One of the first things people see on your website right after the header is the top navigation. So is it helping people get where they want to go or blocking them at every turn? Also, could you improve the readers path by making adjustments, and if you do, were they actually effective?
This is where Google click tracking, labeled “In-Page Analytics” comes into play.
In this post I'll show you how to use In-Page Analytics to test changes to your site.
Quick note: if you are using WordPress it appears that you have to be logged out of your site for this to work. I'm not sure if it's the admin bar that causes trouble, but in I couldn't get the stats to show up when I was logged into any of my WordPress sites, which is pretty much all of them.
So now for some how to!
Show Me The Clicks!
To access the In-Page Analytics:
- Log in to your Google Analytics account
- Select the site you want
- Click the “Content” section
- On the bottom right you'll see “Click Patterns” and the “In-Page Analytics” link. Click that one.
There's also a link to the In-Page Analytics under the content section.
This will load your website with an overlay of the click data, like so:
When you highlight one of the numbers you get even more data! You can see:
- How many clicks the link got
- What percentage of all clicks on the page the link received
- How many goals started with a click on the link <– pure awesome
You can also change the date range as well as compare dates.
How To Use Click Tracking For Testing
The power of click tracking is, frankly, awesome. And it works on every page of your site. Knowing what people are clicking most on in your navigation is one thing, but apply this to sales pages and landing pages and you're in data and testing geek heaven.
Step 1: Take A Screenshot
The first thing you want to do is take a screen capture of the page you're testing. When you start changing the dates in Google Analytics it isn't smart enough to know what the page used to look like, it simply overlays the data it has on top of what currently exists. So take a screenshot and mark it up with the current click data.
Step 2: Make Your Changes… And Take Another Screenshot
Next make your changes and take another screenshot. This way you have a baseline and a full record of your changes.
I recommend allowing at least a week to gather enough data to see if your changes are having a positive effect. If you have a lot of visits to your site though (in the thousands per day) you can make changes faster.
Step 3: Optimize
The final step is to continue to take screenshots, analyze the changes, make another and see if it's positive or negative, and keep doing it. Over and over again until the incremental advances are so small it doesn't make a significant difference. Of course “incremental” is relative to your situation. 1% of 1M is a lot more than 1% of 10k
Let The Optimization Begin!
There are all sorts of things you could test on your page:
- Navigation text
- Opt-in buttons
- Image links
- Call to action links
Dive into your analytics and see where people are clicking in the navigation. Do they like your blog? Does the terminology of a product or service cause confusion and reduce the number of clicks you get?
Test, tweak and find out.