Here I have compiled some useful tips to not only help you install your own custom links, but understand its basic usability in Sitecatalyst metrics categories. In some instances, like those related to on-site search, these may provide more insights than your company will know what to do with, in other instances, the simplicity alone may astound you.
Custom Link tracking is the implementation of a small event call on certain parts of the actionable areas or tabs of your website. You can create a tag which calls a script based on the event you wish to collect on. By default, the documentation for this explains this should take place with the “=onclick” action. This works, but sometimes, and often we find, people are clicking less on those tab buttons and hitting more on the ‘Enter’ key of your keyboard. Therefore, it becomes less accurate in its reporting. To combat this, try using “=onsubmit” or some other action of your choice which can provide a more complete picture of the use of these links or areas of the website.
Using this method, many websites owner have been able to pull off a few neat catches.
First, we know how many people are using our on-site search in comparison to “what our search provider is telling us”. This is important because of all our features tab on the site, the “search” tab is truly the single thing which ties directly to our conversion. The better our search and the more visible, the more people will use it. The more people use it, the more information available to draw from and increase activity of the learning algorithm encircled into it. The better the results, the more likely people are to click and convert.
Second, we are able to gather information about the navigational habits of people using the search. [Idea: Few Client’s IT department built a search-aid solution. Its a real time search suggestion application, which pops out from the search box based on user input. By attaching a Custom Link to the application, we can actually determine when people use the suggestions, what they chose, and how they executed the action (either by a mouseclick or by hitting the ‘Enter’ key)]. This provides us with information about, what people are searching for, how often they are searching, what the habits of the majority are and more. Its a wonderful thing that can be used to rethink, how our navigation and our buttons should work throughout the site as well as groomed some of our keyword strategies.
If planning to set up our most recent multivariate test in Google Website Optimizer, take some time and extra care to tag each of the variation areas with separate individual Custom Links. While the test is running, you can not only gain insight to the best possible combination as provided by the Google interface, but I can also understand how individual elements are performing their tasks.