Many website owners use Google Analytics to collect and analyse data for their online marketing campaigns. Google Analytics is a rich source of data on not only the quantity of visitors to your website but also what actions they took while they were there. Google have now released a Google Analytics extension for their Chrome browser. The extension gives you a very visual representation of which links users are clicking on when they are on your site.
In order to use the extension you will need to be using Google Chrome as a browser and then visit this link to install the extension. This installs a small button to the right of the address bar in Chrome. If you then visit a site whose Google Analytics you can access and press the button you will see a panel appear above the website that contains a snapshot of the activity of the site including:
• Page Views
• Unique Page Views
• Average Time on Page
• Bounce Rate
• % Exit
In addition the extension puts an overlay on the page that shows you how many times each link has been clicked on. One note of caution if there are more than one link to a particular page each of these links will show the total clicks for all the links to the destination page rather than the number of clicks for each individual link. For instance imagine you have a page that has a variety of links to other pages and in total all of these links have been clicked on 3000 times Then imagine a link to a page called “online marketing” in the main menu that has been clicked 200 times and then another link to the same online marketing page in the footer that has been clicked on 100 times. You will then see that both of these links show 10% ((200+100)/3000)*100) rather than the top menu item showing 6.66% and the footer menu item showing 3.33%.
The fact that the information is presented as an overlay means that it gives a very visual representation of where users are clicking on your page. Having looked at a variety of sites that I administer I know that this will be a useful tool to demonstrate the importance of where within the menu structure specific pages would be best placed to best achieve the aims of the site.
Let me give you an example. A company has an ecommerce site with a homepage an about us page and a product page all in the main menu. Many site owners would put the menu items in the order listed above. The purpose of the website is to try to get people to buy product so the site owner would like as many clicks as possible on the product page. The site owner would think that by getting users to visit the about us section before the products page they will get more sales. If the product page was the second item it will almost certainly get more clicks than when it is in the third menu position because the nearer to the start of a menu that an item is the more people will generally click on it.
The Google Analytics Chrome Extension is not going to give you any information that you cannot already obtain from the main Google Analytics site. However, it does present the information in a more visual way that will be accessible to more users than the figures produced in the standard Google Analytics site.