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Stop being confused in your file download website tracking

This blog post is sponsored by MonsterInsights, which is owned by Awesome Motive. Everything said in this post is my own opinion or that of a site that is linked. All the links that MonsterInsights asked to be included have been marked as a sponsored link.

Offering downloads on your website is unique and something that many website analytics either don’t track for, or don’t allow you to see without setting up something custom. What if I told you there was many ways to stop being confused when tracking who has downloaded something from your website? Here are 7 ways to stop being confused and know who is downloading the files you offer.

The one that many large enterprise companies use, is asking for contact information before offering the download. This way the company knows the person and can pass along that information to the sales department to get more details on why they wanted the download and to see what else the company can help them with. Be careful when doing this as sometimes asking for too much information will turn off people and they will not continue to fill in the form. There has to be balance between getting enough contact information, but not asking for too much as written by Clikz, Richardson Sales Performance, and WordStream.

Another popular option is by asking someone for their email address and sending the link to their email. If you use any sort of email marketing company (like EmailOctopus (affiliate link) or ConvertKit (affiliate link)) then you can have that company handle it all for you. Creating a form in their website, have an automated sequence (like ConvertKit (affiliate link) and Growth Manifesto talk about) that will make sure the email address is a real one (you don’t want to send the email to an email address that doesn’t exist, or an email address that is meant for temporary emails), then send them the link to the file. You can also track who clicks on that link. Thanks to AWeber for this tip.

If you want someone to download it directly from your website then setting up a download monitor would be one option. If you are interested in how to set this up on your own website then you need to know your website platform, and after you do, do a plugin search for download monitor. If you are using WordPress there is a popular one you can use. Then you can know the IP address of the person who downloaded the file. If you know the IP address you can trace it to find out approximately where they live.

Many companies already offer an online store so consider adding this as a free thing in the store. It may not look like it belongs but that will help boost your sales. Then when the person checks out you can offer additional things from your store and you can make sure you collect their contact information which is way to get their information. Thanks to CollectiveRay for this tip.

The file also doesn’t have to be free, if you feel it’s worth something then make the person pay something for it. You could offer it as a pay want you can, or you could have a set price. This way you will get their contact information, and still make some money from it.

If you are going to promote this file on social media then shorten the url, not only will you have more space to put other things in your post, you can track how many people click on it and where in the world they are located. is one popular option for this and there are many others.

Finally, your website analytics could offer the tracking without having to change anything. Matomo offers this, but if you are using Google Analytics then you may want to consider MonsterInsights (sponsored & affiliate link) which is setup by default to track a majority of file downloads and make it easy for you to see the results.

There are many ways to track who is downloading files from your website, so stop being confused and setup one or many of these options and get tracking. But make sure your privacy policy and terms of service are up to date and accurate before doing so.

Gregory Hammond

Gregory is the owner of Gregory J Development and he loves helping people with their websites. In his spare time, Gregory listens to music, writes (not just for the blog here), and is trying to read more often.