15 Recommendations to Improve Website Analytics – Part 3

Welcome back to our third installment of 15 Recommendations to Improve Your Web Analytics. In the last two weeks, we laid out our first six recommendations, and this week we continue on with suggestions seven through nine. By now you should be ready to begin tagging. Here are customized tagging options and plug-ins.

Web Tagging Best Practices

7. Use Custom Events and A/B Testing:
Web analytics solutions are powerful tools to help measure the success of your website. If you have been following this article, then you probably already know that. But we would be remiss not to mention how many customization options are available in order to gain more insights on your website. While it may take some time to set up custom events and get the hang measuring them, the effort will pay dividends. Also, using A/B testing capabilities that are available on most analytics platforms will allow you to make more informed decisions about site enhancements as you continue to measure your website and optimize performance.

8. Enable Enhanced Click Tracking:
Your analytics platform is only as smart as the data captured. Unless directed otherwise, web analytics platforms aggregate all clicks on a given web page that link to the same destination. As a result, if a page has ‘Contact Me’ link or a social media link in the header and the footer, total clicks for each link will be the same. In practice, visitors may click on the header link more often, but that fact is obscured. This is a significant limitation to understanding how users interact with the page. You can’t distinguish these links with the URL schema as they point to the same page. However, site owners can avoid this pitfall by enabling Enhanced Link Tracking. It’s as easy as adding some simple JavaScript to the page and selecting an option in the analytics admin console. It is called something different in each web analytics platform but the same concept applies in each.

9. Capture Scroll Depth:
Understanding how far people scroll down of the page provides intelligence on whether visitors actually see the content your team spent so much time developing. This is particularly critical for content that is ‘below the fold’ (the part of the site that is not visible to the eye without scrolling down the page). Many sites are not collecting this information. There is no out-of-the-box solution from most web analytics solutions. However, there are many plug-ins available to perform this task. Google Analytics has a popular scroll depth plug-in that even allows you to customize the scrolling percentage for your site. It takes a little more effort to implement, but the information is very valuable, especially as popular site designs increasingly advocate one-page scrolling.

While having a tag management system in place (discussed in our last post) can help a marketer implement these custom tags without the help of a developer, working with the development team to get these valuable events and plug-ins to fire should be no more than a couple days work. From there, just watch the results come in! Next week, we’ll explore some more site activity to track that is often overlooked.