Your homepage is usually your most important landing page. But it is not an easy task to find out how the page’s teasers or “on-site” or “internal campaigns” are performing, especially for content-heavy websites. In the first part of this series on how to track on-site campaigns, we will look at some general issues and then show you 5 pros and 9 cons for Google Analytics’ “In-Page Analytics”.
I work for a company that has a homepage clogged with teasers and links. It looks like this:
The teasers change once a week, so every week there’s the question: How well did each teaser perform?
If it were teaser links in an email campaign, the solution would be easy: Just tag all the links with your campaign parameters, and make sure your email service provider offers click tracking.
Why shouldn’t I use regular campaign tags?
Some people also use these normal campaign tags (utm_source etc.) in their on-site campaigns. That is not recommended because you lose the original source of the visitor as soon as she clicks on an on-site campaign link: The original source gets overridden by the parameters of that link.
Paid solutions: Mouse Movement and Click Heat Maps
Analyzing teaser performance with Google Analytics
You’re not lost if you just want to stick to Google Analytics. In my opinion, there are several proven methods to analyze on-site teaser performance:
- In-Page Analytics (a.k.a. “Website Overlay”)
- Event Tracking or Virtual Pageviews (actually two methods, but they work similarly)
- URL parameters that specify the referring link (like http:\\www.mydomain.com/article?ref=home)
All have their pros and cons. To spoil the show, I use In-Page Analytics for some purposes and Event Tracking for others. I used URL parameters for a while, but almost entirely stopped doing so because it makes reporting a lot more complex and causes other issues. But depending on your goals and your resources, all three solutions may be viable options for you.
In this series on how to track on-site campaigns, we’ll look at all three methods in detail. This first post will focus on In-Page Analytics – a powerful and often neglected tool that is available out of the box and can help tremendously on most websites, although it also has many downsides especially when you have dynamic content, outbound links or links to subdomains. To read the full article, visit “Tracking on-site campaigns” with Google Analytics in Web Analytics World’s guides pages.”