

Let's say you advertised a blog post on both facebook and twitter. If you spent the same amount of money on both platforms, and twitter generated 75 clicks while facebook only generated 50, you would probably be better off investing more money on twitter and less on facebook.

Or let's say you send out a newsletter offering multiple resources. Seeing which of those offers get the most clicks can tell you something about what your audience is most interested in. You can do all these things and more using our linktrack module.

How it Works

For this to work, you have to enable the linktrack module on your site for any pages you want to use link tracking. In general, that would include blog and offer pages, but you could enable it site wide just as easily by adding this line to site.config:

enableLinkTrack

Once enabled, you can start creating custom links immediately.

To do this, you simply add a small extension to the normal link to the page you are promoting. Let's say you have an offer page called offer.freegift you wanted to share on facebook. You could create a link like this:

https://www.mydomain.com/offer/freegift&utc=fb-0905

The "utc" parameter stands for "universal tracking code". When BoltWire sees that code, it knows you want to track that link. The value of that parameter should be a two part code separated by a hyphen. The first part is the platform, and the second part a unique identifier. In this case I've chose a date, 09/05. In addition to the platform and identifier, BoltWire also tracks the time of the visit and the page linked to.

If I were sending out a newsletter offering several resources, I could use the same utc code for each item, pershaps something like "utc=news-153" (for newsletter issue #153). Because each link would be connected to a specific offer page, I can still track the exact action on each specific link. More on that below.

That's all you need to do to create trackable links. Just add a utc code indicating the platform and some identifiable code.

Analyzing Data

Once you start using these links, you will be able to analyze results by going to the LinkTrack page in the Site Admin area. There you will see three buttons: pages, platforms, and codes. Here's what these pages do:

pages
This will show all codes used linking to specific pages, and a count for how many times each link is used. Let's say you ran a 6-part series of emails to promote some special class. If each email used a distinct utc code, you could see which emails generated the most traffic to your class offer page.

platforms
As expected, this report groups links with utc codes by platform. It shows each page advertised on a given platform, and the amount of traffic for those pages. This can be useful in general to see which platforms perform best for you (and where you need to improve), and more specifically, it may be able to tell you which types of content do best on which platforms.

codes
The codes page organizes all your links with utc codes--showing all links using a specific utc code. This would be most useful in the situation described above, of a newsletter promoting several resources, all using the same utc code, enabling you to see which links in a specific newsletter were clicked most often.

Feel free to be creative in your creation of utc codes, to test track whatever information you want to related to links--by choosing your own platforms and identifier codes, and then exploring the reports that give you the insight you desire. We've tried to give you as much flexibility as possible, while keep things simple and easy to use.

To test your link tracking, simply type a few urls in your browser with various utc codes. Then go to the link track report page and inspect the results. If you wish to delete your test data, just go to info.linktrack and delete it.

Advanced Reports

There's also a fourth tab in the linktrack site admin area, called reports. It allows you to search for specific pages, platforms, or codes--and generates a slightly more detailed report for each. In particular, it now only narrows down your report, it also gives the exact time each link was triggered, allowing you to see when certain posts are most effective.

These reports are drawn from the raw linktrack data found at page info.linktrack, and you can use these reports as a template for generating your own custom reports. For example, you could easily generate a custom report that tracked results of a specific promotional campaign, perhaps combining it with the optimizer module to determine how many follow through with your offer (conversions).

I like to put these custom reports right on the main Site Admin page so I can see them in a single glance, along with other priority information (to make it an actual dashboard). When I start a new campaign, I simply update these custom reports.