Our most recent Analytics Half Hour covered event tracking for outbound links. Essential if you run a business that isn’t completely isolated.
The tendency is to view links that encourage people to leave your website (also called outbound links) as a necessary evil. To assume that minimising these is the best course of action.
And if they can’t be minimised – well the visitor’s is gone. Perhaps this view has been encouraged by the SEO community that tends to focus on “inbound links”.
But what if the referral is very much part of the customer journey?
In this post , I’ll give a whole lot of reasons why event tracking of outbound links is important to businesses and other organisations. And since you’ve got google analytics why not use it. If some of these resonate with you then the analytics half-hour scheduled for 13 February will give you further insights on the kinds of reports that you could see in practice.
So to the business examples
But suppose you’re a manufacturer and you have a website that has details on lots of products and services you offer and you have a network of distributors and agents in various countries around the world. In this case it would be really useful to track by means of Google Analytics events. How many visitors you sent to each particular distributor or agent.
Standing looking at anonymous shoppers in a mall or a supermarket is very much like running a website and wondering what the visitors are doing. If you could understand better – then you’d be able to improve the results of your marketing and promotional efforts.
Many business people struggle with Google Analytics. Certainly NOT because they can’t; but more because they “can’t get into it”. The whole thing seems arcane and unrelated to their business. Start to uncover the secrets by watching this 3 minute video.
- what would you like to understand about the visitors to your website?
- what experiments could you think of running?
- what measurements would help you?
Going for a walk; or listening to a piece of music is more likely to help you answer these than staring at a screen full of numbers without a clear objective.
Choosing Which Marketing Campaign to run isn’t easy. If you need sales leads and are concerned to spend wisely it’s critical.
Unless you know which campaigns produce the best results – you’ll be guessing what to do next.
All too often the campaign can be a well intentioned guess. And the hype around media and marketing choices doesn’t help. So you have to look outside the traditional marketing choices, beyond the hype.
Under analysed and under appreciated data holds the key. Get help to find out what’s worked well for you in the past so that you can repeat the winning strategies.
Finding More Customers – isn’t rarely about spending more money.
You have to think about where to spend it first. And thinking is the word to concentrate on.
Analytics is great – but too many training courses concentrate on the boring stuff – falling into the trap of telling people the magic numbers & key graphs. So most businesses continue to miss the point.
The Missing Set of Marketing Errors – Bounce Rate
Many marketers and SEO people like to talk “bounce rate” – as though it is an accurate number and there is some target.
Those who are more sensible suggest that lower is better – but it depends on the circumstances.
As an Google Analytics Consultant – I’ve got a couple of stories to share about why Bounce Rate isn’t what it seems. First to define what we mean.
Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who hit one webpage on a site and leave the website (perhaps by closing the browser) without visiting any other pages.
One of the problems here is that your notion of “website” isn’t necessarily the same of the Analytics toolset.
For instance if Google Analytics code is missing from the second and subsequent pages that a person visits – then Analytics thinks a bounce has occurred. Now in simple cases it can be obvious the “code is missing”.
Of course this could occur if you simply omitted the code from all the pages. This kind of error was easy before content managed websites with templates came along.
But you can still do it fairly easily. Things to check
- the template doesn’t run across all the pages.
- there are iframes – so content from other sites forms part of a sequence
- there are 3rd party sites such as payment gateways.
A second problem is the general one. Google Analytics can tell you “what” a user did; but not “why”.
So deciding what to do to reduce bounce rate is anything but obvious.
- If the content is good, but the navigation on the website is hopeless then visitors may tend to wander around aimlessly looking for the ideal content.
- If the navigation is good, but the content is hopeless then visitors might decide content isn’t for them
- If the content is good – but the visitor misses the key points due to poor look and feel
- etc. etc.
So you need to be really careful about bounce rate…
Do you have stories to share ?
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