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Tracking Your Visitors Out The Door

Finding out where your visitors are going after your site is a pretty valuable thing to know. For example, if you found out that a lot of people were being directed to your site from Google, but leaving via one of your outbound links, perhaps it’s time to write a new post about that subject. Or maybe you’re wondering how effective your affiliate links are, and where you could put them better. In that case you could do AB testing using goals.

So whether you’re trying to prevent ‘visitor drip’ or you’re curious if your affiliate company is reporting the links you send honestly, there is a solution. Google Analytics lets you track outbound links via a small piece of javascript. You simply add

onClick="javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview('/outgoing/example.com');"

to the end of your a href code. That will let you know where your links are going, and best of all, you can setup a goal to trigger every time someone goes to /outbound/example.com. This way, you can look at your Dashboard and know how many leads/drips/etc you sent out that day.

If you were REALLY keen, you could edit the automatic “nofollow” add plugin on this blog so that it would append this to the end of EVERY link in every post. That way every outgoing link you add would be nofollow and easily trackable from Analytics to see how popular it is. But you’re going to have to code that yourself =)

Here is the Google blog post explaining it in more technical detail.

http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55527

2 Responses to “Tracking Your Visitors Out The Door”

  1. Helpful post 🙂

    If you use WordPress, ‘Ultimate GA’ will append the js to every outbound link. Simple as pie, takes about 30 seconds to setup (you just need your account ID).

  2. I had forgotten about this technique… thanks for the reminder.

    Also, thanks to the tip for Ultimate GA… I’ll give that a try too.

    Brian

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