Tracking Affiliate Sales in Google Analytics

Automatically track and integrate all your affiliate sales and lead data in Google Analytics and start to see the real performance of channels, traffic sources, landing pages and content.

wecantrack Google Analytics Affiliate Sales Integration Screenshot

Affiliate Sales in Google Analytics

google-analytics-affiliate-sales-tracking

Affiliate Sales in Google Analytics

How to track sales in Google Analytics as an affiliate?

In order to integrate your affiliate sales data in Google Analytics you need to follow the next steps:

  1. Create your wecantrack account
  2. Connect your affiliate networks to the system
  3. Implement the wecantrack JavaScript snippet on your website
  4. Enable Ecommerce in Google Analytics settings

That’s it! It has never been easier… Use our 14 days trial period to see for yourself.

How to track sales in Google Analytics as an affiliate?

In order to integrate your affiliate sales data in Google Analytics you need to follow the next steps:

  1. Create your wecantrack account
  2. Connect your affiliate networks to the system
  3. Activate Google Analytics Integration feature and implement the wecantrack JavaScript tag on your website
  4. Enable Ecommerce in Google Analytics settings

That’s it! It has never been easier… Test it for free to see for yourself.

Is it possible to track affiliate sales in Google Analytics?

Yes, it is possible to track affiliate sale conversions in Google Analytics!

While many blogs, tracking softwares, data aggregators, networks, agencies or publishers still falsely state that it is not possible to track or integrate affiliate sale conversion (or lead) data in Google Analytics, it is possible and we will help you to accomplish that so that you will be able to track your entire affiliate marketing performance within Google Analytics, which will make Google Analytics the ultimate affiliate tracking software for you.

The misconception comes because the conversions are generated externally and it is required to trace the conversions back to their original sessions and many publishers or tracking tools do not know how to do so.

While some think there might be a manual way to import offline conversions in Google Analytics, just like in Google Ads, Google Analytics does not offer that functionality when it comes to conversion data. This is why we set up a fully automated approach which will push your conversion data into your Google Analytics accounts as soon as our system received your affiliate conversion data.

How does the Google Analytics affiliate sales integration work?

In order to integrate your affiliate sales in your Google Analytics accounts, we track your sessions, clicks and sales and match them. This is possible by making use of SubIDs. This means that our system will automatically place SubIDs in your affiliate links, collect your conversion data from the affiliate networks and then attribute that data to your traffic data with the help of the previously placed SubIDs. Once the attribution was done, our system will know what exactly it needs to import in your Google Analytics account in order to fully attribute the conversion data to your Google Analytics sessions.

The tracking of your data is split in two essential steps:

Traffic Data Tracking

Your traffic data is tracked by our JavaScript snippet, WordPress plugin or API connection. Those will also make the necessary adjustments on your affiliate links.

Sales Data Tracking

Your sales data is tracked by making use of the affiliate networks’ API endpoints. We will fetch the sales data frequently by accessing the networks with your API credentials.

How to track affiliate sale conversions in Google Analytics

In order to fully install our Google Analytics Affiliate Sales Integration feature, you need to follow 4 steps.

  1. Create a wecantrack account
  2. Connect your affiliate network account(s)
  3. Connect your website(s)
  4. Activate the Google Analytics Integration feature

For all steps we have detailed step by step guides on our Get Started page that will lead you through the process.

Full insights with sales data attributed to all dimensions

By integrating affiliate sales into Google Analytics you are finally able to see the monetary performance of landing pages, channels, source / medium, campaigns, devices, demographics and locations.

These insights will help you to find out what performs well and what you need to improve. For example, you could come to notice that mobile traffic is not converting well on certain landing pages in terms of sales. You could then investigate this further to find out why and if you don’t find a fix for it, exclude mobile traffic in campaigns that lead to this landing page in order to save unnecessary costs.

Optimise website content based on affiliate sales data

Depending on your setup in wecantrack, you can find out which of your call to actions or images lead to sales. If you have pages that contain multiple offers of different advertisers, you are able to figure out which of your content generates the sales. Because of that, you can sort the content on your pages based on sales performance, to always have the most relevant offers on top of your page.

