Understanding and Debugging Affiliate Conversion Tracking Issues - 7 Post Series Outline

November 25, 2013

After countless questions from affiliates, merchants and my staff I thought I’d do a post on how tracking works from a very core level. Then we’ll take that knowledge to debug problems when they occur. We’re going to get into the nitty gritty of how the Internet works. However don’t get scared, I’m going to put it all in very simple terms you can understand.

Outcome of reading this series of posts for you should be to understand how tracking works and then debug (solve, in programmer parlance) them once problems arise.

This series is for you if:

  • You just cut and paste code places and have no idea what’s going on, and want to
  • You want a better understanding of how the web works. Web servers <-> Browsers
  • You are a gluten for punishment, don’t care about the web or tracking at all and are bored
  • You’re an affiliate manager and don’t want to always have to go to adops for help. You want to look smart and have value to add to your affiliates by helping them solve pixel-tracking issues.
  • Are stuck with some issue to do with tracking you can’t figure out. [Insert head beating against wall image here]

This series is not for you if:

  • You’re a technical wizard
  • Web developer
  • Have someone else that does this crap for you. And you don’t care how it works

In the beginning… (queue sci-fi movie intro here)

I remember when I first started in affiliate marketing and someone asked me…. Did you place the pixel?

I thought to myself… What’s a pixel?

Of course I didn’t ask what it was because I didn’t want to sound stupid.

This is really here for all you people that are just too afraid to ask or don’t know what you don’t know.

[On a side note I just got a email with the subject line Ho-liday. Think I opened that one? Not that I’m looking for a Ho, but sure was curious… The power of good copywriting]

Now back to the task at hand.

What you’re going to learn over the next 7 posts (I guess I shouldn’t say learn, what I’m going to post and hope you’ll learn maybe be a better title)…

Some of you are going to read this and say WOW that’s a little over my head. Trust me I’m writing this for people that are un-exposed to these things. Consider these all at the for grommet (surf term for noobies) level.

Here goes -

  1. Post 1 - Web server and browser communication
  2. Post 2 - URL structure, How it works and and what it means
  3. Post 3 - What Cookies & Click ID’s are and how they work
  4. Post 4 - User path - How Pixel tracking works
  5. Post 5 - User path - How Postback tracking works
  6. Post 6 - Solving - Pixel tracking issues
  7. Post 7 - Solving Postback tracking issues

That’s a lot to cover in 7 posts. But I think we can make it fun and I hope you stick with me.

Because guess what? If you ask me how something works and want me to debug it I’m going to send you one of these links J

See you tomorrow or whenever I get around to writing post 1. I hope tomorrow.


Want More? The more people listening the more I’ll write.
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