What should you track in Analytics?

When you set up Google Analytics, not everything you want to track will be automatically set up. This video looks at examples of trackable actions people can take on a site, to give you a reference tool for setting up your own account.

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Summary

When you set up Google Analytics, most of the tracking you implement will apply from the point it’s set up onwards, there’s no way for Analytics to go back and apply it to data already collected. So when you first set up your account it’s good to take a look through your site and ask yourself “What actions can visitors take on my site?” and “Which of these have value to me?” Many of these won’t automatically be tracked by Google but you can put some simple tracking in directly in the website code or via Google Tag Manager and begin to collect the information. In this video we’re going to look at examples of those actions, to give you a reference tool for making your own list.

We’re going to use the University of Leeds site because it has a really broad range of actions people can take on the site.

1. Banner or highlight spot clicks LU undergrad blocks e.g. blocks do they always check first one or do they check specific title homepage
2. Value of a position - do more people click on 1st spot because they want that item, or because it’s first spot? Particularly key on mobile where may sit below fold, need more scrolling. But carousel may be browsed more on mobile. If you put a higher value item in spot 1 does it still do as well or do people go to lower value? LU undergrad blocks e.g. blocks do they always check first one or do they check specific title

3. Downloads LU - masters / prospectus
4. Comparison of two clicks to same destination on a page - e.g. on a blog you might have a CTA halfway through and one at footer - can distinguish which is which. LU masters - course search top, course search side menu or blocks v list
5. Form submissions including expressions of interest, email subscriptions LU - masters application
6. Clicks through to key pages, such as an offers page LU - as above
7. Journeys through a set of pages / down a funnel LU masters app - backtrack above
8. Social link clicks - both to visit your own site and to share posts LU - off course pages and footer

9. Calls (actually clicks on a telephone number - this is NOT flawless) LU - contact us
10. Emails (again, clicks on email address) LU - contact us

11. Depth of interaction - ‘more’ , ‘next’ links LU - footer news

12. Language / currency / other customisation None on LU home

You may also want to record, not only that the above actions happen, but the page they take place. Where the action is a link, you can see this with a navigation summary, but if someone is clicking to expand something, or view the next image in a carousel, or any action which takes place on the same page, extra tracking can help you monitor this. This can be useful when comparing the value of similar pages - for example a blog or content page, as it can help to show which pages people are most engaged with, and give you an idea of the type of content that is popular.

So this should give you an overview of what you might want to track. If you’re still uncertain, I would suggest going through your site page by page, and looking at what you can click on each page, and considering the value of that click to you - is it something that might lead directly or indirectly to a conversion? Is it something that will indicate how engaged with your brand a visitor is? Ask yourself these questions for each click and make a note of the key actions and where they are throughout your site.

Thanks for watching. I’ll cover how to actually track all these actions in another video. If you have any questions about what to track, drop me a line in the comments.

 

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