Since its launch in 2005, Google analytics has radically changed the amount of data available to website owners and when properly setup can be one of the most powerful tools your website can have. Over the last couple of years Google and Google analytics have taken a lot of flack over their decision to restrict the keyword data collection within analytics, but as far as free tools go, analytics is still one of the most important ones out there.
It still gives website owners a massive amount of data which can be used to improve and focus their marketing efforts. As the internet evolves and a high percentage of traffic ends up coming from sources other than organic searches the loss of keyword data may become less important. Until then, there are still ways to collect a lot of the missing keyword data by using webmaster tools. We will cover more on this in an upcoming post on webmaster tools.
While the majority of websites use Google analytics, there are a few, mainly small business websites that are still not taking advantage of this essential free tool. If you are one of them, then now’s the time to act before you lose more of the valuable data.
Installing Google analytics is simple, once you have set up an account you can just add the tracking code to your website footer to start collecting the data within analytics. If you are using wordpress or one of the many website builder platforms then it is even easier as you can simply enter the analytics ID into the plug-in or field and this will set up the tracking code for you. If you need help with which is the best plug-in to use then email us and we will try and help.
Analytics Event tracking
It has always been easy to track and set up goals within analytics, but by using event tracking you can track much more that just set destination pages. Event tracking allows to track almost everything and is reasonably easy to set up. By adding the code to your internal links you will be able to see which ones are being used and which ones are redundant. This code can also be added to your external links so that you can see things like, how many people when to your social media pages from your website. The other advantage of adding this code to your external links is that you can remove these from your bounce rates.
How to add the event tracking code
The code is fairly simple and is split in to a few sections
onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘category’, ‘action’, ‘option_label’, ‘option_value’, noninteraction]);”
To explain the parts of the code I am going to use an external links to facebook as an example.
TCategory – I would place all similar actions together within a category, so in this example we will call this “links to social”
TAction – this link is to facebook, so we will call it “facebook”
TOption label – with this label you can define the location of the link, for most external links I suggest using the page url or name. So for this example we will use the term “home” to represent the home page.
TOption value – this label will add a monetary value to this link, I will use the value of £1 for every visit to my face book page from my website in this example.
TNoninteraction – this will be set to either “true” or “false”. Setting it to true will remove the action from your bounce rate.
Your existing link code will probably look like this,
<a href=”http://www.facebook.com” title=”facebook” target=”_blank”></a>
The new code with event tracking include should look like this,
<a href=”http://www.facebook.com” title=”facebook” onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘social’, ‘facebook’, ‘home, 1, false]);” target=”_blank”></a>
Analytics will now report in the events section each time a visitor clicks on your home page facebook link.