External/Affiliate Link and Download Tracking in WordPress

I write reviews on my WordPress blog here and obviously link to the website of the product or service I’m reviewing and it recently occurred to me that it might be handy to know exactly how many people I’m sending to these websites for free! I tried manually adding tracking to links in articles but that’s a bit tiresome. I tried one or 2 other plugins also but nothing has worked as well as the Google Analyticator plugin by Ronald Heft.

I vaguely remember using this plugin a few years back just to test but since I’m comfortable editing HTML/PHP files and manually adding Google Analytics code, I didn’t really have a use for it. Now that I was actively looking for an external link tracker plugin and found that this one did it, I was happy.

The plugin once activated in wordpress asks for your “Google Analytics UID” which is easily available next to your account in the Google Analytics dashboard. There are various options in the settings on what to track such as:

  • Admin users.
  • External Links.
  • Downloads.
  • Google AdSense.

You can even specify which types of file extensions to track by adding them to a list. This is handy for seeing how many people might rob your images! There’s widgets for adding stats to both the admin dashboard and public sidebar but I had issues authentication with  Google and couldn’t get them to work. Perhaps a hosting issue.

After a few days I checked the Content – Event Tracking section in my Google Analytics account and was happy to see detailed stats on what exact external links people were clicking on and which exact files were being downloaded.

My intended use for this will be to try to monetize the clicks from my site by agreeing click costs with the companies/sites I link to.


Published by

Leon Quinn

Multimedia Design company in Leitrim, Ireland specializing in WordPress Website Design, Photoshop and Graphics. www.reverbstudios.ie

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