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Google In-Page Analytics, Your Personalized Heat Map (Good For Business)

by DiTesco

navigation clicks

Ever wondered what your users actually do when they arrive on your website? Hopefully the very first thing they would do is to read your latest article and preferably leave a comment, lol. So let’s say just for the sake of argument that they did read your latest article and left you a comment, what next? Did they leave, or did they “clicked” on something else? Would it not be helpful to know what they are actually “clicking” while they are on your site and visualize how your visitors navigate on a given website page? I think yes, and that would be a real valuable information.

User behavior can be very tricky and it is likely that they vary from website to website, as websites have different structures. One question that I always had was, where and what do my actual visitors do after they finish what their original intention was. Questions like, do they click on my “most” popular post, navigation bar, ads, etc., or what interest them more, has been in the back of mind. Those questions remained really unanswered, until, Google’s In-Page Analytics comes into play. Still in beta, this tool is not new (launched October 2010) and while this is so, I had the impression that in earlier stages, there was not enough data for me to analyze to have a near to accurate reading on my users behavior when they visit my website. Well, all that has changed.

Google In-Page Analytics

Google analytics for most of you is not new and I am sure that you are using it to your benefit already, specially if your are conducting some form of business online. Google analytics provides you with several information that allows you to analyze data, such as, where your traffic comes from (direct, organic, referrals, etc.), top pages, entrance and exit urls, keywords, page views, unique visitors, time spent on your site, among other things. To access in-page analytics, just log into your account, select content and hit the in-page tab.

google_in-page_analytics_1

Many marketers will suggest you how to design your website and where/how/what (if any) should you be putting your AdSense ads, widgets, ad spaces, navigation bar, optin forms, etc. The so called heat maps available out there are only a “general rule” and not specific to your website. So it may work for some, but not for the other. In addition, it is also interesting to know if any of your “widgets” are actually drawing any attention, because it might just be occupying space, hampering your page loading time, etc, of which your users are not really particularly interested in.

So what information does Google In-Page Analytics Provide?

Your own personal “heatmap” that shows you in a form of percentages as to what your users click the most in your website. Google In-Page analytics will provide you with average information regarding your most clicked links. Hovering your mouse over each element reveals the overall percentage and number of clicks that particular part of your website section has been clicked on.

google_in-page_analytics_2

For as long as you logged in your Google analytics account, you can navigate throughout your website as you would normally do and find information about how many clicks you received for each element, and with this get an indication of your users behavior. This is absolutely great information you can use to see what you can leverage upon on the content on your website.

For example, based on my most recent analysis, I discovered that very few of my visitors click on my “top commenters” widget. Then again there is an answer to that. My top commenters widget resets itself every 30 days, so I am assuming that I will never see if they get clicks or not. Regardless, it is my way to reward my commenters, so that stays there.

Further analysis reveals that all of my popular post, most viewed and users favorite posts are often clicked on, meaning that users generally like those section of my website. What’s interesting is that they are all “under the fold”, which means that my visitors go all the way down my pages and this is  good indication for me ;-). According to Google’s in-page analysis, I get a 60/40% of clicks (homepage), split between above and under the fold. Also, it is clear that the article section of my site is the one that gets most of its attention (good again).

google in-page analytics 4

Curious is my navigation bar, where homepage “button” aside, the most clicked is the “advertise/service” category. All other categories are not clicked that often, which leads me to believe that it requires some attention. In addition, my about link, write for us, and contact page are also getting some attention. And you can see where I am going with this. In my case, I most likely will have to review both my advertising page (more compelling, include all services that I offer, etc.) and navigation bar. All in all, it appears that clicks on my site are quite well distributed, and that’s actually pretty good.

Use Google In-Page Analytics To Go Deeper

Another example, going deeper into one of my most visited post (organic traffic), Best SEO Plugins, I noticed that the user behavior changes a little bit. Most of the clicks happen above the fold (75%) and very few after that. Internal links are highly clicked upon and this is where search and subscriptions increase in comparison to my homepage. Since this page is highly ranked on Google, among other things, this is telling me that users who land here, probably liked what they read and are looking for other related articles. After they leave as very few click on the “homepage” button on my navigation bar.

google_in-page_analytics_3

Anyway, there a lot of things you can analyze with Google In-Page analytics. Following below is a video presentation that provides a more detailed information about what you can do with this powerful tool. As for me, it has already given me some things to work at. Most of what I said above are examples of what you can do to fine tune your site. Remove unwanted links, widgets, ads, etc.. and replace them with something else. This really very useful to detect “movements” within your site and based on this make changes accordingly. Keep testing until you are satisfied with the results. All this can improve your users experience, page speed load time, and conversions too.

What say you? Have you used Google’s In-Page analytics already? Take Google In-Page analytics for a spin and let me know what you think.

Article by

+DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Consulting Services.

Francisco has written 893 articles at iBlogzone.com

1

Gera@Sweets Foods Blog

May 24, 2011 at 2:33 am

Hi Francisco,

Incredible information. I tried other systems to get the hot-spots, to see where the clicks are done, but it didn’t result.
I know there is a paid tool that works well, but I prefer freebies lol.

I’m going to explore this new characteristic – very useful – thanks for sharing!

