e-Book Design Tips
tracking urls - a tip for authors


Tracking URLs - A tip for authors
First published in E-Book Compiler Newsletter

Tracking services allow you to set up special links that when clicked, send a person to a particular web site of your choice. They also count the number of people that clicked on that particular tracking link.

Although the user isn't aware of any difference from a normal link when he clicks, (he still arrives at his intended destination), the benefits to you are:
  • You get information about how many people clicked each link.

  • If you need to change the destination of the link after you've made your web pages or e-book, you can simply update the destination in the tracking service's members area, and all the links will now go to the new destination. In other words, if a web site moves, changes its affiliate program etc., you don't need to update all your web pages or e-books with new linking codes. The e-book part is very helpful, as it means your users wouldn't have to download a new version if you just want to update a few links.
Tracking services come in two main varieties:
  1. CGI or PHP scripts - more flexible, and in the long-run usually cheaper. These run on your own web site, but, you will need a web host with the appropriate CGI or PHP facilities, and enough technical knowledge to install it the script in the first place.

  2. Remotely Hosted - a third party provides the service as part of their web site. You simply log-in to their control panel, and follow their instructions, to use your account. Generally these charge a monthly fee, or a fee for a block of clicks (example: Your first 5,000 clicks cost $20, etc.)

Tracking Services

Here are some tracking services:

  • AdTrackZ - this is a CGI (Perl) script.

  • ProLinkz - another CGI (Perl) script.

  • Uresk Links - this is a PHP script. Your web host must also have mySQL to use this script.

  • ROIBot - This is a whole suite of remotely-hosted marketing tools, including a tracker, submission tools, a list manager, web site monitoring, autoresponder and more. Monthly subscription service.

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