For some reason the banners component likes to tell me that I have served millions of impressions and generated hundreds of thousands of clickthroughs. I know this is complete nonsense as my site gets nowhere near that many visitors. I don't know why it does this and I didn't want to hack the component to make it work, therefore, I decided to track my banner impressions and clicks through OpenX. This is a free to use, open-source advertising server that combines a website, advertiser and banner management interface with a tracking system. This allows you to create campaigns across multiple websites for different advertisers and use any imaginable type of creative. However, the most important thing for me was to be able to accurately track impressions and clicks. To do this you need to peform these basic steps in OpenX:
- 1) Apply for an account at OpenX
- 2) Create Advertisers
- 3) Create a Campaign for each advertiser. For the campaign type choose Remnant.
- 4) Upload a one or more banners for each advertiser. You can link to an image on your site or upload one.
- 5) Add a new site in Websites
- 6) Create zones, I created 4 since I have four banners
- 7) Go into each zone and link a banner to it
Then in Joomla you simply need to create a category, create advertisers and create your banners as normal in the com_banners component and paste your invocation codes from OpenX into the script part in the edit banners section. Publish a mod_banners module somewhere to your site, select the category and the number of banners you want to display and you're done!
Once you've done all this you'll be able to accurately track your impressions and clicks. You can even get OpenX to email you reports periodically!