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How Much Traffic Do You Give Away

17 October 2016 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in nichemarket Advice

How Much Traffic Do You Give Away

A healthy website has a good mix of internal links and external links, with the additional subset of nofollow and follow links just to make things a little more interesting for SEOs and link builders. When you're driving large visitor numbers you're always bound to leak visits to these external link so it's worth auditing your linking profile and seeing where and why these leaks are happening.

Why would you track outbound links

There are many reasons you may link to external sources, you could be referencing the source material for a blog post, perhaps you had a joint marketing drive with another company, set up a campaign on a subdomain or driving users to your social media pages to gain followers, run a link exchange program the list goes on and on.External Link Icon

3 ways to monitor outbound traffic

The manual approach If you're running Google Analytics universal tracking which we hope you are unless you're really intent on living in 2012, you can simply add the following script to the head of all your pages

* Function that tracks a click on an outbound link in Analytics.
* This function takes a valid URL string as an argument, and uses that URL string
* as the event label. Setting the transport method to ‘beacon’ lets the hit be sent
* using ‘navigator.sendBeacon’ in browser that support it.
var trackOutboundLink = function(url) {
ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘outbound’, ‘click’, url, {
‘transport’: ‘beacon’,
‘hitCallback’: function(){document.location = url;}

Once the script is running you will also have manually having to tag all external links you place on your site by adding an onclick attribute to those links. You may use this example for your own links:

<a href=”http://www.example.com” onclick=”trackOutboundLink(‘http://www.example.com’); return false;”>Check out example.com</a>

This method works for small sites but will require a lot of upkeep and the larger your site becomes the more room for mistakes thankfully there is always an easier way

The automated approach part 1

One way would be hard-coding the rules into your CMS to pick up if a link does not match your domain name ie www.nichemarket.co.za and then to attach the onclick attribute (mentioned above) to those links

The automated approach part 2

If you're like me and can't wait for a dev sprint to get things live or don't have dev resources available there's always the DIY approach via Google Tag Manager. Simply set a trigger to check the hostname domain and exclude your site from the list, you can set this tag to fire on all pages or if you know of the page or directory you want to track you can set the trigger specifically fire on those pages

Where would I find outbound link info

All 3 of these approaches will fire the outbound link tracking to google analytics and will be found under the events section of your reporting.

Contact us

If you want to know more about monitoring outbound links don't be shy we're happy to assist. Simply contact us here

Tags: Data Analysis, google analytics, google tag manager

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