Sometimes I’m a little behind on the information. I thought I was tracking internal website links and blog links by using the Analytics URL Builder. Little did I know that over a year ago Google changed the way this code is tracked, especially if the account is linked to your Adwords account. I finally discovered this for myself after a radical homepage redesign of a very high traffic website. After the redesign I went into analytics to see if the new layout was making it easier for visitors to click through. But there was no usable data that I could see in Analytics and my campaigns were not showing up.
At this point I searched the Google help files and visited a few websites. Because the site I was working on is a CMS website and I don’t have access the access needed to install java scripts for tracking. So I had to some up with another method. I noticed that the site was using some link data for their proprietary reporting. The links contained data like, “cs:a:i=” then it would have a name for the image or banner. I had to run through all the CMS provided content links to see what code they were using. I came up with a company abbreviation that I figured wouldn’t interfere with anything the CMS provider was using. For this particular website this abbreviation was “lab.”
So my first test was a link to a landing page. I added “?lab=homeblue” to the end of the URL. After testing the link it worked. My next link was to a dynamic inventory page. Problem here was there is already a “?” in the URL to call to the inventory. Therefore adding ?lab=homered (red button this time) would not display the correct inventory. Then I realized (sometimes it takes me a little bit) that simply adding the “&” to the string would work. So the URL looked like /InventorySearch?Make=whatever&color=whatever&lab=homeblue. This worked. This reminded me of how important it was to make sure my tracking does not contain anything that may be included in the inventory database.
After adding this code to my homepage links I waited 24 hours and went into Google Analytics. To find out how many times the blue button on the hompage was click I went to Content=>Site Content=>All Pages and searched for homeblue.
This method worked. Now I can track every new homepage button, landing page links, blog links, whatever in an easy manner. This method may not be super clean but it is easy and works. So lets see how many people click on the following link in this blog post – Click Here to find a new car!