The tendency is to view links that encourage people to leave your website (also called outbound links) as a necessary evil. To assume that minimising these is the best course of action.
And if they can’t be minimised – well the visitor’s is gone. Perhaps this view has been encouraged by the SEO community that tends to focus on “inbound links”.
But what if the referral is very much part of the customer journey?
In this post , I’ll give a whole lot of reasons why event tracking of outbound links is important to businesses and other organisations. And since you’ve got google analytics why not use it. If some of these resonate with you then the analytics half-hour scheduled for 13 February will give you further insights on the kinds of reports that you could see in practice.
So to the business examples
But suppose you’re a manufacturer and you have a website that has details on lots of products and services you offer and you have a network of distributors and agents in various countries around the world. In this case it would be really useful to track by means of Google Analytics events. How many visitors you sent to each particular distributor or agent.
This would allow you to start a conversation with each distributor or agent about how effective the website was proving in sending potential customers. It would also allow you to compare the outcomes in various countries against the numbers of visitors sent to each country.
Let’s suppose that you run a franchise operation and you have a website that you advertise as a benefit to all of the franchisees. Again, it will be really useful to have Google Analytics events track and tell you how many visitors you’ve sent to each particular franchisee. You can imagine, by analogy with the example above that you will be able to compare the marketing assistance given to each franchisee and have conversations with them.
Another example would be portals and comparison sites. For some of these were the client websites will be paying customers and tracking by a variety of means would be really helpful in securing a contract renewal for your marketing services at the appropriate time.
There are of course huge websites that operate on this model: think of opodo.com for flight bookings, or last-minute.com
Apart from the huge websites; there can be quite small ones.
For instance, your local business community may have networking events and other activities and publicise the micro and small business members. At the point that a renewal is due or even throughout the year to give confidence to the membership, tracking by means of Google Analytics events can be really useful. The small and micro-businesses themselves may run so-called micro-sites whose purpose is to capture visitors and forward them to a particular section of another website. In the circumstances event tracking is also important.
There are any number of companies that offer their products and services over a wide geographical area and rely on local agents to either secure the sale or play some part in delivering the requested product or service.
But it’s not only the private sector that needs to look at event tracking using Google Analytics. A really important role for local government can be to signpost visitors to other agencies, organisations and charities that support the local community. For example, our local council have webpages that advertise the holiday activity clubs that are available for schoolchildren during school holidays. They also this the nurseries and other childcare facilities for preschool children.
Google Analytics Event Tracking can be a really useful way to understand the popularity of the various clubs and therefore how they can make themselves more popular with the voting adults in the local community.
Educational institutions like further and higher education; and private schools may offer numbers of grants and bursaries from third parties. Because these potentially enable of additional applications – the colleges and schools are likely to be in favour. But knowing which of the various schemes appeared most popular might be extremely important in deciding what other schemes they should seek out and market to potential students.
In many cases students wanting to attend college will be focused on the job but they could secure. As a result. Some colleges will want to link directly to job sites that list apprenticeship opportunities in order that prospective students can get a taste of the kinds of job that might be available. In this particular guys the job. My support them through college, as well as the opportunity after completion of the course.
Okay, so the whole lot of business focused examples as to why event tracking using Google Analytics can be helpful. The good news is that I’m running an analytics half-hour to explain more about the reporting you can obtain if you follow best practice event tracking using Google Analytics.
So what other business reasons for tracking outbound links can you suggest?
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