Mail.Ru Rating: Directly on Target

    In Ranking , as in other web statistics systems, long ago there was tracking pageviews. You could always see how many times visitors looked at the contact page, the shopping page, and even track the page view with thanks for the purchase. However, some events in the life of the site cannot be tracked in this way: downloading a file, watching a video, events in Flash and Ajax sites, the occurrence of errors.

    In the end, we decided to make tracking goals achievement functionality. In short, the goal is the event that we expect and want to track.

    As a goal, you can track:
    • file download
    • online shopping: adding goods to the basket, placing an order and paying for it
    • events in Flash and Ajax sites, watching videos
    • registration on the website
    • errors and other interactions on the site
    • clicks on external links
    • viewing the set number of pages
    • ... suggest your own option?

    In principle, the number of goods in the basket, the volume of purchases, the user can track at home according to accounting documents, and file downloads - according to the server logs. However, the rating makes it possible to immediately see the full picture without time-consuming.

    Using tracking the goals of the Rating, we can distinguish among all visitors those who are most important for the site from a business point of view. The rating gives you the opportunity to find out where the customers of the online store came from, to track the sources that attracted loyal readers of the news site or registered users for games.

    Thus, a successful connection was obtained with another report made earlier - Sources of visitors. In each case, we can find out the source of the visitor. This allows you to evaluate which sources give more registrations and which less, even if several days have passed between the first visit and registration.

    Let's see how to use all this.

    As a goal, you can choose one of the following options:
    1. A visit to a specific page or group of pages (determined by the full or partial match of the address) by setting a rule on the page address (URL).
    2. Follow the link from a specific page or group of pages by setting the rule to Referer.
    3. Visit a certain number of pages by specifying the number of page views.
    4. Fulfillment of an arbitrary condition that can be determined using JavaScript, then the JavaScript goal (for example, adding an item to the cart, downloading a file or watching a video). When the desired event is reached, information from JavaScript is sent.

    Typical cases from life.

    To track the exit to an external resource by link, we put a click handler on the link. First, information about the achievement of the goal is sent from the handler, then the link is clicked. Here you need to make a delay so that the information has time to go.

    The number of registration refusals and the number of successful registrations can be monitored using the rules at the page address or JavaScript target.

    Adding product to cart. If the product is added through a GET request (including through the form), then you can set the condition that the page address contains a substring that occurs only in requests for product addition. If you cannot select a substring, then you can add an artificial parameter (in the URL or in the hidden field on the form). In the case of a POST form or using Ajax, you can use the ability to send JavaScript events to achieve the goal. Also, do not forget to indicate the page with thanks for the purchase as a goal - this will allow you to find out the number of purchases made.

    Video viewing can also be captured using a JavaScript target.

    Another interesting case is to track how many times a user has stayed on a page for more than a specified number of seconds. In this case, you should send a JavaScript event after a specified time. If users quickly close the page, then something may be wrong with the page. In the case of advertising campaigns, this may signal a poor quality of attracted traffic.

    What next?

    As soon as you start tracking goals, you will see the sources of visitors who have reached the goal.

    As a source, we show the last most significant source of attracting a visitor. Sources can be ad campaigns with jumps to pages containing UTM, _openstat, or a given string. Also, referrals from search services or from the sites you specify can come in as sources. For user convenience, click through advertising campaigns with tags and clicks from search engines are automatically tracked as a visitor’s source.

    We also took into account that between the moment the visitor first came to the site and the moment he reached the goal, some time may pass. Therefore, we store information about the source of the visitor for a month. This allows you to track the source of even those visitors who were attracted by an advertising campaign, for example, a week ago, but decided to buy goods only today.

    It would be interesting to hear opinions and suggestions on the development of this functionality. What would you like? What is missing in the decisions of competitors? What visitors sources would you add for automatic detection?

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