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Recording the real actions on your website

Yesterday I talked about the need to measure actions, not views in email marketing. The same applies, of course, in website visitor analysis. It’s what they do that matters, not what you show them.

To get this set up properly, the first thing required is an audit of what visitors can do on your website which you’d regard as a successful action. Your list might include viewing PDF documents, completing a contact form, clicking on an email link, downloading an app, even visiting an external site such as one hosting CAD data. Once you’ve got this, assess how many of them you’re actually measuring at the moment. It may actually be zero: Google Analytics counts none of those by default. But it can measure all of them with a bit of ingenuity, and it will take your visitor analysis on to the next level.

The key here is to use Google Tag Manager. This can convert most actions into Google Analytics ‘events’, or even – if appropriate – pretend page views. However, setting all this up is not for the faint-hearted. It’s taken me a long time to get even to a semi-competent level in setting up tags, triggers and variables. However, if you’ve got a good website programmer to hand, it shouldn’t present them with too much difficulty.