My post builds on a great article (and plugin) from Joost De Valk. His article, Checking your outbound click stats is a fantastic run through of how to use the Google Analytics “content drilldown” report to work out where you’re sending traffic (providing you’re tracking the clicks). If you’ve correctly installed his plugin, your comments, downloads, comment author link, article links and blogroll link clicks are all tracked automatically. Those outbound clicks should look like this:
But what if, like me, you’ve created a bespoke sidebar, that isn’t quite dynamic enough to talk to a plugin like this? Basically, I’ve hard coded my sidebar links and I’d like to be able to track what exit clicks they’re generating.
I’m going to use my “Find me on” links on the right hand side of this blog as the example. In short, I have worked through the HTML in this code and replaced the ordinary link anchor (<a href=) with the onclick event that will trigger the Google Analytics outbound link click tracking:
The first snippet of code is my Linkedin profile link. It’s an ordinary bit of code for an image that carries an outbound link in the HTML anchor.
Below is our next snippet. By using firebug in inspect mode, I grabbed the default onclick code from an outbound link from one of my recent articles and carefully replaced the href= url to the one I want to track. You will notice (If you look at an onclick in another article post on this blog) that I have changed the code “/outbound/article/” to “/outbound/sidebar”. This change will separate out click data coming from my sidebar – and will appear neatly in the content drilldown report above.
Finally, I need to update the first code snippet with this new onlick event. All that needs to be done here is replace the old HTML anchor link with this entire line of code:
This image link will now track just like the rest of the outbound links on my site. Take a look by inspecting the code in my sidebar with firebug. Enjoy!