[This is a guest post from Naoshi Yamauchi. Follow him at @Yamalytics.]
What this post is about
Example of using Google Analytics Track Event to get a deeper look at which buttons are generating the most impact.
I recently created a site www.naoshiyamauchi.com to share my thoughts on online marketing analytics. In July, 50% of my visits came from Twiter. 41% specifically from the ones I tweeted out. How do I know this? By tagging all the tweets I send out with Google Analytics tracking code, I can differentiate my own efforts from other traffic sources.
So let’s note that Twitter is the main driver of traffic to my site. It’s clearly working better than the other channels so far, so if my goal is to generate more traffic I should focus on getting more followers. I had a Twitter button on the sidebar, so at least that’s a start.
I thought about it some more and decided I should test to see if I add another Twitter button on the bottom of each post, if that will generate more followers.
After I added the new buttons, sure enough, I started getting some followers the next few days.
Cool… but which button are they coming from? Are they from the newly added buttons on the bottom of each post, or the one from the sidebar? I assume it’s the buttons on the bottom of each post, but I’d rather not guess. Or are they even coming from the buttons at all? Maybe a random person with a lot of followers happened to recommend following me and had nothing to do with the new buttons.
So how do I track to see 1) if the buttons are getting any actions and 2) which buttons are getting me the followers?
The key is to put in a “Track Event” into the buttons. (Here is a link to Google’s site for more info: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/eventTrackerGuide.html). Since I use the latest Google Analytics async tracking, the code looks like below for event tracking.
The arrow indicates what is categorized as “Labels”. With labels, I can add the same code as above into the post’s Twitter buttons with a different label name and see of the buttons on the posts, which one got the most. The below shows an example of what I have in the Twitter button at the end of my “Old Spice parody video”.
This way, not only do I track whether an event was triggered from the button on the sidebar or the post, but also which post generated the event.
Now, let’s take a look into my Google Analytics account.
All the events shown are for users clicking on the Twitter buttons.
Sweet! What the heck happened on 7/21? (Click for a larger image.) That’s when I put up my “Old Spice Parody” video. Did it come from the button on the post or the sidebar?
To find out, go to Content and select the “Labels” under “Event Tracking.”
Wow. 91% of the events for clicking on the Twitter buttons have come from the button at the bottom of the post on the “Old Spice Parody” video.
The button on the bottom of the post killed the sidebar button. I need to focus my call to action for Twitter events within the post and not depend on the sidebar Twitter button. My next test might be changing up the icons.
Find out your goal, figure out what is going to support the goal, track events, and think about next steps.
Track Event in Google Analytics is one of many useful google gadgets and is a great way to track where your successes and failures are and to use the data to further optimize your site.