These days, almost all analytics tools out there let you track click events. Clicks represent most of the interactions a user has with your site. But once you have that data, now what? You could track every single click a visitor makes, but that’s a flood of data to sift through. Click tracking, when properly applied, can be one of the most powerful tools for understanding exactly how people respond to your content and how your marketing affects your conversion funnel.
In this post I will lay out six simple guidelines to help you with click tracking. My goal is to help you collect actionable data for insight into your site’s value and understand the potential of various types of site optimization.
1. Don’t track everything
Not all clicks are created equal. Only a small portion of your site’s overall UI is actually necessary to track. If an action doesn’t indicate a higher-than-average interest in your business, it’s just noise. It won’t give you any insight into the behaviour of your top visitors. Clicks on navigation, pagination and in-text links are rarely worth tracking, except in rare situations.
2. Track meaningful interaction
Look for things that you’d want potential customers to do. In the case of e-commerce, it’s the Add to Cart link and the Checkout button, and some of the pages along the critical path to those. A Request a Quote form or a contact form used for lead generation are both good candidates. In the case of an online service or SAAS application, the link to your pricing page is a good place to start.
3. Think about the steps in your customer lifecycle
Track the elements that indicate a transition from one lifecycle stage to the next. Here’s an e-commerce example:
- Acquisition – The visitor arrives at your website after a search or clicking on a link on another site. Track clicks on the Browse Products button.
- Pre-Purchase/Sign Up – The person shops around or engages with your service. Track clicks on the Sign Up or Create Account button.
- Engagement – The person returns to use your site. Track clicks on the Add to Cart button.
- Purchase/Conversion – The person buys something or fills out a lead-generation form. Track clicks on the Check Out button.
- Referral – The person shares your site on social media or invites others. Track clicks on the Facebook Like widget.
Of course, the above process will differ from business to business, but you get the idea.
4. Use a simple rating system
Each UI element you track should have a score. It could be as simple as 1 to 10, or a percentage. The kind of rating system you use doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s consistent. Just use it rate how important the interaction is. This mechanism forces you to prioritize user actions, which helps create more meaningful reports. For example, you could create a report that shows you all the people who did 3 or more things with a score of 95/100.
5. Categorize your click events using meaningful naming conventions
Before getting caught up in the details, first consider the types of elements someone can interact with on your site. A common category is videos. However, if you have several types of videos on your site, you may want to be specific with your video categories.
For example, let’s say visitors have the option to learn more about your product by watching sales videos, and can also visit another section for training videos. These are two very different categories. To differentiate them, you could prefix your click events with Video – Sales, because you want prospects to click these videos. The second category for Video – Training would likely target current customers who are interested in learning more.
6. Use click tracking to track the untrackable
Coding a template or page can be daunting for the average marketer. And working with your development team and agency can be time-consuming or even impossible to make the necessary changes on your tracking strategy. Trialfire is a visual editor for setting up web analytics. Trialfire allows you to navigate through your website like a regular visitor, but each click you make gives you the ability to add a ‘tracking pin’. You can add a tracking pin to anything, including links, button, and fields.
The practice of using tracking numbers to measure the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns isn’t new, and many agencies that have mastered it have seen amazing results for their campaigns, their clients, and their own businesses.