Cheap internet marketing tricks - counting impressions

Counting clicks is one thing, and counting impressions is something else. Everyone who is anyone in internet marketing counts both. Google does it, and Amazon does it. All the merchants who use Commission Junction do it too.

An impression happens every time someone sees your link or ad, whether they click on it or not. The ratio of impressions to clicks tells you something about the efficacy of your ad or link. Counting impressions is fairly easy by counting the number of time an image is displayed on a page. Amazon and Commission Junction use tiny little 1 x 1 pixel images with text links, so that things don't get slowed down much, but any image will do the job.

If you have access to a server log, that is one crude way of counting the number of times an image file is accessed, or a simple PHP script will also work. But, what if you don't have access to a server, don't know a log from a hole in the ground, or never heard of PHP?

There's a simple trick you can use.

working image
Bit.ly is a free link shortening service, but it also works with image links. Bit.ly records stats on how often the shortened link is accessed. Usually, for a normal link, this would mean that the link was clicked upon, but an image link does not require a user to click it. The link is accessed every time the page is accessed and the image displays. Thus, it keeps a rough count of impressions.

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