Link Tracking – What I Use

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, 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.
Photo by sookie
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.

Get the Most out of the Recession

An economic downturn is a great time to buy, expand, and build if you have the reserves to do so. But if you don’t here’s what I suggest:

  • Throw yourself into whatever you’ve already got going. If you had money you could hire cheap labor to help with this, but if you don’t then you want to be as ahead as possible when things start to turn around.
  • Start some new projects. If you have an idea you’ve been sitting on, put in some late nights and get it going. A bad economy will force you into a shoestring budget which is a good thing for new projects.
  • Unemployed? Business slow? There’s tons of free marketing available (particularly on the internet), but it takes time to develop. Get the social networking bug and get your name out there, or join some local small business groups. The most stringent investment for most of them is the time commitment.
  • Do not: get depressed, stop looking for work, give up on your ideas, accept defeat. It’s OK to put things on hold to make ends meet, but don’t let the economy dictate your direction.

HTML Invoice Template Sample

UPDATE: I’ve started using this free pdf invoice creator for quick printable invoices.

I recently had to design an html style invoice for a shopping cart system that users could view in their browser and print out. I couldn’t find one that I liked for free online, so I made my own.

To save you the trouble, I’ve posted my template below. It’s free to use except for the logo image which needs to be removed. It displays well in the browser and prints nicely. If you use the invoice for one of your projects, feel free to link to our web site.

Download the html invoice template

To use the template, view the source code and copy and paste it into your document.