This also shows you which of your content doesn’t perform well in terms of sales. It could happen that you have great on site clickthrough rates but you don’t generate any sales for a certain offer. This could be due to misleading content. The data never lies and will point out to you which of your content converts and which doesn’t!

Analyse your funnel with full user reports containing affiliate conversions

By integrating sales data to Google Analytics your user reports finally contain every action they take. Starting from the first session and events they take on your website, finally ending with the sales conversion. The user reports tell you from which traffic source the user came, where he landed, what he clicked on and finally when and because of what he converted. Additionally you will gain insights on the customer life time value, whether it is a returning customer, how often and at what times the user visits your website. In this report you can find the user behaviour of your most loyal customers.

To find the user report you have to go to Audience – User Explorer. Here you can find the different user IDs, click on one to get into the user report.

Find partners that drive affiliate conversions

Now that you can finally see the monetary performance of traffic sources, you can partner up with other websites or traffic sources to increase your numbers of visitors and thus conversions. You can easily find out which of those new traffic sources generate sales for you and get rid of the ones that only deliver irrelevant traffic.

Moreover, this also gives you the opportunity to work with partners based on revenue share, meaning you can pay your partner a percentage of the commission that was generated through that traffic source. This way both parties win and there is no chance of generating a loss.

Run A/B tests with affiliate sale and lead conversion data in Google Analytics

Now that you have your sales data in Google Analytics, you can run A/B tests and focus on sale conversions when you evaluate the A/B tests. A page generating less traffic does not necessarily mean that it generates less revenue, thus it is of importance to consider the sales data when doing A/B tests.
With tools like Google Optimize you can easily set up A/B tests and connect it to your Google Analytics account to properly analyse the performance of your test variants based on affiliate conversion data.

Analyse affiliate conversion data in Google Analytics on device category level

Another important view within Google Analytics is the device category report. This report will give you insights on how your website content performs on desktop, mobile and tablets. By having your affiliate conversion data integrated in this report, you can find out which pages, content or campaigns might not be optimised enough for mobile phones and tablets.
By making use of the secondary dimension or segments, you can dive very deep into the data to find out the device performance of anything you want to take a close look at.

You can also find out whether certain advertisers do not convert on all devices which can be caused by cross device / app use. An example could be that users click out from the web browser on a mobile and then are automatically redirected to the merchant’s app. There can be cases where these conversions will then not be correctly attributed to your affiliate id. Within this report you can easily spot this because you will then see that these advertisers do not convert at all on mobile.

Find partners that drive concersions

Depending on your setup in wecantrack, you can find out which of your call to actions or images lead to sales. If you have pages that contain multiple offers of different advertisers, you are able to figure out which of your content generates the sales. Because of that, you can sort the content on your pages based on sales performance, to always have the most relevant offers on top of your page.

This also shows you which of your content does not perform well in terms of sales. It could happen that you have great on site clickthrough rates but you do not generate any sales for a certain offer. This could be due to misleading content. The data never lies and will point out to you which of your content converts and which doesn’t!

How long does it take to set up Google Analytics affiliate sales tracking?

It depends on how many affiliate network accounts you make use of because the affiliate network connection is what takes the most time, since it requires you to look for the API credentials and then add them within wecantrack‘s settings (don’t worry, we lead you through that with step by step guides). If it is only a few (up to 20 accounts and sub accounts), the installation process will be quick and can easily be done within one to two hours.

Having all affiliate networks integrated also depends on whether or not our software supports the network already. We gladly add any affiliate network you need but therefore you need to let us know which ones you would like us to add. The time it takes us to add an affiliate network to the system varies. Each network uses different reporting methods which is why for some it goes faster than for others. If you would like to request the integration of an additional network please click on the following button.

Special Capabilities

Select the data you want to see in Google Analytics

Our tool is flexible when it comes to the setup of your conversion imports into Google Analytics. You can choose which of the dimensions that we store within our database will be sent to your Google Analytics accounts. Available dimensions are: Transaction ID, Product, Product Category and Product SKU.

