Google Analytics / Facebook Ads Discrepency

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising, Tracking | Posted on 29-10-2015

As local clients get just a little “on the surface” knowledge about online marketing they become more and more inquisitive and distrusting.  As they say, knowing just a little is enough to be dangerous.  Today’s topic has to do with a pretty well known discrepancy between Facebook Ads & Google Analytics.  If you tell a client that they got 1,000 website clicks from Facebook Ads, they expect to see the number 1,000 in their Google Analytics traffic sources.  If they don’t, they think shenanigans are abound.  The truth is that Google Analytics almost NEVER matches Facebook Ads reporting and I wanted to detail some of the reasons why that is:

1) Clients are likely looking at Google Analytics sessions which is defined completely differently then a Facebook Ads click.
Google Analytics Session: This is long and complex but essentially a session is a 30 minute time period of a user on your website.  If someone clicks your ad, mistakenly closes the window and clicks the ad again, that’s 2 Facebook Ads clicks and 1 Session.  If they see the ad multiple times and click it within a half hour it only counts once in analytics whereas it will count multiple times as a Facebook Click.  Official Documentation:
Facebook Ads Click: This counts anyone who clicks an external link from a Facebook ad.  (an external link meaning a link to your website).  Someone could double click the link because the website is loading up slow or hit back because the site is loading slow and that would be 2 Facebook Ads Clicks.

2) Cookies & Javascript:  Google analytics requires cookies & javascript to work.  Some people have cookies enabled and some do not.  Cookies/javascript also have a particularly hard time with mobile & web browsers that operate within Apps and a lot of Facebook Traffic is mobile.

3) Sloppy Website Script Installation: Since a lot of “local client” websites are based on industry specific templated platforms they tend to have multiple installations of Google Analytics, sometimes they collide or one loads and the other doesnt.  Sometimes there are other scripts that load up first and analytics doesn’t load completely.  Sometimes the website has old/outdated versions of the analytics script installed as well.
There are just so many variables when it comes to Analytics.  People always think that it’s a flawless traffic system and what it reports is to always be trusted blindly.  Yes, Google Analytics can prove to be extremely useful, but take the metrics with a grain of salt and understand that discrepancies can occur.
Keep Hustlin’
Ad Hustler

Effective Use Of Retargeting & Exclusion Pools In Local Online Marketing

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Ad Networks, Local Online Advertising, Tracking | Posted on 26-09-2014

When it comes to local online marketing, just because you’re options and budgets may be more limited then big national advertisers, it doesn’t mean you can’t THINK like a big national advertiser.  Retargeting is HUGE for large eCommerce companies however it is often overlooked on the local level.  I’m not really sure why it’s overlooked or ignored but I’d much rather be doing a retargeting campaign then a lot of other things that local companies spend their money on.

I want to show you an effective way to use retargeting on the local level.  I’ll use a random example but feel free to apply this to whatever campaign you are currently managing.

Let’s say the client is a sports equipment store and they are driving traffic to a landing page offering a 20% off coupon for your in-store purchase using a multitude of media sources including traditional and various online media sources.  Retargeting’s job would be to maximize the effectiveness of all the other media being purchased.  In order to do that you have to think out the strategy a bit.  For the purposes of an example let’s say that 100,000 people were driven into the landing page with this 20% coupon.  20,000 People claimed the 20% off coupons and 80,000 people didn’t and bounced off the page without doing anything.  Let’s refer to the 20,000 people who claimed the coupon as the “Claimed Pool” and the 80,000 people as the “Bounced Pool.”

You need to have different objectives for the people in the “claimed pool” and the people in the “bounced pool” if you want your retargeting to work effectively.  The “Claimed Pool” people don’t need to claim the coupon anymore because they already did.  The “Bounced Pool” people still need to claim the coupon because they previously went to the page and didn’t do anything.

Ideally you want to serve the “Bounced Pool” people an ad saying to “claim the coupon” because that would maximize the traffic previously sent to the page.  You want to send the “Claimed Pool” people messaging saying to come into the store and use the coupon that they already claimed.

The way you would do this is through multiple campaigns and exclusion pools.  First you would install your retargeting tags on both the landing page and the thank you page.

#1 – You would setup a campaign targeting everyone but EXCLUDING anyone ending up in the “Claimed Pool” that has “claim your coupon messaging.”  This would effectively retarget to everyone who DID NOT claim the coupon.  To create a claimed pool you would basically have a pool of anyone ending up on the thank you page.

#2 – You would setup another campaign targeting only people who are in the “Claimed Pool” with “come in and use your coupon messaging”

The benefits of this is that people would see the correct messaging at the correct time in the buying process.  Why serve someone an ad saying “claim your coupon” if they already did that?  Why send someone a message saying “Use your coupon” if they don’t have one?

If retargeting is not currently a part of your local online marketing mix it should be.  If you have any questions leave a comment.

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Landing Page Rotation Script

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Tracking | Posted on 24-03-2010

There are a lot of situations where you need to rotate landing pages (or links) to see which are performing best. I was searching around for a script better than the one I was using and found one provided by Xentech on Wickedfire. This script also works if you need to rotate prosper202 landing pages. I thought this could help some people so i’m posting it here.

PHP Code For The Rotator

$k = $_GET['sub'];

$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';
$aff[] = '';

srand ((double) microtime() * 1000000);
$random_number = rand(0,count($aff)-1);

$lol = ($aff[$random_number]);
$lal = $lol.$k;

header("Location: $lal");

Add or Remove These Lines To Add or Remove Links From Rotator

$aff[] = '';

Append ?sub=test to your final link to pass subid values to the links within the rotator

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A Big Prosper202 Fix

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Tracking | Posted on 03-02-2010

Quite some time ago I wrote a post called How To Fix Prosper202 If Spy/Analyze Stops Working.  If you run a lot of traffic to your Prosper202 setup you probably find yourself having to dump the databases often.

Yesterday, the one and only Wes Mahler left a comment on that post stating:

Updated so you don’t have to manually do it each time, we just change the MYSQL TABLE type so it’s no longer a memory table, which removes having any limit at all.

the issue with the above post is it dose clears it, but it’ll fill up again if you have lots of traffic. this fix changes the table type so it won’t have a memory limit any more and will never happen again

The fix can be found at the Prosper202 forums but I’ll copy it here just to make your life easier:

To fix this problem, run this command in your phpmyadmin

ALTER TABLE `202_clicks_spy` ENGINE = MYISAM


The discussion thread can be found here.  Hopefully this saves you from having to dump your databases on a regular basis.

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Urgent Message From Prosper202

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Tracking | Posted on 31-03-2009

I got this email today and wanted to make sure you all knew as well.

This is an urgent message from the prosper202 team. Recently, we’ve found a security hole in our software. More Details of the security hole will be posted soon. As of now the Prosper202 team has fixed the problem and patched the security hole, so we encourage all users to download prosper version 1.2.1. You can download version 1.2.1 Here

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