It’s great that you’re having clicks below the fold – you can improve even more that zone. Hope mine is the same πŸ˜‰

Cheers,

Gera

2 DiTesco May 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

Hi Gera. Glad you found this tool useful. I actually just started to use it myself and it allowed me to understand a bit more about how user navigate in my site. Need to make some changes too πŸ™‚ All the best

3 Karen May 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

This is brilliant, I have to admit that I have been viewing my analytics direct on my blog, so it’s been a while since I actually checked them in Google itself, I’ll be checking these out today and seeing what’s happening with my blog and hopefully, making some improvements πŸ˜‰

4 DiTesco May 25, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi Karen. I also check my analytics directly on WP specially with JetPack, but once in a while I do check how things are going on GWT and Analytics. Found out about this tool recently too and I thought it provided great information. Hope it helps you do some improvements, if needed. Let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

5 Tessa May 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

With the help of Google Analytic i can able to track my visitor whom are they, where they are, And find out entry and exit pages etc. But i can’t track the visitors mouse move and all. From this post i understand about Google In-Page Analytics. I would like to try it now. Thank you for this useful update DiTesco

6 DiTesco May 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

You are welcome Tessa. I hope this helps πŸ™‚

7

Paul

May 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

Google Analytics has always been a puzzle for me. It took me 3-4 days to fully grasp every information it offers. Now comes, page analytics which is a more in-depth review of how well the pages of your website performs. Thanks for the heads-up πŸ™‚

8 DiTesco May 25, 2011 at 11:36 am

Hi Paul. Haha, definitely took you lesser time than me to get a hand on analytics. Once in a while, if one really invests a little more time in there. I believe there are some hidden gems yet to be discovered. Thanks for stopping by.

9 Sherryl Perry May 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm

This article opened my eyes to a feature of Google Analytics that I had never explored. I rely heavily on Google Analytics to help me tweak my site. I can’t believe I’ve been missing this! Thanks so much for taking the time to write such an in-depth post on this. I appreciate it and will share it so others can learn about this too.

10 DiTesco May 25, 2011 at 11:39 am

Hi Sherryl. As I told Paul, I think that there are still some interesting stuff yet to be discovered inside Google Analytics. This was just just one that I have discovered recently and would you believe if I said by accident? LOL. Anyway, it does provide with very useful information and I do hope it helps you tweak your site. All the best and thanks for stopping by

11

Jason Mitchev

May 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm

My webmaster pointed this out to me recently and I love the tool! Gives me quite an insight on how people interact with my site.

12 Hulbert Lee May 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Hi DiTesco, I just finished watching the video. It’s pretty amazing how this tool is. I currently am using Google Analytics, and have wondered where people go when they arrive to my website. Even in it’s beta stage, I can still try this out. Thanks for sharing this useful post!

13

Sire

May 29, 2011 at 5:52 am

DiTesco, since reading your posts I’ve been using Google Analytic more and more but I have to admit I’ve yet to use the in page analytics. I’m going to have todo something about that. πŸ˜‰

I have a rough idea of some of the stuff they do when on my site as I’ve a plugin installed that shows where they’ve come from, the page they landed on as well as any links they clicked on. That heat map would be so much better. Thanks for the post.

14 DiTesco May 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

Hi Sire. In-page analytics is really a great tool and it provides a bit more of information in comparison to other tools. What I like best is that I can see from the “heat amp” what sections of my website needs attention. Glad you found this useful and I hope it helps. All the best

15 lawmacs May 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Google has provide us with this wonderful tool i would encourage every blogger to use it and take the time to dig deep inside and get the full understanding there are lots of plus about this tool.

16 RonLeyba May 30, 2011 at 1:24 am

Pretty cool addition to the analytics. Now, more gold mines can be found!

17

Lee Roper

May 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

In-page analytics is a great tool, but it doesn’t show clicks off the page, making it less useful for affiliate links or cases in which you use a shopping cart or reservation tool that carries people off the site to complete transactions. If you use WordPress, the Web Ninja plugin will allow outlink clicks to show up in your analytics as well. Otherwise, a tool like Crazy Egg can be a help.

18 DiTesco May 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Hi Lee. I think what you are looking for is more of like a link tracker rather than a heat map, which gives you an in-depth analysis of how links perform individually. In-Page provides you only with a “picture” of which part or parts of your website is being “used” by visitors and with this could give you an indication of what changes if any are required. Anyway, you do have a valid point and it would be a good addition for Google to think about in the future.

19

SE Book

June 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I have started using this a lot lately. It really has helped me to see what and how the people on my site are doing.

20

Latief @ Simple Blogging Tips

June 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Google Analytics is one of my fav, provide so many information and if we run a blog for business purpose, I think well understanding about Google Analytics is really important to know what people doing with our blog πŸ˜‰

21

Gabriel Spiteri

June 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Hi there

I just upgraded to Google Analytics Version 5 … are in-page analytics reports still available in this verison. Can’t find them! :S

Excellent video and article by the way πŸ™‚

22

cayley - netpaths

June 25, 2011 at 12:52 am

The heatmap overlay is helpful, and has allowed us to improve the conversions of a website over 15%!

Seeing where people click gives you an unfair advantage over your competition.

23 DiTesco June 25, 2011 at 1:54 am

Hi Cayley. That’s great that you have improved your sites conversion by that much, just by using In-Page analytics. You are right though, people using it has definitely an advantage over those that who don’t πŸ™‚

24 cayley - netpaths June 25, 2011 at 2:21 am

DiTesco I encourage all your readers to use the free tool to see exactly where users are clicking on their sites, and adjust accordingly.

GA makes it easy to see if people are responding to your hero shots, conversion buttons, and contact forms.

25

International Antiaging Systems

July 4, 2011 at 5:10 am

Hello DiTesco,

Your tips are rocking to know the internet working Google when it crawel your site , Now i can also understand the work Google reading process with analytics.

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