This gives every affiliate publisher the possibility to adjust the data imports to its needs.

Additional Tips for Google Analytics

How to track affiliate link clicks in Google Analytics

Once you have fully set up wecantrack, the clicks on your affiliate links will be tracked in Google Analytics under events. Because of that you can also set up a Click goal next to the Ecommerce goal. This will help you to identify click through rates on your website.

  • To set up the click goal, go to Admin > Goals
  • Click on “+ New Goal”
  • As goal setup select “Custom” and click on “Continue”
  • Give your goal a name (e.g. “Click”, “Click Through” or “Click-out”)
  • As type select “Event” and click on “Continue”
  • Please set “Category Equals to WCT”
  • “Action Equals to Click”
  • Leave the other fields empty and click on “Save”

Now you can select the click goal within your Acquisition section in Google Analytics.

How to set up a converter audience in Google Analytics

By creating a converter audience you can start optimizing your Google Ads campaigns by excluding or retargeting converters. If you aren’t familiar with creating audiences with Google Analytics, just follow the next steps to create your converter audience.

  • Go to Admin – Audience Definitions – Audiences
  • Click on +NEW AUDIENCE
  • Within Audience definition, click on Create New
  • Click on Conditions, select the metric Transactions, leave per session, select “>”, type in “0” in the entry field and then click on Apply
  • Now you can change the Membership duration, it’s usually set to 30 days but you can extend it up to 540 days
  • Enter an Audience name and then click on Next step
  • Now you can select the destinations to which you want to add the audience. Eligible for this audience are Google Ads (Display), Google Ads (RLSA), Google Analytics, External Partners (Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  • Click on Publish and you are done

How to use segments in Google Analytics

Segments allow you to filter out anything you want to find out. You can set up multiple conditions that will then filter out the data you want to look at. Since you can select four segments at once, you have the possibility to easily monitor tests you set up.

Before creating a segment you first need to think about what you want to look at. It can be various things, here are some examples:

  • Comparing categories with one another
  • A/B testing by adjusting only a number of pages
  • Filtering out specific traffic sources or campaigns
  • Filtering out returning visitors

To set up a segment click on “+ Add Segment” which you can find above the graph (see screenshot on the right)

You can add segments on nearly every page of each Google Analytics section.

Now either select one of the already existing segments of click on “+ NEW SEGMENT”

google-analytics-add-segment

Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics

Since Google Analytics 4 has a focus on app tracking and is still in its test phase, it is not that well suited for the proper tracking of affiliate websites in our opinion. We currently only offer conversion integration for Universal Analytics for several reasons:

  • Google Analytics 4 is still in Alpha phase and will probably still change
  • Google Analytics 4 is missing important views and dimensions (e.g. Landing page reports / dimension)
  • Google Analytics 4 does not report data in real time (half a day delay)
  • Events are attributed to users and not sessions

We have been using Universal Analytics for many years which might be why we are a little biased when it comes to choosing between the two. In general we always advise our users to set up Universal Analytics. If you like you can also set up Google Analytics 4 on top of that, then you will have both.

Our affiliate sale data integration feature is currently only available for Universal Analytics and we will not start to build an integration for Google Analytics 4 until they have moved the Beta stage.

How to set up a Google Analytics Universal Analytics account?

Some people have the misconception that it is only possible to set up Google Analytics 4 properties nowadays. This is of course not true and Google still gives you the option to choose between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics when you create a new property, they just set Google Analytics 4 as the standard.

When creating a property under Admin > ‘+ Create Property’ you can find a button that says ‘Show advanced options’.
After clicking that you will be able to select Universal Analytics for your property.

When setting up a new Google Analytics property we advise to set up both, Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics, since that will give you more insights and both properties can easily run simultaneously.

screenshot-2021-03-11-at-11.35.00

How long does it take to set up Google Analytics affiliate sales tracking?

It depends on how many affiliate network accounts you make use of because the affiliate network connection is what takes the most time, since it requires you to look for the API credentials and then add them within wecantrack‘s settings (don’t worry, we lead you through that with step by step guides). If it is only a few (up to 20 accounts and sub accounts), the installation process will be quick and can easily be done within one to two hours.

