Prosper202: The Importance of Analytics

Hello SEM superstars! This is John Moran, the newest contributor to AskPPCBlog,and today I want to talk about the importance of web analytics in running your online business. We’ll focus on one of the more popular tools available to you to make analysis easier, Prosper202.

Walk with me, talk with me.

Imagine, for a second, that you are running paid search campaigns for your website, and the clicks are flowing. You may have even received a few conversions, which is always great. Now, you started out with a steady stream of traffic, but, all of a sudden, something changes. Traffic levels off, and then starts to dip.

You don’t know what’s happening. Your campaigns are on life support so you “bite the bullet” and contact the support team of search provider. The first question they are likely to ask is “Have you been looking at the reports in your analytics?”

If your response is “What are analytics?”, then this is the article for you!

Analytics, as defined by Conversationmarketing.com, involve “taking traffic data and other information about your web site, analyzing it, and then providing insight.” Wikipedia, describe web analytics as,“the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.” Analytics programs like Prosper202, when added to your advertising campaigns, allow you to track the traffic activity you are receiving, interpret it, and make necessary adjustments. According to Rick Swanson of IMreportcard.com, “Today, pay per click marketing has become extremely competitive and potentially very lucrative. Therefore, anybody who wishes to compete effectively needs to be able to track all costs and revenue data associated with PPC campaigns.”

Prosper202, one of the top analytics systems available, is both useful and cost effective. It contains a suite of affiliate marketing tools, including Tracking202, which is the actual analytics system used for your advertising needs. What’s it cost? It is free to download, and is easily applied to your site(s) through placement of an HTML code.

Prosper202 is designed to help marketers working with PPC search engines. Some of the features included are:

a) The flexibility to track every current paid search network from Google AdWords to 7search. According to Swanson, this system allows for the best use of your time. “Rather than having to continually upload and download information from many different sources, a Prosper202 user is only required to input all data once when setting up a campaign. As ads are shown (and clicked) on the various PPC search engines, the data flows into Prosper 202 in real time and is automatically entered into the system.”

b) Earnings per Click (EPC) Calculator. These days, many small advertisers are “Affiliate Marketers” (affiliates of marketing companies, earning commissions advertising their product pages) and are left to wonder how their offers perform. EPC, according to Allan Gardyne [Associatedprograms.com], is “the ultimate test to tell which of the affiliate merchants you’re promoting is performing the best. However, the most important figures are the ones you calculate for yourself based on your own results. You may do much better or much worse than any quoted figures.” EPC helps you to determine exactly how much you’re earning for each visitor sent to a merchant, without having to depend on their statistics.

c) Spy View. Allows you to view the actions of your visitors on your ads. This is a powerful feature because you can quickly determine how effective your ad designs are. How much time are visitors spending on your site? Do they visit other pages? Or are they clicking away from your landing pages as fast as their mouse can take them? Seeing the clicks and conversions in real-time with Spy View, allows you to determine which keywords are leading to sales and which ones need to be removed. This tool ultimately makes your ad dollars go further.

d) Keyword Cloaking According to the Prosper website,”T202 gives users the ability to cloak their keywords from advertisers and affiliate networks-so all of your top-performing keywords are a secret. Why risk your Affiliate Manager or the Advertiser finding out your best keywords, copying them for their own campaigns, and putting you out of business?” Keyword cloaking can help keep your best performing keywords securely within your grasp.

e) Flexible Tracking Options – Prosper offers multiple options to track your ad performance. Chris,via PPC Coach, relates his experience. “Tracking leads using Prosper is fairly straightforward, but there are a few different ways to approach it. One way is to give your tracking pixel (created in Prosper) to your Affiliate manager for each offer you are running, and ask them to place the pixel on the confirmation page of that offer. Whenever a lead comes through and completes the offer, your tracking pixel will “fire” and Prosper will show the conversion in your stats. This is a nice method and offers you real-time tracking.”

Chris also introduces a secondary tracking option: “The second way is to use a global postback URL. With this method, you can get your postback URL from Prosper and if your CPA network supports it, there will be a place for you to enter and save this information. Once this is in place, you get all the benefits of real-time tracking, without the hassle of bothering your affiliate manager. The only negative is, very few CPA networks support it.”

In addition to all of these great features, Prosper also boasts an active community of users that help make the implementation a breeze! They have a great forum page, where you can pose specific questions and receive answers from the community and administrators. Even their blog is a valuable asset, providing both insight on difficult issues, and special offers on related products.

So check it out yourself and start building your business today.