Google Analytics - Site Overlay Report

The Site Overlay report breaks away from the norm of Google Analytics reports by using visualization to illustrate how visitors are interacting with your page elements and layout on a single page within a site. The Site Overlay report can be configured to display metrics such as clicks, transactions, revenue and goal values. Displaying these metrics allows users to gain an insight into what links are being clicked, which type of links are preferred by your audience (i.e graphics or buttons) and how much interaction is occurring for links that are situated below the fold. The screenshot below shows the percentage of clicks each link on the Internetrix site has received.

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Users can display metrics such as goals by selecting them from the Google Analytics menu bar at the top of the screen. Users can also rollover links in order to display all metrics associated with it.

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The value that the Site Overlay Report provides is ideas on how to test layout changes and how your audience is responding to different elements on a page and their position.

Considerations

One shortcoming of the Site Overlay report is that it only works with static pages that have links to other content located on the website. The Site Overlay Report will not work when linking to sub domain pages, where javascript links are employed and where frames are used.

In addition to this the Site Overlay report tracks links based on the URL not by the location or keyword used. Therefore, if you were interested in comparing the performance of a text-based link and an image-based link that navigate to the same page (i.e. you have two links that contain identical hyperlinks) the statistics shown in the Site Overlay report will be identical. In order to address this shortcoming you must add a qualifier to the link in order to truly identify which link is being used to access a page (refer to the example below)

Implementations for Different Business Sectors

Multi-National Corporations

  • Can use the Site Overlay report to determine which links are most effective for users of different nationalities (i.e Users of the Spanish version of a site may prefer text links while English users may prefer graphical links)

Domestic Corporations

  • Can use this report to identify key links and clickpaths on their site

Public Sector

  • Can use the Site Overlay report to determine which links to legislative/regulatory materials is most effective.

Membership Based Organisations

  • Can be used to test how the positions and type of links affect membership sign ups/enquiries (i.e does a link in the top right hand corner of the page generate more clicks from potential members, than a link in the bottom left hand corner of the page )

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