We’ve all seen websites with hotel reservations, affiliate marketing, and webinar signups where in order to make a purchase or become a lead, a visitor needs to go to a third-party page. Well, I have worked with a few like that and in every case tracking is the first thing that needs to be addressed. After all, if we do not know how many people completed the CTA, how could we claim that the campaign is a success?
This kind of tracking has an undeserved reputation of being difficult to implement. But in reality, all you need is Google Analytics code on your site and a little bit (honestly!) of coding.
But before you get started, do yourself a favor and check the following:
1. Make sure you are using the newer version of GA on your site. The on-page script I am using will not work with old Urchin code.
2. If your site is in PHP, GA’s new code may have a syntax conflict. This does not mean you can’t use the new code. It just means that you need to modify it to be
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-XXXXXXX-X”);
3. Make sure you have access to your website and can make code changes (DUH!).
Now, you are ready to get started.
Step 1. Set up the goal.
Let’s say, the goal is to track when a user clicks on your RSS subscribe button. Note: when they click on the button, there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually subscribe. Let’s also assume that at www.example.com we have just one type of subscription and it is a big RSS button in the upper right.
1. GA Settings Page is your first stop. Click “Edit” for www.example.com.
- Now, set the URL of the goal to be a non-existent page. For example: http://www.example.com/goal/example.
- Name your goal something like “RSS subscription”.
- Use head match as your match type.
Step 2. Tracking the clicks on the RSS button.
Now, we need to add the on-click tracking code to the RSS button. This is the code to use:
Step 3. Looking at your data.
Note: it may take time for the data to show so do not get discouraged if you are not seeing it within the first 72 hours.
You should see your RSS button clicks as a goal you set up: