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The Single Biggest Marketing Mistake Online

John Reese

by John Reese

I have been marketing online since 1990. Long before the Web came about. I have been actively marketing on the Internet as we know it today since 1994.

Yes, I’m an Internet Marketing old geezer.

I have pretty much tried it all and seen it all online when it comes to marketing tactics.

Certainly, there are new strategies and tactics being thought of and tested everyday, and that’s why I continue to buy new ebooks and teaching products from others because you can never know it all — no matter how successful you are.

But the single biggest mistake I see online, and have seen for many years, regardless of the strategy being used, is one simple thing…


People often ask me…

“John, is there any ONE thing that you can attribute your online success to?”

The answer is simple… TRACKING.

I am a tracking FREAK. I track everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.

As my good friend Jonathan Mizel likes to say…

“As online marketers we are not in the ‘marketing’ business we are in the MATH BUSINESS.”

If you want to know the difference between success and failure online it comes down to one thing.

If you want to know the difference in making 10 dollars online or $10,000, it comes down to one thing.

If you want to know if your hard work is not going to waste, its comes down to one thing.


I like to joke that the secret to being successful in Internet Marketing is this really complex “formula.”

Then I go on to explain this exact formula…

When we do things online, such as our marketing tests, site changes, place ads, buy clicks, do a JV, whatever, one of TWO things happen EVERY TIME.

Yes, only one of two things happen.


Amazing rocket science isn’t it?

The fact of the matter is Internet Marketing is EASY. It’s an absolute JOKE to make money when you have the basic fundamentals down, and that you TRACK your efforts.

The tracking results will tell you what works and what doesn’t. Then it’s EASY…


In order to be extremely successful online you must learn to track everything. You must learn the value of tracking and get used to doing it.

You make a change to a headline on your site you must track it.

You test a different price you must track it.

You use a different description on your Web Site to get people to opt-in to your list you must track it — not just the percentage of people that opted in, but also the QUALITY of the people that opted in. I.e. Are they buying or taking the necessary ACTION you want for them to take AFTER they have opted in?

The biggest tracking mistake people make is lumping all of their TRAFFIC SOURCES together when trying to determine their conversion rates.

In other words, when someone is trying to figure out how many people are buying or taking a specific action when they visit a site, they are taking their total traffic numbers and doing the math based on the total number of buyers (or whatever the desired action was.)


Major mistake. Huge. Yet marketers are doing it everyday. And ironically, it’s being done by some people that are making a lot of money!

I know, because many of these people are friends of mine and I’ve given them a hard time about it. We laugh about it, but they know it’s true and they are working hard to become better “trackers” as I hope you will too.

(Don’t worry I’m almost done with this article and will stop rambling in a moment.)

The problem with not tracking traffic sources (such as individual pay-per-click keywords, link partners, search engine listings, JV links, affiliate links, etc.) is this…


For example, if you run PPC campaigns for multiple keywords (and if you track them properly) you will find that some keywords generate great conversion rates and sales.

Others will create sometimes NOTHING.

In fact, many will be losers. I.e. they don’t turn a profit. Yet many PPC advertisers will continue to just lump all their PPC traffic together, and as long as they are making more than they are spending they consider it a “Victory.”


Tracking allows you to MAXIMIZE your efforts. It allows you to SQUEEZE every last penny of profit our of your marketing.

The other major pitfall with lumping all of your traffic sources together is when you go to make changes — such as testing prices, or different headlines, or new bonus offers, or another guarantee, or anything else.

If your traffic fluctuates on a given day from a given traffic source (which it WILL) your results will always be SKEWED.

Your conversion rates for a specific test may in fact be HIGHER for that given day. OH JOY!

But, guess what? If the traffic to your site happened to fluctuate so more of it happened to come that day from a source that typically converts higher than the rest of your traffic, it’s very possible that your “test” may have…


That’s right, DECREASED! But you’d never know it because looking at your overall traffic stats “appears” as if your average daily conversion rate increased.

So what do you end up doing? You KEEP that test because you think it is making you more money.

99.999% of online marketers are making this mistake. And people wonder why it can be difficult to make money online.

Reason #1: Poor Tracking

We’ll touch more on this topic in the near future. I strongly believe it’s the single most importance element of Internet Marketing success.

I know for a fact I would not have made 10% of what I have been blessed to have made from marketing online if I wasn’t a tracking freak.

I am going to teach YOU how to become a tracking freak for your business. It’s the ONLY thing that matters when marketing online — because it tells us what works and what doesn’t. There is no guesswork.

Author’s Resource:

John Reese is an Internet Marketing pioneer that has been actively marketing online since 1990. John has sold millions of dollars worth of products and services online and his network of Web Sites have received over 1.4 BILLION Web Site visitors since their inception. You can learn more about John and his home study courses by visiting

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