Having all affiliate networks integrated also depends on whether or not our software supports the network already. We gladly add any affiliate network you need but therefore you need to let us know which ones you would like us to add. The time it takes us to add an affiliate network to the system varies. Each network uses different reporting methods which is why for some it goes faster than for others. If you would like to see which networks our system already supports, click here.

How does it work?

In order to get your data in Google Analytics, our JavaScript tag appends a subid parameter (also referred to as reference or clickref) that contains an ID generated by us, we call it WCT ID.

Sidenote: If you are already making use of subids and don’t want to replace those with our WCT IDs, we offer solutions to make both work. Please contact us if you want to find out more about this.

Moreover, we frequently fetch your sales data through the API credentials you provided us with. Within that data we find our WCT ID and use it to know what we need to import into Google Analytics.

And that’s basically it! 🙂

Special Capabilities

Select the data you want to see in Google Analytics

Our tool is flexible when it comes to the setup of your conversion imports into Google Analytics. You can choose which of the dimensions that we store within our database will be sent to your Google Analytics accounts. Available dimensions are: Transaction ID, Product, Product Category and Product SKU.

This gives every affiliate publisher the possibility to adjust the data imports to its needs.

Connect other data sources

It is possible to connect other sales reports that don’t come from affiliate networks. For example, if you have a direct partnership with an advertiser and that one sends you Google Analytics reports we can integrate them to the system as well. This can also be automated, so you don’t need to worry about investing time in manual uploads.

Obstacles

Cloaked affiliate links

If you cloak your affiliate links, our JavaScript tag is not able to append the subid parameter + WCT ID. But, we have another solution for this then! 😉 We can easily provide the adjusted affiliate link to you via API. Get in contact with us if you want to learn more about this.

Google Analytics session duration

The maximum of Google Analytic’s session duration is 4 hours. Because of that when a sale occurs after 4 hours it will end up in a new session. This means the number of your sessions are impacted if a lot of sales are generated after the 4 hour mark. In case you believe your data is drastically altered by that you can easily filter out the sessions that were generated by the transaction imports because we label them.

Benefits of tracking sales in Google Analytics as an affiliate

Sales Data & Dimensions

By integrating your sales data in Google Analytics you will finally be able to see the monetary performance of landing pages, channels, sources, media, campaigns, devices, countries, cities, advertisers, affiliate network accounts, other data sources and a lot more.

Sales Data & UTMs

Having sales data in your Google Analytics accounts enables you to easily track the performance of your traffic sources. This creates the opportunity to partner up with other websites and give them a share of the commission that is generated by the traffic coming from such websites. With custom reports or the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets, reports that filter out the performance of such partnerships can be created easily by filtering on the UTMs (for example source).

Sales Data & Website Content

When set up properly, wecantrack will also import titles, labels or keywords of your content. This way you can analyze which content elements (products, offers, coupons, words, images, etc.) perform best and then sort them based on sales performance. This might need some custom work though, just ask us and we will let you know what is needed to arrange it.

How to set up a converter audience?

By creating a converter audience you can start optimizing your Google Ads campaigns by excluding or retargeting converters. If you aren’t familiar with creating audiences with Google Analytics, just follow the next steps to create your converter audience.

  1. Go to Admin – Audience Definitions – Audiences
  2. Click on +NEW AUDIENCE
  3. Within Audience definition, click on Create New
  4. Click on Conditions, select the metric Transactions, leave per session, select “>”, type in “0” in the entry field and then click on Apply
  5. Now you can change the Membership duration, it’s usually set to 30 days but you can extend it up to 540 days
  6. Enter an Audience name and then click on Next step
  7. Now you can select the destinations to which you want to add the audience. Eligible for this audience are Google Ads (Display), Google Ads (RLSA), Google Analytics, External Partners (Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  8. Click on Publish and you are done

See the monetary performance of traffic sources

By integrating your affiliate sales into Google Analytics, you are finally capable of seeing the monetary performance of your traffic sources.

Contact Us

Do you have questions or want to give us feedback? Please send us a message, we will answer you asap! :)