In today’s market, its crucial for every marketer to track keyword response rates. Its simply the only way of tracking advertising results and knowing which of your keywords are working for you.

In the online marketing world, its just as important to track your ad results. Knowing the exact response rate to your advertisement lets you to figure out how well it performed, which can help increase your profits and lower your costs.

Dont be afraid to change a poorly responding advertisement to try to make it work better. Pay attention to headlines, ad copy, graphics and layout, and then be sure to re-test the ad. You might also find that where your sites are running is the problem try alternative systems. By the same token, you should test your keywords to make sure that they will work the way you want them to. Theyre very similar to advertisements in that they either work brilliantly or not at all.

Tracking your ad results allows you to be sure that your ad publisher has followed through on their end of the bargain, and the information you gather allows you to prepare better campaigns the next time. The best way to track online ad results is to measure click-through rates (the number of people who clicked on your advertisement). There are other measurements such as conversion ratio (the number of people who click through and buy), but measuring click-through is a fine way to get started. There are two methods of tracking click through rates mentioned below:

CGI Scripts.

You can download CGI scripts at plenty of websites, and you can place CGI scripts in your CGI directory if your web host supports it. Try to find a small but powerful CGI script that tracks clicks on your site do it invisibly, so your visitors dont know youre tracking them. LinkinLite is one free CGI script you could try, as an example, or you could have one made specially for you. Getting a custom script can be great, as long as you dont pay too much for it.

PHP and ASP Scripts

Some CGI scripts are better than others. Basically, CGI seems to be dieing slowly but surely. It is being replaced by ASP and PHP both of which have scripts available to perform these actions. PHP is emerging as the preferred language for server side scripting and is therefore the most accessible of the group. Depending on what your hosting service offers you should be able to find free tracking software simply by Googling for the software in the particular scripting language that you need. If you are unsure as to whether your hosting service allows a particular server-side scripting language, dont hesitate to ask. Most of these providers want all of their services used otherwise they feel as though they have wasted time and/or money implementing the service.

Online Tracking Services.

Online tracking services count click-throughs using own servers. This is usually free, although most require you to upgrade to paid versions before theyll let you do anything useful with the statistics. The upgrades are worth while, but you should try out the free version before upgrading to make sure that you are comfortable with the user interface. Once youve decided on a software to use, shop around. See if there is a similar interface on something cheaper. Your money can go really far on the internet, and if youre lucky you can take advantage of special offers.

If youre interested in a free online click-tracking service, try Hypertracker, Statmuncher, Adminder or Roibot. These services are all relatively straightforward. They are all pretty much equal in quality. The differences between these free services are more or less personal preference. But remember, a comfortable user interface goes a long ways. If you dont like the look and feel of the program, you wont enjoy using it and will eventually stop using it all together.

Banner ad click-through rates are usually between 0.5% and 5%, although for e-zines it can go as high as 10%. Thats about average compared to offline marketing methods, which average roughly 2%.

If you provide a service to a niche market, you are more likely to see higher click through rates. Professionals in the area of online marketing often settle for no less than a 7% click through rate. These rates can be done and should certainly be shot for.

Regardless of which tracking methods you use, you need to be tracking your keywords and advertising results somehow its essential, and it takes you a step further in the SEO marketplace. Every set of statistics lets you get to know your sites market position better and better, and gets you one step closer to where you want to be.