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Spying with Google Analytics

April 6th, 2008 - Category: Google | .

Google Analytics is a free web site statistics package, and a pretty indispensable tool for the webmaster of today. By injecting a small tracking script into your site’s HTML code, you can monitor your web site’s visitors in many interesting ways.

A slightly overlooked feature is the ability to trigger “page views” via JavaScript. This is very powerful, because it means you can monitor all kinds of behaviour, not just which pages the user visits. Let’s say, for instance, that you have three different buttons leading to the same page, and you want to measure which one is most effective in luring visitors. By calling a JavaScript function when the user clicks on one of the buttons, you can tell Google Analytics that the user visited the “/buttons/yellow” page. This does not of course correspond to an actual page, but it shows up in your reports as if it were. Thus you can easily see which button performs best.

Other things you can count and report on with this nifty feature include:

Check out this article explaining how to add the requisite code.

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