You’ve got Google Analytics setup perfectly to accurately track almost all traffic sources and sales but you’re really frustrated that you cant track your affiliate traffic and sales and it messes your whole stats up, aaargh! Well dont dismay theres a relatively ‘easy’ way to get this sorted so that all your affiliate links get traffic and sales credit in analytics.
The principle is to get affiliate links forwarding to a url pre-filled with parameters indicating the affiliate source. For example we need to get this affiliate url www.abc.com/product-link?affiliateID=12345 to redirect to www.abc.com/prduct_name?utm_source=affiliate@utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=affiliate_name. You’ll need to get your developer to organise the redirection but thats it in principle. Note; if your affiliate program is setup with Commission Junction or Pepperjam affiliate networks you can ask them to include the same parameters to get their data populating, though they wont include the campaign name parameter (discussed shortly).
I tend to use this handy tool by ROI Revolution to produce tagging urls. The source, medium & campaign name will determine what appears in your analytics report. For non CJ or Pepperjam links I reccomend the following url parameters: source=affiliate, medium = website. This will allow you to find affiliate traffic in your ‘all traffic’ reports. I use ‘medium’ so that I can identify what type of link it was e.g. static web site links get called ‘website’. If you let affiliates have access to a search form via API then you could use the label ‘API’. You could of course use other variables e.g. text link, banner and so on. This will appear in the ‘all traffic’ reports and any other reports with ‘medium’ used in the filter. The campaign name I would use as the name of the affiliate. This will show in campaign reports and any other reports where you use campaign in the filter, see below. Any questions drop a comment below.