Creative Best Practices Web Analytics

Google Analytics to track individual links in webpages

Posted by Brandt Dainow on January 17th, 2013 at 9:53 am

GREAT NEWS FROM GOOGLE ANALYTICS!

In the next few weeks Google are going to upgrade Google Analytics with what they call “enhanced link attribution.”  This is MASSIVE.

At the moment, if you want to see what people clicked on, Google Analytics can only do this via where the link went to.  If you have two links in the page going to the same place, Google can’t tell which was clicked.  Since most pages have several links to the same thing, this makes understanding how people responded to a page design very limited.

In the next few weeks Google will update the system so that they can track each link on a page separately.  The advantage for design analysis is huge, and it will be an extremely valuable tool when you want to find out how to improve your design.

In order to make this available, you have to add some code to the existing Google Analytics tracking code in the site’s pages.  You have to add:

var pluginUrl =
 '//www.google-analytics.com/plugins/ga/inpage_linkid.js';
 _gaq.push(['_require', 'inpage_linkid', pluginUrl]);

This makes your tracking code look like this:

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
 var pluginUrl =
 '//www.google-analytics.com/plugins/ga/inpage_linkid.js';
 _gaq.push(['_require', 'inpage_linkid', pluginUrl]);
 _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXXX-Y']);
 _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

I strongly recommend this be done ASAP to all your sites.  You then need to update Google Analytics InPage Analytics to start recording this data.  The data will not be gathered unless the Google Analytics is set for it.   They should roll out the reports some time next month, but you need to have data already there for the reports to have stuff in them.

You can see Google’s announcement at http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2558867&topic=2558810&ctx=topic

I'm quick to criticise Google, but this is a VERY exciting move forward for everyone, so points to Google!

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