What is link tracking and how can it benefit my business?
Link tracking comes off a little overly technical and might be intimidating to try, but it’s worth the effort.
In the simplest terms link tracking lets you post a link to the host service and then you are given another link that will direct anybody who clicks it briefly through the tracking system, then straight to the intended destination. It’s basically a digital pit-stop where the tracking service can gather information about whomever clicked on your link. This sounds ominous, but it’s really a simple and efficient way for a small business owner or social media buff to track who clicks on a link, where they came from, and the details of their visit. You can see where your hits are coming from and make more efficient use of marketing and advertising dollars and time.
My preferred service is usually Linktrack.info, but there are some other good ones as well. Linktrack offers their basic services for free so that you can get comfortable with the general concept before you make any sort of commitment.
The fact that you can try it out beforehand makes it a lot less intimidating to those who are less than technically savvy, myself included. The basic, free service lets you to submit as many links as you want and track them real-time with visual charts and graphs. Each link is good for a week or one hundred clicks, whichever comes first and you can redirect the links at anytime during that week.
Lets say, for example, I’m having a party and I put the event up on facebook. People can ‘RSVP’, give a ‘maybe’ or a ‘no’ through Facebook easily enough, but link tracking lets me see how many (and who) bothered to click on the link (along with a slew of other information for each click). Linktrack has options and features available with their free service, but the premium accounts are definitely worthwhile. Upgraded accounts let you do even more to track your link and the clicks it receives. The interface is easy to use and getting to see who is looks at everything you post up on social networking sites is addicting. After using the web-based interface, I was able to see stats on every hit my links got. It was absolutely fascinating!
I’m a casual user and use their ‘personal’ level of access for social networking. The personal package gives me unlimited click-throughs and I can reset them back to zero as needed. I’m not a business owner, but I can see why they’re popular with that crowd as well.