Data / site analytics tracking is steadily taking over the world. This is exciting for all of us, but there are a few tracking tricks and tools that receive far too little attention for their worth. Today we dedicate this post to those unsung heroes of tracking and business insight
Goal Funnel Analysis
Goals and conversion tracking are an easy sell these days, but goal funnels don’t get the attention they deserve. We all know we need to set up goals on our site, but what about the pages that precede that goal? There are a few options for this, but goal flow visualisation is the best for an instant, clear visual showing exactly where your potential converting visitors fall off the band wagon. Experience always demonstrates that simple visual tools like this are magical – need senior managers to buy-in for some expensive user-experience design work? Show them the leaking goal funnel and your case is made.
Internal Site Search (ISS) Tracking
ISS tracking is criminally underused. It’s a remarkable easy feature to set up (don’t be intimidated) and once it’s up and running, the insights are truly wonderful. On any site with internal search that showcases particular products and services, visitors are searching for items of interest. Imagine you have a bakery site – maybe you don’t sell online, but your site does showcase your marvellous range of cakes and baked goodies.
Now switch on ISS tracking and suddenly you’ll see your customers searching for products that you may or may not have. Remember when red velvet cake was a hot new trend? Bakeries were inundated with calls and customers at the counter asking for red velvet cake – websites are no different: ISS tracking will show that there’s a lot of interest out there, and you’d better learn to make red velvet cake!
But what if you do have the product in question? That’s an entirely different insight. Maybe customers are searching within your site for “wedding cakes” and you already have a marvellous wedding cake section on your site. The fact that they are searching for it tells you that they can’t find it. People tend to use ISS when they can’t see what they want but they still hope it’s somewhere on the site. Maybe it’s time to feature the wedding section more prominently on your home page?
Error Pages Analysis - Navigation Summary
Error pages happen. They’re just a fact of life. It’s good to know, though, where people are running up against your 404 and 500 errors. Take a look at your content reports, check out your error pages and use the navigation summary to see where visitors came from to arrive on an error page (maybe you can spot the problem on the preceding page) and see where they went afterwards. Did they give up and leave? Or was your error page charming enough that your visitor forgave you and continued to explore your site?
Exit Pages/Exit Links
You know those lovely links you put in your website copy, linking out to useful resources and fascinating pages? You can track which of those links are most popular, and therefore what kind of content is leading your visitors away to other sites. If you are running a game lodge site, and visitors keep leaving to follow links about birding safaris, consider bringing those sites into closer collaboration with your own site.
In a different context, service companies that have a prominent “call us on this number” call to action will find that visitors tend to exit from that page. After all, they are only doing what you told them to do. This is perfectly normal and healthy – just make sure that the call to exit isn’t upstaging some critical content on that page.
So there you have it. Four juicy, easy-to-set-up analytics tactics to try out on your site!