Keeping Track of Online Advertising Dollars

When you invest money in online advertising one thing you DO NOT want to do is spend money with no clue on the return on investment. You want to know which advertising is doing well and which media your advertising is on is doing best. It’s a terrible feeling to spend $5,000 on advertising and not be able to tell which part of the advertising dollars made the campaign a success (or failure).
In order to solve this problem you have to use analytical tools that can help you squeeze the most from each dollar. writes The experiment ended badly. Search ads, which appear when someone types in a search request on Google, Yahoo or other search services, or accompanying articles on Web publications, generated some sales, but he blew through a $1,000 budget much too quickly. Lacking a system for monitoring his marketing spending, it was difficult for him to track and assess which keyword ads worked. He couldn’t track which ads generated sales or which keywords generated “clicks” from shoppers in real time. As a result, he says, “you always had this Russian roulette mentality.” He abandoned search advertising in the fall of 2004.
He then redirected his spending to comparison-shopping sites like Experian’s and eBay’s in the spring of 2005, which generated tremendous sales volume. It cost him about $1,500 a month during spring, an important season for gardeners, and then he lowered his spending for the rest of the year.
“Sales were great,” Mr. Buck recalls, but his post-spring analysis wasn’t pretty. Shopping-comparison sites were too sophisticated for him: He didn’t have enough time or tools to monitor his spending compared with sales. For every sale Mr. Buck generated on, half of the proceeds went to as part of its fee, generating a loss, he says. He pulled the plug on shopping sites.

Some solutions you can consider are a) using web tracking software from VisiStat, (which I use), Google’s free web tracking software, a tool from your ISP (most often free as part of your hosting accounting) or other tools to give you the analytical data you need to analyze your traffic.
These tools can help you see where your traffic is coming from and who your audience is.
Another solution is to use a service like Sparklit, which I also use, to serve advertising banners or text, on your site or others. You can then see precisely how each of your advertising banners are doing and which ones are most effective.