Most affiliate marketers like to start out with simple direct linking ad campaigns. This is the easiest way to get started and you don’t need to waste money and time creating landing pages. Of course the real money and monetization of ad campaigns is through the use of landing pages and understanding how to advertise to your market. Whether you are going to build campaigns with a landing page, or go with direct linking, you should have the proper stats tracking in place.

Let’s look at four different solutions that you can use for ad campaign tracking, from the simple affiliate, to the advanced marketer with tons of live ad campaigns.

Affiliate Network Tracking (The Noob)

The easiest and fastest way to go live with an ad campaign, is to simply direct link. What I mean by this, is that you log into an affiliate network, grab an offer url, then start promoting it through Facebook Ads and cpv advertising. If you want to test a bunch of offers and don’t want to do any internal tracking or creating landing page, this is a quick way to get started to see if an offer has any traction, though it is not recommended for long term and large ad campaigns.

Tracking 202 (The Amatuer/Advanced Affiliate)

One of the most popular tracking solutions out there is Tracking 202, and it’s free. In just a few years, Tracking202 and Prosper 202 have become the tracking solutions of choice, as more affiliate share their experiences and who doesn’t love a free tracking solution. You can also download the hosted version, so you can upload the software to your server and start tracking all of your campaigns on your own server, so you don’t have to worry about any tracking/data issues. Tracking 202 is a great solution for anyone starting out, or advanced with creating ad campaigns and looking for a way to track clicks, leads and conversions on ad campaigns of all levels and sources.

CPVLab (The Professional)

For the advanced and professional affiliate, there are high end tracking solutions such as CPVLab, though the name mainly focuses on CPV (pay per view) type of advertising, you can still track everything from ppc, media buys, movie, social to orangic traffic. Like Tracking 202, CPV Lab is hosted on your own server and you can do a crazy amount of tracking for your ad campaigns. There is a wide assortment of campaign type tracking that CPV Lab allows you to run. Whether you prefer to direct link to a landing page, or want to run a complicated lead capture of your own, CPV Lab can track it all. CPV Lab is priced at $297.

3rd Tier Tracking (The Outsourcing Affiliate)

For every advanced marketer who loves working with software and stats on their own servers, there’s another person who just want to track links and let someone else manage the support and tech issues. For those looking to outsource their affiliate tracking, there are plenty of solutions out there, such as LinkTrackr and HasOffers. Through both of these solutions you can track your links, place pixels, split test your landing pages/offers and more.

Are Your Network Stats Accurate?

No matter what tracking solution you decide to use, it’s extremely important that you have one in place. As much as we would like to trust all of the affiliate networks and traffic sources out there, it’s extremely important that you run your own tracking stats and compare them against others. At the end of the day, tracking your own campaigns and learning how to place pixels, dig deeper into ad campaigns and eventually create your own offers will make you a better affiliate marketer and more money online.

About Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at Blogging Tips and Affiliate Marketing blog, as well as the founder of PPC.org. Follow me on Twitter @MoneyReign.