You’ve just finished a basic implementation of your analytics platform, and now you want to customize it. Where should you start? Here are 5 important website actions not tracked with an out of the box implementation that need to be tracked with custom events or variables.
1.) Onsite Search – This is an often overlooked website action that can provide key insights into how people are browsing your site. It will also provide an indication of the content visitors are having a hard time finding through regular navigation and identify missing content that visitors might expect to find. If I am visiting a site to find something specific, I’ll often use the search tool. If I don’t find what I am looking for, I move on to another site.
TIP: Track the number of times the search function is used in an event, along with search terms in a custom variable.
2.) Navigation – Tracking navigation elements is just as critical–if not, more–than tracking onsite search. Tracking your top and side navigation will tell you visitors’ most common paths, as well as the most popular links in each directory. You can use custom link tracking or custom link IDs on all of your navigation links, but click map data usually provides enough valuable insight. Make sure the click map picks up any drop down or hidden links. Also, tracking previous page clicks can be difficult if all of your links aren’t unique on each page.
3.) Social Media – There a few different ways to incorporate social media into your web content, and each is tracked differently with different limitations. The first and the more common method is a small logo linked to your website’s Facebook or Twitter page (or LinkedIn, Google , etc). These can usually be tracked by setting up custom exit link tracking. The more difficult buttons to track are the interactive share buttons that allow visitors to post to Facebook and Tweet without leaving your page. These actions should be captured in a custom analytics variable. My earlier blog post explains how to implement social media tracking into Google Analytics, which can give you a sense of how your visitors are using social media to interact with your organization.
4.) Onsite Marketing – Visitors might choose to shop or browse a website by clicking on different creative with promotions or product messaging on it. If you are not tagging your creative with unique IDs, as well as with a custom event, you won’t know which are most effective.
5.) Conversion – For most websites, conversion is the most important metric. Whether it be e-commerce, lead conversion, or ad generation, your site should be tracking conversions with detailed custom implementations. On a lead generation site, you need to launch a serialized event on your confirmation page. E-commerce sites need to launch an event through each step of the checkout process, as well as capture all product and cart information in a custom analytics variable. When you do this, you will be able to track the website actions that lead to each purchase, which is very helpful.
The reason these 5 things are so important is that they are all relative. Don’t you want to know who clicked on a promo message before purchasing, or who Tweeted your blog post after leaving a comment? You won’t be able to relate these website actions to each other if you don’t track them with some custom implementation, and that can keep you from seeing the bigger picture and revealing transformative insights.
Need more help? MaassMedia can help you identify holes in your tagging, implement custom tagging, then analyze the tags to uncover transformative insights about your business. Contact our staff to learn more about our custom analytics implementation and the assessment and analysis services we offer.